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Thread: Angry Bird (No, not the app)

 
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    stevenkip's Avatar


    Parrots

    Milo (Queen of Bavaria Conure) Yawkey (White Belied Caique)

    Angry Bird (No, not the app)

    We have a 5-year old Queen of Bavaria (Golden) Conure named Milo, who we got from a breeder just after he had been weaned. A DNA-sexed male, my wife has been his favorite since the day we brought him home.

    When he was younger he was friendly to everyone. For his first two years we had a Labradoodle who he seemed to enjoy however, the dog passed away. He also used to sit on our housekeeper's shoulder as she vacuumed. About 1-1/2 years ago we brought home and finished hand weaning a White Bellied Caique and the two became fast friends. However since our dog passed away, the Golden has become very territorial. He still loved my wife and he was good with me, but he began to dislike ever other human.

    When Milo was about three, we noticed that his lower beak would grow out malformed. It required us taking him to our awesome avian vet, Dr. Joel Murphy, who would anesthetize Milo so he wouldn't get stressed as Dr. Murphy used a Dremel tool to re-shape Milo's beak. We would need to have this done about every six weeks and at $150.00 a pop, got a bit pricey.

    Recently we met a young man who trimmed wings and nails and actually was able to lightly shape Milo's beak without issue. When it came time to have Milo's beak done again this past Monday, we had the man come to the house to again shape Milo's beak.

    While I wasn't home, my wife assisted the groomer. This did not go well at all, which brings me to my question.

    Since Monday, Milo has been extremely vicious to my wife, biting her on the face and hands, getting down on the floor and going after her feet. While my wife is strong-willed, this will become a major problem if Milo's aggressive behavior toward her doesn't stop.

    We called Dr. Murphy, who said that bird's have VERY long memories (Milo doesn't apparently remember all the love and attention my wife gave him for the first 5 years). He suggested just having her slowly give him his favorite treats in the hopes that eventually he will earn back her trust.

    We are fearful however, that if Milo DOESN'T correct his behavior, we would have to consider re-homing him, which is just making us sick thinking about the prospect of that.

    Looking for any suggestions please!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Dragonlady2's Avatar


    Parrots

    Willy-Eclectus, Oliver-alexandrine,Mookie-Senegal,Bella- Australian King,Joey and Peewee- Barrabands, Peachiegirl-Peachfront conure,Pepper- crimson belly conure, Peanut-plum head, Babyblue-parrotlette, Harry and Louie-canaries.
    I agree with the vet. Shaping the beak is not a pleasant experience and Milo is probably expressing his displeasure with your wife. For right now, he should not be anywhere near your wife’s face. No shoulder privileges and start using a perch to move him from place to place. If he starts going after her feet, I would time him out for a few minutes in his cage. Again, agree with the vet....have your wife give him the treats, sit by his cage and talk or read to him. Birds pick upon stress levels so trying to remain calm is important as well.

  3. The following 2 users like this post:

    Casper's 2nd best friend (09-30-2018), PlaxMacaws (09-30-2018)

  4. #3
    Senior Member
    PlaxMacaws's Avatar


    Parrots

    B&G (Jack), MM (Maynard), Hy (Zaf), GW (Salsa), NC (Bozley)
    Hi Steven. Indeed, birds have great memories! As Helena has remarked, a dremeling/trimming beak maintenance procedure is typically not the most pleasant event a bird might experience. However, I think the main reason behind a bird's ensuing aggression isn't always the physical discomfort from the material removal process. Instead, a beak-shaping session is often perceived by the bird as an abrupt attack upon part of its body. Such a forced event against the bird's will can compel it to associate a person, or a number of people, with the procedure itself and ultimately revert away any trust the bird may have developed prior. Consequently, the bird may become prone to slip into defensive mode in the presence of the perpetrators. As has been mentioned, the only way back may be a gradual trust-earning effort. But then the question becomes how to accomplish the beak-shaping tasks at points thereafter without destroying any rekindled trust?

    While personality-wise each bird is different, some birds can grow accustomed enough to regular beak maintenance procedures that they will at least tolerate the process without holding much of a grudge. But again, that's SOME birds. My hyacinth macaw, Zaf, for example, has required frequent beak trimming since he came to live with me 13+ years ago. The beak material on his lower mandible grows quite rapidly. Although he doesn't enjoy the process, for the last 12 years or so I have been able to place him on a perch stand, brace his head with my left hand, then commence with my contour-trimming of the leading edge on his lower mandible with a set of clippers in my right hand. Once we're finished he gets to grind any resulting roughness away by filing his beak against a stainless steel threaded bolt that I hold for him. He very much enjoys that final phase

    My point is that in many cases it's important to find a method that, over time, may become tolerated by one's bird. New procedures such as beak material removal efforts can be emotionally traumatic for these little guys. Therapeutic measures and careful planning are thus often warranted.
    "Please adopt older birds!"

  5. The following user likes this post:

    Dragonlady2 (09-30-2018)

  6. #4
    Senior Member
    Casper's 2nd best friend's Avatar


    Parrots

    Casper, a blue fronted Amazon. Loves banana. Hates plastic bags and red coats.
    Excellent advice from Helena and Tony.
    Our experience was that Casper had to have his lower beak adjusted because he had let it get too long during a period of illness. Now it is back in shape again he has gone back to prodigious whittling and giving it a quick grind before nodding off to sleep. So hopefully it won't have to be done again as he seems to be maintaining it. I hope your bird is the same.
    Do you have cuttlefish bone or similar in the cage and other birdy toys for him to chew on?
    "A busy beak is a happy beak" - David Strom

  7. The following 2 users like this post:

    Dragonlady2 (09-30-2018), PlaxMacaws (09-30-2018)

  8. #5
    Junior Member
    stevenkip's Avatar


    Parrots

    Milo (Queen of Bavaria Conure) Yawkey (White Belied Caique)
    Thanks for the great advice, DragonLady2

  9. #6
    Junior Member
    stevenkip's Avatar


    Parrots

    Milo (Queen of Bavaria Conure) Yawkey (White Belied Caique)
    Thanks for the response.

    Normally we would take Milo to his vet, who would trim his beak under anesthesia and without my wife in the room. But at $150 every six weeks at an hour's drive away it became a bit challenging (not to mention expensive)

    I think the mistakes made were:

    - My wife was assisting
    - No anesthesia (obviously)
    - Attempting the procedure in our (and Milo's home)

    In other words, the "triple whammy."

    We're hoping that over time Milo will get over this. He'll take treats from my wife, but sometimes aggressively.
    She'll just have to be patient and hopefully he'll eventually come around.

  10. The following 2 users like this post:

    Casper's 2nd best friend (10-02-2018), Dragonlady2 (10-02-2018)

  11. #7
    Junior Member
    stevenkip's Avatar


    Parrots

    Milo (Queen of Bavaria Conure) Yawkey (White Belied Caique)
    Yes, Milo has plenty of things to chew on, although he really isn't much of a chewer. Clearly we're going to just have to bite the bullet and go back to having our vet do the dirty work.

  12. The following user likes this post:

    Dragonlady2 (10-02-2018)

  13. #8
    Senior Member
    Casper's 2nd best friend's Avatar


    Parrots

    Casper, a blue fronted Amazon. Loves banana. Hates plastic bags and red coats.
    Hmm... vets that charge like a wounded rhino
    "A busy beak is a happy beak" - David Strom

  14. The following user likes this post:

    Dragonlady2 (10-02-2018)

  15. #9
    Senior Member
    PlaxMacaws's Avatar


    Parrots

    B&G (Jack), MM (Maynard), Hy (Zaf), GW (Salsa), NC (Bozley)
    Quote Originally Posted by stevenkip View Post
    Thanks for the response.

    Normally we would take Milo to his vet, who would trim his beak under anesthesia and without my wife in the room. But at $150 every six weeks at an hour's drive away it became a bit challenging (not to mention expensive)

    I think the mistakes made were:

    - My wife was assisting
    - No anesthesia (obviously)
    - Attempting the procedure in our (and Milo's home)

    In other words, the "triple whammy."

    We're hoping that over time Milo will get over this. He'll take treats from my wife, but sometimes aggressively.
    She'll just have to be patient and hopefully he'll eventually come around.
    Some birds are quicker to bounce back than others. It sounds like you're on the right track, though. For any procedure that's forced upon a bird by a previously trusted human, a reasonable consideration is that the bird may interpret the process as gratuitous cruelty and thus as a betrayal. Or even, in the moment, the bird may interpret the process as a brutal effort on the part of the human(s) involved to take its life. As such, grooming/health maintenance procedures can be quite a BIG thing to many birds. They often simply don't understand what's happening.
    "Please adopt older birds!"

  16. The following 3 users like this post:

    Casper's 2nd best friend (10-02-2018), Dragonlady2 (10-02-2018), Lady (10-12-2018)

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