Suddenly Bitey Conure - 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 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2017, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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Suddenly Bitey Conure

I have an 8mo female pineapple conure named Avis

From day one she loved me and wanted to be cuddled and scratched and would bob her head incessantly to get my attention to let her out. My bird friend said she was doing mating poses but she was a baby so it was just cause it got a reaction. She had a screaming problem when I'd leave the room but I managed to stop that quite fast by ignoring her when she did. She's always been very beaky, touching and tasting anything she could, and would always try to "preen" me by trying to chew off any "spots" on my skin(freckles, scars, scabs). I didn't encourage it but it didn't stop and then it turned into her actually ripping open my scabs and her beak would have my blood on it(I have other animals and am constantly covered in scratches of some kind). This itself bothered me, not cause it hurt but cause I can't imagine blood is good for her.. (It's not like she's one of those sheep blood drinking parrots lol) I just deter her and she will eventually stop but she will "b**ch" about it(what I call her little grumbling muttering sound she makes when she is annoyed/displeased). These little things I didn't have a problem dealing with, but now it's turned into full on biting. She will reach for me, and while she use to just rub her beak on my hand, she will now grab onto my skin(anywhere) and pinch as hard as she can on the smallest bit of skin possible like she KNOWS that makes it worse. Once she brought me to tears but never really broke the skin. Another time(one of the first bad ones) she left a swollen purple welt on my finger for several days. When she would bite I'd put her in her cage(if she lets me) and ignore her. I'd try letting her out just to play on her own and not cuddle, but she insists on flying to my head, shoulder, lap, knee and demands my attention then goes to bite me whether I try to touch her or not.
(Want to note that as I've been writing this and googling she has been pretty good, even letting me pet her and pick at some of her pin feathers, but will still randomly(to me) decide to bite)

I know biting is a part of parrot ownership, however this seems aggressive and dominating(I read they don't dominate but then I read they do?) And definitely intentional. I'm on disability so I'm home almost 24/7 however I personally sleep 10-12 hrs a night (if possible) and her cage gets covered(earlier and earlier) when I go to bed, so I've been trying to give her the chance to get her full 12 hours. I've read all the forums etc and none of the answers seem quite right for our situation..
Some possibilities I saw were molting which she is definitely in the process of, and hormones, but i thought she was still months away from that.

Another possibility is that I went a few days without taking her out more than a few minutes when my dad was visiting and fixing my plumbing. I didn't trust that he wouldn't forget about her and accidently let her out or worse, and I was very stressed out at the time so I didn't have the mental energy to keep an eye on her and entertain her. I talk to her/them all day, and I still changed her food/water/etc every day(twice for water) but it wasn't enough for her liking. I intentionally don't let her out ALL day so she doesn't get too use to it.

I love her to bits and she was the first bird I've ever had a bond with, it hurts(emotionally AND physically) that she is biting so much and so hard. I don't want her to be a cage bird(even tho I'm planning a big cage)

Sorry for the length, and sorry for the 100 posts today lol thanks in advance for any advice/opinions

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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017, 08:51 AM



 
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Hi and welcome to Talk Parrots, it sounds like you have a hormonal pineapple on your hands and it may not help that she's molting at the same time. Molting takes a lot out of your bird and they can be moody and angry as they don't exactly know how to deal with the new pins and feathers that are making them itch. Let her shower or bathe more if she likes that. Let her sleep more as sleep will let keep her from over preening or picking at herself and the molt will end sooner if she sleeps more. Sleeping more and having less light in their environment also helps cool a hormonal urge down as well.

Hormones can hit any time in a birds life I've seen young budgies 5 months old already nesting and mating so the urge can be brought on early and you might have a hormonal hen who's frustrated and has a molt on top of that so she's really miffed and biting you out of anger and not understanding what's happening here.

I'd let her stay in her cage when she does bite for a while but when you take her out to spend time with her have a variety of toys she likes to chew or bite or play with and have one of them in your hand to offer her when she tries to chew on you at all times. Give her treats to chew like honey sticks or sugar cane or carrots or paper toys she can bite shred and be destructible with.

Play with her by holding the treat or toy and allow her to destroy and chew it and not chew you. Be careful where you stroke or pet her because you could be stimulating her and this is a reason for her to bite you as she wants more but you aren't fulfilling her desire to mate.

I hope she feels better soon with her molt and goes out of hormonal mode too. Good luck.





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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017, 11:26 AM Thread Starter
 
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I already know not to pet in certain places when they're hormonal, I mostly pet her head and neck, but I wasn't expecting her to be hormonal yet. She was weirdly good yesterday after/while i was posting all over. Bit a couple times a little but she actually seemed to listen when I said "be nice" which was always what I told her when she would nibble.
It never fails, I finally give in and ask for help and the problem resolves itself(more or less) lol
How much dark should she get? I cover their cages in the evening(the budgies start fluffing and looking sleepy around then anyway) and open them in the late morning. How small of a cage can be a sleeping cage in another room?
I actually noticed yesterday and now today that the budgies right beside her cage that she use to talk to have been squabbling and they never did before. I'm wondering if Ino is hormonal too and she thinks Avis is her mate? I got Ino before Avis and then just had the 2 for awhile and Ino seemed to really like her. They would groom thru the bars when Avis was out and Ino would pace and pace trying to get out. That's why I decided she needed a friend, but now she's more interested in Avis and will nip at Shiro sometimes, but other times they preen each other.
So I know I should probably move the cages apart, but my house is so small there's not many places to put them. And I don't want them stuffed in the spare room. So for now I've been trying to put paper between the cages so they don't see each other but of course they shred it. I'm in the process of starting building flight cages for them all but I had to wait for my step dad to use the saws so I haven't started yet. Just designed and trying to decide on certain things like mesh, doors, etc. Then Avis can use her current cage as a sleep cage.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-27-2017, 05:47 PM Thread Starter
 
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Bah. I swear I'm at my wits end with her. I've been trying to redirect her bites with a toy and she will either nibble it for a millisecond or just ignore it completely and go for me instead. I don't poke my fingers at her or anything, I intentionally give her my arm or the back of my hand and it doesn't matter, but she bites anywhere. I hate her being in her cage all day, she watches me most of the time and doesn't play with her toys much. Sometimes she shreds the paper on the bottom of her cage as if she's frustrated and wants out. It's heartbreaking. She was such a sweet girl.
If it's hormones, how long should this last?
She was behaving the other day and it got my hopes up that she was back to normal. Ended up having to put her away for biting again but that was after a few hours at least.
Looked closer at this pic I took of her that day and couldn't help but notice the "halo" above her head. Nice try bird lol

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 12:52 PM



 
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Bah. I swear I'm at my wits end with her. I've been trying to redirect her bites with a toy and she will either nibble it for a millisecond or just ignore it completely and go for me instead. I don't poke my fingers at her or anything, I intentionally give her my arm or the back of my hand and it doesn't matter, but she bites anywhere. I hate her being in her cage all day, she watches me most of the time and doesn't play with her toys much. Sometimes she shreds the paper on the bottom of her cage as if she's frustrated and wants out. It's heartbreaking. She was such a sweet girl.
If it's hormones, how long should this last?
She was behaving the other day and it got my hopes up that she was back to normal. Ended up having to put her away for biting again but that was after a few hours at least.
Looked closer at this pic I took of her that day and couldn't help but notice the "halo" above her head. Nice try bird lol

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[email protected] that picture.

Halo my eye!





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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-28-2017, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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[email protected] that picture.

Halo my eye!
Is it safe to let her play with empty medicine bottles? Obviously cleaned and with the label removed and all the glue cleaned off. Maybe drill a hole in it to tie it up and put treats and toys inside

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 11:24 AM



 
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Is it safe to let her play with empty medicine bottles? Obviously cleaned and with the label removed and all the glue cleaned off. Maybe drill a hole in it to tie it up and put treats and toys inside

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It depends if you think she can break the plastic if she bites on it, if she can break the plastic I wouldn't give her the bottle.

Let her rip apart cardboard boxes and paper instead.





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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2017, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
 
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It depends if you think she can break the plastic if she bites on it, if she can break the plastic I wouldn't give her the bottle.

Let her rip apart cardboard boxes and paper instead.
Hmmm okay. It's a softer hard plastic so not sure. Guess I could try while I'm watching her and take it away if she does any damage. She definitely loves shredding paper but hasn't yet realised the paper bags are full of treats and "toys" lol
She pretended to behave again yesterday so she was out for a few hours and I only got one real bite and that was when I was putting her to bed. If she let me touch her head I said "good girl" and things she likes, and when she went to bite I'd move my hand away and say "noo" but gently. We did this a few times and she still reached for me but it felt like more of a "just testing" reach. The buggers are too smart lol


She was investigating mommy's artwork lol such a critic
^v^

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-15-2018, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Been awhile but had to share that Avis is back to her sweet self!
I put her back in her original position in the house and I'm not sure if that's what did it(it's alot lighter there) or if it was just time, or something else but I'm glad she's back lol a lot beakier than before but it's gentler and more affectionate seeming. She's also back to harassing me and trying to do everything with me lol
I missed her

She's also talking! I definitely hear "I love you" and possibly "birdy bird" which I say like "pretty bird". Then she mutters to herself all the time and makes lots of sounds I think sounds like she's practicing different words. I talk alot to the animals all day so I was sure she would eventually learn to talk but I'm surprised by how quickly she picked some things up. My house creaks and squeaks alot so that's what she first learned to mimic several months ago lol
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-16-2018, 11:06 AM



 
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I'm happy to hear Avis has chilled her chomping and is behaving well again. It's also great to hear she is beside you and wants to do the things you are doing daily, sweet girl.

The talking mumbling is all practice, in a few more days or weeks she will be saying "pretty bird'' perfectly. I always have fun talking to my birds and listening to the mumbles as they work out words and then surprise me with them.

You've done well getting her sorted and happier now. I hope she stays that way for you.





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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
 
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She fell asleep in my hand yesterday it was so cute. And she tries to steal anything I have and always wants my drinks. Brat lol
I have a couple older foster kittens still and the one kept climbing into her open cage and just chilling. She would see him and look at me like "Are you gunna do something about this?" The kitten would look at her like "wtf do I do now?" Lol
Thankfully most of my animals are use to small animals being "siblings" and the most they know what to do with birds is watch them. My oldest cat use to get climbed on by rats all the time and she would just lay there and give me a "Really?" look lol
Definitely glad she's back to normal I was worried I made her into another bitey bird that no one likes. And happy to know I was right about practicing when she mutters!
Aren't conures not known to talk much? And females even less so? I talk to them all all day so I was hoping she would pick some things up but so many things in just a few months is more than I expected. Of course it's never on camera lol
She's totally an SPX too lol super fast figure 8s never hitting a thing and landing exactly where she aims lol with a stick in her beak this morning too

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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-17-2018, 01:45 PM



 
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Awwww, she's so sweet these days. I love that she sleeps in your hand and mooches everything off you.

Funny her watching the kitten and the kitten chilling in her cage. She seems like a whole new bird these days, I'm glad she's come around and is being a good girl for you. Have fun! Great pics too!





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