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Old 10-10-2015, 12:26 PM
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Alex (Green Cheek Conure, 2.5 years) AJ (Male Cockatiel, 15 years) Athena (Female Cockatiel) Violet (Female Parakeet) Angel (Female Parakeet) Sunstreaker (Female Parakeet)
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Green Cheek Conure - Sudden Agression

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Hello All,

I have a Green Cheek Conure (Alex), who I have had for about a year and a half. He is just about 2 and a half years old, so I've had him for most of his life. He has always been a super-sweet boy to me, though he isn't a fan of other people.

A few weeks ago, he stopped letting me pet the back of his neck, something he use to love. He wouldn't bite me when I tried, he'd just bend away from my fingers. So I stopped trying to pet his neck, thinking he might just not like it anymore. He continued to be very sweet, giving me kisses, whistling at me, etc.

About a week ago he started biting me when I tried to get him to step up onto my finger. Every time I go to pick him up, he just latches onto my finger. I can't think of anything I've done that would make him loose trust in me or cause this aggression.

He's been cooped up in his cage for almost a week now, simply because I physically can't get him out. He won't step up onto my finger for me to take him out, and even if I leave his door open, he won't come out.

Any ideas about how I can get this behavior to stop? Or why he's started this?

Thanks for your help!

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Old 10-11-2015, 04:54 AM
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Re: Green Cheek Conure - Sudden Agression

sad to hear your baby is misbehaving but you should be able to fix this behavior . Well first he might be biting you in the cage as he feels you are invading his territory. to fix this you could try taking out/moving around the perches and toys in his cage as this will make him feel like this is a new environment. Once you have done this leave him in there for a few hours and then try and get him out. If he does not step up you may need to grab him gently around his body and put him down on a perch some where. Once you get him out use treats like millet spray to retrain him. I hope this helps.

btw washing his perches and toys may also help with the aggression issues.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:14 AM
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Re: Green Cheek Conure - Sudden Agression

He sounds like he may have started puberty. I'm sure someone will chime in to help you.
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Old 10-12-2015, 04:20 PM
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Alex (Green Cheek Conure, 2.5 years) AJ (Male Cockatiel, 15 years) Athena (Female Cockatiel) Violet (Female Parakeet) Angel (Female Parakeet) Sunstreaker (Female Parakeet)
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Re: Green Cheek Conure - Sudden Agression

Quote: Originally Posted by Kyoto View Post
He sounds like he may have started puberty. I'm sure someone will chime in to help you.
Thanks! I'm going to go research GCC puberty now (kinda hoping nobody walks by and sees the 'coping with puberty' article I have open right now...).

Quote: Originally Posted by WilliamKenyon View Post
sad to hear your baby is misbehaving but you should be able to fix this behavior . Well first he might be biting you in the cage as he feels you are invading his territory. to fix this you could try taking out/moving around the perches and toys in his cage as this will make him feel like this is a new environment. Once you have done this leave him in there for a few hours and then try and get him out. If he does not step up you may need to grab him gently around his body and put him down on a perch some where. Once you get him out use treats like millet spray to retrain him. I hope this helps.

btw washing his perches and toys may also help with the aggression issues.
Thanks for the advice! I'll try moving his perches and toys around after washing them, then taking him out. Hopefully it'll help with his biting! My fingers are starting to look sad with all the bite marks on them.
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:26 PM
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Alex (Green Cheek Conure, 2.5 years) AJ (Male Cockatiel, 15 years) Athena (Female Cockatiel) Violet (Female Parakeet) Angel (Female Parakeet) Sunstreaker (Female Parakeet)
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Re: Green Cheek Conure - Sudden Agression

Just thought I'd give a quick update...

I moved all of Alex's perches and toys around, and he's still being aggressive.

My brother was hanging out with me yesterday, and went to hold Alex, which completely freaked Alex out (most of my family is scared of him, so I'm basically the only one who reaches into his cage). After my brother stepped away, I stuck my hand in to try to calm him down. I gave him the 'step up' command, and he put one foot on my finger, then started biting. I told him no, and pushed his beak off my finger with my thumb, then gave the 'up' command again. He stepped up, and I was able to bring him out of the cage. As soon as he was out of the cage, he became super sweet again, for about a minute. Then he went back to biting.

This morning I tried wrapping my finger in tissues and putting a latex glove on (those blue ones that doctors use). At first the glove freaked him out (he's secretly a chicken... shh, don't tell!), but I convinced him to step up. Throughout the day I've been going to his cage and taking him out for a few minutes, with the tissue-glove on, then putting him back. So far, no biting today!

If you have any other ideas on what I can do to help Alex and I, let me know! I'd really appreciate it.
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:58 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Conure - Sudden Agression

You have a teenager on your hands, give him space to recover, without it effecting your relationship!
This is really temporary!
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:06 PM
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Alex (Green Cheek Conure, 2.5 years) AJ (Male Cockatiel, 15 years) Athena (Female Cockatiel) Violet (Female Parakeet) Angel (Female Parakeet) Sunstreaker (Female Parakeet)
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Re: Green Cheek Conure - Sudden Agression

Update on how Alex and I are doing:

Alex still enjoys trying to bite my fingers, though I've found a fairly good way to get him to stop without putting him down (I think that was the reaction he's been looking for). I just use the hand he's not standing on and put my palm towards him so he tries to nip at that instead of my finger, but the skin on my palm is tighter so he can't grab onto it. So I now have a lot less bites on my fingers (though, there still are some). ^-^

He also has been biting less often, and today he let me scratch the back of his neck. I did notice he has a lot of pin feathers on the back of he neck, and some on his cheeks and top of his head. Should I try to remove these (I was able to get a couple off, and he seemed to really enjoy it), or will they fall off on their own?

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:42 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Conure - Sudden Agression

Quote: Originally Posted by AlexTheGreenCheekConure View Post
Update on how Alex and I are doing:

Alex still enjoys trying to bite my fingers, though I've found a fairly good way to get him to stop without putting him down (I think that was the reaction he's been looking for). I just use the hand he's not standing on and put my palm towards him so he tries to nip at that instead of my finger, but the skin on my palm is tighter so he can't grab onto it. So I now have a lot less bites on my fingers (though, there still are some). ^-^

He also has been biting less often, and today he let me scratch the back of his neck. I did notice he has a lot of pin feathers on the back of he neck, and some on his cheeks and top of his head. Should I try to remove these (I was able to get a couple off, and he seemed to really enjoy it), or will they fall off on their own?

Thanks for all your help!
You're doing a great job, and Kudos for your patience with little Alex.

Yes, you can absolutely help him with those pin feathers if he allows it. Just make sure to pay attention to his body language and stop if he asks you to.
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Old 11-03-2015, 07:33 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Conure - Sudden Agression

The only bite that can't be rewarded is the one that never occurs.


He's biting for a reason. You may need to change your approach to him to change his behavior. Maybe go back to treating him like a new bird and not asking much of him... simply feeding him treats by hand or dropping treats into a special cup and keeping *all* interactions with him a positive one. Not interactions that *you* think are positive, but ones where he is given choice, and if he doesn't want to do something right then, that's ok. Give him space and try again later.
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:30 PM
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Re: Green Cheek Conure - Sudden Agression

Quote: Originally Posted by MonicaMc View Post
The only bite that can't be rewarded is the one that never occurs.


He's biting for a reason. You may need to change your approach to him to change his behavior. Maybe go back to treating him like a new bird and not asking much of him... simply feeding him treats by hand or dropping treats into a special cup and keeping *all* interactions with him a positive one. Not interactions that *you* think are positive, but ones where he is given choice, and if he doesn't want to do something right then, that's ok. Give him space and try again later.
150%!! This approach has turned around our relationship with Bongo beyond any expectations!
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