african greys biting

me and my girlfriend bought a african grey, the bird was great in the shop with my girlfriend, however, since we got home the bird as become aggresive towards my girlfriend, and keeps biting her , wont let her stroke her, but the bird is fine with me, any advise would great ...... thankyou

steve & helen

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Oct 12, 2011
african greys biting
by: Linda

Steve and Helen, WELCOME to the House of Parrots!

The behavior you describe is not unusual for newly purchased birds. In fact, this is a time for testing you as you both are more or less looked upon by your parrot as "The Enemy".

There are some training materials on the Parrot Training page, and it would be a great idea to look them over and find some help for this situation.

Bird's trust is earned and not freely given, so you have a ways to go before you all are really friends.

I think you both are trying to move too fast and parrots will slow this down by biting and acting out in other ways. A bird who does not yet trust a person does not like to be petted and fondled. All parrots are different in what they will and will not allow.The biting is a bird's only way of defending themselves. I don't mean to leave him alone in his cage, I mean move slowly and start to gain your bird's trust by respecting who he is. This mutual respect results in total trust and a lifelong friendship.Parrots have roughly the emotional/mental development of 4-5 year old human children, so keep that in mind. They are always children, and when moved into a new, scary home, they act their age. They need direction, guidance, protection and most of all an unwavering commitment to the excellence of your relationship.

It's also a good idea to have new bird checked out by an Avian Vet before beginning any dietary changes or training because a sick bird will not feel good enough for all the excitement. Infections are common from being moved around as the immune system is compromised.

Keep training/handling sessions to no more than 10-15 minutes several times a day as birds get tired and cranky--back to 4-5 years old. They need plenty of rest (12 hours of quiet darkness a night) and the same of full spectrum lighting with full spectrum lights hung above their cage and high enough up so they cannot pull them down or chew the cords.

Helen, you may need to use a perch to get your Grey in and out of cage for a while, and keep him off your shoulders as this gives a parrot too much power and serious injuries can and do occur. Keep bird at your eye level in their cage as to put them down lower results in an intimidated bird. When they are higher than you like on top of a cage, they are "king of the mountain", so use a perch to get bird to a lower level.

When at Avian Vet's have wings clipped--just the 4-6 primary flight feathers at bottoms of each wing are enough to keep bird from flying around and getting hurt and will allow him to glide to floor.

When you are ready to get your bird onto a healthy diet of organic pellets, here is an article about how to go about it:

Make no changes until bird has been examined for infections as this is as stressful as training.


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