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Adopted GCC Behaviour

mangoxo

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Hi everyone! i'm new to this forum, and desperately need help with my little bird, Mango. he's a green cheeked conure, about 6-7 years old, and my boyfriend and I adopted him from his family (he used to live with them, and the bird missed him a lot) around Christmas time. we brought him home and immediately, he bonded really well with me. he can be super sweet and loves to curl up between my shoulder and my neck and fall asleep. however, he's very quick to turn if he gets mad/overly excited. he bites only me, he won't bite my boyfriend, and sometimes will draw blood. i love this little guy, and i would NEVER give him up so rehoming isn't an option. i've read people saying to put them back in their cage; he will run from shoulder to shoulder refusing to go into the cage. it was cute at first but when he's angry and puffy it isn't. also, when i try to reinforce his biting to toys, he seems to be TERRIFIED of the toys?

any advice/insight is very, very appreciated. TIA!
 

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sunnysmom

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Welcome to the forum. Is there any type of pattern as to when/why he bites. Obviously, the best thing to do is to try to avoid the bite if you can predict it's coming. For instance, my cockatoo can get overly excited pretty easily. He doesn't mean to bite but when he gets super excited it's like he can't differentiate between toy and hand. So, when I see he's getting too excited, I redirect him to doing something else more calming or even on occasion leave the room for a few minutes. I have minimal GCC experience but they are known to be a bit nippy. But super cute. :)

@webchirp ?
 

mangoxo

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his biting is pretty unpredictable - i try to avoid it for the most part but i'm starting to think he's just a grumpy bird lol

aside from the biting, does anyone have any advice in regard to him running away when i try to put him back in his cage? the little guy will BOOK it across my shoulders to avoid going in. also, he seems very afraid of toys still.
 

StormRyder360

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My little gcc, Lilly, also hates going in her cage. I hold a small piece if a treat in one hand, and because shes normally sat on the other one, she will step onto jer perch and go back in her cage. Because she knows she will get the treat. It helps a lot if you put a perch on the inside of the cage, on the door. Even if shes on my shoulder, or across the room, if she sees i have a treat in my hand, she always comes over to my other hand.
 

mangoxo

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What are his favorite treats?
he's got to be one of the weirdest birds lol he doesn't like his bird treats. he wants anything that we have. i give him little pieces of fruit, vegetables, sometimes bread instead of traditional treats. i'm definitely going to try coaxing him that way, hopefully he doesn't get too excited and bites my hand lol
 

sunnysmom

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With going back to his cage, you can give him a special cage only treat. For instance, my cockatiel would only get millet spray as a cage treat. Also often birds associate "cage" with you going away. So if you spend some time sitting and playing with your bird when he's in his cage, that can help eliminate the idea of being in his cage means he will be left alone. As for toys, new things in the cage can be scary. Have you tried introducing them outside of the cage? And even letting him watch you play with them.
 

StormRyder360

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I agree that having a special treat is a good idea for the cage. Lilly gets a tiny piece of sunflower seed, a tiny ball of millet or a tiny piece of almond. Which are her favourite things to eat
 

Monica

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he's got to be one of the weirdest birds lol he doesn't like his bird treats. he wants anything that we have. i give him little pieces of fruit, vegetables, sometimes bread instead of traditional treats. i'm definitely going to try coaxing him that way, hopefully he doesn't get too excited and bites my hand lol

I don't consider fresh foods such as vegetables and some fruits to be 'treats', but rather, part of a healthy, varied diet.

What's his main diet?

What treats have you tried using?
 

mangoxo

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I don't consider fresh foods such as vegetables and some fruits to be 'treats', but rather, part of a healthy, varied diet.

What's his main diet?

What treats have you tried using?
his main diet consists of various seeds - sunflower, pumpkin. i can't remember the brand of food it is as i got it in a container instead of the labeled bag but i've been trying to get him on AviCakes, mixing the food in and he seems to enjoy it. for treats, i'm honestly not even sure where to go then. he's such a precious little bird and i'm so scared to give him something that might hurt him
 

mangoxo

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With going back to his cage, you can give him a special cage only treat. For instance, my cockatiel would only get millet spray as a cage treat. Also often birds associate "cage" with you going away. So if you spend some time sitting and playing with your bird when he's in his cage, that can help eliminate the idea of being in his cage means he will be left alone. As for toys, new things in the cage can be scary. Have you tried introducing them outside of the cage? And even letting him watch you play with them.
love this suggestion - i'll definitely spend more time playing with him in his cage and see how that changes his attitude. toys - i have played with them while he's perched up on my shoulder or whatever, and he gets interested when it's in my hand... and as soon as it goes in the cage he's scared again.
 

Monica

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Alright! This'll be "easy!" :laugh: Switch him to a pellet based diet (that might be a bit hard!) and seeds will be your training reward!


Otherwise, figure out the first 3-5 seeds he eats and remove those from his diet and use them to train him with.
 

Davi

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Lots of great suggestions here! I think he should lose access to your shoulders after he bites you (for the next several minutes, I mean). My crimson-bellied conure is super bitey and it takes constant reinforcement to keep him from trying to see what color the liquid running inside of me is! But it pays off in big ways! When I got him, biting was his first language. Now, we have come to many "agreements" and he understands them pretty well, to the point that we can basically cuddle almost every night w/out him trying to yank one of my fingers off! Good luck and I'm glad you're trying to improve your relationship with him!
 

sunnysmom

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love this suggestion - i'll definitely spend more time playing with him in his cage and see how that changes his attitude. toys - i have played with them while he's perched up on my shoulder or whatever, and he gets interested when it's in my hand... and as soon as it goes in the cage he's scared again.
With my first tiel, I would have to lay a toy outside of his cage for a few days where he could see it. Then hang it on the outside of his cage for a few days. And then move it in his cage. Some birds just take longer to adjust to new things.
 

Jadeyy012

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I too have adopted a GCC around 6 years old. He has taken to my boyfriend right away but just bites and attacks me he will eat from my hand but wont sit on my hand and he will fly over and sit on my head but then bite my face. I'm actually scared when it's just me and him, when I tell him no he bites harder but listens to my boyfriend right away. How can I stop this?
 

Monica

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I too have adopted a GCC around 6 years old. He has taken to my boyfriend right away but just bites and attacks me he will eat from my hand but wont sit on my hand and he will fly over and sit on my head but then bite my face. I'm actually scared when it's just me and him, when I tell him no he bites harder but listens to my boyfriend right away. How can I stop this?
You'll need to build up a relationship with him. I wouldn't recommend having him out while you are around. Instead, have him caged where he can't bite you and have a treat cup at the front of the cage. Any time you walk by, drop a treat into the cup! His favorites, preferably! Over time, as he starts looking forward to this interaction, you can then work on target training through the cage bars. If you do it right, you wont get bit! You can drop the rewards into the cup, have him reach through the bars to grab the reward *OR* offer via a spoon.

Once he can reliably target to any location within the cage, then open up the door and continue training through the door and around the outside of the cage before even attempting any training away from the cage.
 
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