Just a few questions - Talk Parrots Forums

Parrot Behavior, Bonding and Training Discuss parrot behavior, parrot training, parrot bonding, and other psychological aspects of parrot care.

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-04-2016, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question Just a few questions

Hi everyone,

I have just a few questions regarding a 10-year-old female Green-cheek Conure. I have had her for almost a week now and have noticed certain behavioural issues that I would like to correct. To do so, I have a few questions I would like answered.

A short introduction to her. Her name is Jesse. I am her third owner. Her first owner's daughter did not treat her well and as a result the bird grew a strong hatred towards her. My sister got her from this family, but reminding the bird of her previous owner, the bird hated her. As a result, she could not come out of the cage much as she would just attack her, though was fine with her Husband and kid. After having her for a year, my sister decided that she would rehome the bird (she is very good with animals, but it was obvious that Jesse would not change her behaviour towards her). Hearing that she was going to get rid of her, I eagerly exclaimed that I could take her in, as I no longer have any hand-raised birds living inside. So yeah, while she was with good families her entire life, she's had a few rough patches.

1. Two afternoons she was randomly very bossy and would bite me when I asked her to 'step-up', or just go near her, etc. I realised that both afternoons happened to be on days when I didn't have a chance to let her out for an hour in the morning as I had been previously doing. Will having set 'out-of-cage' times be a good idea? As I am currently in school, she can only really come out for a short while in the morning and in afternoons, so should I continue with having set times or should I try and randomize them more so that she won't get angry when I miss letting her out occasionally?

2. I find that she will often randomly bite, for example, if I am typing on my laptop and I don't give her scratches she will come over and bite me. Are there any things I can do to help discourage this?

3. When she bites, I always ignore her. This means I refuse to show any signs that it hurts and will often just take my hand away. However, sometimes I feel like she wants me to take my hands away, so what should I do when this happens?

4. Since she is quite old and already used to people she is settling in quite fast. She seems pretty happy and confident here already, so would it be too soon to begin clicker training, or do you think it would be alright for me to start now?

5. I'd like to use clicker training as a way to improve her behaviour and to relieve her boredom a bit. When i'm gone she just seems to sit on a perch and wait for something to happen. She has toys but just doesn't seem that interested in playing with them. Are there any ways I could encourage her to play with them? And is there anything that you would recommend to keep her entertained while she is in her cage besides toys and food?

Sorry for such a long post, I just want to make sure both Jesse and I are happy. Even if I can't discourage the things I am not quite happy with I will definitely not give up on her. I believe that quite a few of her 'biting issues' are just due to her being afraid that I will stop spending time with her.

Thanks a lot in advance for your answers, and even just managing to read all of this

~Gromit99squi
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-05-2016, 12:54 PM



 
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It sounds like you have already managed to touch this birds heart if she is allowing you to touch her and she spends time with you outside her cage.

Congrats on adopting her and wanting to give her a better life.

When you leave her and go to school make sure to leave a radio on low so she doesn't hear just quietness in the room. Too much quiet can make the bird nervous so it sits guarded in wait, a guarded bird will bite and not be relaxed or calm when you work with her.

Try and let her out as often as you can if you are trying to interact with her, it doesn't have to be a set time every day as the bird will adjust to your time schedule and what you can give her time wise.

If she is biting you while you are typing you can try to offer her some toy and treat to play with while you are on the computer, but what I see here is that this bird is smart and sees you are spending time on the computer and not time with her.

I'd give her all the time I can one on one if she comes to you and wants your touch and time, I'd stop using the computer and give her all that personal one on one time she wants.

You can always use the computer later on in the evening when she is in her cage settling in for the night getting ready to sleep. This way you can concentrate better on what ever you need to do on the computer if she isn't there to bug you as well.

If you want her to stop biting then give her as much time as you can to train with her. She seems to show she wants to be with you already so take advantage of this and do what she wants so your bond can be strong and healthy, once she sees you are there for her she will be easier to work with.

Most of all take it slow with her, she's been re-homed a few times so her trust of you needs to be earned. She is in a new house with new sounds and smells so she will be on edge for a while, this is why you should take things slowly and not push her or rush her into doing things she may not be ready to do.

Good luck with her, you sound like you have a good plan at working with her and making her a happy healthy bird who will be loved.





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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 01:20 PM



 
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I'll answer them in order so I don't go off on a tangent haha

1) Personally I try to make my interactions as random as possible so nothing is expected of me if I cannot for whatever reason be with them. While birds do thrive off having a routine, it can also be detrimental too (she may show signs of stress or be agitated with you). I have found that green cheek conures can be incredibly sassy and needy little things though, so it is in their nature to throw a tantrum haha!

2) When I am chilling with a bird on me and I'm trying to do something else I give them something to keep them occupied with. Foot toys, small treats etc. can be great. I have seen people have play vests and necklaces to keep their birds entertained while they're sat on them. Is she only doing it on your hands or is she a shoulder bird? If she's on your shoulder and she's going for your face I would remove her from the situation and make her understand that she needs to be on your hand or near you. Maybe a desktop gym for her to hang out on with a millet spray could keep her quiet. As suggested above, I would probably avoid the laptop when you're with her and spend time with her. Hang out with her while watching TV or something instead so you're somewhat more focussed on her. The sass levels may remain low then

3) What does she do to indicate that? Is that just because she wants the reaction out of you or is she scared? I just ignore mine when they bite me unless it's so bad that I'm bleeding profusely haha. After she bites, put her back in her cage. She will soon understand that it is NOT okay to bite and she will have 'time out' if she does

4) You can start now! My conures got it straight away too, it's such a useful tool

5) Play with her toys while you have her out of the cage... literally sit there and mess with them. She may become interested. Does she have a variety? I like to find out what my birds find the most entertaining and give them that. I have found that simple foraging toys and easily shred toys work very well for green cheeks and they make the most of them once they get the hang of it!

Hope that is somewhat helpful

- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much both of you! I will definitely take what you have said into consideration. She seems quite settled in as it is, probably due to her being well socialised. I think I will start her clicker training Tuesday, as I know the following week will be nice and easy work wise for me. That way it will give her a short amount of 'activity' time every day that can be followed by a lot of time spent mainly focused on her.
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Is she only doing it on your hands or is she a shoulder bird? If she's on your shoulder and she's going for your face I would remove her from the situation and make her understand that she needs to be on your hand or near you.
She tends to sit wherever she deems most comfortable at the time, which is either my shoulder, arm, hand or on my laptop. She doesn't ever try and bite anyone's face thankfully, more so just hands if she doesn't want to move or if you're not focusing on her.

Thanks a lot for the toy suggestions. I knew that you could often trick birds into eating foods that they weren't willing to try by making a big fuss over how good it is and not giving them any until they really want it, but I never even thought about applying that rule to toys. Something that shall definitely be tried soon. I will also definitely look into getting more foot toys and shreddable toys. I know she loves playing with pen lids and such, so I could imagine her loving things like that.
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When you leave her and go to school make sure to leave a radio on low so she doesn't hear just quietness in the room. Too much quiet can make the bird nervous so it sits guarded in wait, a guarded bird will bite and not be relaxed or calm when you work with her.
We have quite a few people in the house, so she will often hear them at random times communicating and whatnot, but a more consistent thing like a radio that is more likely to seem aimed at her (due to the clearness of the sound and the closeness compared to the distant muffling of faraway human speech) is a great idea.

Thanks once again for all your help! It really is appreciated!

Have a good day

~ Gromit99squi
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 12:11 PM



 
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Sounds like she's your typical sassy little conure with little bird syndrome They're so much fun! Keep you on your toes haha
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- Alexandrine parakeets Holly, George, Koda & - Crimson rosella Kasumi Orange winged Amazon parrot Paulie
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