Cockatoo Biting when time to go up

by Julie B

I have a 9 year old Moluccan Cockatoo I adopted about 8 months ago. He is very sweet and loving but when we go to put him in his cage or get him to step down he gets weird and tries to bite.He gets quite a bit of attention and out of cage time. Any suggestions?

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Jul 18, 2010
Cockatoo Biting when time to go up
by: Linda

Main suggestion is to stop allowing him to be higher than you are. Birds are flock animals, and the pecking order works according to how high each bird can get. The higher the bird, the more power and authority he/she has.

So, if he is being allowed on top of a large, tall cage, stop letting him do that. Build or buy a floor perch or play area that is at your eye level. ALWAYS KEEP YOUR BIRD at your eye level, and this will stop all overt aggression. When he get higher than you, he is in charge of something, namely, YOU. This is a common problem when people do not understand the dynamics of parrot behavior.

Once he is always at eye level, you will see a change back to the sweet bird you have come to know at least until puberty. Puberty brings its own set of problems, so I suggest you do lots of study about bird behavior in the meantime. All parrots become more aggressive at puberty, so good, solid training is needed NOW to ensure that bird "plays by YOUR rules" when he reaches sexual maturity. A spoiled baby will be a tyrant adult, so learn all you can about your bird now to avoid these pitfalls later. There is some good training information on this site. We recommend taking birds to see an Avian Vet once a year to make sure all is well, and ALWAYS BEFORE ANY KIND OF TRAINING OR CHANGES IN A PARROT'S LIFE.

Thanks for writing,

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