i'm afraid my Ekkie hates me.

epona

New member
Apr 21, 2024
11
13
Emeryville, CA
Parrots
Sweetpea - (M) 12 year old Green Cheek Conure
Agent Scully - (F) 4 mth Eclectus
halp!

kind of a long story -

i just moved from colorado to california. in february i was back in denver for a bit and before my flight home, decided to kill some time at the bird place where i got my first conure. dave the owner says to me "why don't you come back and see the babies?"

never listen to Dave.
next thing i know a red baby girl is crawling into my arms and snuggling up to me and falling adleep. my boyfriend says he's never seen anything so magical, and he doesn't believe in magic. next thing i know i'm saying "it's meant to be!" and throwing my credit card at Dave.

he calls me and tells me she's ready so i fly back to get her and bring her home on April 9. she was hatched 12/28/23. she is now a different bird. she eats fresh food like a horse and is still taking some formula 2x per day....and that is the only time i can get near her is if she hears the clang of the mug and i have that pipette in hand. otherwise, it's hackles up, lunge and stab with beak.

i figured she'd need time to settle in but it's been a few weeks now. i work from hom so am in the same room with her most of the day. i talk to her often and sing to her at bedtime. when i'm not near the cage, she relaxes, preens, stands on one leg, beak grinds, all good things. she lunges and bites at me through the cage whenever i get near to change her food bowls.

is this just an Ekkie time frame thing? she's my first one. i thought maybe it was a cage territory thing, so i let her have some outside caqge time. that ended up being quite a day, because i couldn't get her to go back in the cage. obviously she won't step up for me.

somebody told me i should be wrapping her in a towel when its feeding time and force cuddle. as someone who is into permission based training, that sounds like a terrible idea.

any suggestions?

 
Hi there, Welcome, and you have a beautiful girl Ekkie. I would suggest clicker based training with a high reward treat. It will get her to interact with you in a safe manner. I use chop sticks for my stick, and I bought a dog clicker at one of my local pet stores for the clicker based training. When you walk by her cage maybe offer a treat at that time too. Do your best to make every interaction positive. Take baby steps to get her to warm up to you.

DO NOT do a force cuddle, or wrap her to force her to do anything. It can really damage the relationship. Parrots can be more of an earned relationship. They aren’t like puppies that instantly love you, and think you are the greatest if you get what I am saying. I myself only towel my parrots if there’s a medication that is important that they are refusing. A vet would be involved at that point instructing me to do so.

Have you tried contacting the breeder about these issues you are having? Do you know if your parrot was hand fed?
 
Also please do your research on hormones with your beautiful female Ekkie. She is still a baby, but she will mature & hit puberty. Some parrots can become more challenging at that time. Sometimes preparing ourselves, and understanding parrot hormones & how they really aren’t in control when they become hormonal is beneficial to both parrots & parronts.
 
Excellent advice above. I'll add a couple things to think about.

First, it's only been a couple weeks, which in the land of parrots is not much. While some adapt quickly, others take MUCH longer. Patience is your friend. LOTS of patience.

Now, here's the thing. Look at her situation from her perspective. Yes, she was sweet and cuddly at the store. That was her home, her safe place where everything was comfortable, familiar, and established. Then she came home with you. She's a baby. Her world has been turned upside down, and everything she knows is gone. Everything. She's terrified. Parrots are prey animals, so have no inherent reason to trust big scary humans. You have to give her reason to trust you, and know 100% that only good things come from you, or humans in general. That takes time. So, don't force interaction with her. Stay at a comfortable distance and just talk to her in a calm voice. Over time, work your way closer, but pay attention to her signs that you're pushing. If she won't accept treats from you yet, put a treat dish at the front of her cage. Whenever you walk by, drop a yummy treat in it and go on about your business. She'll begin to associate you with those treats, and eventually start asking you for them. Baby steps, at her pace.

Never had a female, but my ekkie boys have been incredibly sensitive. They study you like no others I've met. Not just your appearance, but YOU. Who you are, what you are, everything. Mine have always preferred to sit facing me, so they could see my face and read me, and they're insanely good at it.

Sorry it's a little long winded, but I hope this helps. Don't worry about any specific time line, and don't force your expectations on her. She'll get there, and it'll totally be worth the wait. :)
 
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Hi there, Welcome, and you have a beautiful girl Ekkie. I would suggest clicker based training with a high reward treat. It will get her to interact with you in a safe manner. I use chop sticks for my stick, and I bought a dog clicker at one of my local pet stores for the clicker based training. When you walk by her cage maybe offer a treat at that time too. Do your best to make every interaction positive. Take baby steps to get her to warm up to you.

DO NOT do a force cuddle, or wrap her to force her to do anything. It can really damage the relationship. Parrots can be more of an earned relationship. They aren’t like puppies that instantly love you, and think you are the greatest if you get what I am saying. I myself only towel my parrots if there’s a medication that is important that they are refusing. A vet would be involved at that point instructing me to do so.

Have you tried contacting the breeder about these issues you are having? Do you know if your parrot was hand fed?
Hello and thank you for your response! I did clicker and target training with my conures. The thing that is stumping me here is she doesn't seem to want to take treats from me. I showed her a spray of millet, but when I brought it closer to the cage she lunged and attacked it, then sort of "hate-ate it" if that makes any sense. So I backed off. I'm bummed she is not getting much outside the cage time, but I'm nervous now since it took hours to get her back in. I used the perch from the top of the cage and lured her with formula to get her to step up on it.

She was hand-fed, but when I picked her up and saw how they had been doing it, it did not seem very cuddly. They would open the cage door and bring the pipette to her on teh perch.
Don't worry about any specific time line, and don't force your expectations on her. She'll get there, and it'll totally be worth the wait.
Thank you! This does make me feel better. I was worried I had missed some kind of bonding time frame window or something.
Here she is doin a big stretch!
 

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That doesn’t sound like a great deal of fun. She’s just a baby. Nico my Ekkie really enjoys pine nuts, and almonds. I do almond slivers from the baking section of Walmart. That way it’s smaller pieces, and he can’t open a shelled nut anyway. These are his high reward treats. That’s going to be challenging if your Ekkie isn’t interested in treats. Have you tried any other treats aside from millet? Nico my Ekkie at least wouldn’t eat millet. He can be stubborn, and particular about his food.



I do want to warn you. Ekkie’s aren’t well known to enjoy being physically touched. I can touch Nico’s beak & claws. He gets pretty upset if I touch his precious feathers. He will stand on my shoulder, and on my hands/arms all day long. I just better not mess with those feathers. He will push my hand away if I attempt it. My Ekkie isn’t as snuggly as my conures in that aspect.



Is your Ekkie at least eating formula just fine? What all does she eat?



These are some videos of birdtricks, and their training of a younger female Ekkie. They may be helpful.







 
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i love bird tricks!

i did put a plate in her cage with several choices laid out - slivered almonds, walnuts, safflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds - and watched her eat it. she went for the almonds first, then the walnuts, back to the almonds, then sampled the rest. seems like almonds and walnuts were the winners. of course i forgot to put millet as an option, so will try this again.

she is on a diet the breeder recommended of fresh chop mixed with a cooked bean mix. she gets that first thing in the morning, then later as much formula as she wants, then more fresh chop and beans, and another formula offering in the evening. the breeder was also giving her some "oven baked bites" by caltec, but i've been slowly reducing the amount of that and also offfering some tops pellets, which she gobbled up! she eats a ton of fresh food, i can't believe how often i have to prep now!

i have heard that Ekkies do not typically like much petting, it's like they know the oils from our hands will mess with their pretty feathers!
 
i love bird tricks!

i did put a plate in her cage with several choices laid out - slivered almonds, walnuts, safflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds - and watched her eat it. she went for the almonds first, then the walnuts, back to the almonds, then sampled the rest. seems like almonds and walnuts were the winners. of course i forgot to put millet as an option, so will try this again.

she is on a diet the breeder recommended of fresh chop mixed with a cooked bean mix. she gets that first thing in the morning, then later as much formula as she wants, then more fresh chop and beans, and another formula offering in the evening. the breeder was also giving her some "oven baked bites" by caltec, but i've been slowly reducing the amount of that and also offfering some tops pellets, which she gobbled up! she eats a ton of fresh food, i can't believe how often i have to prep now!

i have heard that Ekkies do not typically like much petting, it's like they know the oils from our hands will mess with their pretty feathers!
I really like bird tricks too. Especially for behavioral things. It sounds like you are offering a good diet. Nico likes those oven baked bites by caltec too. He’s a bowl flipper, and often gets bored of what’s being offered. I feel like I have to change what he eats constantly.

The only female Ekkie I’ve ever met in person was very independent. She could do with or without humans. She was very beautiful like your female Ekkie.

I really think your female will warm up with time. It sounds like you are doing everything you should be to form a relationship. She might just be scared of all of the changes as stated above by @saxguy64.
 
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thank you for your advice.

how does your Nico get along with your conure? any tips on introductions? i've had my two quarantining for a few weeks now and i wonder how they will get along. i am trying to give them both equal attention and that is my whole day!
 
thank you for your advice.

how does your Nico get along with your conure? any tips on introductions? i've had my two quarantining for a few weeks now and i wonder how they will get along. i am trying to give them both equal attention and that is my whole day!
Nico doesn’t care that my conures exist. He pretty much ignores them, and has no interest in them. Ive never had any issues with Nico, and other parrots.

I have a large parrot tree across the room from my conures... I just put Nico on it, and let the conures out of their cages at the same time. They never fly over to Nico or anything.

Nico is a feather plucker. Loud noises & commotion tend to trigger it. He seems to get overly stimulated easily. I do my best to keep Nico’s environment quiet. My conures a jenday & sun are very loud. Nico is on a different floor than them now.
 
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halp!

kind of a long story -

i just moved from colorado to california. in february i was back in denver for a bit and before my flight home, decided to kill some time at the bird place where i got my first conure. dave the owner says to me "why don't you come back and see the babies?"

never listen to Dave.
next thing i know a red baby girl is crawling into my arms and snuggling up to me and falling adleep. my boyfriend says he's never seen anything so magical, and he doesn't believe in magic. next thing i know i'm saying "it's meant to be!" and throwing my credit card at Dave.

he calls me and tells me she's ready so i fly back to get her and bring her home on April 9. she was hatched 12/28/23. she is now a different bird. she eats fresh food like a horse and is still taking some formula 2x per day....and that is the only time i can get near her is if she hears the clang of the mug and i have that pipette in hand. otherwise, it's hackles up, lunge and stab with beak.

i figured she'd need time to settle in but it's been a few weeks now. i work from hom so am in the same room with her most of the day. i talk to her often and sing to her at bedtime. when i'm not near the cage, she relaxes, preens, stands on one leg, beak grinds, all good things. she lunges and bites at me through the cage whenever i get near to change her food bowls.

is this just an Ekkie time frame thing? she's my first one. i thought maybe it was a cage territory thing, so i let her have some outside caqge time. that ended up being quite a day, because i couldn't get her to go back in the cage. obviously she won't step up for me.

somebody told me i should be wrapping her in a towel when its feeding time and force cuddle. as someone who is into permission based training, that sounds like a terrible idea.

any suggestions?

Females can be like that but the lunging is bad how old is she . And make sure she is not getting any food with sugar in it . Harrisons is the best . my boy is on it . I adopted him after my passed and what a difference my sonny had agression issues at times , but Elmo does not and he has no sugar but some apple and very little fruit . ok wow a baby can you call the breeder . i would not force her . Take her to the vet also for a check up this does not sount normal at all . she sould be tame being a baby . Did you know the breeder ?
 
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Females can be like that but the lunging is bad how old is she . And make sure she is not getting any food with sugar in it . Harrisons is the best . my boy is on it . I adopted him after my passed and what a difference my sonny had agression issues at times , but Elmo does not and he has no sugar but some apple and very little fruit . ok wow a baby can you call the breeder . i would not force her . Take her to the vet also for a check up this does not sount normal at all . she sould be tame being a baby . Did you know the breed
I did answer that above, but she is just over 4 months old. She eats a diet of fresh chop mixed with soak and simmer bean mix. She eats like a horse! I offer her formula twice a day and she eats that too. Yes she came from the same place where I got my first conure.
 

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