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Old 12-29-2011, 12:47 AM
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Unhappy biting. biting. biting.

and MORE biting.

Keen is becoming a real ... handful.
Basically whenever she doesn't get *her way* she bites the crap out of me. And I don't mean nippy bites. I'm talking full on, ripping apart my skin, causing bleeding & purple bruised surrounding the area. And, she does this "back talking squabble" at me while she's clamping down & ripping my skin apart; literally.
She does it when I don't allow her to bite/chew things she wants.

It started with earrings. I removed them tonight to avoid that battle. She was nicely nuzzling my hair, ears, neck & giving me kisses. Next thing I know she found a tiny mole on my neck & bit into it. When I told her no & went to block it off with my hand/finger she went psycho & bit the crud outta me. When I continued to block her (and attempt to get her to step up & move her) she continued with full on, crazy, ripping biting, while doing the sqwabbling at me.
She does the same thing with moles on my face and arms or anyplace else she finds them. And when I don't allow it she gets very, very, very angry. She also does it with anything & everything she really wants & I don't allow for her.

I'm not sure what to do, but I'd appreciate anything anyone has to offer. I normally either put her down on the floor or place her back in her cage when she does this. Doesn't seem to be helping though. I try not to "react" otherwise, but lately it's getting hard because quite frankly, it's freaking painful!!!!!!

As a note, Keen is almost 8 months old & is a DNA sexed female.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:23 AM
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Re: biting. biting. biting.

How long have you had her?
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:07 AM
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Re: biting. biting. biting.

oh dear... my little lola went through that phase. she was about the same age. she's a green cheek female. i had to keep her off my shoulder when she went through this. i also did not reach into her cage for years for fear of being bitten- i let her come out on her own. i continued to hold her, but i held her on my finger so she wasn't able to bite my ears, lips, cheeks, or nose. she got through her nippy phase and is now a sweet yet moody girl at almost 8 years old. she will now give "warning nips" instead of full-on painful bites. i let her sit on my shoulder now and she'll step onto my finger nicely when i put my hand in the cage. your baby is going through a difficult phase, but Lola got through it and i'm sure your baby will too. talk to her often to reassure her that you still love her and just wait it out.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:16 AM
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Re: biting. biting. biting.

It's the terrible 2's phase. My Nanday went through it badly as well. First, don't let her on your shoulder anymore. It seems to elevate their status to at least as important as you (in their minds), and you could get a bad bite on your face. I had to make mine only sit on my finger. And when they are being so demonic, they can't be reasoned with, so yes, put her on a stand or play gym and don't interact or even look at her until she is behaving again. I used the word, "Don't!" instead of no as it sounds more forceful. Do what you can to get her eye as well. Remember we are predators and a strong stare from a human should get her attention. You can shove a piece of junk mail between her beak and yourself to get her attention focused back to your face.

My Nanday still tries to remove my freckles. but thankfully for me she usually only beaks them, not grabs them like that.

Maybe try to wear some bird toys pinned to your clothes for her to play with? Or a bulky necklace? Old or junk rings that you don't care about? And yes, take out the earrings for your own safety.

Don't make the time out on the cage or stand too long or she won't make the connection to her behavior landing her there. As soon as she calms down, talk to her again, and let her back on your finger. And when the misbehavior starts again, back on the stand and ignored for a few minutes.

It does take a lot of time and patience with a forceful personality. Some conures are every bit as challenging as large parrots.
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Old 12-29-2011, 08:58 AM
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Re: biting. biting. biting.

It really does get better Rowdy was very challenging at that age and we are almost 12 years in now, and happy companions. She has even developed some sweetie behaviors in recent years. She now kisses gently and I no longer have to worry about her accidentally grabbing my lip and making a welt.

There are even some advantages to such a bold bird. They do well meeting new people and going to new places. They handle going to the vet with hardly a ripple. They don't freak out when you get them a new toy.

It is because of owning her that I learned so much about parrot behavior. If I had only owned my BC I would have mistakenly thought conures were the sweetest, easiest birds to own. But, I think Rowdy was every bit as challenging as an amazon! She definitely thinks she's huge, and that she can rule the world.

I do suspect birds that are so bold during this time of their lives, tend to keep that characteristic to some extent. But, in order for them to make good pets, they do have to learn boundaries.
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:00 AM
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Re: biting. biting. biting.

You are not alone with a biting conure. Seems to be in their nature. My Cricket is going on 1 year in March and he gets in these moods where nothing stops him from biting. It happened yesterday and I have 3 band aids on fingers now. From now on I will put him back in the cage to cool down. The cooldown phase sometimes takes a day or 2. I hope he grows out of this. I have a GF who has the same problem with her GCC that she has had for 10 years.
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Old 12-29-2011, 03:47 PM
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Re: biting. biting. biting.

Thank you so much for all your help! I really appreciate everyone being so supportive. Last night was pretty upsetting and to wake up and read everyone's kind words really made me feel a TON better about everything.
Also - I had a doctor appointment today and asked them if they do removal of the small moles Keen keeps trying to remove. They said they were so small they could very easily freeze them off and it was done 2 minutes later. My neck is a little sore because there were 4 areas frozen around my neck, but boy will it be nice not to have that to deal with!
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:06 PM
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Re: biting. biting. biting.

They're determined to get at whatever they were after and if you stand in their way, they come after you instead. Like it was mentioned, place toys on you. Or if it keeps up, put them back into their cage, the conures I used to own did the same...they get ignored big time for attacking then we try again later. I only have one youngster to deal with, my 5 and a half months old lory. He's getting better but still a bit crazy...lol
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:37 PM
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Re: biting. biting. biting.

I should check into procedures for removing my freckles, at least the ones on my face. I haven't made any inquiries since my teen years, and back then it sounded like they couldn't do much. I've never liked them!

Still it might be best with a bird like Keen, to not let it on your shoulder just because some of them get such an attitude. And they can still injure your ears or face. I let Rowdy pretty much anywhere except my shoulder or the top of my head because if she gets up there, she thinks she is in charge.

Keen may never be the cuddly love bunny sort of conure. Rowdy isn't although she sometimes has a moment now that she's older. She likes to run around and investigate everything. So I wear crummy clothes that she can make little holes in.

A very interesting play gym is a good idea for this sort of bird as well. Give it different perches, a swing, plenty of different toys, ladders, etc. Change the toys a lot. If you are handy it isn't hard to build one for a conure. I just set it on my coffee table. I even drilled holes where I can tie some leather lace for her to unknot.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:25 AM
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Re: biting. biting. biting.

Puck seems to react well to time outs. He loves his cages, so putting him in time out isn't upsetting for him. When I first got him, I gave him a lot of time outs in his travel cage, covered. It seemed to help a lot.

I also found that he was more aggressive when he was on my shoulder or head. I stopped letting him do it for a while, and now he's mellowed out. If he does have an attitude when he's on my shoulder, I remove him. I think he's getting the idea.

I try to keep a towel nearby, just in case. He's tricky to towel, because he runs as soon as he sees it. Usually I just have to show it to him, and he'll behave, lol.
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