1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Sore Subject

Discussion in 'Behaviour' started by Yellowchickenparrot, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Yellowchickenparrot

    Yellowchickenparrot Regular Member

    Ok the reason I built the aviary was so Ringo my kak could fly around and I could get him some friends because he had become to aggressive to be in the house, I also wanted to sit in the aviary and feed them and enjoy it. However Ringo is what I can only describe as savage lol he sees me coming and is frantically biting at the door trying to get my fingers he then goes for my face,ears so I have to wear my coat now to feed them. He is biting at my hands when I try and fill the food bowls and even started biting my feet because I started wearing gloves. I have just lost the plot today and got fairly upset about it all. I want to enjoy going and sitting in the aviary and also want to eventually get a couple more birds but just don't know what to do as even opening the door is hard work and I have been bitten to blood probably 15 times in two weeks. Feeling stressed and fed up need advice and opinions
  2. RoyJess

    RoyJess Regular Member

    Sound like he is being territorial.
  3. TomsMum

    TomsMum Administrator Staff Member Admin

    @Roz ...... is there any advice please for Ringo’s rather territorial behaviour
  4. Michael Reynolds

    Michael Reynolds Regular Member

    I am sorry Ringo has turned aggressive but I have never had this happen with my Kaks. I cannot say the aggression is brought on by being territorial as Ringo was getting nippy beforehand but if it is a territorial problem then normally by installing a nest box that he will use can solve the problem. can I ask you has he a place to hide in the aviary. Kaks need to be able to sleep often during the day and night and some times aggression can be brought on by the lack of sleep. How is he getting on with the other Kak?
  5. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    hormones. lots of hot sun. lovely long day length = fighting fit in full breeding conditon. I had same issue with my duck drake in spring. savagely bitten every time I stepped outside = blood drawn most days. breeding condition cannot last forever- it does pass. in meantime I'd be thinking about channeling that energy. food in complicated puzzle toys/ lots of things to destroy. places to hide places to nest. mirrors for practicing menace on himself rather then you
    RoyJess, plumsmum and TomsMum like this.
  6. Roz

    Roz Regular Member

    Aggression is so trying isn't it? Agree with Sunnyring in ramping up things to do in the aviary, especially foraging.

    I would also think about how you could do things differently. If he's biting at your hands when you fill the food bowls, can you take the food bowls out, fill them then come back in to slot them in?

    Plus start training him. In particular target training so that eventually you can get him to follow the target and station on a perch away from the door so that you can enter. Would he take a treat from you? That would be something to work on first. The treat could be spiked onto the end of a wooden skewer or something similar so you don't have to go anywhere near his beak. When he's regularly taking a treat, see if he will then touch/bite a target like a chopstick. If he attacks it, immediately reinforce with a treat. As the training progresses, he will realise he only needs to lightly touch it in order to get the treat. When this is strong, then you can start holding the target further and further away from him so that he has to move increasing distances to touch it. Eventually you will be able to hold the target by a perch away from the door and he will follow it. Then you would train duration (the time he stations on the perch). The idea being that he stations on a perch away from the door and you are able to enter, do what you have to do, he gets a treat. Training (and being the provider of treats) would then pair yourself with something to look forward to in his eyes rather than someone to attack or be fearful of.

    In the meantime I was also wondering what would happen if when he attacks you freeze. Try even sitting on the floor so that you are lower than him and therefore not a threat. Likewise avoid eye contact which can also be perceived as threatening. Breathe deeply and lower your energy. There is no point in attacking an inanimate object. Have some of his favourite treats on you and if he flies to the floor, in slow motion put a few morsels on the floor next to you (you are the provider of awesomeness!).

    To train him to target will take time, so to enter right now, again lower your energy and avoid eye contact. You might want to experiment on making yourself smaller by crouching down. As you undo the bolt you could distract him by having him follow your other hand away from the door. In fact this would be targeting. As soon as he follows say something like "good boy" even if it's to try to bite. The "good boy" is for both of you... your tone and body language will be friendly if you say some nice words. You can also pair those words with something good now, if he will then take a treat from you, and also whilst teaching him to target. (The "good boy" would come after he touches the target and before you give him the treat. ie. the words become a bridge/marker to mark the correct behaviour rather like the click of a clicker, as well as a reinforcer.) Undo the bolt and go in keeping low. Then you might want to sit on the floor for a few minutes to see what he does. Do everything really slowly when you are in the aviary.... you can speed up later.
    RoyJess and TomsMum like this.
  7. Yellowchickenparrot

    Yellowchickenparrot Regular Member

    Thanks for all the input, Ringo was a super kak and I had him recall trained and he would sit on my hand for ages being talked to and I could even kiss his head. He would take treats from my hand, sit on my shoulder when I was doing anything even hoovering. He slowly became more nippy to the point I was letting him out but not training him as he wasn't enjoying it, soon after this he started lunging then chasing anyone and attacking. He now lives with ke ke or Keith who he has no interest in what so ever, he has several half boxed perches where they can sleep and they do three times during the day. I put the food on the floor and stick fruit and veg around the place so they can forrage for it. I do stick a pice of fruit through the bars when I'm trying to enter and they both start eating it but ringo would rather attack me when I come through the door than eat. I have tried sitting in the aviary and seeing if he knows any of his old tricks, he just takes his favourite seed from my hand chucked it sideways and then bites my fingers like a vice. The only way I can clean the aviary is on my hands and knees as he goes for my face when I try and sweep up so I do it with a dust pan and brush with my hood up and face down!! he sits on my back and head shouting his angry call the whole time. I'm getting fed up and in some pain doing this now as I have a very bad back. No amount or type of food seems to change ringos mind about his mood and he can't seem to be snapped out if it. He's been like this for months and months now not just during the summer. I have tried standing still and once he got me in the face and I circled up into a ball on the floor as I was in T shirt and shorts he sat on my back for ages pecking my t poop I then moved to get out and the second he saw flesh bang he got me again.
  8. Roz

    Roz Regular Member

    It seems for a while he has found it very reinforcing to lunge, nip, bite, chase and now attack. Chase infers that someone is running away from him which is certainly reinforcing for some animals. It has taken time to learn, so will take time to teach him more acceptable behaviours.

    The easiest way to change a behaviour is to change the antecedent (the circumstances that set the stage for the behaviour). If he wasn’t in the aviary at the time of cleaning, he can’t attack. Have you got a shed in the aviary yet? I am thinking that you could teach him to step up on a hand held perch and carry him to the shed, put him down, give him a piece of fruit and shut the door whilst you clean the aviary. Or would he willingly go into a smaller cage… or even his old cage if you put it in the enclosure, for a treat? If you usually clean out the aviary in the morning, try in the evening or vice versa. Is there any time that he is calm that you could build on?

    I am also thinking of how to rebuild your relationship with him. When you have time, try sitting outside the aviary and keep sticking fruit through the bars near to where you are sitting. No eye contact, just keep calm, maybe soft talking to him. Tell him of the old days when he was a cute baby and you could kiss his head. You are pairing yourself with a good experience. Then just calmly walk away. ie your presence doesn’t always end on a bad note.
    RoyJess likes this.
  9. Yellowchickenparrot

    Yellowchickenparrot Regular Member

    I have tried everything apart from sitting outside and talking with him so I will give that ago, I have never ran from him when he bites me just sat it out or walked away to get a plaster. They don't have a completely inside bit yet just a very very sheltered bit but he won't seem to do anything for food or treats.i was going to build the indoor bit in September but looks like I will have to do it now so I can lock him away when I'm cleaning and when I want to sit in the aviary
  10. marley

    marley Regular Member

    Look this may not go down well but even a small parakeet can do real; damage if he gets you in the eye, this is sadly the result of his hormones and a total lack of respect for you caused by being hand reared and the total centre of attention which has left him with no fear of humans so he sees no reason NOT to bite when you go in what he sees as his territory. You have to get back control here, I do not believe this will improve on it's own and every time you go and get bitten the behaviour is reinforced. If it were me I would firstly try a water spray, stand and talk to him at the door, if he attacks, spray him in the face and say a firm "no" if he does not attack a small treat or even higher pitched words of praise. Keep going till he either stops or is soaked and then enter the aviary, if he comes at you spray again, teach him he is not allowed in your space, worst case he will be soaked and less able to move quickly. Keep doing as you are, no flapping about or exciting the situation, he is doing that himself and does not need you to help. If after a couple of weeks this is not working then you will have to in my opinion resort to a net and when he attacks net him and either put him in a small carry cage while you work or I leave them in the net and stand the bin on the net handle while I do what's needed, it depends how long you need to be in the aviary.

    This may sound a bit strong and I am sure many will not agree but you cannot in my opinion carry on like this, you would not stand a dog biting you why stand a bird doing it, I have several birds who are unsafe here, they are bigger but that does not make much difference in behaviour only the severity of the bite, if push really comes to shove you will have to put him in a large cage in the aviary and leave him like that.

    Sorry if any of this post offends
    sunnyring and RoyJess like this.
  11. Yellowchickenparrot

    Yellowchickenparrot Regular Member

    I'm open to anything, trouble is he loves bath time ha ha but I will try the sprayer. I don't think I will have to resort to a net as he's so bloody brave when he's trying to bite me I can just grab him with my gloves on and put him in his carry cage. Yes Marley this can't go on cleaning out in 29 degrees with jeans coat and gloves on is almost dangerous and getting bit.
  12. dianaT

    dianaT Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    This attacking bring back memories of the late Geoff Wright who bred cockatoos he had to wear a crash helmet when entering his aviaries!
    RoyJess and plumsmum like this.
  13. Yellowchickenparrot

    Yellowchickenparrot Regular Member

    I feel I might bloody have to
    plumsmum likes this.
  14. RoyJess

    RoyJess Regular Member

    Could some how section off his aviary in a way that you can operate from the outside, so you can section him in half while you sort out the other half and visa versa, just like they do when dealing with dangerous animals at the zoo? It might mean putting in a second safety porch. I'm thinking if your safety porch internal door opens inwards so that it forms a temporary section across the inside of the aviary, if your aviary is wider than the door, night mean fitting a half section in the aviary.


    Unfortunately parrots do bite, dive bomb, chew things and squawk very loud, all of which people should always take in consideration before taking on one as a pet. Jess's parrots sometimes like to attack me when I sort out their cages or I walk into the room. I just have to show them that I'm not bothered by it or frighten by them otherwise they will do it even more. However I do use positive reinforcement for when they are good, but ignore or try and not to react to the unwanted behaviour.

    If you go into the aviary with the anticipation that Ringo is going to attack you, he will pick up on that negative body language

    I've seen Zoo keepers go into aviaries in pairs at one of our regular Zoo's wearing hats and googles and a brooms in hand to keep the birds at arms lengths.
  15. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    have to agree with Marley regarding hand rearing being a cause. my horrible drake I over fussed when he was little & made a pet of. it meant when he came into breeding condition he had no respect- no concerns about attacking me. ones I have reared previous & were more hands off with would never have dreamed of attacking me. it is v upsetting,
  16. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    kakariki I had who harassed his hen tó point of her despair & exhaustion I gave a v v mild wing clip. took around 1/2 - 3/4 inch off every other flight feather one wing. he could still fly but slower with more effort & it knocked him down several pegs. sorry if its an un pc thing to do & I am not advocating full clip at all but mild semi version for us it worked.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
    marley likes this.
  17. Roz

    Roz Regular Member

    I too agree with the hand rearing being a problem… ie. no fear of humans. He is probably also imprinted on to humans which might be the reason why he pretty much ignores Keith. Personally I wouldn’t have put him into an aviary without sorting out the problems with aggression first; which is easier to do when you have a smaller space to work with and where you are able to just walk away from his cage. You can’t do that when inside the aviary without him first getting reinforcement for biting etc.

    Fear and aggression centres/pathways are so close in the brain. Change is scary for most prey animals. To go from being in a small cage indoors with your human family suddenly to a big outdoor aviary with no family and even having to sleep outside for that first night must have been very scary… which might have also resulted in an increase of aggression. I think I would have put him out there in stages (increasingly longer periods of time) and brought him in each night. Of course this doesn’t help the situation now. The more he attacks the more that habit is getting deeply
    ingrained. So I agree with Marley that something needs to be done/changed asap.

    If you want to resort to punishment, that is your call. Just be aware that the outcome is usually reinforcing to the one doing the punishing (you) so the punishing can therefore easily escalate. So just watch that. And you know the fall out to being sprayed in the face is pairing the spray with an aversive so he probably won’t enjoy showers any longer. But you could try it short term and monitor the results.

    I would still try to work where you can on befriending him, ie. sitting outside the aviary feeding him fruit and talking to him. Also work on teaching him to target from outside the aviary through the wire. Teach Keith too since he will eat fruit you put through the wire. That way they would have something in common which might lead to friendship. There have been many cases of success in zoos with teaching aggressive animals to station away from the door so that the keeper can enter and even do some cleaning. You could bring him in at nights, although Keith would be left out there on his own. But it would allow you to clean without him there and it could be just a
    temporary thing.
    JessCheekyMia likes this.
  18. Yellowchickenparrot

    Yellowchickenparrot Regular Member

    Ok with all the discussion today I took a different strategie and got ke ke (Keith) to come to me and feed him some apple throughout the bars obviously Ringo was there squarking away but I totally ignored him and focused on keith. It took about 5min till he took a bit and then seemed to enjoy my interaction Ringo kept his distance and then went quite and just watched. I felt this was good behaviour so then gave him a bit of apple which he held and ate next to Keith on the wire. I managed to get in change the water and get out without any problems. This is the first time Ringo has taken food and actually held it and not chucked it to come and get me. Maybe I should focus on Keith as it seemed to have a strange arfect on Ringo
    Nigalius, TomsMum, Roz and 4 others like this.
  19. sunnyring

    sunnyring Regular Member

    well done!!
  20. JessCheekyMia

    JessCheekyMia Regular Member

    Yay this is going good.
    Most of my rescues have settled in quick just watching me cuddling my other flock babies. Then realising I am no threat and I am here to give you a better life.
    plumsmum likes this.