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Parrot Bite – Ouch! Body language is Important.

Well tonight I made the mistake of telling Pluto it was “Nigh Nigh’s” time before he had decided he was ready to go. I didn’t read his body language and moved my hand toward him to have him hop up and he turned on his turbo speed legs and was viciously biting my hand before I knew it. Over a year ago I would have pulled away and told him ‘No Bite’ but since working and working and working on curbing this behaviour I kept up with the process and let him rip my fingers open as I calmly said “Well that’s not very nice is it. Don’t bite mummy” He was still very angry but he backed off and I said “Ok. Well I am going to go for a minute”. I walked across the room and as I looked at him he was bopping his head up and down – very angry quaker. It meant he needed a timeout. It meant I had to go away. So I did. I went out of sight for a little while however I knew time was getting away and he really did have to go to bed.

So after a short break of 5 minutes or so. I returned and picked up his cover and told him it was time to go to bed. He had been hanging out on top of his cage with his ‘nesting’ behaviour. I placed the cover over his cage explaining it was time to go to bed and he was in the newly created ‘Tee-Pee’ under the cover sitting on the edge saying “In your bed”, “Pluto, in your bed!” which he has made up after telling the dogs to get in their bed.

He was being a stubborn, defiant little monster. Then he decided to climb out on top of the cover where he asked for kisses and cuddles. At this point I was not going to be putting my face anywhere near him as he was still showing signs of being angry. Instead, I warned him by saying “Hop Up” as I slowly but steadily pushed my finger closer to him. He lunged to bite but my finger was in and under his chest with him hopped up before he could get hold.

Then, to change the mood I gave him a rough up and ruffled his feathers, made a bit of a game out of it. Made sure he was happy and then I said “Ready for Nigh Nigh’s” and he finally said ‘Nigh Nigh’s Time” and I placed him in his cage.

What an ordeal! But the thing to remember is they will test you ALL the time and it is so important that you try to react as calmly as you can and try your best to ignore the situation. By saying ‘Ouch’ or pulling away because you are scared is the worst thing you can do.

The mistake I made tonight was that I didn’t read his body language before I placed my hand near him – I was just thinking about putting him to bed – By not reading his behaviour he bit me which meant I then had to suck it up and make sure I wasn’t going to reinforce it (and now am left with two bites in two knuckles!) then I had to try and calm the whole situation down.

Had I have read his body language and tried a different technique by persuading him to come give me kisses on a different perch he wasn’t ‘protecting’ I wouldn’t have been bitten.

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