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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Chick, my oldest female (7 months) has become a chronic nibbler / biter. It's been a thing for the past couple of weeks? I know it's brought on due to hormones, and her being a teen. Is there any way I can stop it, or lessen it? Ever since she was a little baby, her favourite spot was on my shoulder, nestled against my neck, and it still is to this day. But she won't stop nibbling / biting my ear and neck, which are both sensitive areas so it can be painful.

She'll sit on my neck and stare at me, then start nibbling, and if I move her away, she'll just come back and resume the nibbling. She sometimes nibbles and bites my fingers, but it's really not painful there, so it's easy to ignore. But my neck and my ear has made me not enjoy having her on my shoulder, as I can't relax because it really is painful! Once she gets it out of her system and starts preening, I can relax and having her on my shoulder is fine, as she'll just hunker down into snooze mode. The only way I can get her out of her biting trance is to talk or whisper to her, as that immediately gets her to stop and listen to me intently. But when I stop talking, there's a 50/50 chance she goes back to biting.

If there isn't a way to prevent this behaviour, how long until she grows out of it? Give me a light at the end of the tunnel, because knowing when it eventually stops will make dealing with it a lot easier. Whenever she nibbles and bites, I'll move her away from me, either on top of the cage, in the cage, or the back of my chair. But all she ever wants is to sit on my shoulder, so she'll fly right back and do it again and again. She has plenty of shreddable toys in the cage, and I see her going ballistic on them and tearing them to pieces, so it's not like she hasn't got a way to release whatever pent up shredding tendencies she has.

I put them to bed at 9pm and wake them up at 10:30am.
 

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You have a 50/50 chance her growing out of the behavior.
I have one budgie which has never stopped with the nibbling/biting of the neck and ear so I simply can't allow him to be on my shoulder.
He bites too hard for it to be enjoyable!

When Chick starts biting, if you reach up to give her scritches will she stop?
Sometimes if you can distract them with a toy or other activity that works but for my little guy it hasn't and Chick sounds pretty persistent as well.
 

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I know this sounds a bit odd, possibly more than a bit, but would nibblable jewellery be workable? I had teething jewellery for my human baby which was safe to chew on and stopped him chomping me.
I realise it may be totally different for birds but thought I'd put the idea out there, a natural wood and kabob chip necklace maybe?
 

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You have a 50/50 chance her growing out of the behavior.
I have one budgie which has never stopped with the nibbling/biting of the neck and ear so I simply can't allow him to be on my shoulder.
He bites too hard for it to be enjoyable!

When Chick starts biting, if you reach up to give her scritches will she stop?
Sometimes if you can distract them with a toy or other activity that works but for my little guy it hasn't and Chick sounds pretty persistent as well.
I had almost the same problem. Can you give me some advice? Link to my thread: Female budgie is trying to bite me
 

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Hi ChickWas,

FaeryBee has given you great advice. The most you can do right now is saying "no" gently when she does nibble you and put her down or, since you said that doesn't work, put her back in her cage for a little bit. My girl Mallorn used to be a nibbler too but as she matured she decided that she'd rather spend time with me without nibbling so hard, because every time she did, I told her that I was sad she bit me and put her down or set her back in her cage. Since we're so bonded now even if she nibbles too hard now if I say "No, Mallorn, gentle, gentle" she realizes a bit that this means I'm uncomfortable and she usually lessens her nibbling.

Obviously as mentioned some budgies will always just like to nibble that hard but with positive reinforcement I think it's possible to at least increase the chances that she will grow out of it! If she's sitting on you without nibbling, then talk to her a lot and praise her, but as soon as she starts nibbling too hard, use a word or phrase that you can use consistently, like "No, be gentle" or something like that, that you'll remember. Then put her down away from you or put her in her cage if she persists. Once she figures out that every time you say that, you will try to put her down or put her in her cage, she may try to fly out of reach instead, so use putting her in her cage as a last resort. It's important to communicate that you're not upset with her, but just uncomfortable, so there's no need to stop talking to her or anything if you put her back. Keep spending time with her and interacting with her even through her cage. Also, if she has lots of chew toys, it might help get a little bit if the nibbling tendencies out of her.

Have you read this thread yet?

Why is my young budgie suddenly aggressive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
When Chick starts biting, if you reach up to give her scritches will she stop?
Sometimes if you can distract them with a toy or other activity that works but for my little guy it hasn't and Chick sounds pretty persistent as well.
She doesn't let me give her scritches outside of the cage anymore, except on rare occasions. But yes, if I reach up, she'll stop. If I start whispering or talking to her, she stops (but that's for everything, as soon as she hears my voice she'll stop and listen so intently with her head leaned towards me). She's weird, sometimes she'll gently preen me and I love it so much. But lately, she's become more violent with regards to preening and will just bite down on me and it's not fun.

I know this sounds a bit odd, possibly more than a bit, but would nibblable jewellery be workable?
I'll keep a kabob slice near me to see if I can distract her with it instead of my neck folds lol
The most you can do right now is saying "no" gently when she does nibble you and put her down or, since you said that doesn't work, put her back in her cage for a little bit.

Have you read this thread yet?
This is surprisingly effective. I tell her "no biting" whenever she does it and gently put her back in the cage with the door open, and let her make her way out to me. If she immediately bites as soon as she's back on my shoulder, I put her back in the cage and close the door, and give her a minute or two of timeout. She's lessened the biting as a result, so I'll keep it up and see if she gets the memo. I absolutely adore her and the sooner this behaviour stops, the better, because it means I can let her just sit on my shoulder.

And yes, I've read that thread. I've read most of the stickies, they're really great help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
On an unrelated note, Chick started moulting last month, and then seemed to be over the worst of it. She's resumed moulting again, which is fine, I figure she's moulting in stages. However, I have noticed she seems to "vibrate" or "tremble". She trusts me unequivocally and is very comfortable around me, so I don't think it's stress or fear, either from me or Wasabi (as Wasabi is a total softie). What can this mean? Is it the discomfort of her pinfeathers that can cause her to do this? The temperature in my room is 25c, comfortable enough for me in shorts and a tshirt, it's neither hot nor cold. I just had her up on my finger and was talking to her face to face and she was doing the vibrating. She'll do it randomly throughout the day and I can't pin down the reason why.
 

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Is the trembling happening when she is out of the cage on you or does it matter where she is?
The only reason I ask is because my lovies will do that if they are sitting on me and excited/happy they are getting attention.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is the trembling happening when she is out of the cage on you or does it matter where she is.
The only reason I ask is because my lovies will do that if they are sitting on me and excited/happy they are getting attention.
Is it possible for excitement to trigger the trembling? Because I could see it being excitement. It's when I'm looking at her, either when she's on my finger directly in front of my face, or when she's in the cage through the bars. I'll keep an eye out to see if she trembles when I'm not looking at her / she doesn't notice me looking.
 

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Yes, excitement (which, if you think about it, is a type of stress — usually in a good way) can trigger trembling.
 
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