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I’ve made a mistake somewhere...

MrsPHD

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Rachel
After years of research and lurking this site I finally had a lovely bird find its way to me. Everything was going great and our Rico adapted to his new home like nothing I’ve even read about. Guys my new baby trusted me with a vacuum! That’s amazing for a bird whose previous family was so afraid of him they kept him caged and in a separate room. I let him out the first night and we’ve never looked back. He didn’t have a problem with my little girls or even the presence of our little dog.

Begin week 2: Rico is ants me to stay the heck away from him when my husband is in the room .
It first began with my daughter. He bit me and drew blood when I went to collect him off her shoulder when he flew to her while she was eating. Ok no big deal he didn’t want to do it even though he came willingly? Happened again later. Then again the next day until every time I am in the room while he is with someone else he flies to me and bites me. Based on my research I believe our enthusiasm trying to get me to trust us triggered a hormonal episode . He grooms my husband a lot and regurgitates for him. I took Rico out this morning and gave him some food and toys on top of his cage. I wouldn’t allow him to fly to me though and kept putting my arms up when he flapped to deter him. I will tell you without shame I am not excited about the prospect of another bite so I’m not going to give him an opportunity. Rico has a sweet nature and I need some advice about how best to undo the pattern we are in. I don’t want to be fearful of my bird but if I’m being honest the sound of him taking flight is making me want to duck and cover! I stay pretty calm when it happens while voicing my dislike and walk to his cage and make him “get up” in my angry squawk then I wait a few minutes for everyone to calm down and put him away for a little while or have my husband do it. I hate putting him in his cage because he was never allowed out and I think it’s better for him but I wonder if limiting his access to the hubs is best for a while? I just don’t know. He has lost interest in his toys and climbing the curtains and seems to just focus on my husband if he’s around. The cage is in the living room next to us. Anything else that might be helpful to know just ask. Thank you everyone!
 

Monica

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Rachel, you may want to go to "square one" with Rico. If he's flying to attack you, then we need to first stop the flying behavior. Cage him. Keep him caged for however long it takes to work through this behavioral issue. If done right and both of you are quick learners, it might not be long at all!

I would start with setting up a treat cup (preferably metal) at the front of his cage. Set up treat stations 5 or so feet to either side of the cage. Any time you walk by, pick up a treat for him, drop it into his treat cup and keep on going. This will help to teach him to associate good things with you, avoids bites and attacks.

I would also recommend target training through the cage bars. Again, prevents bites (as long as your flesh doesn't come too close!) and teaches a new behavior. You can offer a reward by having him reach through the bars in order to get his treat, offer it via a spoon, or drop it into a cup. If going the cup method, you may want to place several around the cage so you can teach him to target to any location within the cage and be able to offer a reward, too.

Once Rico is good at targeting to any location within the cage, then you can open the cage door and target through the cage door and around the outside of the cage. If you can get to this point without attacks, I would recommend exercising him via target training him to fly around the house to burn off excess energy! :)


As far as your husband goes... make sure he's not encouraging any hormonal behavior. Keep petting to head region only, no feeding warm mushy foods.


If you need help with some training resources, please check out the links here. :)

 

MrsPHD

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Rachel, you may want to go to "square one" with Rico. If he's flying to attack you, then we need to first stop the flying behavior. Cage him. Keep him caged for however long it takes to work through this behavioral issue. If done right and both of you are quick learners, it might not be long at all!

I would start with setting up a treat cup (preferably metal) at the front of his cage. Set up treat stations 5 or so feet to either side of the cage. Any time you walk by, pick up a treat for him, drop it into his treat cup and keep on going. This will help to teach him to associate good things with you, avoids bites and attacks.

I would also recommend target training through the cage bars. Again, prevents bites (as long as your flesh doesn't come too close!) and teaches a new behavior. You can offer a reward by having him reach through the bars in order to get his treat, offer it via a spoon, or drop it into a cup. If going the cup method, you may want to place several around the cage so you can teach him to target to any location within the cage and be able to offer a reward, too.

Once Rico is good at targeting to any location within the cage, then you can open the cage door and target through the cage door and around the outside of the cage. If you can get to this point without attacks, I would recommend exercising him via target training him to fly around the house to burn off excess energy! :)


As far as your husband goes... make sure he's not encouraging any hormonal behavior. Keep petting to head region only, no feeding warm mushy foods.


If you need help with some training resources, please check out the links here. :)

He does target training in the cage still and will take treats from me gently even ones he doesn’t really want. He doesn’t seem particularly aggressive as this morning he was on top and had no problem with me tidying up and giving clean food and water. Last night P walked into the kitchen with him and he ignored me for a while then just flew over and nipped me under my hair
I’ll try the treat cups too and see how he does targeting on his cage. Interestingly if I’m just sitting in my normal position in the living room he is mellow and preening or eating.
 

Monica

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Sounds great! Perhaps you may want to start training new behaviors as well. Keep working on training with him and teaching him that good things come from you. If he's out and about, definitely try teaching him to play with something to keep him occupied.

The station training would also come in handy!
 

MrsPHD

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Sounds great! Perhaps you may want to start training new behaviors as well. Keep working on training with him and teaching him that good things come from you. If he's out and about, definitely try teaching him to play with something to keep him occupied.

The station training would also come in handy!

I have found so many differing opinions on the wing quivering. Is that a common thing for conures? He’s currently caged while I clean so he doesn’t get into rooms where I’m using products. He location calling and when I come through he starts the quivering. Is he asking to get out?
 

Monica

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Wing quivering means he either wants to go somewhere/wants somethign or he's frightened. You kind of need to base it on what else is going on around him as well as the rest of his body language. More common in clipped birds than flighted, but occurs in flighted, too.

He could very well be wanting out or to go somewhere if something isn't frightening him.


Highly recommend encouraging independent play and foraging activities!
 

MrsPHD

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He’s definitely not frightened so I think he’s just gotten accustomed to accompanying us around the house. Thank you, it’s nice just to have somebody to bounce ideas off of.
 

Monica

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If it's an option, you could always consider moving the cage around the house as well...

I did this with a red throated conure I adopted through this forum. That way, it allowed her to be with me without leaving the safety of her cage. In the beginning, she was not comfortable leaving the cage at all.

For you, it would be more about keeping *yourself* safe from his attacks while still including him in your daily life. :)
 
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