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Road to bite free hands

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Hey Chris how do I get my bird to stop biting when I ask it to step up on my hand.

This has to be something that I hear several times a month from customers. While there is no simple answer as to why birds bite, the simple one is (in most cases) they’re not biting! We joke at the store that if there is no blood then it’s not a bite. Anyone who has been bitten by a bird knows how strong that beak can be regardless of its size. While there can be several reasons, exploratory territorial hormones to simply just I plain don’t want to right know. I thought I would offer suggestion for the last reason for biting.

The first thing to do is to learn to watch your birds body language, are the eyes pining (pupil getting smaller then growing larger). There is a reason for this, is the bird agitated excited or nervous any one of these or all of them can cause a bird to bite. Do you you offer your hand to your bird to step-up on and it leans away then don’t force the point they’re trying to tell you something. So you want your bird to step-up after seeing any of the reasons try waiting a minute or two just talking to your bird and changing its mind. Then try a second time try again, if the bird still does not step-up with out trying to bite then you have to try something different. The distraction method is one that works well. Offer it a toy or treat and when the bird is occupied with something else slip your hand in and give it a slight push to step-up, most of the time the bird won’t even know what it is doing and will just go with the flow.

If this does’t work and the bird is on a play stand or something that can be lowered down low to the floor that is great, do this most. Birds are not fans of being down low and will willing forget about biting and step-up on anything offered as they want to get to a higher place. If all else fails then there is always the perch method where you have a small perch in your hand and offer it when asking to step-up; the bird can bite away and you do lose any blood. In a second or two of it being held in front of them they will give up and step-up onto the perch, if not simply push it gently along the stomach. Remember, that when trying to correct negative behaviour that short training sessions are always better than long ones where you and the bird get into a fight no one wins; just more problems down the road. Always finish on a positive note good luck and happy training!

Your Parrot and his toys

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The importance of toys in your birds life cannot be stressed enough. As you learn more about your birds behavior, you will start to see a multitude of benefits that bird toys can serve for your birds happiness and well being such as:

  • They will stimulate and keep your birds mind captivated
  • Your bird stays healthy and active
  • Toys take away that urge to chew up your house, furniture, or belongings
  • They can help relieve boredom which can sometimes result in feather plucking

Most Parrot owners enjoy watching their birds at play with a new toy, but what can be frustrating, is how your bird sometimes ignores the toys you affectionately provide for it. Some of the reasons for this could be:

Your Parrots Environment

Most birds are super sensitive to the environment around them. If your bird feels uncomfortable or fearful in his environment, he may ignore the toy or even display extreme and unusual behavior. Try to make your bird as comfortable as possible in his environment and he will probably become interested and start to explore his new toy.

Chances are, that if you like the toy, your bird won’t. Most Parrots are more interested in what the toy is made of and how to destroy it than what it looks like.

Your parrot doesn’t know how to play

This is more common than what most Parrot owners would think. Your get your little buddy all excited, curious, and playful and he still doesn’t know what to do with that new toy you just gave him. More often than not he just may not know how to play with the toy.

Without some sort of visual instruction (show him what it is and what fun he can have with it), the toy may not peak his curiosity. He may simply ignore it. We can condition our Parrot’s perception of things around his environment by teaching him how to play.

So now you are probably wondering,

How do I teach my Parrot to play?

There are many ways you can teach your Parrot to play. One example would be to take your Parrots new toy and play with it in front of him while he is in his cage. Make sure he is watching you and spin it around, throw it in the air, be vocal and make it look like you are having fun with the toy. Place it back on the floor and walk away. Repeat these steps a couple more times.

You may find that you have peaked your Parrots interest because you are playing with something that he can’t have. Once your Parrot’s curiosity starts to peak, reluctantly give it to him. If you do this enough, you can probably get your parrot to play with almost any toy you buy.

Since you are probably the head of your flock so to speak, the introduction of new toys and games falls squarely on your shoulders. With a little imagination and careful thought, the methods you use will encourage curiosity and acceptance of any new toy you introduce to your bird.

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