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Old 07-15-2017, 02:36 PM
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What do I do?

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It's the 5th day I have my new 3 months old green cheek conure and today it's not going very well. His nibbling turned into biting and really very hard. Every time when he nibbles beyond comfort I use the word 'gentle' and push his beak gently away. This helped quite well but today he's suddenly nibbling a lot harder. An hour ago he started getting beaky on my finger, right next to my nail, and suddenly digging hard into my skin. It was really hurting a lot. I tried to stay calm and said 'gentle' and tried to get his beak of my finger. But the harder I pulled the harder he bit, and when his beak was finally off of me I gave him a time-out in his cage. My finger was really bleeding. After 15/20 minutes I took him out of his cage again, and we had a nice time for about 5 minutes until he did the exact same again to another finger. I could hardly get him of my finger. Now he's in his cage for a time-out again. He just chomps pieces of skin out off me. Is this normal? is he still learning? Or am I doing something wrong?
I'm trying to stay as calm as possible of course, but that's very difficult if it hurts that much. Can anybody give me advice?

Last edited by Pilaf; 07-15-2017 at 02:53 PM.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:39 PM
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Re: What do I do?

He could be testing you. When mine was a baby, and she would start to nibble, I would just put my finger up and get her to step up. Nibble, step, nibble, step.

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Old 07-15-2017, 03:57 PM
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Re: What do I do?

Hmm, yeah i also read that just now on a different thread. I figured I also have to respond sooner, before it hurts, i waited to long, so because it hurt so much I became a little bit louder, and he was probably finding that very interesting.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:49 PM
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Re: What do I do?

Don't become a squeaky toy for him! Diversion is probably the best strategy!
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:11 PM
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Re: What do I do?

Mine was kind of the same way at first, the pet store didn't interact as much as the breeder did hand feeding him and all I'm sure.

It won't be overnight, time outs worked on my bird where I would just stand up, put him down on the carpet (lowest place in the room) and walk away. On the long walk back (10-15ft or so) and the climb back up (5ft or so) he figured out oh, that was bad. and he would be much sweeter by the time he made it back.

hope this helps.
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Old 07-16-2017, 05:32 PM
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Re: What do I do?

Today I have three chomps out of my lip and one out of my ear, all bleeding. I notice that I'm getting afraid even to have him close to my hands, and my face. That's not what I want. If I put him down on the floor he just flies back to me, that doesn't help. Diversion didn't help either. He just thought my lip and ear were more interesting.
I just don't know how to be fast enough, before i know it he already has his beak in my skin. Maybe I just shouldn't let him nibble at me at all.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:44 PM
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Re: What do I do?

Well... I'll tell my tale...
I have reduced biting to almost zero over the decades... not because I've changed the bird, but I have changed me. And a lot of that has involved giving up on a lot of my desires/expectations. After years of battle, I surrendered. I don't do stuff that gets me bitten. I don't scratch his head much, ever... tail is okay. I NEVER do stuff that makes him mad... I don't touch others when he's out; I rarely try to get him to step up onto my hand first. Hand-held perch first, then hand. In some ways, I swallow my disappointment at having such a little monster for a pet, but he is what he is. I ALWAYS wear my hair down when he's on my shoulder, so all he can bite is hair. Really, I don't involve hands much... he doesn't like them. He seems to think the real ME is my head, perched on a weird moveable tree with questionable appendages.
Since he's fully flighted, the ONLY way I get him into the cage is to toss a chile pepper in and he flaps in after it. So food reward is a necessity for me.
But please... listen to and try all the good advice you'll get here. Don't surrender until you know you've done your best. Then just accept and love whatever/whoever your bird turns out to be.
My darling is kind of a worse-case scenario, but we have it all worked out between the two of us.
Oh, and... every now and then, he breaks up with me. Gets mad for no apparent reason and won't come to me, won't call my name, won't even look at me. It can last days or weeks. Then he gets over it and takes me back. Little monster.
Hang in there!!!!!!!!!!
Very, very best of luck to you.
Good for you for reaching out!
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:24 PM
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Re: What do I do?

Your bird just came home and still adjusting, getting use to his environment. I would start from scratch and leave him in his cage. I'd be careful with the crime out in the cage' as you may be teaching him to bite you when he wants to go back in. I'd start be leaving him in his cage and see if he will take treats through the bars. Is the cage in a room where he can see you doing your normal activities?
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Old 07-16-2017, 11:09 PM
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Re: What do I do?

Since you said he bit your ears and face, I assume you have him on your shoulder. Shoulder as perch should be reserved for a bird who has earned your trust - it's too soon for that. You can't see him, so you can't be watching/learning his body language so you know when the bite is coming.

I know he's a GCC, but go to the Macaw forum and read Birdman666's sticky in big beaks. Much of it is true for all parrots, and it helped me immensely with my occasionally beaky little parrotlet so I'm sure there will be something of value for you as well.

Remember, as others have mentioned, he's brand new to you and your home. He has a big adjustment to make. Go at his pace and be aware that it's never the fault of the parrot. It's always the fault of the human. Don't give up!


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Old 07-17-2017, 04:30 AM
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Re: What do I do?

I would agree with the others. Try and pull back, give them a couple days in the cage. I'd say 2 days where you only put your hand in for feeding and water. Talk to them or read a book for those days, not looking at them. They get used to you that way. Next day start working on getting your hand on the cage without them freaking out, whilst still reading, looking away. Glance over occasionally but no staring as that's a predator habit. Then (some of the others who know me here know what I'm going to say) you need to take the food bowl out of the cage and put your hand in its place with a load of seed in it or any treat that they like. I found Raisins and little apple pieces are good! And then just continue that book (hope it's a long one) with your hand in there. After a bit of them being wary they will come over, associating that spot of the cage with food. When you feel them hop into your hand give them some praise then go back to the book. When your arm feels like it's going to drop off that's a good time to slowly remove your hand, only if your little buddy is off your hand of course. This got my conure from completely wild, parent reared and terrified of hands due to his experience to recall trained within 7 days of bringing him home.

At this point you're ready for them to come out and work on everything else. Keep off the shoulder for now as that should be a reward for a well behaved bird. Get them stick trained first and then move slowly onto hand based stepping up and laddering is an amazing thing for them to learn as it's good to "reset" them.

Beaking at that age is oaky for them, what I find is wait for when things go between beak and bite, you want them to be as gentle as possible even when they're grumpy and hormonal so it's good to get them used to the idea that it doesn't take much pressure for you to get the picture, you of course need to set that limit and be consistent with it, allow them to use their beak to feel around, preen, play and balance themselves but don't let it go any further than a pinch. Each time it turns to a pinch gently grab them and give a stern but calm "no" or "no bite" combined with a grumpy look, then put them on the ground facing away from you. This all has to be done pretty quickly, but also gently of course. They soon learn that amount of pressure means they get told off and put on the floor and you're removed from their eyesight, none of which they like very much. Rio would fly back to me pretty quick after but by that time the bit is gone from their mind. They operate on a 1 to 1 reward system, so I would praise the flying to you. They'll understand flying to you and being nice means a treat, but biting means being put on the floor. I never say to use a cage, leaving the room or putting them in another room to be used as "punishment" as it can lead to them biting whenever they want that thing to happen.

Give a try with what I've said and please report back! I'm trying to see if these can be used as blanket taming/training techniques for multiple birds
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