• Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Need advice/help with conure behaviour

Dareel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
9/4/22
Messages
15
Real Name
Lee
Hello.
Help and advice needed desperately
? We have a green cheek conure that we have had a couple of years now ( he's around 5 years old we think) . He's was never a cage bird before we got him and his chirping and screaming was so unbearable that it was impossible to cage him. He could literally carry on for 4 hours non stop. We kept him out the cage and did our best to keep him happy and just kind of put up with it . However, my girlfriend had a baby boy 5 month ago and it has sent him over the edge .He is absolutely obsessed with me and permanently flyers to my shoulder as he thinks I'm leaving him I reckon. Nothing I do can stop this and it's making our lives difficult and I can't don't know where to start to make him better.

He screams and makes an high pitched loud sound when I am not in the same room with him. We have tried to give him more cage time but had to move him into another room . He's still loud when he hears us but it's not as bad , I would rather him be in the same room as us ideally but it's impossible with the noise . He also has started making the loudest most awful screaming noises just randomly too. It started just before the baby was born .

We give him a great diet, we look after him properly but we are at the point where my gf is struggling with him and we feel a bit like prisoners in our own home

Anyone got any tips ?. I really need help to
1) stop him screaming
2) stop him following me or at least not try and be on my shoulder permenantly

I'll try anything. it just feels like there is nothing we can do at the moment as he's not interested in anything but following me around. We tried toys but no interest and If I take him off and give him a treat he comes straight back. Anyone else have similar experiences?

Thanks all
 

Pixiebeak

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/18/22
Messages
1,271
Location
Florida
Real Name
Laura
Hello, congratulations on your new baby !
I can only imagine the stress if a new baby plus screaming!
But oh boy do I have screaming parrot experience ! I even took in a dedicated screaming quaker thst screamed from sun up to sun down with rare few minutes pauses. But we worked through it. So my multiple parrots screaming success makes me believe others can as well! There's hope!

Maybe my advice or others or a combination. And there is Pamela Clark a behavior expert that you can do phone consultation with. I think a little over a hundred dollars abd gets you several follow ups.


Ignoring and not reaction has its place. Especially in not getting screaming established in the first place.

But for myself this strategy did nothing to change an established screamer. What did work wa anticipate triggers, trying to prevent sessions of screaming from getting going, interruption and redirected, praise and treat quiet.

Mine all came to me with screaming. So started with life make over of great diet, large cage, a lot of easy to destroy chew stuff like yucca chips, bird bagel, shredders and weavers . Getting them foraging. Lot o veggies. Out of cage time 5 plus hours. Several hanging perch areas , that have things for them to find, and eat or chew. I use ceiling hooks and heavy weighted fishing line to hang stretched out bongs and spirals, some I leave as spirals, swings, cargo nets to climb. I find having several places of their own to hang out and stimulating to explore, and be part if things abd see what's going on so beneficial. Start out putting them on them and reward and praise. Have millet sprays abd treat sticks zip tied to the different perch areas. If they fly to furniture or you put them bsck in one of those areas really praise. Also many random going to them when on there play perches and hand out treats many times a day.
The top and outside sides of cages fill with perches. Use that space over the cage its perfect to hang down things to climb and hanging perches. Conures enjoy being acrobsts and climbing and jumping and dangling. Hidden, or slightly hard to get at food is best motivation to explore .

Set up a routine, a dedicated time everyday for one on one with your buddy as just chatting and snuggle time. And 15 minutes a day at a different time that you do a little fun training. It can just be asking them to fly from one perch to another for so much praise and a safflower seed. To walk dien a perch to you for a treat . Asking them to touch or pick up something fir a treat. A little foraging together. A piece if paper over a seed, hiding a seed in some shredded paper. Your welcome to do a short session of more advanced stuff that floats you and your burds boat. Im just saying a few simple easy things are more than enough for positive change.

Cage should be in main part of house . It should be safe refuge for sleeping, for when you are gone , or to much ruckus and drama is going on. Otherwise it is best to have them out abd involved with your life. As they are hardwired social creatures.

It sounds like you need to positive reinforce the cage. To do this , many trips to cage and have them step to cage then back to you for treats. All day long do this random. Then step inside for treat close tge door then open right back up for treats. Work with their normal nap time too. Most burds have a routine nap time during tge day. For mine its just before lunch. I put them in wuth a high value treat like apple slice at first and something to easy to foraging as well. I slowly increased mid day cage time to 1-2 hours. But when yiu start out. You probably need to get them bsck out after a half hour or before aby screaming starts. Abd build off thst time.
 

Pixiebeak

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/18/22
Messages
1,271
Location
Florida
Real Name
Laura
Ok more direct screaming, and fly to you helps .

Mornings are important to birds. This is when they make sure everyone lived through the night and reaffirm bonds before daily foraging. It is highly important. As soon as you get up , and anyone else living in the home gets up. Go and say good morning!! Hand a morning seed out out by hand. Try and share 15 minutes together. Have your morning coffee together.

Also so important, all in home say goodbye when leaving abd hand a treat , when you return go and tell them your back and give a treat. This lowers their frustration at not knowing were their flock is. This and above advice was given to a friend of mine with a screaming African grey. It had a huge positive impact huge! Plus her setting aside an hour a day if one on one time. She chatted over coffee wuth him while going through emails and texts but given lots if attention, he had a perch she took with her while she folded laundry.

Now you are going to have his own furniture, like using the ceiling hook and fishing line to hang a perch down next to your favorite chair, by the big window in the living room, by the window in the kitchen, or someplace. When he flys to you, tell him nice to see yiu buddy let's set yiu up right here so watch what's going on. Place him on his furniture and praise and treat. Step a few feet away and come back and praise and treat for staying in his space. Make sure yiu remain in sight snd come back msny times to praise abd treat. It will become a habit fir him eventually and you will still do random praise and treats. But in tge beginning its lots and lots of praise and treats. And returns to those perches when he flies to you. Whrn you move to the office or kitchen put him on his perch areas there. Its better if they have things to chew eat, climb.

Practice leaving the room too, tell him I will be right back . Step just out of sight, tell him I'm still here. Then come right back in and give treat for staying . Then stay out of sight for 2 minute ... build off of that. Lot a if praise. Make sure you are back before screaming or flying to you. If it's 20 seconds what ever build off that. Its shaping behavior and it works. But its shaping by baby steps . Its a lot of work in the beginning but the pay off is huge! And everything thing you are doing is creating new patterns and habits of quiet calm.

If screaming starts, I just go abd hsve tgrm step up abd move them to a different perch. ( it resets brain ) tgen I have them do a simple trick, or even just walk back down the perch to me tgrn I give a treat. Most birds there is a disconnect abd this treat fir doing a trick isn't linked to screaming. Then I move them again to another perch hand a thumb size piece of apple, and try and do something on the opposite side of the room. And come back before they start screaming again so I can praise for being quiet. I had to interruption any screaming right at the start or I too had hours abd hours of it. So I always interruption right at the start. I celebrating every 20 minutes of quit success abd till I had hours and until eventually it all stopped.

You can also try soothing rituals and pairing with soft music. Play at bedtime as they go to sleep, when they nap. After a week orndo of setting that pattern. It often works to play the soft music whrn they are riled up and tgey calm down
 

Pixiebeak

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/18/22
Messages
1,271
Location
Florida
Real Name
Laura
Foraging works Foraging is fun Foraging needs to be taught and starts extremely simple with lots if praise and building off their learning till it gets more complex. Foraging bird are quiet birds. You can get a little basket that won't tip when they stand on edges are climb inside. At first just put a couple of little things in and have him then watch you drop seeds inside. Then encourage to get seeds point at them if needed. Then isn't he so brave to climb in and get!! Eventually you can fill the basket with toys shredded paper and have them searching. I use those rubber dog and now parrot balls with big holes. I stuff popcorn in or veggies in and let them forage. I use those seagrass cargo nets and push broccoli florets ,carrots, green beans what ever and they climb and forage. I use a shallow dish and float plastic bottle caps in a a half inch of water, in each cap is a seed. Be creative have fun. I have dollars store little plastic boxes with drawers tgeybcan pull open and find something, a bottle cap a seed a dried pepper. My parrots spend 2 hours a day easy foraging. Everything every hanging perch has something to look for.
 

Dareel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
9/4/22
Messages
15
Real Name
Lee
Thanks very much the congratulations and for taking the time out to help me with this. This is absolutely great and wasn't expecting this much depth. Very much appreciated, especially from someone who can understand the pressure of what we are going through.

I am going to break all thus down bit by bit and see what we can adapt. It must be hard for the little guy with all our attention that we gave him now having to be shared with the little one.
I actually bought him another big cage so we can try and get him in one where he can be in the main room but when he gets too much we put him in the main cage. We adopted him from someone who never put him in the cage ever so it was always going to be hard to get him in that routine. Your post has given me renewed hope . I will let you know how it goes
 

Dareel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
9/4/22
Messages
15
Real Name
Lee
Ps I live in the UK. we have thought about parrot behaviour consultants but I know these can be expensive and I wasn't sure how many sessions it takes or how effective they are
 

Spearmint

Walking the driveway
Joined
9/14/21
Messages
287
Location
Australia, Sydney
Real Name
Elk [He/They/Neos]
On the note fo birds screaming, a conure will scream regardless. A bird comes with sound, its a two-pack deal :lol: might be worth looking into getting more toys, and if youre able to, a double flight cage. No promises it will help but might be worth a shot if you think you're able!
 

Wardy

Rollerblading along the road
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
GRINCH
Joined
4/12/21
Messages
3,777
Ps I live in the UK. we have thought about parrot behaviour consultants but I know these can be expensive and I wasn't sure how many sessions it takes or how effective they are
@tka is also from the UK and he got a online consultation from Pamela Clarke, he has given excelent feedback on the results and the follow up he was given.

 

webchirp

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
8/2/10
Messages
17,598
Location
Ohio
Real Name
Chandra
Great advice and I would also encourage a vet visit to make certain nothing is amiss health wise. Mine all scream their noggins off during the day but they have their own room and do not come out into the house because of the dogs and other humans. I did get Carlton for similar reasons and he ended up having high blood pressure. Once he leveled out and took Giggie as his girlfriend, he became more balanced. So he had two issues...health and loneliness.
 

Dareel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
9/4/22
Messages
15
Real Name
Lee
On the note fo birds screaming, a conure will scream regardless. A bird comes with sound, its a two-pack deal :lol: might be worth looking into getting more toys, and if youre able to, a double flight cage. No promises it will help but might be worth a shot if you think you're able!
Thanks. I'm already looking for toys inline with the first post so definitely moving forward with this. Yes I don't expect total silence and don't mind it in moderation. He takes an age to get used to toys he's so scared but that's normal from what I read
 

Dareel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
9/4/22
Messages
15
Real Name
Lee
Great advice and I would also encourage a vet visit to make certain nothing is amiss health wise. Mine all scream their noggins off during the day but they have their own room and do not come out into the house because of the dogs and other humans. I did get Carlton for similar reasons and he ended up having high blood pressure. Once he leveled out and took Giggie as his girlfriend, he became more balanced. So he had two issues...health and loneliness.
I check his poop daily and when he came to us he had lots of stress bars which have got so.much better whilst he has been with us. I took him for a blood test a year ago which was fine . I was going to do it every 2 years because I really don't like him being sedated. I know this is risky and was sick with sorry last time. He doesn't show any signs of illness and looks healthy. He has a pellet diet and chop ( kale, brockley, bell peppers, quinoa, chia seeds, ) a lot of apple and grapes when he's not hormonal. We give him seeds and popcorn as a treat or to get him in cage at night. I may take him again though for a check up so thanks for the idea. I think he misses me even when I leave the room which is part of the issue..
 

Dareel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
9/4/22
Messages
15
Real Name
Lee
@tka is also from the UK and he got a online consultation from Pamela Clarke, he has given excelent feedback on the results and the follow up he was given.

Very useful thanks. I will go this way if I can't get results. Ill do anything even if it costs . Thanks again
 

Dareel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
9/4/22
Messages
15
Real Name
Lee
Does anyone here feed their parrot dried meal worms btw? Heard they are really nutritious . I am looking at further improving his diet
 

Pixiebeak

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/18/22
Messages
1,271
Location
Florida
Real Name
Laura
Meal worms not needed in my opinion. A little boiled egg is much better in my opinion. Or even a thumb size piece of boiled chicken.

My 2 green cheeks have always been quiet. An occasional flock call which I answer, and occasional alarm call which investigate.

I really think you can have a big reduction in noise. I hope you update us along the way. Remember this has been going on a long time. And it will take time to make new habits. If my advice works for you and yours , I saw a huge reduction within a few weeks. My longest was a couple of months with my quaker who was a real dedicated screamer
 

Shezbug

ASK ME FOR PICTURES OF MY MACAW!
Super Moderator
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
4/28/18
Messages
21,575
Location
Vic, Australia
Real Name
Shez
I don’t believe anyone here feeds their parrots dried mealworms.

If you’re looking for protein packed food maybe offer some cooked chickpeas or blackbeans- tofu is another food some feed.
 

webchirp

Joyriding the Neighborhood
Avenue Veteran
Celebirdy of the Month
Mayor of the Avenue
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
8/2/10
Messages
17,598
Location
Ohio
Real Name
Chandra
I personally would find a vet that can read gram stains. I do not have bloodwork done on mine unless they are stable and it is something that needs to be done to track issues per Dr. O. I know everyone is set on bloodwork twice a year or once a year but conures can have sudden bleeding syndrome and bleed out. Dr. O can read a gram stain efficiently enough to treat based on these gram stains. I know others may have different opinions but just my two cents and I have a wide variety of health things in my flock. I have lost four birds over the years...one from gout, one younger with a bad heart and two from old age/heart. Been handling things based on Dr. O's recommendations for about 20 years. Wooo I just dated myself!

I also have a few birds on paroxetine for anxiety as well as gabapentin which has a calming effect as well. Giggie is a multilator/plucker and the paroxetine/gabapentin has been so helpful. Tosh recently trashed her feathers and we couldn't figure out why...health is fine, everything else normal. So put her on paroxetine and gabapentin and she seems to have calmed. Zephyr has a thyroid issue (he and his sister can get very plump). Paroxetine has helped him along with thyroid meds to not be a fuzzy cheek.

While I wouldn't want to just jump to drugs, I will say in last efforts it has proved to help them have happier lives.
 

Dareel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
9/4/22
Messages
15
Real Name
Lee
Meal worms not needed in my opinion. A little boiled egg is much better in my opinion. Or even a thumb size piece of boiled chicken.

My 2 green cheeks have always been quiet. An occasional flock call which I answer, and occasional alarm call which investigate.

I really think you can have a big reduction in noise. I hope you update us along the way. Remember this has been going on a long time. And it will take time to make new habits. If my advice works for you and yours , I saw a huge reduction within a few weeks. My longest was a couple of months with my quaker who was a real dedicated screamer
Thanks again.. really glad I found this forum, wasn't expecting this amount of help and advice I will keep you updated for sure. I've literally already started with some of the things you recommend including getting up a bit earlier to spend time flying from perch to perch and treating them with the clicker too. Already he has started dancing and strutting again so much noticible difference. He screams more when I am in the house and out of sight so I'm trying to ensure he knows I'm here. It's funny because as soon as he knows I'm going he jumps on my shoulder and says in a conure like voice that we can just about make out " your leaving me..." He's so clever and it makes me feel so guilty

Obviously with treating him much more I don't want to always be giving him sunflower seeds as they are bad if he has too much, what do you treaat your birds with that I don't have to worry too much about the amount. We are using seeds and popcorn ( non suger or salt,).
 

Dareel

Sitting on the front steps
Joined
9/4/22
Messages
15
Real Name
Lee
I personally would find a vet that can read gram stains. I do not have bloodwork done on mine unless they are stable and it is something that needs to be done to track issues per Dr. O. I know everyone is set on bloodwork twice a year or once a year but conures can have sudden bleeding syndrome and bleed out. Dr. O can read a gram stain efficiently enough to treat based on these gram stains. I know others may have different opinions but just my two cents and I have a wide variety of health things in my flock. I have lost four birds over the years...one from gout, one younger with a bad heart and two from old age/heart. Been handling things based on Dr. O's recommendations for about 20 years. Wooo I just dated myself!

I also have a few birds on paroxetine for anxiety as well as gabapentin which has a calming effect as well. Giggie is a multilator/plucker and the paroxetine/gabapentin has been so helpful. Tosh recently trashed her feathers and we couldn't figure out why...health is fine, everything else normal. So put her on paroxetine and gabapentin and she seems to have calmed. Zephyr has a thyroid issue (he and his sister can get very plump). Paroxetine has helped him along with thyroid meds to not be a fuzzy cheek.

While I wouldn't want to just jump to drugs, I will say in last efforts it has proved to help them have happier lives.

In all honesty the area I live we are limited and only have one avarian vet in the vicinity. Which is about 25 mins drive which isn't ideal. I hated the blood test because of the risks. We were both full of anxiety and the relief when we were told it went fine was immense. I will certainly look more into this but I fear I am limited. The anxiety thing is interesting. I may give my vet a call if he doesn't show improvement soon and ask him about the anxiety. That could well be the issue. I don't know of his past really but hes been passed around a bit sadly
 

Pixiebeak

Rollerblading along the road
Avenue Spotlight Award
Joined
6/18/22
Messages
1,271
Location
Florida
Real Name
Laura
excellent!!! Any reduction in length of screaming or amount of screaming sessions?

My parrots take anything as a treat as long as I really praise and give kisses. So you can try handing out his pellets or regular diet. I use, pellets, safflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, tiny broken pieces of walnuts or pistachios ( tiny crumb size piece ) . I think handing a food reward is good, but at the stage I'm at often praise and a kiss alone work fine.

Are you practicing going out of sight for a few minutes, and using your flock call( I say I'm here , or I wolf whistle) then bsck to room before he vocals? Increasing time out of sight?

I've just started in home recall flight training mine. I'm using crushed up tiny pieces of toco shell. Because its something they are going nuts for right now. Hopefully in a few weeks they will just recall for praise
 
Top