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  1. #1
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    Post Different types of Bitter Apple spray?

    Hello! My 1.5 year old cockatiel has something of a biting problem. I have a lot of facial and ear piercings, and I can't have her sitting on my shoulder without her going ape and biting them. I've never allowed it, not even when she was a baby, so I don't know why she's gone on thinking this was an okay thing to do for a year and a half.

    I am considering using bitter apple sprayed on a kleenex and then rubbed on the shells of my ears (as well as other things she bites and destroys, like my shower door and laptop lid). My question to you is: are there differences between the kinds of Grannick's Bitter Apple for dogs, cats, and birds? Will the kind for dogs make my 'tiel sick? I guess I'm being a little cheap, but I already have a bottle of the kind for dogs. I'm more than happy to buy the bird kind, but if I don't have to I'd like to save.

    Thanks!

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    Re: Different types of Bitter Apple spray?

    Those sprays are pointless for birds (who don't have the same kind of taste receptors that mammals do). Birds will happily munch away at things we find awful, as an example try giving your bird the hottest chile pepper out there (mine loves them!---but doesn't get them often because of the danger in kissing afterward).

    The only way to keep your bird from biting your jewelry is to 1) continue not letting the bird pick at it (they will learn this is unacceptable), 2) don't wear jewelry around the bird, or 3) don't let your bird sit on your shoulder. I opted for #1 with my bird and although he forgets occasionally, he is pretty good about it. The best way to prevent accidents on doors / laptops is to diligently watch her when she is out, and I do know it can be hard to do!

    Also, make sure your bird has lots of toys or wood to chew on so that you can redirect her chewing to something appropriate.

  3. #3
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    Re: Different types of Bitter Apple spray?

    I trained my tiel to not chew things he isn't supposed to by saying "No" and pushing a proper chew toy in his face instead. Every time he would chew my mouse cord, or anything else he isn't supposed to he got the same response. Now he will sit by my mouse cord and not touch it, he hasn't touched any other cords in months. Occasionally he'll forget himself and start beaking at something and I give him his toy and he switches to it instead. I had to lose my $60 gaming mouse to him before he learned, but he eventually did.

  4. #4
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    Re: Different types of Bitter Apple spray?

    Thanks! Do you mean the bitter apple for dogs and cats won't work, or none of the bitter apples will? They have a bird one. I've been trying to curb her habit by other means but I guess I'll try harder.

  5. #5
    Tailfeather Barb's Avatar
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    Re: Different types of Bitter Apple spray?

    I haven't ever tried it (so take it with a grain of salt), but I would be VERY surprised if any of them worked. Birds just don't have those receptors on their tongues. It sounds like more of a scam product to me...

  6. #6
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    Re: Different types of Bitter Apple spray?

    they don't have ... bitterness receptors?

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    Re: Different types of Bitter Apple spray?

    Sure, they might be able to taste bitterness, but they just won't taste it like a mammal will. Parrots have something like 300-500 taste buds at the roof of their beak, whereas mammals have tens of thousands (humans have something like 17,000). So, although they CAN differentiate tastes, I doubt it will have as much of an impact to deter chewing. The reason dogs/cats get deterred by these chemicals is that they have mammal-like tongues that are highly sensitive to certain tastes.

    Again, you can think of it like a hot pepper. Most people cant just sit there and gnaw on a habanero pepper, but a bird can happily munch on it like no big deal. (although this is a bit of a confounded example, because birds aren't supposed to have capsaicin receptors at all...but still hopefully it makes sense)

  8. #8
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    Re: Different types of Bitter Apple spray?

    oh, okay! thank you very much.

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