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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anyone else got a male mutation that won't stop biting ?

When I got mine, him (all yellow on right of pic) & his sister were just under 16 weeks old. As you can see from the x-ray, he managed to get hold of some old lead paint which caused metal poisoning. While I got him to a specialist a.s.a.p and he was able to pass it without any further issues, he's come back & become absolutely horrid.
Before going to Hospital, I had them both taking sunflower seeds from my lips and hands & he was just starting to step up. They both took to flight for the first time in my home & he basically taught her how to fly. He's since learnt to hover, turn sharply, fly backward & even go into stealth mode where you can't him him flying, while also encouraging her to do it all too.
Originally, they would get on my finger/hand and he would even fly onto my head, but now, if he gets any kind of opportunity to bite me, he takes it. It's not just me either, because he's biting her if she ever goes anywhere near him & when sitting on the same perch, he will actively go over to where she is sat & bites her. If that doesn't move her off the perch, he then literally lifts his foot up & starts to kick her until she moves.
I've never seen anything like it, but the only Cockatiels we've ever had in the past were original grey's & they didn't behave this way at all.

The thing is, he really has a sharp bite on him but his beak can't be trimmed yet according to the vet. His sister can hiss & tries to bite him back, but I've had her full bite on my finger & it didn't hurt at all, so clearly she can't deter him, when her bite doesn't do anything.

It's become so bad that when it's time to go to sleep, I have to catch him in a towel because he won't go in on his own anymore & my fingers are raw from all the bites. His last bite actually went into my finger and came out further down, while still under the skin & even though I read that you shouldn't show any emotion to pain, it was impossible not to react as he drew blood, but also left a hole.
I love him to bits as I do her, but I'm reaching the point where I'm going to open my front door & let him go, because he's out of control & no matter what I do, nothing seems to work.

I've also read an old post about males getting angry with their toys which I guess all males do, but it seems that most of the comments were made about their males getting tired. Mine goes nuts on toys and the cage several times a day & sometimes it's not long after they've had a nap so it's not like he's tired.

Has anyone had issues like this & if so, what did you do ?
Does anyone have any suggestions ?

Thanks in advance :)
 

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Catching him every night will not help, will only make him hating your hands more. How about lock him in cage temporarily. This way, he has no chance to bite you and you can make peace with time by offering treats over cage from time to time.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for replying. I have tried keeping him in the cage, but his sister hasn't done anything wrong so I tried to keep her out. What happened was that she would fly around, which winds him up even more. I put her in the cage a few times with him but he then takes it out on her too.
While you say he has no chance to bite me if caged, I was changing the water bowl once when he charged towards my hand and bit me hard enough to make me drop it.
By the way, he doesn't hate my hands at all. He has moments when he's really good and he'll step onto my fingers. That can be from the cage, off my head, a shelf etc... He also steps up which means he repeatedly moves onto my hands. I know he hates the towel, but it's the thickest piece of cloth I have which stops him being able to bite through it. Personally, I don't like catching him, just as I don't like keeping him or them caged up. I wont have their wings clipped because I want them to fly around and enjoy themselves as much as they can in captivity, but I can't cope with having blood drawn every time he decides to bite me, or when that happens to his sister after he's got evil with her too.
It's such a shame because when he's being good, he's a lovely little boy who whistles god knows how many different tunes for nearly an hour, but each time he draws blood, it weakens my resolve to forgive him :(
 

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I forgot to ask how old are your boy? According to your description, I feel that your boy is around puberty age. At this age, boy will be very territorial, if you close to "his territory" he will bite to defend his territorial.

My male cockatiel when in breeding mode, will bite me if I reach to him inside cage. He still will step up on my finger, let me scratch his head once out of cage. I learned to respect his territory.

Other than I mentioned above experience, I have no idea how to help you... I hope someone else can chip in .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks again.
They are both 10 months old. It's not a territory thing either because he'll bite when I'm sat on my armchair, which is nowhere near the cage. It's more random as he bites on the chair today but then won't do it for a couple of days. One day he'll be sat on a perch outside of the cage that I have put up around the front room. I'll give him a cheerio and he'll take it gently and start eating. Several days later I'll do exactly the same thing and he ignores the cheerio to go straight for my finger. I've even tried sticking to the same coloured clothing but that makes no difference either.
To be honest, he never bit me or his sister until he returned from the Hospital, and to start with, I kind of understood it because he was only four months old and nearly died, so to be left in a strange place without his sister, must of been distressing enough. Add to that the treatments and injections etc... and he will of had an awful time. But instead of settling down as he should be doing by now, he just gets worse.

I guess he understands more than I thought though, because the last two nights when I've got his sister on my finger to take back to the cage for bedtime, he's decided to fly back to the cage himself, which means he knows the towel will come out otherwise and I know he doesn't like that.
Maybe it's as simple as showing him the towel every time he bites or tries to ?
 

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I have dealt with similar issues over the years successfully but a person really needs to see the little Guy in person and watch him for a period of time before you can dispensing proper advice.

I see you got the Teils as Fledglings, were the little ones hand raised and hand feed by the breeders that you got them from and if so are you able to contact them for some hands on advice? If not there may be other knowledgeable people in your local area you could contact and talk to.

Based on your information the little fellow sounds like he is afraid, traumatized by the vet visit like any infant would be and is following the fight or flight instinct.

One thing you can try is get a seperate cage and set it up for him toys ect , put it were you spend a lot of time in the house, when sitting bring the cage over beside you and talk to him,

Frightened animals, birds, children do better when talked to softly. Bring him out of the cage for plenty of supervised time with his sister. Do you cover the birds at night and do they have a dim night light in the cage. At night put the cages side by side and cover them together and arrange the cages so their perchs allow the birds to be close.

You can also try hand feeding him regularly as this can help create a tight bond with you. Also make sure the birds have the mineral block, any vitamin supplements they need

Regarding his biting you, you can train him to step up on a short piece of dowling
so he can't grab you as easliy and then you can start a hand feeding program and get him to accept getting handled again ect.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Thanks for replying.
As for what you ask/state, they were supposedly hand feed/raised by a breeder in Belgium, but I bought them in the U.K. The shop were reluctant to tell me anything about them even when he was in Hospital fighting for his life, but I do know that they weren't hand feed/raised and it isn't hard to tell, because when the shop owner put them into my cage to transport home, they went mad as he tried to catch them. When I got home, they weren't happy about my hands either and all I tried to do was get them onto my fingers to start with.
To be fair, he wasn't keen at all to transfer from the smaller cage to the large one via me, but in the end, he clearly let me pick him up and place him into the cage. At that point, he wasn't ever happy to be in/on my hands, but he resigned himself to it with a look of, 'hurry up and do it then'. It was his sister who was hissing and trying to bite at every opportunity she had.
Just over a week later, he ate some paint chips and went to Hospital, but up to that point, he was allowing me to reach into the cage each and every day to get him out, stepping up etc....without the need for treats, even though I still gave them. His sister was very slow at doing anything and at the same point, hardly came out of the cage unless he ushered her out, but getting her onto my finger etc... never looked like happening.
Once he was away for a week, she started to open up and even started to try whistling with me although she has a truly bizarre way of doing it. When he came back, she was even stepping up on my finger and he seemed to be happy that she was better at flying, coming out of the cage on her own etc....
To start with he didn't whistle, but as soon as he heard her doing it, he started and hasn't stopped since.
A few days went by where he seemed to be back to how he was before getting ill, but one day while sat on my shoulder, I was chatting away to him and he just surged towards my eye to bite it. Luckily I was able to pull away in time but that concerned me as he'd never tried to bite me before.
A few days went by and he suddenly bit my hand as I tried to give him some millet. The next bite was another few days later on my ear, while sat on my shoulder.
There is no pattern to what he does or when he does it (apart from biting me and his sister each time) and of course he was terrified before he even got to Hospital, let alone once he'd left, which I did elude to in an earlier post.
He learnt to fly in my home, step up, take food from my lips etc... and even got his sister out flying but then one day, he tried to fly back up to the cage and literally dive bombed the settee instead. Upon seeing that I knew he wasn't well because there's two things he's ultra good at, flying and biting.
I cover the cage every night once they have decided where they are sleeping and let me know they are ready. Every morning and after I uncover the cage, once they have stretched and woken up enough to start moving, I reach in and get them on my fingers before taking them into the water area to get a drink.
Once they've had a drink and while still on my fingers, I them bring them out of the cage and ask them where they want to go. They often look towards the ceiling fan of a specific perch, so I take them over to it and let them step off me onto it. I've done this every day since he came out of Hospital, unless he tries to bite me.
Once he started biting and it was happening a few times a week, I've continued to offer to get him on my fingers to go for water and then to a perch etc... but at times, he will literally just open his beak ready to strike, so I leave him alone and let him come out when he wants to. His sister still comes out via my fingers and the water every day, and she is still happy to do so, but with him, it's about half a week that he'll do it and the other half he tries to bite, although it's never two days in a row.
As I stated earlier, the breeders can't be contacted because the shop won't give me any details. The owner of the shop said that I should of contacted him when my boy got ill because he would of had him in the back room, turned the heat up and got him better. Sadly that would of ended up killing him because what he needed was the paint chips removed. My vet has seen him twice and the last time was just before I posted in here. He stated that if he's biting too much (but it's not if he bites, it's when), he has some kind of air vapour that can moderate their moods. I didn't and won't buy it for two main reasons.
A) He isn't biting everytime you go near him, at the same times or even every day so it's clearly more than just his mood.
B) If this vapour will affect his mood, then it's more than likely to affect his sisters too and she's done nothing wrong so far.
There is no one else to contact which is why I posted in here to other Cockatiel owners.

I genuinely don't think he is 'following the fight or flight instinct'. As stated, it's random when he does it and if he was following that, he'd be doing it most of the time if not all of the time.

In regards to trying another cage, already been done and makes no difference. He goes nuts when she's out and he isn't, and then constantly sits on her cage moaning, until I let him in or her out. Out of the blue, he'll decide that it's her turn to be bit and then he literally chases her round the cage or room until he starts to hurt her. By then, I have got to them and had to remove her to stop her being hurt further. This isn't a show of dominance etc... that they do from time to time, he is intent on hurting her, like he does me.
He already gets more attention than she does because whenever he whistles, I whistle back and chat with him whereas with her, she has stopped whistling because he use to attack her when she did it, so although I still chat and whistle to her, it's less than what he gets.

I already talk to them softly as I know that raising your voice can casuee problems, just like waving your hands in front of them or reacting to when you're bitten, although that's easier said than done when he draws blood each time.
Yo usay bring him out with his sister which I already do, but he constantly chases her to hurt her. I try to keep them apart for a while after this, but it isn't fair on her when she's done nothing wrong, and trying to get him back in a cage without catching him is almost impossible. I use to catch them both with my hands only, but now I'll only catch him with the towel because I'm sick of being bitten.
They have no lights in the cage at night, but I have two specialist uvb lights just outside of it, for when they are awake.

You state to put the cages side by side at night but that's not possible as the custom built cage is mounted on the wall and the other cage is on wheels. The walled cage doesn't move and there's no room beside it to somehow fix the wheeled cage to the wall next to it. I have tried keeping them apart at night, but he constantly makes noises until she responds, which then makes him get even more noisy.

You say to try hand feeding him regularly, so perhaps you can tell me when I can do this without him biting me instead ?
I use to put the medium sunflower seeds between my lips for them to take from me but as with everything else, he'll take them for a few days and then decide that biting my lip is mre important. Trust me that when his sharp beak went through my lip, yes I said through it, it won't ever be happening again. I don't want him feeling left out by keep doing it with her, which could make it even worse so I've topped it completely.

I also love the way you say make sure they have a mineral block and any vitamin supplements they need, because I've tried so much with the pair of them and they either won't touch it or take one nibble and never go back again. I've wasted so much fruit and veg because they just won't have it.

In reply to your last comment of 'Regarding his biting you, you can train him to step up on a short piece of dowling
show he can't grab you as easliy and then you can start a hand feeding program and get him to accept getting handeled again ect', I can't train him to step onto dowling because he can do that already, but when he wants to bite, he literally sits and bites the dowling, while never stepping onto it. If I try to move it closer to his body so he should then step onto it, he bites even harder, runs away or flies off. As I've stated throughout, it isn't an issue to get him use to being handled because I can handle him now at times without him biting, but the randomness of when he does bite, means I'm not willing to keep being bit to find out when he's being good or not.
He wasn't doing it before he went to Hospital, and no matter what I try, he keeps going back to being bad and he'll do it out of the blue.

By the way, if as you state you can't dispense proper advice without seeing him, does that mean your advice isn't proper ?
 
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