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