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Re: new owner of macaw

Posted by Jeff on 1/08/09
(8) Comments
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    On 1/07/09, Rick wrote:
    > On 1/07/09, Rick wrote:
    >> On 1/07/09, judy wrote:
    >>> On 1/06/09, GreyLady wrote:
    >>>> On 1/06/09, judy wrote:
    >>>>> hello..i have just recently became the proud owner of a
    >>>>> maccall parrot..her name is sadie..sadie is eating well
    >>>>> and drinking well, she is adopting to her surroundings
    >>>>> well...BUT SHE IS BITEIN AT ME..I try to pet her, she does
    >>>>> shake with me and let me touch her beek but she is like
    >>>>> trying to bite me..can anyone help me figure this problem
    >>>>> out? She will yell momma when im not in the room and seems
    >>>>> to settle when i go in..i want to get to where i can take
    >>>>> her out of her cage any suggestions on how to calm her
    >>>>> down..
    >>>>
    >>>> Some more specific information will help us to give you the
    >>>> best help.
    >>>> What do you mean by recent? A few days, few weeks, what?
    >>>> How long have you had her?
    >>>> Is this you first experience with a large parrot?
    >>>> Do you know how old she is?
    >>>> Do you know why the previous owner let her go?
    >>>> Do you know if you are her second home, third, what?
    >>>> Does she "snap" at you with the beak or just reach for your
    >>>> hand or finger?
    >>>> Does she only do it at certain times, like when you ask her
    >>>> to step up or if you are trying to touch her, other than
    >>>> stepping up?
    >>>> What do you do when you think she is about to bite?
    >>>> Are you reaching your hand inside the cage or does it happen
    >>>> when she is out of the cage?
    >>>> The more information we have, the better we may be able to
    >>>> help.
    >>> I RECEIVED SADIE ON DECEMBER 31, 2008 I AM THE THIRD OWNER
    >>> OF HER, SHE IS GOING ON 9 YEAR OLD, THE PREVIOUS OWNER GAVE
    >>> HER TO MY FRIEND BECAUSE THEY DIDNT HAVE TIME FOR HER, MY
    >>> FRIEND GAVE HER TO ME CAUSE HER HUSBAND COULDNT STAND THE
    >>> SCREAMING...SHE SNAPS AT ME WITH HER BEAK, WHEN I TRY TO TOUCH
    >>> HER. I TRY NOT TO PULL MY HAND BACK, BUT SHE IS SO QUICK MAKES
    >>> ME JUMP AND I DO PULL MY HAND BACK. HER OWNER THE DAY I GOT
    >>> HER GOT BIT BY HER HARD, MADE DENT AND DREW BLOOD..THAT WAS
    >>> BEFORE WE EVEN ATTEMPT TO MOVE HER SHE WAS SHOWING ME SOME
    >>> STUFF SHE DOES WITH HER AND WASNT PAYING ANY ATTENTION AND
    >>> SADIE PULLED HER FINGER IN THE CAGE AND CLAMPED DOWN ON HER
    >>> FINGER..SADIE IS A VERY SMART BIRD, I JUST WANT TO LOVE HER
    >>> AND GIVE HER A GOOD HOME..
    >>
    >>
    >> Judy, it sounds as though Sadie had not time to acclimate to your
    >> friends house before she was rehomed again. This is very stressful
    >> on birds. Most likely the reason for snapping at your friend in
    >> the manner she did. Sadie was lashing out and venting her
    >> frustration in the only way she knows how. BITING!
    >>
    >> First and foremost information I was given when I first got my
    >> birds is, you have to put yourself in their little shoes and think
    >> like they think, feel like they feel, and view the world from
    >> their eyes. Imagine how you would feel if you were uprooted from
    >> your loving home, then placed in a strange home where you know no
    >> one, not to mention 2 homes in such a short manner, and expect to
    >> be a perfect angel at that. This is very traumatizing to birds,
    >> not all, but most. They don't know what they have done to deserve
    >> being taken away from their loved ones and placed with total
    >> strangers. Understanding them is the first step to "Understanding"
    >> them, if you will.
    >>
    >> Having a Macaw is like having a 2 year old for the rest of your
    life.
    >>
    >> Sadie needs to be placed in an area where she can interact with
    >> your family, such as in the living room, not stuck in a room where
    >> she can only hear her surroundings. They are very social
    >> creatures, such as dogs. They too need stimulation throughout the
    >> day, playing, praising, petting, talking to, singing, etc.
    >>
    >> Best advice is to place her in an area where she can view you and
    >> your daily routines, an area where you can pass by her several
    >> times during the day and just talk with her(softly)and interact.
    >> Don't push yourself on her, when she is ready she will let you
    >> know. It generally takes about a month or even longer for most
    >> birds to acclimate, and with her being rehomed twice in such a
    >> short time, she will definitely need to time to adjust. Possibly
    >> then she will have gotten use to her new surroundings and you will
    >> see a different behavior in her. Time is key right now for you and
    >> Sadie.
    >>
    >> A word of advice regarding pulling your hand back the way you did.
    >> It is a natural instinct on our parts to react just as you did,
    >> but Sadie may see this as a game and keep on doing this to get a
    >> reaction out of you, or better yet, she may see this as her
    >> defense to keep you away from her. PATIENTS. I cannot stress this
    >> enough.
    >>
    >> By the way , we have a screamer as well. What we do when he
    >> screams is tell him in a calm neutral tone "NO", or if he is
    >> screaming and we are out of the room, we don't go in the room
    >> until he has stopped. Ours screaming is for attention, which he is
    >> not lacking, but he thinks so. Or another thing we do is put him
    >> back in his cage for a quiet time, aka time out. This seems to
    >> help as well.
    >>
    >> Just when you think you have done enough, do it some more. And
    >> when you get that first glimpse of reassurance from Sadie, you
    >> will know it has all been worth it.
    >>
    >> Remember...........PATIENTS, PERSERVERENCE, TIME, UNDERSTANDING,
    >> COMPASSION and an Ocassional bite along the way....Sorry, I had to
    >> put that in as well, because it will happen, makes for a happy
    >> feathered friend.
    >>
    >> I hope this has helped. I know I have not given you as much as
    >> advice as you need. There is so much to learn, everyday is a new
    >> day, but in the end the rewards are wonderful. Good luck, keep us
    >> posted.
    >> Rick
    >>
    >
    > One more thing to add, just as Grey Lady had asked. You have to
    > learn to read their body language. The striking of Sadie may or may
    > not have been an intentional strike, but a way of communicating as
    > well. Hard to say since we weren't there to view it. You see they
    > use their beaks as a third hand, and maybe she was wanting to do a
    > "taste test" (sounds corny, I know) on you, then again maybe not.
    > Maybe it was intentional.
    >
    > Were her head feathers ruffled up? I call it their little Afro when
    > they do this. This is a indication that they are on guard and most
    > likely not wanting to bothered. And watch the dilation (pinning) of
    > the eyes. This will tell you a great deal as well. If they are
    > pinned...look out. She may strike.
    >
    > They have their cranky days as well, even the sweetest of birds.
    And
    > this time of year with breeding season is another reason to be on
    > guard. We have a female that is the sweetest, but has her cranky
    > days and will bite down, not hard, but enough to say "I got you".
    >
    > Okay, enough for now, have to take care of feathered friends.
    > Rick

    Hi Judy,

    I am no professional bird owner or trainer by any means, but I have
    had a large adult greenwing macaw for about a year now. Prior to me
    taking him I spent about 3 months going to the previous owners home
    so he could see that I was not a threat. Even with that when I
    brought him to his new home, he still spent a couple of weeks
    getting use to his new "pad" and would aggressivly bite at me if he
    was even in the slightest of bad moods. I did take some nasty bites
    (and have the scars to prove it) to show that he was not the
    dominant member of his new family. ( I do not recommend this for
    everyone, it was just how I handled the situation) He now is one of
    the sweetest, funniest birds I can imagine (he is my first bird also)

    I will mention that over the last couple of weeks, his breeding
    hormones have kicked in and I have a few bruises from him locking
    down on my arm, but he is no longer drawing blood as it is more of
    a "hey, I don't want to be messed with right now" warning then an
    aggressive I'm gonna get you bite.

    I guess what i am trying to say here is that Rick is right, you must
    have patience and also read everything you can (and ask on boards
    like this and others) regarding macaw's. I read a good book by
    Bonnie Doane (I believe) that is about training birds. Some of the
    things are not possible in my opinion with a previously owned adult
    bird but it explains things like the 3 basic obedience skills which
    are a must for any human to master if they want to be a large bird
    owner.

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff