Losing the plot with new GCC

FiFee Fiona

Member
Feb 19, 2022
41
20
Parrots
Green cheek Conure
I've always read this forum for advice but never joined.
Now I suddenly have a green cheek conure and he's so full on. I'm in over my head I think.
He was lost and not claimed. He doesn't seem bothered about. Just happily moved in.
But clearly had no boundaries. He screams he bites ... and won't be put off.
He chews everything. I really wasn't prepared for this.
I've had birds ... lorikeet.. eclectus.. galah ... budgie and cockatiel. I thought they were tricky. This is hard work.
I've covered everything in the lounge and kitchen .. I've had to move things ... and he still finds something to chew.
And he chews me. It seems in the last week I'm the jungle gym. He hates my feet and the remote.
We do have a routine going. And I stick to it even when he protests.
I definitely need help. This is like having a 2 Yr old round.
I have missed having a pet around. My 17 yr old dogs passed ... the last a year ago. Its been quiet.
Not any more !
Something is going on with Birdie. Last couple of weeks he's really biting. Ripping my hair and earrings. Chewing my clothes. Trying to get under my hand. And wants to live in the bread bin. No bread in there and I closed it. But he hides down the side of it. Its really weird. And he's cranky.
So now there's no hair or ears.
He used to snuggle into my neck. Now its like he can't help himself. He's trying to get on my face and bites my face.
I put him off straight away. He just comes back again and again. I'm finding I'm getting angry with a parrot. Which is crazy because he has no clue.
But we have got to a point I put him in another room. One to calm him down and to give me 10 minutes to work out what to do with him. I have to put him in the other room when I cook.
He has no idea and would happily land in the pot. Or on the hot stove. And if I put him in the cage he screams. I live in a unit ... I can't have him scream for too long.
The cage he is in is not ideal it was only temporary. But there has been a big botch with the cage delivery I bought him. So that's why I do let him out a fair bit. Once the new cage comes ... I'm hoping he can at least sit there while I do some stuff. And he will be able to play with all his toys properly.
I've read about conures. How smart they are. Able to be trained. But I keep seeing bad behaviour. I repeat over and over. But if he wants to do it I cannot get him to stop. He keeps coming back and doing it over and over. I'm expecting too much I think. But we cannot keep going like this. Now he wants to bite people who visit. And again won't be deterred.
And now I'm getting cranky with him. But there is still enjoyment having him here.
Maybe I am losing the plot !
 

Shez

Member
Feb 17, 2022
49
74
I replied in your other thread but there are some things here that were not in the other thread... you want to block off the dark confined areas he can hide in (*Breadbin or next to it*),- it is nesting behaviour (often called cavity seeking) which will increase the unwanted behaviours you have been seeing.

Do you offer him something else (preferably something he loves) to do when you make him stop doing the things you don't want him doing? One behaviour has to be switched out for another basically.

You need to keep calm and simply redirect him to something he is allowed to do when you want him to stop doing these unwanted things. Just making him stop is going to fail as he has not been given something more fun to do that is ok. Try to have a small pile of easy foraging toys, foot toys, shredding toys etc ready, when he does things you do not want you can entice him to another place to play with the things that are ok.
When he flies at you to bite (especially if it is your face) or misbehave you need to basically stop him from landing on you- ducking works well and they usually get annoyed and swing back around to re try the landing, so duck again- he will give in (usually after a few attempts to land) and find something else to do for a bit before trying again later.

Try to stay one step ahead of him by predicting what is next to come and control the situation by adding or detracting your responses as needed.

Hope this makes sense- I often have trouble clearly explaining my thoughts.
 
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OP
FiFee Fiona

FiFee Fiona

Member
Feb 19, 2022
41
20
Parrots
Green cheek Conure
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
I replied in your other thread but there are some things here that were not in the other thread... you want to block off the dark confined areas he can hide in (*Breadbin or next to it*),- it is nesting behaviour (often called cavity seeking) which will increase the unwanted behaviours you have been seeing.

Do you offer him something else (preferably something he loves) to do when you make him stop doing the things you don't want him doing? One behaviour has to be switched out for another basically.

You need to keep calm and simply redirect him to something he is allowed to do when you want him to stop doing these unwanted things. Just making him stop is going to fail as he has not been given something more fun to do that is ok. Try to have a small pile of easy foraging toys, foot toys, shredding toys etc ready, when he does things you do not want you can entice him to another place to play with the things that are ok.
When he flies at you to bite (especially if it is your face) or misbehave you need to basically stop him from landing on you- ducking works well and they usually get annoyed and swing back around to re try the landing, so duck again- he will give in (usually after a few attempts to land) and find something else to do for a bit before trying again later.

Try to stay one step ahead of him by predicting what is next to come and control the situation by adding or detracting your responses as needed.

Hope this makes sense- I often have trouble clearly explaining my thoughts.
The big problem he doesn't stop. We just had half an hour of me trying to talk to my daughter in the phone
Him biting the side of my face .. I put him off so many times its crazy. And he comes more cranky biting harder. He couldn't care less what toy I have. He knows what he wants to do.
I even pulled a dried strawberry. My desperate treat when I need one. And he threw it and bit me again. It's so tiring.
Now he actually flies around and tries to get me with his wing. He gets really close.
I put the bin away.
I guess I'm cranky because I've had to put everything away or cover it. My lounge looks like a laundry.
And he's still looking and finding things to chew.
My pictures are in the firing line today. Trying to land and chew the edges. Most are pretty flush. So it's not working. But now he's found one in a box frame.
I honestly got the feather duster and chased him off it. I was just fed up. He didn't like it ... it took ages before he went back there. But he did. 😐
I'm watching all the time. Sometimes I lapse or get distracted and he seems to know. It's like he's watching me more than I am him 🀣
 

Flboy

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
12,486
3,330
Greater Orlando area, Florida
Parrots
JoJo, 'Special' GCC, Bongo, Cinnamon GCC(wife's)
A temporary hormonal time! For your little one it’s a nightmare!
For you? Just keep the relationship going, understanding this will pass!
 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,389
7,260
USA
Parrots
Full house
Welcome to the forum.

Giving your parrot a home base , a place to call their own. This gives them security and a place to retreat . If you are wanting him to live free in the home, he still needs his spot. Take the small cage , remove or zip tie the doors open and place or hang at chest height. This can now become his roost and sleep nap spot, and home base. Put lots of perches on the outside top and sides as well as inside. Attach food, water, snack bowl to it .. when he is inside you never reach in to get him, you ask him to come out to perch first. So he knows this is his safe spot.

You can also create hang out spots for him around the home as his " furniture " . I will attach my thread thst shows my and other members examples of this. I use ceiling hooks and heavy weight fishing line to hang big rope spirals for mine. As its cheap and easy to do. But people also use parrot play stands. This is also going to help him and his behavior, giving him places if his own to be. Attaching parrot toys and stuff to chew is also very helpful.

I'm attaching a helpful article on learning to read parrot body language abd cover bite and other stuff as well.

 

Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,389
7,260
USA
Parrots
Full house
many birds will bite jewelry. I just don't wear it around them.

Same with feet and toes, parrots bite those. They just don't know they are a part of us. Maybe they remind them of a predator.

Its easy for birds to become fearful of hands. Taking it slow and rebuilding trust of hands. Saying hi and just offer a treat by hand many times a day, starts to teach them that hands are good. Never grab them , never force interactions. Work on bonding and sort if starting over on making friends.
I will attach that sticky thread.
 
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Laurasea

Well-known member
Aug 2, 2018
12,389
7,260
USA
Parrots
Full house
To help us understand the situation better, and to be able to offer more tailored suggestions.

How long have you had him?

Can you share a picture of his set up and him?

What is your daily routine with him? Where does he sleep? How long is his sleep time?

How does his day start?

What is he willing to eat? Where do you feed him?

What sort of toys and chew stuff does he have? And which of those does he like best?

Do you offer a bowl for baths or offer misting?

Is he willing to step up nice for you? Like cuddling or hanging out?

Have you noticed any triggers for bites any patterns/ situations?

Lots of questions :)
But will really help us in helping you guys!
 
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OP
FiFee Fiona

FiFee Fiona

Member
Feb 19, 2022
41
20
Parrots
Green cheek Conure
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
Welcome to the forum.

Giving your parrot a home base , a place to call their own. This gives them security and a place to retreat . If you are wanting him to live free in the home, he still needs his spot. Take the small cage , remove or zip tie the doors open and place or hang at chest height. This can now become his roost and sleep nap spot, and home base. Put lots of perches on the outside top and sides as well as inside. Attach food, water, snack bowl to it .. when he is inside you never reach in to get him, you ask him to come out to perch first. So he knows this is his safe spot.

You can also create hang out spots for him around the home as his " furniture " . I will attach my thread thst shows my and other members examples of this. I use ceiling hooks and heavy weight fishing line to hang big rope spirals for mine. As its cheap and easy to do. But people also use parrot play stands. This is also going to help him and his behavior, giving him places if his own to be. Attaching parrot toys and stuff to chew is also very helpful.

I'm attaching a helpful article on learning to read parrot body language abd cover bite and other stuff as well.

The cage is always open. He goes in to eat sometimes. But he won't eat his veg inside the cage. I put them on the top near one of his stands.
I can't hang things from the ceiling. The whole unit has no wood or anything to screw into. I'd need to get up the ladder and drill holes. Which I really can't do anymore.
I have only had him about 7 or 8 weeks. He was lost. No one claimed him. Still looking but losing hope. He was obviously out of the cage constantly. He knows all about plates and cups. But sadly for him I won't let him on my food or my cup. He has no idea what's hot and I am very vigilant in keeping him away from danger. Mainly the stove and the kettle. He is very determined to get to them.
He doesn't step up unless he wants to. I try very hard not to react when he bites. But then he bites harder and my reflex will kick in. I know when it first started I flicked my hand and made him fly off. Which wasn't intended but I know it made him more cautious around my hands.
He used to love a bath. Now he runs to the sink then runs off. Of course if its hot water and I'm washing a dish he wants to jump under. So I turn it onto cold and he's gone again.
He was cuddling into my neck. Now he just wants to get into my hair .. chew my ear and bite my face. So right now I don't let him.
I tried quite a few times but I'm tired of the bites. And frankly they make me annoyed with him. There is no middle ground. And he just repeats the same thing no matter what I do. Including putting him back in his cage.
As I said the cage is not great. And I'm still waiting for his new cage to be sorted.
That's just another story.
He has toys. Sometimes he's all over them .... lately there's no interest. He wants to be on me. And I do try to ignore the bites on my hands. But again they're getting to hurt a lot. He wants to hang off my fingers upside down. But digs in with his beak. I have rings I can't remove.
He will get his beak under and wow it hurts. I usually get him before he gets that far but sometimes I'm not quick enough.
We have routine even if he doesn't like it.
I just have never had a bird behave like this. So I am pretty overwhelmed.
I do understand a lot is hormonal. But it doesn't help in the moment ... especially if he draws blood or my hot coffee is all over me.
I also realise I need the help not the bird. It's like hitting my head over and over and expecting a different outcome. I would feel better if he just learnt one thing and I felt like I had hope of change.
 
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Skarila

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There is hope for change!

7-8 weeks since he flew into your home is a short time. Probably he's just as angsty as you are with him. He probably wants things in the old way, just like you'd like him to be calm and well behaving as your old birds (we all low key and secretly want it without know it!)

It will be hard with him as he had his own routine before for which we do not know of. It could take months until he realises this is his new home, you are his new friend and that you mean no harm. Any idea of the age? Does s/he have a legband by any chance?

Larger cage should surely help. When i brought Pascal from the aviary, he hated his cage. Was a decent size for a small conure, but he hated it nevertheless. I was lucky that i had the funds and space to get him a large budgie flight cage. People always ask me if the cage is for a cockatoo and they get dissapointed to see it is a 53 gram conure.

Is it possible to buy big pieces of plywood and put on top of some furniture like the wardrobes if he goes there? Like, just an inch or two bigger than the actual furniture. And you could try letting him chew there.

I know how frustrating the chewing can be. Even my budgie was so relentless into destroying my grandfather's clock that I had to move it to another room where she has no access to it.

Also when he bites, is like like hard chewing type of biting, or sudden yet aggressive? I noticed with mine he will start chomping down on my hand if I don't pay attention to him. Or he will start chewing my finger too hard, then I keep repeating sternly "softer". After a while he got the jist. If he keeps chewing and biting, off he goes. I don't let him be on me anymore.

It's really great that you're going the way "how can i understand the bird better" rather than straight going "fixing" the bird. We understand the frustration they can bring. Very possibly he is very frustrated too, and he 100% feels and sees your frustration too, and he will reflect the behaviour. Taking quite a few deep breaths before interacting with the bird can help. Your conure will be persistent, they will do things they are not allowed to do. Maybe he does all these things to get your attention, no matter how bad it is actually.

As for the kitchen part, yes... My IRN was exactly the same. Sadly he always had to be shut into the cage while I was cooking because he was so misbehaving and had no sense of danger. Pascal won't really bother me much, but because of fumes and all, I can simply leave him in another room with my partner, worse case shut him in cage.

Another trick i taught my bird is the "into the cage" command. At end of training sessions he simply had to go into his cage to get his big nutriberry treat. If he tried to climb out again, i would stop him, so he had to eat his treat in his cage. Went as far that as soon he sees the treat, he goes immediately into the cage. Even on command he will go, since he is expecting the treat.

Sorry for the wall of text... I hope some of these ideas might be useful for you!
 
OP
FiFee Fiona

FiFee Fiona

Member
Feb 19, 2022
41
20
Parrots
Green cheek Conure
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
There is hope for change!

7-8 weeks since he flew into your home is a short time. Probably he's just as angsty as you are with him. He probably wants things in the old way, just like you'd like him to be calm and well behaving as your old birds (we all low key and secretly want it without know it!)

It will be hard with him as he had his own routine before for which we do not know of. It could take months until he realises this is his new home, you are his new friend and that you mean no harm. Any idea of the age? Does s/he have a legband by any chance?

Larger cage should surely help. When i brought Pascal from the aviary, he hated his cage. Was a decent size for a small conure, but he hated it nevertheless. I was lucky that i had the funds and space to get him a large budgie flight cage. People always ask me if the cage is for a cockatoo and they get dissapointed to see it is a 53 gram conure.

Is it possible to buy big pieces of plywood and put on top of some furniture like the wardrobes if he goes there? Like, just an inch or two bigger than the actual furniture. And you could try letting him chew there.

I know how frustrating the chewing can be. Even my budgie was so relentless into destroying my grandfather's clock that I had to move it to another room where she has no access to it.

Also when he bites, is like like hard chewing type of biting, or sudden yet aggressive? I noticed with mine he will start chomping down on my hand if I don't pay attention to him. Or he will start chewing my finger too hard, then I keep repeating sternly "softer". After a while he got the jist. If he keeps chewing and biting, off he goes. I don't let him be on me anymore.

It's really great that you're going the way "how can i understand the bird better" rather than straight going "fixing" the bird. We understand the frustration they can bring. Very possibly he is very frustrated too, and he 100% feels and sees your frustration too, and he will reflect the behaviour. Taking quite a few deep breaths before interacting with the bird can help. Your conure will be persistent, they will do things they are not allowed to do. Maybe he does all these things to get your attention, no matter how bad it is actually.

As for the kitchen part, yes... My IRN was exactly the same. Sadly he always had to be shut into the cage while I was cooking because he was so misbehaving and had no sense of danger. Pascal won't really bother me much, but because of fumes and all, I can simply leave him in another room with my partner, worse case shut him in cage.

Another trick i taught my bird is the "into the cage" command. At end of training sessions he simply had to go into his cage to get his big nutriberry treat. If he tried to climb out again, i would stop him, so he had to eat his treat in his cage. Went as far that as soon he sees the treat, he goes immediately into the cage. Even on command he will go, since he is expecting the treat.

Sorry for the wall of text... I hope some of these ideas might be useful for you!
It isn't long. And I'm building up toys for him.
He never has seemed bothered about being here.
He settled right in. But I really think he had free roaming all the time. He had no routine and it's hard work getting him to agree to one.
Today was cooking and washing. He had to stay in his cage. Because of the stove and me going in and out to the laundry. I don't want him skipping out the door.
He screamed so much... in the end I had to move him. Its gets so loud and he won't stop.
If I had someone around he'd probably stay with them. But wants to be where I am. Now he's started to go into other rooms looking for me. So I have to watch him.
He does like to sit on the back of the lounge. I have birdbath on the balcony and many birds come. He loves to watch them. He thinks he's a rainbow lorikeet. He has their call down pat. I don't even know what a conure sounds like. Because he sounds like a lorikeet.
I've covered the lounge and funnily he won't chew the towel or the fleece I cover it with.
We have to get along. And some days it doesn't happen.
The biting is getting a bit unbearable.
It hurts. A little nibble one second and it gets much harder. He's drawn blood.
Its now every time he wants to get on my hand. He doesn't want to sit on me he wants to hang off me and bite.
He used to just try my nails and rings. I tucked my nails in and he started to bite my skin. Now he gets straight on and digs in with his beak. Nothing gentle now. I know he wants a scratch... he even now says wanna scratch. But I do 1 second and he's biting. It's really like he has no control.
He goes a bit crazy. Not his normal behaviour. Which I guess could be hormonal triggering it. But I keep putting him down because I can't handle the pain. For a little bird that beak is strong.
I have changed a few things so he can sit on the top of the cupboard another china cabinet. He doesn't chew them either. Hoping I'm not jinxing myself here πŸ˜‚
Again funnily at bed time I tell him ... bedtime. And he will get on my hand and he gets kisses and goes into the cage. Sometimes I give him a couple of sunflower seeds for being calm. And he goes straight to sleep because I leave the room.
But if cover him and I'm still around there's no sleeping.
There is no leg ring or chip. And I posted on all local sites plus Facebook and parrot alert.
I keep thinking that he's landed here for a reason.
I've just had no pets since my dogs went. And I probably was staying in a bit more than I should. And now I have someone I chat to all day. Just like I did the dogs πŸ˜‰
 
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