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  #1  
Old 07-31-2016, 08:17 PM
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Default Charlie is Biting really hard

Hi everyone! I haven't been here for over a year. A lot has been happening and I just don't have time for what I used to have time for. I moved back into my parents house and took care of my mother who passed in early May. I am still here as more family has moved in and dad needs help around the house. I do so hope things settle down soon though. I miss enjoying all your birds.

I do have a concern though. If you remember, we lost George only to find him about 6 weeks later then lost him again. A woman in the next town over took him in and didn't want to return him to us. It was very sad but understandable, how many times do you find a very tame and talking bird?

But we do still have Charlie, our rescue budgie. He has always loved dad and tolerated the rest of us. He has always been loud too and didn't always want to come out of his cage even though the door was always open. The problem we have now is Charlie has been getting aggressive and biting. He is the only bird we have ever owned who bites this hard. He actually draws blood on my dad and leaves welts on the rest of us. He will chirp LOUDLY for hours at a time even though we try to talk to him and sit next to him and try to distract him. He doesn't seem to care if we are near or far. His out of cage time is tricky now and getting less. Dad can only take Charlie for so long before we have to put him away. Dad actually has to put the newspaper over his head in order for Charlie not to bite him. It is sad for both of them.

I know that pets are affected by death. Our cat even mourned for mom and is still a bit out of sorts. But what about Charlie? Is he still mourning/out of sorts or what can be happening to cause him to be so mean now? Would a companion help him? I remember we tried to introduce him to 2 female babies but he had a total fit and wanted nothing to do with them. He must be 6 or 7 years old now and if we found him an adult bird would that help him?

As I type this Charlie is just screaming and getting on every ones nerves.

But on the bright side, he does say Pretty Bird now and I can tell he has a lot more to say, I just can't understand him right now. lol

Thanks for any help or suggestions you can give me. I do hope you are all well!

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Old 07-31-2016, 09:46 PM
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Welcome back, I am sorry to hear about your Mother's passing Grief affects all living creatures I am sure.
As far as Charlie's behaviour have you thought he might be experiencing some sort of pain, or even emotional type problem?
I would suggest a thorough check up at an Avian vet to rule out any medical reasoning behind his behaviour.
Biting is not funny and can be quite painful, I have a budgie who my vet reckons is the worst budgie bite she has ever experienced
Biting and constant screaming can be symptoms of boredom, anxiety, wanting attention.
Do you provide Charlie with Chew toys to shred, nibble on?
I would take Charlie to the Avian Vet first to rule out any underlying health reasons then move on from there.
I hope Charlie settles soon and you all can be happy once more.
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Old 08-01-2016, 05:39 AM
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I'm sorry I can't add any further budgie behaviour advice to Cathy's, but I just wanted to send sympathy and hugs to you for your mom passing
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Old 08-01-2016, 11:39 AM
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My condolences to you on your mother's passing.

As for your Charlie's aggressive behaviour, this could be due to a combination of factors, the environment he has been in, you and your father's emotional state when more closely interacting with Charlie, the way you have responded when dealing with Charlie's biting, etc.
Given Charlie's current issues with aggression, the fact that he is an older budgie and the way he reacted in the past when you have introduced the two young females, I think it's best that Charlie remains a solo budgie.

By paying attention to his behaviour and to figure out what exactly triggers this aggression, you will be able to then work on rehabilitating Charlie when it comes to his aggression and this can be achieved by training sessions where positive behaviour is rewarded. Your Charlie could very much benefit from clicker training.
During a training session and in all the interactions we have with our pet birds, it's important for us as owners to envelop ourselves in love, positivity and understanding towards our birds.
By giving in to frustration and getting mad at the bird for loud screeching or for acting out will only perpetuate the problem. We must be the ones to set out a positive and inviting environment for our pet birds.

You may find the detailed information on these links useful: https://talkbudgies.com/taming-bondin...-behavior.html

https://talkbudgies.com/taming-bondin...-training.html

https://talkbudgies.com/taming-bondin...-training.html

Best of luck with Charlie!
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:15 PM
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Thank you Cathy, Jan and Aluz for the responses and condolences. I appreciate that!

Charlie has been neglected more these past few months in the sense that we do not sit right beside him as we would do so in the past. But we are always here in the room with him and we do talk to him. His cage is currently open and he was out for a bit but he has gone back inside where he spends most of his days.

I too think he should remain single since he really doesn't seem to like other birds even when we bring him outside on the covered back porch. He lobes it outside so long as other birds are not near. No worries, it is all screened in and of course he will not come out of his cage. lol

We try not to react to his biting at all, but of course my dad is waving his arms and paper and such to get Charlie away. Charlie is so determined to get to dad he will gladly fly into the paper believing he can fly right threw it. When we remove Charlie (as best we can) we are most successful while he is biting us as he is concentrating so hard on biting that we can move him back into his cage. We don't react except once in a while I will have to shake my hand to get him to get off and stop biting. A vet visit isn't a bad idea although we did take him not too long ago and she found nothing wrong with him but said it must be he is mourning.

I used to be able to kiss him but although I still attempt to kiss him I am cautious to do so as he has bitten my lip so hard he drew blood and made a welt on my lip. lol

We did try clicker training early on but that was a disaster as he thought we were trying to kill him and jumped at everything. It was very traumatic for him but we can always try again. lol

We will just have to keep loving him and trying to get him to calm down.

Thanks again for the suggestions!
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:43 PM
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Lisa, I'm so sorry to hear about your mum's passing You have my deepest sympathies and best wishes for a time of healing. I do agree that Charlie is in deep mourning--some birds tend to lash out when they feel grief. Perhaps he blames your dad for mum's "disappearance", either way he definitely is an emotional mess. Even if he wasn't as close to your mum, she still was a member of "the flock", and I imagine her loss is felt all around.

Spending as much extra time with him as you can will probably help, and if he's biting, just keep his cage closed and read out loud, watch TV, etc. to him.

I have no other advice, but you're doing great and I hope that soon little Charlie feels better, and you as well.

Keep us posted!
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:21 PM
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Very sorry to hear of your mom's passing Lisa....
Everyone has given some great thought's on your situation with Charlie. No doubt he has picked up on a lot of the emotion's going on with you all because of mom's passing. Prayer's for you and your family, and that with time Charlie will settle down, and be an agent of comfort and joy for you all, especially dad...
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:41 PM
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Lisa,

There is nothing I can add to the great advice you've already received regarding Charlie.
I do think giving him as much TLC as possible is very important right now.

I'm very sorry for the loss of your Mother.
I know how difficult it is to lose a parent.
If you need to talk at any time, please feel free to send me a Private Message.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa P. View Post
We did try clicker training early on but that was a disaster as he thought we were trying to kill him and jumped at everything. It was very traumatic for him but we can always try again. lol
I don't know if this will help at all Lisa, but I recently started clicker training with Buddy, (who is a very timid budgie & extremely wary of anything new, be that toys, noises, even sometimes our clothes!), and I read a good tip about muffling the sound of the clicker at first by using it inside your pocket. I bought a clicker with variable loudness of click, and at first when conditioning the clicker I used it inside my pocket on the lowest setting, and this approach worked really well with Buddy, so it might be worth a try with Charlie
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Old 08-02-2016, 09:21 AM
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Im so sorry for your loss Lisa P it is a very hard time for you and for all the family including Charlie as you have all suffered through this grief individually as well as collectively. You have been given wonderful tips and advice and a wonderful suggestion by jan as to how you might slowly introduce Charlie to the clicker...I myself have never managed yo use a clicker correctly and just threw them to one side after a few days of failed attempts but I also see a thread here on clicker training us humans in the use of the clicker so I have ordered a clicker again to see if I can learn how to use it from this thread...I also have a few little tips to add to what has aleady been mentioned. Soft music is very good at soothing disturbed birds...even all the more effective if you can hum it yourself...no words just humming as I find a disturbed or spooked bird responds best to a soft hum than to the intonation of words. Do this several times a day just hanging around outside his cage even while you are doing house work as long as its in earshot...this helps tell Charlie that all is well in the flock and that there is no need to be on edge and he can relax. After a week or two you should see him calm a little and begin to chill out on his perch. At this point you can start aproachong the cage with your hand first outside of it if it upsets him that you are inside his cage, and slowly slowly as he shows you he is cool and relaxed about each move you make begin to play with his toys by perhaps placing you fingers on his swing as if you were perching there and gently but barely moving begin to swing in a gentle rock just like a budgie would do. Charlie doesnt want to flock with other birds he wants to flock with all of you but his flock dynamics have changed and he needs to find security again and by being calm and not waving anymore hands or papers at him if at all possible because this is feeding in to his behaviour and making him feel the need to stand his ground and bite or attack and bite. When you are not in the room with him try having some soft instrumental music playing for him again music sooths a stressful bird or animal or even a stressful human but as I said before your voice in a gentle hum is what will reach Charlie faster than any music you can play regardless of singing capability. Another good thing for you and your dad to have near hand is a strip of thick fleece or a soft toy to place between you and Charlie when he starts to bite so he latches onto that and not onto you or your dad...make sure that Charlie isnt scared of whatever you use and that its safe but a waved paper and waving hands or arms are just going to make him stressed and frightened and defensive and move him to respond in birdie fashion by biting you. Be prepared for a change of behaviour taking a while. How long ago since you were at the vet with Charlie? If its been a while as in about two months or so perhsps another visit might not be a bad idea just to be sure its not physical and something that might have been missed or may not have been visible to the vet on the first visit. Also I think at this point your Vet might be able to prescribe a little pick me up for Charlie that will help him be less stressed. Hopefully things will turn around soon for you and your dad and Charlie.

Last edited by Birdigirl; 08-02-2016 at 09:28 AM.
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