GCC Aggressively Attacking

PeachesPie

New member
Jan 26, 2022
8
5
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure
We got Peaches last year in May and she's 1 year and 2 months old now. When we got her, she bonded really well with my husband. He would get her in the morning, give her fresh water, check her food and make her breakfast. Peaches would hang out on her day cage for a while looking out the window and chirping. They would play and snuggle in the morning too. He used to be home all the time, but recently he's been away from home for 3-4 weeks for work. We have three kids at home, but I've become her primary.

The last time he returned, she got aggressive and was biting him constantly for the first few days. I spent extra time with her and I'd go to my husband while holding her and keeping my distance. We would talk to each other and he would talk to Peaches. If I wasn't around, she was locked in her cage. Peaches is only locked in her day cage while cooking, eating foods she can't have, and when we leave the house. She loves to hang around and interact with me and whatever I'm doing. The last few days of his days at home, she was nice to him and he was able to hold her like normal.

My husband came home this morning and Peaches went right into attack mode. she never got any painful bites in. She nipped a couple of times. I kept grabbing her before she could latch on. He was offering her new pecans he brought just for her. Pecans are like her candy! She refused them and continued trying to attack. The only way I could calm her down was to wrap her gently in a cloth. Peaches doesn't mind this and she trusts me. I handed her over to my husband so he could talk to her while she was controlled and unable to attack. She squirmed out of the cloth, which is normal. Instead of leaving her out of her cage all day like normal, Peaches spent the day inside her cage. When my husband went up for a nap, my kids let her out and she's been glued to my shoulder since. My shoulder is one of her favourite places to be. I'm always doing something interesting and she likes exploring what I'm doing. I was worried that letting her out after so long in her cage would cause her to be angry with me. So far she's been content.

Peaches has been getting a little nippy with me the last few days. If she's on my shoulder and I'm working on something and not paying attention to her she nips my ear. I always tell her no biting while gently nudging her away from my ear. A repeat bite and she's put on her cage where again I tell her no biting if she wants to be with me. As soon as I turn my back she's on my shoulder again and we repeat the process until she stops nibbling my ear or she goes to my oldest and they go upstairs to play. Peaches likes exploring on her bed and checking out the stuffed animals. My oldest is really gentle with her so it's a better solution than locking her in her cage. Plus it gives her different stimulation than just hanging out with me.

I want to focus on positive reinforcement and not punishment. I don't want her being locked in her cage to feel like a punishment, but it's for everyone's safety when she's aggressively attacking my husband. We know he has to take it slow with her after last time. He did offer her a pecan this morning by putting it in her food dish in her cage. she grabbed it and angrily tossed it to the floor of her cage. The one I put in her food dish she took and chewed on it angrily.

Any advice on what else we could do to help her and any explanations of her behaviour would be very helpful. At first, we were thinking maybe she didn't remember him but apparently, they have very good memories and she remembers the lady she bonded with at the pet store we adopted her from. Peaches is the first bird we've had in our home and we are all learning together.

Thanks for reading!
 

zERo

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2021
300
454
Texas
Parrots
Tony-Green QP(M)
Tom-Pineapple GCC(M)
Ryuk-Cockatiel(M)
Sheer Khan-Cockatiel(F)
Romeo-Cockatiel(M)
Billy- Green budgie(M)
Hedwig- Green budgie(F)
Striga- Blue Clearwing budgie(M)
Grim- Mauve budgie(F)
We got Peaches last year in May and she's 1 year and 2 months old now. When we got her, she bonded really well with my husband. He would get her in the morning, give her fresh water, check her food and make her breakfast. Peaches would hang out on her day cage for a while looking out the window and chirping. They would play and snuggle in the morning too. He used to be home all the time, but recently he's been away from home for 3-4 weeks for work. We have three kids at home, but I've become her primary.

The last time he returned, she got aggressive and was biting him constantly for the first few days. I spent extra time with her and I'd go to my husband while holding her and keeping my distance. We would talk to each other and he would talk to Peaches. If I wasn't around, she was locked in her cage. Peaches is only locked in her day cage while cooking, eating foods she can't have, and when we leave the house. She loves to hang around and interact with me and whatever I'm doing. The last few days of his days at home, she was nice to him and he was able to hold her like normal.

My husband came home this morning and Peaches went right into attack mode. she never got any painful bites in. She nipped a couple of times. I kept grabbing her before she could latch on. He was offering her new pecans he brought just for her. Pecans are like her candy! She refused them and continued trying to attack. The only way I could calm her down was to wrap her gently in a cloth. Peaches doesn't mind this and she trusts me. I handed her over to my husband so he could talk to her while she was controlled and unable to attack. She squirmed out of the cloth, which is normal. Instead of leaving her out of her cage all day like normal, Peaches spent the day inside her cage. When my husband went up for a nap, my kids let her out and she's been glued to my shoulder since. My shoulder is one of her favourite places to be. I'm always doing something interesting and she likes exploring what I'm doing. I was worried that letting her out after so long in her cage would cause her to be angry with me. So far she's been content.

Peaches has been getting a little nippy with me the last few days. If she's on my shoulder and I'm working on something and not paying attention to her she nips my ear. I always tell her no biting while gently nudging her away from my ear. A repeat bite and she's put on her cage where again I tell her no biting if she wants to be with me. As soon as I turn my back she's on my shoulder again and we repeat the process until she stops nibbling my ear or she goes to my oldest and they go upstairs to play. Peaches likes exploring on her bed and checking out the stuffed animals. My oldest is really gentle with her so it's a better solution than locking her in her cage. Plus it gives her different stimulation than just hanging out with me.

I want to focus on positive reinforcement and not punishment. I don't want her being locked in her cage to feel like a punishment, but it's for everyone's safety when she's aggressively attacking my husband. We know he has to take it slow with her after last time. He did offer her a pecan this morning by putting it in her food dish in her cage. she grabbed it and angrily tossed it to the floor of her cage. The one I put in her food dish she took and chewed on it angrily.

Any advice on what else we could do to help her and any explanations of her behaviour would be very helpful. At first, we were thinking maybe she didn't remember him but apparently, they have very good memories and she remembers the lady she bonded with at the pet store we adopted her from. Peaches is the first bird we've had in our home and we are all learning together.

Thanks for reading!
Based on her age I'd say she's going through hormones. Many birds will become nippy, territorial, or aggressive once they start to mature, when they're hormones even back out it stops but will probably flare back up at least once a year. What is her diet? Many times a diet with too much sugar, protein, or carbs can worsen hormones. Have you tried to target or trick train her? Training is a great way to interact with your bird in a more hands off way.
 
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PeachesPie

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Jan 26, 2022
8
5
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure
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She isn't aggressive to me though, only my husband. The last couple of days with me she's been a little mad at me for not spending as much time with her. As soon as I took time to cuddle her, she was fine. That's all she wanted from me and the ear nibbles are her indicator that she wants attention.

If it's hormones, would she only react to one member and would it last for months. He came home at the end of January and now at the end of February. Both times PEach has been aggressive towards him. With me, she's absolutely fine and her normal self.

I do need to change her diet a little bit. She's getting too many treats and I want to encourage her to eat more of her pellets. We bought her rainbow-colored pellets in different shapes. They're a bit larger so she can hold them and nibble. She prefers them over the small pellets. She's not constantly getting treats and seeds, but I have been cutting down a little bit more so it's more balanced. We have a treat mix for her that contains raisins, fruit, nuts and seeds. I've only been putting about a tablespoon into her seed cup once a week for her to nibble on occasionally. Before we would have more in there. Sometimes she poops in that dish, so by putting less in, there's less waste and fewer treats.

Peaches has these little plastic balls she likes to play with. She loves playing with plastic straws, the reusable ones. My oldest sometimes put round blocks on the end and they'll roll it around together. I'm looking at getting her some tunnels to explore in and start doing some new things with her. I'll talk to my husband later and see if we can find some target training or tricks to start doing with her.
 

Flboy

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
12,485
3,330
Greater Orlando area, Florida
Parrots
JoJo, 'Special' GCC, Bongo, Cinnamon GCC(wife's)
Also, attacking is becoming a learned response! Yes, frustration at hubby triggered it, but it then becomes the norm!
Hubby coming home? Peaches goes into cage! Hubby makes a big deal over seeing him! With treats!
Try not to directly associate cage time with hubby coming home! Work on special treats instead!
You are programming new behaviors and associations!
 
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PeachesPie

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Jan 26, 2022
8
5
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure
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Also, attacking is becoming a learned response! Yes, frustration at hubby triggered it, but it then becomes the norm!
Hubby coming home? Peaches goes into cage! Hubby makes a big deal over seeing him! With treats!
Try not to directly associate cage time with hubby coming home! Work on special treats instead!
You are programming new behaviors and associations!
Peaches was only in her cage yesterday until she calmed down and I wasn't busy. When she came out she had calmed down and never once flew to my husband. She watched him but never flew over. They chatted a little bit so she's tolerating his presence. He brought her special treats and he didn't even get the chance to give her any, she just went straight into attack mode. There have been days with me where she's been very bitey and has gone into her cage for a bit to calm down while I finish what I'm doing. Cage time is not directly related to him coming home. I'll put her in while eating, cooking, on the phone, doing things around the house that she cannot help with and when she needs to calm down. It's never a punishment. She's content in her cage and when she wants out she will let us know. She comes out calmer and more sociable. Her cage is her safe place and she knows it.
 

zERo

Well-known member
Dec 9, 2021
300
454
Texas
Parrots
Tony-Green QP(M)
Tom-Pineapple GCC(M)
Ryuk-Cockatiel(M)
Sheer Khan-Cockatiel(F)
Romeo-Cockatiel(M)
Billy- Green budgie(M)
Hedwig- Green budgie(F)
Striga- Blue Clearwing budgie(M)
Grim- Mauve budgie(F)
She isn't aggressive to me though, only my husband. The last couple of days with me she's been a little mad at me for not spending as much time with her. As soon as I took time to cuddle her, she was fine. That's all she wanted from me and the ear nibbles are her indicator that she wants attention.

If it's hormones, would she only react to one member and would it last for months. He came home at the end of January and now at the end of February. Both times PEach has been aggressive towards him. With me, she's absolutely fine and her normal self.

I do need to change her diet a little bit. She's getting too many treats and I want to encourage her to eat more of her pellets. We bought her rainbow-colored pellets in different shapes. They're a bit larger so she can hold them and nibble. She prefers them over the small pellets. She's not constantly getting treats and seeds, but I have been cutting down a little bit more so it's more balanced. We have a treat mix for her that contains raisins, fruit, nuts and seeds. I've only been putting about a tablespoon into her seed cup once a week for her to nibble on occasionally. Before we would have more in there. Sometimes she poops in that dish, so by putting less in, there's less waste and fewer treats.

Peaches has these little plastic balls she likes to play with. She loves playing with plastic straws, the reusable ones. My oldest sometimes put round blocks on the end and they'll roll it around together. I'm looking at getting her some tunnels to explore in and start doing some new things with her. I'll talk to my husband later and see if we can find some target training or tricks to start doing with her.
Yeah as stated above it's become an association behavior for her. I would say concerning her diet, have you offered her fresh vegetables? Veggies are far superior to even the best pellet.
 
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PeachesPie

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Jan 26, 2022
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5
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Green Cheek Conure
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Yeah as stated above it's become an association behavior for her. I would say concerning her diet, have you offered her fresh vegetables? Veggies are far superior to even the best pellet.
She gets veggies every morning for breakfast. Lots of healthy vegetables and a good variety. At supper, she'll get a bit more depending on what we made for supper.
 

T00tsyd

Well-known member
May 8, 2017
1,159
520
UK
Parrots
Green cheek conure - Sydney (Syd) Hatched 2/2017
I think Peaches is a tad confused and also hormonal. She started out with hubby as favourite but then he left. She then found you and when hubby returned she saw him as a challenge for your attention. She got jealous. So she attacks the competition but also nips you to make the point that you belong to her. She also sounds just a bit spoiled. Don't take that the wrong way it's easy to do when they are little, but a shoulder perch is a real privilege not her right so poor behaviour means no shoulders. She needs to understand that you are both her parents not not a potential mate. If she bites/nips too hard, put her away from you not in her cage and completely ignore her. Don't even look in her direction and let her come back to you but not on your shoulder. She will be confused initially but she needs to learn the boundaries. If you skip this she will get worse and might even end up biting the children.

So take care on cuddles. Pet nowhere but on her head ever. Don''t serve too much fruit maybe just weekends. Avoid dark cosy places for her to hang out. If she is hormonal and she is about due, she will be going nuts and not at all sure how to cope with it. Be clear and very consistent. Make sure she gets enough rest. 10-12 hours each night but I also make sure that Syd gets time during the day in his cage just to chill. It's his safe space so he relaxes there best.

The transition from baby to adult is quite important. She nay well become a demon for a while but with correct handling and consistency she will return to normal once the trial is over. Be prepared for a few weeks but do stay consistent not just you but the whole family should follow the same rules.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
12,389
7,259
USA
Parrots
Full house
Above can be spot on.

But also some burds get upset when a person leaves for an extended time. It can leave them feeling rejected. As flock creature , they always stay together members don't leave and come back.

When I've had to be in the hospital for a week or 2. Mine are plenty mad at me when I come back. They can act out , bite ect. A few days of treats and apologies and I'm forgiven.

Keep up with him talking and sharing treats. Its good to always greet them when yiu get up, to always tell them when you are leaving the home, and always go greet them when you return
 
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PeachesPie

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Jan 26, 2022
8
5
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure
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Today my husband came home after being away again. We had some things to do outside so Peaches was content in her cage. He came in and while our very excited pup was outside, talked to her and tried giving her treats through the cage. She was clearly angry so we left her in her cage. I had dishes to do and they're challenging to do with Peaches.

I let her out when I started supper and took her upstairs to go hang out with my daughter. When my daughter came down with Peaches, she flew to my hubby all poofed out. Tried biting his ears. She came over to me and she settled down. Not at all as aggressive as she was last time.

After supper I let her out again to hang out with us while we watched a movie. She was mostly calm and wanted rubs. There were some nibbles and bites, but nothing like last time. He played peek-a-boo with her using his hat and afterwards she wasn't angry.

I ordered Peach these woven grass mats and 2 balls to explore. I showed them to her and she wanted nothing to do with them. Hubby shows them to Peaches and right away she's curious. He was able to handle her like normal, until she decided she had enough and nipped. Letting me know she's tired. She came over to me and I got her ready for bed.
 
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