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Help! My ringneck is aggressive to my GCC

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 ringneck is aggressive to my GCC

Postby reneezhang520 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:05 am

Dear Parrot Lovers, I’m looking for some advice. My ringneck really doesn’t like my conure and is aggressive to him whenever he gets close.

Names to avoid confusion:
Birdy=Green Cheeked Conure
Baby=Indian Ringneck

We got our ringneck on May 27th from a bird store (now I realized that you can't go to a bird store and "just look and play with the birds"). We named her Baby since she was just a baby bird. She just turned 4 months old (we never had her sexed, but she has large feet and shorter tail, more like an adult female, so for now we think she is a girl).

A little back story on our conure, hopefully it will help you understand the situation a little more. We got our conure on Nov. 2nd 2016. My husband's coworker found him (we never had him sexed, just assumed it’s a male) in her yard. She kept him for a week while putting up flyers in the neighbourhood and trying to find the owner. Finally nobody claimed him and she couldn't keep him any longer. She has four kids and a lot of smokers in her house. Since I always wanted a bird, my husband took him home for me and we named him Birdy. Man, was I in for a surprise. I had 20 canaries, 2 finches and a quail in my life, I loved all of them so much, but a parrot is so different. And unfortunately Birdy picked my husband as his favorite person very quickly. For the first 2 or 3 months, he would furiously attack my finger or hand or any of my body part as soon as they got close to him, and if I walk away from him, he would fly on me and bite my arms, neck and ears until they bleed. I took some advice online and my vet, and tried to improve my relationship with Birdy by totally covering myself up and taking him everywhere I go in the house. Everything I do I have him with me. Gradually, he warmed up to me. He went from hating my finger with uncontrollable rage all the time to letting me give him a head scratch, to asking for head scratches from me all the time. He would fly to me and greet me as soon as I got back. Although my husband is still his favorite person and he still bites me, but now he wouldn't leave my side, he loves sitting on my hand when I'm at my computer and we can do that all day, he is with me even when I'm sitting on the toilet. And to be honest, I really enjoy having him with me all the time and I love him sooooo much.

Birdy is free to walk and fly around in our one-bedroom apartment. He is never in his cage. We got him the Prevue parrot cage on wheels with the food top, and we make sure it is not overly big and intimidating for him, but he also has a lot of space to move around and play. He still gets really anxious and screams every time we put him in the cage, even when it's bed time, which means he doesn't get a lot of sleep, and this has started since the first day we got him. So we let him free in the whole apartment. He can go anywhere he wants and everywhere is his territory. Even when we go to work, he is free in the house all day. We make sure there is nothing dangerous for him and luckily, he never gets into any trouble.

We were worried that he would be aggressive to any new bird we get, so I took some advice online and got a young bird who is also bigger than he is, which is our baby ringneck. To our surprise, he is very good with Baby. He is not jealous in any way. He just wants his food and us. As long as he can sit with us, get head scratches and get his food, he is a happy little thing. He is curious about Baby and wants to make friends, sometimes he would even follow Baby around a little bit, but every time he gets close to Baby, Baby gets furious, bites and attacks him. But even when Baby is attacking, he is not scared. He doesn't move away, and neither would he attack Baby back, he acts like nothing happened. We make sure we are there every time they are in the same room and Birdy never got hurt, but this makes me worry a lot. Yesterday, we were all in the living room, Baby saw me giving Birdy a head scratch, she screamed. I didn't go to her when she was screaming, and she flew over and attacked Birdy. Birdy was in no way intimidated, neither was he hurt because we took Baby away immediately, he was still asking for his head scratches. I did looked up a lot of information online and tried to work on both of them a lot, such as having them in the same room, close enough to each other but both occupied by an activity they like so that they, especially Baby would get used to the other one's presence. It didn't seem to work very much, and it certainly didn't help when Birdy took food out of Baby's mouth once. They sometimes would fight for food even when there is plenty for both of them in a mutual area (some advice I got to get them use to each other). In their mind, they just want food and our attention. Especially Birdy, he is used to taking what he wants, he thinks Baby is just another bird and means no harm, even she attacks him and is so much bigger than he is. What a bold little boy.

What is worse is that they would both fly on my shoulder all the time. I personally don’t like putting them in their cages, let alone both of them hate their cage, even after I tried so many toys with them. And I’m not a fan of wing clipping either. I don’t want to take away Birdy’s time with me, he is so sweet, funny and happy when he is with me, but I also want to make sure Baby has a lot of attention, which seems to be impossible since she attacks Birdy so easily. My husband would help out by taking one of them once in awhile, but he is sooo busy and plus, he is not the bird person in the family, I am. He got all the birds for me….

So my question is, is there any hope that they would ever get along or even go as far as liking each other? I heard ringnecks, especially female ringnecks can be really aggressive at times, even kill their mate, which scares me so much. I would really appreciate some advice from bird lovers here. Thanks a lot! (by the way, just when I was writing this, Birdy went to steal food inside Baby’s cage, Baby was just too focused on the toy with treats in there, thank God…)
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 ringneck is aggressive to my GCC

Postby Pajarita » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:30 am

Yes, of course there is hope! Parrots are naturally highly social animals and benefit from the presence of another parrot in their lives. My birds all share me and the space they live in and they have all gotten used to each other to the point that the pois [two senegals and two redbellies] would, on occasion, even fly in flock. And I have a male peachfront bonded to a female GCC and a male cockatoo helping a female gray with her eggs as if he was the daddy :lol:

I don't know where you got the 'get a young, larger bird' advice from but that would not have been my advice because the best chance for two birds to get along is when they are of the same age [not necessarily the same-same age but two babies, two young adults or two older adults, that kind of thing], same species and opposite gender so I would have told you to have Birdy sexed and look for another adult GCC of the opposite gender [I've always found it's best to follow nature's guidelines as to what is best for them without trying to second guess her]. Right now, you have a baby and an adult and because the IRN is a baby and the adult is GCC, you are dealing with two needy birds which don't find each other attractive at all [Birdy ignores Baby and Baby is jealous of Birdy]. But all you have to do is wait for the IRN to grow up into an adult and your problem will be over because IRNs are a bit aloof to humans once they reach the age of sexual activity [they are an aviary and not a companion species] so the baby will slowly become more independent and would not get jealous for your love - it might even bond with Birdy! So, my advice to you is hang in there and monitor their interactions VERY closely for the next year or so and you should be fine after that.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11855
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 ringneck is aggressive to my GCC

Postby reneezhang520 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:36 pm

Pajarita wrote:Yes, of course there is hope! Parrots are naturally highly social animals and benefit from the presence of another parrot in their lives. My birds all share me and the space they live in and they have all gotten used to each other to the point that the pois [two senegals and two redbellies] would, on occasion, even fly in flock. And I have a male peachfront bonded to a female GCC and a male cockatoo helping a female gray with her eggs as if he was the daddy :lol:

I don't know where you got the 'get a young, larger bird' advice from but that would not have been my advice because the best chance for two birds to get along is when they are of the same age [not necessarily the same-same age but two babies, two young adults or two older adults, that kind of thing], same species and opposite gender so I would have told you to have Birdy sexed and look for another adult GCC of the opposite gender [I've always found it's best to follow nature's guidelines as to what is best for them without trying to second guess her]. Right now, you have a baby and an adult and because the IRN is a baby and the adult is GCC, you are dealing with two needy birds which don't find each other attractive at all [Birdy ignores Baby and Baby is jealous of Birdy]. But all you have to do is wait for the IRN to grow up into an adult and your problem will be over because IRNs are a bit aloof to humans once they reach the age of sexual activity [they are an aviary and not a companion species] so the baby will slowly become more independent and would not get jealous for your love - it might even bond with Birdy! So, my advice to you is hang in there and monitor their interactions VERY closely for the next year or so and you should be fine after that.


Thank you so much. You always have helpful answers :D And your advice is the only one that make me see hope so far. I have had people telling me that GCC are fearless little birds and they often end up getting killed because they tend to be curious and fearless, and provoke larger birds somehow and end up dead, which sounds just like Birdy, my conure. And it makes me worry that somehow he is going to make my ringneck snap and kill him, since she is already not a big fan of him :cry: And the fact that he likes taking food from her and does not know to run away when being attacked is not very helpful...

We were not thinking about getting a ringneck at all. We just went to this store with very good review online, my plan is to just look around and play with the birds, maybe get a canary. But Baby just stood out to us. She was really cute and sweet and it made me tear up immediately once I held her in my hand. We couldn't leave with her. But somehow after she came home with us, she has changed. She is still sweet some times, but now she really hates my fingers and wants to destroy them whenever she gets the chance. A lot of the time she is just angry. I wondered if it is because of Birdy. She is really jealous. Or because we leave her in the cage all day when we go to work, although she is out of the cage all night on weekdays and all day on weekends.

I got that advice on a website, it's more for people who are worried that their first bird would get jealous and try to hurt the second bird, so having the second bird bigger so he/she would not easily get hurt and also a younger bird is less likely to try to dominate the first bird immediately. That's their reasoning. But we got the opposite situation here, since Birdy is not jealous at all and somehow our baby ringneck ended up being the jealous one.

Thank you so much, though. My vet also suggest me to take a break and give baby ringneck a chance, it's not even a month after all. I'm just glad that, although I do not have full control over them yet, I'm at least capable of separating them immediately every time Baby attacks. Any actions that you suggest I could take?

Thank you very much again for your help. With Birdy before and now with both Birdy and Baby.
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 ringneck is aggressive to my GCC

Postby Pajarita » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:48 am

Well, I will tell you what I do but I don't have babies ever because all my birds are adoptions, rehomes or rescues so they all come to me as adults which helps A LOT in getting them to accept one another.

What I do is quarantine the new bird in a place where it can hear the other birds but not see them or interact with them so, by the time quarantine is over, the bird is already used to the other birds presence and callings even though it has never seen them. Then I put the cage in a spot far from the others and let it out only by itself when the others are in their cages always monitoring that the others don't perch on the new bird's cage or the new bird doesn't perch on the other's cages (the greatest majority of them absolutely HATE having another bird perch on their cage). This doesn't really last more than a few days before I move the new bird cage close to the others, especially the one that I want the new bird to bond with. I put the cages about two inches apart so they can see each other very close but cannot reach out into the other's cage with their beak or feet and I start letting them out at the same time trying to spread myself in terms of personal attention so nobody feels left out. Because the new bird is always an adult which has known another human before me, this bird is not going to want to be on me all the time and that works to my advantage. Eventually, the bird starts following me around from room to room, perching in front of me and begins to slowly interact with me (a scratch here, a treat there, a song, a dance, etc). By now, everybirdy is very much aware of the new kid on the block and either ignore it or try to engage it in some way. I monitor this but only intervene when they fight by separating them and putting them both in their cages for no longer than five minutes (it's not punishment, it's just a time out to allow them to cool off their tempers) and I scold the one that started it :D I also use their natural daily biorhythms as tools - for example, I start by letting the new bird come out at noon which is a naturally 'calm' time for them as they all stop activity to rest at this time and they are much less prone to fights.

Now, this stage lasts a looong time (months and months, sometimes all the way up to a couple of years) but they gradually get used to one another and, as I have a number of birds, they all end up accepting one another without a problem. Right now, I am trying to get Isis Redbelly to accept Davy Redbelly but we are a couple of years away from achieving a bond between the two.

But your situation is different because you have a baby which needs hours and hours and hours of one-on-one attention AND an adult that, because it belongs to a super needy species, will always need hours and hours and hours of one-on-one and you work full time so, in reality, you don't have that many hours to devote to either of them and you can't use the noon rest time, either... What I would do is make sure there is no food in either cage when I let them out because you want to avoid the little one going into the bigger bird's cage to eat its food. But I don't know how you are going to manage to devote enough one-on-one to them separately. My GCC spends two hours on me every morning while I do my chores and then goes back to her flight cage with her mate so she has 'touching' company (which is the ONLY company a GCC understand) 24/7/365. I've never had a psittacula but, for what I have read about them, they become independent and aloof to humans as they reach the age of sexual activity looking into finding another bird for company so it might end up that Baby bonds with Birdie for lack of a similar species...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11855
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 ringneck is aggressive to my GCC

Postby reneezhang520 » Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:39 pm

Pajarita wrote:Well, I will tell you what I do but I don't have babies ever because all my birds are adoptions, rehomes or rescues so they all come to me as adults which helps A LOT in getting them to accept one another.

What I do is quarantine the new bird in a place where it can hear the other birds but not see them or interact with them so, by the time quarantine is over, the bird is already used to the other birds presence and callings even though it has never seen them. Then I put the cage in a spot far from the others and let it out only by itself when the others are in their cages always monitoring that the others don't perch on the new bird's cage or the new bird doesn't perch on the other's cages (the greatest majority of them absolutely HATE having another bird perch on their cage). This doesn't really last more than a few days before I move the new bird cage close to the others, especially the one that I want the new bird to bond with. I put the cages about two inches apart so they can see each other very close but cannot reach out into the other's cage with their beak or feet and I start letting them out at the same time trying to spread myself in terms of personal attention so nobody feels left out. Because the new bird is always an adult which has known another human before me, this bird is not going to want to be on me all the time and that works to my advantage. Eventually, the bird starts following me around from room to room, perching in front of me and begins to slowly interact with me (a scratch here, a treat there, a song, a dance, etc). By now, everybirdy is very much aware of the new kid on the block and either ignore it or try to engage it in some way. I monitor this but only intervene when they fight by separating them and putting them both in their cages for no longer than five minutes (it's not punishment, it's just a time out to allow them to cool off their tempers) and I scold the one that started it :D I also use their natural daily biorhythms as tools - for example, I start by letting the new bird come out at noon which is a naturally 'calm' time for them as they all stop activity to rest at this time and they are much less prone to fights.

Now, this stage lasts a looong time (months and months, sometimes all the way up to a couple of years) but they gradually get used to one another and, as I have a number of birds, they all end up accepting one another without a problem. Right now, I am trying to get Isis Redbelly to accept Davy Redbelly but we are a couple of years away from achieving a bond between the two.

But your situation is different because you have a baby which needs hours and hours and hours of one-on-one attention AND an adult that, because it belongs to a super needy species, will always need hours and hours and hours of one-on-one and you work full time so, in reality, you don't have that many hours to devote to either of them and you can't use the noon rest time, either... What I would do is make sure there is no food in either cage when I let them out because you want to avoid the little one going into the bigger bird's cage to eat its food. But I don't know how you are going to manage to devote enough one-on-one to them separately. My GCC spends two hours on me every morning while I do my chores and then goes back to her flight cage with her mate so she has 'touching' company (which is the ONLY company a GCC understand) 24/7/365. I've never had a psittacula but, for what I have read about them, they become independent and aloof to humans as they reach the age of sexual activity looking into finding another bird for company so it might end up that Baby bonds with Birdie for lack of a similar species...


Thank you so much. It's very good advice. I'm just having both of them out when I'm home and stay very alert all the time. They already don't have a lot of time with us because of our jobs. It is going to take years for both of us to transition into our second career and hopefully it can give us more time. But who knows when that will happen. :lol: I actually read something similar about ringnecks too, that they are not particularly interested in humans, they would appreciate the interaction and time with us, but they won't demand it or seek it, especially male ringnecks can be pretty aloof. Anyway, I would rather Baby bond with Birdy than with us. Just now Birdy was preening Baby and Baby did not take it well. I think Birdy does need a friend and maybe that's why he follows Baby sometimes. This makes me a little sad. Hopefully Baby will change her mind about Birdy later when she grows up.

I really appreciate your help and support. I would also like to continue hearing your bird stories if you have time. Thanks again for your help!
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 ringneck is aggressive to my GCC

Postby Pajarita » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:03 am

:lol: There are always great stories here but I will try to post pictures on my next update (it's always more fun when you can actually see the birds, isn't it?)
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11855
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 ringneck is aggressive to my GCC

Postby reneezhang520 » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:03 pm

Pajarita wrote::lol: There are always great stories here but I will try to post pictures on my next update (it's always more fun when you can actually see the birds, isn't it?)


Yeah, definitely! Stories and pictures! I would really like to see all your birds! Update when you can :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


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