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Taha

A very well trained and friendly AGC just started biting. Badly.

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Hi everyone. I have been quite an old member of this forum. So is my African grey congo. A bit back story. He was 4 months old when i got him. I trained him and foreaged him day and night. He got attached with me quite well and was very playful. Never bited. Never. But since my university started my time spending with him got less and less as the semesters passed with now having very little interaction per day. I do sit with him and talk with him but inside his cage. Though his cage is not a small cage its a big cage with countless amount of toys and ropes and foreaging tools to keep him busy. He is a very happy bird. Other family member spend time with him alot infact the entire day Rockey (the AGC) has someone talking to him and vocalizing with him. But to the latest case since around few months ago he started biting. I tried to discourage him as much as i can but he some how has started to bite harder. I have had really bad bleeding bites since last few interactions. But the bites are not that he is angry. He bites to pull my hand. As if he wants me to play with him and pet him. He bites as if he doesnt want my hand to go away. I want to do that i want to play with him but he is somehow showing a wrong type of affection that he bites me to stay with him. I have a lot of experience with birds. I also home a very well trained Alexandrine parakeet and a cockatiel along with Rockey the AGC. Now my question to you bird owners is that what technique or type of interaction/training should i follow for him to not bite me. He wants me to play with him and i want to as well but when ever i bring my hand close to him he bites and pulls my hand. He used to do that earlier when he was young but it was just nibbling which is a normal way of affection for african grey's but i used to discourage him of nibbling as well. I am very worried how to interact with him. He bites usually when he is on his cage (a full perched play zone outside/on top of his cage). He always comes to the cornes and then bites my hand and doesnt let go. Like playing aggressivley. Please guide me what should i do. I am very worried. I really love him but due to my university i am trying really hard to give him as much time as possible. 

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Hello Taha,

It's likely due in part to your increasing time away from him. They are very much into routine, and it sounds like your routine with him has understandably changed.

I'm not an expert in biting, other than that I try to avoid doing anything that could elicit a bite. If my birds do bite me, I yelp, give them the stink eye, and say 'no biting'. I then put them on a perch and ignore them for a bit.

Is he bonding more to someone else in your household now that you aren't around as much? Also, how old is he now? Could he be going through a hormonal stage?

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Thanks for the reply. Attachment to all family members is probably equal other than me because i used to stay with him day and night. All others react equally throughout the day. Please tell me more about the hormonal stage. He is around 2 and half years of age. Could that be the cause of biting? Because another activity of him i have been noticing since few months is that he regurgitates a lot when he is out playing. any kind of head or belly rub instantly triggers him to regurgitate. Could this be related to the biting?

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He is of the age where they do go through a stage.  It's like having a little teenager that has partially lost their mind.  My girl got really bitey and stubborn around that age.  She has settled down but still has her moments (a lot).  She's 7 years old.

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thanks for the reply. That might be the reason. Then i should slowly discourage him and let the stage pass by as he grows. 

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I agree. 2-3 years of age is a bratty age. Hang in there. He will become better with age!

Regurgitation is a sign of affection, too.

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I would think it might be a mix of hormones based on the age and change of routine.
Is he getting any time out of the cage regularly? I know you said you have family who socialise with him but do they let him out? Birds don't do well if they are cooped up all the time... despite how many toys they might have to play with. They need mental simulation and lots of it - plus they need the time and space to exercise and explore.
I went through a similar problem years back. Changes in my life meant I had less time to let Alfie out of his cage as much as he needed and that meant that some of the bond and trust broke down between us. I was wary in case he bit me and he probably bit me because he was struggling with the changes in routine and the fact he wasn't getting enough exerciseand attention. I had to make changes to my routine to improve things for him as I wasn't giving him the best life I could. I actually considered rehoming him for a while as I didn't think I was a good enough owner. I'm pleased to say that I decided to change my routine and habits and was able to make a lot of changes that revolved around Alfie's best interests and he's still living with me.

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Thanks for the reply. Yes the biting issue could be a mix of both. That's why i am rescheduling my time according to Rockey now. I am trying the give him time everyday. Hope he gets better. He has been quite friendly since yesterday. Trying to give him more time everyday out of his cage. 

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