Nanday Conure Forum

Message #6020. This is a followup to #5993.

Date:Friday April 13, 2007 9:59:09 pm MDT
Subject:Re: Biting
Message:Sandra J wrote:
> Hi, Zi-glitterati.
> I'm happy you have taken this Nanday as your own. I agree with
> Bruce's recommendations. You must convince yourself you are not
> afraid of a his bites and project that confidence to him. Move your
> hands slowly, but firmly, when you are interacting with him and try
> not to startle him. If he reaches for you with his beak, don't assume
> automatically that it will result in a bite. Birds use a beak like an
> extra foot or hand. If you ask him to step up, he may use his beak to
> make sure your finger is stable before he steps up on it. If you are
> cleaning his cage or feeding him, make sure he is aware of what you
> are doing and talk to him while you are doing it. Give him the
> opportunity to come out of his cage before you do those things.
> Just know that as a new conure owner, you will be bitten at times and
> you will survive, so there is no need for fear. (He's not large enough
> to bite off a finger, but he might bloody it a little if it's a really
> hard bite!) I also encourage you to have lots and lots of patience. It
> may take weeks or months to change his behavior, but I think it is
> possible and it will be worth it to gain his friendship and loyalty.
> Just hang out with the bird in his room and offer your affection in
> the tone of your voice and slow, non-threatening movements. When you
> want to interact with him, open the cage door, then sit down and
> watch TV or read a book so he realizes that he is not your main focus
> (this takes the pressure off him a bit!. Talk to him every now and
> then. Let him decide when to interact with you to satisfy his
> curiosity. Nandays are social birds and they need a flock. Also,
> eating is a very social activity for Nandays, so you can munch on a
> snack you know he loves. He may come to you to try to steal a bite!
> Once he is more comfortable in his new surroundings, he should
> eventually start coming out of his cage to seek you out to draw
> comfort and warmth from you. When he able to be the one to decide
> when he is ready to interact with you, you are less likely to be
> bitten.
> One of the best recommendations I remember reading from the experts
> on this board when I first got my Nanday was to ignore every bite.
> Don't respond at all. Pretend it didn't happen. Try not to yelp or
> make any noise. Don't scold, don't react, don't jerk your hand away.
> Parrots like drama, so if you react in any way, it is exciting for
> them. If you don't react, there is no "reward" for him when he bites
> you. I find this advice especially useful for a new bird owner. This
> new bird is trying to gain control of his new environment and gain
> control of you and a bite is his natural response when he feels
> threatened. When you don't react to the bite, he'll have to try
> something else to get your attention.
> If, a year or two from now, you feel you and your bird have a better
> understanding of each other, a "no bite" could be effective if you
> have good communication already between you and you have success in
> getting him to obey your other commands.
> So, instead, lavish praise on all the good behaviors and just ignore
> the bad behaviors. If he's screaming for your attention, ignore him
> until he makes a cute, soft noise that you like or he "talks" to
> respond. That way, he'll learn to make more pleasant noises when he
> wants you to interact with him. If he bites you, ignore it, but stay
> there with him until he realizes that his biting won't make you leave
> him. Wait until he calms down to do whatever it was that caused the
> bite or do something completely different with him so that he
> realizes that you are not afraid of him.
> Also, start to learn his moods and make sure you respect those moods.
> I've learned that my bird gets very "emotional" at certain times (for
> instance if she REALLY, REALLY wants to chew on something that is NOT
> for her!). . . rather like a toddler throwing a tantrum. Just like
> with a toddler, I can make the event ease up by taking the desired
> object away from her, then ignoring her and doing my own thing, but
> if I react with any drama or try to physically manipulate her, the
> tantrum could escalate. In a tantrum, she is least likely to obey my
> requests and commands, so I just give her some space until she calms
> down. That doesn't mean she wins, because if what I wanted her to do
> was for her safety or a necessity for me, she knows it will happen.
> The funny thing is that she knows the difference in MY moods this
> way. Sometimes when she has done something "bad" she figures out that
> one way or another, she's going back in her cage, so when I approach
> her, she puts herself in the cage before I can. It's not that I yell
> at her or do anything violent to cause this, instead I just hold
> myself with a determined energy and with a firm expression on my face
> and a determined tone of voice and she realizes that I am definitely
> in charge. Yeah, I guess at those moments I must assert that I am the
> "flock leader." I'm no "bird whisperer" though, I just understand my
> bird (most of the time!).
> If, a couple of years from now, you feel you and your bird have a
> better understanding of each other, a "no bite" could be effective if
> you have good communication already between you and you have success
> in getting him to obey your other commands.
> At the bottom of this page is a search button. If you type in
> "biting" or "stop biting" you should come up with lots of discussions
> on this subject. Following those threads will provide you with a
> wealth of useful information.
> In regards to clipping bird wings, I agree with Lynda that it is your
> choice. I do not clip Zindor's wings because I feel it is a healthier
> option for MY bird. I understand completely why Enyar clips her
> bird's wings. I even understand Linda's fierce arguments against
> clipping.(Yes, we have a Linda and a Lynda on this board!) To me, I
> find Lynda's argument the best. Assess your situation and your bird.
> However, if you find that all the other techniques you try to stop
> the biting does not work, clipping may be something you might want to
> consider. It will make your bird more dependent upon you and may
> lessen his aggression. Still, you may not need to go to that extreme
> just yet, since you prefer to have a free-flighted bird. (Just make
> sure your house is safe for a flying creature!)
> Well, that's enough opinion sharing from me for today! I injured my
> elbow and wrist with a bit of "extreme" gardening, so I need to stop
> typing!
> Best wishes,
> Sandra J
> Bruce Byfield wrote:
> > zi-glitterati wrote:
> > > My daughter recently moved and could not take her bird, a nanday
> > > conure, with her. I am keeping the bird.   The bird is
> > approximately
> > > 10 years old. I love the bird and would like to let him out of
> his
> > > cage to fly and get some exercise. He was free to fly around the
> > > first few years and then he began to attack and bite! He took a
> > bite
> > > out of my face once, and I have been afraid of him since. He
> seems
> > to
> > > protect my daughter and doesn't bite her, but everyone else he
> > attacks
> > > and bites. Do you have any suggestions for me. I would
> appreciate
> > any
> > > help or info. Thanks, zi-glitterati
> >
> > The first thing that stands out in your message is that you are
> > afraid of him. Nandays are highly social creatures, and your bird
> is
> > probably well aware of your fear, and is using it to dominate you.
> > Also, he is probably biting because he feels insecure without your
> > daughter around. Quite possibly, he has bonded to her as though
> she
> > were his mate.
> >
> > The best thing you can do is to spend some quiet time with him.
> Start
> > by sitting by his cage reading or watching television, making no
> > demands on him. Then start feeding him. If you regularly spend
> time
> > with him over several weeks, I think you'll be amazed at the
> change
> > in him.
> >
> > One thing, though: do everything you can to suppress your fear. If
> > you're nervous, he'll be nervous, and more likely to act in ways
> that
> > make you nervous.

Sandra J...

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my post. You have given me wonderful advice and I appreciate your help. I'm feeling much more confident and less afraid each day.   Sandi

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