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Pretty_Poe
Sun Conure
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Join date : 2012-01-25
Age : 30
Location : Canada
My Birds : Poe - Yellow Sided GCC
Doppler - Pearl Whiteface Cockatiel
Posts : 333

PostSubject: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Wed May 23, 2012 11:43 am

I feel so bad...

Poe hasn't been spending NEARLY as much time with us lately. He's molting - and I am hoping that that is the cause of his behavior. He's become really, really, REALLY nippy. My hands.... they are like little conure shredding toys.

He comes out of his cage, flutters over to the couch, jumps on my shoulder, kisses me, runs down my arm, and CHOMP! Tests how difficult it is to remove a human finger at the first knuckle. Then, he gets placed back in his cage while I check for blood. And repeat.

I have no idea what to do.

He's also begun lunging at Doppler.

Doppler still gets nervous when Poe gets to close, so he hisses and backs away. Poe seems to take this as a challenge and lunges for Doppler, generally aiming for the wings or abdomen. I'm not sure if he's playing, or actually angry... but generally breaking up these episodes has also resulted in Conure chomps on my hands....

So now they're not allowed out at the same time anymore.

I'm really hoping it's just the molting. He still plays, still gives kisses, snuggles, honks, and is still my super sweet baby.... he just seems to be testing how hard he can bite me before I flinch. Which is frustrating, and results in him not coming out as much because I now have to split the time between him and Doppler. Also, I don't like being bitten.

On a side note: Doppler is doing GREAT. Last night I had him out on the top of his cage and he became desperate enough for my love that he made his first attempt at flying to me - which he failed miserably at, but it's the thought that counts!

He demands scritches from anyone and everyone who touches him by bowing and proceeding to headbutt their chin; and is now allowing me to rub his beak, wings, feet, etc etc. As long as I'm touching him, he's happy.

He steps up on first request, and whistles up a storm. He also screams whenever someone comes to the door. My little guard birdy lol!
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 57
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Wed May 23, 2012 1:34 pm

GCCs have a reputation for becoming nippy. Beak first, think later... So far the most successful strategy for me has been to avoid getting bitten as much as possible and try to react minimally when I do (which is far easier said than done). Those little beaks are pretty strong.

Try to figure out why he's nipping -- he's presumably getting something out of it. Either he doesn't want to interact and desires to be put back (in which case, putting him back is him training you to do that on command!) or he finds the drama amusing, or something like that. It's not personal, I'm not sure they really appreciate that it HURTS, it's something they do that gets a response and it's the response that is inadvertently rewarding the behavior.

The other possibility is that it is over-enthusiastic preening, in which case you may be able to shape the behavior through gentle discouragement combined with enthusiastically rewarding the behavior you do want.

In fact, the more you can concentrate on reinforcing behavior you want, the better. But unfortunately once a negative thing has been learned, it can take a long time to go away. I've had ups and downs with Scooter.

I will say that being very confident does seem to bring out some of this bossy behavior. During the move and since we are in the new house, Scooter has been the sweetest he's ever been since the first few months after we got him. They are brassy little birds.
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BratBirds
Parrotlet
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Join date : 2012-04-23
Age : 71
My Birds : Timneh African Grey-Peanut
Sun Conure-Skittles
Tiel-Mariah
Posts : 70

PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Thu May 24, 2012 11:41 pm

I was treated like that during my Sun's first hormonal season. My house was a blood bath~ LOL.

The next season I started to return him to his cage (also when I trained him to go into the cage on command) but would leave him there for the rest of the day.

The last two seasons have not been bad at all. I wish I could say no bites, but the blood has been a drop here and there instead of buckets! LOL
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Vikki
Scarlet Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-19
Age : 53
Location : BLAIRSTOWN NJ
My Birds : Sebastian - 7 yr old Harlequin Macaw
Arthur - 12 yr old Jardines Parrot
Pickle - 16 yr old Hahn's Macaw
Ecko - 26 yr old Hahn's Macaw

Plus the 180+ various bird from finch to Hyacinth at the rescue where I volunteer and live...
Posts : 811

PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Fri Aug 24, 2012 2:26 pm

It sounds hormonal to me, especially since he's molting. But as SnS said, some birds just love the drama and reaction they get and do it for fun. If he bites once while you're sitting there, try not to react. If he continues to do it several times in a row to get a rise out of you, put him back with a strong "No biting" (I say this instead of just "No" because no is used for too many unspecified things)

If he tends to only do it when you're lounging on the couch, maybe leave him caged while you are doing that and only let him out if you are doing something else. Change the routine a bit. Sometimes that confuses or challenges them enough that they forget to bite and are more interested in their new surroundings.

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VickiNumbers
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-21
Age : 50
Location : Denver, CO, United States
My Birds : Allie ~ Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure
Mickey ~ Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Sam ~ Blue Front Amazon
Caesar ~ Bronze Wing Pionus (actually my HUSBAND's bird *grin*)
Mack ~ Lutino Cockatiel
Forté and Duncan ~ Budgerigars
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PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:00 pm

How old is Poe?

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"Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible forever, for what you have tamed."
~Antoine de Saint Exupery

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....... ~*~ Vicki ~*~
.... Allie.... Sam.... Caesar
...... Mack...... Micky


http://BunchesOfBudgies.blogspot.com/
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Pretty_Poe
Sun Conure
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Join date : 2012-01-25
Age : 30
Location : Canada
My Birds : Poe - Yellow Sided GCC
Doppler - Pearl Whiteface Cockatiel
Posts : 333

PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:03 pm

He is now about 9 months old. Ears are his favourote snack.
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VickiNumbers
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-21
Age : 50
Location : Denver, CO, United States
My Birds : Allie ~ Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure
Mickey ~ Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Sam ~ Blue Front Amazon
Caesar ~ Bronze Wing Pionus (actually my HUSBAND's bird *grin*)
Mack ~ Lutino Cockatiel
Forté and Duncan ~ Budgerigars
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PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:28 pm

That's what I thought - I was remembering he was a little bit younger than Allie.

Allie is turning a year old in 12 days! She's JUST NOW coming out of a nippy stage that's lasted about 3-4 months. I honestly wanted to wring her scrawny little feathery neck.

Like Poe, she's been molting (still is), and I don't know if it's her or me or a combination of us both... but what I ended up doing is just giving her space for a while. (In other words, avoiding her!) When I would interact with her, it was on MY terms, not hers. I'd ask her to step-up, which she'd do very nicely, then I'd be EXCEEDINGLY gentle with her - stroking her head and neck so gently I could hardly feel it, gently scratching her beak, (no scritches, she hates them), talking disgustingly sweet, then popping her right back down before she had the chance to nip. I've been using that method for about 4-6 weeks now and I haven't seen blood (from her!) in a week or two. She's become as gentle as a lamb lately... she's been the bird I've always wanted her to be! LOL! I can still pick her up over her back and flip her over like I always have, but she just seems to be a far more gentle bird.

What's surprised me is that all of this has happened with Mickey hanging around too - and doing anything with two of the little devils is twice as challenging.

Anyway, I think part of what you're dealing with is a phase they may go through at this age. I'll be interested to see if Poe grows out of it at around a year and if Mickey has the same issues that Allie and Poe have had. Keep me posted on your progress, will you?

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"Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible forever, for what you have tamed."
~Antoine de Saint Exupery

.....
....... ~*~ Vicki ~*~
.... Allie.... Sam.... Caesar
...... Mack...... Micky


http://BunchesOfBudgies.blogspot.com/
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henpecked
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-18
Age : 62
Location : NC/Fla
My Birds : Jake hen YN (his)
Stacy hen YN (hers)
Kia male Panama
Kong hen Panama
Nitro male YN
Micky male Red Lored
Binkie hen YN
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PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:17 pm

IMO poe is testing the waters to see if the flock needs a new leader. Vicki#s strategy is working because she's calling the shots. She making the rules. Poe is taking over, don't tolerate it . Be strong ,be in control. it's a natural thing for them to check if the strongest bird is leading the flock. If no one puts him "in his place" he'll figure he's the big bird and call the shots. Notice i started this with IMO, i don't have a conure. I'll leave the hard headed little cusses to you. (Hey #'s)
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VickiNumbers
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-21
Age : 50
Location : Denver, CO, United States
My Birds : Allie ~ Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure
Mickey ~ Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Sam ~ Blue Front Amazon
Caesar ~ Bronze Wing Pionus (actually my HUSBAND's bird *grin*)
Mack ~ Lutino Cockatiel
Forté and Duncan ~ Budgerigars
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PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Thu Aug 30, 2012 10:39 pm

I think you may be right Capt (hey!), but with conures I'm starting to think that taking the "firm" upper hand may not be the best way to go with them. Like you said, I'm calling the shots with Allie, but I'm calling them quietly. I'm in control but I'm wearing my kid gloves. Dont get me wrong - I'm still grabby with my birds. I think that's an important thing - I need to be able to "grab" the birds and handle them ad lib, but I think that it's too easy for people to hear the words, "be strong, be in control," and want to apply those words to their birds in the same way they'd apply them to their dogs - and I don't think you can do that.

At least, that's what I'M finding with MY flock. As Deb says though, YMMV. Smile


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"Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible forever, for what you have tamed."
~Antoine de Saint Exupery

.....
....... ~*~ Vicki ~*~
.... Allie.... Sam.... Caesar
...... Mack...... Micky


http://BunchesOfBudgies.blogspot.com/
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VickiNumbers
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-21
Age : 50
Location : Denver, CO, United States
My Birds : Allie ~ Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure
Mickey ~ Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Sam ~ Blue Front Amazon
Caesar ~ Bronze Wing Pionus (actually my HUSBAND's bird *grin*)
Mack ~ Lutino Cockatiel
Forté and Duncan ~ Budgerigars
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Posts : 1521

PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:01 pm

LMAO!!! I just realized I've been carrying on a conversation about an issue three months old!

How are the chompy's going now? Any better?


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"Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible forever, for what you have tamed."
~Antoine de Saint Exupery

.....
....... ~*~ Vicki ~*~
.... Allie.... Sam.... Caesar
...... Mack...... Micky


http://BunchesOfBudgies.blogspot.com/
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Pretty_Poe
Sun Conure
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Join date : 2012-01-25
Age : 30
Location : Canada
My Birds : Poe - Yellow Sided GCC
Doppler - Pearl Whiteface Cockatiel
Posts : 333

PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:16 pm

Less chompy somedays. More chompy others. We've started avoiding him, and only letting him see us on our terms.... but he still tests on occasion.

My poor fingers!
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ScooterNScotty
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 57
Location : Southern California
My Birds : Scooter
* "Normal" male Green-cheeked Conure
* (hatched 3/2010)

Scotty
*male Cape Parrot
*(HD unk ~2008)

Blanco (Caballo Blanco)
*Whitefaced male cockatiel
*(HD unk, found 4/2012)
Posts : 2248

PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:50 pm

VickiNumbers wrote:
I think you may be right Capt (hey!), but with conures I'm starting to think that taking the "firm" upper hand may not be the best way to go with them. Like you said, I'm calling the shots with Allie, but I'm calling them quietly.

This is the conclusion I've come to with Scooter. I don't let him make all the decisions, but I don't make him do what I want when I want it all the time either. The net result is that he comes out and goes in within a few minutes of when I want him to and it's probably been 6 months since I've needed a bandaid. It's not that I let him boss me around, but I use diplomacy to get my way, not sheer force of will.

But they are complicated critters IMO, conures, at least the small green variety...
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VickiNumbers
Hyacinth Macaw
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Join date : 2011-05-21
Age : 50
Location : Denver, CO, United States
My Birds : Allie ~ Yellow Sided Green Cheek Conure
Mickey ~ Turquoise Green Cheek Conure
Sam ~ Blue Front Amazon
Caesar ~ Bronze Wing Pionus (actually my HUSBAND's bird *grin*)
Mack ~ Lutino Cockatiel
Forté and Duncan ~ Budgerigars
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Posts : 1521

PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Fri Aug 31, 2012 12:11 pm

I've interacted with a few conures at the store since I started being "gushy" with Allie. SO FAR, every one of them, even the "biters," have responded positively to my "method" (if that's what it is) of handling them. So far, I haven't been bit and I've been able to accomplish what I've needed to accomplish.

Capt and Deb are right... Capt, when he said they are hard-headed, and Deb when she said diplomacy works better than brute force. I think conures ARE hard headed, but I also think they've got absolutely huge and incredibly soft hearts. It's just really easy to forget that when we're being subjected to their strong wills and lethal beaks.

_________________

"Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible forever, for what you have tamed."
~Antoine de Saint Exupery

.....
....... ~*~ Vicki ~*~
.... Allie.... Sam.... Caesar
...... Mack...... Micky


http://BunchesOfBudgies.blogspot.com/
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idlepirate
Lovebird
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Join date : 2011-07-03
Age : 32
Location : UK
My Birds : Lorenzo - Blue Throat Conure
Posts : 107

PostSubject: Re: Chompy, chompy, chompy....   Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:53 pm

You can try and make a fist as well when birds try to bite fingers, then they can't really get a grip of anything to bite, they try but it's very hard in a first!Smile drives them wild. Then you are also not pulling back so hopefully he won't get that big fun OW reaction out of you and might give it up.
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