Viewing post #582315 by Skiekitty

You are viewing a single post made by Skiekitty in the thread called Mixed Critters.
Mar 9, 2011 11:34 AM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
Lovebirds live to be 10-15 years old. Not the 50+ that bigger birds live.

I had 4 lovebirds.. love them dearly. However, with my Waffles being so dangerous around them, I wasn't able to let them out of their cage as much as I wanted to. So, I had to make a painful decision: who to get rid of: the birds or the dog? Found WONDERFUL homes for the birds (they were 2 bonded pairs).

All hookbills bite. All. Anyone who tells you that they don't bite is lying. Trust me. I've sprayed enough birds with blood due to being bit to hell. Lorikeets, parakeets, cockatiels (had one that I actually named Dracula because he was such a biter that he wasn't happy until he drew blood), lovebirds (took care of a pair of lovebirds for a friend for a week. When I went to get them out of the cage, one of them bit the living snot out of my right index finger, the middle knuckle. Ripped the flesh away and sprayed blood everywhere. "Friend" actually got mad because I got blood on her bird!!).. they all bite (to one degree or another) and they all can draw blood if their beaks aren't trimmed (you can get them professional trimmed or just give them cuttlebone/mineral blocks to that, but that's not very efficient). Reason for such sharp beaks is two fold: protection and food garnering. Most hookbills are nut eaters or fruit eaters and need the sharp beak to either break open a hard nut (DH loves to go to this one local bird store & give brazil nuts to one of the macaws just to watch him crack it open like it's no big deal) or to rip apart a tough fruit casing. Much like a bird of prey. Plus, birds don't have a sense of taste up front in their mouths (their taste buds are closer to their crop than on the tip of their tongue) and don't have traditional "fingers" like you & I, so they use their beaks to taste/test something to see if 1) it's edible or 2) it's perchable. The big big birds (macaws/cockatoos/greys/etc) who are hand-fed are denied hard foods so they never develop the muscles needed to crack a person's finger OFF, but, if left to themselves, can easily bite a finger off (bigger birds can sheer off thin branches when making a nest). So they'll "nibble" on your fingers/ears/neck/whatever you offer them. My DH's Tiki (tiel already posted) will leave birdie "hickies" on his neck where she "preens" his "feathers" (neck hair) and gives him hell because his "feathers" are so messed up, there's no way he can fly with them. LOL. Plus, for some reason, they seem to know exactly where to bite for the most damage: the tender area between the finger nail & the finger, the webbing between the index finger & thumb, the fold of skin on the middle knuckle. I have trained a few 'tiels not to bite by donning on a THICK heavy leather glove and letting them bit the snot out of it. When they realize that it's not doing any good to bite (usually 2-4 sessions at 10-15 minutes each, once a day), they figure it out. That's how I got so many "untamed" 'tiels hand-tamed. You can also teach them to give you kisses by having something yummy in your lips like a cracker or a piece of bread, and letting them take it out of your mouth (once they're that safe), then making kissy noises, putting the cracker in your lips, and letting them take it out. Takes about 4-6 sessions to teach them this. Not hard at all.

Hope I didn't scare you here.
Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!!
Buy some of my photos!
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon

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Cubit owner: Skiekitty