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hello! i have a male cockatiel who is a year old, and he’s developed a bad habit of chewing on my skin. (he’s trying to do it as i type!) i know that parrots like to preen you, but this does not seem like preening behavior. instead of gently preening like normal, he literally tries to bite chunks out of my skin. whenever he’s on me, he’ll dig his beak into wherever he can and rip. and it hurts like ****! this isn’t aggressive behavior, but it’s getting persistently worse. i’ve tried covering the area and firmly telling him no, and placing him down somewhere else. the problem with the second option is that he’s fully flighted and will just fly right back to me and continue. i have absolutely no intentions of clipping him. i’ve heard of the method of placing him in the cage for a few minutes, but i don’t want him to view the cage as a punishment.

i would also like to note that he’s on an all-seed diet but i am in the process of converting him to a healthier diet. he gets 12-14 hours of sleep each night. he went for a routine checkup two weeks ago and the vet said he was healthy.

tl;dr my cockatiel likes to rip off my skin and it isn’t aggressive behavior. anyone know why he’s doing this, and what i can do to stop him? does he like the taste of my blood? is he bored and wanting to chew on something, aka me? i’m at a loss and really need help!
 

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hello! i have a male cockatiel who is a year old, and he’s developed a bad habit of chewing on my skin. (he’s trying to do it as i type!) i know that parrots like to preen you, but this does not seem like preening behavior. instead of gently preening like normal, he literally tries to bite chunks out of my skin. whenever he’s on me, he’ll dig his beak into wherever he can and rip. and it hurts like ****! this isn’t aggressive behavior, but it’s getting persistently worse. i’ve tried covering the area and firmly telling him no, and placing him down somewhere else. the problem with the second option is that he’s fully flighted and will just fly right back to me and continue. i have absolutely no intentions of clipping him. i’ve heard of the method of placing him in the cage for a few minutes, but i don’t want him to view the cage as a punishment.

i would also like to note that he’s on an all-seed diet but i am in the process of converting him to a healthier diet. he gets 12-14 hours of sleep each night. he went for a routine checkup two weeks ago and the vet said he was healthy.

tl;dr my cockatiel likes to rip off my skin and it isn’t aggressive behavior. anyone know why he’s doing this, and what i can do to stop him? does he like the taste of my blood? is he bored and wanting to chew on something, aka me? i’m at a loss and really need help!
Dah...ha, ha! They all do this! They don't learn from anything much except a definite "no" (not loud) and putting a finger on where they want to "pick". You have to know where they are going before this can happen. They think faster than we do. Half the time I miss it as they are so fast and I end up bleeding again and again. In my 20 years of tiels the tame ones will ALWAYS do this. A bandage on small wound that you wouldn't normally have to worry about will at least give you healing time instead of being opened again and again. Then there are the wrinkles, skin blemishes etc that they go for. Have to remember their eyesight is much sharper than ours can ever be. I'm in the time of life with slightly rippled skin that they will also go for. Just have to be aware and look out for it anytime they land on you, regardless of age. I just yell with pain as they do when they are hurt. They eventually seem to get it. Never gets better than awareness of wounds, covering with clothes or bandages. With age they learn....mostly :rolleyes:
 
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