How Do We Stop Our Budgie from Over Preening Us?

Chris M. seeks budgie advice:

 

Hello, I enjoy your site and your advice very much.

 

My wife and I just got our hand raised Budgerigar, the bird is very affectionate and spends quite a bit of time on our shoulders.

 

Recently it has started to preen us, the issue is that it’s preening can be painful as it will focus on skin imperfections or small folds of skin and nip quite hard.

 

We have tried flinching and stating no, using the bird’s name which will stop its behavior, but it soon returns to its painful preening.

 

What other steps can we take to discourage this behavior?

 

Our bird is about 12 weeks old at this time.

 

Thank you, Chris

 

 

Dear Chris

 

Don’t cause yourself harm by letting the bird over preen you.

 

Pull away and distract the bird to other things, small toys that you have nearby.

 

We are familiar with this as we have a Quaker that will also “taste” our spots.

 

But it doesn’t have to be allowed.

 

Just brush him away from the spots and redirect him.

 

Also, don’t use his name when you want him to stop doing things as you want him to relate his name to positive things.

 

Just say “No”.

 

The sooner he learns to stop that the better.

 

You can also try to apply a foul-tasting product to your skin like Natra NoPick and see if that helps.

 

Regards,

Catherine

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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