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#22692 - 06/08/07 05:03 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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Cassie's_girl Offline
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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 .


~ Nikki

The strongest of all warriors are these two ó Time and Patience. -Leo Tolstoy
#22693 - 06/08/07 05:56 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.

#22694 - 06/08/07 06:39 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.


The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.
Theodore Roosevelt
#22695 - 06/08/07 07:23 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.

#22696 - 06/08/07 07:46 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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!


Kerr&Rumor
#22697 - 06/08/07 07:53 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.


The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.
Theodore Roosevelt
#22698 - 06/08/07 08:53 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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


If you must cripple a creature
to keep it, perhaps you should
reconsider its suitability as a pet.
#22699 - 06/08/07 01:12 PM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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--------------------------------
...We all make mistakes and yeah maybe some should not have these birds, will some people should not have children but they do.
---------------------------------------

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!..
---------------------------------------

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.

--------------------------------------
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.
-------------------------------------

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.

#22700 - 06/08/07 02:17 PM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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


Jan

Sometimes damaged goods are the best gifts the world has to offer
#22701 - 06/08/07 02:29 PM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.

#22702 - 06/08/07 02:38 PM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.


The only man who makes no mistakes is the man who never does anything.
Theodore Roosevelt
#22703 - 06/08/07 03:30 PM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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

#22704 - 06/08/07 03:35 PM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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We are here for the birds, most important thing of all.

That is why we all visit this site.

#22705 - 06/08/07 04:10 PM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.


Birds are angels who lift us up when our own wings forget how to fly.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world - indeed it is the only thing that ever has!" ~~~ Margaret Meade ~~~

Noelle, A Rehabilitation in Progress
#22706 - 06/08/07 10:07 PM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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

#22707 - 06/09/07 03:19 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.

#22708 - 06/09/07 03:42 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.

#22709 - 06/09/07 04:04 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.

#22710 - 06/09/07 05:41 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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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.

#22711 - 06/09/07 05:49 AM Re: Getting bit is YOUR fault  
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Sorry Charlie, but I must do this! Please don't feed the troll!


If you must cripple a creature
to keep it, perhaps you should
reconsider its suitability as a pet.
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