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
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.