Thoughts on new to us Conure

sdynak

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May 8, 2023
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Green Cheek Conure
Hi everyone..

So we recently brought home a 1 year old Green Cheek Conure from a local pet store. In the store (we understand she was sexed as a female but not documented) she seemed very friendly through the cage and sweet. We didn't second guess her and proceeded with the sale on that alone. I know this was my first mistake.

The concern is it has been just under a week and the biting is just not backing down. At times it is not an issue and will let you pet her head, back and around her neck. She absolutely loves it and loves being out. We have a playground and she is out often (I work from home).

My hands/fingers are looking like Swiss cheese. I'm trying so many things like ignoring it, saying gentle, stop, no and nothing really seems to make a difference once she decides she wants a piece of skin. She is breaking the skin and causing bleeding when she gets a good bite.

I don't know her history and why she was just over a year old. I'm starting to think we are not her first home. It is hard because it seems there is so much potential but I also am concerned if this can't be brought under control. I know it is only a week and willing to spend the time but my thought is if we should move on and seek a younger and more tame Conure before we go too far. I have 14 days which is another week to bring her back. I am very torn.. not normally my thoughts but I also want to enjoy her and this is going to be hard if there is no change.

Looking for your experience and thoughts. We are not first time bird owners but don't have Conure experience.

Thank you!!
 

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zERo

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When I first adopted my green cheek, Tom, he would bite me like this too, all the time.

Now, after owning him for 2 years, I struggle to think of the last time I was bitten.
First, does she have plenty of things to destroy? It can help with stored energy.

The thing I’ve found most helpful is training.
Target training is the best hands off way to train a bird.
Here’s some YouTube channels I recommend that have excellency demonstrations:
And though I don’t really like BirdTricks, they have helpful trading videos.
This one specifically:

Also, what diet is she eating? Sometimes diet can have a great effect on how our birds respond.

Your conure is so cute! I love the yellow sided mutation 😊
 
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sdynak

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When I first adopted my green cheek, Tom, he would bite me like this too, all the time.

Now, after owning him for 2 years, I struggle to think of the last time I was bitten.
First, does she have plenty of things to destroy? It can help with stored energy.

The thing I’ve found most helpful is training.
Target training is the best hands off way to train a bird.
Here’s some YouTube channels I recommend that have excellency demonstrations:
And though I don’t really like BirdTricks, they have helpful trading videos.
This one specifically:

Also, what diet is she eating? Sometimes diet can have a great effect on how our birds respond.

Your conure is so cute! I love the yellow sided mutation 😊

Thank you.. she really is beautiful and hears it all the time :).

BTW her name is Sweet Cheeks.

I will watch the video.. have watched so many already LOL.

Her cage is full of toys, sticks, balls & many things to keep her entertained. She does love to get on her playground and just go all over it. I think for exercise she is getting more than what a typical new owner would give especially with being here all day. We have not left her alone for any length except for overnight.

Have tried giving her fresh fruit and veggies and she doesn't go for them. Right now she is eating well with Kaytee Fiesta Conure food & Sunseed Sunthing Special fabulous fruit mix. She also has one of the honey parrot sticks and she is picking from that.

I want to believe there is hope and I'm willing to commit. I am just concerned if it doesn't stop and what that means for her happiness.

Thank you
 
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zERo

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Thank you.. she really is beautiful and hears if all the time :).

BTW her name is Sweet Cheeks.

I will watch the video.. have watched so many already LOL.

Her cage is full of toys, sticks, balls & many things to keep her entertained. She does love to get on her playground and just go all over it. I think for exercise she is getting more than what a typical new owner would give especially with being here all day. We have not left her alone for any length except for overnight.

Have tried giving her fresh fruit and veggies and she doesn't go for them. Right now she is eating well with Kaytee Fiesta Conure food & Sunseed Sunthing Special fabulous fruit mix. She also has one of the honey parrot sticks and she is picking from that.

I want to believe there is hope and I'm willing to commit. I am just concerned if it doesn't stop and what that means for her happiness.

Thank you
I’m sorry you’re going through this with her, I know it can be very discouraging.

When does she seem to bite the most? When you’re putting her up/asking her to step up/ etc?

Are you planning to offer her pellets? Brands I recommend are TOPs, Oven Fresh Bites (also called All Living Things) and maybe Lafebers.
Diet transitioning can be a real challenge for many owners and their birds.

Sweet Cheeks, that’s cute! 😍
 
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sdynak

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I’m sorry you’re going through this with her, I know it can be very discouraging.

When does she seem to bite the most? When you’re putting her up/asking her to step up/ etc?

Are you planning to offer her pellets? Brands I recommend are TOPs, Oven Fresh Bites (also called All Living Things) and maybe Lafebers.
Diet transitioning can be a real challenge for many owners and their birds.

Sweet Cheeks, that’s cute! 😍

The biting is random but in almost in every way consistent. I can be sitting at my desk and she will just come down from her playground, take it upon herself to step up onto my hand or arm and just take a bite. Doesn't seem aggressive and I won't even move until she takes a nip and to the point where I have to stop it since she is breaking skin.

If I put her on a perch she will go side to side as I move my hands looking to get a nip. Again.. not aggressively but consistent. She doesn't tear after you just calmly walks over and take a skin sample.

But then will let you pet her in the same minute and she loves it. So strange.. not trying to react for a setback but it's hard not to.

I'll look into the pellets. Was not thinking of them honestly. Thanks!

Edit: She is defiantly not fearful. Just wanted to mention that. Not doing anything to make her fearful either.
 

PrimorandMoxi

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You did not make a mistake at the pet store.
It was just meant to be.

You can do this, she will come around and bond with you.
it takes time.
It's all about building trust.
 
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sdynak

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You did not make a mistake at the pet store.
It was just meant to be.

You can do this, she will come around and bond with you.
it takes time.
It's all about building trust.

Thank you... I'm really trying. My hands hurt but I'm really giving her a chance.
 
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sdynak

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Here is a video taken just now.. sitting at my desk she comes down from her playground and just hops up and grabs some lunch. Had to stop it as she was getting rough.

Hopefully this links ok.. might still be processing.

 

zERo

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Here is a video taken just now.. sitting at my desk she comes down from her playground and just hops up and grabs some lunch. Had to stop it as she was getting rough.

Hopefully this links ok.. might still be processing.

If she’s biting you like that, it’s okay to pull away from her stop from being injured.
She could be jealous that you’re appearing to interact and ‘ignore’ her by using the mouse.

Sometimes my green cheek will get too curious with my hand or with what I'm doing and if he bites I pull away or distract him with an interesting object.
 
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sdynak

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If she’s biting you like that, it’s okay to pull away from her stop from being injured.
She could be jealous that you’re appearing to interact and ‘ignore’ her by using the mouse.

Sometimes my green cheek will get too curious with my hand or with what I'm doing and if he bites I pull away or distract him with an interesting object.

Ok, I was afraid that pulling away would suggest fear from my end and she would learn that.

as I'm typing this she came back again so I stopped and tried to give her strict attention & got one of her stick balls (whatever you call them). She played for a few seconds then continued on to want to get up on my arm and started to nip again.

I am trying all different ways :)..
 

hazzel

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Lovebirds can be more challenging to tame than some other pet birds, but with persistence and the right approach, you can create a strong bond with them. Keep in mind that lovebirds are intelligent and require mental stimulation and social interaction to thrive.
 
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zERo

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Ok, I was afraid that pulling away would suggest fear from my end and she would learn that.

as I'm typing this she came back again so I stopped and tried to give her strict attention & got one of her stick balls (whatever you call them). She played for a few seconds then continued on to want to get up on my arm and started to nip again.

I am trying all different ways :)..
Maybe it would suggest fear but pushing her beak off of your hand gently or pulling away so she doesn’t make you bleed is fine to do.

I think she’s probably testing her boundaries in her new home as you’ve had her just a week.
 
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sdynak

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Maybe it would suggest fear but pushing her beak off of your hand gently or pulling away so she doesn’t make you bleed is fine to do.

I think she’s probably testing her boundaries in her new home as you’ve had her just a week.

Really seems like it.. if I keep moving my hands, she will just want to bite anything in her sight. I don't think it is aggressive toward people, just objects in general like a puppy.
 

Bird lady

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The biting is random but in almost in every way consistent. I can be sitting at my desk and she will just come down from her playground, take it upon herself to step up onto my hand or arm and just take a bite. Doesn't seem aggressive and I won't even move until she takes a nip and to the point where I have to stop it since she is breaking skin.

If I put her on a perch she will go side to side as I move my hands looking to get a nip. Again.. not aggressively but consistent. She doesn't tear after you just calmly walks over and take a skin sample.

But then will let you pet her in the same minute and she loves it. So strange.. not trying to react for a setback but it's hard not to.

I'll look into the pellets. Was not thinking of them honestly. Thanks!

Edit: She is defiantly not fearful. Just wanted to mention that. Not doing anything to make her fearful either.
From that description it almost sounds like she is trying to get your attention and wants to play.. be it a little rough atm.

Hang in there when she bites give her a firm “NO!” And move your hand away…

She will learn that the biting is not the way to get the correct attention or the pats.

GOOD LUCK!
 

DonnaBudgie

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From that description it almost sounds like she is trying to get your attention and wants to play.. be it a little rough atm.

Hang in there when she bites give her a firm “NO!” And move your hand away…

She will learn that the biting is not the way to get the correct attention or the pats.

GOOD LUCK!
I have a similar problem with my female budgie Rocky. She is quite hormonal right now (dark brown cere, 8 months old). She has always (since fledging) had a strong beaking/chewing instinct and is always grabbing the fabric of my clothing and my bare skin, including my ears' with her beak. She hasn't broken the skin but it hurts. Since I know she's going to do this I always wear long sleeves when she's out of her cage and I usually also wear a hoodie that I can put up to protect my ears. She's a very self confident, fearless budgie and I know she's not being aggressive. I can't set her down and turn my back on her like recommended with larger birds because she just flies right back to somewhere on my body.
So, I would follow the other PF members' advice but also wear long sleeves that you can pull over your hands if she gets nippy. Best of luck!
 
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sdynak

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Thanks for the replies everyone.. I am sad to say that the behavior was already learned before we got her (she was over a year old) and we made the difficult decision to let someone that has more experience to give her a better chance.
 

Bird lady

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I have a similar problem with my female budgie Rocky. She is quite hormonal right now (dark brown cere, 8 months old). She has always (since fledging) had a strong beaking/chewing instinct and is always grabbing the fabric of my clothing and my bare skin, including my ears' with her beak. She hasn't broken the skin but it hurts. Since I know she's going to do this I always wear long sleeves when she's out of her cage and I usually also wear a hoodie that I can put up to protect my ears. She's a very self confident, fearless budgie and I know she's not being aggressive. I can't set her down and turn my back on her like recommended with larger birds because she just flies right back to somewhere on my body.
So, I would follow the other PF members' advice but also wear long sleeves that you can pull over your hands if she gets nippy. Best of luck!
Yea.. my galah is like that.. he’s just on 6-7months old so he’s starting to play really rough… and being a large parrot his beak is extremely sharp… I do the same thing.. I wear a hoodie (or my oodie which is thicker) and long sleeves that cover my hands… I’ve also adapted a game especially for him where we play “catch baby” which consists of me catching him with his wings in with a thick blanket wrapping him up in said blanket and bringing him closer to me and giving him pats … then let him get himself free and repeat… it’s a good way to bond with him and let him have his out of the cage play time while protecting all skin and fingers at the same time…
 

DonnaBudgie

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Yea.. my galah is like that.. he’s just on 6-7months old so he’s starting to play really rough… and being a large parrot his beak is extremely sharp… I do the same thing.. I wear a hoodie (or my oodie which is thicker) and long sleeves that cover my hands… I’ve also adapted a game especially for him where we play “catch baby” which consists of me catching him with his wings in with a thick blanket wrapping him up in said blanket and bringing him closer to me and giving him pats … then let him get himself free and repeat… it’s a good way to bond with him and let him have his out of the cage play time while protecting all skin and fingers at the same time…
When a larger bird like a Gallah plays rough they can actually do some damage unlike a budgie!
I play "roll the budgie" with Rocky. I take a small towel and throw it over her and roll her up in the towel and roll the towel on the floor. It sounds strange, I know, but Rocky likes it!

I'm not sure it's a good idea to play that kind of game when your Gallah reaches puberty. It may be too sexually stimulating.
Any other more experienced PF members want to comment on this?
 

clark_conure

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From that description it almost sounds like she is trying to get your attention and wants to play.. be it a little rough atm.

Hang in there when she bites give her a firm “NO!” And move your hand away…

She will learn that the biting is not the way to get the correct attention or the pats.

GOOD LUCK!
WHAT Bird lady said....The second it's like to much you say "NO" the birds aren't stupid, they can figure out where the line is. And they won't think you are afraid. They are social animals and realise they need to have the acceptance of their flock...even if it's humans. For clipped birds I like the time out method but social cues are important.

Don't scare the bird but a " no....bad" is fine.
 

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