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Old 01-05-2019, 10:08 AM
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Re: Horrible, Sudden Aggression in Green Cheek Conure

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I'm going to jump in here and emphasize how serious it is that a 9 month-old Green Cheek doesn't have their flight feathers yet!!! Combine that with her sudden aggressiveness out of nowhere (excluding when she's in or on top of or near her cage, as that's completely normal), and it's quite possible that your bird is unfortunately quite sick...

There are numerous Avian Viral Diseases that can cause this, and unfortunately the worst ones involve them not growing in their feathers...All birds, regardless of species or type, hide any and all outward signs of illness or pain for as long as they possibly can, sometimes as long as months and months to over a year, yet they are very, very sick or in a lot of pain. It's a survival instinct that protects them and their entire flock from being targeted by predators for seeming weak...So by the time we as people see actual symptoms of illness that we recognize as symptoms/signs, they've already been very sick or injured for quite a long time, often too long to help them by the time we figure it out...Sudden, unexplained aggression in a tame parrot can very well be their only way to express that they are in pain or don't feel well at all and don't want to be touched...Combine that with she's 9 months old and hasn't grown-in her flight feathers/mature feathers yet and apparently also hasn't even started her first molt, which should have started by now, and it's quite possible that she is a very sick birdy.

Imagine someone who has some type of cancer or is HIV positive, but they either don't know or refuse to go to a doctor. They can have the disease/infection for months and months without even knowing it, all they know is they feel "tired" or just not right...It's kind of the same thing with birds, except they know something is wrong and are purposely hiding it...And the BIG Avian Viral Diseases, such as PBFD, ABV, PDD, etc. are all ones that sometimes show-up as positive on blood-work but are never suspected...I don't think it's ABV since your bird is eating fine, but he/she absolutely needs to be tested for PBFD and PDD, among others...

You need to find either a CAV or Avian Specialist Vet, no Exotics or General Vets as you need to be able to describe her behavioral changes that she suddenly went through to a specially trained and experienced Avian Vet with extra education and training who will know what blood-work to run and what diseases to look for...They also need to do a very thorough visual and physical exam and look closely at her feathers to see if there are any obvious, external signs that she has either a follicle issue or some other problem shedding her baby feathers, or if there is obvious damage to the follicles that are going to prevent your bird from ever growing-in their adult feathers...Most Green Cheeks go through their first molt, the largest one they ever go through, starting around 6 months old or so, where they molt all of their feathers and depending on their mutation they go through major color changes...This is independent of her flight-feathers not ever coming in, as that obviously should have happened around 8 weeks old...

This brings me to my second thought...If her flight feathers never came in, that means that she never fledged, which they do right around the same time as they fully-wean, which should be around 8-10 weeks old for a Green Cheek, maybe a week or two later...A bird that never fledges (whatever the reason) is a bird that is most-likely going to suffer from severe psychological and especially neurological behaviors for the rest of their lives...This doesn't explain WHY her flight-feathers never grew in, that's a physical/medical issue, but the result is that she never fledged, and the issues secondary to never fledging are the psychological/neurological issues... The same thing often happens to birds who's breeders cliip their wings before they are allowed to fully-fledge, same thing happens, sudden aggression, reverting back to baby-bird behavior, begging for feedings, etc. But when it's due to simply a "bad breeder" there isn't any physical/medical underlying issue...with your bird, she's got something very wrong if she never grew in her flight feathers and is not molting normally...

And keep-in mind that not being able to properly molt can also cause psychological/neurological issues as well...It's a vicious-circle...But what I'm worried about the most with your bird is WHY she never grew-in her flight feathers and WHY she hasn't yet started to molt at all...She could be extremely sick...The sooner you find a Certified Avian Vet or Avian Specialist Vet and get her in for a full physical/visual exam, full Blood-Work, and also a Fecal Culture/Microscopy just to rule-out some kind of systemic Fungal-Infection that is effecting her follicles/skin and making her itchy as hell and crazy, the better...There are other infections/conditions that can effect full-body feather-follicles that aren't life-threatening like some of the Viral Diseases are, as long as they are treated, such as a systemic Fungal/Yeast Infection, Feather Mites, etc., but I highly doubt it's any of these since she never grew-in her flight feathers in the first place when she was 10 weeks old...

Did her breeder say anything to you about her not being able to fly when you bought her??? Something is weird here, unless this breeder clipped her before you picked her up to cover-up the issue with her feathers not growing in...The rest of the advice she gave you about "pushing her beak away" and such wasn't great advice, so I'm wondering what she said to you about your bird not being able to fly...Regardless she would have been very aware that your bird never grew-in her flight-feathers and that she never fledged...Something isn't right here...

Did your bird ever have issue with eating her "staple" foods, meaning her pellets/seed-mix every day? This would have been evident since you brought her home....
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2019, 04:28 PM
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Re: Horrible, Sudden Aggression in Green Cheek Conure

Thank you so much for your response and I am taking her to a vet as I just made an appointment for her 2 days ago.

But UPDATE : She's no where near aggressive anymore! She's as cuddly as she used to be and she doesn't bite nearly as hard! Of course, there are times where she'll get overprotective over something (like someone's shoulder). But, I've countered her biting! I would give her a very firm "NO" while gently tapping the top of her head and she stopped so quickly! Now, she steps up (I give her a treat when she does) all the time and I love her to death just like I did before her aggression. <3
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2019, 04:32 PM
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Re: Horrible, Sudden Aggression in Green Cheek Conure

But, to answer your questions, the breeder cut her flight feathers around the same time as my ex-friend's bird (they were born at the same time).
Her bird's flight feathers after about... 2 months, I would say. So, it's weird that Navi hasn't gotten hers yet.

The breeder did not tell me anything relatively close to her health.

I did not notice anything wrong with her eating. She eats like any normal bird would.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2019, 12:24 AM
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Re: Horrible, Sudden Aggression in Green Cheek Conure

So...I have read the OP's original post and a few following it but I haven't read everyone else's comments, please forgive me if I repeat anything.

I don't believe this bird is an early bloomer and going through puberty.
I see that the bird has made some progress and is biting less.
I dont believe this bird wasn't fledged because I have one of those special...oh so special birds and this case doesn't remind me if him at all.
I do think it was or is a combination or sudden cage aggression and too much junk/sugar from the fruit ext and perhaps the fact you got another bird and Navi could have decided that they like the other bird more than you. This can happen even if the 2 birds don't spend a lot of time together. I gave 4 Conures, my 2 boys are close friends despite the fact the don't share a cage and do t preen each other or even like standing side by side. They're both bobded to me but I've gone through lots of precautions to influence this outcome.
If it were me I would cut the sugar and start having the bird step up onto a stick perch to get the bird out of the cage. Then I would clicker train the bird to come to the cage door or out of the cage and then step up onto hand. Clicker training can really be a game changer for a biting bird.
I hope you and your little one can become even closer. Good luck!
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2019, 02:23 PM
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Re: Horrible, Sudden Aggression in Green Cheek Conure

Quote: Originally Posted by Sunnyclover View Post
So...I have read the OP's original post and a few following it but I haven't read everyone else's comments, please forgive me if I repeat anything.

I don't believe this bird is an early bloomer and going through puberty.
I see that the bird has made some progress and is biting less.
I dont believe this bird wasn't fledged because I have one of those special...oh so special birds and this case doesn't remind me if him at all.
I do think it was or is a combination or sudden cage aggression and too much junk/sugar from the fruit ext and perhaps the fact you got another bird and Navi could have decided that they like the other bird more than you. This can happen even if the 2 birds don't spend a lot of time together. I gave 4 Conures, my 2 boys are close friends despite the fact the don't share a cage and do t preen each other or even like standing side by side. They're both bobded to me but I've gone through lots of precautions to influence this outcome.
If it were me I would cut the sugar and start having the bird step up onto a stick perch to get the bird out of the cage. Then I would clicker train the bird to come to the cage door or out of the cage and then step up onto hand. Clicker training can really be a game changer for a biting bird.
I hope you and your little one can become even closer. Good luck!

I understand where you're coming from Sunny, but I think you missed the main point...This bird DIDN'T EVER FLEDGE, THAT'S CERTAIN, BECAUSE THIS BIRD NEVER GREW-IN HER FLIGHT-FEATHERS TO BEGIN WITH! So he couldn't have ever fledged...The breeder clipped what wings she had, along with her sibling (which was purchased by a friend of the OP), and as the OP described, her friend's bird, the sibling of the OP's bird, had their flight-feathers grow back-in normally about 2 months after the Breeder clipped them...The OP's bird never grew their flight-feathers in, nor did the feather's clipped ever grow back...And at 9 months old, the OP's bird has not only failed to grow-in their flight-feathers, but they also have yet to start any molting at all...

It's not surprising that this bird hasn't started their first big molt yet because their flight-feathers never grew-in/grew back-in after they were clipped by the breeder...So there was an indication of a serious problem when the flight-feathers never grew-in right after the OP brought the bird home, and the indication that the bird has a serious physical health issue was only reinforced by the fact that at 9 months old the bird hasn't started molting AT ALL...This is not good at all...

***The sudden biting/aggressiveness of this bird may or may not have been related to not ever fledging/growing their flight-feathers in originally/not starting to molt, or it may not have been related, no way to know as of right now...While I'm very glad that the bird's aggressiveness and biting has seemingly stopped, I'm very seriously concerned about the continuing feather issue, as it's an indication of several very serious and potentially life-threatening Avian Viral Diseases, such as PBFD, PDD, etc. Hopefully it's not a serious Avian Viral Disease causing the bird's lack of feather shedding and growth, but rather something like a systemic Fungal/Yeast infection effecting the follicles, or some other disease/condition of the feather-follicles, but it's imperative that the OP get the bird to a Certified Avian Vet ASAP and have the run routine blood-work along with specific blood-tests to rule-out PBFD, PDD, and then any other Avian Viral Diseases that the CAV feels it's necessary to run. The OP needs to explain the history of their bird's feather growth, or rather the lack thereof, including that the breeder clipped the bird's wings when very young and that they never grew back-in after that clipping, while the bird's sibling had their wings clipped at the same time/age and their flight-feathers grew back-in within the normal 2 months after a clipping, and is flying normally with no issues, while the OP's bird has never flown due to having no flight-feathers at all...They also need to explain that the bird is 9+ months old (closer to 10 now) and has yet to start molting ANY feathers at all as of yet in addition to never growing their flight feathers in the first place, so that the CAV understands the entire history and that this bird has yet to ever fledge/fly...(I don't know if the sibling bird owned by the OP's friend has already started their first regular molt or not as of now, but that would be useful information to know and to also give the CAV, because if the sibling bird has also already started to molt as well, then this is just further evidence that something is seriously wrong with the OP's bird (In addition to knowing whether or not the sibling bird as already started their first molt, it would also be useful to know at what age the sibling bird started their first molt as well). Hopefully the CAV the OP is taking the bird to will also run a full Fecal Culture/Microscopy/Gram-Stain, along with an external skin-swab/culture to rule-out a systemic Fungal/Yeast infection...I don't know if a feather-follicle culture, biopsy, etc. would also be prudent, maybe not until after they get back the results of the blood-work and the specific blood-tests for PBFD, PDD, etc. Those are definitely what are most important to get run immediately, because the sooner you diagnose any of these types of Avian Viral Diseases, the better the opportunity you have to get them under control or to successfully treat them/combat them the best that can be done, even if just with "supportive" or "palliative" care.

****Keep in-mind that it may just be that this bird is a bit of a "late-bloomer" as far as starting their first, regular molt goes; however, that doesn't explain why the bird never grew-in their flight-feathers in the first place...Hopefully this is a case of just needing to pull the shafts of flight feathers out to prompt the growth of their mature flight-feathers, and then the bird will learn to fly properly (must allow their mature flight feathers to grow-in fully and allow the bird time to fly before ever making the decision to clip their wings again)...But you cannot be too cautious when we're talking about a bird who never grew-in their flight-feathers and is now late in starting their first molt.

Keep us posted and let us know what the CAV said, what tests they ran, etc.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2019, 02:35 PM
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Re: Horrible, Sudden Aggression in Green Cheek Conure

Thanks for the help, you two. But, Navi is fully trained in stepping up to my finger and does not bite anymore. I've found a way to train her to stop her biting habits which was, to be honest, easier than I thought! Thank you for your concerns, but she's no where near aggressive anymore.

However, like I said, I am taking her to the vet soon. There aren't any avian vets near me, which is a big hassle but, I've found one and I'm taking her to the vet to see what's happening.
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 01-11-2019, 03:55 PM
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Re: Horrible, Sudden Aggression in Green Cheek Conure

Let us know how it goes.
@EllenD
I'm surprised that just because the first never fledged that it won't grow in it's feathers. Finley grew in his feathers and everything. Hmm.
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