new african grey biting

by joyce
(modesto ca. us)

I have gotten a african grey four days ago and she let you rub her head and then she like lick my finger and put her head down again to rub it but the its been about three times this has happen when she put her mouth on my finger she don't let go and she keeps putting pressure to where I have to pull it out because it starting to hurt and then I say no molly be a good girl and then leave her alone am I doing the right thing please help soon I am going to have to start getting out of her cage how should I go about doing that. thank you joyce

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Mar 08, 2011
new african grey biting
by: Linda

Your Grey is NOT biting, but just holding your finger because he wants you to STOP doing whatever it is you are doing. When you are actually bit, bird's beak will tear your skin, and you will bleed and understand HURT.This comes next after holding your finger to get you to stop doing something.

Before you can begin any training program, your new bird has to be examined by an Avian Vet, and California is full of them, so should be easy to find one. Have bird checked for bacterial, viral infections and also have some routine bloodwork done to determine if organs are working properly. Once your bird is either given a clean bill of health or has finished taking avian vet prescribed meds, you are ready to start learning how to train your bird. Fact is, you should have been doing much study before getting bird, and if you did not, you have to start now. There are some training resources on this site as well as some good books about how to care for parrots. You will have to do the training work as we cannot tell you everything you will need to do.

So, first take bird to Avian Vet ONLY. Second, start doing your work on how to train a parrot plus learn what kinds of foods, perches and toys are good and safe for him.

Here is Tracie's Parrot Training page.

You have a lot of work ahead of you, and if your commitment to your bird is strong, you both will enjoy the adventure. If your commitment is not strong or you don't want to do the work, then take bird to avian vet for exam, and then find him another home where they will know how to train and care for him.If you choose to do the work, you will have a wonderful friend for life. Trust is earned and not freely given by a parrot, so trusting you will take some time. Also, respect your bird as parrots also have likes and dislikes just like humans. Learn his body language and what he is supposed to act like when healthy so you know when he may be getting sick. All new birds need to be seen by avian vet within the first week because most of them have infections of one sort or another from all the stress. Good luck and God's speed.

Thanks for writing,

Mar 07, 2011
Stay patient.. You're still a stranger!
by: Anonymous

Dont ever try to force your bird out of its cage, especially if it is a new bird like this one. What she is probably trying to tell u is that she is still not trusting you and is uncomfortable with having your hands in her "safe place" aka her cage. Birds trust is earned not forced. Greys are extremely intelligent and sensitive birds that it could take days, weeks, or even months for them to entirely trust you, and that is up to the bird, not you. My advice is to be patient, dont push the limits, she will step up to you when she is ready and the biting behaviour should stop. Just softly talk to her everyday so she is comforted with your voice, and maybe try offering a favorite treat from your hand so she associates the hand with a peace offering, not always as a forceful entry. You are lucky to have such a new wonderful joy in your life, it will take time to build a friendship so hang in there, it will all be worth it :)

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