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Old 05-04-2019, 12:32 AM
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Behaviour Issues

So I am having some issue with my GCC. He seems to be suffering RBS and is trying to have his way with everything. Tried redirecting but that just causes pretty extreme aggression. If he is put back in his cage he shrieks and carries on. Never been the friendliest bird always had issues with aggressive biting which we have been working on without much success. Any tips or suggestions would be much appreciated. I don't really want to have to relegate him to an aviary when he was a hand reared bird.
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Old 05-04-2019, 01:10 AM
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Re: Behaviour Issues

You know what? I was about to post about the same issue! Can't seem to redirect aggression, it gets worse if I try. Pineapple conure, by the way. It can be sweet, but I don't even know what sets it off anymore. Also considered an aviary. Also a hand reared bird. Also looking for a "hail Mary" to help out with this problem. My hands are shredded from trying and trying and my brain is fried from not being sure if/when it'll attack. This little guy is my first bird and I'm almost certain my damn last for all the stress. I love animals. And I don't want that to change, but this is slowly chipping away any semblance of hope. I'm not trying to be dramatic, it just sucks bad.

Last edited by Upsetbirdowner; 05-04-2019 at 01:12 AM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:51 AM
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Re: Behaviour Issues

Hello and welcome you two!

I had a GCC who had similar issues. Virtually overnight he seemed to switch from my sweet lovable little snuggle bug into a biting feral nasty creature and I had zero idea as to why. After shredding my hands to bits and not being able to get near him for three days I stumbled across a solution called “laddering”. The idea is if the bird bites you, you get him to step up to your other hand and back to the first hand and back again until he stops biting. I would “ladder” him up and up and up again maybe three or four times and pop him on the back of a chair (not his cage as this can stimulate territorial aggression) and walk away, thus giving us both a few minutes to cool down. I’d come back to him after 5 minutes or so and then come back and ask him to step up again. Sometimes he’d do so with no complaint, but sometimes he’d bite again so I’d repeat the whole procedure. Ninety nine percent of the time when I came back after that he’d step up perfectly fine and I’d give him a big kiss and cuddle for being good - he’d grumble and complain a little but he would know that I wasn’t going to just give up and allow him to get away with the bad behaviour. I might also add that I covered the finger most likely to get bitten with band-aids to lessen my reflexive reaction to his biting.

Sadly I lost my precious little green man to illness last year, biting or no biting I’d give anything to have him with me for just one more day, but like you I was at my wits end with him biting me! Your conures may be experiencing hormonal changes and/or cage territoriality, but I hope my suggestion is of some help to you both, it certainly saved my relationship with my boy.
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Last edited by LaManuka; 05-04-2019 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:12 AM
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Re: Behaviour Issues

Conures are brats.
Remi can be so territorial, fortunately not attacking or biting viciously, but he will let the dog know that his cage and the area around his cage is his and only his!
Maybe your conure doesn't like sharing you with other birds? They express their frustration and anger in different ways. Maybe he is going through a very hormonal period. Who knows.
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Old 05-04-2019, 07:21 AM
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Re: Behaviour Issues

Does RBS stand for Ricky Bird Syndrome? lol! That was what I thought when I read it, but then I Googled it and nothing came up. If so, well played lol (there is another member, GaleriaGila, whose bird "Ricky Bird" is sort of infamous for his cheeky behavior --in case that isn't who you were referencing, I thought I should clarify haha!)


1st- How old is he?
2nd- Do you have any cuddle huts, tents, boxes, or shadowy places in or around his cage (including under furniture, bedding, pillows, etc)?
3rd- How much sleep does he get nightly and is he on a solid light/dark schedule?
4th- How much time does he spend out of his cage daily?
5th- Does he allow people to pet him-if so, on what parts of his body (stick to head/neck only if you don't).
6th- Does he bite more around certain people, animals or objects (e.g., cage, dog etc)?

Last edited by noodles123; 05-04-2019 at 09:44 AM.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:24 PM
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Albino Cockatiel (Ghost) Green Cheek Conure (Echo) Pineapple Green Cheek Conure (Ari)
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Re: Behaviour Issues

I will do the best I can to answer all the questions.
1. Between 2 - 5 years. He was re-homed into my care so not 100% sure
2. The tent thing he came with was removed immediately. I don't like them. No boxes or anything of the sort. Cage is in a bit of a shadowy area.
3. All my birds are covered at 6pm and uncovered at 7am.
4. My wife and I are home all day so each bird has at least 30 mins of 1 on 1 time at a minimum. This happens several times a day as both the conures get fed up with us after that and want to go back to their cages.
5. He is only handled by my wife. While he will come to both my son and I he is not overly fond of males. Only gets scratches on the head/back of neck.
6. His biting used to be mainly around his cage. The previous owner never changed the cage around to keep it interesting. Now that I do that he has no particular area that he is more aggressive around.

I will move his cage into a brighter location and see if that helps alleviate the drive to mate everything.

RBS = Randy Bird Syndrome. More commonly associated with male budgies but the behaviour fits.
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Old 05-04-2019, 06:39 PM
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Re: Behaviour Issues

Too much light can cause hormonal issues too..

Does he bite your wife as much?

I would say that you are doing many things right, but that he may need more time out of his cage. 30 minutes is hardly anything ---although I understand why you feel the need to break it up among multiple birds. A macaw can fly up to 50 miles on a normal day, and that is way more than we would walk. If you get my drift, a lot of this could be anxiety based...

He is probably bored and hyper-stimulated by the other birds (without any real outlets)...
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Old 05-04-2019, 07:29 PM
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Albino Cockatiel (Ghost) Green Cheek Conure (Echo) Pineapple Green Cheek Conure (Ari)
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Re: Behaviour Issues

All the birds usually get more than 30 minutes out of the cage but that is the absolute minimum. On average he is probably out of his cage for about 2 hours a day. Usually they are in and out several times a day. I have dogs in the house so sometimes I have to put the bird back in the cage to deal with them or other stuff so the birds are in and out and sort of rotated throughout the day. Would love to be able to have them out on the play gym all together all the time, but my lovely little pineapple GCC is aggressive towards every other bird and will actively go after them if they are out together which makes it hard.

If you let him do what he wants all the time it's not an issue as much. Just the odd random bite for no apparent reason which just seems to be conures. Trying to redirect his misplaced . . affections? sets off the aggression. He goes out of his way to bite to the point he will chase after your hand to bite you. He doesn't bite my wife as much as he did me. I no longer handle him as he seems to dislike me, and has done since we brought him home. If I do handle him he is bad tempered for the rest of the day. So I'm back to just talking quietly and trying to win his trust.

We rotate toys on the playgym and cages weekly to try and keep the birds stimulated so they don't get too bored. Cages are also rearranged regularly to try prevent territorial aggression. All the birds are in separate cages, although all in the same room.
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Old 05-04-2019, 07:43 PM
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Re: Behaviour Issues

Don't want to be a debbie/david downer, but the bird gets mad about a lot of things. It really is trying to tame me, and me trying to tame it seems to be out of the question. it will look for soft flesh to bite to set me off. This behaviour has been going on for months, but more prominently after I came back from a 3 week trip. I don't know if I can try laddering, I want to but I'm still fried. The three week trip happened months ago.

Things it can get mad about:
1. accidentally brushing its wing: sometimes this can make it go into a biting frenzy I've noticed. I've tried to get it to step up with little to no success. It will cling on to the hand and bite and bite and bite until blood is drawn. If I try and remove myself from him he will run at me all fluffed up and keep trying to bite. Even if I don't make much noise or try not to flinch away so hard.

2. Taking him out: for context, he can get very angry when i wait too long between taking him out. I take it out three times a day usually (it can vary, and unfortunately there isn't too much of a schedule, which I fear has probably done a lot of damage to our relationship as a result, however it hasn't previously in the past. The reason is work schedule.) Sometimes I have to go do some work, and come back several hours later and it is fine, and other times not. I've got plenty of toys for it and rotate them here and there, but it doesn't make much difference because it doesn't play with them. It usually wants human company, and trust me I've tried to get it to play with its toys when I need to do something in the same room with it, and it doesn't like NOT having constant attention. Trying to get it to sit on its own for a few minutes at best without attention on a good day, but mostly it will soon get mad and attack. So I generally am limited to interacting with the bird the entire time it is out (for a half hour, sometimes an hour)

3. Things that startle the bird suddenly - it could be anything. even my own hand.

4. Giving scratches - Sometimes it turns on me without warning, without reason. From being snuggly and sweet, it suddenly lunges forward and takes my finger for a shredding session.

5. Being told no or being put somewhere it doesn't want to: this can be the cage, its stand, somewhere where it has to sit off my shoulder. I've tried to limit shoulder time as well, and it is fighting back with - you guessed it - more biting. This isn't usually a common occurrence. Yet.


Honourable Mentions:

1. Screaming for hours, even if there's no noise coming from the house: I try not to take it out when it screams, although sometimes I need to go outside to do something and have to walk past the cage. Pretty sure that's my fault, just thought I'd list as much as I could remember.

Other facts:
* Nearly one year old.
*Not sure how long they can be hormonal for
*There's a very light blanket around the back pat of its cage but its never too dark in the cage. No hides, huts etc either.
*aggression happens anywhere because it probably thinks it owns me (I don't know, and sorry if I sound bitter about my bird ...)
*Toys but is mostly afraid of them. Likes chew toys, climbing, pooping, snuggling and biting the heck out of me. Not so much my partner. Is afraid of the partner and doesn't like to be near them.

Sorry to blurt all this out in someone else's thread. It was just a very similar situation. I know many people in this situation feel just as awful about this as I do, i can't deal though.
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Old 05-04-2019, 08:19 PM
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Re: Behaviour Issues

Quote: Originally Posted by Upsetbirdowner View Post
Don't want to be a debbie/david downer, but the bird gets mad about a lot of things. It really is trying to tame me, and me trying to tame it seems to be out of the question. it will look for soft flesh to bite to set me off. This behaviour has been going on for months, but more prominently after I came back from a 3 week trip. I don't know if I can try laddering, I want to but I'm still fried. The three week trip happened months ago.

Things it can get mad about:
1. accidentally brushing its wing: sometimes this can make it go into a biting frenzy I've noticed. I've tried to get it to step up with little to no success. It will cling on to the hand and bite and bite and bite until blood is drawn. If I try and remove myself from him he will run at me all fluffed up and keep trying to bite. Even if I don't make much noise or try not to flinch away so hard.

2. Taking him out: for context, he can get very angry when i wait too long between taking him out. I take it out three times a day usually (it can vary, and unfortunately there isn't too much of a schedule, which I fear has probably done a lot of damage to our relationship as a result, however it hasn't previously in the past. The reason is work schedule.) Sometimes I have to go do some work, and come back several hours later and it is fine, and other times not. I've got plenty of toys for it and rotate them here and there, but it doesn't make much difference because it doesn't play with them. It usually wants human company, and trust me I've tried to get it to play with its toys when I need to do something in the same room with it, and it doesn't like NOT having constant attention. Trying to get it to sit on its own for a few minutes at best without attention on a good day, but mostly it will soon get mad and attack. So I generally am limited to interacting with the bird the entire time it is out (for a half hour, sometimes an hour)

3. Things that startle the bird suddenly - it could be anything. even my own hand.

4. Giving scratches - Sometimes it turns on me without warning, without reason. From being snuggly and sweet, it suddenly lunges forward and takes my finger for a shredding session.

5. Being told no or being put somewhere it doesn't want to: this can be the cage, its stand, somewhere where it has to sit off my shoulder. I've tried to limit shoulder time as well, and it is fighting back with - you guessed it - more biting. This isn't usually a common occurrence. Yet.


Honourable Mentions:

1. Screaming for hours, even if there's no noise coming from the house: I try not to take it out when it screams, although sometimes I need to go outside to do something and have to walk past the cage. Pretty sure that's my fault, just thought I'd list as much as I could remember.

Other facts:
* Nearly one year old.
*Not sure how long they can be hormonal for
*There's a very light blanket around the back pat of its cage but its never too dark in the cage. No hides, huts etc either.
*aggression happens anywhere because it probably thinks it owns me (I don't know, and sorry if I sound bitter about my bird ...)
*Toys but is mostly afraid of them. Likes chew toys, climbing, pooping, snuggling and biting the heck out of me. Not so much my partner. Is afraid of the partner and doesn't like to be near them.

Sorry to blurt all this out in someone else's thread. It was just a very similar situation. I know many people in this situation feel just as awful about this as I do, i can't deal though.

How long have you had your bird?
How old is your bird?
Does it have any access to shadowy places in or around the cage?
Is it getting 10-14 hours of sleep each night?
What do you feed your bird daily?
Does it get sunlight and if so, is it routine?
How much time does it get out of its cage?
Where do you touch your bird on its body?
When bitten, is anyone around (or any object or animal?)
What do you do immediately after being bitten (vocally and physically)?
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