My hands are covered in blood

FieryPhoenix

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So my Sun conure bit me pretty badly this morning. So bad that I don't even know if the bleeding has stopped. I have a band aid on my left finger. It's been bleeding for at least a half hour. It didn't look like a deep cut, but it kept bleeding. There was blood all over the floor and just everywhere. It looks like a crime scene over here.

I think this is the most blood I ever had in the 18 years I had her. I started to cry because it upset me so much that such a small bird could inflict so much pain and blood.

I don't know how such a sweet bird can turn so nasty.

I seriously feel like I am dealing with two personalities.

I was trying to get her to step out of the cage and she just kept biting me. Ugh

Do they make finger guards for parrot handlers to protect them?
 

ShanCaz

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You can probably get some thick welding or falconry gloves if you’re really anxious about getting bit this hard again, but thick gardening gloves should be ok too.

I would look as to why she bit you though. Birds don’t really bite for no reason. Some birds grow cage aggressive, that could have been why she bit so hard when you were trying to get her out.

I’m sorry about your hand too, has it stopped bleeding? You should see a doctor/nurse if it is still bleeding, that sounds really bad.
 

HeatherG

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I wondering if Phoenix might have accidentally been hurt by your handling? I know she’s an older bird. My Lucy was extremely sweet tempered until she rebroke her bad leg. Then she became nippy if her leg hurt her.

Yes, you can wear gardening gloves or leather work gloves while handling pet birds. But I’ve noticed that many pet birds think gloves are really scary.

I also think a bad bite from a tame bird suggests that the bird got frightened or hurt. If my Willow bit me badly out of nowhere I’d wonder if he was in pain. I don’t mean to give you more to worry about, but that’s the question I’m asking.
 
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FieryPhoenix

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Okay,

It's a few hours later, and I think the bleeding has stopped.

I have had my sun for 18 years
I have had my quaker for 19 years.

They are both about 19.

Lately, she has been only stepping up out of the cage When The Quaker steps up first.

It seems she doesn't want to step up ahead of quaker. If Quaker is on or in the cage, she will bite.

In my opinion, there are only two causes.

1. Quaker is bossy on somehow communicates, "Don't go until I go."
2. Sun doesn't want to be separated from quaker

I was trying to train her to step up independently, and it was a complete and epic failure. I just kept getting bitten over and over again.

She has stepped up independently from the cage before, but when I take them out of the cage most of the time, Quaker steps up on my hand and Sun joins her.

If they were young, I would separate them in two cages, but they are older now and have been housed together for 18 years. To separate them would be mean, in my opinion, especially since the quaker almost died from anesthesia (wing amputation surgery) last year.

About a year ago, she would never independently step up. Now she can do so when they are outside of the cage. However, every now in then, she may bite.

I don't want to wear gloves because that will scare her. I have a handheld perch that I have been trying to wean myself off from because I have used it for most of my bird's lives, mainly to protect my hand from my Sun

I have never had two birds in a cage before. Is one bird the leader normal? Should I just allow Quaker to come out and step up first before Sun does to avoid being bitten by Sun?

I don't stick my hand in the cage. Usually, they both approach the main door entrance and my hand is there and they just come and step up on my hand.
 

ravvlet

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I don’t have advice about the bite but I can help with wound care; we have suffered some nasty bites this year. Bird bites are puncture wounds and bruise the tissue around the bite. Clean out the wound (birds are messy and often have food or foreign matter in their beak), then apply a sterile cotton pad and wrap firmly with vet wrap, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation. Elevate the finger for fifteen minutes while applying steady pressure.

It sounds like the bleeding stopped, but in the future that should work on any bite that isn’t deep enough to require stitches. My kid has had a nasty bite from a sun at a bird store once - I told her not to stick her finger in there several times, and the minute we went to speak to the employee about something she learned the hard way. They may not be big birds but they pack a punch!

Does your sun immediately bite or does he/she give other signs that mean “no” first? I always watch our birds and if they react to my hand coming near in a negative way I usually abort mission because I know a bite is next, heh. We also typically train with dowels or perches before hands because if they do unexpectedly bite it’s not hurting anybody. It sounds like you were already doing that and maybe I’m just an amateur, but I don’t see any reason to stop. Is there a benefit to having them want to step up on your hand instead of a perch? Not sarcasm I promise, I genuinely want to know!
 
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FieryPhoenix

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Quaker Parrot Sun Conure
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I don’t have advice about the bite but I can help with wound care; we have suffered some nasty bites this year. Bird bites are puncture wounds and bruise the tissue around the bite. Clean out the wound (birds are messy and often have food or foreign matter in their beak), then apply a sterile cotton pad and wrap firmly with vet wrap, but not so tight that it cuts off circulation. Elevate the finger for fifteen minutes while applying steady pressure.

It sounds like the bleeding stopped, but in the future that should work on any bite that isn’t deep enough to require stitches. My kid has had a nasty bite from a sun at a bird store once - I told her not to stick her finger in there several times, and the minute we went to speak to the employee about something she learned the hard way. They may not be big birds but they pack a punch!

Does your sun immediately bite or does he/she give other signs that mean “no” first? I always watch our birds and if they react to my hand coming near in a negative way I usually abort mission because I know a bite is next, heh. We also typically train with dowels or perches before hands because if they do unexpectedly bite it’s not hurting anybody. It sounds like you were already doing that and maybe I’m just an amateur, but I don’t see any reason to stop. Is there a benefit to having them want to step up on your hand instead of a perch? Not sarcasm I promise, I genuinely want to know!
Thanks for the would care.

I wmmidoste wash the wounds with soap and water.

I have had this girl for 18 years so I know the drill.

Looming back I think I was probably forcing her or force things. I would offer my hand and hold a treat. She would bite. I would approach Quahrr who was standing next to her an rf f rusher and her would step up.

I would then put them back and approach sun who was standing next to Quaker. I would get bit.

I basically would keep trying and trying in hopes of getting a different result but had to stop because my hangs had blood on them.

The only warning sign she lunger. I moved by hand away.

The tlater reletkind she would just bite and she would bite harder and harder and not let go.

I think the only thing to do is to just approach Quaher and let Sun follow.

She has come out first in the padt so I know she cable but I guess it has to be completely her choice.

I also just feel more comfortable approaching Quaker first. She strps up and sun follows and joins her on my hand. This is for getting them out of cage.

If by chance sun goes first i make a big deal, lavish her with praise.

At least for the mean time i don't think I can approach her first unless I want to get bit.

I am concerned though. Should Quaker die before her, will she get worse?

I have trained sun to recall, spin, shake her these, and kiss on command. I know she's smart. She blows hot and cold.

I got her off the top of the cage with a perch then had her step on my hand. She was fine and sweet again.

I can't figure out the won't cause of this but my guess is that the two of them are communicating something.

Quaker might be telling her not to step up on my before she does OR Sun ksvtekkinb Quaker “I want you to go first”

Itwcso hwes to figure out brvsjee there is no information out there about two birds being kept together. It's a whole different dynamic then just having one bit. And yes both birds are bonded to me and like people.

I am not against the hand perch but I only have one and ifyrj times its not here by wgeh j need it lol. . What hand hjd perches do you use?
 
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Cottonoid

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I have a little stick perch I carry with me pretty much anywhere in the house I go. I call it my "step up stick". Opie knows when I pick it up that it's time to get on and no more biting my hands. Now that I know *where* he's most likely to bite at me, I just use the stick when he's in those places. He's still learning, but for me, I don't want to give him chances to practice biting so I go the other direction.

Where I volunteer there are a few birds housed together, and I always try to follow their lead. There's a pair of Amazons that like to do things in a certain order and if I get it wrong they won't cooperate.

I wonder if somewhere along the way, your Sun was giving you super subtle signs of not wanting to step up but now just goes straight to biting?

What I'm understanding is that what you've tried isn't working, and it keeps not working over and over.

Maybe completely changing the whole practice would help "reset" the behavior. So have the Quaker step up on your hand and your Sun onto a perch. If they're more comfortable with Quaker always going first, stick with that. Then keep doing whatever works until you've had lots of repetitions of your Sun stepping up on a perch without trying to bite, over weeks or a few months. Only then maybe reintroduce asking your Sun to step up first, onto a perch.
 

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SOme thoughts on this unique situation. Parrots LOVE regularity and routine. WHen you have a routine that has been in place for 10+ years, and you break that routine without forethought as to the results and consequences, well things gonna happen. As to this specific instance here, I would go with the hand perch for awhile, and slowly try to do what you intended, to be able to take the SUn conure out first or by himself. WOuldn;t be a bad idea I think to house them separately if you can. Hope your hand is feeling a bit better.
 

ravvlet

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Wanted to add that although suns aren’t normally a super cage aggressive species, if it’s specifically happening around the cage then that might be the issue. Wrench & Cotton have great advice as always!

Glad you already know the drill on wound care! I was just worried due to the emphasis on the bleeding. 😅
 
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FieryPhoenix

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Wanted to add that although suns aren’t normally a super cage aggressive species, if it’s specifically happening around the cage then that might be the issue. Wrench & Cotton have great advice as always!

Glad you already know the drill on wound care! I was just worried due to the emphasis on the bleeding. 😅

How long have you had Opie and what kind of bird is he.

My birds are almost 19 years old and I just started getting them out by hand out of the cage last year. My hand held perch has a hand guard.

I think I would do a few reps from the cage with only a perch not my hand unless the Quaker is stepping up in it.

I am also wondering if she might be feeling under the weather. This started a few days ago and prior to that a few weeks ago. The weather has been dark damp and dreary on top of that

Can birds just feel temporarily under the weather or is it l like when they feel under the weather they are at deaths door?

What happens with the Amazons when they don’t cooperate? Do they bite you?
 
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HeatherG

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How long have you had Opie and what kind of bird is he.

My birds are almost 19 gesds old and I just started getting them out by hand out if the cage last year. My hand held perch has a hand guard.

I think with the sub I would do a few repitstjond from the cage with only a perch not my hand uess the Quaker is swelling up in it.

I am slgk wondering if she ksny feeling under the weather. This started a few days ago and proof to that a few weeks ago.

Can botde just feel temporarily under the weather oe is oy akeshd like when they feel under the weather they are at deaths door?

What hallehd whrh the anaxonscdomy cooperate? Does lnd bite?
Hi Fiery Phoenix,
This message is really hard to read. Can you retype them important parts and send again?
 

Cottonoid

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Opie's a Quaker and he's still super young, so it's been really easy to shape his behavior so far.

Where I volunteer, I actually just walk away from the Amazons if they don't want to step up or if they turn to face me directly. I've only been there six months and they don't trust me fully yet. I'm the one doing things in the wrong order ;) where they've been doing it the same way for years and years.
 
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FieryPhoenix

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UPDATE

Sun bit me multiple times today. She even bit me when I had both her and Quaker outt on the playgym. However, once my confidence returned, she stepped up fine. Lightbulb moment. Maybe that's why she bites me when asking her to step up out of the cage. I do get nervous around her because her beak has done great damage to a small bird.

I made a considerable effort to approach with a firm and confident hand and continued to bite. They see you should gently push into the bit to get a bird to release. I was pushing gently until she was on her back in order for her to release.

Anyway, maybe I am not as confident as I appear, and she can see past my BS. Maybe it is hormones. Maybe it’s the weather. All I know is I can’t figure this out. All I know is that I am sporting three bandaids on my left index finger and one on my left ring finger.

I think until my fingers all heal, I will do the following.

  1. Approach Quaker first when getting them out of the cage. Allow Quaker to lead and Sunny to follow. Perhaps Nikki keeps Sunny in check. She was visually telling Sun to bite or lunge. I
  2. If I do any step up training by the cage, I will only practice the following situations: 1) approach Quaker first and have Sun follow 2) Approach Sunny with the handheld perch and 3) approach Sunny with handheld perch, have her step up on perch and then my hand.

Sorry to vent so much it's just I had this bird for 18 years, and I thought I would have a clue by now.

I will say this. As much as I still love my bird, I would never, ever adopt a conure again. The loudness isn't so wonderful but the bites she can inflict are terrible. This bird could be a phlebotomist.
 

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UPDATE

Sun bit me multiple times today. She even bit me when I had both her and Quaker outt on the playgym. However, once my confidence returned, she stepped up fine. Lightbulb moment. Maybe that's why she bites me when asking her to step up out of the cage. I do get nervous around her because her beak has done great damage to a small bird.

I made a considerable effort to approach with a firm and confident hand and continued to bite. They see you should gently push into the bit to get a bird to release. I was pushing gently until she was on her back in order for her to release.

Anyway, maybe I am not as confident as I appear, and she can see past my BS. Maybe it is hormones. Maybe it’s the weather. All I know is I can’t figure this out. All I know is that I am sporting three bandaids on my left index finger and one on my left ring finger.

I think until my fingers all heal, I will do the following.

  1. Approach Quaker first when getting them out of the cage. Allow Quaker to lead and Sunny to follow. Perhaps Nikki keeps Sunny in check. She was visually telling Sun to bite or lunge. I
  2. If I do any step up training by the cage, I will only practice the following situations: 1) approach Quaker first and have Sun follow 2) Approach Sunny with the handheld perch and 3) approach Sunny with handheld perch, have her step up on perch and then my hand.

Sorry to vent so much it's just I had this bird for 18 years, and I thought I would have a clue by now.

I will say this. As much as I still love my bird, I would never, ever adopt a conure again. The loudness isn't so wonderful but the bites she can inflict are terrible. This bird could be a phlebotomis
I know the pain and frustration as I have experienced it with my 27 year old Senegal who has passed away in 2021. My BB was the sweetest loving birdie I ever have but he did had his moments being a little monster and I recalled the worst time was about 18 years old (teenager year!). Not as much as non stop bleeding like yours but deep bruising and he would not let go of my finger till I flicked him away by force. Later I learned more from his body language and I stopped forcing or rushing him to do anything he did not feel like doing it at that "particular" moment ie stepping up.

For example, he used to step onto my finger every morning to get out of the cage and put him on his playpen for breakfast. All of a sudden, he did not want to do so and only wanted to climb out on his own by lunging at my finger. Later I learnt to close the cage door immediately when he did that and went out into the kitchen. After a couple of minutes, I tried again and he still did that so I closed the door again and went out. After a few back and forth, he finally backed down and jumped onto my finger quickly and I praised him good boy and let him have his favorite breakfast. Next several morning same thing happened and I repeated what I did and it worked. We all know parrots can sense your emotion and tension, if you tense up he will be on high alert so you need to try to relax yourself first, get away from the scene to relax some more and tried again. My BB loved to be out so I was giving him a message that he must use my finger to do so and he finally got the message and understood who was the boss in the house.
 
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FieryPhoenix

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I know the pain and frustration as I have experienced it with my 27 year old Senegal who has passed away in 2021. My BB was the sweetest loving birdie I ever have but he did had his moments being a little monster and I recalled the worst time was about 18 years old (teenager year!). Not as much as non stop bleeding like yours but deep bruising and he would not let go of my finger till I flicked him away by force. Later I learned more from his body language and I stopped forcing or rushing him to do anything he did not feel like doing it at that "particular" moment ie stepping up.

For example, he used to step onto my finger every morning to get out of the cage and put him on his playpen for breakfast. All of a sudden, he did not want to do so and only wanted to climb out on his own by lunging at my finger. Later I learnt to close the cage door immediately when he did that and went out into the kitchen. After a couple of minutes, I tried again and he still did that so I closed the door again and went out. After a few back and forth, he finally backed down and jumped onto my finger quickly and I praised him good boy and let him have his favorite breakfast. Next several morning same thing happened and I repeated what I did and it worked. We all know parrots can sense your emotion and tension, if you tense up he will be on high alert so you need to try to relax yourself first, get away from the scene to relax some more and tried again. My BB loved to be out so I was giving him a message that he must use my finger to do so and he finally got the message and understood who was the boss in the house.

I will mention that my Sun conure laid three eggs last year.

I have a feeling it's related to hormones.

Today I approached both of them. Sun started biting me but once Quaker stepped up she stopped. This seems to happen in the cage.

Right now the only way I can bet her out is to have Quaker steup on my hand and then have her join me. Or just have her step up on a perch.

I will admit that after 18 years I wish I could forget the perch but I think I still need it for when they go up in high places and for getting them out of the cage to protect me from Sun's beak.

Last year, when I took my Sun for her physical, there was mention of Lupron to curb hormonal behaviors. If her behavior gets worse and she starts biting me more and more when we are outside of the cage, I may have to try that as a last resort.

I don't know what else to do for hormonal behavior. She gets pissed when she is separated from Quaker so I couldn't even cage them separately could I?

They have a sleep cage and get 12 hours of uninterrupted darkness.

They have vegetables in the normal (fresh and dried mix), and they get top pellets in the evening.

As for closing the cage door, when she bites, that doesn't work. I have tried every kind of negative reinforcement (taking something away) and it has not worked.

I love her but I can't stand her sometimes. These past couple of days have been particularly bad. I want her to go away.
 

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