Hahns Macaw(6 Posts)
A bit different I know but we have a rehomed Hahns Macaw...age unknown...we were told female.
She is a biter though...loves coming out her cage but tries to bite.
For example had a 'chat' with her while DH cleaned out her bowls...offered my arm..she walked up to my shoulder...watched while I made a cup of tea..then walked forward looked at me and jumped forward and bit. Didn't break the skin though.
Anyone with any bird knowledge on how we can stop this?
Look at her diet firstly - seed based is a no-no. Her diet should be mostly vegetables, if you're on fb parrot pantry etc is a good help. You can bake them healthy birdie bread.
You can feed a "complete" food like harrisons pellets - if she's on seed you will need to convert her. I find crushing the pellets/putting them in blender then adding water so it's a mash and serving warm helps. Or you could just add water and it will soak up. To help the initial flavour you could add a bit of pure orange juice/peanut butter/something nice and gradually reduce the amount of flavour.
Often a parrots food is far too high energy and this causes health problems. Liver disease, hormonal problems... a better diet will show in your birds behaviour.
Worth taking her to an avian vet for bloods and poop check.
Something that really helps with biting is training and you yourself learning her body language. The training just means you can ask her to do things you want her to do - and also if positively reinforced makes her more inclined to do these things.
Look up clicker training parrots. It really helped my bad tempered conure, it opens communication. Makes out of cage time more manageable - and as a consequence more out of cage time!
Something to address is that most parrots will pair bond with their favourite human - so they actually see them as a mate. It get's worse around breeding times. It can cause behavioural issues such as jealousy, biting anyone that comes near their preferred person or that person themselves. They can become very unhappy and scream (abnormally - some loud noises are expected), pluck feathers or even self mutilate... it's best to discourage this by limiting all scratching to the head.
Theres loads of good parrot groups you can join. It's hard getting it all down here! Start with a happy, healthy parrot - then training should make a difference.
It's worth noting that as we can't read parrots as well as parrots can... we WILL be bitten occasionally! It gets better with time but it's always there.
There is also different kinds of biting... birds use their beaks as their hands and explore the world with it. They will use their beak to step onto something new before their feet follow. Sometimes while exploring they will test how much pressure to apply. I'd let them know it hurts by pushing their beak away with thumb or finger/moving away/ whatever fits at the time. I try to stay away from too much of a big reaction as they CAN start to do it for attention.
The other biting is where they mean to really bite, lunge biting. Usually out of fear or not reading their body language or jealousy. My conure would lunge bite me for many weird reasons ha.
These bites usually hurt - a lot - so it's hard to react the way you want. But I would leave the room immediately for a few minutes. I feel like "no!" or shouting reinforces it. Ultimately you just learn what ticks her off and avoid if you can.
Good luck with your hahns x
Thank you...We've been away on holiday...the neighbours fed her for us...risking life and limb.
She shouted 'Hello' when we walked in the house!
Will take time to go through and absorb the brilliant info...
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