My Green Check Is Very Affectionate, Lovely But Deadly !!!need Some Help

brogax

Regular Member
I've had the green cheek conure for over a week, he was very lovely initially and no biting at all but lately the biting is slightly increasing.. and altough it is said that conures make easier pets for beginners it feels personally for me that the difficulty level between IRN's and green check conure is massively different with IRN's being a lot easier to handle and understand...

Biting/Aggressive at times
- When he/she is angry she would start screaming flapping wings and kinda put head up before biting ( the screaming I'd describe as growling'ish?) This happens when someone is putting a hand near the perch even outside the cage and also, he/she loves sitting on me and I cant let him/her do anything else also now my hands became a hot topic for the bird whilst he's on me I can pet him sometimes if he wants but sometimes I cant put hands on myself he would come straight to it and bite as if he is defending something !!!

As already previously suggested, I tried touching his beak and legs whilst he bites but thats not any helpful at all the little guy can bite quite harshly !!! does some mild damage to the skin as well what would be good way to tell him that biting is not allowed? I dont pull my finger i push it towards him when he bites so he would stop as someone suggested as well that if we pull fingers away it would show that biting is okay.

A way to save relationship between birds?
One of my IRN's seem to enjoy his company as I put the cages together, but one female is not keen on having this bird in the house at all as soon as she sees Kiwi she would charge full speed at him - I don't let them out of cages together and when he's in cage they're not bothered but if he/she is near them she would charge/snap at him, is there a way to ''force'' or make this relationship between birds become non-aggressive?

Food / Feeding
We have some issues with veggies, fruits and seeds the bird is quite picky but he doesn't want the formula anymore either it seems he does not even like millet all he eats is sunflowers, any sort of nuts sun from seeds and from veggie/fruits only apple, peppers,carrots & peas - I tried so many different things and learnt that banana,strawberies and raspberries he cannot stand !!


How can I make him/her more independent ?!!?!

We still do not like the idea of going to cage, the idea of being on my shoulder/chest seems to be most attractive for him to cuddle with my neck and sometimes hands -- he initiates cuddling up with hands first unless he's angry he would bite.

I cannot do anything with him, he's not keen on perching anywhere except me, I've bought bunch of new toys for him and IRN's try to mix things up and out of 20 toys he seems to enjoy only 1 ( hanging ring ) he's very protective about this toy as well...

I bought a table perch, if I put him there and give food - ok he will stay but sometimes he/she would fly towards me even when he's eating and then go back to take food and come to me again how do I make him interested in anything else aside of sitting on my shoulder?!?
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Kiwi is still quite young but the habit of using his beak he will grow out of. having ringnecks and conures they are so different in most ways of behaviour. food wise for the dried food side mine have Johnson a Jeff lean and fit mix, millet they do not want once they get older. it took time for my ringnecks to accept the green cheek but that was more owing to the green cheek George trying to be the boss but they all are ok together now. green cheeks are not the essayist birds to train as there attention span is quite short so extra patients is required and try to train them for about three minutes each time but you can have short sessions more often. I will tag @Roz for her ideas on training Kiwi
 

DizzyBlue

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Hey there sounds like a few items that seem to be linked together.
think with the food is keep offering it don't just think ok doesn't like that and move on to the next thing more likely hasn't realised its food with some right yummy favours. You need to do the sharing yummy thing … you nibble make loud oooo hmmm nom nom nom noises and then offer to share and and continue with the hmmm ooo arrr noises. Daft but it does work. I feed fruit and veggies first thing in the morning they get that offered when they are most hungry and I remove the seed and water bowls go wash them up and lean them and pop them back in so first thing offered is the fresh fruits and veggies. If little one is only targeting something with sunflowers seeds go for a very low sunflower seed content so there isn't a lot in there.
Training wise …. you need our Roz :)
@Roz
 

Roz

Regular Member
As you have discovered, there really isn't a starter bird or a good bird for beginners. They are all so different. Kobe my Pionus is WAY more difficult than the Amazons. And I chose a Pionus as I read they are meant to be gentle birds.... fabulous around children. I wouldn't allow Kobe near any children!

Biting/Aggression
It sounds like you are experiencing displaced aggression when he bites you for touching anything else including your own body. Maybe he doesn't realise that your body is part of you too.... that you are just your head, and your arms are a means to get there. Bobbie my Red-lored Amazon also shows displaced aggression when I go to touch the remote controls or a kleenex or if another bird comes too close. It means I get bitten. I just slowly worked on desensitising her to the various objects by watching her body language and gently reaching out to touch said object, but stopping WAY before so as her body language remains relaxed. Next time I will reach out and try to get a tad closer to the object. It's taken a while, but now I can touch the remotes with her on me and not get bitten.

If you get screaming and flapping wings when you put your hand near a perch when he's in his cage, don't put your hand near the perch. Desensitise him to the presence of your hand. It sounds like being close to your face is reinforcing. Try bringing your hand towards him gradually and stop WAY before his body language changes. Then reinforce his relaxed body language by putting your face near him and speaking softly to him. Move your face away and bring your hand a little closer. Again, reinforce his relaxed body language by bringing your face up to him and speaking soft things to him. You see how you can gradually expose him to the thing he doesn't like... and how you reinforce/reward his calm body language?

As for pushing your hand into him if he does bite, that only serves to make it less painful for you as the bird is forced to let go. Pulling away is more painful for you as the flesh is torn. Both these aren't pleasant for the bird and best avoided. Better to try to avoid the bite in the first place, because the more he is allowed to bite, the more he is learning to bite.

Food
Ok - no more formula which is good. So you started with mashed peas and corn as the breeder advised. I would slowly introduce other foods with the mashed peas and corn. Try putting in on top of mashed sweet potato and mixing it in a little so he tries the sweet potato. Then stop mashing it so thoroughly. Add the carrots and peppers. Yay - these are new! Add one more new thing at a time to his bowl of the things he does eat. Don't add too many things at once as he won't recognise these as food. For example my Kobe was also a picky eater when a baby. I found he liked peas, so to get him to try other foods I used to squash peas into/onto them. We slowly built up the number of food he would eat that way.

He likes sunflowers. Try soaking/sprouting the sunflowers. Again they will be something he still recognises, but sprouted are much more healthy. I found Kobe liked sprouted sunflowers. So I put them on top of other sprouts and foods to get him to taste them. Kobe's main diet now is sprouts. Here is a thread about how to sprout:
https://theparrotclub.co.uk/community/index.php?threads/how-to-sprout-step-by-step-guide.30053/

Because he likes dry sunflowers and nuts (try to keep away from peanuts) these might be good to use as reinforcers for training. Will he take a sunflower or piece of nut from your fingers? If so you could reinforce his going into his cage by giving him some sunflower seeds through the bars of the cage. I would look into providing him with pellets too as just picking out the sunflowers and nuts is not a balanced diet. TOPs is a good brand as it is totally natural - no artificial vits or minerals:
https://www.northernparrots.com/tops-parrot-food-small-pellets-prod570905a/?nosto=categorypage-nosto-1&sessionID=undefined
Now is the time to expose him to different foods whilst he is still young.

Kobe too would just fly to me rather than eat (even now!), so I have to shut him in his cage for his meal times. I used to sit by his cage trying to encourage him to eat. Kind of a mistake as for a long time he'd only eat with me right next to his cage. Even now he eats better if I sit next to him. I am trying to get him to eat on his own by moving further and further away from him (over months!).

More independent
Try teaching him to play. I'd get some toy making parts from the Natural Bird Product Company.
https://www.naturalbirdco.co.uk/ourshop/cat_523266-Toy-Making-Parts.html
Things like paper rope, balsa wood pieces, bitty bagels, parrot chips, wooden beads, leather strips etc. and play with him... tug 'o war etc. It would help keep him off your shoulder and get him interested in toys. The pieces that he especially likes you could thread together on the leather strips or paper rope and make small toys for him to hang in his cage. My birds much prefer the small toys I make for them than the shop bought ones. Here's a pic of one of Kobe's toys I made, the parts mostly from the Natural Bird Product Company:


Relationship between birds

You can pair good experiences for each bird in the presence of the other. For example if both birds found treats reinforcing/rewarding, you could feed each their favourite treat whilst they were at a distance enough to remain relaxed. You would keep reinforcing each's relaxed body language with the treats as you gradually brought them closer. This could take days or weeks or longer. The trouble is if the IRN has already learned to chase Kiwi, she cannot unlearn it. I have the same problem with Bobbie the Red-lored Amazon chasing Kobe the Pionus. I will keep trying to reinforce her relaxed body language around him, but it is difficult. Bobbie loves skritches and so does Kobe so whilst one is on my knee and the other on the back of the sofa as we watch TV, I am skritching both. Relationships can change. Kobe used to chase Ollie (Amazon) and now they are fairly good friends.

I better stop there as I have written an essay which might be too long to post as one message!!!
 
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Roz

Regular Member
If Kiwi likes to go up to the top of the cage, make his sleeping quarters IN his cage more comfortable. You could get him a platform. Look at all these options:
https://www.naturalbirdco.co.uk/ourshop/cat_586974-FlatSpecial-Needs-Perches.html

You could put a couple of cosy corners where the platform is:
https://www.northernparrots.com/cosy-corner-fleece-bird-blanket-medium-prod373233/?refSrc=373235&nosto=productpage-nosto-1

Kobe has cosy corners in his night cage that he snuggles up to.

Most birds roost in the highest point of the cage, so although you provided a box and soft clothes on the bottom of the cage, he will unlikely sleep in it.

Baby birds are not so sure footed, so maybe get some cotton rope perches instead of all wood. That's what I provided for Kobe. He still has them.

Re his ring (on the other thread) - I would get an avian vet to check it. The breeder may have used the wrong size. A new bird should have a well bird exam anyway just to make sure he has no diseases and so that you know what his "normal" is, in case he gets sick in the future.
 

brogax

Regular Member
@Michael Reynolds @Roz @DizzyBlue

Thanks for your help I really appreciate !!!

Might be off topic to this, any puzzle toys you would recommend where it would make them work for food? - with IRN's i have tried numerous but they never were interested working for food and cant find the ones I already bought so planning on re-stocking more parrot toys and change them between the birds regularly to make it more exciting for them

Also, can you please help me understand what the bird means with this?

I just pushed the finger towards him to show what happens when my fingers go near my chest, he obviously is instantly charging on my hand to perch but now would attack my fingers even when perching


he's quite angry at hands now, I don't think I or anyone that came to my house did anything wrong to him but the biting is really not pleasant, he does this a bit more extreme when he's perching on my shouders or chest
 

brogax

Regular Member
@Michael Reynolds @Roz @DizzyBlue

Thanks for your help I really appreciate !!!

Might be off topic to this, any puzzle toys you would recommend where it would make them work for food? - with IRN's i have tried numerous but they never were interested working for food and cant find the ones I already bought so planning on re-stocking more parrot toys and change them between the birds regularly to make it more exciting for them

Also, can you please help me understand what the bird means with this?

I just pushed the finger towards him to show what happens when my fingers go near my chest, he obviously is instantly charging on my hand to perch but now would attack my fingers even when perching


he's quite angry at hands now, I don't think I or anyone that came to my house did anything wrong to him but the biting is really not pleasant, he does this a bit more extreme when he's perching on my shouders or chest
Any clues if this'd be interesting for conure?

https://www.northernparrots.com/creative-foraging-parrot-toy-kit-prod371274/?refSrc=3353&nosto=productpage-nosto-1&sessionID=undefined
 

Roz

Regular Member
Well, in the video, he doesn't look "angry" to me. I think if he was angry he would bite very hard rather than just nibbling. I know you were doing that just to show us, but if he always bites when you present your hand like that, don't do it. Remember the more he bites in any given scenario the more he is learning to bite. Do all you can to avoid him biting.

What about covering your hands with a piece of material like a tea towel and gradually exposing him to them... just a tiny bit at a time. That's what I did with Bobbie who would would try to bite my toes at every given opportunity. I covered my feet with a cushion and would just gradually show her more and more feet. I did not move my feet as that would encourage chasing behaviour. It took a while, but now she is fine around my toes. Moving objects are fun to chase... still objects are not.

Those foraging toys are big... probably better for your IRNs. None of my guys were interested in them, so I gave them to someone with an African Grey. Kobe has a little pot that he has to lift the lid to get his piece of almond. Ollie and Bobbie have a Barrel of Fun which might be just OK size wise for Kiwi:
https://www.northernparrots.com/barrel-of-fun-entertaining-foraging-toy-for-parrots-prod37801/?sessionid=undefined

But you can also make holes in a piece of soft balsa wood and press pieces of nut or pine nuts into that. You can also add big beads to their dry food bowls so they have to look for their seed or pellets. You could cover their food bowls with a piece of paper that they have to tear away before they can eat. You would have to introduce this slowly... just cover a part of the bowl to start with, then more and more until the whole thing is covered. You could wrap treats in pieces of coffee filter paper or fairy cake paper and put them in their dry bowls. You could put a few sunflower or safflower seed in a cut down paper straw and twist the ends like a cracker. You would need to teach and show the bird what you are doing... ie. leave the paper open to start with, then wrap tighter and tighter. Or get a Holee Roller and stick pieces of vegetables inside. Here's a small one:
https://www.northernparrots.com/holey-roley-bird-safe-rubber-foraging-parrot-toy-small-prod344619/?refSrc=36409&nosto=productpage-nosto-1&sessionID=undefined
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
This I must agree wit Roz is not an angry bird and also moving your fingers like you are on the video would even make my most tame bird react similar. Roz has given some good advice. and what I will say is approach slowly talk gently and calmly and try not to move your hand or fingers so quick in fact try not to move them (you are exciting your bird), you want your bird to know your hand is safe and sturdy so it fills safe. just that short video tells me a lot and with the experience I have over many years I am certain I could get it to accept my hand very quickly, please follow the advice given by @Roz and I am sure you will find her advice very helpful.
 

brogax

Regular Member
@Michael Reynolds sorry got another question to throw at you if you have a few minutes ! :emoji_sweat_smile:

My green cheek is by far the most playful, tame and affectionate bird I have ever seen, we still struggling with the idea of being in the cage I keep him out of the cage most of the time now unless I work, as I work from home sometimes I am unable to keep him out as he is aggressively seeking for attention or standing on my keyboard and waiting to be played with !!!

Lately, a lot of toys & perches been thrown out as they were quite chewed and destroyed - was wondering if you could suggest some perches or things to keep the little guy active ? Need to fill in a bit of space in the cage and also spread the toys that are still alive a little apart as everything is in the same corner, was looking for toys to order but most of the things he has shown interests its only where he can chew I'd rather have some kinda puzzle/activity toys for him as well.

& His/Her's beak started peeling quite badly, have not seen this before nor at my quaker or any of the ringnecks, could you suggest any vitamins or solution for this ?

We grew lot of pin feathers, he is literally snorkling whilst bathing every 2nd day and also trying to rub these but doesn't seem to be helping... any tips please q.q?

In regards to sexing a bird, any tips on what company to use ? - I'm very anxious of plucking her/his feathers out for the dna test and could not find any aviary vet that does bird dna tests near me :( so I will end up getting my mom to come and help, LOL but wasn't sure what company to use for this as we would like to know his gender and possible get him a friend soon as he has no interests in any other parrots in my house despite their interest, I hope he could be a little occupied by company of his type bird !





 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Made up toys are normally the best, stringing thigs like safe woods, cardboard, cuttlefish and what's left of the old toys. folding paper with a treat inside keep things simple at first, and slowly make the treat a little harder to get too. drilling a hole through a walnut or brazil nut can be a challenge as well. even the chewed perch can be cut down and a hole drilled through the centre then hung, if you want use food colouring to brighten the toys you make. I do look in second hand shops for safe children's toys that are safe for the birds as well. I like to use the edible calcium perches as well as natural safe wood like apple or willow. I know just how you fill as my green cheek dose not have a cage, the beak peeling is normal all birds will go though this the darker the beak the more it notices, unlike our nails that grow upwards birds beaks grow in layers so the top layer will slowly be replaced. you can give him/her head and neck scratches using your nails to scratch away the sheaf that covers the new feather, be gentle though as you do not want to break the feather as this may cause bleeding, I believe I use Avian Bio tech last time, I applied on line and they sent me the kit, @DizzyBlue may be able to advice you on there site address. @brogax
 
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