Whether you call them monk parrots, grey-breasted parakeets or Quaker parrots, an aggressive parrot isn't an enjoyable pet. Quaker parrots are green and grey medium-sized parrots native to South America where they live in complex social situations. Turning them into pets when they typically live alone can lead to problem behaviours in this smart and easily-bored bird. One problem is aggressiveness that includes biting, screaming and attacking people. With patience and training you can cure a Quaker parrot of its bad behaviour.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Perch or stand
Select a few minutes in the morning or evening when you will work with your bird. Parrots crave routine, and sticking to a schedule will help them feel more secure. Work with your parrot every day at this time, and gradually increase the time to 30 minutes.
Move the bird from its home cage to another room during training time. The lights in this room should be kept low to keep the bird calm. Transferring the bird halts its territorial aggression it will display in its home cage. Wrap the bird in a towel to avoid stressing the bird and to prevent getting bit during the transfer.
Wrap the bird gently but snugly in the towel. Pull away the towel until the bird's head, and only the head, is exposed. Pet the top and back your bird's head lightly. Gradually the parrot will get used to you touching it. You can then work up to scratching his chin and beak. Within a few weeks your bird will become more bonded with you. Work toward unwrapping the towel little by little until your Quaker remains calm as you pet it.
Place the bird on a perch or stand. Take the stick and tell the bird "Up" or a similar command as you nudge the stick lengthwise against the bird's thigh area. When your parrot steps up calmly, congratulate it. Move the bird back to its stand or perch in a similar way and say "Down." Repeat this several times each session to teach the bird submission. Eventually the bird should get up on your finger without any aggression.
Place a small piece of treat (dried fruit works well) onto a skewer or fork. Being careful not to poke your bird, offer it the treat. If the bird doesn't take it, try a longer skewer. As you work with the bird, shorten the skewer until you can hand the bird a treat without the bird shying away or becoming aggressive.
Continue working with your Quaker on a daily basis. Return the bird to its home cage after each training session, and congratulate it each time.
Tips and warnings
- Never yell at your bird even if it is biting you. Yelling or screaming only agitates the bird more. It's difficult if you're being bit, but stay calm, and get the bird to release and walk away.
- Have your bird's wings clipped prior to training; this keeps the bird from being able to fly to a high point you can't get to and makes the bird more submissive.
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