biting

by Melanie
(Ontario, Canada)

I have a 10 year old Timneh africian parrot. She has always been social (she is often out of her cage more than in her cage).
She has starting biting us and not as social as she once was. She has started spending time in the "bar area" (a flat counter near her cage), and choosing not to be around us near as much. She has also quit playing with her toys (I have put her favourite toys in and have changed the toys around). There has been no changes in our household that we are aware of. My dad did retire about a year ago, but this has just started happening within the last month or two.
Thanks for your help
Melanie

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Apr 20, 2010
biting
by: Linda

With all due respect to the last writer, your Grey came into sexual maturity around 6-7 years old, so this may not be related to breeding/mating at all. Though I may sound repetitive sometimes, I do recommend you have her checked out by an Avian Vet in your area to rule out physical causes like infections and/or problems with organs which simple blood work would show.

Birds who do not feel well, are like us when we do not feel well--we do not want to be messed with and will bite, snap or growl at the offending object/person.

You can try the box thing mentioned earlier, and if it was me, I would want to first rule out illness because 9 times out of 10, bird has a low grade infection which it has possibly had for the last couple of months. Birds pick up gram negative bacteria from us just breathing on them or being shut up in house with people who have colds, flu or other bacterially/virally related illness. Even when we are in good health, we carry gram negative bacteria as do all animals, and birds have ONLY gram positive bacteria in their bodies. They can handle some gram negative until the count gets too high, and then we see symptoms of infection.If you do have tests done for bacterial infection, have the Avian vet do a throat swab as the anal swabs are not accurate in that there is ALWAYS some negative bacteria in anal area. The throat swab, however, will show proof positive what type of bacteria is present in a place where it should not be. If the anal swab also matches the throat swab, then so much the better. The reason I mention this is a number of Avian vets rely on the anal swab, and results are unreliable and the wrong meds will be given as a result of mis-diagnosis. I've dealt with very sick parrot before, and the throat swab is ALWAYS done and is reliable.

So, do what you feel is best, and I'd consider a trip to Avian vet if she has not been seen by one in a year. We advocate yearly trips to the Avian vets because as birds age, they can start to have some of the same age-related problems as humans do.

Thanks for writing and hope your little Grey gets to feeling better soon!

Linda

Apr 20, 2010
biting
by: Anonymous

I'm no expert, and some might say get to the vet. But in my house I would assume she is a she, that she is maturing and she may or may not lay an egg, but she does probably like to think about mating. Simply putting an open cardboard box on top of her cage might make her happy. Anyway mine went right into her new box and chewed it to a nub. She had a party.

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