Posted by Elizabeth on 8/10/06
On 8/10/06, Sherry wrote:
My Red-Belly is acting aggressively towards me. (he is
around 8 months old). When I hold him, he attacks my ear,
my chin, and screams. When he does this, I can't get him
to stop so, I put him on or in his cage. A friend told me
that she heard that a diet with sunflower seeds makes them
aggressive. Have you heard this? Is this just a phase he
is going through?
Another question - are parrots like other pets where they
need a certain amount of attention and handling to stay
Ok, you have a few questions so I will do my best to answer
them without being terribly long. The first question - if
your parrot is being aggressive I *never* suggest allowing
your companion to perch on your shoulder, it is too close of
an area to your face. Even a "smaller" parrot like yours can
do lots of damage given the chance.
The second reason for this is if you need to be able to stay
on top of your bird it is hard to see what they are feeling
(reading their body language) out of the corner of your eye
or attempting to retrieve a stubborn parrot from running
across your back.... I would suggest keeping your baby on
your lap, arm or a play stand.
By putting your parrot back in its cage when s/he bits s/he
has taught YOU when I am cranky & bite - I get to go to my
nice happy home. You need to reinforce all the good
behaviors - just like with a small child. A not yelling but
firm NO, followed by a "be nice" and a :-( face gets the
point across. Most of my guys read my facial clues and learn
that way...being firm and non-negotiable is the key. REWARD
the good - did I get that part across???
Diet - sunflowers are NOT the diet for parrots. It does NOT
have enough nutrients and is essentially feeding your parrot
french fries - yes you could eat only french fries but it
would make you sick. You would NOT be able to get the
vitamins/minerals that you need not to mention fresh
I would offer lots of fresh foods - think foods like
broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers (all colors), collard
greens, sweet potatoes, spinach, carrots etc. I make my
birds food every 3 days up fresh and I vary their diet to
what is in season and looks good. Hard boiled eggs are also
a great addition...some fruits like apples (no seeds) etc.
should be included some as well. For nuts almonds, esp. in
shell should be relished, almonds also have healthy
properties to them as well.
You can also offer a pelleted diet as well - zupreem you can
get at almost any pet store....their are lots of others too.
If you do not have an avian vet I would suggest getting
one, you can look at www.aav.org for a list for your area.
They can also suggest more helpful information and I would
check out if you have a local bird club - they can be worth
their weight in gold as far as talking with people who will
Parrots are like a 2 year old child - they have needs, wants
and bad days too. You need to spend several hours (1 MIN) a
day with your parrot - this does not mean all of it has to
be hands on....on a play stand with toys and food is great.
Mine love to sit with me while I am on the computer, they
love showers.....watching baseball with my husband. So yes
they need attention, rules on how to behave and LOVE.
Your parrot is going through the testing phase, if you allow
him to get away with it he will get worse and boss you
around. You need to set reasonable limits, re-enforce the
good actions and love him no matter what.
Oh, for mental health make sure your parrots cage is large
enough to house several toys (rotate them every week or
two), dishes, perches (several) - I like a natural varied
perch, a perch for nails, a REAL natural perch and a swing.
You can change the perches, just DO NOT have the cement
perch at the highest point....