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Thread: my conure is scared

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    Unhappy my conure is scared

    This is horrible but my normally very loving and kind wife got upset with our conure because it nipped her a couple of times. She aggressisvely put him back in the cage and yelled at him quite loudly. She feels so bad about it now but now the bird is afraid and angry at her. When she comes near the cage he paces and seems very upset, biting at his toys with unusual fervor. We have tried to take him out a couple of times since, he is fine and normal with me but actually attacks her. First biting her hand or whatever is closest to him and then heading for her face biting her lip hard. She has tried so far to talk nice to him thru the cage and to feed him treats also thru the cage. I was hoping for any other advice. It has only been a short time but now she is afraid to test if he has improved cause he attacks her face like that. Well thanks in advance for the help. Wil we have to get him a new home???

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    Beau's girl Hatched! Brock's Avatar
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    Re: my conure is scared

    Your wife has broken the trust that was built up between her and your conure, and that is something that will take a lot of patience and time to heal. The way she has been acting since - talking to him and giving him treats while he is in his 'safe zone' ie the cage is good. It can be frustrating to take it slow, but that is the best thing you can do.

    What kind of conure is he? And how is it that he can get to her face? I definitely think if she is slowly trying to handle the conure again that he not be allowed on her shoulder or near her face. She can test his improvement by how he reacts to her hand.

    Since the conure still trusts you, try spending time with your wife in front of the conure so that he sees that you trust and love her. Don't praise him or pay attention when he acts aggressive toward her - but be very vocal and happy when he isn't. Make her the only one that gives him his very favorite treat. If she can do chores or day-to-day things in the same room as him, that is also something good to do - I think that the more you are around a bird, the more apt they are to want involved with what you're doing. Another way to curb aggression in general is to give him lots of excersize and toys to destroy, but the main thing in my eyes is for her to spend time around him.

    Definitely don't give up on him! A new home will only depress and confuse him :/ he still loves you. Keep us updated!
    .~Brock~.


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    Re: my conure is scared

    Thanks for the help so far. He is a green cheeked conure. He gets to her face because he gets on her hand and then either quickly runs toward her face or flies(he needs his wings clipped)

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    Beau's girl Hatched! Brock's Avatar
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    Re: my conure is scared

    My pleasure

    Make sure when she has him on her hand that she keeps her elbow pointed downwards so that he cannot climb to her shoulder. The 'Egyptian grip' way of holding a bird on your hand, if you haven't heard of it, is meant to keep it on your hand. I did a google search and couldn't find any pictures of it, but I will scan or take one when I get home for you if you're not familiar with that technique. Basically, you hold your hand straight with your thumb at rest, elbow down, with your forearm as close to vertical as is comfortable. I'd hold him around your neck-height, but not close enough he can reach or easily jump to face or shoulder.

    Clipping might be a good idea - I recommend having an outside party like a competent groomer or a vet do the clipping so your conure doesn't associate that with you or your wife. Trimming toenails has a similar effect and is crucial to keep their foot muscles healthy.

    If you want to keep your conure flighted, I still suggest getting him clipped until the behavior issues with your wife are resolved and then allowing him to grow his flight feathers back.

    I have a green cheek too (as you probably guessed from my signature). He's nutso about balsa wood and will shred a block in about 10 minutes! Pick some up and if he lunges or bites at your wife, have her give him a block to tear up.
    .~Brock~.


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    Question Re: my conure is scared

    Should I get the bird out of the cage and then let it jump to her hand say with a treat in it or should she get him out first? I think I know what your saying with the hand positon but if you have time to post a picture later that would be great.

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    Beau's girl Hatched! Brock's Avatar
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    Re: my conure is scared

    I think you should be the one to get the bird out. He probably won't want to step to her from you, but her trying to convince him to step from the cage could agitate him. Beau my green cheek doesn't like too many strangers, but he trusts me, so if I tell him to step up to someone from my hand, he will even though he doesn't want to.

    Make sure your wife keeps her hand steady, even if he looks like he's going to bite. He will not step to her if he doesn't think it will be a solid perch. If he does bite, have her react as little as possible, ideally not at all. She can push into the bite or gently move his beak off her finger with her thumb. I know it sucks to be bitten, but it happens. Also when he does step to her that you both reward him by praise and have her give him a treat after he comes to her.

    This is what the Egyptian grip looks like:



    And this is a close-up of the way you hold your hand:

    Last edited by Brock; 04-12-2007 at 07:34 PM. Reason: updated photo URLs
    .~Brock~.


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    Re: my conure is scared

    Conures have this height issue, wherein they equate height with power or stature. Try putting the bird on the floor and make your wife get him up, like lettting the conure step up on her hand. I've tried this with my conure who was particularly mad at my sister. We placed her on the floor and she timidly walked up to my sister's hand and stepped up, instead of attacking her hand like she usually does.

    Also, they're usually wary of new people whom they don't know, and so when they're in a group that is full of new faces, any slightly familiar face will become their bestfriend. After clipping the bird's wings, try taking him out when friends are over, and then leave the room so that only your wife is present, along with all of the unfamiliar faces. He will bond to her instantly. Goodluck!


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    Re: my conure is scared

    Most bird articles now suggest that the "height dominance" theory is not correct. However, the bird WILL feel "insecure" about being on the floor, especially if the wings are clipped; this should make it easier for the "non preferred" family member to get the bird to step up...

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    Re: my conure is scared

    Height dominance is a myth, I think. BUT...I agree, placing him on the floor will make him feel very insecure. Thus, he may run over and step onto her hand politely. Not a bad first step!

    It may be slow going though. Remember that birds can hold fears or grudges for a while. She needs to keep working with him and wait for him to feel more comfortable. I agree that she alone should offer favorite treats for a while.
    Atrus---Wesley---Tolkien
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    Re: my conure is scared

    Holly 424 and Notredame bird---I see you both have sun conures. I brought a baby sun home last Sunday and would like some advice regarding transitioning from a seed diet to mostly pellets with fresh food and seeds as supplements. I know how to DO it, gradually and all that, but I'd sure appreciate some suggestions regarding different types of pellets that might be successful. Cayenne is not eating a whole lot of the pellets the breeder said she liked, which is Zupreem fruit.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Linda

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    Re: my conure is scared

    Thanks for the suggestions. We have not had a lot of time to take our little guy out to have his wings clipped. When we do we will try out your tips. In the meantime my wife continues to spend time in the room and feeds him treats. He seems to be less aggressive so far. Will let you know what happens when we find time to clip his wings, hopefully real soon.

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    Re: my conure is scared

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwisoo View Post
    Holly 424 and Notredame bird---I see you both have sun conures. I brought a baby sun home last Sunday and would like some advice regarding transitioning from a seed diet to mostly pellets with fresh food and seeds as supplements. I know how to DO it, gradually and all that, but I'd sure appreciate some suggestions regarding different types of pellets that might be successful. Cayenne is not eating a whole lot of the pellets the breeder said she liked, which is Zupreem fruit.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
    Linda
    Hi there If you start your own thread you will be more likely to get the advice you need,they may not come back to this thread.Also try a search for the topic and you will find lots of similar topics to help also.Good luck

    Surrounded by people who love life, you love it too;
    surrounded by people who don't, you don't.
    ~Mignon McLaughlin

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    Egg's Cracking... Kiwisoo's Avatar
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    Re: my conure is scared

    Problem is, I started a thread and only got one reply. :/

    Linda

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    Re: my conure is scared

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwisoo View Post
    Problem is, I started a thread and only got one reply. :/

    Linda
    Go bump it up(just post in it to bump it back to recent threads),perhaps no-one was on at the time,or no-one has any ideas.We aren't all experts,just parronts

    Surrounded by people who love life, you love it too;
    surrounded by people who don't, you don't.
    ~Mignon McLaughlin

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