Jenday suddenly bites, shows aggression. How to stop this?

fury

New member
Aug 10, 2022
5
6
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Reeses - 4 Y/O Jenday Conure
I made a post here a while ago explaining that my (supposedly female, I haven't sexed her but I'm just guessing) Jenday was being aggressive towards some of my family members, and that it was likely hormonal behavior ... I thought it would end, but has almost gotten worse ...

My Jenday conure, 4 years old, who is usually playful (used to play rough), is now showing aggressive behavior like biting. Usually it starts with her screaming (for attention, or some other reason, sometimes she sees animals/birds outside and decides the best course of action is to holler at them), but when I go to get her out of her cage she is stubborn, and runs away from me, sometimes even biting me. She also tries to bite me when I try to feed her, and I have hand-fed her from when she was a fledgeling, and she has never shown aggression with food, sometimes I can even take the food from her foot/beak or she will willingly share food with me, but now she will not let me touch her food bowl without trying to bite me.

She also hates my dog, my sister, and my sister's guinea pig, and will try to attack all three of them. She flies at them/divebombs them, and bites them relentlessly until I manage to catch her ... Her territorial and aggressive behavior is increasing, and I'm not sure how to stop it as my sister is very fearful of my bird, and she has managed to bite the dog hard enough to make him yelp (and he is a large dog). This has all been by when she is left out of her cage, which I used to leave her out of her cage all day and she was able to freely roam the house, and would not be aggressive/territorial, and was very loving to strangers and my sister (but she has always been wary of the dog). However, as this overtly aggressive behavior has increased, she's confined to her cage more. I think this may cause some kind of cage aggression, but she is spiraling more and more into aggressive/territorial behavior and I have no idea how to stop it, because when I let her out of her cage she is more likely to go find someone to attack (yes, she will run and fly at anyone in her closest proximity).

She has never really truly bitten me before until now, especially today, when I came home from school and took her out to play with her ... She was able to sit for a few minutes calmly while I did schoolwork, but then suddenly started to relentlessly bite my hands. I grabbed her beak, and told her "no," but no matter what I did she just kept trying to bite me roughly, and not in a playful manner. I eventually had enough of it and put her back in her cage ...

Any ideas on how to stop this behavior ? Or is it hormonal and does it just pass with time ? It's started relatively recently, about a few months ago as she started becoming mature. She's started to leave bitemarks on my hands. The only time she's pleasant and calm would be when none of my family members or pets are around ... I don't know how or if I can train her to stop this behavior. She has been a stubborn, sassy bird from the beginning, and that is mostly just a part of her personality, but has rarely ever been downright aggressive until recently. If anyone has any ideas on what I can do better, please let me know ... And this is not my first bird, I've had quite a bit of experience with birds in the past but it's never really been like this. I don't have any intention on giving up on her though, since I raised her from a baby and I love her very much, of course. She gets a lot of attention when she isn't being a brat, since I am in college but I only go to school for a few hours for two days of the week, I'm home with her a majority of the time. Thank you if you read this !
 

zshacks

New member
Apr 5, 2023
1
4
Parrots
Indian Ringneck
Hi,

We have an indian ringneck who is going through exactly the same.
We believe he/she is 2 years old (we thought he was a boy when we re-homed him at 8 months old, but now believe him to be female).

He was the tamest bird ever, flying for cuddles, would go to anyone, would never bite, would sit on our arms/heads for hours, and now he is EXACTLY the same as your description above. It started about 8 months ago, and we believed it was him reaching sexual maturity, but unfortunately it is only getting worse.
We saw an avian vet and had him checked - all fine.
Have you taken yours to a vet?

Ours will also fly and dive-bomb us and will actively search us out to attack, particularly our faces.
The biting is horrendous and we have scars, so I feel your pain.

We spoke to a behaviourist who told us to stand on a chair / footstool and make ourselves the tallest thing in the room. This sometimes works when we're in the moment of being attacked, but not all the time.
We were also told to 'bat' away (never hit/make contact with him), unfortunately this hasn't worked for us at all.
Another thing we were told to try was told to put him on the floor when he attacked - this doesn't work for us as he just flies straight back up and attacks or will hover at us whilst we try to do this.

Although not successful for us, I thought they would be worth mentioning for you to try - just incase you had more luck.

Do you cover his cage at night? Our vets told us to get a fully black out cover that doesn't allow ANY light to get in to his cage, this means that he gets 12 hours of full isolated sleep. Apparently the black acts as a sedation. This helped up with his screaming, which is now A LOT better, but not with aggression.

Any advice/ideas welcomed :)

I hope she gets better soon for you!
It's a truly testing time.

(Also worth noting, that ours is friendly when in the cage, he will take food through the bars, and will give us kisses and high5s... although he does try to bite sometimes.)
 

jennilbar

New member
Apr 6, 2023
2
4
Parrots
Two green-cheek conures
I am so glad that I'm not alone here! We have two green cheek conures and one of them can be quite the monster sometimes! We have not had him sexed, but we believe that he is a boy. He has gone back and forth with me now twice and he is back in a bad streak. He bites my husband all the time and is usually much better with me. I have read that some animals, male animals, do not like human men - is this true for birds??
My husband is usually the one who spends the majority of the time with them and has them out almost all day, they can fly and go about as they please. But he just started a new job and will be gone for three weeks - as I don't work at home, they are now getting a few hours outside of their room and thus their routine has changed.
The monster in question has started to bite me once again and previously he has also attacked our faces and bit no matter what we do. This makes me afraid of him because I do mind being bit! I'm not a fan lol. Especially if I don't expect it I will react naturally to it with an ouch and will shake my hand to get my attacker off of me.
Any advice would be awesome! I don't have experience with birds and I know they are vastly different than having something simple like a cat lol.
Zshacks - did the stool/chair trick work to make yourself the tallest thing in the room??
 

wrench13

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IMHO Parrots who have learned to fly and start to dive bomb on purpose to attack faces need a mild wing clipping so that they can glide to the floor but not gain any height. Again, my opinion and what I would do if my Amazon started doing this.

Also, biting is a behavior that can and should be addressed, as it seems this is making your parrots life in your family a problem. For unwarranted biting:

Biting, whether intentional or not, just over preening your skin or actually taking chunks of meat out - all are PAINFULL! In the wild that sort of behavior is not tolerated by the flock. They ostracize flock members who continue to act like that. We call it 'Shunning'. This WILL work, but needs to be done correctly to get the message across and it needs to be done IMMEDIATELY so the parrot can associate the bite with the shunning action. And it needs to happen every time and with anyone involved with the parrot.

When the bite or over preening occurs:
  • Say in a forceful but not shouting voice "No Bite" or other endearments.
  • Immediately place the parrot on a nearby, handy chairback. NOT the cage (that would only teach the parrot to bite when he wants to go back to his cage).
  • Turn your back to him and ignore him for 1 minute. No peeking, no talking about or too him, NADA. NO eye contact. No less or the message is lost, no more or the bird will not associate the action with the bite.
  • After a minute you can try to re-establish contact.
Rinse, repeat as needed. Most parrots get the message after a few times, some may need more. Also very important - make sure the bite is not your fault. Annoying your parrot, asking him to step up when he is otherwise preoccupied with eating or playing, bothering him during known moody times like mating season, or ignoring the warnings and body language of your parrot - these are bites that you deserve! Learn, and be a better parront !!
 

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