Parrot Forum Header Left  
Go Back   Parrot Forum - Parrot Owner's Community > Community > Behavioral

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2020, 02:33 PM
Junior Member
Parrots:
Dusky Conure
Join Date: Jun 2020
Thanks: 7
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Big_Jim is on a distinguished road
Itchy Dusky Conure Who is into Everything Except his Toys

Hello. I have a 13 1/2 week old dusky conure and I hope to get some advice on his behavior. He loves to be with me and shows no aggression or fear. He steps up and often sleeps in my hand or on my shoulder. He also does three things I can't seem to fix.

The biggest issue is that he scratches and sneezes a lot. He has chewed off some of the feathers from the front edge of his wings due to this. He had a vet check up and she said it is dry skin and he does not have lice or mites. She suggested a humidifier which I have only had set up for a couple days now. I can see little white flakes on him, so it seems like she is correct about it being dry skin. I am also making sure he gets leafy greens and a little egg every day to avoid a vitamin a deficiency. Does anyone have any other suggestions to stop the constant scratching

Issue number 2 is his lack of interest in toys. I try to have him next to me
when I am working from home, but he drives me crazy. He has toys on his perch and on the desk, but he wants to chew cables, my laptop, my keyboard or my phone. He basically seems to prefer to chew on rubber and plastic instead of wood or cardboard. Are there safe rubber and plastic toys I can give him? All the advice I read said to get wood based toys.

Issue number 3 is that he has little 5 minute tantrums once every couple days where nothing consoles him. He runs around making little squeaky grunts and will nip at my finger if it's nearby. He seems extremely frustrated and nothing I do to try to entertain him helps. After about 5 minutes he acts normal again.

I don't know if all conures are this neurotic, but I want to make sure I am giving him everything he needs. He is a total sweetheart half the time and a crazy little guy half the time. I can deal with issue 2 and 3 if it's normal behavior. Hopefully the humidifier helps with issue 1.
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2020, 02:48 PM
Senior Member
Parrots:
Umbrella Cockatoo- 13 years old
Join Date: Jul 2018
Thanks: 5,873
Thanked 10,884 Times in 4,474 Posts
noodles123 will become famous soon enough
Re: Itchy Dusky Conure Who is into Everything Except his Toys

you are way early to expect an interest in toys and the chewing of feathers could be a sign of stress or health issues.
YOU have to teach him...

You also haven't had him long enough to even build trust...granted, he is a baby still (but they can still have a hard time adjusting) and if you just plopped toys in his cage, that is like me plopping Godzilla in your house.


You need to get him to the vet--sneezing (even daily) is NOT normal and birds hide disease, so please make sure it is an avian vet who will do more than just listen to your birds heart and send you on your way....

If he is screaming and weaned, the last thing you should be doing is trying to entertain him...you will end up encouraging the behavior 75% of the time, as it could very well be attention-seeking....At the same time, NEVER EVER punish or yell at them...don't even look at them if you are sure it is a tantrum...IGNORE it fully as long as you are certain.

Also-- it is natural for birds to scream a 2x daily and that is healthy...so you have to look at the context...

Last edited by noodles123; 07-09-2020 at 02:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2020, 03:34 PM
Junior Member
Parrots:
Dusky Conure
Join Date: Jun 2020
Thanks: 7
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Big_Jim is on a distinguished road
Re: Itchy Dusky Conure Who is into Everything Except his Toys

He was at the avian vet on Monday and I told her about the sneezing, over preening and itching. The sneezing is rare but the itching is every couple hours. She thinks it is just the dry air in my house and said he is healthy.

Thanks for the advice on the tantrums and they are definitely tantrums. I was handing that wrong and trying to figure out what he wanted instead of ignoring. I do not punish him or get angry with him. That advice was consistent everywhere I researched.

He only has two small toys on the sides of his cage and one on his perch. He does play with them occasionally and is not afraid of them. The only other toys I have are little wicker balls and bottle caps because he seems to like things that roll.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2020, 03:37 PM
Senior Member
Parrots:
Umbrella Cockatoo- 13 years old
Join Date: Jul 2018
Thanks: 5,873
Thanked 10,884 Times in 4,474 Posts
noodles123 will become famous soon enough
Re: Itchy Dusky Conure Who is into Everything Except his Toys

Try to experiment with a bunch of different types of toys and leave them in his sight while modeling interest/play with them before putting them in. My bird consistently LOVES certain toys, even when they look almost identical to others--she is very particular, so keep trying.

I can send you a link on planned ignoring in a minute.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 07-09-2020, 03:41 PM
Senior Member
Parrots:
Umbrella Cockatoo- 13 years old
Join Date: Jul 2018
Thanks: 5,873
Thanked 10,884 Times in 4,474 Posts
noodles123 will become famous soon enough
Re: Itchy Dusky Conure Who is into Everything Except his Toys

Okay- so I just decided to paste instead of linking---here is some stuff I wrote to another member about building independence etc (she was holding hers all the time, so that is different, but you get the idea)--note-- fear screaming or screaming because a bird's needs are unmet is not the same, but if they are getting enough attention, food and interaction, (and there is no unfamiliar/scary thing nearby) it is often attention--which is natural...but you do't want to make it worse:

"Think of this as a kid-- when they cry, it is sad, but sometimes, they need to just cry and see that they can self-soothe and get over it (they can deal with not getting their way if they have the tools to manage). This is why getting a baby can be complicated because it can be difficult to know how/where to draw that line-- I have no doubt you have a huge heart and love him dearly, but part of loving him is teaching him that there is life outside of you..And he really likes his life right now, so he will resist initially when things change (which is why it has to be slow and steady, but unwavering).

There is still hope-- don't freak out....You haven't "ruined" him BUT they do move slowly-- so when you start to intervene and change things, expect a push-back and increased behaviors (no behavior gets better before briefly getting worse first)...It's called an "extinction burst" and the last thing you want to do is cave at that point..You have to be more stubborn than he is, and it may seem like your nerves are raw at some point due to the screaming...Trust me when I say, it will get better if you move at a measured pace and do not give in.

1. MODEL PLAY-- show him toys on you, act like you love them, show him how to play with them.

2. PRAISE him if he shows any interest-touches the toy, looks at the toy, watches you play with the toy, comes closer to investigate the toy (clearly he is an attention lover).

3. START PUTTING HIM DOWN and definitely stop with the cuddles (head and neck touching only)-- these will become so inappropriate when he hits sexual maturity but he will still expect them.

4. When you put him down, start using key-words to tell him what you are doing, and if you leave the room, BEFORE he starts crying, call to him and talk to him so he knows you are around even though he can't see you. I tell mine, "I am taking out the trash", "I am sweeping", "I am unloading the dishwasher", "going to the bathroom", "going to the store", "going to work" , "going outside" etc-- enough repetition of phrases paired with similar time periods and they will start to figure out when they can expect you to return. I also say "be right back" for each activity if it will take under 20 minutes.

5. IF HE STARTS SCREAMING AND YOU HAVE ALREADY LEFT-- DO NOT REPLY- DO NOT RETURN...DO NOT RESPOND...DO NOT EVEN LOOK AT HIM...WAIT HIM OUT...Start with 5 seconds...when he is quiet for 5 seconds (5 SOLID-Mississippi) seconds, then come back in, praise and reward using a phrase like, "thanks for being quiet" (say it in a quiet voice yourself). NEVER EVER attend to screaming etc---don't tell him "no"...all of that is attention, which is what he wants. Let's say he is quiet for 3 Mississippi and then screams...you have to start back at one. The key is that you do not attend in any way until there is a solid 5 seconds of non-screaming. The only exceptions to this rule would be if he is genuinely in pain or terrified (not of being alone-- but seriously feeling threatened), and those screams are nothing like the typical cries/screams that you have likely heard up until this point...Once he has mastered 5 seconds, increase the count to 10 before returning. HINT: DO NOT leave anything in the room if you think he may scream-- if you go back in to get your keys or phone while he is screaming you are showing him that screaming gets you to come back...and you do not want that. You can prevent the screaming BEFORE it happens by talking to him and keeping him busy with toys, but once it starts, you need to be totally disconnected (no talking to him, no talking about him, no proximity, no eye-contact..NOTHING)
**Note---anything less than 5 seconds is too close to the screaming behavior, which is why I picked that time. If he screams and you come in 3 seconds later, it could appear as though you returned because of the scream.

6. Also- if you have any huts. tents, boxes, shadowy spaces, hollow holes/coconuts etc remove them from his cage. They will sleep on the perch just fine and any cave or shadowy hollow will encourage weird/problematic sexual behavior long-term. Don't continue doing things that will not be okay when he is an adult.

You need to set him on his cage and put his favorite stuff in there-- show him that he can go in without getting locked up. If every time he is in his cage, you lock him up for 4+ hours, he is never going to want to enter, so you have to prove to him that most of the time when he goes in, he will still be allowed to come right back out....Lots of people lock their birds up the second they enter to avoid a struggle, but the problem with that is that they learn, "I go in, the door shuts....Therefore, I will not go in.""
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 08-01-2020, 09:32 PM
Junior Member
Parrots:
Dusky Conure LF- Male Ekkie, or Congo Grey
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Cary NC (hate it), LF Job in Moab UT or elsewhere in the South West (SoCal, NorCal)!
Thanks: 0
Thanked 24 Times in 15 Posts
cneuhauser is on a distinguished road
Re: Itchy Dusky Conure Who is into Everything Except his Toys

LOL... that's my Dusky in a nutshell, except my Dusky is OCD, and takes the toys down from the side of her cage and places them in the corner; she doesn't like objects encroaching upon her "space".

I usually sit and twirl popsicle sticks or other toys in my hands while I'm browsing the web and she'll grab them from me and walk off to the side of my office desk and start ripping them apart lol... that's a Dusky in a nutshell.

Regarding sneezing...I've experienced that and my avian vet prescribed antihistamine.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Lower Navigation
Go Back   Parrot Forum - Parrot Owner's Community > Community > Behavioral

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Dusky Conure owner Quark New Members Welcome 18 08-05-2016 04:43 AM
Dusky Conure Sherry1 Conures 13 03-05-2015 07:38 PM
New-to-me dusky conure... inge New Members Welcome 1 03-16-2014 08:06 PM
Dusky Conure cthulhus_minion Conures 5 07-22-2013 09:56 AM
Dusky Conure seandawes New Members Welcome 0 02-27-2013 07:32 PM



Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.