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Old 05-07-2019, 01:15 PM
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Is the badness coming?

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I've been reading all these posts about how people's conures become hormonal and aggressive overnight, usually between 1-2 years of age...

Mango is 2 years old this month and we've had zero aggression issues. I'm not saying this to yell "we're so awesome", but because I'm wondering... does it happen to everyone? Is it just out there waiting? I'm nervous, waiting for it.

I go for prevention over cure so we've been working in "lessons learned" from this forum to avoid the issue in the first place.... he is on a 12 hour up/down cycle all year. Day length and light barely changes for him. No snuggle huts. Plenty of out time. We keep him socialized between my husband and I and some friends. Not overly bonded to anyone. He "dive bombs" new comers sometimes but doesn't seem committed to an attack, I think he's overly excited and likes the reaction. We don't allow him to continue it. Treats solve the issue.

He seems fine. I mean yeah he's a bit more willful than he was at 5 months old. He'll "bite" if he doesn't like something, but its pretty rare and he never draws blood. Its more of a tantrum. Its not the nightmare I'm reading from others.

So is it only a matter of time before we wake up and our bird has picked one of us and attacks the other for the next 20 years? Or do some people get by peacefully?
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:05 PM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

Quote: Originally Posted by Iridal View Post
I've been reading all these posts about how people's conures become hormonal and aggressive overnight, usually between 1-2 years of age...

Mango is 2 years old this month and we've had zero aggression issues. I'm not saying this to yell "we're so awesome", but because I'm wondering... does it happen to everyone? Is it just out there waiting? I'm nervous, waiting for it.

I go for prevention over cure so we've been working in "lessons learned" from this forum to avoid the issue in the first place.... he is on a 12 hour up/down cycle all year. Day length and light barely changes for him. No snuggle huts. Plenty of out time. We keep him socialized between my husband and I and some friends. Not overly bonded to anyone. He "dive bombs" new comers sometimes but doesn't seem committed to an attack, I think he's overly excited and likes the reaction. We don't allow him to continue it. Treats solve the issue.

He seems fine. I mean yeah he's a bit more willful than he was at 5 months old. He'll "bite" if he doesn't like something, but its pretty rare and he never draws blood. Its more of a tantrum. Its not the nightmare I'm reading from others.

So is it only a matter of time before we wake up and our bird has picked one of us and attacks the other for the next 20 years? Or do some people get by peacefully?
I'm so glad you wrote this posting! I feel the same as you do. My Golden Conure is so friendly to EVERYONE he meets and is so sweet and kind and a cuddle monster! After reading so many posts about hormonal birds it freaks me out that this could be in the future for my Muffin. I do the same thing you do. Treats cure most behavior issues and enough sleep and proper diet and a window to look out of and lots of stimulation with toys and ample cage room seems to be eliminating the bad behaviors. I hope it continues to be so. I'll be curious to hear the replies to your posting. Best wishes with your Mango.
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:34 PM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

The gods honest truth is that every bird reacts differently. Just like humans. Some kids remain well behaved good kids into their teen years, others become hellish snit monsters.

The same applies to parrots. Some parrots get it really bad, others you’ll barely notice a difference. I’d say at 2, you are 98% certain to be past the initial puberty stage, though rare occasions see late bloomers. So you’re likely safe from the initial pubertal hormonal rush. But it could change with annual spring hormonal seasons (minor seasons in the fall as well) moving forward in years to come. Who knows? You’ll have to wait and find out.

Could it happen? Yes, happens to the vast majority of us. The 100% all the time cuddle monster phase doesn’t last, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

Also, let’s not call it badness (ok, I’m guilty of a bad subject title...or 20). This is something to be expected. When you say “badness”, you betray your inner thoughts, and reveal how unprepared you are. They’re just hormones, part of owning a parrot. Tend to your mental space in this regard. That way your feelings won’t be hurt so badly if and when it does hit. Believe me, when you are unprepared, a bite can do some serious emotional damage and make you question EVERYTHING.
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Old 05-07-2019, 02:41 PM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

I really think you are doing everything you can to go through “hormone season” well. I have 4 conures and no two are alike in my house. Tango is the only bird that I have had through puberty, the rest came to me at 4 years or older. In my opinion they are all different....and no, they don’t all get bitey and aggressive in my limited experience. Sometimes the first hit of hormones can be worse than future years - it’s all new and confusing to them and they don’t always know what to do with those feelings. I’ll briefly share how mine are and hopefully that will give you some reassurance. I am also pretty consistent in the amount of sleep mine get, none of mine have hidey-huts or any nesty areas in their cages. All of my flock, with the exception of Stanley, are amiable with either me or my husband.

Tango (GCC) - came to me at 18 months old and was extremely nippy (which I quickly figured out was probably puberty). In the years since, I can hardly tell that it’s hormone season with Tango.

Baby (Sun) - was 4-5 years old when I got her and has never been aggressive during the season. She gets a little more clingy, and on very rare occasion tries to regurgitate for me. Otherwise, seems to have little impact on her.

Bindi (Sun) - Was around 5-6 when I got her and is a little bit prone to being hormonal all the time, so I’m always very careful with her light schedule and petting zones. She’s never aggressive.

Stanley (GCC) - Came to me at 4 years old as an aggressive biter last year and I’m the only person who handles him currently. This is my first spring with him. He has tried to regurgitate a couple of times for me in the last few weeks and is a bit nippy but definitely not aggressive. He normally looks a bit surprised and apologetic when he nips me, like he’s not sure why he did it lol.
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  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-08-2019, 09:55 AM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

Quote: Originally Posted by chris-md View Post
Also, let’s not call it badness (ok, I’m guilty of a bad subject title...or 20). This is something to be expected. When you say “badness”, you betray your inner thoughts, and reveal how unprepared you are. They’re just hormones, part of owning a parrot. Tend to your mental space in this regard. That way your feelings won’t be hurt so badly if and when it does hit. Believe me, when you are unprepared, a bite can do some serious emotional damage and make you question EVERYTHING.
Relax, it was a tongue in cheek comment. Calling it the badness and laughing it off a bit is tending to my mental space.

So Mango was never really a 100% cuddle monster. We got him at about 7 months old and while he was hand raised/tamed (had no issues walking right up to us and stepping up), he wasn't cuddly. Which is understandable - even if he wasn't afraid of us, we were still new. He got attached to my husband for a bit but I think it was more that my husband had zero boundaries and he could get away with anything. That evened out after the husband trained himself to be less indulgent (the bird was driving him NUTS).

Over the last year Mango has gotten more willful AND more cuddly, at the same time. He definitely seems to have grown up. I don't know how to describe it, but I just kind of know he's an adult now. He has opinions, he's prideful, he's going somewhere in this world, he's gonna be somebody (at least he thinks so) and he wants us to know that.

But there wasn't an "ah-hah" transformation with difficulties I read about on here, so I was wondering if I was missing something. If its out there still I'm sure we can deal with it, but if other people had calmer experiences I wanted to know.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:17 AM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

Truth be told, I've never experienced ANY aggression with Skittles - with the exception of 'protectiveness' of me. He IS possessive of me and won't share me with anyone nor will he let anyone else near him or me. BUT, I'll confess, I've allowed that behavior to happen and even encouraged it because its what I want. I've always wanted a 'velcro bird' and that Skittles DEFINITELY is.



He's actually EXTREMELY well behaved, considering. The only issue that seems to be persistent is him 'landing' places he is NOT allowed (and his 'fabric fetish') which happens mostly during mating season and goes away. Its not out of control.


Some people have birds that become VERY territorial and aggressive and others don't experience that. There is no guarantee that they won't be nor any guarantee that they never will be.



I don't believe there is a universal rule when it comes to parrots- sunnies especially. I've known of people who's sunnie is friendly to everyone and I've heard of sunnies who are 'selective' and sunnies who hate everyone but their 'chosen human'. To me, its like it is with dogs, it all comes down to the 'owner/parront', but even then- only a certain amount- some of it is just the sunnies personality.
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Old 05-09-2019, 09:14 AM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

Quote: Originally Posted by Skittys_Daddy View Post
To me, its like it is with dogs, it all comes down to the 'owner/parront', but even then- only a certain amount- some of it is just the sunnies personality.
That makes sense, and is what I was starting to think, but I wanted to check in. There isn't as much info out there on birds as there is dogs and much of what is posted are the difficult stories.

I have two dogs. The older one, Oscar, is so easy going. I can take him anywhere, he loves EVERYONE. The younger one, Rosie, is a bit skittish. She's a sweetheart, but she is wary of new people in the house, takes awhile to warm up to them, and taking her in public is a borderline anxiety attack. Part of that is her personality, and part of it is we didn't have a chance to socialize her as much as we did Oscar.

I think Mango is more of an Oscar in personality, and on top of that we keep him pretty well socialized. My band practices at my house so we have people coming in a few times a week. The bass player is one of his favorite people, he had a cockatiel for many years and really gets birds (getting Mango was also his idea, fun fact). I've taken Mango home to my parents so he's traveled. Since I keep odd hours with gigs (gone many evenings) but work my day job closer to home (I'm home alone more during the day), my husband and I both have plenty of convenient one on one time with him. Its worked out pretty well.

Thanks for the perspective! Maybe its handling itself.
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Old 05-10-2019, 12:40 AM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

There is very little known of sun conures as well. MOST of what we know about companion parrots has to do with budgies, cockatiels and some macaws. Sadly, most of the research and information about sunnies that you find has to do with the drawbacks, like you mentioned.


This is why forums like this are so important. By sharing ALL stories and observations, we all can learn new things and find new (and sometimes better) ways of doing things or going about things. I'm always fascinated at trying to figure out Skittles.
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Old 05-10-2019, 06:11 AM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

Honestly, if you are of the mindset "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", then you may just be doing things right. I don't want to jinx your situation, and I'm not saying you will never experience hormones, but I think a lot of times, behavioral issues stem from people not properly identifying environmental triggers (and inadvertently stimulating their birds) or socialization issues early on etc. Keep on doing what you are doing as long as it keeps working lol and keep an eye on those "willful cuddles".
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:45 PM
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Re: Is the badness coming?

Quote: Originally Posted by noodles123 View Post
Honestly, if you are of the mindset "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", then you may just be doing things right. I don't want to jinx your situation, and I'm not saying you will never experience hormones, but I think a lot of times, behavioral issues stem from people not properly identifying environmental triggers (and inadvertently stimulating their birds) or socialization issues early on etc. Keep on doing what you are doing as long as it keeps working lol and keep an eye on those "willful cuddles".
"Willful cuddles", LOL.... yeah he's tried to get frisky with things once or twice but we put an end to it and it hasn't come up since then. I'm big on enforcing boundaries, politely, but firmly. He likes to test those but he's getting the idea. Fingers crossed that things will keep going well!

ETA: He can be kind of cuddly. But he's also non aggressive so maybe we're just lucky enough that it didn't matter? Every bird is different I guess!

Last edited by Iridal; 05-10-2019 at 02:48 PM.
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