New Kakariki Owner

Erika i

Registered
Hi all!
I recently got a kakariki from a friend who is moving to a different country and is not able to take him (?). I was hoping to get some advice about these birds and how to best take care of them. I think he's about 7-8 months (our friend has had him since Christmas, and I think they're usually 8-12 weeks at the store?). It's also my very first bird.

I was also hoping to get some input regarding his behaviour lately. I've had him for about a week and a half and I noticed that he has been more aggressive the last 2 days or so. Local bird shop suggested I put him in his cage everytime he bites, but I feel like that's made things worse. Or am I not being patient enough?

I was also wondering if it's possible to spoil him/ give him too much freedom? We have a pretty much empty room where we sometimes let him roam and he loves it, as he gets to do whatever he wants, but now when he starts chewing on things he's not supposed to and I try to redirect him he bites. He'll even bite when I ask him to step up sometimes. He was biting since we got him, which we attributed to the stress of being moved, but then it got a little better as he got used to us, but for the past 2 days has been worse.

Edit: Just wanted to mention, not only has he been biting more, I also feel like he's less interactive. At the beginning he would always step up, whereas now he either bites or refuses to step up half the time.

Thank you and nice meeting you all! Please feel free to let me know if you have any advice or if I'm doing anything wrong. I'm willing to learn and change
Erika
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Hello and welcome, these bird are also known as clown parrots, what is his name? these are naturally mischief makers and fun to watch them dart around. mine has full freedom of my home, they do like to chew especially paper and can get in to the most awkward of places. So what do I think you have done to make your bird miss trust you and want to bite more, going by what you have told us I think it may be the way you have tried to discourage it from the chewing, do you use your hands to get him to stop? you are frightening him and making your hand some thing to fear instead of trust. the best way of discouraging a bird from chewing the things you do not want it to chew is to cover the area it likes to chew but provide areas and materials that chewing is allowed. now one thing I do provide for mine is a place that they can hide in so they can rest in darkness during the day. Kaks are high energy birds that need to rest quite often and I have found that if they are allowed to rest they become more calmer when it come to bites. can I ask what you are feeding your bird?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Roz

Erika i

Registered
Hi! Thanks for replying! Thinking about it, I may have used my hands, and even though I tried to be calm and gentle, I guess that might have not been the best approach. Although, he does not only do it when I try to stop him from chewing on things, so maybe I've done something else? Is putting him in his cage usually a good method to stop him from biting? That's what they told me at the store, but I feel like that's made me trust me less. And I'll definitely try and make him a hiding place, thank you for that :). Also, I feed him Jr. Small hookbill seeds mixed with parakeet mix, which is what my local bird farm recommended, as well as fruits and vegetables.

Hello and welcome, these bird are also known as clown parrots, what is his name? these are naturally mischief makers and fun to watch them dart around. mine has full freedom of my home, they do like to chew especially paper and can get in to the most awkward of places. So what do I think you have done to make your bird miss trust you and want to bite more, going by what you have told us I think it may be the way you have tried to discourage it from the chewing, do you use your hands to get him to stop? you are frightening him and making your hand some thing to fear instead of trust. the best way of discouraging a bird from chewing the things you do not want it to chew is to cover the area it likes to chew but provide areas and materials that chewing is allowed. now one thing I do provide for mine is a place that they can hide in so they can rest in darkness during the day. Kaks are high energy birds that need to rest quite often and I have found that if they are allowed to rest they become more calmer when it come to bites. can I ask what you are feeding your bird?
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
I never use a cage as punishment, the cage must stay as a good and safe place that your bird fills safe in. it a place that he can always find food and water. you have not had him long so its more about building trust and understanding. Birds are social and need company and I use this to help my bird to know rite from wrong. if my birds are doing any thing I dislike all I do is hold my hand up with the palm of my hand flat towards the bird and just say No, I then turn away from the bird. I may even walk out the room. I use the birds natural instinct of curiosity to distract it by doing something that creates noise (I find its a good excuse to make myself a cuppa tea, clanging with the spoon can do wonders). Observe your bird and get to know its likes including sound, never approach your bird fast as its a sure way to frighten it and try to talk to it as much as possible when its being good.
 

Erika i

Registered
I never use a cage as punishment, the cage must stay as a good and safe place
Thank you, that's what I thought from my research and that's definitely what it seems like from my experience. It seems the store gave me some wrong information. I should probably double- check all the info on this forum lol
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Its good to get many opinions so you can try each till you find what works best for you and your bird, @Roz is good for explaining training, having many species together and using many different training methods I can say that each bird is different along with there keepers so you need to work out what is best for both of you. Kaks I have found love the smaller berries best (Hawthorn), Dandelion flower and leaves (picked away from any place they can get polluted from car exaust or weed killers, non public areas)
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
There may be times when you need to put a bird in a cage like having visitors or workmen, its important that you give treats and prays so it dose not look at being in the cage is so bad. Remember the cage is his space and like all us parrot slaves its our job to make it as friendly as possible and a trusted point that food and water can be obtained, you can fold paper (its a good chance to learn origami but also put the occasional treat in them). they are normally ground feeders and love scratching for food on the floor of the cage so hide some under the flooring, the more interesting his cage becomes the less chance he will damage other things, I sometimes use an old grill on the floor or use bird safe wood chips with kaks and place seed in it they can spend time and enjoy getting to it
 

Erika i

Registered
you can fold paper (its a good chance to learn origami but also put the occasional treat in them).
Such a good idea! I've always been interested in origami, so I'm really looking forward to it :) Thank you so much for all your help and all the great advice! I really appreciate it.
 

TomsMum

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Hi and :welcome: to the forum.

i’m going to tag in some members with Kakariki as house birds experience (rather than aviary birds) @Yellowchickenparrot @bikergirl Carol

Also @Roz for some training tips for you.

Having moved home he? Will be trying to make a point f what is his territory. So regarding the biting, this is best dealt with with diverting tactics and reinforcing good behaviours. Putting a bird back in his cage, which is main territory because he’s been naughty, won’t achieve the desired result, he won’t associate the two events and realise to stop the biting.

Whilst awaiting Roz’s response do have a look at her pinned topic posts in our training section
https://theparrotclub.co.uk/community/index.php?forums/training.69/
 

Roz

Regular Member
Thanks for the tags, Michael and TomsMum.

Biting is a form of communication. Ask yourself why he bites? As Michael said, if you use your hands to stop him from doing something (which in behavioural terms is positive punishment), he will begin to see your hands as an aversive. Much better to parrot proof the room so he hasn't got anything he shouldn't be able to chew (cover precious items with towels etc), and instead concentrate on pairing your hands with good experiences. Love the idea of involving him in origami.... holey origami!!! :biggrin: If he should get over excited when you're both working on origami, just slow down... freeze your hands for a moment. With motionless hands, there is nothing to chase/bite.

It may sound odd, but the best way to avoid the bite is to avoid the bite. Watch his body language before you ask him to step up and heed it. If he puffs up, etc. avoid asking him to step up right then and try again in a few minutes. Turn the tables around. Make it an awesome experience for him to step up on you EVERY TIME. Positively reinforce the step up with something he loves.... could be a treat/access to a favourite toy/access to paper (if that is reinforcing), etc. When teaching a new behaviour it is important to reinforce EVERY TIME. He may already know how to step up, but you are reinforcing his step up without him biting, so this is a new behaviour.

Also I don't know what age Kakariki's mature, but it is spring and he may be getting a little hormonal... ie. more likely to bite. So watch that body language carefully and avoid the bite!

Putting him in his cage as a time out is not going to achieve anything. By the time you get the bird to step up, carry him over to the cage, put him in and close the door, he will have no idea why he's been put inside. The moment has been lost. The bite has already been immediately reinforced by the consequences (feel of human skin/hand goes away/human says ouch!).
 

bikergirl Carol

Regular Member
Hi, kaks are wonderful exciting flyers that are amazing to watch. mine loved all sorts of food, fresh fruit veg and especially chillies. The seeds they enjoyed was AS30. a no peanut, sunflower mix. they are incredibly inquisitive and will find any unlikely place to explore. I found one of mine inside the cutlery drawer it was only open about half an inch. they are ground feeders so love to scratch and forage on the bottom of the cage. I use a product called Easybed about 1 inch deep and sprinkle food around. they would spend ages hunting in it.
 

Erika i

Registered
Make it an awesome experience for him to step up on you EVERY TIME. Positively reinforce the step up with something he loves.... could be a treat/access to a favourite toy/access to paper (if that is reinforcing), etc.
Thank you so much for the great advice! I feel like I've learned a lot already and I have only been on this forum for one day. Do you have suggestions for treats for kaks to use as positive reinforcement? I'm having trouble figuring out what he likes. He seems to like something one day, but when I try using it again, he loses interest. So far, I've only tried foods, I haven't really found a toy he likes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Roz

Erika i

Registered
Hi, kaks are wonderful exciting flyers that are amazing to watch
Hi, thanks for the advice. I will look into the seeds you suggested. And yes, they are amazing to watch. I have a hard time turning away from mine even when he bites, just because he is so entertaining. I just discovered today that he likes folding laundry with me; he just stays on my arm and occassionally comes down and bites the piece of clothing I'm holding and starts playing with it. So cute!
 

Erika i

Registered
Having moved home he? Will be trying to make a point f what is his territory. So regarding the biting, this is best dealt with with diverting tactics and reinforcing good behaviours.
Thank your the advice, tags and posts you mentioned! I have already started checking them out! You've all been so helpful!
 

Roz

Regular Member
... I just discovered today that he likes folding laundry with me; he just stays on my arm and occassionally comes down and bites the piece of clothing I'm holding and starts playing with it. So cute!
See you just found something reinforcing! He stays on your arm because the whole experience, watching you fold laundry and nibbling a piece of clothing is SOOOOOO MUCH FUN/REINFORCING!!! :aaaaa: This is the way to gain his trust and friendship.... you'll find more and more exciting things you can do together. This is training too. Every interaction you have with him is teaching him something.

As for food, watch to see what he picks out of his food bowls first - that is usually their favourite item. Fill his bowls with all sorts of different fruits, veggies and dry foods so he's got lots to choose from.

Ollie is a lovely name! I have an Ollie too! :biggrin:
 

Erika i

Registered
Hi Oliver meet Oliver
Ollie is a lovely name! I have an Ollie too!
Hello, Olliie and Oliver!
And sorry for the slow response, it's been a busy week. I've been following your advice, and I have to say while I still get bitten occasionally, my hands do look considerably better :) Thank you again for all the great info. I also had some quick questions. When training your bird, do you recommend sticking to one thing at a time? Also, what do you guys recommend lining the cage with?
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
yes its best to concentrate on one part of training at a time, but you should reinforce the training the bird has already completed. with Kaks I prefer wood chipping (bird safe) so I can hide food amongst the chippings
 
Top Bottom