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Thread: Hahns Macaw

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    Cool Hahns Macaw

    Hi, can anyone help, we have a 18 month old Hahns Macaw, that bites very hard without warning, we have tried and put her back in her cage when she bites but this just doen't seem to work!!.

    There are days when she hardly bites at all, but these are few and far between, we would hate to get to the point were nobody wants to be in the same room has her, H-E-L-P please.

    many thanks

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    I shouldn't let Dan change my title...he's not very creative Found a Mate flyingduster's Avatar
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    Re: Hahns Macaw

    This was posted in the important announcment forum, no one would have seen it to help you there. I moved it ehre so that hopefully others can help. There aren't many people on here that know about macaws though! I hope someone can help!

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    Moulting
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    Re: Hahns Macaw

    You'll have to gain her trust. Start by just putting your hand in the cage until shes used to that and doesnt want to bite it off Then try putting some seed in your hand and letting her come for it. The key is trust. Once your bird trsusts you and knows your not going to kill her Im sure she'll warm up to you. It will take time but slowly and patiently she will come around.

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    Cool Re: Hahns Macaw

    Just to add Holly our Hahns, was H/R and is hand tame already!!!, she is not frightend fo our hands..

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    ...Over the rainbow Growing... Kalvin's Avatar
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    Re: Hahns Macaw

    Hahns macaws are known to be nippy at times, I've gone through stages with mine where just a playful nip would draw blood. It's nothing to do with trust at all, it's obedience that needs work.

    I've found that if I tell George (my hahn's) "No" when she bites or say "ouch" loud and get her to step up onto my hand from wherever she is then she soon learns, a few months down the line and she forgets again so it's an ongoing cycle. Hahns macaws are all the trouble of the larger birds in a smaller package so are a lot of work but you'll get there.

    Identifying when she bites would also help, we'd be able to take a guess at why she's biting and what steps you can take to help stop her.

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    Cool Re: Hahns Macaw

    Holly seems to bite more when she first comes out, sometimes she is put back in her cage within a few minutes.
    We do have lots of toy's for her to play with to take her mind off biting, do you think it is something she will grow out of????

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    Re: Hahns Macaw

    you need to figure out why s/he is biting. it's always for a reason, whether you've figured it out yet or not.

    there are two books that are invaluable for parrot "owners"- both by sally blanchard- the first is "the companion parrot handbook" it is spendy ($35, i think) but you will refer to it again and again. the second is "the beak book", specifically on biting. read them in order though...

    good luck!

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    Re: Hahns Macaw

    Putting her back into her cage everytime she bites is just encouraging her to bite. She doesn't want to be held, so she bites, and you automatically put her down. You need to find a way to distract her from biting. You can pick her up when she goes in for a bite and begin to ladder her (make her go from one hand to the other) every time until she's settled down again.

    Whatever you do, however, do not just put her down because she's getting nippy, that encourages her to continue the bad behaviour because she's getting what /she/ wants every single time. She has /you/ well trained, now you need to show her who's boss, but nicely.
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    Re: Hahns Macaw

    I don't have any macaw experience, but my grey can be nippy at times. There have been a few things that have helped me.

    Putting the bird back in the cage isn't the solution... You mentioned that she often bites soon after coming out of the cage. It could be that she didn't want to come out in the first place and is biting so you'll put her back. A lot of times, Pokey will make it a chore for me to get her out of the cage, and I just accept that she may not want to come out as soon as she sees me in the morning -- she likes to wander around and "warm up" inside the cage first.

    When Pokey bites, I never put her down right away. Believe me, it's HARD not to sometimes. She's drawn blood enough times for me to be a bit on edge during these situations. But when it comes to biting, the best reaction you can give is that of non-reaction. Birds often bite as a tool to get what they want. A lot of times people put their birds down when they bite, so birds learn to bite when they want to be put down.

    If Pokey is perched on my hand and is about to bite me, I give my hand a slight jiggle, just enough that she gets distracted while trying to maintain her balance. A few months ago, she started going through this phase where pretty much whenever I tried to pick her up, she would step up and then bite me really hard. The "jiggling" was advice that I got on the boards -- people suspected that Pokey was trying to test me and test my "authority." So I tried the jiggle, and in less than two days, the psycho-bite phase ended.

    The jiggle works well for that split second before the bird goes for the bite, and it also works all right during some lesser bites. But if the bird "completes" the bite, jiggling doesn't really make much of a difference. When this happens with Pokey, I make eye contact, give her a stern look (only for a moment) and say "No biting." I don't put her down right away. I wait long enough that she doesn't associate the biting with being put down. Basically, I make sure that nothing changes as a result of her having bitten me. I don't give her extra attention (positive or negative), and I don't give her time outs.

    If the bird is perched elsewhere and you're trying to pick her up from that place, it's trickier. The key to this is you have to be able to "fake" confidence, even if you're scared of being bitten. When you reach out, your hand movement has to be very decisive -- you can't reach out and then pull back in fear and then reach out again and then pull back again. You just stick it out firmly, give a firm "up command," and brace yourself. ^_^ If it looks like Pokey is thinking about biting me, I tell her "no biting," and it often reminds her to be nice.

    But anyway, I've definitely had the best luck picking up Pokey when I pretend to be confident. Always try to calm yourself down and maintain a low energy level when approaching your bird -- she will match your energy level. As I was typing this message, Pokey (who was on my shoulder) got tangled in my hair and kind of freaked out. ^_^ I tried to reach for her, and she reached out to bite my hand. So I took a second, took a deep breath, calmed down, and talked to her calmly while trying again to get her to step up. This time she did it without a fuss, and I was able to untangle her.

    Oh yeah... One of the most important things about training not to bite -- the birdie gets tons of praise when she behaves!

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    Re: Hahns Macaw

    Quote Originally Posted by tazdevil
    Holly seems to bite more when she first comes out, sometimes she is put back in her cage within a few minutes.
    We do have lots of toy's for her to play with to take her mind offbiting, do you think it is something she will grow out of????
    That's most likely the reason she's biting, because you've got her out.Sounds strange but they get nippy when they are overexcited, and what'smore exciting than being let out of the cage? Mine is the same when shefirst comes downstairs or when the hoovers on.

    I just have her on my finger (thumb over the toe stops them goinganywhere) hold her up to my face and tell her "naughty" "no" orsomething similar, if she keeps it up I put my finger from my otherhand on her top beak so she can't get to bite me, a couple of secondslke that and she soon calms down.

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    Cool Re: Hahns Macaw

    First many thanks to everyone that has replied to my posting, one thing she is doing at the moment is going for my glasses, I have been taking them off when she comes out but this just makes my eyes hurt, so trying to get her used to them on me.
    She is used to me wearing them when shes not out and over the last two days has been a little *******, if you know what I mean, if she can't have something thats when she tends to bite more or she goes for the neck. We are trying to get her off the shoulder so to avoid the neck & ear biting, she will take food and fruit as swet as a nut but if she drops a toy or any of her playthings and you are not quick enough to remove your hands and fingers in goes the beak!!!, made a nice little hole in my finger today not happy!!!.

    Many thanks please keep the repies coming.

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    Re: Hahns Macaw

    [QUOTE=tazdevil]one thing she is doing at the moment is going for my glasses, I have been taking them off when she comes out but this just makes my eyes hurt, so trying to get her used to them on me.
    if she can't have something thats when she tends to bite more or she goes for the neck. We are trying to get her off the shoulder so to avoid the neck & ear biting, she will take food and fruit as swet as a nut but if she drops a toy or any of her playthings and you are not quick enough to remove your hands and fingers in goes the beak!!!, QUOTE]

    Okay, from what you have written, it seems as though you have her on your shoulder with a toy or treat and when it falls, she goes for the glasses or neck or any other thing that is available nearby. Correct? Glasses are just another toy. She isn't purposely going after them. It's just that they are so SHINY they are calling out the her. Just like earrings, necklaces and any other jewerly. Birds love shiny things.

    First, especially since she wasn't H/R and is not too comfortable around you yet, she should NOT be on your shoulder. EVER. She should also not be on the top of her cage if it is taller than you or any children. WHen birds are up high, they feel as though they can dominate whatever is beneath them. So if you try and pick her up from the top of her cage, she bites. I have found that if you sit with the bird on the floor and work on Step Up, they will often just do it without hesitation because they hate being on the ground. Even the meanest of birds have been successful at learning this extremely important command by starting on the floor and working our way up.

    Another trick. If you are trying to get her in our out of the cage and she is biting, train her to step up onto a perch (another important command i think all brds should know). Then you can take her out of the cage without being bitten then go low on the ground and get her to step up on your hand. If she starts to run up your arm towards the shoulder area, take your other hand and firmly press it on her belly and tell her to Step Up on the other hand. This is the ladder that someone previously posted. DO NOT allow her to go up higher than your hands are.

    When she does bite, a little "earthquake" (dropping your hand a few inches) can startle her long enough to get her to stop and be reprimanded. PheonixK wrote about this method: The jiggle works well for that split second before the bird goes for the bite, and it also works all right during some lesser bites. But if the bird "completes" the bite, jiggling doesn't really make much of a difference.

    I do believe however, than even after "completing" the bite, an earthquake can deter her from it. They don't like feeling unstable. This worked wonders for another Hahns that had a dominating behaviour and he was two years old and had bad habits already deeply ingrained in him.

    Also, when trying to train her to go on your hand, don't make it seem like a gym with toys and food. That should be reserved for a playgym when not in the cage and not on your hand. Of course she will try and find something else to occupy her with if she dropped the one fun thing she had. Get her to understand that being on your hand is fun because she wil get scritches and love, not toys. Food can be used as an enticing agent at first.

    SOrry for the long post but these are the methods that have worked with me and countless "grumpy" or dominating birds including a Hahns. Good luck and let us know how she is doing.

    Lisa

    See videos of Loki and the boys here!

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    Re: Hahns Macaw

    Quote Originally Posted by tazdevil
    Holly our Hahns, was H/R and is hand tame already!!!, she is not frightend fo our hands..
    Quote Originally Posted by peachee
    First, especially since she wasn't H/R and is not toocomfortable around you yet, she should NOT be on your shoulder.
    Just FYI

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    Loki - love in bird form Four More Babies Hatched! peachee's Avatar
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    Re: Hahns Macaw

    Ooops. for some reason, i thought it was another Hahns he was talking about. As in, Holly (our other Hahns) was H/R but our new girl is not hence the biting. Thanks for the correction.

    Lisa

    See videos of Loki and the boys here!

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    Cool Re: Hahns Macaw

    Just to let everyone know, our Hahns is very hand tame, & not frightened for our hands at all.
    We hope we do something because we really don't want to get rid of her!!!.

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