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My bird started biting my boyfriend, who she loved

OWLSTAR

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Sprocket
I have a 5 y/o green cheek conure named Kiwi (I know not very unique) and up until a few months ago she absolutely loved my boyfriend. I have owned her since she was 12 weeks old and lived with her all but 9 months. My boyfriend and I have lived together for the past two years and she has had absolutely NO problems before now. In maybe the past 2 or 3 months, she has started biting him out of nowhere and very viciously, holding on and biting harder when he tries to pull away. She has drawn blood a few times, but mostly it just leaves a nasty red mark. She's begged him for cuddles and then after a few seconds of getting them she bites as hard as she can. She'll sometimes even fly over just to bite him, when he was just sitting still on the couch doing absolutely nothing and making no noise. For a little over a year she would sometimes bite him when he asked her to step up. It was rare and funny when it happened (mostly because she would say "good girl" after) but now it's every time she steps up and she always says "good girl" after the bite.

We've been doing our best to try and solve the problem but nothing has worked. We originally thought it was a hormone issue, so we removed all shredding toys and replaced them with wooden ones. She very happily chews the wood and has destroyed a few balsa blocks. We stopped petting her beak, the only other place we pet being her head. We put her in her cage for a few minutes after a bite. We've been putting her to bed from 8pm-10pm to get her 12 hours of total darkness. Still, she bites my boyfriend without warning and as hard as she can. Our veterinarian has suggested three hormone blocker injections over the course of three months to bring down her hormones and cause her to bite less, but I'm not completely convinced this is a hormone issue anymore.

Weird thing is, she still absolutely loves my boyfriend. She freaks out when he goes into the bathroom or closet and he's out of view. She gets so upset she flies around the apartment at her top speed, taking really sharp turns in the air and flying in and out of the bedroom (and making me panic she'll run into something). Me speaking calmly and/or petting doesn't calm her down, she just stays flat until launching into the air and zipping around to the point of panting. I have to hold her still when she eventually lands on me so she doesn't take off again. When he comes back into the room she gives him an earful, chattering and looking at him pointedly. She gets so excited when he comes home from class, dropping absolutely everything she was doing to fly to the perch closest to the front door to say hi. She begs for pets and cuddles with him and sometimes preens his beard and mustache and gives him kisses. She will be so so sweet and suddenly bite and draw blood.

I can't tell you how many times we've both googled "my bird is biting me/my boyfriend" to find nothing that helps us, or a situation so close but ultimately not close enough to what Kiwi is doing. I feel so guilty that she still cuddles and kisses and loves me but hurts him, and I know he's in pain from the sudden loss of a birds love. Does anyone have any advice or change of care to help us? I'd appreciate absolutely anything.
 

itsronni

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We're dealing with the same thing!! My GCC seems to love my boyfriend, always wants to be on him... but uses him like a chew toy when he gets him. :( Following...
 

OWLSTAR

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Sprocket
We're dealing with the same thing!! My GCC seems to love my boyfriend, always wants to be on him... but uses him like a chew toy when he gets him. :( Following...
I've just called our vet earlier today and they gave me some more advice. They told me to bring Kiwi to a neutral location (for us that's the closest as she's not typically allowed in there) and have my boyfriend spend one on one time with her. When she bites we're to put her in time out for 10-15 minutes because that's how long a bird's attention span is. They said do this for about 1-2 weeks and see if there's any behavior changes. We're going to be trying this to see if it works! I will update with any changes!
 

Wally&Eva

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When I’m home, Wally will come and bite my husband, for no reason, not terribly hard but quick warning bites. Sometime he will fly over just to bite and yell and then be gone. But when I go to work, my husband says it changes, he is all cuddly and preens and the bites stop. I feel terrible that my presence ignites this sort of possessiveness. He used to care when Eva got attention from my husband like a nosey nelly and just get in between but now he’s like, good stay there so I can have mom to myself.
 

Dartman

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Maybe like was said above he has chosen you as his favorite so when your around he bites your boyfriend to warn him and keep him away from his beloved person. Pippen loves both of us but just likes to nibble, pinch, and bite.
Dobby completely loves my sister and will fly after her wherever she goes. I'm just walnut provider and security at this point, he wont even allow me to scritch him. Luckily he's a gentle boy so he refuses to bite and will maybe threaten if he doesn't want to be messed with but will step up nicely if I ask and ride where ever I take him unless he sees sister, and he always comes over for walnuts and treats.
 

OWLSTAR

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Hey y'all, bit of an update. Yesterday I left the house for a few hours to run some errands and in that time, Kiwi flew and attacked my boyfriend. She kept biting the couch next to him, which is her indication she's going to bite him, and when he tried to wave her away she stuck around and started to bite. She bit his forehead and after he started to cry she went to bite his neck. He was forced to hide under a blanket away from her and she just kept biting the blanket and him. He got up to try and move away but she flew after him to bite until he toweled her and put her in the cage until I came home. We're not still sure it's hormones but I went ahead and scheduled the hormone blockers shot for Tuesday. The shot lasts 28 days so we're hopeful for some changes in her behavior. There still is a lot of damaged trust that will need to be regained and the injection won't do that completely, so I'll be researching some trust exercises the two of them can do together.
 

Lady Jane

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When she bites we're to put her in time out for 10-15 minutes because that's how long a bird's attention span is.
It is a punishment to put a bird back in the cage for behavior you do not want. The birds do not learn from this. Better to distract and do not give the bird a chance to bite. You can watch body language and learn how to anticipate a bite coming.

 
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OWLSTAR

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Sprocket
It is a punishment to put a bird back in the cage for behavior you do not want. The birds do not learn from this. Better to distract and do not give the bird a chance to bite. You can watch body language and learn how to anticipate a bite coming.

Hm, interesting read, thank you!
 

aooratrix

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From the anecdote, it seems like your GCC is relentless. I don't know how effective any distraction would be, especially if it is hormonal. I would restrict access, and I would return the bird to its cage when she begins to overload, get amped up. Some people have had success by lengthening the period of darkness, limiting protein, and offering calming teas. I know a lot of people would decry this, but you might end up clipping its wings to limit her ability to attack.
 
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