My parrotlet was biting my fingers quite hard today and left a nice bruise. A few days ago, I read some claims online that a smaller beak equals a ‘less painful’ bite. I feel like I should say this is untrue. It can hurt very badly and will even draw blood. Parrotlets certainly love to chew fingers, too.
For this reason, I would not recommend a parrotlet, lovebird, or other very small parrot as a first bird for children (or those who want to avoid being bitten as much as possible). They are wonderfully interactive little creatures – and I’d say they make great pets… not to mention they’re super cute. I could sing their praises all day. The biting can be a bit of a problem, though.
That’s why I want to share my way around the nippiness. Usually when Ptak gets into a finger-eating mood, I put him back in his cage for a short ‘time out,’ but this makes it ever more difficult to get him back in when I really need to. It’s not recommended. The best thing to do – if you’re already working on decent diet, the best way to resolve behavioural issues of ANY kind – is to distract.
Today, when my parrotlet was gnawing my fingers, I resorted to making up little games for him – ending with the most popular…
This wee activity involves two of his favourite things: tearing up paper and eating sunflower seeds and millet.
It’s also a good way to teach him that being covered up by things isn’t frightening.
The game is simply to place your bird’s favourite treats inside the folds of a crumpled tissue. You can let him watch you do it, for the first few times, and bribe him down to it by setting a few treats visibly along the outside folds.
In other words, keep your bird occupied and he won’t have time to bite you.
In summary, parrotlets are very busy little critters. They are intelligent and perceptive (like the big birds, they can read your moods!) and a lot of fun.