Yeetsa

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Aug 2, 2022
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Cypress- 4 month old Cinnamon Green Cheek Conure
Hello! My name is Aspen, and 4 days ago I purchased my very first bird, a cinnamon GCC named Cypress, whom I love very much already. However, due to my inexperience, I feel as though my bird has developed behavioral issues that need to be corrected. So, in this post, I will outline everything I have done and know about Cypress, and pose a question at the end. I apologize for the length of this post already.

I have autism, and birds, parrots in particular, have been my special interest for roughly a decade now. Due to situations at home, I was not able to get one until just recently. I did a load of research leading up to getting this bird, and hoped I would be able to handle any issues smoothly. Life, of course, doesn't usually work out that way.

I got Cypress from a pet store an hour away. This pet store got their birds from some breeders that the owner was friends with. All of these birds would be handled by strange people every Saturday, so it does not surprise me that Cypress isn't the biggest fan of my hands. All the birds there were clipped as well, and on half seed, half pellet diets. I got some of the seed and hoped to transition fully over to pellets, but as of right now Cypress shows no interest in anything but seed.

Day 1, I brought home Cypress and let him slowly get acclimated to his new cage. He likes it fine, especially the top of the cage with the ladder. He plays with his toys and knows where and how to get to the food and water. Near the end of the day, I believe I made my first mistake. I began trying to step up train Cypress with a perch, using millet as the incentive (he doesn't have any hanging in his cage, and he seems to like it a lot). I took him out of the cage and let him vibe on top of it.

Day 2, I opened his cage door and let him sit on top of the cage once again. He tried "flying" off the cage to get to places, but the step up training proved at least somewhat useful then in returning him. I continued to leave the door open, though, and started step up training with my hand. He got the hang of it rather quickly, though sometimes he'd get frustrated and bite when I didn't give him the treat after getting just one foot on my fingers. All was well, though, I thought. Just stood and took the bites as some places said I should do.

Day 3, this is where the real problems began. He started refusing to step up onto anything, instead biting whenever I asked him to. I didn't know what to do, so I would just take it and try and find something else he could do that I could reward him for so it didn't look like he was chasing me off. Another big mistake, I assume. Soon I got fed up with it, though, and tried to take it back to square one. I waited til he went back in his cage for water, and I haven't let him out since. I tried giving treats through the bars and putting my hand in with a treat on it, and pretty much any time he could reach me to bite, he would.

Day 4 has so far been much the same as the end of day 3. He's been in his cage, I've given him millet, he's tried to bite through the bars. As I sit at my desk typing this, he is pacing at the bottom of his cage, as if patrolling. My desk is rather close to his cage, so I assume he's being territorial. I know I absolutely haven't given this bird much time, but at the moment, I feel lost. I don't know what to do going forward.

So, the question...does anyone have any advice to help me here?
 

SailBoat

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Jul 10, 2015
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Welcome to being owned by a Parrot!
Parrots of all sizes have no reason to like us as all their senses, tell them we are Prey and not to be trusted.
Some place in all those research sources, did anyone say anything about spending time next to your Parrots cage and read aloud to him /her. The source can be Threads from Parrot Forum regarding your Parrot.
Taking the bit is only half the response as it should include your saying no! and turning your back on him. Not more than a couple of minutes its back to him as they have a very short attention span and any longer and then have likely forgotten why you turned away.
Reward is best handled with praise. Also it has been a vey short time with your Parrot, how do you know what is really a treat for him.
Slow down, everything does not happen quickly.
Human Expectations are commonly far too quick as you are working on Parrot time, not Human time.
Hope that this will help as you begin the slow process of gaining the trust of your Parrot.
 
OP
Yeetsa

Yeetsa

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Aug 2, 2022
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Cypress- 4 month old Cinnamon Green Cheek Conure
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Question, after saying no and turning my back, what is the next step? Should I try to give the millet again and reward better results, or do something different entirely?
 

SailBoat

Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
16,217
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Western, Michigan
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DYH Amazon
Commonly, you would turn back to your Parrot and determine whether the bite was from you pushing too much or the Parrot is interested in doing something different.

Are you providing the millet just cause or did you request a Step-up? I generally do not provide a treat for no specific reason. The process is assuring your Parrot is aware that you are asking them to do something, i.e. you have been announcing your arrival and letting your Parrot knows that you wanting a Step-up. In a normal setting with Step-up in place, one is communicating (contact calling) with your Parrot letting him know your coming and want to have him Step-up. I am a big believer that having a reason is as important as the Step-up! In my opinion it is part of the reward as most Parrots are interested in what is next.
 
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Yeetsa

Yeetsa

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Aug 2, 2022
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Cypress- 4 month old Cinnamon Green Cheek Conure
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Before it was for a successful step up, whether onto my fingers or a perch. When he started biting rather than stepping up, I began giving him millet in hopes of earning that trust in my hands back a bit. I have a feeling that he doesn't like stepping up anymore because he usually stumbles getting back down. As far as I can tell, that is not due to any actions I did or didn't take. Right now I'm sort of giving him millet for letting me touch him or get near him at all, though I could see the message being unclear, in that case.
 
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Yeetsa

Yeetsa

Member
Aug 2, 2022
12
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26
Parrots
Cypress- 4 month old Cinnamon Green Cheek Conure
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #6
Hello! My name is Aspen, and 4 days ago I purchased my very first bird, a cinnamon GCC named Cypress, whom I love very much already. However, due to my inexperience, I feel as though my bird has developed behavioral issues that need to be corrected. So, in this post, I will outline everything I have done and know about Cypress, and pose a question at the end. I apologize for the length of this post already.

I have autism, and birds, parrots in particular, have been my special interest for roughly a decade now. Due to situations at home, I was not able to get one until just recently. I did a load of research leading up to getting this bird, and hoped I would be able to handle any issues smoothly. Life, of course, doesn't usually work out that way.

I got Cypress from a pet store an hour away. This pet store got their birds from some breeders that the owner was friends with. All of these birds would be handled by strange people every Saturday, so it does not surprise me that Cypress isn't the biggest fan of my hands. All the birds there were clipped as well, and on half seed, half pellet diets. I got some of the seed and hoped to transition fully over to pellets, but as of right now Cypress shows no interest in anything but seed.

Day 1, I brought home Cypress and let him slowly get acclimated to his new cage. He likes it fine, especially the top of the cage with the ladder. He plays with his toys and knows where and how to get to the food and water. Near the end of the day, I believe I made my first mistake. I began trying to step up train Cypress with a perch, using millet as the incentive (he doesn't have any hanging in his cage, and he seems to like it a lot). I took him out of the cage and let him vibe on top of it.

Day 2, I opened his cage door and let him sit on top of the cage once again. He tried "flying" off the cage to get to places, but the step up training proved at least somewhat useful then in returning him. I continued to leave the door open, though, and started step up training with my hand. He got the hang of it rather quickly, though sometimes he'd get frustrated and bite when I didn't give him the treat after getting just one foot on my fingers. All was well, though, I thought. Just stood and took the bites as some places said I should do.

Day 3, this is where the real problems began. He started refusing to step up onto anything, instead biting whenever I asked him to. I didn't know what to do, so I would just take it and try and find something else he could do that I could reward him for so it didn't look like he was chasing me off. Another big mistake, I assume. Soon I got fed up with it, though, and tried to take it back to square one. I waited til he went back in his cage for water, and I haven't let him out since. I tried giving treats through the bars and putting my hand in with a treat on it, and pretty much any time he could reach me to bite, he would.

Day 4 has so far been much the same as the end of day 3. He's been in his cage, I've given him millet, he's tried to bite through the bars. As I sit at my desk typing this, he is pacing at the bottom of his cage, as if patrolling. My desk is rather close to his cage, so I assume he's being territorial. I know I absolutely haven't given this bird much time, but at the moment, I feel lost. I don't know what to do going forward.

So, the question...does anyone have any advice to help me here?
Update: I took him out of his cage and let him sit at the window for a bit, then helped him get to the top of his cage. He hasn't bit me much since, and the one time he did it was relatively gentle. He's been actively reaching for my fingers to do step up, but he sort of does a little dance while on them because he doesn't want to be on them with both feet for long. So he gets on my fingers long enough to get a treat, and if I move he freaks out and stumbles back onto his cage. So, in conclusion...progress? Maybe? Unsure.
 

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