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Old 01-05-2019, 09:08 AM
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EllenD EllenD is offline
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Re: Horrible, Sudden Aggression in Green Cheek Conure

I'm going to jump in here and emphasize how serious it is that a 9 month-old Green Cheek doesn't have their flight feathers yet!!! Combine that with her sudden aggressiveness out of nowhere (excluding when she's in or on top of or near her cage, as that's completely normal), and it's quite possible that your bird is unfortunately quite sick...

There are numerous Avian Viral Diseases that can cause this, and unfortunately the worst ones involve them not growing in their feathers...All birds, regardless of species or type, hide any and all outward signs of illness or pain for as long as they possibly can, sometimes as long as months and months to over a year, yet they are very, very sick or in a lot of pain. It's a survival instinct that protects them and their entire flock from being targeted by predators for seeming weak...So by the time we as people see actual symptoms of illness that we recognize as symptoms/signs, they've already been very sick or injured for quite a long time, often too long to help them by the time we figure it out...Sudden, unexplained aggression in a tame parrot can very well be their only way to express that they are in pain or don't feel well at all and don't want to be touched...Combine that with she's 9 months old and hasn't grown-in her flight feathers/mature feathers yet and apparently also hasn't even started her first molt, which should have started by now, and it's quite possible that she is a very sick birdy.

Imagine someone who has some type of cancer or is HIV positive, but they either don't know or refuse to go to a doctor. They can have the disease/infection for months and months without even knowing it, all they know is they feel "tired" or just not right...It's kind of the same thing with birds, except they know something is wrong and are purposely hiding it...And the BIG Avian Viral Diseases, such as PBFD, ABV, PDD, etc. are all ones that sometimes show-up as positive on blood-work but are never suspected...I don't think it's ABV since your bird is eating fine, but he/she absolutely needs to be tested for PBFD and PDD, among others...

You need to find either a CAV or Avian Specialist Vet, no Exotics or General Vets as you need to be able to describe her behavioral changes that she suddenly went through to a specially trained and experienced Avian Vet with extra education and training who will know what blood-work to run and what diseases to look for...They also need to do a very thorough visual and physical exam and look closely at her feathers to see if there are any obvious, external signs that she has either a follicle issue or some other problem shedding her baby feathers, or if there is obvious damage to the follicles that are going to prevent your bird from ever growing-in their adult feathers...Most Green Cheeks go through their first molt, the largest one they ever go through, starting around 6 months old or so, where they molt all of their feathers and depending on their mutation they go through major color changes...This is independent of her flight-feathers not ever coming in, as that obviously should have happened around 8 weeks old...

This brings me to my second thought...If her flight feathers never came in, that means that she never fledged, which they do right around the same time as they fully-wean, which should be around 8-10 weeks old for a Green Cheek, maybe a week or two later...A bird that never fledges (whatever the reason) is a bird that is most-likely going to suffer from severe psychological and especially neurological behaviors for the rest of their lives...This doesn't explain WHY her flight-feathers never grew in, that's a physical/medical issue, but the result is that she never fledged, and the issues secondary to never fledging are the psychological/neurological issues... The same thing often happens to birds who's breeders cliip their wings before they are allowed to fully-fledge, same thing happens, sudden aggression, reverting back to baby-bird behavior, begging for feedings, etc. But when it's due to simply a "bad breeder" there isn't any physical/medical underlying issue...with your bird, she's got something very wrong if she never grew in her flight feathers and is not molting normally...

And keep-in mind that not being able to properly molt can also cause psychological/neurological issues as well...It's a vicious-circle...But what I'm worried about the most with your bird is WHY she never grew-in her flight feathers and WHY she hasn't yet started to molt at all...She could be extremely sick...The sooner you find a Certified Avian Vet or Avian Specialist Vet and get her in for a full physical/visual exam, full Blood-Work, and also a Fecal Culture/Microscopy just to rule-out some kind of systemic Fungal-Infection that is effecting her follicles/skin and making her itchy as hell and crazy, the better...There are other infections/conditions that can effect full-body feather-follicles that aren't life-threatening like some of the Viral Diseases are, as long as they are treated, such as a systemic Fungal/Yeast Infection, Feather Mites, etc., but I highly doubt it's any of these since she never grew-in her flight feathers in the first place when she was 10 weeks old...

Did her breeder say anything to you about her not being able to fly when you bought her??? Something is weird here, unless this breeder clipped her before you picked her up to cover-up the issue with her feathers not growing in...The rest of the advice she gave you about "pushing her beak away" and such wasn't great advice, so I'm wondering what she said to you about your bird not being able to fly...Regardless she would have been very aware that your bird never grew-in her flight-feathers and that she never fledged...Something isn't right here...

Did your bird ever have issue with eating her "staple" foods, meaning her pellets/seed-mix every day? This would have been evident since you brought her home....
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