Owning a pet lovebird is a rewarding, interesting, demanding, and at times perplexing experience. If you were hoping to choose a pet that would never bite you over the duration of your relationship, a lovebird was probably not the ideal choice of pet. Biting is a natural form of communication for lovebirds. Biting is to be anticipated on occasion, but it does not have to be a regular or frequent occurrence.
Lovebirds that have not been socialized with people from an early age are very difficult, if not impossible, to tame and teach to be pets. These birds bite out of dread of human touch they have never learned to trust or like. If trapped, these birds will bite fiercely and will most likely release go when they discover a means to escape. Lovebirds that were hand-reared as babies but were not touched much after weaning are more prone to bite when they are approached. This biting is frequently less frenetic than that of a bird that has never been socialized, but it still hurts.
Lovebirds that have been highly acclimated with people may bite their owners for four reasons. Each of them should be addressed depending on why the lovebird is biting. This is the most efficient technique to change the behavior before it becomes a habit and spoils your delight in spending time with your lovebird.
Young lovebirds, especially newly weaned youngsters, often bite to investigate their surroundings. The majority of infant lovebirds go through a period similar to human babies’ teething. Everything must be consumed! Of course, this is a lovebird’s primary method of evaluating his surroundings and all of the new things he encounters. Because a lovebird lacks hands to feel and grip new objects, he must investigate with his beak. This sort of exploration is quite normal, and it is unjust to chastise a newborn for it.
However, there is the issue of the infant not recognizing the power of their own beak. Little infants are kind because they have never had occasion to exert force with their beaks. As they mature, they discover that much of their playing and hanging takes greater effort with the beak. When they realize that force IS required in certain situations, they begin to experiment with their beak on a variety of various items. Many of the meals we provide lovebirds need them to use their beaks to split seeds, eat almonds, and rip carrots. Climbing and playing on hanging objects demands beak power to avoid falling. Children do not yet realize how awful it is for their life partners to be used as a chewing test!
While punishing a young lovebird for this kind of biting is unjust, they do need to be taught what is acceptable and what is too violent. This is common when a child is investigating you: the bird may discover something like arm hairs, fingernails, or a necklace and begin playing with them. They will chew on them to determine the texture. They will sometimes miss what they are playing with and capture a little amount of skin. Ouch! That usually surprises the unwary pet owner, particularly if it’s on the back of the neck (where they may be playing with a necklace). Honest errors like these should be regarded as such… honest errors. The lovebird should be softly but firmly informed “no” or “no bite” and removed from the chewed item.
The “teething” period may take anywhere from a few weeks to three or four months, depending on the bird’s degree of interest and motivation to please its new owner (by not chewing too hard).
Another reason a pet lovebird may bite its owner is if it is scared or threatened. This isn’t often the first thing that springs to mind, since lovebirds frequently look to be bold birds. It never occurs to us that anything may shock or terrify them. It is true that once a pet lovebird is accustomed to its owners and environment, they seldom bite out of fear. This does happen on occasion, and pet owners must be diligent in analyzing the scenario when their bird bites to see whether this is the reason. Sudden or unexpected motions, loud sounds, or individuals the bird is unfamiliar with may all shock or harm a pet lovebird. Again, punishing a lovebird for biting in instances when the bird is terrified is unjust. The easiest approach to fix this is to remove the bird from the frightening scenario. This will quickly stop this kind of biting.
The third reason a pet lovebird may bite is to see who is boss and what he can get away with. Lovebirds dwell in big flocks in the wild. These flocks are structured into a tiered hierarchy. The greater a lovebird’s level, the more he or she may have their way – either a preferred nesting location or the first crack at a fresh food supply. Young lovebirds struggle among themselves to determine their place in the hierarchy. The more they can persuade another bird to back down, the higher their ultimate status in the flock will be.
Lovebirds are obstinate birds, and if you force them to do anything they don’t want to do (or vice versa), they will attempt to bully you into letting them have their way. If they have their way, they will believe that they are the dominant bird in the flock and that they should always get their way. This is NOT appropriate conduct, and it is NOT an excuse to bite. If this looks to be the situation with your pet lovebird, you’ll want to take action right immediately. The first step is to try not to react to the bite too quickly. This is particularly difficult for some individuals to learn since it is a natural reflex to want to pull away and shout in agony. If a lovebird receives a positive response from the victim of his bite, it becomes enjoyable to bite merely to obtain the reaction.
The punishment for this form of biting should be more harsh and quick than for benign chewing. Tell the bird “no” or “no bite” firmly. Returning a pet lovebird to its cage is one of the most difficult punishments for one that wants to be out and about. A brief time-out for dominating biting typically does the trick. It is considerably more effective if you have a tiny cage (or carrier) with just one perch (no toys or food) in which to confine the offending bird for around five minutes. While your bird is being punished, do not look at him or speak to him. You may go pull him out when the five minutes are over. In this scenario, you have shown him that when he bites, he does not get his way, but rather gets punished by you. You are the flock’s dominant member, and he will soon know that if he does not obey your demands, he will be punished.
When dominating biting happens on your palm or elsewhere readily accessible, you may instantly blast a puff of air in your lovebird’s face. Put some power behind the air. Your lovebird will be frightened if you blow forcefully enough. Lovebirds despise this. They will immediately release go and shake their heads. This causes them to let go of anything they’ve obtained and is one of the bite’s rapid negative repercussions. A forceful “no” or “no bite” added to the blast of air will help teach a lovebird that dominating biting is not acceptable.
Striking your bird is not an appropriate method of punishment for any kind of biting and will just make your bird fear and/or detest you. Never, ever physically hit a pet bird, no matter how tempting it may seem.
The fourth most prevalent cause for a pet lovebird biting often surprises the pet owner. Sexual maturity leads hormones to rage, and the behaviors we have grown to anticipate from our dogs are not often what we observe. Lovebirds achieve sexual maturity between the ages of 10 and 12 months. They may be unpredictable and cranky at this age, much like teenagers. Knowing your lovebird’s age might help you prepare for this moment when it arrives. Some birds (though not all) will grow possessive about their cage or play gym and will bite anybody who tries to stretch a hand into that region. Other birds will fight over a particular toy, dish, or perch as if it were a partner. Some lovebirds will be OK one day and then decide not to come out to play the next. When it comes to sexual maturity, all of these actions should be recognized. It is natural, and the bird can do nothing to modify it.
But don’t worry! Sexual maturity does not persist indefinitely. Once your pet lovebird has gone through the first rush of hormones, the hormones will fade and your bird will return to its charming, playful self. These seasonal changes often occur once or twice a year (generally in the spring) and persist for approximately a month. There are certain steps that can be taken to mitigate this. Increasing the amount of darkness your bird experiences at night helps to fool the body into thinking spring has arrived. Avoiding areas that may be misinterpreted as nesting grounds can assist to prevent hormone surges. Pet lovebirds think that there is a place to build a nest in happy huts and other dark, little locations. If it is clear that your pet lovebird regards a certain human as its mate, that person should avoid caressing the bird on the back during hormonal times – this is quite provocative and sends conflicting signals. If you attempt to remove a territorial bird from his cage, he will puff up and threaten you. Consider it like a buddy who is having a terrible day and does not want to go out to play.
Careful study of your lovebird’s natural and regular actions can provide you with a solid foundation for understanding many different behaviors in your pet. Every lovebird has a unique personality, and they do not always behave in the same way. The majority of lovebirds will exhibit certain qualities. Biting is often one of these characteristics. You will be the best person to interpret your pet lovebird’s body language and figure out why your lovebird is biting. You’ll be able to direct the appropriate punishment after you’ve determined why your bird bites. Doing so while the bird is still young will strengthen your bond with your lovebird in the long run. Most lovebirds understand the rules when they are young and then stick to the limits that have been established for them as they get older.
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