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Help! Conure terrorizing family members and guests!

Tina&Mill

Walking the driveway
Joined
9/26/22
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194
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Minnesota
Real Name
Tianna Schwindel
So to start this off, Millie, my pineapple green cheek conure wasnt always mean to people. I have had her for about 4 years now, and for the first year and a half she was the sweetest little angel. I could take her out to socialize with the family (with the other household pets away of course) and she would go snuggle with my parents or play with my brothers. We never really had any issues except for when it came to her cage. (We resolved that, did some research figured out it was her little fuzzy hut, removing it resolved the problem). We moved to a new residence about 2 years ago, and thats when the behaviour started getting really bad. She isnt mean to me ever, and the only times shes ever bitten me is when shes 'exploring' and just nibbling my arm or something, its always gentle and doesnt do any harm. But when it comes to anyone else (except my uncle for some odd reason- shes only ever met him once though so I dont know what thats about.) She is abolutely a BULLY and a MEAN BIRD. She doesnt like anyone in my room AT ALL, if shes out of the cage and someone comes in she will fly after them and bite them. My brothers think its a game to put their fingers in her cage and pull away before shes able to bite them, but there have been many a time where they havent pulled away and shes bitten through skin, one time was pretty severe.
I cant take her out of her cage and into the main part of the house or around people anymore, because she will sit on the couch and run up to you when you sit down to attack you. Shes kind of chill with my father, but only when he has his phone on and she just looks at the screen, otherwise she bites him. She doesnt let ANYONE but me touch her, she will instantly puff up and reach out to nab at you. With the eldest one of my brothers is the WORST. She cant even be in the same room as him, because its like she hates him. (by the way, hes never done anything to her, shown any interest in her whatsoever) If she is out of her cage and she sees him, she will fly after him to attack him, repeatedly without stopping. My brother is TERRIFIED of her because of this. She quite literally seeks him out to terrorize him. Its gotten so bad that Im not allowed to take her out anymore unless im home alone, because she terrorizes my family members, and guests too. I cant let people come see my bird because she will try to attack them!
Im just wondering if there are any tips to stop this behaviour, or if theres anything I can do to prevent it. It really seems like its a game to her, and after she bites someone she pulls back and bops her head up and down screeching loudly.
I would love to be able to take her out with the family once more like I used to be able to do, because my family members really do like her, they just dont like the fact that she is very mean.
Any tips or tricks would be appreciated, as well as some feedback! Thank you!
 

Xoetix

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Meghan (she/her)
Oh jeez :wideyed:

So your older brother is not one of the brothers sticking his fingers in the cage?

They really need to knock that off, it's only going to make things worse.

Do you find she's more liable to go after men than women?
 

FiatLux

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Could it be she associates your family members with the disruption in her environment because of the move? That could explain why she tolerates your visiting uncle. I’m just a beginner even after living with and researching conures for two years so others with more experience will likely have better advice but it seems like she needs a reset to know she is safe.
 

flyzipper

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Tina&Mill

Walking the driveway
Joined
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Location
Minnesota
Real Name
Tianna Schwindel
Oh jeez :wideyed:

So your older brother is not one of the brothers sticking his fingers in the cage?

They really need to knock that off, it's only going to make things worse.

Do you find she's more liable to go after men than women?
yes, my older brother isnt the one sticking their finger into the cage. And yeah, I think so, she doesnt seem to go after my mom as much
 

Tina&Mill

Walking the driveway
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Tianna Schwindel
At 4 years old Millie has reached sexual maturity and it sounds like she has picked you as her mate...

ty for the article^^
 

Xoetix

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At 4 years old Millie has reached sexual maturity and it sounds like she has picked you as her mate...

Out of curiosity, what happens when you get a bird older (say, 15/16 years)? Would that mean she's picked a mate but the rehoming at an older age would "reset" the bond/mate?
 

flyzipper

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Out of curiosity, what happens when you get a bird older (say, 15/16 years)? Would that mean she's picked a mate but the rehoming at an older age would "reset" the bond/mate?
I'm not an expert, but I think it depends on how an individual bird has learned to form bonds with humans.
  • Jericho joined me at 12 because he chased his previous human's grand kids (he was the only bird) -- his tendency is to overly bond with humans, because he's now transferred his inappropriate love to me (causing him to chase friends and my other birds). I didn't think that Jericho chasing kids would be an issue because I don't have any, but the root cause is still there (the inappropriate bond) so he defends me from others. We're working on this, but 12 years of learned behaviour is slow to undo.
  • Oscar joined me at 10 years old because his human wanted to downsize his flock (of 8 other macaws) -- he has excellent flock manners and isn't overly bonded with me, just as he wasn't overly bonded with his past human. He peacefully coexists with visitors and my other birds (thankfully deescalating with Jericho).
 

Xoetix

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I'm not an expert, but I think it depends on how an individual bird has learned to form bonds with humans.
  • Jericho joined me at 12 because he chased his previous human's grand kids (he was the only bird) -- his tendency is to overly bond with humans, because he's now transferred his inappropriate love to me (causing him to chase friends and my other birds). I didn't think that Jericho chasing kids would be an issue because I don't have any, but the root cause is still there (the inappropriate bond) so he defends me from others. We're working on this, but 12 years of learned behaviour is slow to undo.
  • Oscar joined me at 10 years old because his human wanted to downsize his flock (of 8 other macaws) -- he has excellent flock manners and isn't overly bonded with me, just as he wasn't overly bonded with his past human. He peacefully coexists with visitors and my other birds (thankfully deescalating with Jericho).
Thanks for your experiences!

I was curious, as Isadora is very much "my" bird, seems to have no problems with any other adults she meets, but I have to keep her VERY far from my son (almost 4 years old) because I don't doubt she'd bite if given the chance. With my daughter (19 years old) she seems to play games because Isadora intimidates her.
 
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