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Please ... talk me out of a conure (update #18 or so ...)

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  • #21
    Originally posted by AllWeatherGal View Post
    That'll be difficult for me, too It is suuuch a long time. However, I understand what you're getting at about positive reinforcement and will discipline myself.

    Whether I can influence BF is another issue. He grew up with birds AND is doing all the work, so I feel like he has the right to make some decisions. (I have already decided to take it in stride if he becomes her favorite person.)
    Okay, okay - even just 15 minutes of ignoring is better than nothing - lol!! But do work on getting BF to agree to ignore her when he gets nipped as well, otherwise it's just going to get worse. Birds that nip aren't just going through "a stage" that they'll "grow out of". If you don't stop it now, it'll get worse; won't go away by itself, & definitely won't go away by itself if BF doesn't take it seriously.

    I grew up with birds as well; raised & bred Budgies, Cockatiels, Rainbow Lorikeets, Red-Rumped Parakeets, & Australian finches; plus enjoyed both a Quaker & now a Citron-Crested Cockatoo singly as pets. It's very easy to let parrot-family birds get away with murder, but just like with any other pet, a little passive discipline right from the start goes a long way towards a happy r


    • #22
      Figuring out how to stop biting in birds first requires you figure out why the bird is biting. For example, if the bird is biting for you to go away and you give it a time out, you're only rewarding the bite. If your bird is biting because it is over excited when your'e playing with it, then in that case stopping play for a few seconds (it really never has to be minutes or 1/2 an hour -the animal is not thinking about the consequence of a behavior that happened 15 minutes ago).

      In my experience small birds bite often because they feel threatened. Realize that you are a large predator so it is easy for your small bird to distrust your hands - especially if you're new to birds and your movements are staccato and you yourself are worried about being bitten. I say that of course not knowing your bird, OP. In that case I would handle the bird at it's comfort level and only gradually escalate to hands on. For example, I had a Hahns that was a biter, but he loved being scritched. So in the beginning I gave him a step up stick to stand on and scratched his head feathers. He loved that. If I gave him my hand step on he would bite.

      I currently have large birds. Their dynamics are a bit different. But still, my current foster did not trust my motives right away. I encourage her to come to me instead of chasing her. This has improved our rapport a great deal. I also take advantage of times when she wants my help -she has flown somewhere and needs help getting back for example -to give scritches on the way back her perch.

      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


      • Original Poster

        Thanks for your advice Bacardi and Paula ... I do think that my movements may be a bit quick for her ... and that she hasn't had consistent handling up until now. I think she gets excited when we play. When she wants to go somewhere she turns and stares at it with her whole body ... it's pretty clear

        I think part of it is insecurity ... when she steps up, she reaches first with her beak to "steady" ... which isn't a problem. It's when she's ON and then reaches for the fleshy bits

        It could also be over-tired/over-stimulated ... she loves to be scratched, until she doesn't.

        I've gotten a few books about conure behavior and care and will work to understand how her needs are different than the Quaker's. She is learning from him, though. She watched to see what he did with his bell pepper core and then went for her own.


        • #24
          Oooh a bell pepper core! Brilliant, I'm going to use that!

          He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
            Oooh a bell pepper core! Brilliant, I'm going to use that!
            Max *ADORES* them. As a result, I've never eaten so many bell peppers in my life, but they're good for all of us. And I'm so happy not to throw away such a big part of the vegetable.