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What if My Parrotlet Tries to Bite?

A Parrotlet should not nip or bite unless it is the result of fear or stress (including lack of sleep). Typically, a bonded companion Parrotlet would never think of biting its mate (you). However, using their beak to let you know they don't want to go somewhere, come out of their cage, etc. is not uncommon. This means they use their beak to tap, hold, or move a finger, without actually nipping or biting.

If your Parrotlet bites, evaluate your interaction and their environment. What happened prior to the bite? Also some who are new to handling Parrotlets might try to grab them firmly in hand. Most simply do not like this. Chances are they will let you know it. Better to let them step up onto your finger or if you must pick them up, hold them as loosely as possible in your hands. The "NO" command used sternly each time is usually sufficient, followed by praise when the bird does something good. (I reward mine with black sunflower seeds or gentle scratch behind the neck.) Remain calm, be patient and try to follow a bite with an activity that your Parrotlet likes (like a ride on your shoulder) so that you can praise him or her. Always praise your Parrotlet for good behavior during the course of normal interaction. A happy, excited voice works wonders!

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