Do you have a pet bird? If so, you’ve probably experienced the frustration of being pecked or nibbled by your feathered friend. In fact, it’s estimated that over 50% of people with pet birds report that their bird has bitten them at least once, and many birds continue to bite even after their beaks are trimmed or their nails are clipped.
Luckily, there are many ways to stop this behavior before it gets out of hand and leads to serious injury on both sides!
The Types of Biting
There are two basic types of biting: preventable and non-preventable. The type you’re experiencing will depend on how your bird was cared for as a youngster.
Birds raised by their parents in large flocks are likely to exhibit preventable biting; they were probably handled roughly by a variety of people while they were young—and even if they weren’t mishandled physically, they might still exhibit signs of fear or aggression when approached.
Birds that were separated from their mothers too early or who never had any contact with other birds are more likely to bite because they have no frame of reference for social interaction. This is referred to as non-preventable biting.
Excessive Reactive Biting occurs when you have food in your mouth or hands. The best way to prevent Reactive Biting is by training with Lola. To do so, simply present her with small pieces of her favorite food (the smaller and more fragile it is, the better) while reciting simple words like a cookie or treat until she understands that these words equal yummy morsels.
Then slowly put these pieces into your mouth while reciting these same words. When Lola reaches for a piece, reward her with praise and another piece of food. With time, patience and consistency, Lola will soon understand that these words mean treats are coming—and will come only if she behaves herself!
Overly Aggressive Biting
If your pet bird is overly aggressive when it comes to biting, you may want to put up a Beware of Bird sign on your front door. While playful biting is actually a good thing—your bird is learning how to interact with people and their hands—any excessive or painful biting needs to be addressed.
Aggressive biting should be viewed as a behavioral problem that needs to be corrected in order for your bird to live comfortably. The first step to correcting any behavior issue is figuring out why it’s happening.
You can then take steps to correct the problem using positive reinforcement techniques such as operant conditioning and clicker training. If you aren’t familiar with these methods, don’t worry; there are plenty of online resources available to help.
If you’re thinking about bringing a parrot into your home, there are several things you can do to make sure it doesn’t come to bite you. First, teach your children to approach new animals in a careful, slow manner. When handling parrots, in particular, be sure to wash your hands before touching them (parrots are very sensitive about smells).
Finally, know that biting isn’t necessarily bad behavior for a bird—it may be a sign of affection!
Nursing an Injury
Sometimes you’ll notice that your bird is avoiding certain areas of his body. If you see him nibbling on one of his legs, or hopping on one foot in a strange way, it’s possible he has injured himself. In these cases, it’s important to take a step back and let him rest. Don’t try to force him into eating or interacting with you; if he doesn’t want to move around, don’t push him.
Just keep an eye on his condition for any signs of worsening, like swelling or redness around an injury site. If there are no changes after 24 hours, bring your bird to a vet for an exam. The sooner he gets treatment, the better.
Disciplining a Bird That Bites
A Bird That Bites Is Often a Bird That’s Frustrated. When you punish your bird for biting, it probably won’t understand why he’s being punished. This can frustrate your pet even more and cause him to bite more often. Instead of punishing him when he bites, try positive reinforcement—give him treats or praise to reward good behavior.
Not only will you be helping to curb his bad habits, but you’ll also reinforce his positive ones! Birds that bite should not be handled: One of the most common reasons birds start biting is because they are scared.
If they feel threatened by their owner’s hands, they may resort to using their beaks as weapons instead. Make sure your bird knows you’re not going to hurt him before trying to handle him, otherwise he may never learn how to get along with people properly. Check out this article on how to bond with your pet bird better.
Developing Good Habits
First and foremost, if you don’t want your pet bird to bite you, stop treating it like a human. If you want your bird to step up on command, teach it with positive reinforcement instead of negative punishment; similarly, if your feathered friend attacks at mealtime, hang a perch from its food bowl so that it can eat while hanging upside down.
In addition, there are some things you can do to make your home more welcoming for birds: keep wires out of reach, install locks on cabinets where dangerous chemicals might be stored (bird owners should also use non-toxic cleaning products), and always supervise young children around pets.
Finally, remember that birds are sensitive creatures who communicate primarily through sound: when they feel threatened or stressed out by something in their environment, they may react by biting or screaming—so keep an eye out for warning signs!
If you notice your bird becoming increasingly agitated, provide it with quiet space away from any loud stimuli and try to figure out what could be causing distress. This way, if a problem arises, you’ll know how to address it quickly before any injuries occur.
The Beginner’s Guide to Owning a Bird: Some basic guidelines to follow when owning a pet bird. While these tips aren’t necessarily related to training techniques, they will help you have a happy relationship with your new companion. Birds require attention every day and need plenty of mental stimulation as well as playtime outside of their cage in order to thrive.