I am scared of birds! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2003
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I am scared of birds!

Okay, first step is admitting you have a problem right?

I work in a pet store, and we keep our parrots very socialized. We take them out everyday and handle them and cuddle them. This i believe is wonderful, except when i have to do it! When i first started, i had never held a parrot before and so i never was afraid. Stuck my hand into an africian grey's cage and said step up and his grabbed my hand in his beak. Okay, i remained calm as i know birds use their beaks as another "hand" but all he did was apply pressure, then the snot twisted his beak taking a chunk out of my skin!

Well to say the least i am now afraid to even catch a parakeet without a glove of my sweater over my hand.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to get me over this fear? The majority of the time the birds would be fine, but there was always once when they'd get spooked and chomp down and i would timidly run away from the bird room.

I did come around with a quaker we had, i was able to hold him and he would chew on my ring so i'd switch hands and he'd kinda taste me but not bite. I would break open his pin feathers for him and we bonded really well. But then he got sold. I love how that works

Any suggestions? I want to get over this fear, they are all so beautiful...
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 04:10 PM
Tarzan Mama of Two
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: The land down under!
Age: 36
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oh Raiquee i'm the same as you!!! My aunty has a bird (don't ask what kind...not sure...I'm totally clueless when it comes to birds!!lol) and it's awful! It hisses at me when I walk past it and one day it bit my ear really hard and it has given me the fear of birds cause this bird is evil!!! although they love it and let it out to walk around the house etc.....it just hates me and my mum!

Too lazy to even think of a siggy
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 04:51 PM
I Wish I Were a Snot Ball Shooter
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ohio
Age: 48
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I have to be honest - I was a bit leery of Eephus when I first met him (he lived at the pet shop where I work prior to coming to live with us). He was a nipper, and the other girls were scared to death of him.
I would play with him through the cage bars, touching his beak and feeties, his stomach etc until I got brave enough. As with any critter, it's important to not let them know you're afraid of them - a friend of mine tries petting Eephus, and he messes with her because he knows she's scared of him ...
Also, a lot of birds are territorial when it comes to their cage. Let them come to you, rather than reaching in to get them out. Usins something to "block" a bite, maybe some sort of toy is a good idea too - let the birdie bite it instead of you.
Good luck - birdies are so much fun - but I think it's a good idea to have a "healthy" fear of their beaks - it's easy to forget what they're capable of.
What kind of birdies are you working with right now ?

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 05:17 PM
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You have a right to be afraid - those beaks can do alot of damage and even a small nip can be painful!!

In my experience, you need to be confident & cautious. Some birds, depending on type & socialization, will be easier to handle. I dare any of ya'll (except Sharon) to come over and just try to pick up Toby! He would give you a bite you wouldn't soon forget. LOL But I can pick him up and do anything I want with him.

In other words, they will get used to you if you handle them enough. Birds are so intelligent and it can take months to win over some birds just so they will step up for you. But since you're working in a pet store, I'm sure you are not seeing them for very long.

Talk baby talk to them when you go to pick them up. And definitely like Sharon said, let them come to you. Bribe 'em with a treat. And have a toy or a wooden dowel to distract them or block them if they go to bite you. Don't pull your hand away - they will know they "won".

And don't use your sweater over your hand and don't use a glove. A lot of birds will be more scared of that and will want to bite the glove!

It will just take time for you to overcome your fear. I hope this doesn't change your opinion of the birdies - they are some of the best pets/animals in the world. No other animal of mine loves me and/or gives as much back to me as my Toby does.

Ok, I'm babbling again...good luck to you!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-11-2004, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 124
Well out of the 7 months or so i have been there we have had a blue and gold macaw, a servere macaw, two africian greys, a blue front amazon, blue crown amazon, some double yellow amazons, a panama amazon, and we just recentally got a tokimon (sp?) amazon. Hes like a mini amazon and hes really really neat!

We had a grey we called Big papa, and altho he has bitten me the most out of any other bird, i was never afraid to reach my hand in there and have him step up. He had the greatest personality. I would always make him work for his scratches. I would tap the bottom of the cage wire and he'd slid down and gimme his head to scratch. He'd also try to feed me through the cage. When we would clean rooms every morning, he would jump around on the bottom of his cage and jump pretty high! When I would say "papa!" he would look at you, then lift his beak up and clank the bottom of his food dish over and over like saying "I'm ready to be fed!"

Our servere macaw seems to really like me. I say hi to him, he'll kinda bob his head and he'll climb across the cage to come by me. Sometimes he will even stick his foot out to hold my finger, and one time he even let me scratch him! He was a more of a rescue than anything. We got him from another store, where kids basically harassed the poor baby. So now he is terrified of humans. He got out of his cage once, and one of the workers went to put him back and he ripped her arm up. I have never had him step up on me, i'm too scared. But he always wants attention from me, and has been there forever. I hope he gets placed. Hes very particular on who he likes.

I know a lot of people on forums tend to "not like the pet stores" because of "improper care" and the like. Our store manager has trained birds for 20 plus years. I think the main reason birds get snotty at our store is the dumb people who walk up the cages, poke them, scream at them and swear at them. It breaks my heart. I walked up to some kids one day who was screaming at the macaw and i told them to stop it. They told me they only listened to their mom. So i asked them to show me their mom, and told her she needed to tell her kids to stop screaming at the macaw, that they were torturing the poor bird. She looked at me like i had no right to be telling her kids what to do.

I just wish people would understand that its not the pet stores that are bad, its the uneducated people who think they know everything.

With my small rant out of the way. I hope -one day- to get a bird. I know they are very complex creatures however, and i need to do a ton of research. I think i would start with something like a quaker or sun conure first, before taking the big step to big parrots. I just need to get over this fear.
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cage bars, gold macaw, pet shop, pet store, pet stores, sun conure

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