Ask Lafeber

Question:

November 11, 2020

my bird is biting me


I have a 5 year old rainbow lorikeet. Due to health problems, I don’t get to spend as much time as I like with him or my sun conure and nanday conure. When I give him treats, I don’t know if he will attack my or not. I usually start with him, then the other two, and back to him for treats. The second time I give him a treat, he’s just as likely to bite me as not. What am I doing wrong? I can’t take him out of the cage because we have two dogs and two cats.


Answer:

Hi Kay,

Lorys/Lorikeets – the only difference being the type of tail – are extremely high energy birds. Because of this, they need a lot more enrichment in the way of toys and activities to keep them busy. I actually had 4 Lorys who all lived to be in their 30’s. I found early on that they tend to do much better with a companion, especially if they aren’t being handled daily. However, that does introduce a lot of noise and drama, because they often have harmless squabbles that look and sound like they are killing each other. A single lory that doesn’t come out of the cage needs a very large cage – much larger than you would normally have for the size bird. He needs a lot of toys to keep him busy. Lorys usually love hanging toys as well as floor toys that they can roll around with and play. Lorys will spend a lot of time on the cage floor playing. As far as the biting, one thing that stands out is that he is more likely to bite when you come back to him from the other birds. This sounds like clear jealousy, so the best solution is to spend your time with him, and not go back after you give the other birds attention. Also, most birds will bite when you reach into their cage through the cage bars. This is their territory and while the same bird is likely to step up or take a treat nicely if you open the cage door, your hand suddenly becomes an intruder when you reach through the cage bars. So keep this in mind also when offering treats. Hopefully by trying these changes, he will be less aggressive.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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