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Discussion Starter #1
I have posted several posts about this issue. But I don't think you know what I mean. When I say she bites I mean she attacks my finger! So here's my problem she is tamed but she acts half tame half not tamed. And it's getting worse. She is fine some days but others she is just plain evil. (Don't get me wrong I love her) I try to get her to step up and she attacks my finger just because she doesn't want to go. Like if she's on my shoulder and she doesn't want to go but I need her off she attacks me. then she gets in a mood and even if someone walks by she bites the air. What do I do! She didn't used to be this bad. I'm at my wits end! But some days which are getting fewer and fewer she is fine.

Also she is molting but I'm pretty sure it's a girl so she shouldn't be mad about that. Right? Also it could be sleep she doesn't get much. It's a long story but my sis is loud and she wakes up really easily. Is there a sleep aid she can take? Plzzzz help! :pearl:
 

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Hrrrrmmmmm....it does sound like a moulting attitude. Keep working with her - you should be okay once the moult is over. How old is she again? Around the 9 month mark hormones start to kick in, so it could be that on top of everything.

I wish I could be of more help :( **hugs** Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thx everyone. She is about 7 months. She was born January 24, 2016. I think that's around 7 or 8. I know there is food to help molting but is there food to help behavior?
 

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Millet spray lol. If you think the bird is likely to bite you, lead with a piece of millet spray when you move your hand toward her. She can bite the millet spray all she wants to and it won't hurt a bit, and after a few "attack" bites she's likely to switch to "mmm this is tasty" biting. At that point she will have forgotten that she's angry about something, and it will be a lot safer to let your fingers get within biting range.
 

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That just kinda reinforces the biting behavior if you lead with treat in hand.. wait till she is calm again THEN give the treat
 

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The bird is biting the millet spray not the hand, so you're not reinforcing anything bad. I find it to be an excellent attitude changer.

The whole point is that you're NOT giving the bird the opportunity to bite your hand in a situation where it's very likely that the bird WILL want to bite your hand. Instead you give the bird the opportunity to bite a millet spray. There's nothing wrong with biting a millet spray because that's what they're for, and biting them is self-reinforcing behavior in a good way.

Standard positive reinforcement training isn't easy. There are a lot of theoretical considerations, and sometimes it's hard to get the behavior you want to reinforce. In this case, suppose that you think the bird is calm, so you move your hand toward the bird and the bird threatens you with its beak. If you withdraw your hand you've just reinforced the threatening behavior because the bird wants you to go away. If you continue to move toward the bird you'll probably get bitten, which is also a self-reinforcing type of behavior. There's no way to win if the bird doesn't stay calm. But if you stick your hand in the cage holding a long piece of millet spray with your hand safely out of reach, it's basically impossible to reinforce threatening or hand-biting behavior because you're offering the bird an opportunity to bite a millet spray not your tender flesh. The worst that can happen is that the bird will never settle down and start eating the millet spray instead of attacking it, and that's the bird's loss not yours. But in my experience, they ALWAYS start eating the millet spray after a few attack bites.
 

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Food bribery is always going to be your best friend. If you want her to do something, use a treat. They are more cooperative that way. You can always try a treat with a stick and have her step up on the stick to prevent biting you as well. Either way, the point is to keep her from biting you in the first place.
 

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Joey bites when he is molting, and is a vicious little attack monster when he is hormonal. I have learned to make no sudden movements at all when in striking range of that beak, when he is hormonal. And I certainly don't touch his toys or treats. I learned the hard way, by moving his millet so it wouldn't fall off the top of his cage at the same time I was leaning to kiss him on the top of the head. He lunged to bite my top lip and wouldn't let go for a bit, while screeching at me.

But yeah, as mentioned above, food bribery is a magical thing. :D
 

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tamed but biting

Could she be going into egg-laying mode? I think my former 'tiel Meshach started getting hormaonal about that age. She was a sweety usually, but turned into a little monster when she laid eggs!
 

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The bird is biting the millet spray not the hand, so you're not reinforcing anything bad. I find it to be an excellent attitude changer.

The whole point is that you're NOT giving the bird the opportunity to bite your hand in a situation where it's very likely that the bird WILL want to bite your hand. Instead you give the bird the opportunity to bite a millet spray. There's nothing wrong with biting a millet spray because that's what they're for, and biting them is self-reinforcing behavior in a good way.

Standard positive reinforcement training isn't easy. There are a lot of theoretical considerations, and sometimes it's hard to get the behavior you want to reinforce. In this case, suppose that you think the bird is calm, so you move your hand toward the bird and the bird threatens you with its beak. If you withdraw your hand you've just reinforced the threatening behavior because the bird wants you to go away. If you continue to move toward the bird you'll probably get bitten, which is also a self-reinforcing type of behavior. There's no way to win if the bird doesn't stay calm. But if you stick your hand in the cage holding a long piece of millet spray with your hand safely out of reach, it's basically impossible to reinforce threatening or hand-biting behavior because you're offering the bird an opportunity to bite a millet spray not your tender flesh. The worst that can happen is that the bird will never settle down and start eating the millet spray instead of attacking it, and that's the bird's loss not yours. But in my experience, they ALWAYS start eating the millet spray after a few attack bites.
In this instance you should stop moving and remain still until the birds stress levels go down to what could be considered calm again then remove your hand, if you remove it because you see the bird is getting stressed the bird will associate stress with a way to remove the hand. If you press forward too much you will create a lasting bad impression, if you move forward with treat first the bird now thinks if she displays this behavoir / aggression she will get millet.

Cockatiels may not talk well, but they make up for it with better cognitive abilities... they may not always respond appropriately but I've noticed they have superior situational awareness compared to a lot of other bird species common as pets.
 

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A standard desensitization technique is to move your hand toward the bird, freeze when it starts acting hostile, and then wait for the bird to get tired of the hostility display so you can take your hand away. Then do this over and over and over again until the bird stops displaying the hostility. But it's quicker, easier, and less stressful to the bird to just have a piece of millet spray in your hand when you put it in the cage. Desensitization may not work if the bird is hostile because it's hormonal and defending its territory because that's instinctive behavior that's important to the survival of the species. But millet spray may still work, because nature hasn't programmed a response to nest invaders who come in bearing nice treats.
 
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