***QUESTION***

I have always want a cockateil. My freind’s cockateil had babies and I received my “Precious boy” He is so cute. I recently have been able to feed him some seeds by placing them on a little stand in his cage. You see precious bites and I don’t know what to do to get him to stop. In order for me to give him the seeds on the stand, I tell him to go away and then I will give him the seed. He goes over to another perch and allows me to put the seed down on the stand and then I tell him to come and get his seeds and he does. We do this every day about three or four times. He also says hello. However when I go to touch him or get him to step up, he hisses and goes to bite me. Why?

I have Cerebral Palsy and sometimes my hand shakes could that be frightening him. Any suggestions, I certainly would appreciate them. Thanks, I love my “Precious” so much, he is such great company and we spent a lot of time together, I just want to be able to touch him without getting bite.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Judy Waller

***ANSWER***

I have yet to see a young baby bird that doesn’t bite or nibble, this is a much different reason to why older birds bite.

Baby birds remind me of puppies because they like to chew and nibble, they don’t know that it may hurt someone’s finger, but they are learning about the owner by taste and smell.

Now the actions of hisses and trying to bite sounds like the owner is putting her hand in his cage and that is a very normal reaction that most birds will do to their owners unless they trust their owner. A bird’s cage is their safety zone, and anything or anyone the intrudes into the cage will get that reaction.

If you could work with your bird in another room away from the cage you should be able to teach it not to bite, but it is also important to have the wings clipped so you would have better control of training the bird.

As for her Cerebral Palsy I don’t feel that is a major concern, because many birds and even other animals can sense health issues in people and they seem to undertand the person’s special needs.

The shakiness to the bird would be no different then the bird sitting on a rope perch or the wild birds that sit on power lines that can get shaky from the wind blowing.

I have taken many of my birds to special needs groups and it seems the birds just knew these people where special and there was a lot of TLC given to the people by my birds.

***QUESTION***

hey I have another question?. is it true even though I bought my bird
from a pet store and they told me the breeder they get there birds from is
very good as out of the 15 years of dealing threw him they said they have
never had any birds that were sick. so if I have a very health bird can I
catch bird disease from her even though she is my pet. And yes she comes
outside with me everyday, she is walking around the grass most of the day
and likes to sit up on the wild bird feeding bowl I have outside for wild
birds. is that ok for her too eat from the wild birds bowl too, or is that
how she can catch bird disease.
Kim. Mosbey

***ANSWER***

You can never been guaranteed that you couldn’t catch something from if your pet bird if it was to exposed or carried a disease that people could catch.

Many diseases are air borne and you could catch it from just going to the grocery store from someone who owns an infected bird. I am more worried about catching something from the local pet store and bring it back and infecting my birds.

Allowing the pet bird to walk around outside will greater the chance of catching something that wild birds carry. One of the most common wild bird disease that people can get is called Histoplasmosis here is a link about the disease - http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dbmd/diseaseinfo/histoplasmosis_g.htm

I have another link I give to my clients who are concerned about catching something from their pet birds. http://www.mybirdpix.com/disease_facts.php

Due to the fact I have been hospitalized for histoplasmosis it went undiagnosed by my Doctor for almost a week That disease will only respond to one type of antibiotic, and it could be fatal to humans if not treated correctly.

I love true stories like these -

 ”Intruders smashed the front window of Pet Palace in Leominster, about 45 miles west of Boston, and as they entered the store the bird began to shout, said store manager Lori Oltman on Thursday.”

Get the full scoop here -

http://www.thenewsvault.com/cgi/xtra.pl?go=120029462920

Just goes to show how intelligent these feathered friends of ours are!

Here we have an indian ringneck parrot performing some cool tricks-

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Here we have an african grey bird talking up a storm -

YouTube Preview Image

***QUESTION***

i have a 16week old galah cockatoo. brought her at 10weeks lod hand reared from a pet store, she is very loving but is starting to bite alot tawards me and my 3 girls when we all want to pick her up,or if we are playing with her, she has no proble stepping up to come to us when she feels like it or to come ut of her cage, but my biggest problem is when she is sitting on y shoder or o the floor playing she is really biting hard with all of us.i have tried the technieck of putting her in her cage when she bites and walking away and coming back 5 or 10 mins later to see if she has learnt her lesson, so il open the cage to pat her again and she loves her head rubbed but then all of a sudden she will bite again really hard. and yet other times she is so loving and gentle and still lets out that little baby bird sound and loves me patting and kissing her, and now all of a sudden she will just lunge out and peck me in the eye or my nose or face for no reason. how do i stop this befor she gets 2 rough.

Kim. Mosbey

***ANSWER***

At 16 weeks old it should be easy to break it quickly. My question is, when the bird bites what kind of a reaction is being given? Reacting verbally can be reinforcing him to bite more.

All baby birds go though their nipping and biting phase. I believe it is their way in trying to test their independence and try to show dominance over the family. As long as the family reacts it only feeds the bird to bite more.

The baby bird needs to know the handler is serious about the “no biting” rule.

From what Kim said about how her bird loves to be petted and love on and then to turn around and bite her shows that the bird is telling her “I am done with the hugs and kisses” and “I am the Boss – The Boss is always the handler of the bird”

The first thing I would do in breaking the biting is not to allow it on my shoulder. He would only be allowed on my hand or arm. Having it on her shoulder gives the bird too much control over the handler, and until he understands who “The Boss” is he will have to earn his place back on the shoulder.

Please post any questions or feedback you may have in the “comments” section below. Thanks! :)