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Old 07-13-2012, 02:46 PM
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Exclamation Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

Hey everyone!

I am hoping someone here has some advice for me. I have a beautiful green cheek conure, I have had her for a few weeks now. Her name is Yoshi and she is a little over four months old. She is a very sweet bird, and she was already hand trained when we got her... but lately she she has been kind of a grump. I have been doing a lot of reading and researching since she is my first conure, and I have learned that it is common for young conures to go through a biting stage. The thing is, she has gotten really good about beaking to the point that if I make a specific sound (I say "ah ah") she stops what she is doing or nibbles gently. However, she is becoming very defiant. If she is chewing on something and I saw "ah ah" and she doesn't stop what I do is try to remove the object... or if she is chewing a body part I try to remove her. When this happens she bites very hard, her reaction reminds me of a young child throwing a fit. She even makes an aggressive growling sound. It seems like a territorial thing, which is a problem when she is trying to rip off moles or tattoos. I have tried various methods to try to discourage biting... such as the ladder technique. If she is having a fit I find the laddering technique only sets me up for failure and I get my fingers chomped instead of her being distracted. A lot of times I will either put her on the floor and walk away, but then she just starts chewing on things that she can find on the floor, so this doesn't seem to bother her. I have also tried putting her in the cage... this sometimes works because she likes to be with us out of her cage. I have tried gently blowing on her face, she seems to actually enjoy it. My boyfriend/roommate/co-bird owner will hold her beak (gently of course) when she bites hard and say in a soft voice "no" or "gentle", that will tend to get her to stop for a short period of time, but then she reeks havoc again. I had an incident today where she was chewing on my hair ties (I had my hair in braids) and I didn't want her to. I would say "ah ah" and she would stop for a moment then start again. And since I can't really remove my hair I moved her to a different spot. She just returned to my shoulder and kept on chewing, when I went to move her again she ran behind my head where I couldn't reach her well and then bit my finger the hardest I ever felt her bite drawing blood and leaving a pretty nasty cut. The only way I could get her off was my removing my jacket. I put her in the cage and walked away. What do I do? I get attacked if she doesn't get what she wants!!! I have read that conures grow out of this, but in the meantime my fingers and skin need a break!

Thanks!
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Old 07-13-2012, 02:55 PM
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Re: Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

Sounds like you're going to have to be patient. The ladder and floor thing are new to me and I will try them myself, but I would distract the bird somehow to stop it from biting your fingers. Someone suggested the icicle pop sticks from michaels. They're cheap enough and should do the trick.
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:11 PM
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Re: Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

I have posted this link in another thread it may help you understand the reasons behind the bite & why GCC's are nippy birds.

Green Cheek Conure Aggressive Behavior
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Old 07-13-2012, 03:28 PM
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Re: Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

Take a breath.....breathe better now ? yeah I know the owning stock in bandaids feeling. 1st question do you have a "T" perch? if not can you get someone to make you one ?
Once you have one put your bird on the perch and start with the basics step-up and step-back if you need too use a wooden spoon as a finger to get your bird to step to.
and then you can use the pop sticks using two of them as fingers start petting your bird from both sides at once if he bites at a stick keep petting with the other one touching his back, feet and under his wings all the while slowly working the other stick away from him and then go back to petting him from both sides again keep this to a 2 to 3 min session stop give a treat and walk away get a drink of tea and ignore him for a few minutes the start the petting again for only 2 to 3 minutes stop do a few step-ups then put your bird away giving him praise and a treat . do this for a week or so and I think your bird will come back to her previous self. I know it sounds like the directions on a shampoo bottle (lather rinse repeat) but it can work I have used this on many of birds and only had one it didn't work on so good Luck.
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Old 07-13-2012, 04:06 PM
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Re: Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

When my Gcc went thru that really bitey phase I made a finger tube out of a suede like fabric (just basically sewed up a circular tube to fit my finger, one seam) It was a beige sued (finger colored)..........it was a "bite Saver" I wore it on my index finger. That way you don't overreact and make them worse.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:23 PM
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Re: Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

Your poor finger!
Hiya, Apart from the biting,
I think if you dont want her to chew certain things, you need to give her a substitute of things you dont mind her chewing...I think lots of birds are naturally destructive and it very hard to eliminate the behaviour entirely - but it is relatively easy to get her to concentrate her chewing on something else!

My boy (not conure) loves spiral pasta! He also likes to chew on my hair but I dont mind that too much.....
Pospsicle sticks, Q tips, etc etc might help?? Anything she can destroy!
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:29 PM
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Re: Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

Thanks everyone for the replies!!!

Some of you guys suggested using distraction. I love this idea, but I have tried it before and doesn't always work. It actually reminds me of another scenario where she gets really aggressive, and that's if I am eating something and she is with me. She tries to steal my food. If I try to move her she gets mad and bites me or whoever has the food. So she stays in her cage when people are eating. I can't help but wonder if I started her food thieving habit, when I brought her home I was showing her carrots and she was afraid of them until I showed her that I ate them, now she loves them and wants whatever I am eating. She has an infatuation with tweezers (haha, it's so cute!) and I use those to distract her... but sometimes that doesn't work especially if I am eating or she wants what I have more. I usually don't mind when she plays in my hair, but as of the last few days I have been battling a sunburn around my neck and shoulders, so her chewing on me near this area makes me a little nervous. She likes to go after my moles. Ouch! And when I have her out of the cage I wear a sweatshirt that I don't mind it being chewed or pooped on, I try to provide her with things to play with and chew on, it seems she wants the forbidden fruit more (aka my ear lobes, earring, moles, dinner...ect.). I'm hoping she grows out of it.

Oh and someone suggested a step up practice with a perch and a spoon, I have used that method on my parakeets (before they trusted my hand) it works really well actually! I'll try to use a foreign object to remove her when she is being defiant. She does very well with stepping up in general... I only get chomped and my flesh ripped when I am not letting her have what she wants. She's just being bossy.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:10 PM
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Re: Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

Quote: Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
I have posted this link in another thread it may help you understand the reasons behind the bite & why GCC's are nippy birds.

Green Cheek Conure Aggressive Behavior
I read the link. Thanks much for posting it!

I've seen Rosie bob her head up and down - I always thought it was a sign of attention-getting and playful behavior.

I've seen her respond to me scratching an eczema outbreak on my arm via head-bobbing as well. I thought it was funny, and didn't see any other sign of aggression or territorial behavior (I'm some distance away), but if she was reacting as if I was being territorial... she's never fluffed up her feathers or anything else you'd mentioned, but I will re-think my beliefs...

Everything else made perfect sense, though - especially the food aggression paragraph - that is too true.

Last edited by thermodynamic; 07-13-2012 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:28 PM
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Re: Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

as AFP520 mentioned, laddering and putting them on the floor are excellent techniques. to ladder, when she bites have her step up, then step up again on the other hand. repeat in a laddering motion about 3 times. you can also place her on the floor for about 30 seconds when she bites, this will make her insecure and she will want to come back up to you. if you do this consistently, she will get the idea that when she bites, she gets put on the floor, and will stop biting. good luck and perseverance
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Old 01-14-2014, 09:52 AM
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Re: Help! GC Conure won't stop biting!

I just got a GC conure and he's just starting to bite. At first he didnt bite very hard, but now he's upping his game. At first I thought he was scared because it was a new living situation, but he's doing it more and more lately. I'll try the floor technique and see how that goes.

I really want to do clicker training with him but I havent found a treat that he really likes yet. Doesnt anyone have a treat that their conure just loves? He kind of likes cherrios and apples, but isnt crazy about them.
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