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My learning curve with Nico my GCC

jzarc17

Sprinting down the street
Joined
5/1/20
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435
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Rochester, NY
Real Name
Jackie
Hello Everyone!

I have some GCC questions that I have not been able to find an answer on yet by doing searches on this forum. My main question at the moment is about my bond with Nico, my 3 month old male.

I brought home Nico on 1/23/21 and so much has happened in his development! As of current he is VERY attached to me. I am a little worried he might be too attached. The reason I say this is because he will make noises during the day that sounds almost like a cry when he is in his cage and I can’t have him out all the time. I do take him out for several hours a day on and off through out the day. When Nico is out he would love nothing more than to be in contact with me 90% of the time. It’s very adorable! He LOVES it when I hold a toy and he perches on my hand and rips the toy apart. He wants me to be involved in pay time. He also does not like it when I leave the room when he is out playing. He has followed me a couple times when he is able to. As soon as he sees me leave the room he stops playing and watches where I’m going. If I am eating he wants me to share. The real difficult time is at night when I dim the lights. He often screeches and cries very loud and gets progressively worse as I gradually make the room more dark. I never leave him without some kind of light. I just feel so bad hearing him cry! The past couple nights I went to his cage and got him out, cuddled for a short time and then put him back and he went to sleep. Last night when I got him out when he was crying he was determined to snuggle into my neck or in my hair and go to sleep. It’s so hard not to let him because it’s so cute but I worry this dependent behavior is not good for him? I’m not sure also if the crying at night is because he is afraid of the dark or if he is wanting to be with me.

I am also working on deterring him from biting, I have read a lot on changing the antecedent to control the behavior. I’m having a hard time with that because it means I can’t touch him. So instead I’m trying to put him down or disengage when he bites. It’s hard to always know the motivation for the bite. He seems to just enjoy chewing on everything including me. It’s much better than it was in the first two weeks, he was biting down and not letting go. I had to carefully pry his beak open to get my skin out LOL. He does not latch down so much now. He bites when he’s on my and has access to skin and he not actively chewing a toy. I try VERY hard to make sure he has a toy available all the time to chew and also a new one as soon as he gets board with the current one. It’s tough because he gets board quick. Thankfully I have purchased TONS of bird toy parts and have lots of textures to offer him. I know GCC are known to be a little mouthy and I can deal with it now that he’s not breaking the skin so much.

Lastly, when i offer a treat he takes it very aggressively. I over treats to get him to step off me and onto a play area and as soon as I present the treat he charges my fingers and snaps at the treat. I have no idea what thats about??

Over all though he is amazing! Loving, smart, hyper, confident and social little guy! He mimics me a little too. I love him!!
 

saroj12

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Sometimes when my Rudy isn’t hungry he lunges and knocks the treat out of my fingers. Overall I got a very positive impression of Niko! :heart:
 

saroj12

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saroj12

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I don’t know how it’s supposed to be spelled lol spelling is not my thing, I originally spelled his name Niko. :think1:
Love the icon! Perfect for the context! :yes4:
 

Craftydan

Walking the driveway
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Dan Crews
I don’t know how it’s supposed to be spelled lol spelling is not my thing, I originally spelled his name Niko. :think1:
So . . . Not Kneeko? So long as none of us get offended, I doubt he will :)

Comparing notes with our little Essie -- nibbles EVERYTHING. Sometimes hard, mosttimes not, usually well meaning, sometimes roughhousing . . . And on rare occation an earned bite. So the bites, we try to avoid, for multiple reasons. The roughhousing (for instance, she LOVES attacking pens, and fingers hold pens) is part of play if you cant take the heat, stay clear of the kitchen. The well meaning . . . We're working on communicating "that was too hard" (sternly spoken "gently" as she bears down, removal if she ignores) and success is mixed.

Physical clinginess does ease off. Encourage him to explore, give him toys in his play area/cage, and teach him games he can play with them, with or without you. Play chase with him (have him chase after you, so he sees more of the house). Setup playstands, and gradually insist when he's in that room with you, thats where he's supposed to play. He's young and only a few weeks in -- independence will come.

As for the treat rushing . . . Fun :shocked4: Clicker training. Get him used to "click means treat is coming", then maybe you can start clicking on "calm Nico" and maybe get him to associate calm Nico with good Nico? If nothing else, the clicker make it easier for you to tell him exactly when he's doing "it" right (whatever "it" may be).

For nighttime . . . We had a few battles early on, and as much as it hurts, ya gotta let him be on his own. As we were settling Essie, first few nights, room closed, sunlight fading, as she cried, we would go in ONCE, let her out, hold her, got her calmed down . . . Then back into the cage. Second night, we'd poke our head in tell her we loved her and she was okay . . . And let her be. It felt HORRIBLE, but she would settle in. Eventually the nature would kick in and sleep would come.

One of the other things that helped this, we picked up an alarm clock with a "wake up" light that also had a dimming sleep cycle. At bed time, it goes on, and the overheads go off and she has roughly 30 minutes of dimming light to play, snack and settle into bed. At the end of 30, shes in full darkness untill "dawn". Shes been in the cage enough to know where everything is in the dark. (We know -- the IR cam shows her moving around confidently if we make too much noise in the house) She now puts herself to bed if we just dim the lights and leave her in a quiet room (When the alarm isn't available). Early in the morning when the house starts stiring, she shakes the sleep off, and crawls to a spot to wait (and meep) for us to come get her.

That being said, I only think she's well adjusted for her age. Her future bird psychotherapist may judge differently :shrug: ;)
 

jzarc17

Sprinting down the street
Joined
5/1/20
Messages
435
Location
Rochester, NY
Real Name
Jackie
So . . . Not Kneeko? So long as none of us get offended, I doubt he will :)

Comparing notes with our little Essie -- nibbles EVERYTHING. Sometimes hard, mosttimes not, usually well meaning, sometimes roughhousing . . . And on rare occation an earned bite. So the bites, we try to avoid, for multiple reasons. The roughhousing (for instance, she LOVES attacking pens, and fingers hold pens) is part of play if you cant take the heat, stay clear of the kitchen. The well meaning . . . We're working on communicating "that was too hard" (sternly spoken "gently" as she bears down, removal if she ignores) and success is mixed.

Physical clinginess does ease off. Encourage him to explore, give him toys in his play area/cage, and teach him games he can play with them, with or without you. Play chase with him (have him chase after you, so he sees more of the house). Setup playstands, and gradually insist when he's in that room with you, thats where he's supposed to play. He's young and only a few weeks in -- independence will come.

As for the treat rushing . . . Fun :shocked4: Clicker training. Get him used to "click means treat is coming", then maybe you can start clicking on "calm Nico" and maybe get him to associate calm Nico with good Nico? If nothing else, the clicker make it easier for you to tell him exactly when he's doing "it" right (whatever "it" may be).

For nighttime . . . We had a few battles early on, and as much as it hurts, ya gotta let him be on his own. As we were settling Essie, first few nights, room closed, sunlight fading, as she cried, we would go in ONCE, let her out, hold her, got her calmed down . . . Then back into the cage. Second night, we'd poke our head in tell her we loved her and she was okay . . . And let her be. It felt HORRIBLE, but she would settle in. Eventually the nature would kick in and sleep would come.

One of the other things that helped this, we picked up an alarm clock with a "wake up" light that also had a dimming sleep cycle. At bed time, it goes on, and the overheads go off and she has roughly 30 minutes of dimming light to play, snack and settle into bed. At the end of 30, shes in full darkness untill "dawn". Shes been in the cage enough to know where everything is in the dark. (We know -- the IR cam shows her moving around confidently if we make too much noise in the house) She now puts herself to bed if we just dim the lights and leave her in a quiet room (When the alarm isn't available). Early in the morning when the house starts stiring, she shakes the sleep off, and crawls to a spot to wait (and meep) for us to come get her.

That being said, I only think she's well adjusted for her age. Her future bird psychotherapist may judge differently :shrug: ;)
Thank you for all you said it helps to hear that my little man is doing all normal GCC behaviors. Essie sound ADORABLE!

I have also been trying to give a verbal cue for when Nico bites too hard. I have been just saying "no biting" in a stern voice and it does seem to help. I think he understand the tone of my voice. I'm so grateful he is no longer biting, clamping down and grinding, that hurt a little and even better when he would go after the exact same spot because its was red, swollen and scabbed over. :scared4:

I hope he does not ever completely loose the clinginess because in a lot of ways it's the cutest thing and I LOVE the snuggles! Ultimately I just want whats best for him and I know some independence is healthy. I will be making him more toys he can chew a shred this weekend and change out the toys on his play stand so the play area stays fun and inviting.

I have done some clicker training and he caught on FAST! The only thing I'm wondering about is switching from using a clicker to a verbal cue so that if he does something i want to rewarded and lets say I don't have the clicker it would be nice to have a verbal marker that he did something right and a treat is coming. I have to think of something I don't say all the time. For example I tell him hes a good boy like every 5 minutes LOL so I can't use that!

I will keep that alarm clock idea in the back of my head for sure! That sounds like such a great idea! Thanks for sharing! Also, yes It's so hard to hear that little (or not so little cry) and hes so cute and I just want to scoop him up and kiss his little head off but I must resist I suppose or I'll create a monster. :ashamed1:

Thanks again to taking the time to respond :smileflower:
 
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