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Any tips for training a nippy Green Cheek Conure?

Janessa

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12/19/20
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Janessa-Belle Amanae
Around a year ago, I adopted a 7-week-old Green Cheek Conure and raised him by hand. He is very friendly and absolutely loves to be around us. In fact, he almost never stays in his play pen area. He just constantly wants to be on my shoulder or around me. He is also super active and has a lot of energy which is why I like keeping him out of his cage for the majority of the day.

However, he has a huge nipping problem. He nips at everything. Fingers, ears, earrings, hands...etc. I know he means no harm but obviously this problem can grow tiresome since I always have him out of the cage. I'm not sure how to go about "disciplining" him. Usually, if his nipping ever gets way too out of hand, I'll place him down and walk away. I hoped that this would make him understand that when he nips, he won't get the attention from me he desires. But he usually just ends up flying back to me and goes back to nipping.

I'm reaching out to anyone who may have experienced a similar problem, and if there are other methods to implement better behaviour in him, because this one doesn't seem to be working much at all. I love him so much and love spending time with him but some of my other family members don't necessarily love being around him because of how nippy he is, and I really wanna change that! Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)
 

Leih

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Leih Pearson
Unfortunately this is a common problem with conures. And they reach sexual maturity anywhere from 1 to 3 years. My conure is a nippy little beast, but he has gotten better. I think what has helped has been encouraging him to play and explore on his own instead of wanting to be on me all the time. And of course lots of foraging. You really can't discipline, so walking away is actually a good way to go about it. You want to ignore "bad" behavior and positively reinforce good behavior. It can be really difficult! So you want to try to avoid the bites, deflect his attention and if he does get you, try to not freak, I struggle with this part! The reaction just fuels the fire. Try to do things together where he can't really bite, like maybe try some trick training. Just mix up your routine.
 

Janessa

Moving in
Joined
12/19/20
Messages
12
Location
Canada
Real Name
Janessa-Belle Amanae
Unfortunately this is a common problem with conures. And they reach sexual maturity anywhere from 1 to 3 years. My conure is a nippy little beast, but he has gotten better. I think what has helped has been encouraging him to play and explore on his own instead of wanting to be on me all the time. And of course lots of foraging. You really can't discipline, so walking away is actually a good way to go about it. You want to ignore "bad" behavior and positively reinforce good behavior. It can be really difficult! So you want to try to avoid the bites, deflect his attention and if he does get you, try to not freak, I struggle with this part! The reaction just fuels the fire. Try to do things together where he can't really bite, like maybe try some trick training. Just mix up your routine.
Yeah, I always knew about them being a nippy species but sometimes I’ll see other people’s conures online and they seem so well behaved!

Mine is a nippy beast too haha. It’s definitely been difficult like you mentioned. I actually just ordered some more chew toys for him that I hope will help take his attention off me for awhile and focus his nipping on something else. I’m still looking for some good foraging toys, I feel like those would really help.

I totally struggle with the freak part too!! He has literally torn earrings out of my ears to the point where they bleed and swell. At that point, I put him back in his cage for a bit of a “timeout” and avoid giving him attention.

Trick training sounds like a good idea!! I think I need to focus on getting him to exert his energy on others things that aren’t myself or my family members lol. Thanks for the advice!!

Much love from myself & Tokyo <3
 

Leih

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Leih Pearson
For foraging, I often just take a Nutriberry and wrap it up in paper, like printer paper, and then clip into their cage (I just use the smaller hair claw clips). I sometimes put crinkle paper in to make it harder. My birds also really like this, I put crinkle paper in and break up some Nutriberries (or Avicakes.) If you check out diy drive I think there's a thread for foraging toys, lots of people have some great ideas!
 

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Ferratus

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12/23/20
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Real Name
Matt
My new baby ( 10 month ) old has really warmed up to me and I love it. I am currently trying to introduce my hands/finger and off small beak pets. ( she chews on everything) and for the most part she is not bad but will dig into my finger before licking it. I do not react and just let her bite while softly telling her “ not so hard “.... I read that if you want to deter this behavior to turn your back on them. I wonder if this is true and how much of the biting and chewing is the baby bird still learning.

so I guess I am looking for suggestions as well.
 
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