Lisa Shea

i hit my bird

Posted By: rtegge

i hit my bird - 07/07/09 01:00 PM

I need advice & i know you all will hate me for it. The other day, i was playing with new hand trained bird i had for 1 week. She all of a sudden bit me hard & i reacted without thinking, and hit her. Now, she wont chirp and does not have the playful personality she used to. She still sits on my finger and flies to my shoulder to hang out, but she is not the same. I know, i know to never ever do that again.. but does this mean that she will never be the way she used to? Or do you think that she'll eventually build her trust for me back.. maybe? Yell at me i know, believe me i'm extremely upset with myself.. i didnt mean to do that I just did it out of instinct forgetting how tiny & precious she is and now i just feel like she will never but cute and cudly with me ever again
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 02:16 PM

i know how painful bites can be, but we must not react to them. parrots are not aggressive birds of prey like a hawk, they are friendly birds. They do not attack, they defend. so if your bird is biting its 99% because of something you are doing to cause it. we, as humans, often always think we are the ones in the right, not the animal.

now, i will be honest with you....

what you did was absolutely horrible, there is no justification for it and i think you know that.

she is probally very scared now. what birds have to go through to get to our homes, they go through bird mills, ripped away from their parents months before its time, forced into crates and shipping boxes so crowded most birds never arrive alive, then they sit lonely in a pet store just waiting for a human to take them home.

they rarely trust humans and rarely have had a good experience, so for them to trust us is truly remarkable and a testiment to their courage and endurance.

She might trust you again, but it will probally take a very very long time, can you blame her? She thought she had finally found a human who loved and adored her and that human hurt her. It might very well be permanant and she might overcome it with your help.

from now on you must be extremly gentle and patient with her, she may start to bight ALOT and if she does then do not pull away gently move towards her. for example, if she bites your finger, rather than pull your finger away, which is the instinct, push it towards her, this wil cause her to release and will confuse her slightly as it is not the expected reaction and she will eventually learn her bites have no power, if you do this, and do not scream, yell, do not make any vocalizations at all when she bites, this will show her that biting you does nothing and she will give it up.

this wont happen in a week or a month even, it will take time and patience.

that is a very good site with a trained professional in bird training and handling.

Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 03:35 PM

rtegge, I know you feel very badly for what you did and Helwa is right on with her advice and words. I wasn't even going to add my 2 cents worth but the more I think the more it is weighing on my mind.

Please understand I am not saying any of this to come down hard on you or to judge you. I can tell by your reply that you already feel bad enough.

My concern? IDK how old you are or your gender (and I am not asking you to disclose this either) BUT, if this is how you instinctively react when a budgie bites, what will you do if a toddler bites you? For some reason, in the back of my mind I am thinking you are either a teen or young adult, not yet a parent. Maybe this was just a fluke and it would never happen again but I do urge you to dig deep with in yourself and really think about this. You may be perfectly fine but you may also need anger management or something.

I would never forgive myself if I didn't speak out to this issue at this time. Maybe this is an early warning and maybe I am WAY over analyzing it. I work with kids every day and they can sure make you want to smack them sometimes. It takes a lot to remain calm and loving. You don't have to address my post publicly. I am not accusing you so you don't have to feel the need to defend yourself against me.

Please, to anyone else reading my comments, don't take this as an open invitation to jump on this poster or to start making accusations.

As for your budgie, I do hope that you are able to remain calm and loving and that the trust will be regained. Good luck
Posted By: Love My Budgies

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 04:21 PM

Originally Posted By: Caribbean mom :)

you may need anger management

I completely agree.
Whether or not your bird will be cute & cuddly again with you is the least of your concerns. If someone 100 times bigger than you hit you, would you trust it?
You need to find a good, stable home for that bird ASAP, in which it will never be hit again. All it takes is one time to break its neck, leg, wing, etc. If you really had a knee-jerk reaction, how can you be sure this won't happen again?
Take your bird to a vet to make sure you didn't do any internal damage, find it a suitable home, then go to anger management and then think about if you can lovingly & responsibly care for a living, feeling being.
Posted By: kksuns

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 04:26 PM

Well said C Mom. You must have been reading my mind. smile

rtegge, Hate is a very strong word, and I for one don't hate you.You made a HUGE mistake, probably THE worst thing I can think of other than hitting/abusing a child. You could have killed her for cripes sake!!! Or mamed her for life in some way! But at least you feel honest remorse for what you did and I would hope you would never do it again. I don't think you will...I can tell you feel like a total xx** about it.
I think if you continue to be gentle and caring with Mystique you will earn her trust back. Lots of sweet talking, and PATIENCE.
As for anger management issues IDK you well enough to judge that. DO you fly off the handle and strike before you think often?? If you do have trouble controlling your anger and lash out without even thinking, then you should find a new home for ur birds. You're very lucky you didn't kill her this time so if you do have issues..
Other than that i have to say we ALL make mistakes. So if just a fluke thing, I'm sure you learned from yours.
Posted By: Darkness

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 04:28 PM

I agree with above posters. I've been bitten many times by my pets (all of them) and I never hit them. I use a firm no and put them back down.

Now granted, I have spanked my children if they misbehaved, but that's a different thing. And it's usually a swat to the bottom and it's usually for something extremely bad, like playing with electrical outlets or the stove. But never EVER will hit them out of anger or reaction because of something like that.

I know you feel bad, I can tell. She is going to take a while again to trust you. Start talking gently to her. Get her to trust YOU then slowly your hand.
Posted By: ShamRockStar

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 04:32 PM

Ok I just have to say something. First of all anyone who has ever had a dog, instinctively taps an animal on the nose or chest if the get nippy. Why? Well because if my 115 lb dog decides to bite someone he could do damage, so I head him off at the pass and smack him on the nose (not hard, just enough to surprise and distract him) or poke him in the chest a la Ceaser Milan. When I first got Nouba it took every power of self control I had not to tap her on the beak when she bit. Owning a bird and training a bird is almost the exact opposite of any other household pet. That being said, I don't think hitting a bird is a good idea, however, I don't think you should come down too hard on an obviously inexperienced owner who is at the very least trying to get advice and do the right thing. As Helwa said, be patient and extremely nice. Basically pretend like you're back at the starting point (for the rest of us at least) and have to gain her trust again... because you are and you do.
Tapping an animal on the nose for biting you, especially when you are new to the care of said animal, does not mean you have anger issues. If they lit the bird on fire, I'd be with you but in my humble degree in psychology opinion, I would say that it is a normal instinctual reaction to fight back when something is biting you. They've only had the bird for a week and at the very least instead of continually batting it about the ears (as someone did to a Too I was just reading about for enough years to cause blindness in one eye) this person is here seeking help.
I doubt any of you are perfect.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 04:44 PM

animal training really is exactly the same no matter what kind of animal it is !!!! bird, cat, rabbit, dog ... human ... its all the exact same.

positive reinforcment and behavior analysis, its scientifically proven fact, sadly the old school methods are still very popular and engrained into our society and our brains.

its instinct to tap the dog on the nose or whatever, because that is what we have been taught to do. is it effective? depends...

it might give you a result, but most certainly wont work everytime. and then what happens if the dog keeps doing, you tap harder, get angrier, emotions get hotter for both you and the dog, then the dog begins to resent its humans and becomes an angry, aggressive dog. not always, but more often than not.

the animal might do what you want, some of the time, but its doing it out of fear and resentment and mindless robotic obedience. with positive reinforcement, the animal is learning, it becomes a learned behavior, something the animal understands and knows and will perform exactly the same each and every time on cue.

smile i work with big angry dogs all day, also sweet cuddly dogs, the last thing id ever want to do is tap a biting angry dog in anyway or would certainly make a bad situation worse.

sadly though, this is the instinct, because for so long owning a pet in our society was about taming the beast, being dominant over it and breaking it down...we thought that was the only way to do it...

hitting is not a proper nor effective form of communication, whether in humans or in other animals.

when i was a little kid and i got a spanking ... did it teach me anything? no! did i do that bad behavior again, probally not, but why? not because i understood it to be wrong and not ok for me to do, but because i feared getting hit/spanked again.

there was no learning or understanding happening, only primal desire to protect myself from being hit again. we dont realize thats whats happening, but in the brain that is exactly what is happening, even if the situation seems completly minor.
Posted By: ShamRockStar

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 04:57 PM

Ok here's the thing. It is a scientifically proven fact that kids until the age of about 7 (depending on development) have no concept of empathy or sympathy. None. They'll feign it, because it's socially acceptable, but if you try to teach them 'don't swing the cat around by it's tail because how would you like it if i swung you around by you're leg?' they have no idea what in God's name you're talking about. They'll agree, but only because you expect it. As such it's been agreed by MANY child behavioral professionals that the best way to stop unwanted behavior in young children is to scare them out of it. They'll understand why it isn't allowed when they're older but there is no hope of them understanding it when they are young. They will pretend to understand it to make adults happy but really, they won't.
Secondly the most famed, respected dog behaviorist in the world is the one that I got the redirection thing from. Ceaser Milan encourages it? why? Well mostly because how do you positively reinforce not biting. Praise them every second they aren't biting? What if they're connecting the praise with something else like... i dunno... sitting? And then what are you supposed to do when they are biting? Ignore it and allow the dog to savage your neighbor? No, you distract them with a sharp noise if you're far away or with a tap to the nose, chest, or hindquarters if you're close.

I respect Ceaser Milan completely. He's a miracle worker and I'll do whatever he says is the right thing especially because (and i hate to keep bringing this up) with a degree in psychology it makes sense to me.

ANYway I never said it was acceptable to hit the bird I was only trying to make the point that at least they were asking for help and it's best to just offer help, not jump on them for something that... I'm sorry.... but it's instinct to hit something that's biting you. It's called fight or flight. ANYway, suggesting anger management is extreme and well... rude. And if I was that person I would never come back here for help because I would know I'm going to be jumped on and yelled at instead of helped.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 05:02 PM

no animal shelter anywhere in the world uses ceasars techniques.. why? because they are dangerous and ineffective!!! that is why his show is NOT on animal planet!!! no, serious, that is exactly why!!!

you are free to beleive as you wish, but there are many professionals who are very well reknown and revered that outshine ceasar!! he just happens to be flashy and handsome and got a tv show because he was popular amoung hollywood residents.

we do not have to agree...but ive seen both techniques being used and i know which one works.
Posted By: tweetymom

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 05:07 PM

O M G !!! What does the Dog whisperer know about birds?? I would say nothing, since he does not talk about birds. I've followed his shows and respect his methods for some situations. However, er are not talking about a pit bull or a mastif here. We are talking about an entity that lives in a cage, and depends on us huge humans for every single thing in their existence! So you hit that bird, he's never going to forget it. and he'll be scared of you.

Ya want him to live in fear of you?

Get a grip here. And yea.....anger management!
Posted By: Darkness

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 05:13 PM

Lets not turn this into a debate everyone. I don't think that's what the poster wanted. As I've always said, somethings work for some and other things work for others. Since we're all different and such.

However, it is obvious this person feels bad for what they've done and came here out of remorse wanting advice and help. I do not think that this poster MEANT to harm their bird. It was a reaction. A negative one yes, but a reaction nonetheless.

What we have done already is give this person good advice on patience, calm and understanding where they went wrong. No need to talk about which modes of reinforcement work and which do not.
Posted By: tweetymom

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 05:21 PM

I am not involved in any debate, nor will I.

But I am for the bird. Period. No punishment could be right for an animal that is only 6 inches tall and weighs almost nothing!

I know the guy didn't mean to. Little kids do things they didn't mean to, to animals.

Compassion for the bird is what is called for.
And yes. anger management.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 05:30 PM

I think this has gotten way off track and I feel it is my fault. Please re-read this part of my original post:

Originally Posted By: Caribbean mom :)
rtegge, I know you feel very badly for what you did and Helwa is right on with her advice and words...........................................

Please, to anyone else reading my comments, don't take this as an open invitation to jump on this poster or to start making accusations.

As for your budgie, I do hope that you are able to remain calm and loving and that the trust will be regained. Good luck
Posted By: tweetymom

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 05:58 PM

Cmom, I didn't say what I said because of your post. I was reacting to the "I hit my bird" scenario!

NOt many people on here 'hold back'. And believe me, I WAS holding back.

The person put it on here, and must've known he'd get some opinions and shocked reactions. We can 'soft soap' it, but will that be good for the bird?

Ok I know that will not help the poster. I hope he will follow the good advice given here.

And forget the dog whisperer, please! Good luck with your problem. Do get help.
Posted By: rtegge

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 06:15 PM

thank you all for your input, and no i was not trying to "start a debat." I wouldnt have posted anything if I didnt already know I would get mixed opinions, so again, thanks.

I didnt beat-up my bird, I struck her out of instinct, I've never had a bird before and wasn't expecting it since i bought her from a breeder. As for "anger management"; lets not forget that i didn't strike her out of ANGER. It didnt xxxx me off at all. It startled me and I swapped my hand. That is not anger.

And I will not get rid of her. I believe in forgiveness. She still sits on my shoulder and on my finger, but is just being quiet and non-playful in which is obviously expected. I will take all the good advice from this post & use it to earn her trust again and move on.

Thanks again.
Posted By: kksuns

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 06:20 PM

This has gotten way out of hand.
Of course rtegge came on here and knew he'd get some bad reactions. He admitted he was expecting no less. But he came here seeking advice and showing honest regret over what he did. He'd like to be able to hopefully earn Mystique's trust back and was asking if and how it can be done. So take your shot at him for doing something incredibly.... I don't even have the word for it... and then at least offer some constructive advice on how he can help his bird hopefully overcome her fear.
Why keep bashing each other? Is it really helping anyone?????
Posted By: kksuns

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 06:25 PM

rtegge, you say she's being quiet and non-playful. Are you sure she's ok? Is she eating ok, and does she seem to be moving ok? How long ago did it happen?
Kindness can go a long way toward forgiveness. I think you'll earn her trust back if you are very patient and spend as much time as you can with her smile
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 06:26 PM

Originally Posted By: rtegge
thank you all for your input, and no i was not trying to "start a debat." I wouldnt have posted anything if I didnt already know I would get mixed opinions, so again, thanks.

I didnt beat-up my bird, I struck her out of instinct, I've never had a bird before and wasn't expecting it since i bought her from a breeder. As for "anger management"; lets not forget that i didn't strike her out of ANGER. It didnt xxxx me off at all. It startled me and I swapped my hand. That is not anger.

And I will not get rid of her. I believe in forgiveness. She still sits on my shoulder and on my finger, but is just being quiet and non-playful in which is obviously expected. I will take all the good advice from this post & use it to earn her trust again and move on.

Thanks again.
Glad to hear and I really do hope to hear fun stories and see great pictures in the future!! smile
Posted By: rtegge

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 06:41 PM

it was on Sunday. She eats fine & moves fine. Believe me, I did everything I could (without taking her to the vet) to make sure no damage was done. I felt her body to make sure she didnt squak (signalling something hurt) and she was ok. When she bit me, which has never happened, i was petting her. I bought her from a breeder and she was so very friendly & cute. Then all of a sudden when I was petting her side, she bit me.. but anyway, she used to be very chirpy before that happened. Now, she barely chirps. She bites me now more than ever.. and now i'm just not doing anything about it. She used to get all excited when i got home from work, now she wont even look at me.

U know what i think im just gonna log off and cry and give her away. Really feel like [censored] now

Posted By: rtegge

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 06:44 PM

thank you, sorry
Posted By: baby blue

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 06:47 PM

i have to put in my piece on this.
the poster was obvoiusly disturbd that a knee/jerk reaction ended up in contact wth the bird. to someone who is already remorseful for their action, to hear others tell you what you already know is wrong, will make you even less inclined to continue to try (i lived this for 15yrs and know what it can do to a person) i also agree with the fact that not as long at the best possib everything can be taken care of with positive re-inforcment. we do have to remember that for all that are birds are tiny, they ARE able to REASON why punishment (appropriate punishment) may have to be given. the trick is, to have te animal realise why the punishmenet is occuring) they REASONED that pulling fingers away means they are a step towards being left alone when trying to hand train. the finger doesn't like the open beak... it does not come near... bird thinks... I WIN! and in esscense it HAS won when the finger comes less often an goes away faster because of that action.
hitting is not acceptable and the poster knew that and was looking for some help in righting a RECOGNISED wrong. what is done cannot be undone (i am sure the poster would have done so if able)
many of us here are parents. how many of us have said they would NEVER spank their child? how many of us, at some point (due to whatever circumstances) did spank? and felt hideous for it? were we told to go to anger management (i wasn't and i doubt anyone else was for a first time "spank") the poster did not hit the bird with the intention of teaching it a lesson. the animal was not beaten to the point of abuse.
yes i agree, it will take sme time and patience to bring the bird around again but i am sure it can be done with love and perservence. keep up the work with your bird. if it tries to intimidate, it has to be shown that behaviour is not tolerated. it is now a matter of knowing what to expect and finding a way to show it... that is BENIFICIAL to both parties.
as for giving the bird up to another home... i do not agree, unless the animal's life in in iminent danger( i do not believ it is) myself, i am proud of the poster for asking for help.
Posted By: BalooBear114

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 06:52 PM

You say she still sits on your finger and hangs out on your shoulder. So she still obviously has some degree of trust. What's done is done. Not to say you shouldn't feel guilty about it but personally I think the best thing to do is move on...start over. Just continue to talk sweetly to her and interact. Dully used to bite me all the time and I would just firmly say "no biting sweetie", not loud or mean, just kind of like in a mom's voice so to speak. And she doesn't bite me anymore. We are still training but I think for the most part she knows I'm not a threat. Every bird is different so it may take a while, it may not. Just be as patient with her as possible. You're at her mercy now so I definitely think you have some major sucking up to do!

Posted By: tweetymom

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 07:12 PM

Ok. Let me get my grip here. and get over MY knee jerk reaction.

One thing that will really help you get back in her good graces is to apoagize, over and oover, in a sorrowful tone. My birds know what I'm talking about most of the time, or at least the concept of it.

I'm not going to appolagize to you about my statements. I need to work on My communication skills!! So take THAT, Dinah!!

Yea, it's gonna take some time, but it sounds like she/he loves you and perhaps does not understand what happened. The thing about sorr to her, I do that when I'm late with feeding or bump the cage or etc. She will know what you are saying.

Good luck with this and I'm not really a xx***. Ok. I WILL say sorry, and looking forward to hearing about your progress.

(boy, my spelling-bad. ) In a hurry to get to work!
Posted By: rtegge

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 07:16 PM

I am not looking for apology from what anyone has said to me, I am the one apologizing. And thanks, again everyone.
Posted By: baby blue

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 07:18 PM

none of us have to appologize for what we believe. it is what makes us all who we are. correcting our mistakes is what makes us better than who we were before
Posted By: ShamRockStar

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 08:47 PM

I'm sorry but if you think your birds understand you apologizing to them but don't understand punishment you are certifiable. The bird doesnt understand punishment OR apologies.
And I didn't say you should use ceaser's methods on birds. I said that those of us who are used to redirecting larger animals, example: dogs, sometimes have the knee jerk reaction to tap an animal on the nose when they're being bitten.
Had you read my posts you would have seen that.

This is the reason why I don't frequent this board. There are communities out there where people help each other with their problems without judging and for some reason, no matter how this community evolves, with the exception of a very few people, this has never been one of those communities. This is the place where people post proud pictures of their brand new pets and automatically get 'OMG that cage is way too small, what were you thinking? How horrible are you?' or ask questions about advice gotten from pet stores and the answer is 'How dumb are you? you must be a child believing them.' Now we have an accidental instinctual reaction that caused a problem and REMORSE (the key sign that anger management isn't necessary) and out of three pages of posts 4 of the posters have been attempting to help.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 09:01 PM

excuse me heather, but this thread has offered ALOT of good solid advice to the poster and everyone has been very respectful and decent.

if you have such issues with the people here why did you log in???

just because someone disagrees with you that means you reject the entire forum and cast people here in such a bad light?

i did read your entire post and i disagree, you arent the only one with a degree here, and not to be offensive but a degree in psychology a dr doesnt make.

i work with animals on a dialy basis, i train them, i evaluate their behavior and determine if they can be worked with or not so possibly my opinion carries so weight? maybe yours does too but no one insulted you.

this person came and admitted they hit their bird, yes they are sorry and feel bad about it, but i will not sugar coat it and say ohh its ok, it was just your knee jerk reaction.

it is NOT OK to hit any animal,in any way, for any reason!!! and specially not a bird!!! slapping a dog isnt going to kill it or injure it for life, but it could very well kill a parakeet instantly or injure it severly.

in fact most times on this forum people say the most ridiculous things and give the most horrible advice and it goes unchecked.

just last week someone was laughing about getting their bird drunk and no one said jack about it, instead they got "aww how sweet"

im sorry you feel so upset by people disagreeing with you in a decent manner but that is not OUR problem.
Posted By: kksuns

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 09:07 PM

ShamRock, do you really believe a bird doesn't understand punishment or apologies? I think they do. I know that Levi definitely learned that if he kept pinching my neck, he would have to go back in his cage wit the door closed for a while. "time out" I would give a stern "no bite" if he pinched my neck(because it HURT!) and if he continued to do it I put him back in his cage and again said No bite. He doesn't pinch my neck any more. Not that he doesn't bite at all, but when he does he gets a time out and I KNOW he understands WHY. And as far as apologies, they might not understand it as being an "apology" but they do feel/sense what you are saying by your tone and actions.

I do happen to agree that many people are way to quick to judge here and start critisizing and coming down on someone way to fast and hard sometimes.

rtegge, I hope you don't give your bird(s) away. I think you've learned from your MISTAKE and it won't happen again.At least you were man enough to come here and admit what happened to get advice on how to handle it! Besides if you give her away she'd have to adjust to a whole new home and a whole new human all over again!!!
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 09:08 PM

of course birds understand, parrots are amoung the most intelligent creatures on earth
Posted By: Chocoemilk

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 10:14 PM

Of course they understand. There's even a National Geographic article on animal intelligence, and the star there is an African Grey which knows what does a triangle and a square are, he can count and ask for needs. To prove it wasn't conditioning they gave them different objects to count, always counting succesfully.
Posted By: Love My Budgies

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 10:37 PM

Originally Posted By: kksuns

I do happen to agree that many people are way to quick to judge here and start critisizing and coming down on someone way to fast and hard sometimes.

Normally I would agree, however, a small bird has no means to defend itself other than biting and in my opinion, hitting is not acceptable, not even for a dog or any other pet ever.
The original poster asked for advice and I gave mine with the bird's well being the focal point, even if others disagree with it.
I'm not sure about other states, but in my state someone under the age of 18 cannot legally enter a pet store and purchase any pet or bird, I'm sure due to maturity level and ability or lack of to care for an animal. Many times abuse or poor care is due to parents allowing their children to get pets/birds with no knowledge of how to care for them & no supervision. Seems to me this may be the case here. There is a reason it is illegal, and this showcases it, assuming the OP is under 18.
If I sound harsh it is because I love animals and wish their well being was first and foremost.
Posted By: PDM

Re: i hit my bird - 07/07/09 11:21 PM

Everyone agrees that a small bird could be severely maimed by a smack.

The culprit knows this as well as anyone ~ and feels terrible about these events. It was a knee-jerk reaction ~ and I'm not sure that we can prevent those, when we are suddenly shocked.

Now a lesson has been learned and, thankfully, the bird seems ok.

I don't think that there is any need to allow this thread to descend into arguments & unpleasantness. It won't help, or change, the situation, if this happens.
Posted By: skipperdog

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 12:59 AM

Aminah gave you good advice. Your dear little bird can learn to trust you again, but you must be trustworthy. Do not rush her, and do not give up.

I know you are upset with what you did. I do not believe striking an animal will teach it that aggression is wrong. They may stop a behavior out of fear if they are struck, or otherwise receive negative reinforcement, but you don't want that relationship with them.

I think the old adage "You'll get more flies with honey than vinegar." is very true.

Good luck
Posted By: baby blue

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 04:46 AM

when you have a member of the hook bill family, you have an intelligent animal that is capable of learning right and wrong, yes and no, good or bad. when you own a budgie you have an animal that has the mental capabilities of a 3 to 4 yr old HUMAN child and the physical abilities of a 2 yr old.
if you own one of these gregarious little parrots, you will soon find out how smart they are and how quick they are to learn. they can learn how to open cage doors(as many unsuspecting owners have found out!)they can learn which areas they are and aren't allowed in and an array of tricks and behaviours from you and other birds.
patience, talking (they may not understand EVERY SINGLE word you say, but they CAN understand the tone of your voice.)and love will re establish your origional bond, if not strenghten it.
if anyone dosen't believe this, you have some research to do about your "friend" (i don't like to call them "pets" as i do not consider mine pets) they are also very attuned to YOUR feelings.
if you are always upset, scared, angry or sad. it FEELS these emotions and with no other outlet available to it, it does the only things it can. the 2 main things are stress plucking(not named that for lack of anything else)sometimes,to the point of self mutilation and uncontrollable screaming. the equqal of a tantrum in a child, too young to communicate verbally. children of this age are often known to hit themselves or bump their heads (not hard or violently)on walls or floors out of sheer frustration.(they do not have to be abused to produce these behaviours) with proper care, communication and love, children learn not to do those things. with proper care, communication and love, your bird can be shown that there are other ways to deal with things.
"trouble" or "vicious" parrots are often created by the people who got them and DID NOT look into what they were doing. these birds CAN be rehabilitated. your little keet was probably as surprised as you were and taking the time with it and teaching it... with love, i am sure you will have your pal back to rights in no time (don't be surprised if it is not pushing a button or two of yours either, they will sulk and suck up all they can get. i have one who wrote the book on that!)
as to that african grey... it does know colors, shapes, sizes as well. i saw that show. the woman could put a cluster of 2 sizes, 4 shapes and 4 colors out all at the same time and ask the bird to do a task. if she asked it for the small, green, squares... the bird went through the pile (of up to 30 pieces i think) piece by piece and brought her EXACTLY the size, shape and color she requested... EVERY TIME! an amazing documentary!
if ANYONE can read this and still not believe what our keets, lovies, conures, africans, macaws and other members of the parrot family can do... i ask you, in all honesty and no anger... SHOW me, and all others who believe as i do, LEGIT info, that we all can all have access to, that what we believe may be unfounded.
Posted By: tweetymom

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 06:03 AM

Sorry PDM, I must respond to ShamRockStar.

1. Certifiable?! Maybe, but I don't hit my birds, cats or dog. Period.

2. Nobody is talking about huge dogs or large animals.

3. So why bring Cesar Milan into the thread? He would probably be mortified.

4. Why attack me?
Posted By: PDM

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 10:04 AM

Originally Posted By: ShamRockStar
I'm sorry but if you think your birds understand you apologizing to them but don't understand punishment you are certifiable. The bird doesnt understand punishment OR apologies.

My friend has a budgie, which seems to understand everything. I have read items and seen documentaries about how intelligent they are.
I am not saying that keets will or won't understand apologies & punishment - and I am certainly not condoning punishing such a timy creature - buit to say that someone who believes this to be true is 'certifiable' doesn't seem correct, or logical, or polite, to me.

If you are aimimg this word at someone in particular, then it breaks rules ~ so please express yourself and your thoughts in other ways.

This is the reason why I don't frequent this board. There are communities out there where people help each other with their problems without judging and for some reason, no matter how this community evolves, with the exception of a very few people, this has never been one of those communities.

You are not the only person to have said this, so it is a problem which does need to be addressed.

Pets must be well looked after and members need to be treated with respect. Criticism can be made, of course, where birds' health & safety is at risk, but assumptions should not be made so quickly.

Good, decent members should be helped to be better owners ~ not frightened off the board.

It's different, if they are just here to cause trouble ~ if that is proved to be the case, then they can be banned.

However, calling someone 'certifiable' is not helping to prevent the negativity.

Now we have an accidental instinctual reaction that caused a problem and REMORSE (the key sign that anger management isn't necessary) and out of three pages of posts 4 of the posters have been attempting to help.

I suppose the answer to this may be that people try to help in different ways. Somme want to help the person to cope with this issue.

Some want to help the bird to ensure that this cannot happen again.
Posted By: PDM

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 10:07 AM

Originally Posted By: tweetymom
Sorry PDM, I must respond to ShamRockStar.

1. Certifiable?! Maybe, but I don't hit my birds, cats or dog. Period.
I hadn't realised that this word was aimed at you.
Insults are unacceptable on this board.

4. Why attack me?

Everyone please note:
We do not want ANY attacks, on anyone, ever.
Keep criticism calm, polite, respectful & constructive.
Posted By: **mattie**

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 01:16 PM

I am 100% in awe what has happened.

1. You had made your point that stating that what if a toddler had bitten you. Would you have hit the toddler?!

2. I think this is being very hurtful, [not only to the bird but to yourself] and do you think that your bird will forgive you like how us humans can forgive others!!

3. This is a horrible situation. And C mom, you are 100% right about having anger management. I'm not trying to be aiming any problems at the poster on this thread but this is VERY uncalled for. Very.

4. Your bird probably will [a] feel like she/he did something wrong when YOU did something wrong to her/him. [b] remember who you are by : your finger, your scent, ect. ect.

Very uncalled for. I have made my point here and I will pray for your little
precious birdie. You had no right to hit her. I have one more question for you, and please do not avoid it, when you get the chance please respond back to me.

1. Hit or flick? Those are very different from each other.
2. Hit with a broom? Hit with your finger? What did you hit her with.

As I have said this is uncalled for.
I will pray for your bird.

Posted By: LoRaXspeek4keets

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 01:50 PM

OK you know what? I was going to avoid this, but this is actually upsetting me a bit.

This person made a mistake, and they realize it. They are clearly sorry for what they did. There are really two things that are a big problem in pet ownership today--one is forgetting that your pet is not another human, and the second mistake is forgetting that you, as a human, are an animal too.

Part of training your pet is training yourself as well. If something bites you, it is human INSTINCT to defend yourself. When you have a small pet like a bird, you have to train yourself not to do that, because you could really hurt them, and neither of you gets anywhere.

This person made an honest mistake, and they were coming here to ask for our help on how to correct it, and everyone jumped right down his/her throat. I find that incredibly rude and unhelpful.

This person most certainly does NOT need anger management, and the fact that anyone here would suggest that shows me two things: 1, that they don't really understand what it means to have uncontrollable anger that would require anger management, and 2, that they didn't read the original post carefully.

This person did not act out of anger. It was a knee jerk reaction. Obviously they know that they shouldn't hit their bird, otherwise they wouldn't have posted this.

You all have done nothing but go out of your way to make this person feel even worse for what they did, when they were clearly remorseful anyways. And I don't care how y'all put it, you were not helpful, you were not understanding, and everyone who participated in the bashing should know better than that.

That is the bottom line. I don't care what you say to me. Poor form, you guys. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Now, I'm gong to address rtegge the way they should have been addressed in the first place. Your bird will eventually forgive you. But you're just going to have to start from square one.

You'll have to earn her trust back, and don't forget that training an animal includes training yourself. From now on, you'll have to learn to override the instinct to swipe at your bird when she's biting you.

I know those bites can hurt, but the best thing to do is to not have any reaction. That way, she'll learn that biting is not effective and she should stop.

Just be very gentle with her, and prove to her that your not going to hurt her. The fact that she still comes to you and sits on your finger shows that she didn't lose complete trust in you. If she were truly terrified, she wouldn't come anywhere near you.

So just take it slow, and be patient. And remember that she's a tiny creature who, if you frighten her, will do her best to defend herself. You may not always know what you did to scare her (my bird inexplicably hates it when I wear nail polish), but remember to override your own instinct and stay calm and have no reaction.

Best of luck in regaining the trust of your bird.
Posted By: AllieD

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 03:01 PM

I also didn't want to be another person to add to this insanely off-topic thread, but, I consider myself to be in a rather unique position regarding this issue, if some of you will remember the "Holding the Beak" fiasco.

LoRaXspeek4keets, YOU ARE COMPLETELY AND ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. I can't believe it's finally taken this many posts before someone said what you did. This person ACTED ON INSTINCT, AS DID HIS/HER BIRD.

Note to everyone: This person wasn't asking for any kind of psychoanalysis--he/she was asking for advice about the bird.

rtegge, I know almost exactly how you feel, and I accept your regret for what happened. I understand that this post has been upsetting for you, but understand that not everyone on this forum is this unhelpful all the time. Like some have already said, it will take time for your bird to regain her trust, but it has obviously not been completely lost. She's probably feeling intimidated because you showed your dominance in, albeit, a rather violent and forceful way. Just start from square one as LoRaXspeek4keets suggested.

Please don't rashly consider giving her away, especially as a result of this thread: You obviously love her! Otherwise you wouldn't have been so honest, or have even sought out advice. Giving her away, especially so soon after this incident may prove even more emotionally damaging than the actual incident itself.

You and your baby bird will learn to love and trust each other again, in time. Take heart, and please, although it seems very uncomfortable now, please come back to the forum for advice if you need it. Not everyone here condemns you as an abusive, angry pet owner.

Best wishes to you and your keet.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 03:13 PM

im sorry but i do not at all accept that hitting your pet or any animal is "instinct"

in fact abuse to animals is listed as criteria for a sociopath... why? because it is NOT NORMAL, it is not instinct it is NOT OK.

i refuse to sit and placate someone who has abused their pet. my reply to this person was very kind and gentle

no one in this thread was rude to the poster so maybe you all need to go back and re read some stuff ...

i sorry but if it is your first instinct to hit or physically harm or attack your pet/bird then you probally should not have birds and you do need to get some counseling to figure out why physical action and violence are your first instinct. and that goes for anyone not just the poster.

remorse is one thing, but how muhc remorse is there really when you are trying to justify what you did?

good advice was given.

god forbid someone disagree with someone ... if people hate this place them STOP COMING!!!
Posted By: LoRaXspeek4keets

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 03:33 PM

Abuse to animals is only considered criteria for a sociopath if that abuse is performed deliberately with the intention of hurting the animal, and if the abuser shows no remorse or understanding of the wrongness of what he or she has done. You keep trying to apply mental diagnoses to people that don't even come close to having the symptoms. You must never swat at flies or bees. Frankly, this has just gotten ridiculous. I said what I had to say, and you can try to suggest that the poster and/or I need counseling all you want, but the bottom line is, the person made a mistake and recognized it, and they came here seeking help, not rash judgment.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 03:50 PM

first of all ive nver tried to diagnose anyones mental illness and i didnt say the poster had one so you need to step back and try to make some sense here. YOU are the one coming across as angry. I know very well the criteria involved, and I do not think the poster is a sociopath, though we never know… that was not my point, my point was that it is not, in any way, a natural instinct to hit an animal. I do not care how softly or hard you hit it, it is not “human nature” I will repeat what I said: if you (meaning anyone) feel that it is in your nature that your first instinct would be to hit (resort to physical violence) when confronted with a biting bird or any situation really, then you might want to really think about that, and figure out why that is your first instinct, because it certainly is not normal. This post got ugly because of one or two people, and it was the ones supposedly standing up for the person. We were all rather kind, I was shocked at how little people seemed upset by the fact that this poor helpless defensless bird was hit by a human being. If that does not anger you then me and you can never be on the same wave length. And excuse me, but swatting at a fly or bee is not at all the same thing as physically abusing your pet bird!!! It is no where near the same thing, and do not even try to act like it is. Are you seriously trying to justify hitting a bird??? Maybe you have not had to treat bird after bird for broken bones because the owner hit it one too many times, or threw something at its cage and injured it. And for the record, no I don’t swat at bees, I get up and walk away !!!! At work we have wasps and bees all over the place and I simply walk away, no need to harm them. Flies who knows. .. im not really ever around flies. You and shamrock have made this post ridiculous. It was perfectly fine until then. Advise was given. So was admonishment and information on how to better handle the situation. I am not on this iste to kiss human beings rear ends and make humans feel better about their actions, im not your mother nor your therapist. I am here to give good solid advice and get the same in return, to better serve the animals in my care. That’s it. And in my opinion, if you hit your bird, you do not deserve to have a bird.
Posted By: AllieD

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 03:55 PM

I don't think a debate, or maybe better to say an argument, is appropriate for the threads, but I cannot leave this unsaid: First of all, humans are animals. All animals have instincts; therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that humans have instincts too, yes? Whether they are instincts to protect our children, our friends, our family, or our property. What distinguishes us and sets us above animals is the ability to control our instinctive reactions. In this case, the owner did not. Although no form of violence towards any animal, or person, is acceptable in any way, this case is less "not ok" because the action wasn't done in anger. The very definition of "abuse" suggests ill will: I ask, what does a person do when an insect flies around a person's face? The person, instinctively, swats it away with his/her hand (at least, I do). The person doesn't stop to think, "Eww, a bug. This is not something I want in my face. It is gross and/or it could hurt me. I don't like this." That is the reasoning for the action, but the person doesn’t actively stop to contemplate the action. The person just acts! Is that considered violent, or abusive? (NOTE: I am not comparing a bird to an insect. I am merely showing the difference between instinct and abuse.) This incident has not come about through malice, hate, or ill will towards the pet. Secondly, I do not believe that the poster ever tried to justify what he/she did; and neither did any one who responded. We all agree that what happened was wrong. What I say is that instead of berating this person, which I think we can pretty much agree happened, we should accept his/her remorse and try to advise and assist; especially since we have never met this person and cannot judge him/her from a single, albeit severe, mistake revealed in post asking for help to correct said mistake. In fact, I think we ought to give the poster some credit, if not forgiveness, for admitting what happened was wrong and for seeking advice. This person had to have known, and did know as I recall, that people here would jump down his/her throat about it, but risked it anyway to get advise and help for his/her bird, which is what this forum is about: putting aside our differences for the comfort, health, and well-being of our animals. Thirdly, I'd like to point out that SOME good advice was given. Most of what was posted on this thread was not even advice. And no one has said that he/she hates this forum! In fact, I think, by looking at the number of responses to this post alone, it's pretty obvious that we all love it. I don’t want this to turn into another huge, long, and rather off-topic debate. I think it’s about time this thread was ended: good advice was given, and it seems to be pretty clear how we each feel. Let’s just move on. Again, I say: Let’s get back to the birds, people.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 04:05 PM


so i can hit my bird so long as i am not angry while doing it ????

so if i break its bones by hitting it thats ok so long as it wasnt done in anger?

yes we all have instincts, but it is not natural for your first response to be harming something smaller and defensless, in fact it is instinct to protect it not harm it.

your theory holds no water, sorry.

you are free to believe it and you can try to justify and sugar coat this persons actions all you want ... whatever makes you feel better.
This person did something very wrong, and they should do some soul searching as to why they did it, not try to blame it on human nature.
It is good that they recognize they did something wrong and are seeking ways to change the action, and I truly hope they do use the advice given and put it into action.
Anger is not a prerequisite to abuse, never has been and never will be.
Posted By: Anonymous

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 04:06 PM

and yes someone did say they hate the forum.
Posted By: val313

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 04:20 PM

This is something that I feel that I need admit. I have hit a bird before. I was very young. (about 12) The bird bit me very hard on the ear and I batted it away without thinking. I felt horrible that I had hit the bird. Fast forward to now. I would never hit my keets. I am older (28) and I learned from my mistakes. My keets are spoiled rotten brats who nip me all the time. I know now that birds explore their world through their beaks and only bite when defending or grumpy.
I was a child reacting on instinct (pain)and I did something incredibly stupid. I did learn from my mistakes. And I went on to work with many birds and animals at a museum.
This is all I want to say on the issue. I am not here to start a huge blow up. I feel that the person came here with honesty. Hopefully they have learned. And yes it will take the bird a long time to build trust back.
When I stepped on Basil (accident) it took him almost 3 weeks before I could touch him. He just recently is getting to where he will land on the floor without freaking out.
It will take some time. Birds do remember. They are very wonderful and intelligent creatures.
Posted By: Darkness

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 05:13 PM

Thank you all who are trying to understand this poster's mistake. I did try to stop the debate earlier, but to no avail obviously. Your bird will trust you again. It will take time as anyone who is smaller and scared, but I am sure your bird knows you love her.

Though I have never hit, I do snap or clap when my birds misbehave to get their attention that it's wrong. I do the same to my children and other pets. I do dominance training and become alpha or head of the flock. Some would find this particular form wrong, but it works for all of us and I'm still very much loved and not feared.

You are not a sociopath, nor do I see those tendencies. As a person getting her Masters in Psychology, I can say that. It WAS an honest accident, not abuse. It was wrong, but the poster knows this. I do not abuse my animals or my children, but I do discipline them with voice and body language.

As Val said, when I was younger (11 or 12) my first cat saw my fingers moving on the arm of a couch and attacked them. It hurt and out of instinct I swatted her. I felt awful and apologized and cuddled her after and she never hated or feared me. I loved that cat and still to this day does not see it as abuse or sociopath behavior.

I think there was great advice given, the bird is okay. The poster is remorseful. Lets try a little harder to be respectful and caring. It is okay to be concerned for the bird, as I would be if it were a child, but it's another thing to get riled up and off track. That helps no one and makes us all look bad.

So lets try to do better next time. I know this is a loving community when it can be. Lets continue to show that to newcomers and us uh...oldcomers(i know not a word) alike! smile
Posted By: CassandraM_89

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 05:21 PM

So look at it this way, if your child does something that startles you and you accidentally hit your child, give them a bruise on their face and they go to school the next day, won't the teachers ask who did it? When the child says "mommy or daddy" won't they call child services on you? You can say it's an accident all you want to but they won't believe you.

I know that it's hard NOT to react to things. *example* When I was getting my wisdom tooth extracted the dentist warned me MANY times NOT to jump or move...As soon as he stuck those pliers in my mouth and I felt pain I jumped like a lightning bolt hit me, and lol well he got mad...But the point is that sometimes being startled can't be controlled even if you are expecting that something is going to happen *end example*

I guess what I am saying is that it may have been a mistake but think about it this way, the next time she bites you and you get startled what are you gonna do? How will you react?

I think the best thing for you to do is get a pair of training gloves so you can get her used to you again without the fear of biting and the possibility of striking your baby again...

Talk sweet to her, spend time sitting by her cage and maybe sing to her, even put your hand inside the cage and just leave it there for a bit

I hope everything turns out for the best
Posted By: skipperdog

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 05:43 PM

While I agree that a person may startle at pain, I know my first reaction is to move away, not strike back. I do think striking out physically is an aggressive reaction.

Things happen. I have had many accidental injuries caused to me by my kids, and I don't hit them when that happens. For example, being bitten by my 18 month old while he was nursing. He was falling asleep and I guess he was dreaming and he clenched his teeth.(If you think a parakeet bite hurts, try that sometime. Not fun.) Anyway, I did yelp, and startle him, but I didn't want to hit him.

I am hopeful that the op is working with the bird and will now be very careful to guard against physical discipline, reactionary or not, in the future.
Posted By: PDM

Re: i hit my bird - 07/08/09 06:32 PM

Well, we can go into psycho-analysis re lashing out in shock, but we are not experts. What's done is done. The opening poster did not mean to hurt the bird and s/he feels sorry about it.

People have offered opinions and advice and now the thread is decending into an unpleasant aegument.

I think that enough is enough.

I keep hearing how pleasant everyone is in the parakeet section.

However, I also keep hearing how judgemental some people are in this section.

I know that some people were merely giving a response and not trying to be negative.

Let's try to keep things friendly.
I'm closing this now.
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