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Re: Aggressiveness

Posted by Elizabeth on 8/10/06
(6) Comments
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    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
    emotionally well?
    -----------------------------------------------------------
    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
    fruits/veggies.

    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
    have tips.

    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....

    Best wishes~!
    Elizabeth