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Old 04-15-2019, 04:55 PM
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Nesting Behavior ?

I find it no coincidence that this topic is pretty common today about conures increasing in aggression. I felt angry this morning upon getting to work because my little bird bit me this morning.

I am at a loss as to what to do to resolve this problem . I really try hard to not react when I am bit, but it hurts SO much and I've never been successful at the earthquake method of telling him / her "no" or other suggestions.

What I have noticed is that I generally get bit when trying to remove my parrot from its sleeping cage. The larger cage is in the living room and in an effort to afford the bird the hours of uninterrupted sleep I was told it requires for good health, I have had it in this smaller sleeping cage (which I also take when we travel). Inside is a flat wood perch that is covered on the sides by fleece so that the bird can have a 'hut'. even when it comes out of the hut and i standing and giving calls to move from the bedroom to the larger cage where its fed, I can put my hand in there and get chomped 5/10 times.

Oddly enough, my fiance can remove the conure with NO bites whatsoever. I do not understand. I have had my bird for five years and I've been living with him for five months... so why does my little one seem to bite ME more than my fiance ?
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:18 PM
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Re: Nesting Behavior ?

I'd get rid of that fleece hut.
They stimulate nesting and hormones, which can lead to biting.
Also the fleece may get chewed up, swallowed and harm the bird.

I also use a sleeping cage in another room, but just cover it with a dark cloth that the bird can't reach and chew up.

Next, I never put my hand into Pico's regular cage or his sleeping cage, which is actually an aquarium.
I use a stick and say, 'Step Up!" to move him out of his cage or off his perch.

After he's away from his territory he's a cuddly sweetheart.
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Last edited by YSGC; 04-15-2019 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 05:27 PM
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Re: Nesting Behavior ?

Yup... most birds do not like it when you poke a hand in their nests.
(Defendng the eggs/ babies)

Since sleeping in a nest is not normal behaviour... get your bird a perch to sleep on!

that we know for sure.
Now some speculation:

Your fiance is probably less hesitant about the procedure, so he does not invite bites as much.
(I know it is not fair; if he got bitten a lot he would hesitate a lot more as wel?)
Birds will call your bluff, but sometimes fall for it as well-- if you come over as absolutely sure- there may be no bite; while that same bite happens if the bird believes he is boss and gets away with biting you.)
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Old 04-15-2019, 06:21 PM
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Re: Nesting Behavior ?

Quote: Originally Posted by YSGC View Post
I'd get rid of that fleece hut.
They stimulate nesting and hormones, which can lead to biting.
Also the fleece may get chewed up, swallowed and harm the bird.

I also use a sleeping cage in another room, but just cover it with a dark cloth that the bird can't reach and chew up.

Next, I never put my hand into Pico's regular cage or his sleeping cage, which is actually an aquarium.
I use a stick and say, 'Step Up!" to move him out of his cage or off his perch.

After he's away from his territory he's a cuddly sweetheart.

Thank you so much ! I will try those things.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:21 PM
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Re: Nesting Behavior ?

Try removing your birdie with a perch in the morning instead of your hand. If that's what it takes to get them downstairs to their day cage then so be it. I had to do that with one of mine for a couple months and they eventually came around to no longer needing the perch to come out of their sleep cage.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:44 AM
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Re: Nesting Behavior ?

You've got 2 different problems going on here...The main one is the "Fleece Hut" you created for him, as it's doing nothing but causing his sex-hormones to go crazy...NO MORE SMALL, DARK PLACES OR "NESTS" AT ALL IN EITHER CAGE!!! If you have anything like that in his main-cage then it needs to go immediately too, no Huts, tests, hammocks, nests, boxes, etc. None! They sleep on a perch, that's it...You've created a "nest" for him and it's causing his hormones to go wild, and then he's going to be aggressive every day...So throw it out (and any out of his main cage), and that's 75% or more of your problem...

The second problem is you reaching your hand inside of his cage to get him out...Most-all birds are territorial, but some are extremely territorial...And their "territory" is their cage, or their cages in this case...And some of them just NEVER want anyone's hands inside of their cages at all, not ever, no matter how tame or bonded they are to the person...My Quaker has been with me since she was 10 weeks old and she's now just turning 4 years old...And to this day I have to open up her cage door, let her come out on her own, and only then can I reach in to change her food and water, or switch out a toy or anything else. If I'm getting her out of her cage I just open the door up and take a step back and she comes right out...And she's bonded only to me, and closely...But it doesn't matter, if I put my hands inside her cage (or her sleeping cage) while she's also inside of it I get a warning nip, and if I don't remove them I get a Quaker bite, which sucks...So instead of reaching inside of her cage just open the door up and let her come out onto the door or onto the top of her cage, and THEN have him step-up for you...Try to respect her territory and she'll respect what you're wanting her to do...

And if you eliminate ALL tents, Huts, boxes, hammocks, beds, nests, and all nesting material from both of his cages so that he has no small, dark places he can get inside of or underneath (including when he's out of his cage, like getting underneath furniture, behind pillows, under blankets or towels, etc.), then his hormones will calm-down quite a bit and you'll see a great change in his overall behavior pretty directly once he comes out of breeding-season that these things are putting him in...
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:31 AM
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Re: Nesting Behavior ?

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
You've got 2 different problems going on here...The main one is the "Fleece Hut" you created for him, as it's doing nothing but causing his sex-hormones to go crazy...NO MORE SMALL, DARK PLACES OR "NESTS" AT ALL IN EITHER CAGE!!! If you have anything like that in his main-cage then it needs to go immediately too, no Huts, tests, hammocks, nests, boxes, etc. None! They sleep on a perch, that's it...You've created a "nest" for him and it's causing his hormones to go wild, and then he's going to be aggressive every day...So throw it out (and any out of his main cage), and that's 75% or more of your problem...

The second problem is you reaching your hand inside of his cage to get him out...Most-all birds are territorial, but some are extremely territorial...And their "territory" is their cage, or their cages in this case...And some of them just NEVER want anyone's hands inside of their cages at all, not ever, no matter how tame or bonded they are to the person...My Quaker has been with me since she was 10 weeks old and she's now just turning 4 years old...And to this day I have to open up her cage door, let her come out on her own, and only then can I reach in to change her food and water, or switch out a toy or anything else. If I'm getting her out of her cage I just open the door up and take a step back and she comes right out...And she's bonded only to me, and closely...But it doesn't matter, if I put my hands inside her cage (or her sleeping cage) while she's also inside of it I get a warning nip, and if I don't remove them I get a Quaker bite, which sucks...So instead of reaching inside of her cage just open the door up and let her come out onto the door or onto the top of her cage, and THEN have him step-up for you...Try to respect her territory and she'll respect what you're wanting her to do...

And if you eliminate ALL tents, Huts, boxes, hammocks, beds, nests, and all nesting material from both of his cages so that he has no small, dark places he can get inside of or underneath (including when he's out of his cage, like getting underneath furniture, behind pillows, under blankets or towels, etc.), then his hormones will calm-down quite a bit and you'll see a great change in his overall behavior pretty directly once he comes out of breeding-season that these things are putting him in...
Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed explanation of the issues. I appreciate it and will follow advice.
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Old 04-16-2019, 10:34 AM
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Re: Nesting Behavior ?

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU everyone.

Its been only one day and already I feel a lot better about our way forward. I removed the fleece from both cages and removed Ry this morning from the sleeping cage, with a perch. I was also made aware that the way I have been cuddling / petting Ryu may be stimulating him/her sexually... oops. I feel empowered now and before work, I took my LO into the shower with me, and pet Ryu on the head ONLY as we both relaxed in the water. I kept him on my body as I changed the water and put food in the day cage. Then placed my loved on in the cage and went off to work for the day.

I am so grateful for the wisdom in this community. My avian vet did not even call me back
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