Conure aggression

lasmartinez

New member
Sep 5, 2021
3
2
Parrots
Coco
Chiquis
I have a green cheek female named Coco and a male pineapple named Chiquis. They have been sexed and confirmed. Coco is about 8 years old and Chiquis is approx 1.5. They have lived in the same cage for over a year. They have always been affectionate and gotten along. Chiquis has always preferred her company to ours but would still play with us and sit with her when she was with us and take from from us. He never bit us unless we were cutting his nails. About 2 months ago he starting attacking me and biting me. He is not aggressive with my husband just me. I was ok with this new behavior and have been patient with him bc i think it’s some hormone changes. But recently whenever I pass by the cage and he sees me he immediately attacks Coco. Way more aggressive than their normal squabbles. And when she fights back he doesn’t back off just chases her and gets more aggressive. He does not do this when my husband gets near the cage. I can’t confirm if these attacks happen when we are gone but I don’t think so bc when we are home it is only when I get near the cage. Coco has been in the family a long time and has never been aggressive and I am worried this phase won’t pass and she isn’t safe. I am considering putting him up for adoption even tho I hate to do that but I want to protect her. Any advice would help thank you.
Lauren
 

LaManuka

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Hello there Lauren, welcome to the forums to you and your little flock!

I think you are correct in your assessment that this behavioural shift in Chiquis is related to hormonal changes and impending sexual maturity. Green cheeked conures (or GCCs) are a species known for a little something called “cage aggression” – in your situation I think Chiquis is becoming both rather possessive of Coco and of their cage, both of which he sees as his territory. I believe that the attacking of Coco that you are observing is a phenomenon called “displacement biting”, where Chiquis is telling Coco that she is his property and warning her that she should stay well away from you. I’m not sure that you would necessarily need to put Chiquis up for adoption, but I do believe that you will need to look into providing Coco with a separate cage for her safety. I observed quite similar behaviour between my cockatiels Fang (male) and Twinkle (female) quite a few years ago before we very sadly lost Twinkle to illness. Fang was much younger than Twinkle at the time, but the moment he reached sexual maturity he would chase her quite relentlessly around the house whenever she gave even the subtlest, “come hither” glance. Her cues were quite imperceptible to me, but would send Fang into a hormonally charged rage and he would pursue her to the point of exhaustion and attack me most aggressively indeed when I intervened. They always had separate cages though, and I would have to cage Twinkle for her own protection until Fang’s rampage had subsided.

I do believe that we too often keep parrots in too-close proximity in the domestic setting. If Coco and Chiquis were flying free in the wild, Coco would have the ability to fly off and escape Chiquis's aggression, and possibly even to find herself a happier bond with a different bird altogether. There is never any guarantee that two birds, whether they are the same species or totally different, will get along when they are caged together. I once had a budgie and a purple crowned lorikeet who shared a cage their entire lives, with hours and hours of free-range time every day of course. They were absolutely the very best of little buddies and did everything together, whereas my current budgie and lorikeet combo would be a total disaster if they were to share the same living space. I do think that when they live with us in the very artificial environments of our homes, that they need to have their own safe space to be able to retreat to.

Perhaps some other members might weigh in with their observations and I hope they do - parrot behaviour is a very complex and multi-layered subject and others may have different opinions. Even though there are many behaviours that are hard-wired into their brains, parrots are all still individuals and other owners may have differing viewpoints to mine. In the meantime I do think it’s best that you look into purchasing a separate cage for Coco. Your pair may be able to enjoy each other’s company outside the confines of a single cage, but I do think that Coco having her own safe space is essential to her safety.

Thank you again for joining, and I wish you the very best of luck with Coco and Chiquis! :)
 
Last edited:

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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above is spot on. He will bite her to tell her to fly away . To stay away , not not get wooed by another mate. Or displace aggression because he is frustrated.

It would be best to cage side by side. They can be out together. But go to their own cages st night. Should Really help improve things.

Maybe he is worse with you. Because sees you as just to irresistible!!! Worried you will steal his lady away
 
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lasmartinez

New member
Sep 5, 2021
3
2
Parrots
Coco
Chiquis
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Hello there Lauren, welcome to the forums to you and your little flock!

I think you are correct in your assessment that this behavioural shift in Chiquis is related to hormonal changes and impending sexual maturity. Green cheeked conures (or GCCs) are a species known for a little something called “cage aggression” – in your situation I think Chiquis is becoming both rather possessive of Coco and of their cage, both of which he sees as his territory. I believe that the attacking of Coco that you are observing is a phenomenon called “displacement biting”, where Chiquis is telling Coco that she is his property and warning her that she should stay well away from you. I’m not sure that you would necessarily need to put Chiquis up for adoption, but I do believe that you will need to look into providing Coco with a separate cage for her safety. I observed quite similar behaviour between my cockatiels Fang (male) and Twinkle (female) quite a few years ago before we very sadly lost Twinkle to illness. Fang was much younger than Twinkle at the time, but the moment he reached sexual maturity he would chase her quite relentlessly around the house whenever she gave even the subtlest, “come hither” glance. Her cues were quite imperceptible to me, but would send Fang into a hormonally charged rage and he would pursue her to the point of exhaustion and attack me most aggressively indeed when I intervened. They always had separate cages though, and I would have to cage Twinkle for her own protection until Fang’s rampage had subsided.

I do believe that we too often keep parrots in too-close proximity in the domestic setting. If Coco and Chiquis were flying free in the wild, Coco would have the ability to fly off and escape Chiquis's aggression, and possibly even to find herself a happier bond with a different bird altogether. There is never any guarantee that two birds, whether they are the same species or totally different, will get along when they are caged together. I once had a budgie and a purple crowned lorikeet who shared a cage their entire lives, with hours and hours of free-range time every day of course. They were absolutely the very best of little buddies and did everything together, whereas my current budgie and lorikeet combo would be a total disaster if they were to share the same living space. I do think that when they live with us in the very artificial environments of our homes, that they need to have their own safe space to be able to retreat to.

Perhaps some other members might weigh in with their observations and I hope they do - parrot behaviour is a very complex and multi-layered subject and others may have different opinions. Even though there are many behaviours that are hard-wired into their brains, parrots are all still individuals and other owners may have differing viewpoints to mine. In the meantime I do think it’s best that you look into purchasing a separate cage for Coco. Your pair may be able to enjoy each other’s company outside the confines of a single cage, but I do think that Coco having her own safe space is essential to her safety.

Thank you again for joining, and I wish you the very best of luck with Coco and Chiquis! :)
They are locked in the cage when someone isn’t home. Otherwise it is open and they can fly and sit on their favorite spots. It makes us feel better that they aren’t lonely during the day and they are pretty content that way. Do you think it is safe to let them be alone during the day and separate them at night? Or is that counter productive?
 

LaManuka

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Personally I would have them housed in separate cages but have them side-by-side. My cockatiels always lived that way very happily - like your conures they had free range when someone was home to supervise, but had their own safe spaces at night. I think it was even more important that they weren't shut in together when I wasn't home and wasn't there to be able to break up a nasty squabble if it occurred. Much better to be safe than sorry in my opinion :)
 

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