Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:18 pm Post subject: New kak owner with an aggro bird
Hello all, glad to find this forum!
I'm new to kakarikis, and one has recently joined our family. I've had plenty of birds in my life (budgies, peachfaces, cockatiels, cockatoos, can get wild birds to eat from my hand with a bit of time) but am a bit stumped by this little bloke. (or girl)
He came to us from a friend whose job changed and she had less time for him. We liked him at her place and thought about getting one, then she offered him to us thinking he'd have more company here as I'm an at-home mum. He was hand-raised, and off the top of my head around 2 years. My friend was up front, told us about less-charming behaviours but they didn't sound too bad. But to be honest he's a bit worse and I'm wondering how big a problem we have. He has his same old cage, not sure how much free time he had but he gets a few hours a day with us and mostly does his own thing.
He defends his cage and I'm cool with that, but out of the cage he'll fly at me, bite and draw blood even with no provocation I'm aware of - eg when I open his cage he'll chase and fly at my hand and latch on HARD. Around the house he'll fly at me with squawking and latch onto my hand. He has started flying at my face and to be honest I'm not prepared to stare him down and take the chance that bites my face. He's hilariously funny, opinionated and chatty, but other than occasionally having a sit on head or shoulder, I wouldn't call him tame (won't sit on hand when asked). I'm his main carer, feeding/watering/snacks and covering the cage - changing his water/feed is a bit nerve-racking. My son and husband enjoy a chat but don't handle him.
As much as we love him, the aggression is offputting. I'm enjoying him less and am worried he'll bite my 5yo son, and since the whole point of having a bird was fun for my little boy I'm at a loss.
Question is... what next? Is there hope of training and ending up with a sociable pet with decent manners? Is it an adjustment issue? Can it be fixed or is he too mature to readjust to a new family? Is the aggression his personality and too late to remedy? We do have the option to return him so if he's not right for us we will look out for his welfare, not his fault if he's not happy here.
If there's material here already I'm happy to be directed to appropriate links, I'm a bit overwhelmed by how much there is... didn't expect after so many birds to be so stumped!!
This is not the nature of kakariki, but the nature of a bird that has in effect been 'trained' to this behavior by ppl with little experience.
Or as what can happen, and VERY rare, a rogue bird....but having been hand reared, very unlikely.
like a cat , or dog, it boils down to who is alpha male in the home and where the bird is positioned in the family structure.
Adults in the home, they simply assert respect ... for children to do so.. thats harder for them....espec with a bird rather than say a dog...
Then there is the factor of visitor who dont get the chance to establish such a relationship.
This is an extreme case, and in a household of children....not just the children getting hurt, but the long term of putting them off birds as pets and in the wild in the future.
I suggest... use the "quick Search " block on the left using ' alpha male '
And do a bit of reading... u may come across some very old posts that also refer to taming down adult wild sulphur cresteds u may find of interest.
Post back how things go please.
Steps _________________ My Spelling is Not Incorrect...It's 'Creative'
We've decided to return him. He's a mature bird and we have no idea of the kind of upbringing he's had, so I think he's probably set in his ways and retraining will only upset everyone.
He's clearly outraged by the change of circumstance so it's better for him to go home and for us to start with a youngster. Angry Birds can stay on the ipad screen! (He's one irate little bloke). My son saw him bite me and draw blood and is now intimidated, and as the point was for my son to enjoy him there really is no point to experiment with retraining him... not my job, really, he was perfectly happy where he was so he might as well go home.
I did look up some of the topics and tried a few things but the more I did the angrier he got. I think he's used to getting his own way and got p***ed off with me - it is very much alpha behaviour (funny how it's the same whether it's a dog, horse, human or bird)
It's a shame as he's good value and we have a good home for an active, sociable bird (lots of room and I'm usually at home).
I do think that u have done the right thing, everything considered.
This is a very unusual bird.. in all the kakariki we have had over the last few decades, we have had 1 'rogue' kakariki bird...Avary bred....If he could have been tamed, I would not have been suprised would have fitted your description very well.
Do not let this put u off a kakariki as a house parrot.....IF the family are the alpha males, and its not hard to do....you will find kakariki have a very independent and unique nature... more like a flat mate/ co habit than as a pet
Thank you. We took him home today and he's MUCH happier. Back to his old self, so yes we now know it was the right thing to take him back and my friend doesn't feel so bad about him being home alone during the day.
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