My Conure bites me but always wants to be near me

DaeDae

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Mar 8, 2024
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Green Cheek Conure (Kiwi), 2 budgies (Pockey and Felix)
Hello! Im new here but didn't know where else to go ;w;
I have a male Green Cheek Conure Kiwi, who is roughly 8-9 months old now. Kiwi has the biggest personality and is such a funny and playful birdie, but ever since ive adopted him hes always been a biter ToT. Ive done research and I understand that conures bite more than other birds I believe but im not sure how to train him out of it!
He seems to have a huge problem with my hands as even if he sees them he will try go after and chomp, sometimes I do believe he thinks my fingers are a toy as he shows no signs of aggression but still ouchie! Other times he gets real angry at my hands (especially if i wear gloves he gets mad) and will bite as hard as he can and not let go!

I still want to give him all the love and everyday I open his cage so he can play freely and interact with him since he is right next to my pc where I work! But I feel so bad because its obvious he wants to be close to me and is always trying to get on my shoulder or be as close as he can to me, and I love him to bits but when I let him on my shoulder he starts biting at my neck ;-; I know he might not mean it in a mean way but I just wanna see what I can do to help him?

Also things that might be important to note, he hasnt been trained or hand- tamed I believe, I have done a little bit of target training but ive never had experience training a birdie (I have 2 other tame budgies but never had any problems with them).

Thank you for taking your time to read this! Have a lovely day :D
(Have a goofy pic of him too haha)
 

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LaManuka

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Welcome to the forums, @DaeDae. What you are describing is, unfortunately or fortunately, not an uncommon problem. It seems that sadly a lot of young parrots are taken for hand-raising by their breeders before their parents have had a chance to teach them any manners, and the type of biting you're experiencing is symptomatic of this. In the wild, a young bird would be "shunned" by other members of it's flock for hard biting, so the recommendation is that you do the same. This involves, whenever he bites you, you IMMEDIATELY put him down in a safe, neutral spot, like the back of a chair for example. Not the floor as it's generally unsafe, and not back in his cage, because that might be exactly where he wants to go. After you pop him down, turn your back on him and walk away, not TOO far because you still want to make sure he's supervised, but make no eye contact for a minute or two. Green cheek conures are "prey" animals in the wild, and no little bird wants to feel like he is not one of the flock for safety reasons. Shunning works best when it's done immediately after a bite, and must be done consistently every time by every member of the household in order for baby to get the message that biting is not acceptable behaviour. GCCs are VERY smart and they will look for chinks in your armour, so consistency is key! It by no means means you'll never get bitten again, but it does reduce the instance by a lot. And if he does start up again, rinse and repeat and shun him again just to remind him to mind his manners, and for your own safety you should restrict shoulder access until he's a bit better behaved too. Fortunately he DOES want to be with you and have a relationship with you, so the shunning method should work well for you.

Hope this helps, and your little one is totally adorable by the way! 😍
 

wrench13

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100% LaManuka. DaeDae you are already ahead because he wants to be with you! Only thing I would adjust to LaManuka's advice - keep the shun period to 1 minute, any longer and the parrot might not remember what this whole bizness is about.
 
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DaeDae

DaeDae

New member
Mar 8, 2024
2
6
Parrots
Green Cheek Conure (Kiwi), 2 budgies (Pockey and Felix)
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Welcome to the forums, @DaeDae. What you are describing is, unfortunately or fortunately, not an uncommon problem. It seems that sadly a lot of young parrots are taken for hand-raising by their breeders before their parents have had a chance to teach them any manners, and the type of biting you're experiencing is symptomatic of this. In the wild, a young bird would be "shunned" by other members of it's flock for hard biting, so the recommendation is that you do the same. This involves, whenever he bites you, you IMMEDIATELY put him down in a safe, neutral spot, like the back of a chair for example. Not the floor as it's generally unsafe, and not back in his cage, because that might be exactly where he wants to go. After you pop him down, turn your back on him and walk away, not TOO far because you still want to make sure he's supervised, but make no eye contact for a minute or two. Green cheek conures are "prey" animals in the wild, and no little bird wants to feel like he is not one of the flock for safety reasons. Shunning works best when it's done immediately after a bite, and must be done consistently every time by every member of the household in order for baby to get the message that biting is not acceptable behaviour. GCCs are VERY smart and they will look for chinks in your armour, so consistency is key! It by no means means you'll never get bitten again, but it does reduce the instance by a lot. And if he does start up again, rinse and repeat and shun him again just to remind him to mind his manners, and for your own safety you should restrict shoulder access until he's a bit better behaved too. Fortunately he DOES want to be with you and have a relationship with you, so the shunning method should work well for you.

Hope this helps, and your little one is totally adorable by the way! 😍
Thank you so much for the help! I will try my best!! Unfortunately because of his biting I cant get him off the cage to play so would you still recommend me taking him to another spot like a chair to shun him? Ive also considered eventually getting him a friend but im afraid he might bite the other too hard causing fights :((
 

LaManuka

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Thank you so much for the help! I will try my best!! Unfortunately because of his biting I cant get him off the cage to play so would you still recommend me taking him to another spot like a chair to shun him? Ive also considered eventually getting him a friend but im afraid he might bite the other too hard causing fights :((
That's a tough one if he's really that bitey! GCCs can tend to be quite territorial and "cage aggressive", meaning they see the cage as their territory and they will defend it quite vigorously. Many parronts of birds that are prone to cage aggression, like GCCs and quakers can be, leave their birds to make their own way out of the cage rather than putting their hand in and taking them out, thus lessening the chance of being bitten. If he bites you once he's away from the cage, then the shunning can swing into action and you pop him down somewhere neutral like the back of a chair and turn your back for no more than a minute.

In terms of getting another bird, that's always a bit of a gamble, in that you don't know if they'll get along, or hate each other, or love each other just a little too much and sometimes at the exclusion of you! The rule of thumb is only get a bird if YOU want another bird, rather than as a friend for an existing one, then you're much better prepared to deal with things if the relationship between the birds doesn't work out. :)
 

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