Imagine such a situation. You are having fun with your pet parrot, and suddenly, they attack your feet. Or your friend’s parrot bites your feet when you visit them. It may be funny, but the feet and toes are very sensitive, and these bites are painful. Even if your parrot is not aggressive, they may attack your feet from time to time. Let’s understand why this happens. Why do parrots attack feet?
Unfortunately, there is no definite answer to the question of why parrots are so obsessed with our feet. However, there are several typical reasons why your feathered pets bite, and some of them will help us understand why parrots attack their feet.
In this article, we will discuss everything related to parrots and feet. Why do parrots bite their own feet? Why do they attack our feet and bite our toes? How to protect your feet from your parrot? You will find answers to these and other questions below. Keep reading to find out more!
Why Do Parrots Attack Our Feet?
It is difficult to answer such a complex question regarding the psychology of birds. Supposedly, there are several reasons for this, which can help us understand our pets’ behavior. Let’s look into all the details together! So, here are the main reasons for parrots to bite your feet.
They Are a Baby
All children explore the world by tasting unknown things. For this reason, your children put everything they see in their mouths, puppies chew your shoes, and little parrots bite on what piques their interest. This way, they explore the world around them and check whether the things around them are edible. Therefore, if your parrot is still a chick trying to bite your feet, they may be curious about biting and want to explore new objects.
They Are Afraid
Parrots can attack objects that cause them to fear. You may laugh, but parrots may be afraid of your feet if they haven’t had the opportunity to explore them as chicks. Literally, your parrot may not understand what it is if they haven’t experienced it before. By attacking your feet, they may be trying to cope with fear and find out if the feet can harm them. In general, this applies to various objects that are not familiar to your parrot.
They Are Playing
You have probably seen how small puppies or kittens bite your hands during playing. Often such an active game ends with bites, and this works the same in the case of parrots. However, your pet may perceive your feet as a toy and periodically attack them to get them involved in the game. In this case, you will see the absence of fear and aggression.
They Are Overstimulated
Parrots are very social pets and love to play with you. However, some types of parrots are more active than others. These are Conures, Amazons, Cockatoos, and Caiques. These types of parrots can become overstimulated while playing and bite your arms or feet. It is the result of irrational thinking and the excitability of the brain.
Why Do Parrots Bite Their Own Feet?
We have considered the main reasons why parrots can attack your feet. However, parrots often bite their own feet. Are the reasons the same? Not at all. When a parrot is scared or playful, they will not bite their own feet. Such behavior is a violation of health – either physiological or psychological.
The most common reason why a parrot bites its own feet is an infection – fungal, viral, or bacterial. The infection causes inflammation of the tissues, and this, in turn, provokes itching and other unpleasant sensations. As a result of this, parrots can bite their own feet. They may also do so due to arthritis pain, dermatitis, or allergy itching.
Bumblefoot, a bacterial infection that causes skin irritation in parrots, as well as Avian Herpes Virus, can also cause itchy feet in birds. The Avian Herpes Virus is highly contagious and causes various infections. However, infectious diseases can be cured without complications with disinfection and the right medicines.
Another reason for this behavior may be psychological problems. Parrots can experience severe stress, fear, depression, and mental disturbances that cause compulsive behavior and harm their bodies. For example, this could be feather plucking, head shaking, or biting their own feet.
Also, parrots can experience boredom and try to entertain themselves by biting their feet. To understand why your parrot bites its own feet, try to find out if they are stressed. If your pet is bored, you should add various entertainment and intellectual tasks. Also, you should ensure they are healthy, their cage is clean, and they do not have any infection. When in doubt, you should take your parrot to the vet.
How to Prevent Biting?
Your parrot may attack your feet for various reasons, but in any case, you should limit this behavior. Even if this behavior is not the result of aggression and bad temper but is just a game, your pet can hurt you. Yes, parrot bites can be very painful if they are excited. Therefore, you should curb this behavior for your safety. So what can you do to prevent your parrot from biting your feet?
Keep Your Feet Out of Sight
If your parrot bites your feet infrequently and it hasn’t become a real problem yet, you can simply fix the situation. First, you need to make sure that your parrot does not have the opportunity to attack your feet. Try wearing socks or slippers. It is usually enough to protect you against accidental bites.
Move to a Different Location
If slippers can temporarily protect your feet, then in general, this will not solve the problem if your parrot likes to bite you. They may be looking for every opportunity to bite you when they can. In this case, you should work on emotional contact. Most pets react to the emotional reaction of their owner. And parrots are no exception.
When your parrot starts attacking your feet, you should leave the room. Do this every time they start to bite. Parrots have strong intellectual abilities, so they quickly figure out that you do not like biting, and they will have to stop it if they want your attention.
Train Your Parrot at a Young Age
If your parrot lives with you from an early age, then you should introduce them to various stimuli to accustom them to different environments. For example, if your parrot chick sees your feet all the time, then they will not experience stress and aggression in the future. Instead, they will perceive your feet as something completely normal and not dangerous. In this way, you will help your parrot get acquainted with the outside world and form a stable emotional state.
You should not raise your voice if you see any unwanted behavior in your parrot. In this way, you can provoke stress and even depression, leading to various emotional problems in parrots. Instead, you should just leave, ignoring your pet for a while. It will let them know that you do not like their behavior, and they will try to avoid it to get a reward.
How Hard Can a Parrot Bite?
Although parrots often look like small and cute creatures, they have great bite power. Their beaks can break nuts and other hard things like the bars of their cage. Can you imagine with what force a parrot can bite you? The beak of a parrot has a great bite force. For example, a macaw parrot can bite you with a force of up to 700 pounds per square inch. It is how large dogs bite.
Of course, not all parrots bite as hard as macaws. However, the strength of the bite depends on the shape and size of your pet’s beak and how aggressive they are. In any case, all parrots can hurt you and injure you if they bite.
What Should You Do if A Parrot Bites You?
Parrot games with your feet may be completely harmless, but they can also cause you serious harm. Bites can provoke infection with subsequent inflammation of the tissues. In order to avoid serious problems, you should take a few simple steps.
Get Medical Help
Parrot bites are different, and in most cases, they do not damage human skin. However, sometimes a parrot bite can lead to damage to the skin and bleeding in the wound. If a parrot has bitten you very badly and you have a wound, you should visit a doctor for professional help.
Cleanse and Disinfect the Wound
If your parrot bites you and you get a small wound, you can deal with it at home. Small scratches and bites should be treated with an antiseptic and cleaned of contamination to prevent inflammation and infection. Use clean water and antibacterial soap, and then treat the wound with any disinfectant.
Cover the Wound
After disinfecting the wound, cover it with a bandage or a clean cloth. Your main task is to prevent infection from entering the wound and avoid following inflammation. Change the bandage 1-2 times a day and disinfect the wound until it heals. Be sure to see a doctor if there is swelling and redness of the tissues around the wound.
As you can see, your parrot attacks your feet for various reasons – both for play and out of fear or aggression. Either way, you can deal with it and eliminate unwanted behavior. Even if biting starts as a fun and safe game, it can lead to serious wounds and infections. Try to find out why the parrot attacks your feet, and you can deal with it without harming yourself and your pet.