Re: new owner of macaw
Posted by Jeff on 1/08/09
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
>>>> 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
>>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
>> 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
> 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.
> 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.
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
Hope this helps,