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Discussion Starter #1
I hear a lot about hormones with cockatiels but today I may have had my very first encounter. Francis has some shower time today and he didn't feel like getting wet so I didn't splash him and let him just hang out on my shoulder. As soon as I got dried off he went for my face and bit me. Didn't break skin, but hurt like the the dickens. It came so unexpected and it hurt that I winced and shook as a response. He didn't fall off my shoulder or anything, but he looked mad and sort of in an offense posture.
So I perched him on a stick got dressed and put him on my shoulder. On the way to putting him back in his cage he went at my face again. I went to put pick him up off my shoulder and he bit at my fingers. I put him in his cage and he's batting all his toys and now finally just eating and jingling his toys. What on earth could cause this flip in his nature: hormones?
 

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Most likely. Or he was just upset about getting a bath when he didn't want one, even if he didn't get wet.

I wouldn't worry too much; it happens to the best of us. Yesterday it was a greenwing macaw for me >.<
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jeckyll and Hyde Syndrome then? lol! Thanks, he's been a funky bird all night. He's giving me the dog eye too because I wouldn't let him on my shoulder while he is like this. I just put him to bed in his cage, and hope he sleeps it off. A Macaw nibble can't be too fun either!
 

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Thankfully my boy has never really attacked me, but yes, he is definitely a Jekyll-Hyde tiel! They change their mood so quickly and sometimes have tantrums like toddlers. Like toddlers, they also forget soon though and then they are lovely again. Sometimes my tiel just doesn't know what to do. He is grumpy but then lowers his head for some scritches, then he is grumpy again, then he wants more cuddles, all within a few minutes! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hear ya! This is his very first time he got so edgy. I've seen him lately get more assertive about being scritched and beak banging today so I'm thinking his hormones may be coming along with this being his first big molt since I had him. He is about 7 months old now and getting lots of new feathers. He is getting bolder too. He never used to fly to my shoulder now he does. But he has to be a good boy or he stays on my finger til then.
 

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Ouch! JoJo did that to me when the hormones started raging...Sounds like you are doing the right things though. It will pass :) Don't you love that stink eye thing?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Oh my gosh...he is like a different bird overnight. ha! He is strutting across his perch now, his wings are out, he's got his eyebrows furrowed and he looks like a mini vulture! Head bobbing, banging and whacking on his toys. Meanwhile all these new dark grey feathers are growing in and he's grumpy. I guess he's growing up! I started misting him and I'm trying to keep him off of my shoulder until he settles down. How long did it take JoJo to chill out?
 

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It didn't take long, maybe a week or so. I would try to cover him for good 12 hour nights for that time, but he would usually start talking and ringing his bell earlier than that, so I am not sure he got any good our of it. He would strut around with heartwings too, and if I picked him up off the floor too soon, he would do the vulture thing complete with the stink eye, so I would put him back to the cage before any more grumpiness ensued. It went as quickly as it came on.
 

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I hear a lot about hormones with cockatiels but today I may have had my very first encounter. Francis has some shower time today and he didn't feel like getting wet so I didn't splash him and let him just hang out on my shoulder. As soon as I got dried off he went for my face and bit me. Didn't break skin, but hurt like the the dickens. It came so unexpected and it hurt that I winced and shook as a response. He didn't fall off my shoulder or anything, but he looked mad and sort of in an offense posture.
So I perched him on a stick got dressed and put him on my shoulder. On the way to putting him back in his cage he went at my face again. I went to put pick him up off my shoulder and he bit at my fingers. I put him in his cage and he's batting all his toys and now finally just eating and jingling his toys. What on earth could cause this flip in his nature: hormones?
Oh boy! Sounds like what I'm going through with Peanut - split personality! His aggression had been escalating lately and JoJo's mom gave me some great advice on how to deal with his hormones, i.e. giving him 10-12 hours of darkness. This was working great...until today...while whistling away while perched atop my lamp (which has a stainless steel lamp shade so he likes to look at himself), I put a finger out and asked him to step up so I could put him back in his cage...big mistake...he lunged at me with an open beak open and flew at my face almost like as if he was trying to attack me....ok, he was attacking me ?. Needless to say I was so surprised I just left him there to cool off...my wife ended up having to get him and put him in his cage. Within minutes of being in his cage he was pacing back and forth and calling out to me...when I go up to the cage he comes up real close and he puts up one of his feet getting ready to step up. But the problem is once he's out, and after perching on my shoulder and serenading me for about 10 min, the devil gets in him and it's as if wants nothing to do with me...he just flies away and lunges at my fingers when I ask him to step up. It's like I'm dealing with a teenager...once second the like you, and hate you the next...lol. Bummer.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You know, I've been watching Francis pretty closely today and this new self is very different than what I've ever seen him like. I am not letting him have any mirrors or reflective toys, he seems enough full of himself right now feeling his oats. ha! I know exactly what you mean. I was so shocked he went at me the first time that he was lucky I didn't respond defensively because it came so fast and suddenly that I wasn't prepared. But now that I know what he is capable of, I'm going to be sure, like you, to respect this new side of his instinctive nature. He doesn't get on my shoulder again until he settles down. He is even going for my fingers, but I'm not backing off.

What I did today is I cleaned both of his cages and totally and completely rearranged them. I can tell he is still very snappy and hyper but I also kept him from going above my head today to perch til this calms down. He also flew to the top of my head today, and he never did that. So, I'm guessing hes is getting his hormones in bunch. Like yours, my guy also did the sweet little tweeting, but I saw his eyes giving me that dog-eye, and I knew better! He is batting all his news toys. He wants his way big time.
We'll start support group!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So see how he has that toy in his mouth? I got right up to his cage to take this photo and any other day he would be running to get on my finger and get out of his cage, but today, I get what Paula described as the stink-eye and he keeps gnawing on his toy. I'll give him time to get through this little molt and hormone thing.
 

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Wow, he really looks like he means business...he's got that "I dare you..." look :eek: They are like the transformers LOL !
 

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Discussion Starter #13
He does!
So, I tried to keep him on the low perch. Nope, he climbed out of his cage, up the bars, and all the way up to the top of the cage which then has a high tangle of manzanita branches, up to the top he goes. All the way to the pointy top branch. He NEVER was that brave ever, and never climbed out of his cage before. He stayed up there sings Andy Griffith a few times, and for the first time he flies from his perch across the room to me. I almost died. He is a new man. I want to know who came in my house and switched birds on me. :blink:
 

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Lol...yes, a support group just may be required. Today I went to clean Peanuts cage and when I opened the cage door, he bit my finger and flew off. Seconds later he came swooping at my face, landed on my shoulder and was biting my neck. He continued this with my wife and kids...he's just lunging with an open beak at everyone. His aggression is out of control. I feel like I'm in that Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds...lol. I followed your example and I have removed all mirrors and reflective surfaces from his cage. My lamps will be covered when/if he'll be let out of his cage. Right now he's in his cage and he's giving me the stare and making some weird sound which sounds like a crow. Not sure what I'm going to do with Peanut. Our family is not enjoying him and his behavior and I'm not sure if I'm going to be letting him out of his cage as often...if at all...I don't feel like having a flying Freddy Krueger around. Any additional tips/support is appreciated.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes, maybe some of those experienced with this have some suggestions, as maybe it's a phase like JoJo's Mom said. If I start to fear him he will pick up on it. If I don't work with him, he might get stuck in the loop of - bite, get attention, go to your cage. If biting starts to get a reaction he wants he might keep doing it. I am actually now asking him to do things like 'step up' and I repeat until his feet hit my finger before I say good boy, etc. Just rewarding his good behavior. Reinforcing his success. I'll try to think up words for other things I ask him to do. I rotated all of his toys, rearranged the cage, giving him more sleep, and starting all over with training and building trust that he won't go at my face or neck again. He won't get any showers for a while, only misting. I have figured out that he gets overly stimulated sometimes too like a little toddler does when they need a nap. And it makes him more aggressive.

I've trained German Shepherds so one small thing it taught me about companion animals is to not let them get the upper hand but always reward good behavior. I think birds are smart enough to understand 'good boy' and give them a favorite treat. My guess is they will also test our resolve.


Is Peanut mature or still young? Maybe one family member has time to work with him a little bit so he can go back to being a fun bird to be around. I know how you feel!

I'll see how Francis does today. We can't hold a grudge, but it is hard not to worry about another advancing bite.
 

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Peanut is still young - soon to be 9 months. He was...is... an amazing bird, who quickly learned to talk, whistle and sing. He was a "velcro" baby who never left my shoulder and always wanted to be with me. We were really enjoying him as a pet and our friends and family were impressed with his training and social behavior. I guess that's why his recent aggressive behavior is so suprising. I'm not giving up on him, but I have to admit I'm a little bummed...and I totally agree with you, I don't want him to think he's getting the desired reaction to his biting, nor do I want him feel he has the upper hand...just not sure how to approach this yet. On a positive note, I did leave him out of the cage twice today and in both instances he stepped up with no biting and was perched on my shoulder for the majority of the time without incident...he even enjoyed a misting bath. Felt like the old days...lol. I just acted like we were cool and that his nasty behavior earlier that morning was not personal...hope it continues to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
That is great! I admit that Francis is doing much better today. I made an effort to say "step up" each time I wanted him to move from my shoulder to my finger, and then praised him highly today for every great thing he did. He was on my daughter's shoulder and I put my finger out to him and asked him to step up. He didn't. So I said it a few more times and held my finger there, and he bowed for a scritch and I ignored it. Said step up again and after three requests...he stepped up with no biting. I praised him wildly again. I wonder if they test us in their own way like children, and if reinforcing the boundaries with praise isn't such a bad thing. He is much calmer today and I bet your Peanut will be too. Especially when he has experienced love and kindness from you, which he has.
 

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Awesome...sounds like you're making progress with Francis. One thing I may have failed to mention in my previous posts is a correlation I've noticed between Peanuts behavior and the time of day/location; specifically, Peanut is more aggressive in the morning and before bedtime (if he's out of the cage and I'm trying to put him in for the night) and around mirrors/reflective surfaces. I've stopped reacting to his biting and nasty behavior and I can already see a difference. The only thing that I need to figure out is how to get him back to his cage without all the drama...he used to go in consistently with no issues, but now it's a hit or miss...going to have to keep reading up on this...I'll start using the praise/treat combo...wish me luck and let me know how it's going with Francis!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Things are better and he is a lot calmer, no more biting so far either. I'm still wary of him but trying very hard not to show it too. His mood is much more chipper and less paranoid. He does seem to really understand praise now that I'm paying attention to his responses.
Maybe Peanut would like a special food when he goes in at night or coming out in the morning? Something he only gets at that time that he can watch you get ready for him? In the morning I get Francis sprouts while he watches and if he is very sweet he gets a cheerio. Does Peanut have a favorite treat or food? Is his cage in a quiet place at night maybe with a light cover Good luck! It will get better.
 

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Ah...great idea. I will implement the special treat at night as I'm usually in a rush to get to work in the morning and only have time to clean and refill his food and water bowls...he's also more aggressive at night. Peanut really likes kale, but I usually give him some in the morning...perhaps I'll switch it up, or make it a really special treat...like millet. Maybe I'll try Cheerios. One thing I can say is that he's a lot calmer today...no biting or face attacks!! But he was a little snippy with my daughter when she tried to get him away from the living room which has a mirrored table (what is it with mirrors??) Small victory!! Another thing I'm going to try is to not wait until it's his bedtime to put him back in the cage...I'll try an hour earlier...this way he won't be in full nasty mode...hopefully anyway...lol. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
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