Conure suddenly biting? Help?

Xiiidarkside

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Nov 16, 2021
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Juniper: Green cheek conure
My gcc has never been particularly bitey, but she has always been very excited by tissues. This wasn't much of an issue before, we would just give her a little bit of tissue or let her bite it before using it, but for some reason all of a sudden when you try to give her the tissue she'll go right for your hand instead.

How can I discourage this behavior? I don't want to "punish" her, I just want her to understand that it's more rewarding for her to not do that haha. So far I've just been not giving her the tissue when she goes for my hand, but she's just getting better at ambushing my hand when I need to clean something up :(
 

Tikitiel

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Tiki the lutino cockatiel(gotcha date: 4/3/2017 Hatchday: ???)Tango the sun conure(Gotcha date: 14/5/2011 Hatchday: 6/3/2011 R.I.P: 3/4/2018)Flitch the sparrow(gotcha date: 10/9/2021 R.I.P: 10/9/2021)
My gcc has never been particularly bitey, but she has always been very excited by tissues. This wasn't much of an issue before, we would just give her a little bit of tissue or let her bite it before using it, but for some reason all of a sudden when you try to give her the tissue she'll go right for your hand instead.

How can I discourage this behavior? I don't want to "punish" her, I just want her to understand that it's more rewarding for her to not do that haha. So far I've just been not giving her the tissue when she goes for my hand, but she's just getting better at ambushing my hand when I need to clean something up :(
how old is she?
she might of hit puberty?
 

imouse1

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Green Cheek Conure: Sir H. H. Gregg Q. T. Birb, III
She might be jealous of what you're doing, too. If the Sir wakes up and catches me on my phone...watch out.

I didn't get a direct answer on this when I asked. All people will tell you is not to react. I sometimes have to take some heavy pain killers for my chronic condition so I'm not sure how people are "not reacting" if I can feel when the Sir is trying to get my attention with his beak when I can't feel my fingers to dull my back and legs.

What I ended up doing was keeping a chopstick around and I slide it in under his beak to the other side which gives me just enough space to pull out my finger or skin. I use it because it's thick and blunt--I would never dare try it with a skewer or toothpick.

10/10 he wants something. 5/10, he wants attention in the form of whatever I'm paying attention to: phone has pictures of strangers or unexpected noises or isn't him or is him [lul]; running water is washing my hands and not him; I'm chopping something and it's destroying his food (he doesn't help with normal food prep JIC he jumps into it); etc.), 3/10 he wants water (especially when he's biting my ear, neck, or lips for some reason). 1/10 he wants food. 1/10 he wants a toy to destroy. The chopstick buys me time to ask him about my missed cue and to present him options.

Gregg isn't particularly vocal and since he spends a lot of time on my shoulder or in my hair I physically cannot see his cues. I'll check in on him with the phone every once in awhile but then he digs deep and hides lol.

I hope that helps.
 
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Xiiidarkside

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Nov 16, 2021
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Juniper: Green cheek conure
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She might be jealous of what you're doing, too. If the Sir wakes up and catches me on my phone...watch out.

I didn't get a direct answer on this when I asked. All people will tell you is not to react. I sometimes have to take some heavy pain killers for my chronic condition so I'm not sure how people are "not reacting" if I can feel when the Sir is trying to get my attention with his beak when I can't feel my fingers to dull my back and legs.

What I ended up doing was keeping a chopstick around and I slide it in under his beak to the other side which gives me just enough space to pull out my finger or skin. I use it because it's thick and blunt--I would never dare try it with a skewer or toothpick.

10/10 he wants something. 5/10, he wants attention in the form of whatever I'm paying attention to: phone has pictures of strangers or unexpected noises or isn't him or is him [lul]; running water is washing my hands and not him; I'm chopping something and it's destroying his food (he doesn't help with normal food prep JIC he jumps into it); etc.), 3/10 he wants water (especially when he's biting my ear, neck, or lips for some reason). 1/10 he wants food. 1/10 he wants a toy to destroy. The chopstick buys me time to ask him about my missed cue and to present him options.

Gregg isn't particularly vocal and since he spends a lot of time on my shoulder or in my hair I physically cannot see his cues. I'll check in on him with the phone every once in awhile but then he digs deep and hides lol.

I hope that helps.
Do you think she's jealous of me or the tissue? We're pretty well bonded and she cuddles with my hands a lot, but she only ever gets aggressive with tissues
 

imouse1

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Green Cheek Conure: Sir H. H. Gregg Q. T. Birb, III
Do you think she's jealous of me or the tissue? We're pretty well bonded and she cuddles with my hands a lot, but she only ever gets aggressive with tissues
She might even be trying to shred the tissue. I know with the Sir if it looks like it might be a toy, it's a toy. He'll bite anything at least once and if it's a pleasant experience...it's his. The texture or bite of the plastic used for phone cases is his absolute favorite. He has one phone watching his cage as a nanny cam using the Alfred app and then there's my phone. He really, *really* likes the give and pull of the phone case even though he can't destroy it. The one watching his cage has nothing to do with bonding or me using it since it's on a social media kit or whatever they're called (so I don't have to do anything with it except I occasionally unplug it to keep the battery from fully exploding from being plugged in all the time). She might really like the ease of the tissue and be liking the game.

Or It could be she sees you using them and hears you "squawk" when it gets to your nose and doesn't want it "hurting" you?

I'm guessing, though, since she's always been excited it's more of a "This is an easy kill" situation and she thinks it's like tissue paper even though it isn't. You can't post videos on the forums but you should see how excited the Sir gets when he's allowed to go mow off his flowers from the hibiscus plants--he goes full predator and it's fun for the dogs to watch because he scratches at them like cats do with their hind legs lol. But he also does the same thing when he hangs upside-down from chopsticks--for whatever reason, he sees them as equivalent even though the chopsticks are much harder, not moist, and get used across a variety of situations. 🤷‍♀️

If it were me, I'd stop offering her tissue and I'd offer her something else (like a wicker ball or cardboard foraging toy) when you have to use it or hold it--don't even give her the option. And if she's on your shoulder, have her step up and move her to your lap or table so she can't elect to do it on her own.
 

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