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Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Postby reneezhang520 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:29 am

Dear All,

I'm a fairly new parrot owner. I have never had a parrot before. My husband got me a pineapple green cheek conure on Nov. 2nd. His coworker found the little bird in her yard and after putting up flyers in the neighbourhood and a long waiting, nobody came to claim the little guy/girl and she can't take care of a parrot, so my husband took him/her home since I have always wanted a bird. We didn't know anything about our little conure. But based on the naughty behaviour, I assumed it's a boy (I know it's not fair to make the assumption..). We named him Birdy.

Since I'm a very new owner, so I have a lot of questions. Mostly about Birdy's behaviour. I lot of the advice I looked up online doesn't seem to apply to our situation. So it will probably turn into a very lengthy Birdy behaviour description. Please bear with me :cry: .

Birdy very quickly became very friendly, cuddly and intimate with my husband. Not only is my husband the only person he doesn't bite, he is totally comfortable with my husband handling him however he wants to, such as petting, head scratching, snuggling, kissing, etc. But he is very aggressive with me and he hates my hands and fingers especially. Whenever my hand or finger is close, he is in crazy attack mode and it draws blood every time.

I looked online and also watched a lot of YouTube video for advice, and I have some theories as to why he hates my hands and fingers so much: 1. when I first tried to get him to step up on my finger, he was reaching out to bite a little bit to test the stability of my hand/finger and I got scared and pulled away, it might have repeatedly given him the impression that my hand is not trustworthy; 2. when he bit my hand I also tried the advice of pushing gently into the bite and I might have hurt him or he might have seen that action as aggression; 3. he would keep biting me even when he was on my hand or arm, so I tried the twisting finger/hand/arm advice, it might have reinforced his belief that my finger/hand/arm is unstable. I think these might be the reason why he is in crazy attack mode whenever my finger/hand is close. He would also bite my face if I try to kiss him. And he would chase me away when he is in our bed with us or when he is on the floor with me. In the bed, he would try to chase me away by trying to bite me on wherever he can get a hold of, on the floor, he chases me away by trying to bite my feet.

I also read and heard that a lot of parrots are one-person bird, meaning once they picked out their favourite person they will ignore or become very hostile to other people. So it could be that he just doesn't like me since he picked out my husband to be his favourite.

He is super needy and clingy. But the weird thing is, he is totally OK being in the same room with me alone even when my husband walks away. We put his cage in the living room, and he likes hanging out on top of his cage where the food and water is, as long as he can see at least one of us. When me and my husband are both present, he would obviously choose my husband. And when we both walk away at the same time, he would choose to fly onto my husband's shoulder, not mine. But if my husband walked out of his sight, to my surprise, he won't follow my husband as long as I'm there with him. But as soon as I walked out of his sight too, he would immediately follow me and land on my shoulder. That's how clingy he is. But within 5 seconds, he will start biting my shoulder and neck, again it draws blood every time. My shoulders and neck are covered with little holes he dug with his little beak.

Also whenever I'm in the same room with him alone, even if my husband is just in the bedroom (he knows how to fly to the bedroom), and I'm just in front of my computer minding my own business, he would keep flying on my shoulder and start biting me within 5 seconds. I keep carrying him back to the top of his cage, and he would keep flying back on my shoulder within 3 minutes. Sometimes he even refuses to go back to the top of his cage by grabbing my shoulder very tightly and biting it. I used my scarf to try to get him off once and I think I really scared him. I thought he would never come back to my shoulder again based on how scared he was, but he flew back to my shoulder within 5 minute...

Another weird thing is that he would get very wordy with me. He can't say any human word but he would do bird talk, so whenever I say he talks to me, he just does his bird talk. He doesn't do that to my husband, I guess it might be that I talk to him a lot and I talk to him like he is a person. It started when I first stood in front of him, he was very close to my face, I told him I love him and what a cute and pretty bird he is, then he started to mumble at me. Whenever I say a word, he would mumble back. The second time is I put only fruit in his food bowl, he looked into his bowl, took a bite, and walked down to his little ladder, walked up to my face, and start talking to me. This time it's louder than a mumble. More like a normal conversation. He would say something back right after I say something. I guess he is either a little mad at me for switching his food to fruit or he is trying to ask me what that is... Now he would just walk up to my face and start talking to me whenever I stood in front of his cage and he would try to talk over me occasionally.

Also sometimes, when he can't see me, he would start testing if I'm there by making a certain call like a finger snapping sound, and I would respond by imitating the same sound, and we would go back and forth for a minute or two until I show up in front of him. Just the day before yesterday, he started testing me with the finger snapping sound outside the bathroom door, because he knew I was in there since he followed me over, but I kept him out. And then he started trying all sorts of different calls just to see which one I can imitate. After I imitate one call, he would immediately try another call. To be honest, I'm not sure which one of us had more fun...

He usually looks very relaxed when he talks to me since his feather would puff up a little, he would yawn, his eyes would get very sleepy and he would even start preening himself sometimes while talking to me back and forth. Even when he get a little more serious when he talks to me, he doesn't look nervous or stressed out.

I thought about start taming him to be more friendly with me, especially to eliminate the biting. But I couldn't figure out a good reward since he is very stubborn and would not eat other food except for certain kinds of seeds. I know this since I'm the one feeding him. His favourite is safflower seeds and dried fruits. He would dump the dried fruit in the water. Since he doesn't like chunks, even very small chunks, I usually cut his dried fruit from the size of a fingernail into very tiny pieces. His second favourite is millet. He would throw the pellets out of his bowl and ignore other things in there. He doesn't even like any nuts or hulled sunflower seeds. He refuses to eat any fruits or vegetables, unless I eat in front of him. It can be literally the same piece of fruit, if I put it in his bowl, he won't touch it, but if I'm eating it, he would try to snatch it from me. So to get him to eat a little fruit and veggie, I would eat in front of him, leave some for him and then let him eat the rest off my plate. I know it's probably not a good habit, but it's the only way so far.

So I can't use any treat to train or tame him so far since the only food he is interested in is his main food source. Another big problem with using treat to tame him is that he would not eat off my finger. Whenever I try to feed him something he like with my finger, even his favourite dried fruit, he would only focus on biting my finger and totally ignore his favourite food. He would even bite my husband if he tries to feed him with his hand or finger. And even when I let him eat fruit off my plate, he would spend half of the time biting the plate and sometimes the fork.

He doesn't like any toys either. We never plays with the toys we bought him. It seems that he is not interested in anything but his favourite food and my husband's attention.

Some other problems include:

1. He hates being inside his cage. He screams every time he is in there and he can't wait to get out (my husband and I have regular full-time jobs, so he would be in the cage from 6:30 am to 4:00 pm during weekdays). Whenever I open the door of his cage, he jumps out onto his door. But if I try to help him get out, he would bite me.
2. He hates noise. He would cream at what he thinks is the source of the noise. He also screams at the pantry and the wall behind his cage a lot.
3. He loves staying on top of our fridge, it might be because it is high up and bright up there.
He loves the mirror in the shower, but he would keep smashing his beak on there. He is scared of the toy mirror I got him.
4. He bobs his head up and down a lot.
5. His eye color makes it really hard to tell if he is pinning his eyes sometimes. So it makes a little harder to read if he is actually happy sometimes. I heard eye pinning can mean they are happy.

Forgive me for this lengthy conure behaviour description (as I suspected this will turn into, sorry about that). Like I mentioned in the beginning, most of the information and advice I looked up online and youtube doesn't really apply to our Birdy. First I really want to understand why he does those things and I would also really like to get some advice specific to his unique behaviours. I love him so much. So if I have hurt him in any way, I would like to know and get some advice on how to rebuild our relationship to a positive one. To be honest, even if he never loves me the same way he loves my husband, I would love him just as much. But more importantly, I want him to be happy. Since my husband can't always spend time with him and give him the attention he wants, so if he can warm up to me without biting me or hating me, he would have another person who can give him lots of attention. I think it would really make him even happier. :)

Well I think that's all for now. Thank you very much for your patience. And I really appreciate any help and advice. :thumbsup:
reneezhang520
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Pineapple green cheeked conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Postby Pajarita » Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:11 pm

Welcome to the forum, Birdie and Renee! Now, don't take this the wrong way because I am not criticizing you, I am merely pointing out something - and that is that when you put so many questions in a single posting is real hard to answer them all. We don't mind long posts (we love hearing about other people's birds!) but when you mix diet, behavior, training, etc in one single post it's a bit difficult to give you a good answer. But I will try :D

OK. Let's see. Yes, all parrots are one-person birds. ALL of them! But this doesn't mean that other people other than the chosen one will get bit. Parrots in the wild are monogamous so they really love just one other parrot but they have all kinds of other relationships with other parrots from daughters hanging out with their mothers to bromances :lol:

GCCs are clingy and extremely needy. People see them small and cute and think of them as a glorified canary but they are not, they are actually harder to keep happy than larger species because they require more time out of cage and much more one-on-one time than other species with the exception of cockatoos. Rule of thumb is 4 hours of out of cage and 2 hours of one-on-one but, for GCCs, you actually need more than that.

It does look as if it chose your husband as his human but, as you've only had it for a little over a month, it's still in its honeymoon stage and this can change. But, again, even if it doesn't and it remains in love with your husband, you can still interact with it without getting bit as long as the bird is not hormonal. And that, the level of 'hormonality' is what is key! Birds are photoperiodic (a long word that means that they regulate their entire endocrine system by the amount and quality of light they are exposed to on a daily basis) so your keeping it up at night won't work for your benefit or the bird's because long days mean breeding season which, in turn, equals sexual hormones and a hormonal bird is an aggressive bird. Unfortunately, because of the way they 'measure' the length of the day (they require full exposure to dawn and dusk), one cannot 'trick' nature and make it so they don't produce sexual hormones if there are exposed to artificial lights before and during dawn or during and after dusk - and that means no lights after 3pm, dinner and beddy bye right after.

Diet: GCCs are, primarily, fruit eaters in the wild so free-feeding them protein food (seeds, nuts, pellets, avicakes, nutriberries, etc) is not good for them. Thankfully, they are very good eaters once they get used to a good diet so it's just a matter of time, persistence and a whole lot of wasted food :lol:

I gotta go bathe my grandson but I will be back with more advice - and hopefully, somebody else will pick up the thread and reply also.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11631
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Postby reneezhang520 » Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:53 pm

Pajarita wrote:Welcome to the forum, Birdie and Renee! Now, don't take this the wrong way because I am not criticizing you, I am merely pointing out something - and that is that when you put so many questions in a single posting is real hard to answer them all. We don't mind long posts (we love hearing about other people's birds!) but when you mix diet, behavior, training, etc in one single post it's a bit difficult to give you a good answer. But I will try :D

OK. Let's see. Yes, all parrots are one-person birds. ALL of them! But this doesn't mean that other people other than the chosen one will get bit. Parrots in the wild are monogamous so they really love just one other parrot but they have all kinds of other relationships with other parrots from daughters hanging out with their mothers to bromances :lol:

GCCs are clingy and extremely needy. People see them small and cute and think of them as a glorified canary but they are not, they are actually harder to keep happy than larger species because they require more time out of cage and much more one-on-one time than other species with the exception of cockatoos. Rule of thumb is 4 hours of out of cage and 2 hours of one-on-one but, for GCCs, you actually need more than that.

It does look as if it chose your husband as his human but, as you've only had it for a little over a month, it's still in its honeymoon stage and this can change. But, again, even if it doesn't and it remains in love with your husband, you can still interact with it without getting bit as long as the bird is not hormonal. And that, the level of 'hormonality' is what is key! Birds are photoperiodic (a long word that means that they regulate their entire endocrine system by the amount and quality of light they are exposed to on a daily basis) so your keeping it up at night won't work for your benefit or the bird's because long days mean breeding season which, in turn, equals sexual hormones and a hormonal bird is an aggressive bird. Unfortunately, because of the way they 'measure' the length of the day (they require full exposure to dawn and dusk), one cannot 'trick' nature and make it so they don't produce sexual hormones if there are exposed to artificial lights before and during dawn or during and after dusk - and that means no lights after 3pm, dinner and beddy bye right after.

Diet: GCCs are, primarily, fruit eaters in the wild so free-feeding them protein food (seeds, nuts, pellets, avicakes, nutriberries, etc) is not good for them. Thankfully, they are very good eaters once they get used to a good diet so it's just a matter of time, persistence and a whole lot of wasted food :lol:

I gotta go bathe my grandson but I will be back with more advice - and hopefully, somebody else will pick up the thread and reply also.


Thank you soooo much Pajarita!!! This is the most helpful information on green cheeked Conure I have received so far. I really, really appreciate it! And I don't usually go on forums, if it's not for Birdie, I wouldn't have discovered such a helpful place. So I will take your advice on posting. :D

I have been feeding wild birds for 3 years, I guess it is pretty different from actually owning a pet bird :lol: and what's not helpful at all is that my husband just took Birdie home without any preparation and prior knowledge on parrots. It's not his fault since I constantly mention that I miss having birds around and nobody would be willing to take care of Birdie. Although I really appreciate him taking Birdie home and I have been so happy to have Birdie around, I have been freaking out a little bit at the same time.

I have very high standards when it comes to taking care of pets. So to be honest, I get frustrated when all Birdie wants is to be with my husband and he can't give him enough attention. For example, Birdie's favorite thing is getting a head scratch from my husband, but his head scratch is kinda lame :roll: I would LOVE to give him a better one for as long as he wants, but he won't let me touch him :gcc:

I'm trying to convert his diet to a healthier one now. He is very stubborn, but the good thing is I have all the patience in the world :P

Thank you very much again for your reply. I will keep learning about these amazing little creatures!!!
reneezhang520
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Pineapple green cheeked conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Postby Pajarita » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:12 pm

I've had 4 GCCs, all of them adults and all came to me because of aggression issues (except for one that bit AND screamed all the time, too - he came all the way from Texas on a plane with my daughter). I rehomed three of them (I keep in touch with the owners and even provide food -gloop- for one of them on a regular basis) and kept one female (Codee) which is now bonded to an old wild-caught and severely handicapped male Peach Front Conure (his name is Pablo). Codee came to me because she bit but, in reality, she is the sweetest, sweetest little thing! She was not treated right (left alone in a ferret cage :shock: with just seeds and water all day long). Her owners loved her but they worked full time and did not know how to care for her properly so the sweet little baby grew up and started biting them.

Try giving her some sort of healthy food like gloop, chop or mash in the morning (mix a bit of seeds in it so he realizes it's food), leave there all day long even if he doesn't touch it. When sunset starts, turn off the lights and give him one heaping tablespoon of a budgie seed mix and, once he falls asleep, take whatever is leftover away so he will be good and hungry in the morning. The only way you can transition a parrot to a good diet is by not providing any protein food during the day and by tough love because, if you feel sorry for him and give him food he likes during the day, he will not start eating the healthy stuff.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11631
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Postby Minimo » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:23 am

I have rehomed a mini yellow collard Mac as and she's very social. From what i have read so far it looks as of my bird is very hormonal. She's not a flyer. She will walk all over though. When her cage is open the floor is where she will and up. These are all good for me but no-one can be in the area when shes out. She would walk up and purr (like a cat) and then just jump at my feet.(lol) we do have an Amazon parrot (male ) has 9 and the female mini Mac as is 18 (according to the previous owner) and he's is the total opposite of her. He like to be on the top of his cage he would fly down every now and again . we purchase him when he was really young so by syringe feeding and so forth we were all able to bond he doesn't get aggressive we know his body language. I am worried about the macaw because of she continues to want to bite I cannot have her out of the cage as much I want to give her space and freedom and I feel bad. Is there a way to teach her not to come after my feet ? She bites really hard. My husband handles her because she only goes on his shoulder if he tried to get her on his finger (like we do with our amazon) she will bite his finger. She shows more signs like she attached to me more but I am afraid of being bitten. I would love to let her and hold her but she's just too aggressive. He now wants to give her away and I really don't want to because i feel she would be sad (moving from one home to another and then to another) but the kids are afraodnof her biting them also . I am hoping some one on the forum can help me get her out of biting pls. I feel as if i am abondoning her she's very friendly otherwise. I would put music on and she would dance in the cage, she'll try to conversate and everything is good. My husband feels as if she being aggressive will make our amazon become aggressive because he but my husband the other day where he actually bled and he has never bitten anyone since we had him . thanks
Minimo
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 2
Number of Birds Owned: 2
Types of Birds Owned: Amazon parrot
And a rehomed yellow collard mini Macaw
Flight: No

Re: Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:09 pm

We will be very happy to try to help you but we need more info. What was her diet in her previous home and what is it now? What was her light schedule in her previous home and what is it now? How long have you had her? Has she been DNA'd female or has she laid eggs? What is her daily routine in terms of out-of-cage and one-on-one time, meals, games, etc? Have you tried using a stick? Why is it that she doesn't fly? Is she clipped? If so, has she always been clipped?
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11631
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Postby reneezhang520 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:41 am

Pajarita wrote:I've had 4 GCCs, all of them adults and all came to me because of aggression issues (except for one that bit AND screamed all the time, too - he came all the way from Texas on a plane with my daughter). I rehomed three of them (I keep in touch with the owners and even provide food -gloop- for one of them on a regular basis) and kept one female (Codee) which is now bonded to an old wild-caught and severely handicapped male Peach Front Conure (his name is Pablo). Codee came to me because she bit but, in reality, she is the sweetest, sweetest little thing! She was not treated right (left alone in a ferret cage :shock: with just seeds and water all day long). Her owners loved her but they worked full time and did not know how to care for her properly so the sweet little baby grew up and started biting them.

Try giving her some sort of healthy food like gloop, chop or mash in the morning (mix a bit of seeds in it so he realizes it's food), leave there all day long even if he doesn't touch it. When sunset starts, turn off the lights and give him one heaping tablespoon of a budgie seed mix and, once he falls asleep, take whatever is leftover away so he will be good and hungry in the morning. The only way you can transition a parrot to a good diet is by not providing any protein food during the day and by tough love because, if you feel sorry for him and give him food he likes during the day, he will not start eating the healthy stuff.


I know it's been a while, but thank you so much for your advice. Shame on me that I couldn't stick with the tough love and now Birdy my conure is on a nutriberry diet with harrison's mash mixed in... but I will really really try to use some tough love because I love him and really want him to be healthy. :D
I love your story with your birds. I just love bird lovers, hahaha. Birdy's relationship with me has improved a lot since then. I started cover myself up (to prevent the biting) and take him with me whatever I do and wherever I go when I'm home. Now he won't leave my side. My husband is still his favorite person, but now he would ask me to give him head scratches all the time and happily step up on my finger. He still bites me but not nearly as hard. He is so funny and sweet I can't say ho much I love him.
Thank you so much again for your story and support, it gave me so much confidence.
reneezhang520
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Pineapple green cheeked conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:12 am

Thank you so much for coming back and giving us an update of such good news! I am so glad we could be of help to you and your baby! My Codee [female GCC] decided to nest this year for the first time in her life [she is 7, I think], she did not lay eggs and the whole 'experiment' did not last long at all but I will be ordering a natural fiber nest and fake eggs for next year because she might start laying now that she had a 'taste' of it :lol: While she was on her 'zone', she refused to come out to spend time with me for a few days and, when I insisted, she grabbed my finger with her beak and applied just enough pressure to let me know that I was being rude and obnoxious but she is back to her sweet self now.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11631
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

Re: Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Postby reneezhang520 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:59 pm

Pajarita wrote:Thank you so much for coming back and giving us an update of such good news! I am so glad we could be of help to you and your baby! My Codee [female GCC] decided to nest this year for the first time in her life [she is 7, I think], she did not lay eggs and the whole 'experiment' did not last long at all but I will be ordering a natural fiber nest and fake eggs for next year because she might start laying now that she had a 'taste' of it :lol: While she was on her 'zone', she refused to come out to spend time with me for a few days and, when I insisted, she grabbed my finger with her beak and applied just enough pressure to let me know that I was being rude and obnoxious but she is back to her sweet self now.


Kidding me? I love it here. So glad I found this forum and I really appreciate your help. Your birds are so cute. Birds might require a lot, but it's worth it. Please keep us updated on your effort with Codee! I would like to know more!!! :D :D :D
reneezhang520
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 8
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Pineapple green cheeked conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Help!!! My bird loves my husband but hates me

Postby liz » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:45 am

Rainbow is my bird. When I brought him home he was all about me and I could do no wrong. When he met my mother he put her first and moved me to second. When my daughter move in she became second person and moved me to third. He considered my aunt entertainment. He would hide behind the toilet and wait for her. He would jump up and attack her legs.

When Momma died he tried to make friends with my aunt. She was the closest thing he could find as a "Grandma". That was short lived since she ignored her.

While I was here with my critters and Rachel was still in NC, she gave up on Rachel and moved me to first place again. I am number one but he still socializes with the others.
User avatar
liz
Macaw
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 6467
Location: Hernando FL
Number of Birds Owned: 13
Types of Birds Owned: DYH Amazon Rainbow
BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Tommy Maggie Lacy Flutter Phoenix Jackie Andy Gimpy Louise
Flight: Yes

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