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  1. #1
    birdluver5220
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    [Care] Aggressive Birds?

    I bout 2 cockatiels about a year and a half ago. I had one fully tamed by my self, but unfortunately it flew away. the other cockatiel was very...., how should i put it, aggressive. He ABSOLUTELY hates hands. His wings are fully grown. He actually loves me, but hates my hands. He sits on my shoulder all day, and if i leave the room, he screams at the top of his lungs. If he is in his cage, and i am nearby, he paces back and forth until i open the cage. i can't hand tame him. If my hand get near his feet, he bites, and he bites hard. He lets me scratch and pet his head ALOT, actually, sometimes he nips my ear until i do it.

    My question is, how can i tame him. What steps should i take. I know i have to clip his wings, but i am afraid i might hurt him, or he may hate me after. Also, do you recommend me to get him a friend, and if i do, i whould definately get him a male. (i don't want babies, as i don't think i can fully handel it).

    Another thing is, for the past couple of months, he has been climbing down the chair and on to the seat, wear the legs of the chair are metal bar. He then Stares at himself. Could this be contributing to the problem, as i have heard mirrors do do this. Feel free to ask me anymore details about my bird. i really want him hand tamed.

    Thankyou,
    Birdluver.

  2. #2
    Old admin Baby Tviokh's Avatar
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    Re: Taming my tamed bird

    First and foremost, he needs to have his wings clipped.

    Wing clipping helps prevent fly aways like you experienced with your last bird.

    For now, stop letting this bird on your shoulder or out of his cage unless he'll step up onto a perch or your hand. When he does, he can come out, but refrain from shoulder rides until he's willing to do it every time.

    No shoulder rides if he bites at you for any reason; birds who are aggressive on shoulders should NOT be allowed up there. Cockatiels are more than strong enough to cause very serious facial and eye damage to you.

    No head scritches either; reserve those to use as rewards for good behavior.

    Practice "step ups" with him; step up is the most important command your bird needs to learn, it lets you establish and re-establish dominance.


    Your bird acts this way because he thinks HE'S the dominant bird, and you're letting him get away with it.

    This is not acceptable, and is not good for him(or you).
    The main reason he screams is because, being flock leader, it's his responsibility to make sure his flock(you) stays safe.
    When he can't see you, he doesn't know if you're safe, so he calls for you.

    You, I'm guessing, come running when he shriekds...and that rewards the screaming.

    Ignore him when he screams.

    DO NOT LET HIM ON THE FLOOR! Not only is he aggressive down there, as you've stated, but it's dangerous for him to be there. He could easily be stepped on, chew on electrical cords, or eat something he shouldn't.

    The biggest problem is that you've allowed this bird to become the "top bird", and you're spoiling him.
    Spoiling a bird is a very bad thing to do, and as youv'e seen, causes serious behavioral issues.

    To correct this, you're going to have to put up with the bites(NO reactiing when he bites, just repeat the command to step up in a firmer voice, but don't yell) and you're going to have to put up with the screaming(NO responding to his screams. No eye contact, no cage covering, no yelling, nothing. He doesn't exist).

    When he's being quiet and being well behaved, reward him. Praise him verbally, smile at him, give him head scritches(STOP giving them for now, use them as a reward for good behavior, since you know he enjoys t hem), let him out, or give him a favorite treat.

    This will not happen overnight. It could take many months to over a year, depending on how long you've let the bad behaviors go...

    The only way he will remain a poorly behaved, untame bird is if you give up.

  3. #3
    birdluver5220
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    Re: Taming my tamed bird

    I followed some of your advice. I tried to do the step-up command. Obviously, he nipped me. I ignored it, then he backed off a bit. That worked, I think it is clear that i am THE man now. Oh yeah!!! Anyways, then he jumped on to my shoulder, or rather should i say, flew. I think that is my main problem. How can i clip his wings. Should i try myself? I have seen some diagrams, but am a little unsure. I have a friend with 2 cockatiels, maybe i sould ask him. He is alot older than i am, thats why i probably never asked. How do you people here clip wour teil's wings. Thanks, Birdluver.

  4. #4
    Old admin Baby Tviokh's Avatar
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    Re: Taming my tamed bird

    Have a vet show you how to clip wings properly the first time; after that you should be able to do it yourself.
    Clipping the wings, and keeping them clipped will help solve a lot of your problems.

    You need to follow <!--EZCODE BOLD START--> all<!--EZCODE BOLD END--> of the advice, all the time if you want this to work; half assed(for lack of a better term) training will lead to a confused bird who doesn't know what you want from him.
    You can't just stick to training, commands, and proper behavior when it's convienient for you, you have to do it all the time or you DO lose the upper hand. When that happens you have problems like you're having now(see, thing is: you don't have the upper hand right now ). You also get a bird who doesn't know what you want out of him, and that frustrates the bird beyond belief.

    The bird will become frustrated, and most likely become more aggressive.

  5. #5
    Old admin Baby Tviokh's Avatar
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    Re: Taming my tamed bird

    I'm going to recommend a book for you, because I think it'll be a lot more helpful than advice on the internet.

    Why? Because we can't see your bird, all we know is what you tell us and even then we can't be there to see everything in the bird's enviornment.

    With this book as a reference, you'll be able to grab it anytime you need a quick answer, will be able to factor in the type of environment your bird is in, and hopefully won't have to sit and wait for an answer here if you're in a hurry or have an emergency.

    The book is called:

    Guide to a Well Behaved Parrot
    By:Mattie Sue Athan

    Most pet stores carry it, most bookstores should, and you can also get it from amazon.com.

    I really think you'll find this book helpful; I got it when I first got my birds and it's STILL an invaluable resource for me.

  6. #6
    birdluver5220
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    Re: Taming my tamed bird

    ***********Status Report********

    I am following all of your advice. I have not yet gotton the wings clipped yet, as I am waiting for advice from my friend. Great results so far. I have become much more tolerant to his bites. He now perches on my hand for about 5-10 seconds, then jumps off. I ignore him when he screams or paces, then let him out when he is quiet for about 5 minutes. So far so good. I have 3 questions:
    1. When he perches on my hand, he jumps off after 5-10 seconds. What can i do to try to make him stay on?

    2. When he is perched on my shoulder, i cannot directly get him to perch on my finger. I have to first get his off on to something else, then perch him. How can i get him to perch right off my shoulder?

    3. I want him to recognize somesort of reward from me when he perches. What are some things tiels absolutely love and would be very happy to recieve as a treat?

    Thankyou,
    BirdLuver.

  7. #7
    Old admin Baby Tviokh's Avatar
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    Re: Taming my tamed bird

    1) Some birds have a shorter attention span than others; since you know his limit at this point is 5-10 seconds, use those 5-10 seconds to practice step ups, stop before his attention strays, praise him, and set him down with the "down" command.

    2) Stop letting him there. I don't care if he's not clipped, he should not be there until he's learned to step up onto your hand willingly all the time. If he gets up there accidentally, back up against a wall so he can't run around your shoulders, and make him step up and come down.

    3) Verbal praise with smiles, a favorite treat, a favorite game(if he has one), etc..

  8. #8
    Hormonal
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    Re: [Care] Aggressive Birds?

    went to parrot school today
    step up is the key to all training
    that makes u the boss
    so u have to get him to do stuff in the cage b4 u even let him out
    we were told to get the bird to work for u b4 u let him out...so get him to get on a particular perch or simply get on ur hand ..some simple command
    little steps all the way
    u can start by rewarding him by simply getting him to look at u
    he looks at u...u say "good boy" in excited voice,,give him a treat and walk away
    keep doing this...reward him for the slightest move in the right direction and ignore him when hes biting
    if hes calm...reward him promptly
    have him around u in his cage so that he gets used to all the movements and sounds..just like birds in a petstore get used to human traffic
    its slow progress but they say its possible to change a bird right around
    ur the boss always..kinda and firm and consistent...u build a relationship based on trust but on ur terms ..never on the birds...
    so dont let him climb out of the cage or fly around or land anywhere uninvited..
    if he climbs to ur shoulder...block his passage with ur other arm and get him to step up a couple of times
    good luck...

  9. #9
    Hormonal
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    Re: [Care] Aggressive Birds?

    went to parrot school the other weekend...got a few tips
    this is what they said re aggression
    ignore
    put back in cage or on perch
    walk away
    give it ten seconds then come back
    and start again
    if he bites...put him back on cage or wherever

    now...they do suggest that u get him to associate u with pleasant things as well
    so as u walk past the cage...give him a treat or whistle or do something that he usuallly responds to

    he has to earn the privilege of getting out of the cage
    so teaching him to step up is number one
    do it a few times and stop before he starts to bite

    this sounds like a dominance thing ..although im no expert
    but sitting on a shoulder is a privilege and should be treated as such

    we have had incredible success with our teenage corella who was starting to boss
    but with simple rules in place like getting him do something b4 he leaves the cage ( in his case we get him to sit on his perch and wait to be invited out rather than just climb out like we used to let him)
    now hes flying on command to our outstretched arm! its wonderful and i never thought it possible
    however if he flies to our arm or shoulder without being called hes put back on his cage...
    he used to just help himself to any old perch in the house,,including the couch but hed start to dominate and bite
    so now
    if we are eating..he is on the top of his cage with a piece of toast..hes not allowed on the back of a chair..hes got his space while we have ours
    it really does work
    i have cockatiels both young males .. they are not aggressive but i guess the same principal would apply

    about the potato..id not use it at all..potato is meant to be harmful ( i think i read that...its harmful to guinea pigs and dogs as well)

    so use a perch or a stick to practise the step up..thats one way u can control them..as soon as he starts to bite..get him doing something he knows how to do ..and praise and reward and use a really excited happy voice..
    that kinda distracts them
    oh good luck..its so hard and it can be a miserable passage thru despair and frustration but i tell u what..if u saw our corella two weeks ago and saw him now..hes a different bird..a real joy and i can see so much potential in him
    ( btw he only visits our house since he belongs to a friend but we both work with him and are delighted with the progress)

  10. #10
    Hormonal
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    Re: [Care] Aggressive Birds?

    something i asked of the staff who train and care for the birds at an aviary in cairns northern queensland australia
    i visited there last week with my kids and spoke to a trainer about his methods of controllling or discouraging biting
    see..these birds fly freely...and there are of course little kids everywhere..babies in prams and none of these birds are aggressive...they fly from nowhere to land on ur arm or shoulder or head and u feed them...they are so gentle..big macaws and conures and quakers indian ring necks..major mitchellss lorikeets
    so many beautiful species all in this gorgeous walk thru forest aviary
    the guy said re the biting that he places his hand over the birds head when its biting and says in low firm voice...NO...
    now ive not heard of this method b4 ..i know that there was a method involving a similar principle when training dogs..ud place ur hand across their muzzle firmly and growl NO...this made sense cos the dogs in the wild did this to the younger dogs to establish dominance
    but with birds i dont know..
    im not going to do it with the corella ..ill let my friend who is his owner try it...im hoping we can talk to more bird trainers...my friend is visiting hamilton island this week up there in queensland where they have a bird circus with sulphur crested cockatoos..im really hoping my mate can get to speak to someone after the show...thats
    the sort of people whod really understand hands on bird psychology i think..more so than breeders and vets

  11. #11
    Hormonal
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    Re: [Care] Aggressive Birds?

    an update
    i asked a guy who specialised in animal husbandry and goes around doing all sorts of animal whispering...my lucky day today
    he said that for biting this is what u do
    go back to cage
    wipe the bird from ur arm
    show him the treats u had ready for him ( so i guess u always have to have the treats on u ..not on a table but actually on ur person)
    walk away ...
    this apparenty send strong message
    'u bit me...i had treats..u wont get them if u bite'
    then go back after a minute and start again

    this guy is anti the earthquake method of shaking the bird even gently on ur hand...says it causes fear

    all i know is that i dont know anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    i keep hearing about so many techniques!!!

    ill put them in my crucible and come up with the perfect method but in the meantime ill keep listening and asking questions!!!

  12. #12
    Bow chicka wow wow! I... Found a Mate Breadpazoid's Avatar
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    Re: [Care] Aggressive Birds?

    RE: Wing clipping - I've always had my girls clipped and I think that was all they've known. One of my females is quite shy and bitey; I let their wings grow out once, and I have them in full feathers right now. It took some practice, but we have a system worked out.

    They are in my room. Even with the cage door open and my door open, if something bothers them (in this quiet house, hardly anything ever does) and they spook, for some reason they never leave my room. LOL The girls are mostly quiet except for little "oinks" here and there, so it's usually Irwin (my chattier one) who lets me know if someone flew away, either her or her sister. They will call for me until I come put them back in their cage.

    If we had other pets in the house I would say absolutely positively they would be clipped, no buts about it. If it looks like we will have company or other traffic (vacuum, or mom running hither and yon) we will just keep them in their cage until it is safe to let them out, and obviously they go back in their cage if we will be gone for any length of time.

    Mom to Ducky! (female cinnamon GCC)...THANK YOU Keet for the gorgeous sig!!
    Won't you come see me after 12am?

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