Cockatiels are very sociable and friendly pets. However, many cockatiel owners have to deal with various behavioral issues such as biting. Cockatiels can bite you for a variety of reasons. If your cockatiel bites, you should take some time to see what causes your cockatiel to bite. So, in this article, I will share how to stop a cockatiel from biting.
How To Stop A Cockatiel From Biting
The cockatiel’s biting can cause you to feel anxious and will surely make you wonder what is wrong with your cockatiel. But, the good news in all that is that you can stop your cockatiel from biting.
Every owner needs to know how to stop a cockatiel from biting. Below I will share how to stop a cockatiel from biting:
1. Develop a Bond
Your cockatiel is much less likely to bite you if it knows you well and trusts you. Although cockatiels are social and friendly birds, sometimes they may react aggressively if they are upset. If you don’t have a strong bond with your cockatiel and it senses that you have a strange approach, it may result in a bite. In this way, your cockatiel thinks that you are invading its territory and can bite you to defend it.
So, when you adopt a cockatiel, take time during the day to get closer and create a strong bond between you and your cockatiel. In this way, your cockatiel will trust you more and will stop biting behavior.
2. Ignore your cockatiel when biting occurs
Very often, the owners inadvertently reinforce the biting. Any attention, even in the form of scolding, can look positive on your cockatiel who is seeking relief from boredom or frustration. When your cockatiel bites you, simply ignore this behavior instead of scolding it. Try to ignore your cockatiel and not react when it bites you. In this way, your cockatiel will realize that it is not right to bite you, so it will stop doing that.
3. Always keep a regular sleeping and feeding schedule
As your cockatiel may often bite you because they are dissatisfied with their diet and sleeping cycle, keeping a schedule can help you with this. Make sure your cockatiel always gets a variety in its diet and eat regularly. Also, let your cockatiel sleep at roughly the same time each day.
- Seeds and pellets should be the primary diet of your cockatiel. However, your cockatiel may get bored if it eats the same food every day. Add variety to your cockatiel’s diet with various vegetables, fruits, and grains in their regular diet.
- Keep an eye on what time of the day your cockatiel seems to rest. Make a conscious effort to give space to your cockatiel during these times. A cockatiel may often get frustrated and bite you if you handle it when it is tired. A cockatiel requires a lot of rest to feel healthy and happy.
4. Handle your cockatiel carefully
One of the leading causes of cockatiel’s bite is anxiety. Anxiety is often caused accidentally by owners who improperly handle their cockatiels. Be very careful when handling your cockatiel to not cause stress to it.
- Let a cockatiel to come to you. Never grab a cockatiel but give it the option of perching on your hand or finger.
- Never follow your cockatiel from room to room, because in that way it will think that you are chasing it. In the wild, predators chase cockatiels in this way. If you don’t want your cockatiel to mistake you as a threat, just allow it to fly from room to room.
- Always talk to your cockatiel gently and offer it treats and toys. This will keep it calm and relaxed and allow you to establish a bond with it. If you have recently bought your cockatiel, give it space for a few weeks before trying to contact.
5. Tell to your cockatiel “No” in a stern voice
You can teach your cockatiel that biting is harmful and unwanted behavior by doing the following:
- Every time your cockatiel bites you, take your hand off and say “no” in a stern voice
- If your cockatiel manages to bite you, then yell “ow” in a firm tone and take your hand out.
- Tell the command “no” and then ignore your cockatiel.
- Refuse to interact with your cockatiel for a few minutes, even if the cockatiel requires your attention.
By saying the word “no” whenever your cockatiel wants to bite you, you can stop your cockatiel from biting. Also, you can not change this behavior in cockatiels overnight, and therefore it takes several weeks for your cockatiel to realize that this is bad behavior and that it shouldn’t bite.
6. Provide enough toys for your cockatiels
In the wild, cockatiels are constantly occupied with some activity. Mental stimulation through appropriate toys is vital to the well-being of the cockatiel. If your cockatiel gets bored, it may bite you to get more attention and stimulation.
- Toys such as old toiled paper rolls and shredded waste paper are fun for cockatiels. While they forage in the wild to build nests, cockatiel will enjoy tearing through the paper in captivity.
- Stop by your local pet store and see what is current and available in bird toys. Many cockatiels enjoy puzzle toys, which are contraptions where you may hide a treat. The cockatiel will have fun trying to dismantle the puzzle to get a reward. This is an excellent choice if you are away from home for a long tie during the day.
7. Provide more attention to your cockatiel
Your cockatiel may bite you due to insufficient attention. If you have reacted strongly to your cockatiel’s bite in the past, it may have learned that the bite attracts your attention. Your cockatiel can also act out of frustration and loneliness, engaging in destructive behavior as it does. This behavior includes biting and involves feathers- plucking, destroying toys, and screaming. A lonely cockatiel can be sad, but it can also be prone to biting.
The best way to stop the bite is to give your cockatiel more attention. Cockatiels need one-on-one attention. Take time every day to spend with your cockatiel, especially if you only have one cockatiel.
Your attention may include playing with your cockatiel, talking, singing, and dancing. You can also often let your cockatiel out of its cage so that it can get other forms of enrichment.
8. Another cockatiel from the company
If you have tried the above techniques and your cockatiel is still biting, it may be biting because it is boring or feels lonely in the cage. You may not be able to spend enough time with it, or your cockatiel may simply not be satisfied with the number of toys it has.
In this case, a second cockatiel can be an excellent step for your cockatiel to stop biting. With the outlet of the mate in the cage, negative behavior, including biting, should be calmed down.
9. Ease your cockatiel into transitions
Do you have any changes in your household? Have you recently moved into a new home? Do you have a new person or pet in your home? Is there something nearby being build that makes noise? Any change in the environment can cause anxiety in your cockatiel, leading to biting. If there are any significant changes, give your cockatiel time to get used to the transition. Do not handle it often, and ensure that it always has adequate food and water. But if you think that external sounds are bothering your cockatiel, a noise machine is a good option.
10. Do not yell at your cockatiel
Yelling at your cockatiel can backfire in one of two ways. Yelling can excite your cockatiel by causing it to repeat the behavior to provoke a reaction again. Also, yelling can cause stress in your cockatiel, leading to biting from fear and anxiety. Never yell at your cockatiel after a bite. Try to stay calm at all times.
11. Do not punish your cockatiel when it bites
Punishment can only increase the cockatiel’s sense of anxiety. It can also relieve stress and reduce your bond with your cockatiel. Avoid punishing your cockatiel if you want to eliminate biting.
- Never spray your cockatiel with a spray bottle to address biting. In this way, the cockatiel will perceive you as a threat.
- Please do not put your cockatiel in his cage as punishment. Cockatiels see their cages as safe and happy spaces. If you place your cockatiel in the cage after the bite, it will think that this behavior is rewarded or will have negative thoughts about the cage. This can cause an issue, making it harder for your cockatiel to return to the cage.
12. Do not use distractions with treats or toys
Many owners react to the bite by distracting the cockatiel with a treat or a toy. However, this is similar to putting your cockatiel in a cage, and it may see this as a reward for its behavior. This may encourage biting in the future.