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Kakariki, Care, Breeding, Ecology, and Conservation :: View topic - Advice - Territorial? Or just manipulative? :lol:
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Advice - Territorial? Or just manipulative? :lol:

 
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shirtybird
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:51 am    Post subject: Advice - Territorial? Or just manipulative? :lol:

Hi,

I hate asking questions that are similar to what is already on the site, and have read through a lot of the taming articles already, so I hope I'm not sounding like a broken record!

I have a 2 year old red-fronted kak. He was hand-reared, and is a great little companion. Since 6 months old though, I have been unable to get him to settle down.

He loves being talked to, he talks back and calls us often, he does "step back" when fed, and "step up" when out of his room. But he bites, and will often chase us down to bite us, even if it means coming right across the room, for no reason, in the middle of being nice.

When we are able to remove him from the room his cage is in, he becomes very well behaved, making little cheepy noises, stepping up with great speed and obedience even before he's asked, just because he seems to think that being good will get him back to his cage quicker. He almost never bites away from his cage, and doesn't fly away... it's almost patronising, the "sugar wouldn't melt in my mouth... I just want to go home" treatment.

It's also so difficult to remove him from his environment without man-handling him that it makes it a very stressful experience for all involved - lots of blood for me and an angry bird.

We've tried leaving him in his cage when he is biting, but that usually makes him 100x worse, because he gets resentful for being locked away. We've tried "step up" bribery with food, but he usually behaves, takes the food and eats it, and then chases us down to attack with full force, as if he resents our feeble attempts at tricking him; or ignores the food and just attacks anyway.

So far, it's been easier just to avoid the bite and have a long distance relationship than to try and push taming any further. But he picks up on things so quickly, I'm sure there must be a way to bridge the gap. He seems to really enjoy our company, and will hang off the side of the cage, fly onto our heads or shoulders, or run down and climb on us to be with us, so it doesn't make a lot of sense as to why he attacks so viciously with very little provocation... often just a twitch of a finger, or a turn of the head sets him off.

Is this is as good as it gets with kaks, or at least some?or does anyone have any thoughts on what to try next to turn it around?
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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:08 am    Post subject:

Biting, if not testing some new item as edable...or a bird that is unbalanced (which from your description is not) is a game.
This is one of the very 1st things that is knocked on the head when taming down a parrot.
Once they have the confidence to approach a hand, with say a bit of fruit, the 1st thing they will do is nibble..this u let them do.
The moment they rest out as to see if the hand is edable, the finger 'jumps' up at them, and twists.
It is important at no time they are allowed to bite hard..(firm yes..hard no) and get away with it.
You will see that they are going to bite hard...let them and THEN show that u are not pleased, w flick of the finger nail on the beak IMMEDIATLY...
Hard enough to make them sit up and think..".Hmmm Ididnt like that, this game is not fun"
Do not pull your hand away!!!, yell scream, or make any other suden moves, other then the quick flick.
He will then go back to have another go or may even nibble before having another go...let him, and repeat.
This a proceedure hast to be carried out EVERYTIME by EVERYONE
Do it right and within an evening maybe 2...the problem will be solved 90%
Every so often in an excited moment days or week later he will do it again.
Follow proceedure EVERYTIME.
Training a wild/or avaiary parrot 1st off from day one like this works well
The Ave parrot will learn within 5 to 10 minutes for each person

A parrot who has had the habit for some time THEN RE trained, will continue to bite vistors and new ppl...unless they to follow proceedure EVERYTIME...
This part is near impossable to train out, not because of the parrot but because visitors do not have the confidence and the disipline not to pull away.

Every once in a while one gets a rogue parrot....your descriptions do not even come close to a parrot of this nature.

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SPARKY
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 8:05 pm    Post subject:

Hi,
I had a Kak for about 8 years and when I read your post it brought back memories of my Pretty Bird.

Yeah, not what you expected eh? You had a bird you loved, now you have this one, right? I might have some suggestions.

Number one, read a book called "Guide to a Well Behaved Parrot" by Mattie Sue Athan. This is a NEW book packed with psycological insight into the mind of your feathered friend.

two, Irritable bird, try total darkness for a twelve hour night. Lack of sleep, and excess light can cause hypersexuallity and aggression.

three, no mirrors, this will become the mate he has to defend from you.

four, limit out of cage time, supervised at all times, when anger signs appear put him back. He wont go back, I used to feed my kak bird pellet food, romaine lettuce, and red skinned macintosh apples, the use of sunflower seeds was a control, used to reward good behaviour, "go home Pretty Bird" when the bird goes home he can "get a seed". I could not put him in his cage by hand but he would go on his own willingly for a seed.

five. Bites; squirt gun is my suggestion, perhaps this finger flick method works, seems like the bird will attack in earnest if you fight back, my rule with a bird is to never hit the bird, except with a harmless spray of water.

six, removing from cage safely: Do not speak at all, take the cage to a room you can totally darken, like the bathroom. When totally dark, with a glove on, remove the bird from the cage, place the bird on the floor, step back, hide the glove, now call the bird, then turn on the light ,discover and rescue the bird "there you are..."

seven, he flies onto your head, or even shoulder, not too too recommended, he thinks your his bitch. he's the boss not you.

Eight, Cage height, when you sit in the birds room the place in the cage the bird perches must be just below your mouth, this may require that the cage be put right on the floor. If you want respect you have to be higher up on the pecking order or he will peck you.

nine, I think drastic action is called for if the bird has bitten to the point of drawing blood. I would take him to the vet and have his beak and claws trimmed, (my vet used a dremel tool with a grinder attachment), also I would trim all the flight feathers on one of the birds wings. Now the bird is grounded, and his bite is blunted.

ten, feather plucking can be a sign of a lack of protein in the diet, stress, or mites. I used to boil an egg for 20min and push through a strainer with a spoon, and feed that to the bird a teaspoon at a time, ziploc and fridge the leftovers. I used to mix grit, bread crumbs, and supplemental seeds in it sometimes too.

Lastly, your male kak wants a steady mate, your hen kak wanted to brood over her chicks. The male kak is evolved to defend the nest and feed the family. The hen kak is evolved to be fed by the male and to nurture the young. This is the essence of the personality difference.

If the bird wont bath it is in part because kaks like to bath together in groups, be patient, I used wide shallow bowl, very cold water, and a big baking sheet under the bowl to catch some splashing. Then with my hand I would slap the water and gently splash it, and cal the bird to "take a bath". Then reluctantly and slowly he came to join in. The secret is to only offer the water for about 15 or 20 min. If he knows its going to be gone soon he will tend to get in the tub faster.

The only thing my bird ever said was "Pretty Bird" but he said it with about 10 different tones of voice, sometimes as a question, sometimes screamed as a code for feed me.

I hope you find a good vet, bird vets are rare. Keep us informed on your tribulations. They bring back fond memories for me.
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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:28 pm    Post subject:

Allgood ideas...every bird has there own personaity..like children, what works with one dosent with another

Quote:
perhaps this finger flick method works, seems like the bird will attack in earnest if you fight back

A finger flick, or in the case of large cocktoos, bite the wing...ONLY so so SLIGHTLY more agressive than they do...this maintins WHO is dominate..
and keeps a personal relationship.

Quote:
also I would trim all the flight feathers on one of the birds wings


Kakariki are unque in many ways to other birds..this is because they have evolved in NZ where there are no mammels, and our birds have evolved to fill this role in nature...
Kakariki are extemely active birds, flight is the greatest excersise to burn off the energy from their eating habits....As documented in these forums many times, clipping flight feathers cause heath problems and over weight very quickly.

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fergusburger
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:28 pm    Post subject:

Hi! Excuse the username change, my old shirtybird account stopped working properly and I couldn't read any posts, so I've had to set up a new one and have only just been able to access these posts again.

I've tried your suggestion Steptoe, but yes, it did make him fight harder. It was encouraging him to bite as soon as a hand approached, and then run and hide. I feel that a water pistol would produce a similar outcome. But as you said, all parrots are individuals, and it was definitely worth a try. The logic is sound, but not the right solution for Cricket. I am convinced from the few times I've had to grab him that he would fight to the death if something attacked him. No retreat, no surrender. Wink

Sparky, I would be very concerned about grinding his beak down. The objective is to reduce his biting, not to reduce the amount of damage he does when he bites. This strikes me as being akin to declawing cats - it reduces the damage done, but does not change the behaviour.

I keep him clipped to a minimum so he can fly flat but not bank quickly or climb rapidly, for his own safety. He has enough flight to be able to jump in the air and somersault, as they love to do, but not much more. In addition to Steptoe's comments on weight control, he gets extremely aggressive and frantic when he is clipped fully, as if was cornered and his life was in danger. Flight is so fundamental to them as a species, I won't clip him fully again, his behaviour becomes worse when he is.

The main change I might make though, on your recommendation, is to restrict his "free" time a little more. While he looks bewildered and upset by it, he does appreciate "free" time a lot more when he doesn't get it automatically, and seems a little calmer if let out later in the day. It does, however, make him harder to put back - he usually hops back happily into his cage on command when told to "go to bed", but he is a little more petulant when not let out as usual... I will gradually introduce this one and see how he goes.

Anyway, I am just about to launch headlong into clicker training - I was speaking to my vet at Cricket's last checkup and he said he has seen a lot of positive outcomes from this. It fits with my previous parrot training methods, which have been based on Susan Friedman and Steve Martin's techniques. I am feeling confident that we can make some headway; after 2 days, I have a glimmer of progress... I can occasionally get him on my hand, in the cage, without a bite now. Dancing Cheese is a wonderful motivator, once you work out how to use it properly!

I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has used this, it's not a new technique, but I didn't think that you could use it with birds. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks!
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fergusburger
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:48 pm    Post subject:

By the way, keeping OUT of the bath is more of a problem... I've put his bath in a fish tank and he still manages to get water all over the floor!

And he gets on perfectly fine with my cockatiel... he can go into Cricket's cage and doesn't even warrant a second look.

His first words were learned by the end of the first week that I had him... he was like Speedy Gonzales, running around the floor, so now he says "Arriba, Cricket!". He also says, "What are you doing, Cricket?", "Where are you going, Cricket?", "What?", "Hey?" and "Aaah!". He also calls for my partner Ben (his favourite person) by name, and gets really excited when you ask him where Ben is. Laughing

They are such great pets, and sooop entertaining!
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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:54 am    Post subject:

Reading thru...
In older threads on taming...I mention just putting your hand in the cage and leaving there..doing nothing other than holding a piece of fruit or treat.
Let nibble and test...Finally they realise the hand is not food, a threat or a toy....
This is a critical early step...like learning road rules before driving...
I maybe able to drive but not knowing road rules one will have an accident.

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fergusburger
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:52 am    Post subject:

Hi Steptoe,

Yes, it's interesting, right from the beginning, using just the food, he would launch at the hand and just attack wildly, he was biting to get me to drop the food; but as a baby he would step up. He was supposedly handfed as a baby so I wonder if this is something he learned from an early age....

The clicker seems to get his attention and distract him slightly from the "task at hand" i.e. biting. So the addition of the clicker to training seems to have had a positive effect in that regard, just a slight variation on a theme.
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dendy1988
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:04 pm    Post subject: Help with Kermit and Sidward

Hi, i know this is quiet an old thread but it fits my situation exactly. My sister and i both got a handraised kakariki in December 2007 however after a few months they became very territorial and if we put our hand in their cages (they live separately) they will bite us. I tried taking the bite but it does really hurt and it hasnt changed their behaviour much.

I live in Australia - anyone know where to get the clicker?

Im going to only get Kermit out in the afternoon and give him a bath right away and try the spray bottle when biting.

He lives with my green cheek conure Frank - theyre kind of in love but both males. Should i separate them? i did the other day and they just stayed in the same spot of their cage watching each other all day. Can Kermit still be tamed down with Frank with him?

Thankyou, i hope someone can give some advice, im prepared to put the time in to have Kermit be like he was when he was younger.[/list]
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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:54 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
He lives with my green cheek conure Frank


If they are happy why separate them

The biting? is it only in there cages
If so dont worry about it. its their home just respect it.

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dendy1988
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:53 pm    Post subject:

Oh good, i didnt want to separate them.

He doesnt bite anywhere near as much in a room that his cage isnt in. When im in the bird room and he is out he will run to my feet and bite my toes, when im trying to get him to step up etc. However if Frank is out at the same time say in the loungeroom he will lunge for my face, ear, hands, feet etc when im just sitting there.

So just ignore the biting when changing food and paper etc...i have been for a while so thats fine.
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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:42 am    Post subject:

The subject of taming training and biting is covered in several other threads with members reporting back progress

There is a word search button above and a "quick search "box to the left

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Moko
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:02 am    Post subject:

I find this thread quite interesting.....
Ive not had my kaks very long, and to be honest, im not really into all the training them to do things/talk, but I want good behaviour.
Mine bit me quite hard when I first brought them home, and my male is a little dominant sometimes- I stare at him hard, like I do when the dog misbehaves, and he backs off into the corner of the cage and is immediatley quieter too.
They very rarely bite anymore, and when they do try, there is no pressure and dont leave any nip marks.
Ive never had ANY trouble with ANY of my animals, and I have very rarely had to demand good behaviour. Is this natural pack leader, Dr Dolittle, or very lucky?! Lol!
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Steptoe
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:21 am    Post subject:

Quote:
Is this natural pack leader,

That and trust.

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