Cockatoo Bite Advice?

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by peacockfeather, Aug 16, 2017.

  1. peacockfeather

    peacockfeather Chirping

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    I've had a U2 for about 6 years. He is a rescue and I am not his first owner. Overall, he's a good bird, but sometimes he will bite that (seems) so come out of nowhere. He is very playful and typically in very good spirits, but every 4-6 months, I'll get a very aggressive bite. I don't react, typically placing him in his cage without any further comment. The bites typically break the skin and can be quite painful. I have noticed I'll get a bite around spring when he is particularly hormonal, which can be expected, but any other bite seems to be very random. I have tried a sleeping cage, which did help for a while, but recently while moving him from his sleeping cage in the morning, received a bite twice within a single week. I will get a warning sign after he is perched on my hand and gives me a "stink eye" kind of look a moment before launching into a bite, always landing in the thumb area. I was wondering if anyone has experience with this who have any advice to share, inclusive of a training exercise I could try, perhaps? I am his only handler and the last thing I want is to somehow be unknowingly promoting this vice. Please help.
     
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  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    My Amazon started biting me about 10 years ago. Since we are both females I am the competition. I have stopped handling her with my bare hands and use a stick. My husband who she loves doesn't get bit, and he can do anything with her.

    Parrots are moody creatures that we keep in an unnatural manner. I'm not sure if you can stop random bites. It can help to work on your " up " training to try to stay dominant, and to make sure your bird is never higher than you. I make sure to exercise my bird daily by making her flap her wings until she's tired, in order to burn off extra energy, and build some muscle.

    Birds are especially moody during the breeding season and mood changes are to be expected. You may just need to expect occasional biting and will have to decide if you want to continue to handle your bird during these moody times.

    My parrot is finally mellowing out a bit at 25 years of age, but I don't think I will ever trust her enough to hold her directly on my hand anymore, the last bite was deep and painful, and I don't want to feel that ever again.
     
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  3. peacockfeather

    peacockfeather Chirping

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    I can relate. I never keep him higher than me, nor do I ever keep him on my shoulder. It's unfortunate that these bites are mostly random and I'm wondering if it's dominance or territorial behavior and if there is a way to re-establish that. I'm also not sure if this was just a vice he has had since before I owned him and his past owners failed to address it or somehow reinforced it. I have thought about handling him with a stick only, but I feel like, as much as it would lessen the chance of getting bit, it's not doing much to tackle the source of improving said behavior. It is very frustrating dealing with an outburst with such little warning (unless I'm missing some key behavior prior to him even getting onto my hand?) Nonetheless, I really appreciate your advice! Thank you!
     
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  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Chicken tender

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    Things to watch for is pinpointing irises, bobbing, and raising his crest. I would never pick him up when he appears excited. Some are very territorial with their cages and stands and bites could be him defending his territory. Maybe after he's removed from his cage with a stick you could swap back to your hand.

    I don't consider using a stick as giving up, but as a way for me to be able to handle my bird with continued confidence. If you are hesitant that can bring on a bite.

    Parrots are very intelligent and can be taught many things. Teaching them to control their emotions can be as difficult as teaching us humans to control ours.

    Hopefully someone else has some better advice.
     
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  5. Lady507

    Lady507 Chirping

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    Something that helps me is to open their door and wait for them to come out of the cage. This way they aren't as territorial since he is out of the cage. The important thing is not to scream or hit if you get bitten as this will excite them and they will bite again. You are doing good in not allowing him to be higher than you. Something else that helps is that when they do bite you make him step up on your hand again and again. Do it around 10 times. This will show dominance and they will be less likely to bite as they don't like to step up so constantly. Also, clip his wings (at least for now) this makes them more submissive and reliant on you. If his wings are clipped you can also put him on the floor after a bite, so that he realizes that you are the leader, not him. Those are a few techniques I have learned after having birds for almost 10 years. I hope this helps.
     
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  6. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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