How Can I Get My Conure To Be Sweet Again?

MyFeatheredFlock

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Jun 11, 2022
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I've had my GCC for a year now, and I got her when she was about 4 months old. After the baby phase she became very moody and mean. She constantly nips at my fingers and other people. I can barely put my hand near her without her biting me. I'm not sure what to do. She is very loved and well taken care of so I'm not sure what I may be doing wrong. She did have a very serious respiratory infection while she was still in her baby stages but she was still very sweet and cuddly through the whole time of dealing with that, but maybe she's mean from trauma of that? Idk, I just really want her to be a sweet, loving, cuddly conure. Every now and then she's extremely sweet and then other times she's super mean, most days she's mean and nippy. Can anyone help me correct this? I don't think it's her "Bluffing" stage yet, I've heard that happens around a few years old when her hormones start becoming more of an issue. I don't know. I love her so much and would just really like for her to stop biting and be more friendly.
 

clark_conure

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I'm about to go to bed but my first question is.....will the bird "step up" . If you put your hand next to them will they get on your hand......After we get the answer to that question then we can proceed.

Yes we can help someone else might take over after I go to bed it's after midnight now but! yeah we can help.
 
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MyFeatheredFlock

MyFeatheredFlock

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Hoping to get a Macaw
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I'm about to go to bed but my first question is.....will the bird "step up" . If you put your hand next to them will they get on your hand......After we get the answer to that question then we can proceed.

Yes we can help someone else might take over after I go to bed it's after midnight now but! yeah we can help.
Yes she can step up, she was never officially trained to "step up" but she kinda picked it up after a while. When I put my finger near her feet she will usually step up, or bite...But to answer your question, yes, she can.
 

chris-md

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Yes, how old is she exactly? You don’t say specifically but I’m extrapolating here that’s she’s a year old, maybe a bit over.

Which, as my friend pointed out, is puberty. Everyone who raises a chick deals with it. It’s a challenge, and the number 1 reason birds get rehomed because people don’t understand it and can’t handle it.

There’s Good news, and there’s bad news.

Bad news is this cannot be “fixed” by any intervention on your part, nor is there anything we can do. This is physiological, not a training issue.

Good news? It’s just a temporary phase! It can last a good while - few months to over a year - but it’s a phase and will eventually pass if you just hold on.
 
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Vampiric_Conure

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AH yes. Puberty, where even the sweetest, most cuddly bird goes insane. You've already got a lot of good suggestions on how to handle it, so I won't repeat it. However, if you want a good book on parrot behavior, Mattie Sue Athan's book 'A Guide to a Well behaved parrot' can be a life saver :)
 
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MyFeatheredFlock

MyFeatheredFlock

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Yes, how old is she exactly? You don’t say specifically but I’m extrapolating here that’s she’s a year old, maybe a bit over.

Which, as my friend pointed out, is puberty. Everyone who raises a chick deals with it. It’s a challenge, and the number 1 reason birds get rehomed because people don’t understand it and can’t handle it.

There’s Good news, and there’s bad news.

Bad news is this cannot be “fixed” by any intervention on your part, nor is there anything we can do. This is physiological, not a training issue.

Good news? It’s just a temporary phase! It can last a good while - few months to over a year - but it’s a phase and will eventually pass if you just hold on.
I got her jume 1st last year and she was 4 months old. So yeah like a year old now. And okay thank you, I heard that their puberty stage sometimes starts around two years so I wasn’t sure if this was it or not. I figured I had a while but I guess not. Thank you for telling me!
 
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MyFeatheredFlock

MyFeatheredFlock

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AH yes. Puberty, where even the sweetest, most cuddly bird goes insane. You've already got a lot of good suggestions on how to handle it, so I won't repeat it. However, if you want a good book on parrot behavior, Mattie Sue Athan's book 'A Guide to a Well behaved parrot' can be a life saver :)
Okay thank you, I’ll definitely look at that.
 

Laurasea

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it never hurts to bribe em. Just saying hi and hand a safflower seed a million times a day can really win them over!

Plus babies put up with everything. Adult GCC use that beak to keep us in line.

Paying close attention to body language, pause give a moment for them to collect themselves and you can avoid most bites.

Giving them a few moments to come out of cage and calm down before interactions can also be a big help.
 
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HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I got her jume 1st last year and she was 4 months old. So yeah like a year old now. And okay thank you, I heard that their puberty stage sometimes starts around two years so I wasn’t sure if this was it or not. I figured I had a while but I guess not. Thank you for telling me!
Puberty starts around 2 for bigger birds. Much younger for little birds. I’m not certain but I think they could reproduce at your birds age. Ah, the summer of Love, or in her case of not getting any and being crabby.

Step up is important and also be sure not to let her get cage bound. Thst can happen if a bird bites and bites and is hard to interact with.
 
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ravvlet

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Bribery is key; bribe her with treats to come out of and go into cage. If she’s not yet reliable at step-up on your hand without a nasty bite, use a perch instead. Using a perch as proxy for the time being might save you some skin. Our tiel went through a nasty bout of hormones too and he came out at the end sweet as can be. Your baby bird is still in there somewhere!

If she’s not actively flying to attack people, let her have as much out of cage time as you can. Let her work off all that hormonal energy on toys or on flying! If she IS attacking people by flying to them, try redirecting by using foraging items with a favorite treat or other high-value distractions, like a favorite toy.

This too shall pass! (Unless you’ve got an Amazon, then I guess this is just “late fall/early spring :poop:“)

My old guy isn’t much for violence but our new gal is a bit more emphatic and training her to step up politely on a perch, and providing LOTS of toys that are fun to bite and destroy, has really really helped.
 

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