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Old 11-18-2020, 12:28 PM
NDJ NDJ is offline
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Exclamation Complete change in my GCC Rio

Hi, I hope someone is able to help as I am very worried about my little conure Rio. He is a male, about 3 years old. He came to me just over a year ago after living with my farther and his wife since weening. Rio while living with my farther took to his wife and only his wife. He is a very cuddly bird and was more than pleasant with her. Anyone else best watch out as they would be sure to be bit if they approached him. My farther received many bites throughout the time Rio lived with them and he was a bully to his two pups attacking them whenever out of his cage. Due to his behaviour, Rio was no longer aloud to leave his cage. This did not change for a few months. My farther and his wife understood that it is not fair to keep him in his cage all the time and rehoming Rio was the best option for Rio and themselves.
Upon visiting my father and hearing this, I felt very sorry for Rio and felt that I could help him get through his biting stage and general misbehaviour and offer him a nice home.
Once rehomed with myself, he was obviously very weary of me for two or 3 days but I took things slow and allowed him to approach me when ready. His cage was left open and he was free to leave whenever comfortable. He slowly got used to me and in time become to enjoy my company and playing with me. His biting slowly got better to the point that he does not bite my hands anymore. He does have one very strange and horrible quirk where he will suddenly take a chunk out of your neck or ear for no reason known to myself. He has always had this issue and is still not fully out of it although I do trust him on my shoulders for the most part. Biting there is an extremely rare occurrence now but not non-existent.
At this point he is fully settled with me and is even friendly and playful with visitors. It's a miraculous turnaround and has shown just how much love this little conure has. He is so cuddly, pleasant, inquisitive and funny. Just adorable.
At this point I love this bird so much and can't imagine life without him. He does everything with me and is just so happy and a true joy to have around.
Now things have suddenly changed. Overnight he has become a different bird. He no longer wants to spend any time with me and only wants to be in his cage. This is so different to his usual behaviour where he's always wanting to be around me and out of his cage. Now he just sits in his cage screaming directly at me, flat out voice breaking constantly. When I try to stop him screaming, he hides inside his little house crying / screaming and digging. Yes digging / scratching. He does this for half the day now and half the night also. Digging chewing and scratching constantly. He is halfway through the solid wood floor now. This is very obsessive with him and is hard to describe. It is clear that he is not happy. He is also regurgitation far more than usual. He's not being sick or anything just regurgitating on things and eating it. Although he no longer wants to spend time with me, he still clearly loves me and wants me to be around him but only when he's in his cage. He no longer comes to me. He will have a tickle in his cage, a cuddle and just sit with me but not outside of his cage or sit with me on the sofa like before.
I understand sudden changes in birds is a bad sign but I really don't know what to make of this. It's just so sudden and he is a completely different bird. With his screaming at me constantly it's driving me crazy and I don't know what I can do. He does not seem happy anymore but was the happiest bird ever 2 months ago. What changed?
I would say boredom but he has so much to do and so many new toys to play with, he just chooses not to.
I'm sorry for the long post, I just wanted to cover as much of his history as possible. If anyone is able to provide any information at all I would be so grateful.
Thank you
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Old 11-18-2020, 03:33 PM
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Re: Complete change in my GCC Rio

Its quite possible Rio is having his first real taste of hormones, as we draw nearer to that season in the Northern hemisphere. That can change a loving parrot into a confused, bitey mess. Normal steps to reduce the effect of these hormones rushing thru his lil body are - no touching anywhere but the head and neck, 12 hours of solid quiet sleep every night, no dark corners or hidey holes, reduced sugar ( in the form of fruits usually), no warm mushy foods, and lots of exercise and toys to chew and destroy, and no nest like materials available to him, like shredded paper, cloth etc. Minimize but not prevent, as mating season is hard wired into every parrot. My own small Amazon, Salty, goes from my best buddy to trying to rip a chunk out of me when I pass his boing, for no reason other then I am just there. and 10 min later asking for a scratch. Just take the steps above and weather the storm.
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Old 11-19-2020, 03:28 AM
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Re: Complete change in my GCC Rio

Fully agree with the superb advice given by Master Wrench above! Your birdie may indeed be going through a period of torment brought on by hormonal surges. I am a little concerned that you mention that he "hides inside his little house crying, digging and scratching". If this is anything that resembles a nest box or "happy hut", it could be contributing to or exacerbating an already heightened hormonal state in your bird because he sees it as a nesting site and they can get VERY obsessive about that, so you are best to get rid of it it really. They really don't need anything like that to sleep in or "hide" in as such, and it could very well be making a bad situation even worse for your conure. He may grumble about it for a few days, but I think you'll find things will improve if it's removed.

If his mood has not improved after a few weeks you would be wise to have him checked out by a certified avian vet. The following link may help you find one if you don't already have one.......

https://www.aav.org/

Sometimes sudden changes in behaviour can be an indicator of a health issue, and it's best to have your little buddy checked for wellness every year anyway to help head off any health problems before they get out of control. A certified avian vet will also be able to advise you about behavioural issues as well.
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Last edited by LaManuka; 11-19-2020 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 11-19-2020, 12:01 PM
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Re: Complete change in my GCC Rio

Thank you both very much for your kind reply's. I am now convinced it is hormone related. I agree removing his nest box / hut will help. I was hesitant to do this as I know he loves his little box but now you have confirmed this I will be sure to remove it.
Thank you once again for your time and reassuring advice. I hope to post here with an update in some time. Please take care..
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Old 11-19-2020, 12:25 PM
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Re: Complete change in my GCC Rio

I recommend getting a kitchen gram scale, abd start tracking weights. Its an important thing to help catch illness.

The above advice is great, and will hopefully help.

Sometimes something happens, sometimes we can figure it out, sometimes only the burd knows, that causes loss of trust. I've had this happen several times with Ta-dah. And I have to earn back her trust. Feeding little seeds by hand multiple times a day helps
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Old 11-25-2020, 06:38 AM
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Re: Complete change in my GCC Rio

Hi, I just wanted to give an update and thank you all once again. Since removing Rio's nesting box, his behaviour has completely changed for the better! He is no longer screaming all day, seems to be sleeping better and is now contempt and happy playing with his many new toys. I don't understand the science behind it but the nesting box was causing the problems. As much as he loved his little box, removing it has done wonders for his behaviour and he seems much happier for it.
Thank you so much for your wonderful advice! Hopefully this post will help others in the same predicament..
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Old 11-25-2020, 12:12 PM
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Re: Complete change in my GCC Rio

Chiming in late, thanks so much for joining and sharing Rio's history! Detailed disclosure prompted members and a mod to zero in on the likely cause of his temperament change. So happy removal of the nesting box seemingly cured his hormonal rages!!
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Old 11-25-2020, 04:45 PM
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Re: Complete change in my GCC Rio

Thanks for the update NDJ, that's wonderful news! I'm so glad we were able to help you and that both you and Rio are feeling much less stressed out. Thanks for being so proactive reaching out for help for him, and I hope you will stick around and maybe even post some pics of the little guy
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