Mytoos

Getting bit is YOUR fault

Posted By: Mythree2s

Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 04:12 PM

I keep seeing people saying things here like; "biting just comes with the territory," "if you're going to own a too, expect to get bit," etc. Being bit should not be treated as a badge of honor or a right of passage into bird (too) ownership. Biting is a learned behavior and it happens because YOU forced the bird into no other choice but to bite you. Your bird communicated to YOU, giving numerous signs to stop, back-off, etc. and YOU kept at it. A bird's first instinct would be to get away, but we have, for the most part, taken that option away. Instead, we have to give our birds the power to get away, or move away from them. This means, you shouldn't be cornering your bird to get them out of the cage or towel them. Don't force your hand into their chest to MAKE THEM step up. Give them choices. How do you feel when you are told you have to do something? Are you more likely to do something when given choice?

I have met wild caught birds that simply don't know to bite. It is unrealistic to think that you are going to get a bird that hasn't already learned this behavior, especially for all of you blessed people who have adopted or rescued a bird. However, you can alter the way you approach your bird and work out the aggression. The problem with biting is that the more a bird bites, the better it will get at it. The good thing is we can train out that aggression. To help prevent bites, you should be doing things that won't encourage them in the first place. When teaching a step-up, first you should be teaching using positive reinforcement. Your food reward is going to be used as a bait/lure to get the bird to come to your hand. Keeping the lure up at beak level will keep your bird's attention there. Also, hold your hand higher than the perch. It is natural for a bird to step-up, but if they have to step down, many times they use their beak for extra balance. This isn't bad by itself, but if you get startled, or they grab a finger for support, a bite gets more likely to occur.

Training all kinds of behavior using positive reinforcement builds our birdsí trust in us and reduces their likelihood to bite. As you build the relationship of trust, you can do the things we are required to do for the health and safety of our birds without losing all of their trust. Even then, the more proactively you work with your bird to do these things on command, the easier it will be to do when the time arises, i.e. toweling for a nail clip, or going into a crate for an emergency trip to the vet.

It is YOUR responsibility to learn to read your birdís body language and understand what it is that is being communicated to you. By not doing so, you are setting your bird up for failure. It may not occur today, tomorrow, or next week, and you may be able to ďtake the pain.Ē But if, God forbid, something happens to you, your birdís next owner may not be so forgiving.
Posted By: Bird Mom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 04:25 PM

Amen!
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 04:48 PM

Quote:
Being bit should not be treated as a badge of honor or a right of passage into bird (too) ownership. Biting is a learned behavior and it happens because YOU forced the bird into no other choice but to bite you. Your bird communicated to YOU, giving numerous signs to stop, back-off, etc. and YOU kept at it. A bird's first instinct would be to get away, but we have, for the most part, taken that option away. Instead, we have to give our birds the power to get away, or move away from them. This means, you shouldn't be cornering your bird to get them out of the cage or towel them. Don't force your hand into their chest to MAKE THEM step up. Give them choices.
I agree with what you're saying... to a degree. If it is how you described, it all makes sense. (If someone corners me or makes me feel threatened, I feel like (metaphorically) biting them too!) BUT... there are different circumstances. Like hormonal birds that attack. That is a completely different thing. Aggressive attacks are not learned behavior. They are instinctual.

I most definitely don't consider the bites I've received from Baby to be badges of honor. I think the scenario you've painted regarding the circumstances surrounding bites are one-faceted. Baby hasn't ever bitten me because she's cornered or feels forced. She attacks viciously because she's chosen my husband as her life mate, and I'm thwarting her chances of breeding with him. She will chase ME around, trying to corner ME.

Baby is an extreme case as far as hormones go. You COULD say she is in a forced situation. She is forced to be confused because she was bred in to captivity - yet feels the yearnings of her wildness. She is forced to be confused because she is hybrid offspring (M2/U2 = "Mobrella"), therefore uncertain about her genetic identity.

*I* did not initiate this life she was forced in to, but am living each day trying to make it up to her. No matter how much I love her and care for her, bites WILL happen. We must never mislead people to think that simple training is concrete insurance against bites. There are no guarantees. They are indeed still WILD at heart.

Lynne
Posted By: Mythree2s

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 05:00 PM

It is still up to you to set her up in an environment where she will not attack you and to listen to her communication. If she feels that you are invading her territory nesting area, then you need to respect that (and it sounds like you do). She is giving you other signs before biting. She is probably raising her crest, puffing up, and then chasing you. For each sign she gives that you don't respond correctly to, the ante has just been raised, until you meet the bite. Aggression in parrots is learned, the instinct is to flee. And regardless of the cause of the aggression, it can be trained out. I am not saying that training out aggression is simple. I am saying that no matter what the situation or circumstance, a bite is ALWAYS your fault. You have done something or missed some other sign. Many people don't want to grasp that, it is so much easier to blame the bird.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 05:19 PM

This is a very important topic and I agree completely. I hate "Badge of Honor" but I think that instilling the concepts of "you will be bitten, do not take it personally", etc. do serve a purpose on a board like this that is full of neophyte 'Too keepers. This type of training takes time, two plus years in our house, so I suppose it is constructive to warn newbies what can and probably will happen until they have reached a certain trust, security level and proficiency. I wholeheartedly agree with all you have said though. We can and should strive for a stress free and trusting relationship but the journey can sure be rocky sometimes and we sure don't want people to fall off the wagon before they get there. In truth, I doubt a very large percentage of parrot keeper's (the owners) ever get there or understand! frown Your message is very important.
Posted By: Mona

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 05:42 PM

Quote:
Aggression in parrots is learned, the instinct is to flee. And regardless of the cause of the aggression, it can be trained out.
I respectfully disagree with this statement. And if biting is a natural reaction, and not the birds fault but ours, WHY would you want to "train it" out?

My DYH male Amazon has attacked me from across the room, and is able to flee should he so desire.

I take responsiblity for WHY he bites me, but do not go so far as to say that it's my fault each and every time he attacks, because I have done something or could have avoided the attack somehow.

I have had this bird since he was a baby, and he is now 10 years old. He is one of the "hot three" (Blue Front, Napes and DYH Amazons),as they are referred to and the males often become aggressive at maturity and mating season. That is not my fault, it is nature not "learned", and I accept that.

The only way to avoid being attacked is to NEVER allow him out of his cage and so if that is the case, then yes...I guess I could avoid them in that way, but I won't do it.

What IS my fault is the fact that I have this creature here in my home when he should be flying free in the wild. That causes me great guilt at times and I never blame him for the attacks, but they sadden me all the same.

So I agree that we should warn people that birds bite and can be dangerous, especially around children...whatever the reason.
Posted By: Trish and crew

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 05:56 PM

Well put Mona!

Agreed, bites should not be a badge of honor, but for most people, it is part of the deal of having a wild creature in your home. It is completely unrealistic to give folks the idea that biting can be 'untrained' or even out of the rhealm of possibility despite best efforts to avoid it. They are WILD creatures and by thier very nature- unpredictable, even when we think we 'know' them.
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 06:05 PM

Quoting to address things individually...

Quote:
It is still up to you to set her up in an environment where she will not attack you and to listen to her communication. If she feels that you are invading her territory nesting area, then you need to respect that (and it sounds like you do).
Ahh, if it were only that easy. She feels that my presence in our household is invading her territory. Every inch of the household. The only way I could respect her turf any more would be to move out, and that's not going to happen. (I was here first anyway, lol!) They have their own Birdroom and a large screened patio. Over the years - and some here can attest to this - we have completely rearranged our living situation to better accommodate the birds' needs.

Quote:
She is giving you other signs before biting. She is probably raising her crest, puffing up, and then chasing you. For each sign she gives that you don't respond correctly to, the ante has just been raised, until you meet the bite.
Sometimes she gives signs, but sneak attacks are her favorite. She will sneak up behind me in the kitchen trying to catch my unaware and bite my achilles tendon (instinctual to bite ankles). It is my job to avoid the bite by not being unaware. There are times when there are no signs at all. She seems okay one second, and "Mr. Hyde" takes over the next second. She can launch in an instant. I watch for visual signs and read her very well, but she's very tricky. She will reel you in with "good" body language and then CHOMP. I know better than to take the chance at any point in time. Period.

Quote:
Aggression in parrots is learned, the instinct is to flee.
I have to disagree. One instinct is to flee. Biting is indeed instinctual - especially when it comes to the hormonal (territorial/nesting, what have you) factor. Her stance is that she is not going to flee, so she is going to make ME flee. I avoid confrontation as much as possible, but still must provide her with what she needs. If it means taking bites on occasion, so be it.

Quote:
And regardless of the cause of the aggression, it can be trained out. I am not saying that training out aggression is simple. I am saying that no matter what the situation or circumstance, a bite is ALWAYS your fault. You have done something or missed some other sign. Many people don't want to grasp that, it is so much easier to blame the bird.
In this instance, I would love to think the aggression could be trained out. I've gone as far with it as is possible with Baby. The only alternative I could see affecting her behavior is to remove the one thing that seems to fuel her fire - my husband. That's not going to happen either.

I would never be able to blame her for doing what comes to her instinctually (attacking). I don't often (but have on rare occasions) missed signs. I missed them a lot when her hormonal switch flipped because I had NO idea. (I found Mytoos in my search for answers over 7 years ago.) I have personally observed her hormonal behavior. I live with it each and every day. My thoughts on this matter are based on experience, not mere speculation.

I know there are those out there who would like to think that they can train the wild out of an animal, but it is WE (humans) who must be trained to deal with their wildness. No amount of training will make Baby's hormonal instincts disappear or be masked. She is what she is - a wild animal. I'm not saying that I've given up, but I do know my limits. I would never give false hope to others by saying that aggressive behavior can ALWAYS be "trained out".

Lynne
Posted By: Garnet

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 07:00 PM

Quote:
My DYH male Amazon has attacked me from across the room, and is able to flee should he so desire.

I take responsiblity for WHY he bites me, but do not go so far as to say that it's my fault each and every time he attacks, because I have done something or could have avoided the attack somehow.

I have had this bird since he was a baby, and he is now 10 years old. He is one of the "hot three" (Blue Front, Napes and DYH Amazons),as they are referred to and the males often become aggressive at maturity and mating season. That is not my fault, it is nature not "learned", and I accept that.
Yes. It's a common misconception among parrot people that parrots are never aggressive in the wild. Parrots are complicated creatures, and they display a mix of both learned and instinctive behaviors. For the most part, they don't bite each other in the wild, with one exception.

Some species become very possessive of their mates and their nest holes during the breeding season. Males in particular are bad for this, and male Amazons have been observed fighting brutally over nest sites in the wild. There's a good reason for this: the large nest holes that bigger parrots need to breed in are scarce in the wild, so once a parrot has one, he's going to defend it quite vigorously.

He's also going to defend his mate. After all, the male who allows other males to mate with his female is more likely to get cuckholded and he's not going to pass his genes on.

Some human-imprinted parrots will defend a perceived human mate this way. This has happened to me once. A male Black-headed Caique attacked me and bit my ears and made me bleed quite a bit. I didn't provoke this bird - he jumped off his perch and came after me. I could see that he was going to bite me, but I barely had time to react. The bird's owner, in this case, was being a dope because he knew his bird liked to do this, but he still put him on a perch in a room and left, without warning me about this bird's behavior. The bird was just following his instincts. Some Amazons fly after people for the same reason. It's their instinct to protect their mates.

Some parrots view their cages like this, too, because the cage is seen as their home territory. One can, of course, watch the parrot for signs that he's likely to bite.

Interestingly, wild-caught parrots are less likely to show such behaviors. They have not been imprinted on humans, and do not see them as potential mates or nest-site competitors.

Now, this is not to say that being bitten by a parrot is inevitable if one has one. But, even the most parrot-savvy owner might miss a signal and get stapled. It should, of course, be our goal to never be bitten. Any social animal is going to give signals before an attack, and a lot of people do ignore these. Even in cases where the parrot is instinctually defending a nest or person, there are ways to avoid such attacks. Training using lots of positive reinforcement can help immensely, as can not allowing a parrot to view any person as a potential mate. The whole fly-and-bite behavior can be a very difficult (edit: difficult, not impossible) one to train out, though. But, if anyone has dealt with a parrot that flies after and attacks people, and managed to eliminate the behavior, I'd be interested to hear about it.
Posted By: Mythree2s

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 07:22 PM

To Mona:
Quote:
I respectfully disagree with this statement. And if biting is a natural reaction, and not the birds fault but ours, WHY would you want to "train it" out?
You are kidding, right? You mean to tell me you think itís fine for your bird to bite, because you think itís natural? It is much better for you to give alternatives to your bird besides biting. Biting comes as a last resort, the final option. It is extremely rare to see birds viscously attack each other in the wild. Yes, they do beak at each other, but they are not attempting to maim each other.

Quote:
My DYH male Amazon has attacked me from across the room, and is able to flee should he so desire.

I take responsiblity for WHY he bites me, but do not go so far as to say that it's my fault each and every time he attacks, because I have done something or could have avoided the attack somehow.
If it is not your fault, whoís fault is it? Have you trained him to fly on command? What alternatives have you presented to him? How have you set him up to succeed? You donít need to cage him, but you do need to spend time, lots of time, with him. Read up on applied behavior analysis (Dr. Friedmanís work), subscribe to Good Bird! magazine, and educate yourself on positive reinforcement training. Training isnít just about teaching tricks to your bird. It is about training husbandry behaviors and behaviors to make for a less stressful vet visit, to name a few. If you commit yourself to training your bird, you will see the difference. You will see the learning process, and you will see that they WANT to learn. Blaming behavior on hormones is the easy way out, learning how to work through those times in a successful and positive way is the challenge. I know itís not easy and I know you may get bit, but you know many of the signs, having had your DYH for 10 years, that alone should help you to avoid the bites. I also know how difficult amazons are, and I readily admit that I am afraid of them. I have seen how quickly they pick up biting and escalating it, but I have also seen how training has worked a lot of that out.
Posted By: Bev

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 07:31 PM

Ok, I've read all of the posts, but please help me on this one. Rescued M2 here for a week now and has stopped mutilating so far! However my Double Yellow head Amazon is furious. He has been here for a year now (also a rescue). I have never been able to have Elvis close to me, and he has bitten me several times in the last year. He is somewhere around 50-60 years old. He is a free flyer in my house and I love to watch him. When he is out I can ask him to step up and he will, however now he nails me every time. He is also trying to kill Poncho, my M2.

I figure he's protecting his territory and doesn't want Poncho around..I get that. He's mad at me for showing Poncho affection too. I adore Elvis but I am frustated and hurt...literally. My hands are so tore up it hurts to type. I have torn open skin and bruises on top of bruises. I have to stop blood flow from my hands every day. Please help me?
Posted By: LeAnn

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 07:44 PM

Well I don't know that this off the subject but, anyway. I have been bitten once by our Umbrella Max, (just a small bite, but it still scared me and hurt so after that I just let my husband handle Max and I kept my distance. I decided that my and Max had trusts issues and we need to work on that before I would ever handle Max. So I started cooking for Max and the others. I would talk Max while he or she was in the cage and sing and we do this everyday. My husband also gets Max out and brings he or she out to the living room away for the cage and we talk and sing, but I do not get to close because I still have a fear of Max and so he knows it. We are working up to me touching Max very slowly. I know this may be the wrong way, I don't know but it is working. I am not going to approach Max when I know that Max knows I am scared. Max is very bonded with my husband. We were told Max was a male but, we decided to do a DNA test and will know in a couple of weeks. This is what I do to avoid getting bit by Max. I know that it may happen someday.
Posted By: JPT

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 07:52 PM

I have mixed emotions about what I am reading here.
I have only been around 1 parrot - my Tikki.
My husband and I have had her with us for 21 years now. When we adopted her way back then she was pretty wild, she in time accepted us.
Well accepted my husband - tolerates me.
I like Lynne, am the unwanted in my house.
Tikki over the last 4 months has shown more aggression towards me than ever. I have tried so hard with her and it seems the more I am trying with her the less she like me.
I too, have to try and read her every move and look towards me to decide how fast to react.
She does not hunt me down however.
But she has never been given any reason to be scared of me.

My husband works with her doing things most of us would be scared to death to do, she would never ever even think of biting him. I honestly think she would never ever do it.

She I know is at least 25+ years old and she is one dog (punn intended) you can't teach a new trick to. She is set in her ways and not ready to learn anything different.
Very heard headed - but that is what I have learned M2's are. They were never meant to live in cages and this is the world she was put in.
I give in to her, she does not have a choice - I do.
She is the one that was caged she did not ask for this life.

Deb
Posted By: Mythree2s

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 07:53 PM

In response to Lynne

Quote:

quote:
________________________________________
It is still up to you to set her up in an environment where she will not attack you and to listen to her communication. If she feels that you are invading her territory nesting area, then you need to respect that (and it sounds like you do).
________________________________________
Ahh, if it were only that easy. She feels that my presence in our household is invading her territory. Every inch of the household. The only way I could respect her turf any more would be to move out, and that's not going to happen. (I was here first anyway, lol!) They have their own Birdroom and a large screened patio. Over the years - and some here can attest to this - we have completely rearranged our living situation to better accommodate the birds' needs.
I have heard of this, but this does seem to be the exception, not the rule. Typically, outside of their room, other parts of the house are viewed as more neutral territory. What makes it more bewildering is that it is a too, a much more communal parrot than say the macaws and amazons.
Quote:
Sometimes she gives signs, but sneak attacks are her favorite. She will sneak up behind me in the kitchen trying to catch my unaware and bite my achilles tendon (instinctual to bite ankles). It is my job to avoid the bite by not being unaware.
There you go! You took responsibility. It was your fault for not being aware and allowing the situation to happen. Look, I am not saying people donít get bit or can always avoid being bit. What I am saying is that you are always responsible for that bite. Redirected aggression is a common cause of bites, and the cause of most of the bites I have received. Many times, it is very difficult for me to come to grips that it was my fault, but as you think it through, you see what you did to cause the bite. Further, it may be necessary to have done whatever you did for either your birdís, another birdís, your own, or someone elseís safety.
Quote:

________________________________________
Aggression in parrots is learned, the instinct is to flee.
________________________________________
I have to disagree. One instinct is to flee. Biting is indeed instinctual - especially when it comes to the hormonal (territorial/nesting, what have you) factor. Her stance is that she is not going to flee, so she is going to make ME flee.
I guarantee that you would never be bit in the wild by a parrot, even if you came upon itís nest. They will defend their roost against other birds, but like I said in my previous post, they beak at the intruder to chase them off. If it is a predator that is trying to get to its nest, its first instinct is to flee. In general, a parrotís first instinct is to flee when there is perceived danger. When a warning is sounded and one takes off, the others follow innately. They donít look around first, they donít finish eating their nut, or chewing on that branch, they go. The difference is that when we have human raised parrots, they no longer see us as the predator that they would in the wild. We are seen more or less as an equal. This changes the dynamic and leads to behaviors that would never be exhibited in the wild.

Quote:
I would never be able to blame her for doing what comes to her instinctually (attacking). I don't often (but have on rare occasions) missed signs. I missed them a lot when her hormonal switch flipped because I had NO idea. (I found Mytoos in my search for answers over 7 years ago.) I have personally observed her hormonal behavior. I live with it each and every day. My thoughts on this matter are based on experience, not mere speculation.

I know there are those out there who would like to think that they can train the wild out of an animal, but it is WE (humans) who must be trained to deal with their wildness. No amount of training will make Baby's hormonal instincts disappear or be masked. She is what she is - a wild animal. I'm not saying that I've given up, but I do know my limits. I would never give false hope to others by saying that aggressive behavior can ALWAYS be "trained out".
Any of us who have had toos for any length of time have had to deal with hormonal behavior. I have two male U2s, 7 and 8 years old, and one female U2, 10 years old. The challenges caused by this are enormous and we have learned how to make things work for everyone. Their room with their cages is the only room where the three of them cannot all be out at the same time, and none can be out without careful supervision. But bring them downstairs to their trees, ring stands, play stands, and other PVC ďgymsĒ, and they are all able to coexist. If the female gets on the floor, though, one of the males will fly on her. The solution was to teach the female to fly away, sounds silly but she needed to be shown she could fly up to us or to one of the many perches. Additionally, when she goes to the floor, he is immediately rewarded for not going after her. Immediately capturing the behavior of staying and rewarding it is enough to satisfy him for a few minutes and give us time to pick her up. Maybe I shouldnít speak in absolutes, however, I have seen birds go from extreme aggressive behavior to a much calmer state after a few training sessions. There are very few birds that would not exhibit a reduction of aggressiveness through positive reinforcement training, particularly those who have been hand-raised companion parrots.
Posted By: whoissilvia

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 08:05 PM

I don't know that there's anyone who thinks of getting bit as a badge of honor. (Unless he's won $10,000 on AFV for a good caught-on-tape crotch latch-on.) wink

But in many ways it is a rite of passage. Perhaps you are the paragon of parrot keepers who has always done everything right and has never been bitten. Well, kudos to you. But the rest of us must go through a sometimes lengthy learning process along with our birds. I took on a 2 year old male U2 who was probably abused, and biting was his conditioned response to any number of human actions. If I had not learned a little something every time I was bitten, he'd still be a sad bird with no trust for people. 8 1/2 years later, I have a gentle cockatoo who trusts me so implicitly that he will lie on his back in the palm of my hand.

You point out that "It is YOUR responsibility to learn to read your birdís body language and understand what it is that is being communicated to you." I would argue that it's also up to the bird. The parrot is doing the bulk of the work in adapting to a human environment and learning to read your body language and communicate using your verbal language. To get beyond biting, he must learn that the behavior is unnecessary and unacceptable. Clearly he will get there faster with a teacher who is observant and sensitive and responsive to his moods, but we can't take all of the credit away from the bird for his accomplishment.
Posted By: Mythree2s

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 08:05 PM

Bev - First of all, you need an airfilter near your amazon, especially if your M2 lives in the same room as him. For the biting, I say start giving rewards to Elvis for exhibiting the behavior you want. Does he like sunflower seeds (seeing as he's an amazon, I'm guessing he does)? As soon as he steps up, give him some kind of verbal praise, a bridge, such as "Good!", and give him a sunflower seed with your other hand. Through training, not only do they learn behavior, they also learn the "treat hand." Holding treats up, away from the hand you are offerring for the step, directs attention away from your hand. When you sense a bite coming on, you can hold up the treat hand. You can also provide something else for Elvis to put in his mouth. It is very difficult for him to bite you and chew on a toy at the same time.

LeAnn - You are training Max to accept you and you are respecting his boundaries. I think by building up a positive history with yourself and Max, you are going about this the right way. You are seeing his level of trust growing in you, and you are gaining confidence in yourself and trust in him.
Posted By: liviray

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 08:11 PM

Quote:
Perhaps you are the paragon of parrot keepers who has always done everything right and has never been bitten. Well, kudos to you. But the rest of us must go through a sometimes lengthy learning process
AMEN to that~
Posted By: Mythree2s

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 08:33 PM

I have never claimed to have never been bit, but I don't look at bites as "battle scars," either. The learning process is lengthy and it is one that never ends, for us or our birds. One would be quite remiss to not learn from any bite. A bite absolutely should be learned as a learning experience, using that experience to realize what caused it and what can be done to prevent it from happening again. Of course, the bird does so much of the work, and it takes a time and practice to learn how to teach the bird. The greatest rewards of training is watching your birds learn, seeing those light bulbs go off, and building a stronger relationship with them.
Posted By: Mona

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 08:35 PM

Over the years I have found that there will always be people who come along that have read all the books, attended all the seminars and become "experts".

Here's what I've learned in my 30 years of keeping birds.

Birds bite. Birds will attack for many reasons, some hormonal, some because they are simply wild creatures not meant to be caged.

All the training in the world is NOT going to stop all birds from biting and attacking.

I have also learned that no two birds are alike and that I will never be an "expert" when it comes to parrots.

I learn something new from my birds almost every day and when I get cocky and THINK I know it all, they usually find a way to put me in my place and remind me that I don't and never will.
;-)
Posted By: Garnet

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 08:56 PM

Does anybody here actually see bites as "battle scars" or whatever? I know some parrot behaviorists insist that a lot of parrot owners see them that way, but I'm not really seeing it.

Being bitten by a large parrot hurts and some bites can even require stitches to repair. I don't think that anyone is going to argue that bites should always be avoided!
Posted By: whoissilvia

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 09:06 PM

Bit happens. <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" />
Posted By: mom2paulie

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 09:40 PM

I have never had a parrot who didn't bite from time to time, and I have never taught a bird to bite, forced a bird to bite, etc... Birds are wild and wild creatures bite. My sun conure and caique nip at each other as a form of communication, and it is a natural behavior that they extend to the human members of their flock. My too bites when I put him back in his cage, not because I've hurt him, but because it is his way of telling me that he's not finished spending time with me. I never taught him to do this. I take the bite and put him back anyway so that the biting is not reinforced. Hopefully he will learn that biting doesn't get him his way.

People who come here for information should not be led to believe that they will never be bitten by their bird, because they most definitely will. They also need to hear that birds should be kept away from young children and away from people's faces for this very reason.

When birds are kept in captivity, know no other companionship of their own kind, come to sexual maturity and have no way to release that tension they often bite/attack. It's definitely not a badge of honor, but a reality. That's all it is.
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 09:54 PM

There is no substitute for first-hand experience. That's for sure! I have lived with a Too that is hormonal 365 days a year for over 7 years now. Springtime just magnifies it somewhat. The first 2-3 years, she was not like this. One day, in one instant, it just changed. That has nothing to do with training. It has everything to do with hormones. It's not a copout, and I really don't appreciate the condescending attitude that it is a copout.

Baby gets proper care, plenty of freedom and attention, toys to forage, manipulate and destroy, fresh air and sunshine, and good food. Before her hormones came into the equation, her diet wasn't as good, there was no Birdroom, no patio for flight, and not as many quality toys. Plenty of attention and freedom, and the ability to be in a room with anyone peacefully.

We didn't move, change any habits, or have any catastrophic life events that set off her change in demeanor. She hit maturity, and hormones directly affected her behavior. There is no training that can bring her back to the way she was before hormones changed her. That's not a copout. It's the truth, and we live with that - every day - during every encounter with her.

Baby is on a mission - to breed. But she's frustrated because her chosen mate is not responding. She won't stop trying. It consumes her. I do pick up her cues, avoiding getting bitten EVERY time I handle her. I only get bitten occasionally because she is very accustomed to me coming to her and handling her in specific ways. I cannot use ironclad methods in approaching her and handling her because she adapts. She studies me each time I handle her to find a chink in the armor. When EVER she gets the opportunity she goes for it.

There is not any kind of training tip you could give me on how to handle her and avoid bites better than I do. There is always the chance that I have an off day when I let myself be distracted for the one millisecond instant it takes for her to bite me. Yes, I realize that is my "fault" if I'm HUMAN and it happens. I'm not blaming Baby for it. However, I'm not daft enough to attribute her taking the opportunity to bite me to her not being trained well.

She bites because her instincts tell her I need to be eradicated if she is to get what she wants - to mate with the one she has chosen. Her "territory" is anywhere my husband has been in the house. He's been everywhere in the house. Her "territory" IS my husband. Even outside of the house she will grumble at others and display to let anyone in a large radius know that HE is HERS. The only way I could ever see her not acting that way is if the two of them were separated.

You have not walked in our shoes (Mine, or Mona's, or anyone else who has a bird whose life is ruled by hormones.) There are many factors in play. These are wild animals, and they are confused because they belong in the wild, yet they are captive. I can see the confusion in Baby's eyes. She knows I love and care for her, but feels compelled to try to drive me away.

Surely you do not expect people to believe that hormones are not responsible for aggressive behavior. Generally speaking, hormones and the drive to reproduce can make any animal prone to being aggressive. If they weren't a factor, territorial wars in the wild just wouldn't need to exist. Watch the Discovery Channel and you will see that the biggest things that cause conflict are food or mating related. These birds are not excluded. Put too many of any species in territory that is much too small and they will most likely fight. What is the range of territory for large Toos...?

Again, there is no substitute for first-hand experience. You really don't know what some of us are out here dealing with. That's not your fault, but please don't try to impose "book knowledge" and theories on those of us living in the real world.

Lynne
Posted By: Nemo22

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 10:32 PM

I am certainly no expert.One U2,4 yrs,no previous experience,but I do get to observe my bird interacting with wild birds almost every day.
I have never seen her flee from another bird,on the contrary,she aggressively chases them if she perceives them invading her space.She will try to bite,at least she snaps at them.
I have even seen her stand up to a small hawk,she treated the predator with more respect,but she did not back down,fully displayed and barking,she moved towards the hawk,and it retreated.
My point is,that she had every opportunity to flee,but instead was aggressive.
'A good defence is a strong offense' seems to be her philosophy.
And we're talking about birds much larger than she,gulls and pelicans,and geese.
Now this is a highly social,friendly,happy U2.
And she has not been aggressive towards me since we bonded.
Still,bites happen,my bad yes,but compared to her behavior towards other birds,it's not the same.
I am curious to hear from some of our Australian friends,who get to observe them in the wild.
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 10:38 PM

Quote:
I have even seen her stand up to a small hawk,she treated the predator with more respect,but she did not back down,fully displayed and barking,she moved towards the hawk,and it retreated.
My point is,that she had every opportunity to flee,but instead was aggressive.
We have observed that same thing. We had a hawk make a dive on Baby in an enclosure a few years back. She had every opportunity to flee, but instead flared every feather and trumpeted at it. Our GW headed across the enclosure in a split-second doing his jungle shrill, with every intent to attack the hawk.

It was truly amazing. Gee, he didn't flee, but actually flew in for a fight! So much for that theory, right? As for Macaws, on the Real Macaw, there is video footage of a macaw couple (Scarlet or GW) defending its nesting area against a Hyacinth couple. Again, not fleeing, but fighting - over nesting.

Lynne
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/07/07 10:44 PM

As cited by Dr. Susan Friedman and Bobbie Brinker in the article Early Socialization: A Biological Need and the Key to Companionability

Quote:
Unfortunately, many more birds suffer the lack of early socialization by exhibiting predictable behavior deficits, such as poor physical coordination; an inability to entertain themselves with toys; narrow, unhealthy food preferences; excessive fear; unpredictable aggression, chronic biting; and incessant screaming.
Every bird is an individual and as Dr. Friedman frequently states
Quote:
"A study of 1"
The reasons why a bird bites (or doesn't) isn't one-size fits all.
Posted By: Lrex

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 12:50 AM

Lynne:

I believe what you are describing in Baby's behavior is another thing that is worth discussing here. As you are aware, I have 2 "Mobrella" Cocaktoos myself. Their behavior is unique, especially when compared to a U2 or a M2 - neither of which they really are. Yes, I believe that most parrots give us clues and cues which sometimes we get and most often not. Just as they don't always get what we are trying to tell them... With these hybrids, let's just say they are extremely difficult to read and highly unpredictable at times. Another stunning example of man's greed, creating a creature that was not meant to be. I describe my two as both quick tempered like U2's and deep thinking, sensitive and grudge carriers, like M2's all at the same time. It means that they will often bite you twice for the same perceived infractions.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Friedman and listen to two of her presentations. I was very impressed by her. She is a gentle soul who has a lot to offer those of us who are attempting to give our birds the best home/enviroment/training possible. I especially like her non-punishment approach and I really think training and conditioning IS important in creating long term relationships with our birds - cockatoos or otherwise. Personally, I think minimizing the "opportunities" for bites is the most important thing we all can do. But, I do not believe for one second that you can ever eliminate the possibility. I do not personally have the ability to remain hyper-vigilant (most people do not in their own homes) and therefore I do get nailed. And that is something I warn anyone who is thinking of getting a parrot - about, especially if they have children.
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 01:10 AM

Well said, Lrex! Thank you!

Lynne
Posted By: liviray

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 01:10 AM

Quote:
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet Dr. Friedman and listen to two of her presentations. I was very impressed by her. She is a gentle soul who has a lot to offer those of us who are attempting to give our birds the best home/enviroment/training possible. I especially like her non-punishment approach and I really think training and conditioning IS important in creating long term relationships with our birds - cockatoos or otherwise. Personally, I think minimizing the "opportunities" for bites is the most important thing we all can do.
I have a ton of respect for you~ but I feel that some posters have forgotten that each birds personality is much different than anothers~ and there cant be a blanket approach~ as much as I would like to see an end to the bites and visits to be stiched up, reading from a book or taking a class is not a fix all, and really with crosses ie: M2 and U2.

I think the main OP was trying to "suggest" with something she either read out of a book, or had just taken this class....but its far more complicated than that, and if it were more simple we wouldnt have hundreds of people checking in here each day.

While I appreciate the intention, I do think the OP came across as a know it all and for my friends here that have been chomped~ it comes across as patronizing...like there is a simple soulution.

I dont think there is....Id like to think there is, but the word NOT comes to mind....
Posted By: Lrex

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 01:32 AM

Liviray:

I do wholeheartedly agree with you. There is no one solution for all birds. The single most important persective to apply to all birds is for us as humans to lower our expectations. you cannot be disappointed if you don't expect certain behaviors etc. Building trust, especially with a new bird is the very first step. Minimizing negative interactions of all kinds - the second. It takes time, above all else. Sadly, time and patience are the two things many people are not willing to give frown
Posted By: liviray

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 01:41 AM

Quote:
Sadly, time and patience are the two things many people are not willing to give
extremely well said, Im saving that one....Perfect!
Posted By: sikonawt

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 01:59 AM

I haven't read the thread all the way though so I apologize if I'm just repeating what someone has said already ...

anyway, most of the people that I know who show off scars from parrot injuries are hardened veterans who volunteer in or run avian rescues. These people devote their time to working with and caring for abused, neglected, and otherwise antisocial birds. Since they often are exposed to parrots who are rightfully fearful of humans, they get bit at pretty high rate despite their skill.

All parrots -- especially rehabilitations -- are going to bite occasionally. I feel like if these people are going to be putting their skins on the line to help out parrots that others don't want to deal with, then they can brag all they want about the hits they have taken!
Posted By: happybirds

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 02:29 AM

I think that the topic is an interesting one as all of us have been bitten. Some of the bites were a surprise, and some were expected, and some were basically deserved.
I think the problem here is that while the topic does deserve discussion, the original presentation was, well......use your own word here. All I can say is the presentation, angered me. Especially since I just suffered my first and hopefully last face bite, which was TOTALLY my fault, and quite nasty from the M2 who it completely bonded to me. (actually I felt that the original post was directed at me, and if it was.....choose your own word here)
As expeirenced as I am with 12 years under my belt, there is the occassional bite. Why they bite, often escapes me...other times, I know exactly why.
I as everyone else I think do everything we can to try to discourage biting, and to avoid being bitten.
I do understand what you mean when you say it is our fault...and in the most stretched of terms, usually it is, as you pointed out, if we look at the bite, we can usually figure out why, whether it was something we did, or someone else did, or another bird did. It is not LITERALLY our fault, but it is our fault (and I use that term very very loosely)
As usual, the board has taken offense, even though I don't think you actually meant to offend, and now what could be a very interesting topic, is reduced to mud slinging as alway.
I know it isn't always easy to say something you are passionate about in a way that everyone is going to understand, even if you review what you wrote, and think it is okay...this is the written word, and no one is looking you in the eye while you say words to them, and often...well, look at this thread as a perfect example...
So okay, now who is going to misunderstand what I've written? No I'm not sticking up for MyThree2's, as I'm still not certain the original post wasn't a shot at me, having just posted about the face bite...but again, I don't see the writer, and can't tell if she is taking a shot at me or not...see what I mean...
Okay enough rambling...
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 03:14 AM

Anyone who has been around Mytoos for the past bunch of years knows I very rarely call someone out in a discussion. I only do so when I feel empassioned to point out wrong information. My intention is not to mudsling, but to point out that "informing" or "educating" folks who come along later to read this, that the natural behaviors of these wild creatures can be "trained out" is highly irresponsible.

There are many well-intentioned books and articles out there, but each bird is an individual. Many people are lucky to have birds who do not exhibit agressive behavior on a regular basis... or have birds that do so only when "provoked". Much of the OP's original post might apply somewhat to less severe cases. However, there are some serious cases out there, (many who find their way here - like I did - when things are really bad) and people don't need to be led falsely into believing if their bird is "trained well" that they won't get bitten (or pluck, or scream, or mutilate themselves).

Sometimes things just are the way they are, and nothing we can do is going to change it. Sometimes all we can do is TRY to make their lives in captivity better than they may be somewhere else. It truly is the human in the "relationship" that needs the "training" in order to deal with the wild animal.

There were generalized statements made that simply are not true. I don't believe I misconstrued the spirit of these things:

"Aggression in parrots is learned, the instinct is to flee."

I have seen for myself that this is not always the case. (Read some of the above posts, and I am not alone.)

"Blaming behavior on hormones is the easy way out..."

I KNOW through my own experience that is not true. Not in my case, and not in many other cases in the past that have come up on this board. The easy way out is to give up and pass the bird along to the next of many homes it will have in its life - as humans continue to take the easy way out.

"I guarantee that you would never be bit in the wild by a parrot, even if you came upon itís nest."

How can that be stated unless this person has witnessed the behavior of M2's and/or U2's in their native habitat personally? Has this person tried climbing up a rather tall tree in Indonesia or Australia and tried to breech a M2 or U2 nest? That's just out there. (To be honest, it's an interesting subject, and I may just shoot off an email to some people who actually have been there to see if they've ever witnessed anything like this. But that's another discussion for another day.)

Whether it's related to birds or otherwise, I really don't like to see false information made out to be fact. Ask anyone who emails me their FWD'd emails, and see how many have gotten replies from me with a link to a Snopes.Com article pointing out that the email is bunk. I like to stop incorrect information generally, but when it comes to these birds, it's especially important for me to speak out. Taking information from a well-known book and presenting it as your own advice isn't really cool either. Others who have read them know exactly where it came from. wink

Lynne
Posted By: Cassie's_girl

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 03:25 AM

Happybirds, I totally agree with you about the dangers of reading someone's INTENT wrong. It's so difficult to convey, and to deduce, the emotion in the posts. It's a tough way to communicate, even though it opens up so many new roads of communication, it also opens up all sorts of new ways to misinterpret each other. It would be nice if we all always assumed the best, but when people discuss things they are passionate about it's hard NOT to get emotions involved.

For my two cents, even my 6 year old daughter knows the golden rule of birdkeeping "if you have a bird, you're going to get bit." This does not mean that we just allow our birds to chew on us, but that it is unreasonable to think that the day won't come that you get bit. Whether it's hormone induced, a sudden noise startling them, having to seperate the birds from each other, or some reason we can't figure out, it most likely will happen. I think one reason this post spurred so many responses, is that there are SO MANY DIFFERENT reasons that birds bite, you can't sum it up very easily, if at all. We use the clicker training technique also, and I think that anything that engages the birds in a positive activity is good for them, but I'm not sure it can totally prevent bites. My U2 has never bitten anyone that I know of(better knock on wood now! wink , but I have not had her that long, and I'm sure the day will come (Hopefully, NOT though -I can dream).

Someone said on another link that they think if you THINK you will get bit, you probably will. I believe there is something to this, reminds me of the calm, confident attitude that you need when working with horses. Horses can always tell when someone is intimidated by them, and they often won't follow their commands well. But I still say living with a bird, chances are you're getting bit smile .
Posted By: Mona

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 03:27 AM

I agree with the last several posts, and I think the problem I have is that over the years here at Mytoos many of us have seen people come in and proceed to tell the rest of us that everything we are doing is either wrong, or that they have the solution/answers to all the problems most of us have dealt with for years, sometimes decades.

It's good to share ideas and experiences. What I resent is being told that if my bird is biting me, it MUST be something I am doing wrong.

Everything is just not that cut and dried, or black and white.

Of COURSE I am doing something wrong. I am keeping wild creatures caged and subjected to a world vastly different than they were meant to live in.

So what do we do? We try to learn about our birds, read their body language, understand their needs and meet them to the best of our ability.

What we DON'T need is someone with a know it all condescending attitude telling us all that we are failures because one or more of our birds have bitten us and if we do exactly what he/she says, our problems would all be solved and the birds would never bite again.

That is irresponsible and simply not true.

That was probably not the intention of the original poster, as Happybirds said, but it sure came off that way and I for one did not appreciate the manner in which this person presented their "advice".

We have to educate people about the pro's AND con's of keeping large parrots and keep it real.
Posted By: liviray

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 03:34 AM

Quote:
Someone said on another link that they think if you THINK you will get bit, you probably will. I believe there is something to this, reminds me of the calm, confident attitude that you need when working with horses.
Take it from a person thats been around horses their entire life, if you think for one minute that U2's and horses are alike you sadly mistaken. I do think that you ment in the "abstract" but horses and birds , much different.....Although I do notice more and more horse people getting into birds....alarming in its self.
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 03:42 AM

Quote:
Someone said on another link that they think if you THINK you will get bit, you probably will.
That was most likely me - and definitely in more than one post, lol,

Lynne
Posted By: whoissilvia

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 03:54 AM

"It's so difficult to convey, and to deduce, the emotion in the posts."

The author may give a hint, like using the mean little angry-faced emoticon in his/her subject heading, suggesting the mood of the post.
Posted By: Janny

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 04:52 AM

Quote:
Someone said on another link that they think if you THINK you will get bit, you probably will.
Well I have to admit I always say that very statement.I really beleive in it as well.If you go to an animal tensed and scarred and nervous.I beleive they sense that and then in return feel the same as you and likely will act on it.They do not understand the reason you feel this and I believe with parrots especially they will think danger is near and that is why they react and bite you at the time that you feel this way.I beleive this to be with almost any animal but parrots the most.

I am not saying this is the only reason people get bit...just in the case that you are nervous and tensed about being bit.

Jan
Posted By: Cassie's_girl

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 05:03 AM

Liviray, I did not intend to imply that horses and parrots are at all similar, just through my own experience, that the same demeanor in the human handling them affects their behavior accordingly. If you're anxious, they're more likely to be anxious; if you're calm and relaxed and paying attention to their (very different) body language, it's much easier to train them. I don't want to go off on a whole tangent explaining, but I don't want ANYONE reading this to think horses and 'toos are the same. I have also been around horses most of my life (not presently though), and I think being comfortable around animals makes it easier to work with them. I have actually been bitten by several birds and 1 horse though, so I certainly don't claim to have all the answers smile .
Posted By: Bokka-pooh

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 05:56 AM

Wow, GREAT topic, and surelly one I agree with.

I do believe its either stand down or stand up in your territory. If a bir dbelieves another bird (or human) is invading their terriroty then they will show its theres then if no signs are shown that the other bird (or human) is leaving (the bird can determine this in a split second-several second) it procees to the next thing available, using its defenses and offenses to drive th eintruder out. Liek how some of ou say with your Macw or too against a Hawk.

VERY good topic.
Posted By: Mythree2s

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 06:39 AM

I donít quite know where to start. I think I should start-off by saying my original post was not aimed at anyone in particular, it is the general statements. Happybirds, Iím not even sure that I saw your post, but I was not referring to it.

So many incorrect assumptions have been made by so many, all the way down to my gender. I donít feel it is necessary to go through my years of experience living with birds. I think it is suffice to say that I was born into a household with companion parrots and have never stopped living with them. I am a very active volunteer with a parrot rescue and have consulted with many owners and foster parents on how to deal with behavior issues. My intent is not to criticize members of this board in how they deal with behavioral issues with their own bird. My frustration, and apparently poorly made point, is with so many posters telling people that they should expect to get bit. Most of those upset with what I have written would have to agree that we all should try to avoid bites. When dealing with some behavior issue, this should be one of the goals. Of course, getting bit may happen, and the likelihood is a function of how the situation is approached. The posters that I was referring to, quite frankly, have not posted in this thread,

I admit that I failed to post that every bird is an individual. That is very true. It is also true that the history behind many birds was not with you, but someone else. But while what occurred in the past will influence the future, it doesnít have to dictate it. Since almost none of you know me from Adam, (or Eve, as some of you assume I am a woman), but do know, or know of, Susan Friedman, hereís what she has to say about biting.

Alternatives to Breaking Parrots:
Reducing Aggression and Fear through Learning


Quote:
It is a birdís biology that produces the innate behaviors associated with fear such as rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure; however, experience is the best teacher of what to be fearful of in captivity. Of course it is also a parrotís biology, most notably in the form of powerful beaks, which accounts for their
effectiveness as self-defenders but it is critical to understand that serious biting is not a species-typical defense reaction in parrots. Given the choice among freezing, fleeing and fighting, a wild parrotís first defense is to flee. It should be no surprise then, that aggression in parrots is often the predictable result of what we do and the conditions we provide in captivity. There is no question that biting is an adaptation which results from pushing our birds too far, too fast or too forcefully.
Hmm, sounds familiar, no? Of course, the following sentences are very instructive, but may be a little offensive to some of youÖ

Quote:
The good news is that learned behaviors can be unlearned and replaced with more appropriate behaviors -- but only to the extent that we can effectively teach them. Any limitation and all the responsibility is ours as teachers. Still, you can count on your parrotís extraordinary ability to learn, that is, to change based on the experiences you provide. They, like all sentient creatures, are biologically prepared to find reinforcement and adapt their behavior to get it.
And she even gives an example of a possible solutionÖ
Quote:
Another strategy called differential reinforcement of alternative behaviors is a highly
effective approach for reducing aggressive behavior. Paired with a careful reading of your birdsí body language to avoid those bites, differential reinforcement consists of rewarding the behaviors you want to see more while at the same time ignoring those unwanted behaviors. In this way, problem behaviors are decreased using positive reinforcement for appropriate alternative. For example, biting can be replaced with a vocalization to signal to you that your bird feels uncomfortable with what you are doing; lunging can be replaced with picking up a foot toy; and, charging can be replaced with going to a designated perch. I highly recommend Karen Pryorís book, Don't Shoot the Dog: The New Art of Teaching and Training - Revised Edition, (1999), Bantam Publishers, available at www.clickertraining.com, and Steve Martinís website at
www.naturalencounters.com, and additional articles I have written at www.parrottalk.com/article.html for more information about teaching with positive reinforcement.
Speaking of Steve Martin, a man I truly admireÖ

Biting, Itís Not For The Birds

Quote:
ďBiting is just part of having a parrot as a pet.Ē Does that sound familiar? It should. It is a very common attitude associated with companion parrot ownership. However, I feel the opposite is true. A parrot owner should strive to never get bit. That is a pretty bold statement for such a common problem. The fact is that biting is something parrots learn to do in captivity and not something that is normally seen in the wild. Thatís right, they donít bite each other in the wild, at least not hard enough to make another parrot bleed.

In the past 15 years or so, I have interviewed many parrot field researchers (personal communications: Brice, February, 1994, Munn, July 1998, Gilardi, February, 1999, English, November, 2000, May, May 15, 2001) about biting and dominance. With a combined total of over 35 years of field research, only two of these researchers have
ever seen or heard of a parrot biting another parrot hard enough to make it bleed. Both of these incidences were associated with nest holes. One incident involved two birds fighting over a nest cavity and the other involved a parrot attacking a young bird in the nest in an attempt to take over the nest.

Ö

Learned Aggression; Some parrots learn to bite for a desired response. This learned aggression is displayed in many ways. One bird could learn that a light bite to the arm of its owner when he or she is eating a donut may result in a piece of the tasty treat being offered to stop the annoying nibbling. Another bird may learn that a bite to the finger will cause a person to leave it alone on top of the cage or on a personís shoulder, even if it is for just long enough for the person to go get a dowel or perch to pick the bird up with. Once a parrot bites a person for the first time, it may be on its way to learning that this is a valid way to communicate with humans. Any behavior that is reinforced is likely to be repeated.
AndÖ

Quote:
One more thing that will enhance a parrot ownerís relationship with their parrot: taking responsibility for each time the bird bites them. Parrot owners should understand that biting is something that they have either forced a bird to do or taught it to do. When they accept this responsibility they will begin to see that their scars are signs of insensitivity and not badges of courage. They will also begin to lay the foundation for a more rewarding partnership with their companion bird.
It is quite obvious that many of you donít like me, or at least not what I posted. But you do respect Susan, and I have also seen Steveís praises sung here. Hopefully, some of you will take what they say to heart. It does work, and the limitations are those of you the trainer, not the bird. Refuse to educate yourself, refuse to attend seminars, hands-on workshops, etc., but when your 30+ years of having a companion parrot means that you are still being attacked from across the room, donít say that you have tried everything.
Posted By: Mona

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 07:23 AM

Quote:
Refuse to educate yourself, refuse to attend seminars, hands-on workshops, etc., but when your 30+ years of having a companion parrot means that you are still being attacked from across the room, donít say that you have tried everything.
What makes you think I have refused to educate myself??? You have NO clue about me or what I have been doing for my 30 years living with birds, or what I have done to help build a better relationship with a very aggressive DYH Amazon.

I am very educated about birds and while most of my education comes from hands on experience, I know that my birds are loved, and very well cared for.

I have devoted almost 10 years of every spare moment I have, on the internet, and most of that time right here at Mytoos trying to learn more from my fellow bird friends, and at the same time share what I have learned from living with many different species.

I don't need to defend myself to you, but again..I find your attitude extremely condescending and judgmental, so I don't think I will bother trying to explain to you anymore about my relationship with my Amazon, or any of my birds.

You really don't get it anyway.
Posted By: LeAnn

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 07:46 AM

I am just going to say this and I may not come back here anymore. I do know that Cockatoos are very intense birds to have and you have to be very educated and everything else. I just feel and I have talk to so many people around other message boards that some of you people are very critical and very judgmental of others on here. We all make mistakes and yeah maybe some should not have these birds, will some people should not have children but they do. I sometimes feel that some of you on here instead of helping others you judge and bash people for the things they may say or do and its not right. I know that you are blunt and you say that you are but you don't have to be so cold hearted of others. I feel that we all love our birds and want what is best for them so lay off a little bit. I honestly don't care what you say to me because I know that I don't have to read or listen to what you say. I know that I wasn't even really part of this but I just wanted to say this because I have read so many posts on here from some of you people and some of you think you know know everything about these birds and you don't all you know is what you have seen with your birds so unless you have a degree in bird care or Cockatoos layoff! I just needed to say this I have been wanting to for a while. Oh yeah I know that I don't have to read these posts are come back hear so you don't need to tell me that!
Posted By: Mythree2s

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 07:53 AM

Maybe it could be this statement?

Quote:
Over the years I have found that there will always be people who come along that have read all the books, attended all the seminars and become "experts".

Here's what I've learned in my 30 years of keeping birds.
I'm not interested in discussing your birds with you, anyhow. You've already shown to me that you are not interested in what I have to say.
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 08:53 AM

Well, I think this discussion has come to the point that we can agree to disagree on some things. For those who come along in the future, they can read through and decide what they take from it and apply to their individual birds. My point was simply that individual situations (birds, their humans and their environment) vary, and blanket statements are an irresponsible way to try to make a point.

While people want hope that an aggressive bird will tone down, it may or may not happen. A combination of things, including training (on the part of the bird and the human), living environment (diet, toys, placement in the home), medical situation/s (genetics, and yes, even HORMONES), all can contribute to behavior issues - in this case, biting issues. Sometimes the right combination can be figured out to lessen the frequency of aggressive behavior (bites), and sometimes it cannot. More often than not, the bird is not trained to bite less, but the human is trained to avoid bites.

Whatever the case, we come here to trade ideas, get help with our Toos, and know that what we are experiencing, we are not experiencing alone. As I said, I didn't go into this to mudsling. I went into it with a passion to see that what is presented isn't a bunch of misleading information. Now people who read this later on know this is a multi-faceted subject, and can delve deeper to find the answers they need for their individual situations.

And that's the way it is...

Lynne
Posted By: gn18

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 01:12 PM

--------------------------------
...We all make mistakes and yeah maybe some should not have these birds, will some people should not have children but they do.
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The nice part being a human being is that there are rules, $, welfare and support to provide for the children. In addition, this children will grow up, get a job and be able to support themselves.

Unfortunately that is not so for birds. There are no rules or official agency to care for them (and if there happen to be any, they are poorly enforced). In addition, the birds cannot grow up and earn a living for themselves and decide what they want to do. Us being humans also have a harder time trying to understand a different species in this case birds as compared to a child (as we all were once children).

----------------------------------
...I know that I wasn't even really part of this but I just wanted to say this because I have read so many posts on here from some of you people and some of you think you know know everything about these birds and you don't all you know is what you have seen with your birds so unless you have a degree in bird care or Cockatoos layoff!..
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You mentioned that 'some of us think that we know everything about these birds' Hmmmm...I don't see anybody saying this! This is what we humans may think and voice out to others that the other person is implying when we get heated up especially after reading some 'heated posts/threads'. Just as people on this thread have got heated up and may not have put it properly, so have you yourself while telling others to 'layoff'.

When we are faced with heated posts/threads or when we feel that this could be a personal attack, the right thing to do is 'see the whole picture', be calm, explain properly and not attack or get heated up. This is the internet where you can walk away and answer at your own leisure when you calm down. Unfortunately so many people including yourself are unable to do this.

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I just feel and I have talk to so many people around other message boards that some of you people are very critical and very judgmental of others on here.
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Yes, folks here tend to 'appear' to be judgemental and to a fair bit of degree (not as much as others and they themselves think) they are. Talking to people elsewhere is not enough. There is much more to just talking to others, reading a lot of posts and having experience to 'understand which path is the more appropriate one'. Very few people are willing/able to explain/understand thoroughly and bridge the gap between breeding etc and why this board may seem more harsh/opinionated than it actually is etc.
Posted By: Janny

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 02:17 PM

Everyone lets just calm down a bit here. confused

No one looks be judging anyone and to me this just lloks like a bit of a debate.I think it is healthy and I am getting allot out of this topic so I would like the healthy debate to continue.I think we can all learn from this.Sometimes when we are given advice on what to do for behaviours and it goes against what we have been doing we think we are being judged.I don't think that is the case here.I think some valuable tools are given and great advice it is up to you if you choose to use it or not.I think we all have allot to offer and don't want people to think they need to leave here because of a few posts.I always think of it this way....If you go into something thinking negatively there will be no good come out of it.Think positive and you should see good results.

Jan
Posted By: Trish and crew

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 02:29 PM

Where to start...
confused
I'm sorry but this is personal.
frown
Well first... despite HIS best intentions... it seems no one here appreciates the tone of My3Toos. And of course he must be a HE because who else would deny the effects of hormones?!!!! I think he's beginning to see the effects of them here with all of the impassioned responses you are receiving from the women members of this board.
angry
I think the other thing that is difficult to swallow is the 'unsolicited advice' nature of the posts. Who asked you? Yes we need to have a venue for the free exchange of information, but when you try to pass of your OPINION as the Gospel- well get off the horse you came in on. The minute you think you're an expert is the minute you get mauled by a tiger.

No one disagrees that it is 'our fault' that we get bit. No one disagrees that we have to work to foster more positive experiences with the birds in our homes to HOPEFULLY avoid getting bitten. Sometimes you also have to face reality and know that on some occasions there is nothing you can do- you are going to get bit. Nobody is TRYING to get bit. I think the point that has been trying to squeak out between the 'advice from on high' is that My3Toos reality is one to work towards, however NOBODY should be under and DELUSIONS that bites won't happen. If you don't want to get bitten- DON'T have a bird in your home!

I think the comparison of so-called domestic birds in the home to wild birds is asinine in this instance. Of course when we impose unnatural things on them they will behave unnaturally. I don't care how many studies are done about wild birds... for me all it does is give perspective on how difficult it is to achieve balance in an unnatural setting. Besides, anyone in science will tell you that any study is just a theory until it is disproved or replaced with a new theory- it's never actually FACT.

My3Toos, I am happy that you have achieved your euphoric utopia. Good for you, and perhaps- lucky you. Let the rest of us get back to doing the work of making it work. For most, this utopia you speak of is not the reality we deal with.

Thank you to the more level headed and eloquent in the group, but I really just needed to let off some steam about this before the pot boiled over- so to speak.
Posted By: Mythree2s

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 02:38 PM

Lynne, I can accept that. What really matters here is that people do what is best for their birds. I do realize that you have found a way to deal with your difficult situation in a way that is most fair to you, your family, and Baby, and I respect that. Passionate posts are one thing, but angry, bashing posts are really unnecessary and they do nothing to help others - Mona, the zing I put in at the end of my long post last night was completely uncalled for, I apologize.

I still maintain that aggression can be dealt with and toned down. The challenge is finding how to do it with your particular situation, and we don't have the luxury of letting certain behaviors extinguish themselves. We don't live in the perfect training world, and some have tolerance, but not acceptance from the entire family. Someone can do everything right and one person, a visitor or family member, can come in and really set things back (this statement is not aimed at anyone). Regardless of how you decide to deal with behavior issues, you should try and minimize the use of aversives. And really, we, myself very much included, should try to do this with our interaction with other people, as well.

Regardless of whether the bird is trained to bite less, or the human learns how to avoid getting bitten, the outcome is better than the alternative of the bite. Right? As this thread has shown, aggression begets more aggression and quickly the ante can get raised to a point beyond the original intent.
Posted By: Bev

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 03:30 PM

I'm sorry, I must have come back to the wrong post. Birds that bite and what to do about it. Thanks for the useful information that you gave to me early on. As for the rest of the post...please stop arguing back and forth.

We all have a common goal and common interests here I think. To raise our friends in the best way possible and to give them the love and respect that they deserve.

Elvis gave me another nasty bite today. My fault. He flashed his wings at me to tell me to go away and I didn't listen..still wanted him to step up. I got one foot on and then CHOMP.

Next time I'll listen to him and respect his decision.

Bev
Posted By: JPT

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 03:35 PM

We are here for the birds, most important thing of all.

That is why we all visit this site.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 04:10 PM

Here is the link to the Living and Learning with Parrots online course for anyone that may be interested. Dr. Friedman and her instructors are wonderful teachers.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/08/07 10:07 PM

I think this is one of the best threads I've ever read on Mytoos! It is a great wealth of information both research and experience based. If one adds up all the time you people have been parrot keepers and the amounts of birds you keep, it really is impressive so I am sorry that anyone had their feelings hurt. Mainly, I think it points out how complex a subject we are dealing with and that people do exist who want to keep studying and working until there are more answers. I know I learned from it and I want to thank all involved because it will help others in archival form. A job well done! laugh
Posted By: Michelle8822

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/09/07 03:19 AM

I do not think of my bites as badges of honor. I can honestly say that with Java each bite I have received has been caused by me. I would not be paying attention or put my hand somewhere that I know I shouldn't. Thankfully, he does not bite a lot and since the first week I have only been bitten once (also my fault). I have learned to watch things that I do and to read his body language better. I am not saying that I will not get bitten again, but I do learn from my mistakes.

Normally when I get bitten I tell Java that I am sorry. However, I also agree that some times they will attack for no reason. I know with my daughter Java will go into attack mode for no reason. She can be talking to him one minute and everything seems fine and without her even touching him or moving towards him he will lung at her and attack. I have watched her movements around Java and I still have not found anything that she is doing to prevoke this reaction. She does not do anything different than I do. My daughter is 20-years-old so the issue of her being a small child and prone to fast movements does not apply, he just does not want her in the same room with him. He will even try to go after her if he is outside in the avairy. The moment my daughter walks out the door he starts screaming and bouncing.
Posted By: jayisme350

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/09/07 03:42 AM

Again.....so much confusion settles over me in this forum. I read the story of TLL & SAM today and it touched my heart. Yes all 8 pages! Not one post have I encounter even slightly put the possibility that human "hormones" affect these birds in any way. Speaking of which..my wife is unable to even dare go near our G2 at the time being. Started today and will last the week. Always does.....each month I mean. I on the other hand...as she sits there (in her cage as always!) asking me what I am doing....have no problems with her. No I have never been "bit" as they say. knicked is more like it.
Posted By: Michelle8822

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/09/07 04:04 AM

LeAnn, as a new member I would like to say that I do not think I have ever once felt that I was being attacked for something I said or done.

There have been times that I have seen some blunt posts, but I did not take offense to them. Not to mention, most of the time that this happens is when someone joins this forum, knowing that the buying of baby birds from pet shops and breeders that are not wanted, and want to talk about buying a baby bird that is not even weaned.

In situations like this those people should expect to get short blunt answers to their inquires on whether to buy the bird or not. However, if the person has already purchased the bird I have seen several people step up and give them the best advice that they can, which is to go to a vet to be trained the proper way to care for this baby chick.

I think some (not pointing fingers at anyone) need to be a little bit more thick skinned and realize that what is being said here is not actually being said to anyone in particular. The statements are more general and all inclusive and are always said with the best interest of the birds in mind.
Posted By: y2k_bug517

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/09/07 05:41 AM

I recently joined this message board and have noticed that most of the people on here are acting like children, I thought this was a message board for discussing birds. Im not impressed with the message board.
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/09/07 05:49 AM

Sorry Charlie, but I must do this! Please don't feed the troll!
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/09/07 05:52 AM

Quote:
Sorry Charlie, but I must do this!
<img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" />
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/09/07 05:54 AM

Tension breaker. Had to be done. laugh
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/09/07 06:53 AM

No image posting on Mytoos! mad ..... laugh

Y2K, I think you'll be most happy elsewhere.
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/09/07 07:07 AM

< giggle > sorry! < giggle >
Posted By: IrwinBird

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/09/07 07:27 AM

Where Irwin and I live there are huge flocks of wild lorikeets (no toos, although 70 Km down the coast they are more common) and they certainly do seem to bite each other

I always see them nipping and biting and bickering over who gets to sit where, who gets to perch next to who, who gets to eat what flower, who's standing on my tail, <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" /> ok I'm guessing on that one!

it's unlikely that they do each other any real damage as I don't see an maimed lories flying around, but I sure wouldn't go sticking my hand in between two birds having a "disagreement" so at least in my experience birds do bite in the wild. Probably to communicate a thought/feeling like "move off my perch, get away from my mate, food etc" but they probably aren't biting with the specific intent to cause serious bodily injury to each other, and since they don't generally (in my limited experience cause serious bodily injury) to the bird on the receiving end, it must respond appropriately.. perhaps bites to humans causing real damage is the result of a natural behavior in an unnatural context?
Posted By: jm47

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/10/07 06:42 AM

Garnet, that expression "gets stapled" is SO accurate! <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" />
Posted By: happybirds

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/10/07 05:22 PM

Some time ago, Jerry posed the question about birds and women during their time of the month, and it was surprising, or maybe not surprising how many women said that birds behaviors changed during their time of the month, and those of us who don't have to deal with that issue any longer, stated, that their birds didn't change their behavior any longer. I have known several women who have become pregnant and have seen huge and undesired changes in their birds....just throwing this tidbit of information in for Jay.
Posted By: Bokka-pooh

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/10/07 08:03 PM

I think the whole time of month thing and their birds can be very true. Because I believe birds can sense where you are at and can sense your moods very good (Like when my feather child can sense it was me not anyone else walking through the door and can sense my woods very good). So if they sense their is something wrong with you, or feel your pain they may become grouchy or act somewhat or even exactly like their human companions and even think the same or even become jealous for one thing or another. Only my thoughts..
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/11/07 04:13 PM

Quote:
IMO If your bird is biteing or attacking some thing is wrong
Yes there is something wrong. For instance, our bird was hybrid (U2/M2) for greed, and lives a life in captivity where she cannot take her life journey as Nature intended!

Quote:
Some may say I'm lucky, I think its love and respect. I don't bite them so they don't bite me...
Hmmmm, how many people here have bitten their birds? Again, this makes it sound like you're saying that if our birds bite us, we don't respect and love them. Maybe it's not what you meant to say...? I certainly love Baby - BELIEVE that! And I most certainly respect her! Still she attacks.

Quote:
I don't back them in a corner or put them in any position where they feel traped.
Again, birds who attack are not backed into a corner or "trapped"... (unless you count being "trapped" in captivity.) If there is someone backed into a corner or trapped, it's usually me... and I don't bite.

Quote:
All of them are flighted, and fly when the need arises. At nite they have a room where they all sleep in cages.
Same here. So your point is...?

Quote:
Other then that they are free to go where they want. They haven't chewed or distroyed any thing, no chewing on blinds or wood work, walls or doors.
That sure is a long time to have so many birds, and have just ONE bird bite, and not ANY damage within the house. Especially since they're flighted and can roam free as much as they want to! It's really hard to believe. You sure you're not pulling our legs??

Quote:
lucky or good, you decide.
Multiple birds. Multiple years. No damage to the household despite free roam. NO bites but the one necessary one. What DO they put in the drinking water there? You should bottle it up, because we would all want to try it. Sounds like a utopia.

Lynne
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/11/07 07:34 PM

Quote:
... maybe you put to much restrictions on them or try to stay to much in their life, and she doesn't respect you, it has to go both ways.
No, not the case at all. Baby's frustration is based on not getting what she wants, which is to have baby Cockatoos with my husband. She craves attention, but we encourage our birds to be birds and to be independent as they can be.

Quote:
I know what my birds like or dilike and I don't do any thing they don't like. If they need a vet visit I don't put them in a box carrier, they have their own seat in the car and I carry them in on my arm
We don't force our birds into unhappy situations either. I can't even imagine doing something like that unless they were in dire straights, needing medical attention, so I can't understand the basis of that statement.

I do have to say that it is very dangerous, and you're taking a big risk by not properly securing your birds while in transit. It's not responsible to present that to others who read here as something that is "okay" to do.

Quote:
I have spent a lot of hours training them, as a dog, if you let it mess on your floor it will always mess on your floor.
confused First, we cannot compare birds to dogs because they are vastly different and more complex than dogs. We make sure our birds' usual roosting spots are set up (covered or easily cleaned) for that sort of thing so they can do what comes naturally. When being handled, if you pay attention to their body language, you have ample time to get them over something (can, piece of paper) so they don't hit an "undesired area".

Quote:
If there stand or cage is against a wall and you approch from the front you have them in a corner and don'r realize it. Alot of people say they get a bite when the bird is on the cage, my stands and playgrounds are all away from walls in a open area, so when I go past or near they are not boxed in, they can go in any direction if the feel the need.
When you get attacked just for entering - or being present in - a room, and the birds are flighted, it's not a matter of a bird feeling boxed in.

I get frustrated when people try to give the idea that there are curealls. Sometimes thing work, but not always. People should be aware of that, and not be made to ignore the reality. Reality is that these birds were not created to live in our homes, and we humans can NOT provide for them anything even CLOSE to what their true needs are. We can only do our best to make them as comfortable (happy) as possible in what is an impossible situation for them.

Look, it's not always a matter of misunderstanding or lack of effort or love or care. It is the circumstance of captivity, and the confusion of maturity while existing in an unnatural environment. Sometimes distractions are enough to diminish aggressive behavior, but sometimes Nature cannot be squelched.

Lynne
Posted By: Raja's Slave

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/11/07 07:56 PM

Hi all - I'm new here and have a question about a particular biting situation I have.

My new M2 Raja is the sweetest thing on earth, but he will attack me when I try and hand him a toy sometimes. It will be a toy that he has played with and has dropped on the floor. The first time this happened I went and picked up the toy and went to place it back on the top of the cage, and that's when he charged from the other side of the cage and attacked my hand. He seems to try and do this every time I either hand him back the toy, or just place it back on top of the cage.

Keep in mind I have only had him for just about 2 weeks now, so it could be that he just doesn't trust me at all yet. I'm hoping that's the case, or he's just hormonal. I was told he's only 3 years old, and I am the second care taker for Raja.

For now I just toss the toys on the top of the cage from a short distance - just far enough away so he can't reach my hand. He's trained me well to do this trick for him - lol!
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/11/07 11:19 PM

You're still just getting to know one another, and trust takes time to build. It's tough to say without witnessing the behavior described in person, but it sounds like playful interaction. (We call the game "reverse fetch" or "Too Toss".) But sometimes Toos work themselves up with so much funtime. (Get "over-amped".)

Quote:
For now I just toss the toys on the top of the cage from a short distance - just far enough away so he can't reach my hand. He's trained me well to do this trick for him - lol!
You learn fast, grasshopper, lol!

Lynne
Posted By: Raja's Slave

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 12:54 AM

Heck, with a beak like that - he swings it open and I ask him how high I need to jump to keep it away from me - and I thought my CAG's could bite <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" />

He's so incredibly sweet. I'm amazed at how friendly he is, following me all over asking to be picked up, then shoving his head under my hand. My dog isn't this friendly. It took me over a year to get my one CAG to let me pet her like this. Raja was like this right from the pet shop.

Then again, my CAG's can't even come close to the decibels that Raja can create. I'm glad the houses here are far apart - laugh
Posted By: Cassie's_girl

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 02:36 AM

Jimmyjames, I am also very lucky in that neither my BFA or my U2 have ever bitten me. I have only had Cassie for about 6 months now, but I had my Amazon for about 9 years. However, if curing biting were a simple matter of set-up of the environment and training I don't think this topic would be so popular <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" /> ! It's great that you've been so lucky, and I'm sure you have learned many training techniques over the years with your flock, but I think you might be being a little hard on Lynne.

I don't know either of you, but I KNOW sometimes birds just attack. My BFA couldn't fly, never bit me in 9 years of cage cleaning, grooming, range of motion on his wing, etc. -and I never towelled him either; BUT if my brother-in-law was in the house Ollie would climb down from his cage and RUN after him to attack. He didn't like men, but never tried to attack anyone else.

I doubt there is much Lynne wouldn't, or hasn't wink , tried and it's unfair to imply that people are doing something "wrong" if their birds bite. It's also unfair to let people who are thinking about getting a 'too (or any bird for that matter) think that biting doesn't happen. Just to be clear, I'm not trying to offend you -just voicing my opinion on the matter wink !
Posted By: SpockAToo

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 03:17 AM

Raja's Slave:

Hellobaby is right. Most of the time I've been bitten, it's from playing with my U2 and she gets over-amped and nails my hand.

I think a fair amount of the time she doesn't realize it's my hand until after I yelp. Toos seem to have a much greater visual acuity than we humans, but their perception of what they see is way different. I think a lot of the time when my hand is holding the toy, she can't distinguish exactly where the toy ends, and "I' begin. Since she can bite the toy with no consequences, she's surprised when one of her bites suddenly causes me pain.

Sometimes, I also think she bites me out of the tiny evil pleasure of "yanking my chain." The other day she was in my lap and just suddenly reached over and bit my hand (which was just laying in my lap). She didn't bite hard enough to draw blood (which she could easily do), and after I yelped, she got this sheepish little look and said "Hi There!"
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 03:51 AM

Quote:
it's unfair to imply that people are doing something "wrong" if their birds bite. It's also unfair to let people who are thinking about getting a 'too (or any bird for that matter) think that biting doesn't happen.
And that takes us right back to where this thread started. As I said earlier, each bird is an individual - "A Study of One" and the reasons why a bird bites (or doesn't) cannot be painted with a single, broad brush.
Posted By: angelinasmom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 06:33 AM

Im also in agreement that some birds are just going to bite no matter what. I have angelina, my cockatoo, who bit my husband three years ago when we first got her and has not bit since and my cag, charlie that I took in from a neighbor, who had his house foreclosed on and couldnt keep him. I had one bite, the very first day, totally my fault, I reached into his carrier, instead of opening the top and letting him out, so all he saw was a strange hand coming at him. By the way, in all my macaw bites, so far, the african grey numbed my finger for two days. But with the macaw, I do all the same things that I do with ther other birds: respect her space, give her lots of attention, good food and the ability to fly, even though she doesnt do that very well. I watch her body language and I know many times not to pick her up, but sometimes she is just sitting there, totally content or so it seems and will just latch on. Maybe I am doing something wrong, lord knows half of my posts about vada have been about this topic, but then again Im starting to believe this is just her personality. I have totally accepted this is the way she is and I think in the long run, its better for me to think this way. Im the only one who will handle her and now that I accept she is a nippy bird, Im able to handle her without my feelings getting hurt, because when I thought it was something I was doing wrong, I took every bite personally, as if I made her so unhappy, she had to bite me
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 06:59 AM

JimmyJames, you are in danger of losing your posting privileges....again! People are disagreeing with you respectfully, please return the favor.
Posted By: Nemo22

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 08:00 AM

I just tucked Nadia in for the night,and read this thread again.
I think we're up against a bit of a paradox regarding this topic and the mission of this site.

I have to deal with this almost every day.Trying to explain to the people cooing and fawning over my little Bird Ambassador,The 'PERFECT'Angel,that there is a Dark Side to the Force.
Or I hear a young voice behind me"Oh Mommy! I want one!".
That begins the lecture on The World according to Mytoos.
Don't get me wrong.I believe very strongly in the Mytoos Mission,and even though I am blessed with a stable,friendly bird,Cockatoos in private captivity should be stopped and breeding should be outlawed.
Anything that helps is fair game.I'm not above using propaganda to help the cause.Truisms,if not Gospel,work.
I've said it a million times.
'KEEP A TOO GET A BITE!'
It could as easily be Any Bird.

So,this thread is fascinating,in that the topic heading,implys that it is bad husbandry that causes birds to bite.And that the desired state is a world of non biting birds.
IMHO,I am EXTREMELY skeptical of that premise,and I for one,would NOT want to train,or condition out biting behaviour.If we insist in living with wild animals,we should at least respect their wildness.

After reading the responses here,and what my own[albeit limited]experience tells me,those very few who claim that their birds never bite,I am so skeptical of that reality,that my first instincts are to think there is something wrong with those birds.
In any event,those keepers are in a very small minority,and I think we can safely assume that we can and should continue to promote the 'biting' too.
And lastly,I am troubled by the evangelical tone of the online salesmen promoting the 'cure'for the bad keeper,and if you are 'at fault'this is the way.
IMHO from reading most posts on this site,I believe that most of the birds talked about here,are generally'normal'concerning 'biting' issues.Nips,bites,occasional serious chomps and outright attacks.
Normal Cockatoos.
However,not Normal Keepers.
This site seems to attract some of the most dedicated,informed.caring,and experienced too keepers any where.

No Fault no Foul[Fowl?]

John
Posted By: nai

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 10:14 AM

Okey dokey, heres my view on the matter (im on my way to an exam so excuse me if im repeating what others have said-i havent read all the posts!)
I think that birds should bite. I like seeing displaying cockatoos getting overly excited and chomping on some unsupecting toy that got in the way, they are exhibiting wild territorial defensive behaviour and I encourage natural behaviours like sleeping patterns, showering and
foraging.

I know of course that this environment is insuffiecient to mimic their wild habitat, but just because they arent in the wild is not enough for me to want to 'train out' any behaviours, and quite frankly, the idea of training out an innate behaviour is upsetting to me.
Quite simply, I like birds, and want birds to be as birdy as they can be within captivity (and within reason re:my own safety lol).

Of course im talking about theraputic biting, when birds want to communicate. I would never back perry into the corner (unless i had to give him meds) and besides he wouldnt bite me, but hes really not a 'normal' too (i.e hes still a bit scared of me, but im not going to explain all that complicated history on this thread).
What I dont condone however, is fear biting. If your too is aggressive, then take the proper precautions and dont handle him etc. If he is on the rampage, take cover, let him get it out of his system for the moment etc. Repetition biting is the real problem and behavioural training should be taken for this accordingly.

Finally, I do not think posters here wear their scars as badges of honour, i think this was flippant. When we are bitten, we have to learn from it. Why did it happen? Could it have been prevented? Is it a problem bite? etc. Those scars remind us what we have learnt and show our dedication to helping these desperate captured birds that we have forced to live with us.

They bite us because we have them in captivity, as long as you keep parrots in captivity they will treat you as any other bird and bite you. Although wild birds are different from captive bred, they have the same urges and desires as their wild counterparts, except with the added confusion of not knowing what they are supposed to be- the stories ive read on this site are testament to that!

It is our fault, but not through bad handling or misunderstanding, they are parrots, and their wildness will continue whether we are in their lives or not.
Posted By: Trish and crew

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 03:36 PM

I think there is a clear distinction between the two schools of thought on biting here...

Those who say they don't get bit because of 'training' seem to be more of the mindset that birds are pretty good pets- once trained. They seem to think that wildness can be tamed and untrained. I am glad that they have managed to avoid bites, but I think thier expereince paints a false picutre of what success is when harboring a WILD creature.

I am like-minded to the folks who seem to get the whole story and have come to the sad relization, that just because most of our captive birds have never known the wild, the wildness is innate in them. Success for us comes a day at a time as we try to acheive and maintain the delicate balance. Just because we can't make it work day in and day out does not invalidate the work done. In the end we will always come through for the birds because we recognize they are birds.
Posted By: Mythree2s

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 05:37 PM

Iím going to try and not be all over the place here. I have been away and unable to respond the last few days. Lynne, I am glad you were able to respond to jimmyJamesí posts. Iíll reiterate what I said earlier that I do respect that you have found something that works for all parties involved in your situation. There are many things, such as saying NEVER so much, that make me raise my eyebrows in jimmyJamesí statements. I donít like the idea of leaving a cage out in the open in the middle of a room. Quite the contrary, caged-up in the middle of the room, your bird feels like there is nowhere for it to escape. No matter which direction it goes, confined by cage bars, you, or something else, can get have him fully in their view. A cage against a wall, with good perch and toy placement gives birds the ability to hide and a stronger sense of security. It has been addressed in previous threads just how ludicrous and unsafe it is for you and your birds to transport them out freely in your vehicle. And, as to this man who brings his birds out to the street, Iíd be willing to bet his birds have bitten more than once, but through his method of training (discipline), they no longer can/will. My guess is that he flooded them to the point where no matter how much they bit, thrashed, etc. they were unable to break free of him until they just gave up; learned helplessness.

The Risks of Response Blocking

Quote:
Response blocking is called flooding for a reason: When it doesnít work the animal sinks rather than swims. When it does work, flooding results in a rapid reduction in fearful behavior; however it is just as likely to result in overwhelming stress, anxiety, and lasting generalized aversion to the people present during the flooding episode and elements in the environment at large. Flooding can result in such intense resistance that physical harm can occur to the birds and people. Additionally, there is considerable research that shows the long term detrimental effects of repeated exposure to uncontrollable aversive events with both animals and people (Mazur, 2002), as is the case with repeated flooding. Learned helplessness is one such dire outcome. Learned helplessness is the expectation that one's behavior has little or no effect on the environment. This expectation results from repeated exposure to uncontrollable aversive events without opportunity to escape. Research has shown that animals subjected to this condition often suffer a loss of motivation so that they do not even try to affect their environment even when they can. They give up easily and show significant deficits in learning and performance. Emotional problems are frequently observed as well, for example, rats developed ulcers; cats ate less; humans suffered increased blood pressure; and monkeys became ill (Maier and Seligman, 1976).
Moving on...

Quoting Lynne :

Quote:
Reality is that these birds were not created to live in our homes, and we humans can NOT provide for them anything even CLOSE to what their true needs are. We can only do our best to make them as comfortable (happy) as possible in what is an impossible situation for them.
This is so true and I think just about everyone here believes this and is trying to make their birdsí lives the best it can possibly be, considering their unavoidable situations.

Iím not going to go back and forth about why birds bite. Some evidence as to why has already been posted, and everyone here can make up their own minds from what they read and have experienced. I have never claimed that I have not been bit, nor do I think that I will never get bit again, I most likely will. In a round about way, many of us have said the same thing, we all, except for the masochists, try to avoid getting bit, and we use those bites as learning experiences. We use those past events and the circumstances behind them to better understand what caused them and to prevent them from recurring. We arenít birds and, so, we will never be fluent in their communication, but the more aware we are to the subtleties of their body language, the more likely we will be able to minimize the surprise attacks.

I do not believe that training out the biting is training out innate, wild behavior (this has been addressed already). I think some may think Iím suggesting that we are trying to make biting a reaction our birds ďforgetĒ how to do. Not at all. That line of defense still needs to be there. It is absolutely appropriate for our birds to bite if they are being threatened, teased, etc. People get bit and they deserve it. You know the type of people I am referring to. They are the ones who go up to birds they donít know and stick their fingers in their cage, grab their feet to pick them up, etc. When they get bit, they deserve it. However, when you are trying to get your bird to step up, its first instinct should not be to bite you. This was the direction I had been intending to go in my original post. By trying to set the situation up in certain ways, you are less likely to get bit when trying to teach basic behaviors to your bird. Again, we are all trying to minimize the bites we receive.

People do need to know the power behind the beak and the dangers that are, indeed, present. As sad as it is that these birds are in an unnatural environment, training behaviors using positive reinforcement is one of the tools that I use, and believe in, that makes life more fulfilling for my toos. I started out very skeptical of the techniques, but the positive changes Iíve seen made me a believer and I believe it works for many birds. Iíve conceded that there are exceptions, and that others have found alternatives which work for their birds. You know what works for your bird, and I was wrong to even hint suggesting otherwise Ė unless, of course, youíre beating them into submission wink .
Posted By: Janny

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 07:47 PM

Well what is this...pick on Charlie week. :p

jimmyjames,

I have been reading your posts and some of the responses are not good sound advice.Please try to refrain from this.We are here to promote safety of everyone involved.

Quote:
maybe you put to much restrictions on them or try to stay to much in their life, and she doesn't respect you, it has to go both ways.
Come on now.You have to have boundries and restrictions.Do you let your birds play with wires?Everyone has wires in their house.If your birds have freedom like you say how do they not have wires to chew or such.I haven't met a bird yet that won't try to go for a wire or something that is a danger.

Quote:
If they need a vet visit I don't put them in a box carrier, they have their own seat in the car and I carry them in on my arm. My vet and his staff are very good and know how to handle the birds so they don't get scared or upset
Any vet office I have been to you have to have your pets in a carrier.For all animal safety or properly leashed at the very least.

Of course this is just a few statements but there are more.You have to realise we can not allow advice like this here as there are risks out of this for people and birds.And when your advice is then questioned or doubted you do seem to be a bit abrassive with the members.

Quote:
Lynne you can say what you want and be as smart as you think, but its all true.
I'd say that is just an example.

Jan
Posted By: happybirds

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 07:53 PM

Jimmy-James
I read your posts, and agree that you didn't attack anyone, just stated your thoughts. Also, I do agree with you if a bird is biting it is because something is wrong. It could be for any reason known or unknown. It could be as simply as the bird is not happy where it is, and no matter what the person does the bird isn't going to be happy, to a bird that for whatever reason has learned to bite, and will continue until behavior modification is affected, and that doesn't mean that the person who has the bird will be successful in that behavior modification. (which is no reflection on the person who has the bird) I have seen friends of mine give their birds to other people for behavior modification, and then have the bird come back wonderful.
I wanted to also say, I've been reading the thread and all this QUOTE stuff is making me crazy. The QUOTE thing itself is such an attack!

For whatever, reason everyone seems to have their knickers in a twist, and no one is agreeing with anyone.

Of course the one that ripped your post to shreds is a regular here, and will be protected by the flock here at MyToos.

Please let me say that the opinions posted by the participates here are their own, and not necessarily that of everyone. Sometimes folks simply won't post for fear of the attack which will follow.

I've been here for years, and generally, I find if someone posts something I don't like, I simply blow it off if I can. There are many many times, where I would like to post something, but I look at the temperment of the thread and decide I would rather not involve myself in the cat fight. If I can't, and just have to post, I know I risk the wrath of the population.

P.S - Janny, my birds, while crated on the trip to the vet for their own safety in the car, are immediately released from their crate upon arriving at the vets office - yeah, I know, there are germs there, and they should remain in their crate with a towel over it to try to protect them against any airborn pathogens.
Posted By: Charlie

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 08:02 PM

Not everyone will fit in here, nor should they. It's not for everyone.
Posted By: Janny

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 08:11 PM

happy birds I am not just talking about germs and things but if you think about this.

You don't know with your bird sitting on your arm in a vet's waiting room that the german sheppard or other dog down from you get away from it's owner and grabs your bird in it's mouth is not a danger than I don't know what is.You don't know what other animals will do given one split second opportunity and it could be life or death.

When we are in the examining room of course I let my birds out but not until then.I know they don't like the carriers but I do it for their safety.

Jan
Posted By: happybirds

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 08:32 PM

Sorry, I should have stated the obvious about dogs and other such animals, but generally, the only other occupants of the waiting room are birds. The majority of his clients are birds although he does do other animals including reptiles.
Posted By: SpockAToo

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 09:35 PM

My vet is avian-only, but no longer allows birds to be removed from their travel cages because he changed locations and now has an automatic-door. He's afraid the door might startle the birds and cause them to fly out the door when it opens.

I'm not sure how much covering a cage with a normal towel would help regarding airborne pathogens. I suspect not much. A few months ago I asked my vet about disease transmittal, and he claims to not ever have had birds in his care transmit disease to other birds in his care. The whole discussion was spawned by me asking him about using Synphenol-3 (which used to also be marketed at Avinol-3 because it's safe for avian-related uses) to clean and/or disinfect Snow White's cage.
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/12/07 11:09 PM

I use the quote function for two reasons. One, so the reader/s know exactly what I am referring to. (This also helps in the case where people wonder who I am referring to. I like to know that the person I'm referring to KNOWS it is them.) Two, because too many times, the original post has been edited or removed by the person who posted, leaving what was responded to a mystery. Whenever I post, I try to think about others who will come along later (years later sometimes), and what they may take from the discussion.

That's also why I'm a bit particular that people use details whenever they can instead of blanket statements. Case in point, just above talking about having birds loose in the waiting room at the Vets. It took an extra post to let people know that it is a Vet that is Avian-exclusive. I'm not attacking for that, just using it as an example because it's so close above (so I don't have to use the quote feature, lol.)

Lynne
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/13/07 12:17 AM

I agree with HB...the quote fuction is a useful tool, not a weapon.

I support people here when I agree with them. It doesn't matter how long they have (or haven't been) a member. smile
Posted By: happybirds

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/13/07 12:17 AM

you are right. I overlooked the fact that there are vets where birds or even other animals could be endangered by other animals there. I'm just so used to my vet and all the birds.
In reality the point I was trying to make in my original post was I wonder if all of the folks here wear their MyToos persona away from the board, or if in their real life they would not treat others as they treat them here on the board.
Now, I know this sounds quite silly, because this is the internet after all, and no one knows anyone, but I truly get embarrased at the way some folks get treated. When I read the posts, more often than not, I know the person is not trying to be confrontational in the original post, but when they get attacked, they respond in kind, and well, like I said, I personally get embarrased.
This board has always been a straightforward no nonsense board, and that is why I joined but these days, if I refer people here, and I do, I warn them up front they are likely to get shredded, but to try to get past it and read the information that is being imparted to them as the information is good, it is just the presentation that sucks. Don't get me wrong, I would never ever want MyToos to be fluffy like some of those other boards, who's names we can't say - please, those sugar coated boards make me ill, but still I feel strongly, that we can impart the same good information without attacking people, yes, attacking...it is just so basically wrong. So, if you wear your MyToos persona away from the board, well, all I can say is that I'm glad I don't know you personally, and if the persona you wear on the board is just because you have been given license to be horrid, I wonder about the wisdom of that license. I wonder if you would want to be talked to (or written to in this case) the way you (meaning all the hard core posters) post.
No I'm not trying to stir up trouble, but when someone comes here, no matter how stupid a question may seem to us, we all have holes in our knowledge, and we all made mistakes, and these folks are lucky to have found MyToos, where they will get the truth, or our very best informed opinion.
Just my 2 cents, and I will really try hard not to comment on the members behavior any more, because it doesn't seem to make any differance.
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/13/07 12:25 AM

Happybirds, we were posting at the same time. wink

I agree with you 110% about people asking questions...the only stupid question is the one that goes unasked. But there is a difference between that, and a poster handing out bad, even dangerous advice, and, as in this case repetively. wink
Posted By: hellobaby

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/13/07 12:38 AM

My personality is the same on or offline. I'm not easy to provoke, but will speak out when it's necessary. I like people to get as much good information as possible. In this thread, a lot was gained for those who thirst to learn.

Lynne
Posted By: LeAnn

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/13/07 03:27 AM

Well I think maybe some of you may have to much time on you hands and all you do on here is ramble on. Another subject please!
Posted By: Mona

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/17/07 08:23 PM

Quote:
Well I think maybe some of you may have to much time on you hands and all you do on here is ramble on. Another subject please!
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Posts: 110 | Registered: Apr 2007 | IP: Logged |
I post when I have something to say. If the moderators or admin. want me to shut up, they'll tell me. Otherwise, I'll continue to post when and if I feel like it. If you don't like the subject or think some of us talk too much, I would suggest that you don't read the threads that bother you.
wink
Posted By: LeAnn

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/17/07 09:59 PM

YOU KNOW WHAT I WASNT REALLY TALKING ABOUT YOU TOO ANYWAY! I AM NOT GOING TO ARGUE WITH YOU. I WILL SAY WHAT I WANT ANYWAY I WAS MEANING LETS QUIT ARGUING ABOUT THE SUBJECT.
Posted By: Janny

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/17/07 10:14 PM

LeAnn,

Just because you don't like the content does not mean others don't.There are other topics for you to view and participate in.I don't understand why you need to post a comment like that when you can just ignore the post if you don't like it.

I think this topic was a good one and there are allot of very important points in here for members who care about this can read and reference.

If you want to direct certain individuals in a post then do so otherwise it looks as though your post is directed at everyone.Address the person you are referring to or misunderstanding can happen.

Jan
Posted By: LeAnn

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/17/07 10:56 PM

BLAH BLAH! I WANT MY MEMBERSHIP OFF THE SITE AND I DONT KNOW HOW. I AM SICK OF SOME OF YOU PEOPLE ON HERE. LIKE I SAID SOME OF YOU PEOPLE ON HERE ARE VERY CRUEL AND JUDGEMENTAL OF OTHERS AND I DON'T WANT TO BELONG ON HERE ANYMORE! ITS OK FOR YOU TO SAY WHAT YOU WANT BUT WHEN OTHERS DO YOU ARE RUDE TO THEM AND I AM SICK OF IT!

EDIT by Charlie, our position: http://www.mytoos.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=36;t=000009
Posted By: Chewy

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/17/07 11:04 PM

If you don't want to be here then don 't come here. your m embership will go away at some point.
Boy I learned the hard way that birds can bite. Don't worry I know they can bite, but this is the first cockatoo bite that I have gotten in a long time.There's this bird that my friend owns that I am working with. And I went to take him out, and he jumped on my hand. I thought great, he's coming on my hand automatically. But No he bit the snot out of me lol. Now he's running around the place, and I can't get him *sigh* guess will have to get him at some point./
Posted By: RB2sMom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/17/07 11:20 PM

Several years ago a guy came to work with his nose in bandages. When I asked him what happened he said, "He misinterpreted the mood of his parrot". <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" /> Well, that put the whole room into rolling on the floor. Since he had a macaw, I guess he got of lucky. One thing I have learned on this site is to recognize moods and behaviors of our RB2s before I get bit or just to figure out what our RB2s want. They only have limited ways to communicate and biting is one of them. Harry and Hannah are teaching us, one bite at a time.... <img border="0" alt="[laughing]" title="" src="graemlins/laugh[1].gif" />
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/17/07 11:23 PM

OMG...Thats so funny and so true RB2'smom!! Why am I laughing?? Because the same thing happened to me last week. My lip is split because I totally read my Grey WRONG WRONG WRONG!!
Posted By: liviray

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/17/07 11:48 PM

Quote:
BLAH BLAH! I WANT MY MEMBERSHIP OFF THE SITE AND I DONT KNOW HOW. I AM SICK OF SOME OF YOU PEOPLE ON HERE. LIKE I SAID SOME OF YOU PEOPLE ON HERE ARE VERY CRUEL AND JUDGEMENTAL OF OTHERS AND I DON'T WANT TO BELONG ON HERE ANYMORE! ITS OK FOR YOU TO SAY WHAT YOU WANT BUT WHEN OTHERS DO YOU ARE RUDE TO THEM AND I AM SICK OF IT!
You do realise this is the internet right?
Why are you taking everything and others opinions so to heart? Jeeze, Take a deep breath and think about leaving before you go ....I dont agree with you on many things, but honey...you got to take it with a grain of salt.

Mods - Give her a day, she may have gotten cought up in the moment....
Posted By: alaska_toos

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/18/07 01:00 AM

If she would like to leave, that is fine. It is not necessary to tell anyone of your desire to do so. Iím not trying to be mean here but there are a lot of other message boards (not as good as this one!)that will cater to and stroke the egoís of those needing it.

It is much simpler to just leave and not go through the drama of having others begging them to stay. If and when they are ready to come back the door will still be as open as it was when they left. JMHO
Posted By: liviray

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/18/07 01:06 AM

Im normally the first one to say dont let the door hit you~

However in reading other posts by this person I think her emotions may have gotten the best of her....That was my only point.
Posted By: Mona

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/18/07 01:24 AM

To quote Jerry (who used to have to calm me down when I would get upset at something said on the board many years ago)

"The main thing is not to panic"
eek

wink
Posted By: RB2sMom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/18/07 03:15 AM

Take what you need and leave the rest....... wink
Posted By: Chuck & Penny

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/18/07 03:35 AM

Right on. RB2's Mom. We don't always agree with what is said. Just agree to disagree.

I am relatively new to bird keeping and read this board extensively, post ocasionally, and alway open to learing how to care for these amazing creatures. I haven't been bitten HARD in a while, but get the occasional nip now and then. We learn form our mistakes, we must keep learining the mood and body language of our companions, birds and people alike, to keep form getting the nasty bite that can come along in life.

An old frien defined an Expert to me as:
-an ex is a has been
-a spert is a drip under pressure
Therefore the exspert!
Posted By: EchosMom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/18/07 03:59 AM

It's really simple wink

Another subject please!
Posted By: LeAnn

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/18/07 04:18 AM

i was not wanting anyone to beg me to stay by the way. I stated my feelings and i felt we have the right.
Posted By: BE2Cassie

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/18/07 11:11 AM

Leann you've only been here a short time and seemed to be enjoying the site. In the couple of years since coming on this site I've learned so much. Including staying away from some heated topics. I follow them and read all. I get some great info this way but I stay out of the tense replies. I haven't had birds long enough to participate in some of these topics. Not to say that they aren't good topics just a little too heated for me sometimes. I'm not trying to insult anyone here, just trying to give a suggestion. Nancy
Posted By: YouTOO

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/18/07 01:52 PM

Kudos to everyone who contributed to this topic. I've read it in bits and pieces and finally started at the beginning and read to the end.

Over time, the key to me is "know your bird well". Some days are not the best days to leave specific individuals out for long periods of time. Even after five years, our severely traumatized CAG (who is 11 now) does not want to be touched. We've developed quite the wonderful verbal relationship - this is after five years of living with him and learning him and his preferences. In April we took an eight year old U2 who had been described to me as "seriously hormonal" for at least four years before we ever got him. What this bird seems to need is some assurance that you are not afraid of him, that your arm will be the "steady branch" and not let him fall, that you will hold him close to your body where he feels safe. I can pull this off, my husband can not yet. He can look *seriously* intimidating and threatening. Will he bite me someday?? I'm betting on it. But I'm not sitting around anticipating it.

Opting for parrots as companion animals seems to me to require a great deal of ability to "go with the flow". I'm not pleased when I get a bite, heck they hurt - LOL, but not so unrealistic as to believe it will never happen or that there is a magic or best solution. We all just do the best we can with our specific birds that we've come to know and love.

Thank you all for this insightful, interesting thread.
Posted By: Michelle8822

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 06/19/07 01:34 AM

RB2sMom,

That is funny and hits so close to home. I guy I work with has a B&G McCall and a U2. He came into work with his lip split open from his U2. He had taken him to the vet and when the vet got done with the exam he leaned in to kiss the bird and the bird latched onto his lip. He said it took him and the vet almost 10 minutes to get him off his lip.
Posted By: Birdiemommy

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 08/09/07 11:32 PM

I just happened to see this thread that started before I came to this board. I'd like to respond because I agree with many of the people here who say that every bird is an individual and you can't make a blanket statement that applies to all parrots.

I have a M2 who is about 20 years old and a Shamrock Macaw who is 5. The M2 is wild caught and had one owner before me. The Macaw is hand raised.

I've had the M2 for 18 years and have never had a bite that has broken skin. In 18 years I can count on one hand the number of times he has bit me at all and the bites that I got were more of a threat than a real bite. From what I've read on this board I've done many wrong things with him, such as cuddling him almost daily, keeping him in a bird room with perches that are as high as I am tall and not trying to teach him anything other than to step up. He's a sweet bird, has never pulled feathers. He screams like crazy at sundown and sometimes at other times when he is upset about something, which isn't that often. Since he's 20 years old, I'm sure his hormones have kicked in by now. He seems to scram more in the spring than other times during the year.

The Macaw started biting when her hormones kicked in about a year ago. Sometimes she's sweet like she was when she was younger and sometimes she seems to bite just out of the blue. Since she's uncaged and can perch higher than my eye level, I accept some responsibility for this. She can be moody with eyes flashing one minute and a sweetie the next. She does understand the words, "Don't bite" and sometimes she listens. I would never let this bird sit on my shoulder since the hormones have become active and I always keep my eye on her when carrying her on my arm.

I have to agree with HelloBaby and Mona about birds being individuals. I think that, just like people, they are all different.
Posted By: Snowy'Mommy

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 08/10/07 11:42 PM

Not only are our birds individuals, but their wants and dislikes change on a regular basis. Don't assume that the spot that the bird wanted rubbed yesterday is the same today, or the toy he/she wanted is the same, so on, so on, as some examples.

Biting is NOT a behaviour to be encouraged (and sometimes we may unknowingly do this, do to lack of experience, not paying attention, not feeling well.....the list goes on), but it does happen. Even cats and dogs have bitten (not necessarily out of aggression) and look how long they have been domesticated.

Snowy has "nipped" because she has lost her balance, or she has startled me, or to get my attention (which does not work). These I would not call bites. She comes after me to bite when it is her egg laying time. I don't really know if there is a solution to this. I think she is hurting (pushing out those eggs must not be a pleasant experience) and Mommy isn't doing anything to make it better.....JMHO

We need to warn people of the potential of these birds bites (I think everyone has been bitten at least once....even my budgie bites and sometimes I think it's worse than the U2 as she uses the point of her beak)...and also make people aware that a bird that bites at every opportunity is not right.

Also there is a difference between biting and holding on too tight. We need to teach them gentle. Snowy knows the word and will either calm down or stop altogether if she is getting too hurty will playing, cuddling, etc.

A little off topic but related.....we always talk about bites but what about the super grips these birds have. I've had the pry her toes off my fingers while she is nesting in my hands, due to lack of circulation. The scratches and what about when they dig in with their sharp nails on your tender forearm (this is when you realise it is time for a trim) or accidentally grab a sensitive nipple..... eek
I know that none of these compare to a bad bite, but I didn't really think about the strength in their feet (duh :rolleyes: ) until I got Snowy.
Posted By: Janie

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 08/14/07 04:42 AM

Just catching up on some back reading. Great topic, hated to see the emotions clouding what experiences everyone has to share. The upshot of what I gleaned is:
It's possible to train your bird out of a negative behavior. Should one be having a particular problem like biting, with the proper application of the knowledge it sounds like something worth trying.
All birds are different: Just like us I suppose. What works for one might not for another, but unless an intervention is listened to and tried, why throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Birds bite: Not all birds. Hmm--- wonder why?
Instead of we humans nipping at each other, I wish more insight and acceptance of alternatives had been put into words. I'd love to hear about folks trying a new approach with the problems their birds have.
I do believe in lots of reward based positive training.
I'm the mom whose KiwiU2 wears a pretty ribbon bow in her crest, goes bye-bye in a dress and a leash, sticks her head in my neck and falls asleep on my chest while car traveling. Knows her body parts, numerous commands and hand signals to comands suchas: stay, come, go up, go cage, no mouth, etc. etc. I could write a book on her body language, how many words she comprehends and how she lets me know her needs. All this gleaned from only 18 months of living with a cockatoo.
What you folks with years of experience have to share is invaluable. We can all learn so much from each other. So many of you have been a great help and comfort to me.

And before everybody rags on me about the bow, Kiwi wants it, could have it out in a second. After her shower she picks it up, slips her head under my hand and says "boow" and fusses until I put it in. Her favorite is pink. Janie
Posted By: Bird Mom

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 08/14/07 05:10 AM

Janie...I love hearing your stories!!We all need to take the time to "learn the language"!
Posted By: mom #3

Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault - 08/14/07 01:09 PM

I have been reading the posts here with great interest. I have had Sunny since January. She is my first U2. We have three cockatiels also. I am still learning.

We recently had to evacuate due to a fire in our area. Friends of ours offered for us to come and stay with them, birds and all.

Our friends have a cockatiel, a cat - both of which roam the house together freely.

This whole experience started out great. Everyone getting along. Sunny and the cat sharing the cat tree.

But the past three days, Sunny has gone out of her way to chase our female friend, even if she is just walking by. Sunny did nip her on the index finger, drawing blood. Our female friend was very calm, saying Sunny must be getting a vibe from her because she had been bitten previously on the lip by another parrot.

Maybe it was due to the upset of being in a different place(as I type this Sunny is on my right hand!)and feeling protective of my husband and I?

Sunny has chased after my boss a couple of times going toward her feet. Would this also be protecting me?

Any thoughts are appreciated! wink
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