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Charlie is starting to bite. I dont know why. It is like he is saying leave me alone. He seems to be picking men out mostly. but has nipped at me a few times when trying to get him up on my finger after him biting someone else.. When he does it to someone I try to pick him up and tell him no, but sometimes he just wont get up. just nips at me. I usually leave him alone when he actts like this and try again latter. I practice getting up everyday.


When he does get up I look at him sternly and tell him no biting and that I am the boss. he then dunks he head like a little kid that has gotten in trouble or like when he wants his neck petted looking at me out of the corner of his eye.


The other day I tried to get him to play hot potato game with my daughter and her boyfreind, but he wouldnt go to the boyfriend at all. And just keep trying to bite him every time he tried to take him.The boyfiend was getting scared and I could tell charlie wasnt going to let him take him. My son isnt scared of him but he tries to demand that charlie behave and that doesnt work with birds. It is really like he knows who is scared of him and is using it to the fullest to scare them into leaving him alone and it is working.


It is getting where no one wants to touch him but me and my husband and I really wanted him to be more social as we have eight grown children and 14 grand kids and I didnt want to have to worry that he would bite. I have been teaching the grand kids how to handle him without hurting him. He loves playhing with my 11 yr old grandson, but he hasnt been around for a couple weeks.


my husband has no problem with him to much either. never bites my daughter, yet.. but any other man that tries is going to get it.


Post edited by: rierie, at: 2008/12/28 00:03<br><br>Post edited by: rierie, at: 2008/12/28 00:05

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From reading your post I think you are expecting to much out of Charlie. They can communicate quite well if you pay attention and you said that Charlie seems to be saying "leave me alone" That is probably exactly what he is saying. I think you are interpeting him correctly with that.


I'm not sure what "hot potato" game you are playing with him. I played that as a kid and had something we tossed and got rid of as fast as we could as if it were a hot potato and would burn us. I hope that is not what you are doing with Charlie:unsure: And if he did not want to go to the boyfriend you should respect that or someone is going to get bit real hard.


You say your son "demands" Charlie to behave. A grey can pick up on all these things and it simply will not work. He will (if he doesn't already) resent your son terribly. If anyone "demanded" my grey to behave I wouldn't let him or her near him.


You say "it's getting where no one wants to touch him except me and my husband" Why do you want him to be touched by so many others? It's one thing to socialize a grey where they will tolerate other people but you can not make them like people or force people on him. It has been my experience that greys are very cautious and reserved birds and do not like to socialize with groups of people. They tend to pick a favorite but if well socialized can tolerate and have relationships with more than one person but you are asking way to much if you want him to be comforatable 8 grown adult childrens and 14 grand children.


It sounds like he is comfortable with you, your husband and your daughter and think you should be happy with that.


Greys aren't like cats or dogs that like to socialize with lots of people and be petted by all. You might want to check some of the threads here on the forum about the personalities and grey behavior or get some books on African Greys and do some more research. I think you are expecting way too much out of Charlie and wanting him to do what is unnatural to him. You should slow down with him and just enjoy him with your husband and not expect him to get along with the entire family. And I wouldn't force him or try to control him in situations. That is probably why he is biting. He is being force into going to people or doing things that he does not like and the only way to show his displeasure is to bite. If not corrected this could become natural for him to bite all the time. These are just my opinions on it.<br><br>Post edited by: BaxtersMom, at: 2008/12/28 05:09

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It's best to reread BaxtersMom's reply if you don't understand it well. She hit the nail on the head in every area that you mentioned. If you need more specific information about each thing he's doing, just ask. Individual problems can be spoken about and possible solutions can be given.

A few extra things here.... Expect your bird to not like every single kid in the future. As they get older, they become very choosy concerning kids. As greys get older, they're known to develop a dislike for kids who are relative strangers.

That also applies to people who aren't around them all the time such as the boyfriend, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, casual friends. That part of their personality starts to show itself at approx 1 yrs old give or take.


Greys aren't the type of species that enjoys socializing with large groups of people. Basically, they take to most members of the immediate family. That part of their personality starts to show itself at approx 1 yrs old and older.

As greys get older they lose that cuddly personality that was present when they were much younger.

Many people who own greys past the age of approx 1 1/2 to 2 yrs old usually keep their birds in the cage when lots of people are around. Most people aren't as concerned with the bird liking and intermingling with many other people. Greys get nervous very quickly, bite even faster and you won't even see that nervousness unless you know what to look for. After episodes like that they stay moody and wanna be left alone meaning no stepping up, no petting because they will bite when you try the stepping up and the bird will bite when you try to pet him. They just wanna be alone in the safety of a cage which acts like protection for all external things that are going on.<br><br>Post edited by: Dave007, at: 2008/12/28 06:34

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Baxtersmom is so right!


You normally find when you bring your baby home, if they are well socialized they will normally go to most people.


All my greys have been like this then a few months down the line they choose their favourite/favourites and wont be passed round so easily anymore.


My greys are 19 months,10 months and 7 months and will only be handled by myself, the youngest one will sometimes go to my husband but not very often.


I have two children 12 and 9 who love the birds but again have no physical contact, I would never risk the children with a grey bite it could be very dangerous.


If your grey is showing he is comfortable with you and your husband, that is great and I would limit the contact to just you two.


He may also find it quite scary with so many people in the room, I know mine do I always keep them in their room when visitors come round now.


They are not as social as dogs and cats and you will find your grey will keep changing as he gets older all the time.


Post edited by: casper, at: 2008/12/28 14:15<br><br>Post edited by: casper, at: 2008/12/28 14:16

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In going back, I am thinking that Charlie would be approx. 5-6 months old now (please correct me if I am wrong)to expect a bird to be able to handle a sudden family of 20+ people and the excitment of the season we are in, is just to much. And he is showing you the only way he can by biting.


If the game "Hot Potatoe" is the game I am thinking of is being played then I do not think you would find ANY grey old or young that would enjoy it. Again he is showing you his displeasure, please listen to him.


There are many threads in this forum that maybe your son should read through in regards to training - you can never DEMAND obedience. That has to be taught with love, time and patience and the tools to teach.


Charlie is telling you this the only way he no's how, please sit back and listen.



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Hello Rierie,


The others have all given great advice you should read carefully to find the answers to your questions.


You stated "Charlie is starting to bite. I don't know why. It is like he is saying leave me alone."


Yes, he is around 5 months old now becoming "Self Aware". Meaning he is starting to decide he may not want to do something you want him to. He lets you know with his beak. It is the way parrots communicate with each other in the wild and with us also.


It will become more common as he continues to age. You will really need to start paying close attention to his body language or your going to get a hard bite, which in reality you wil sooner or later as we all do. :-)


Secondly you wrote: "The other day I tried to get him to play hot potato game with my daughter and her boyfriend, but he wouldn't go to the boyfriend at all."


Do you mean your grey was the "Hot Potato" and being passed from one to another? If so, that is not a fun game for him and I am not surprised he tried to bite people as he was being offered to another person. This is very dangerous for those other people and even you if your bird gets frustrated enough. It WILL result in a terrible bite to someone and make your bird become very leery of other people. Rather than what you are thinking, which is I can assume to be socializing or desensitizing your grey. It;s just the opposite in fact.


Your grey will choose "Whom" and "When" it wishes to interact with someone. Please warn all that just want to walk up and offer their finger or hand to them. This will get much worse as your grey ages and people are going to get some serious bites.


I have many people coming in and out of my home. Especially now at this special holiday season. My Grey does stay with me or my wife happily perched on our shoulder. If he decides he likes someone, he will fly over to them on his own and interact with them on whatever level he feels comfortable with.


I never let anyone approach my Grey whether they know him or not. If I know Dayo does not like them or if his body language through Talons clenching harder on my shoulder and body weight starts shifting forward occurs... I know he is taking a defensive posture and it is too risky for that person and warn them quickly.


Please be careful with any kind of hand games you play with your grey. Whether it is in trying hand-off to another person or playing with a toy in your hand. Your Grey will start to think that the hand is the "Fun" and "Bite" target very quickly and it will become very hard to stop once imprinted.

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Thank you all for your incite.. maybe I am expecting too much. It just seemed that charlie was so friendly at first. As for my son, he isnt normally home much. And I have told him not to mess with charlie as he doesnt seem to like him much. And I also told him he isnt a dog. Travis is too demanding for charlie to understand, somewhat of a bully type personality. (army)


The hot potatoe game I was referring too was in Sally blanchards book, and it hasnt worked so I only tried it the once. It is not throwing him like a hot potatoe but passing him from person to person getting him to climb up on their finger.


When the house gets busy, I have been just closing up his cage so that he is safe.


I guess I was just so confused as he just started nipping. He was so friendly when he came home. I knew he would get not so friendly but I was not expecting it so early. I was afraid it was something I was doing wrong to encourage the behavior. which I guess it is. i reckon for his and others safety I will not let no one pick him up no more except me , my husband and my daughter, and my nephew. He likes him too. I will tell people not to touch him as he doesnt like it.


most of the time he seems content to perch on his cage or in it. At least once a day I bring him to the living room on his playstand and he will climb up and walk around on me and/or my husband.


thank you all

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As soom will tell you the honeymmon is over and Charlie is staring to come into his own, he is going to start trying you if for no other reason to see how far he can get and by the sound of it he is getting his way.

As the holidays are coming to a close and maybe the house will be a little quieter with not so many people around, you will be able to spend more one on one time with him. By limiting the people that pick him up, or at least try to pick him up is good. Let him get used to his immediate family more and spend more family time with him.


As for Travis, you are the five star General of that house and just make sure he no's that.:woohoo:


Things will start to turn around for you, if you just give it time.


Carolyn & Mika

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One other important thing to remember is that it wasn't your fault because it wasn't intentional. Many people who buy greys are never told what the personality of greys will be like as they grow older. It's totally different than a very young bird and as they gety older and more independent and learn the lay of the land and the people who live there, they will become much more assertive and have an aggressive attitude with loads of people who are just casual friends. Greys are family birds and just so you know, many people even have trouble with their greys just getting used to the immediate members of the house which you don't have going on. So, since there's many changes and unknown situations that'll come up, we're here to break down all those things and discuss them and believe me, you'll get a zillion methods and opinions about what you can try out. Remember, NOT YOUR FAULT.

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Dave007 wrote:



One other important thing to remember is that it wasn't your fault because it wasn't intentional. Many people who buy greys are never told what the personality of greys will be like as they grow older. Remember, NOT YOUR FAULT.


Great point Dave! :-)


Now that you mention it, I do not think I have ever read in any publication or online articles that mentions what happens when they age.


Most only discuss the importance of a well socialized bird and how it should know step up, be friendly, cuddly etc.


I do not believe the Parrot community has realized that they have set up almost every first time Parrot owner for a shock as they age.


Hmmm, will need to see about notifying and requesting some in the parrot community to "Revise" some materials. ;-)

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You're right about the lack of material around. It just isn't around. Most material is aimed that new youngster coming home and the knowledge of that same bird when it gets much older just doesn't exist. You know something, don't think this only applies to greys. I believe that the very young stage of a bird's life is a very short stage and people should know about the following stages that will be permanent simply because the bird is finally and permanently in that adult stage. I've seen people who've gotten extremely upset and depressed when that cuddly grey grows up and becomes aloof, independent, desires lots of time by itself, shows possessiveness, jealousy and also becomes daring. People can't understand what's happening. Many people blame themselves and feel lost as to what possible solutions exist. So yes, there should be literature on the adulthood of a wild creature such as a parrot. It may stop people from biting off more than they chew.

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