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Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

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Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

Postby Elaol » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:22 am

Hi everyone, my first post here.

I have Maroon bellied conure named Puppy. She (I did not DNA test, I just presume she is she) is very cute and affectionate, my mom and I love her.

3 or 4 days ago she started plucking our hair. She comes onto our shoulder and she plucks and plucks, there is no stopping. I hope she isn't ingesting any hair. if we raise our shirt so she cannot pluck our hair, she starts biting our hands.

How to discourage this?

EDIT: She was very tame (until recently), she was hand-fed when we bought her 1.5 years ago. I tried clicker training her, without success.
Last edited by Elaol on Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

Postby ParrotsForLife » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:23 am

Do you mean preening?
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Re: Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

Postby Elaol » Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:25 am

ParrotsForLife wrote:Do you mean preening?


No, preening would presume that she is gently chewing our hair to clean it, like she used to do with my hair and beard. She is acting like a tweezers, she bites the hair and then plucks it out. It is very painful
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Re: Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

Postby Bird woman » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:15 pm

I have a bird that does this and actually she is grooming me , any imperfections, she is after including hair that escapes my pony tail . could be a good thing if they could be trained to shape eyebrows. BW :roll: suck it up buttercup your birdie is making you pretty and showing affection :lol:
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Re: Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

Postby Elaol » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:46 pm

Bird woman wrote:I have a bird that does this and actually she is grooming me , any imperfections, she is after including hair that escapes my pony tail . could be a good thing if they could be trained to shape eyebrows. BW :roll: suck it up buttercup your birdie is making you pretty and showing affection :lol:


I don't think this is the case, since she was grooming us before, for over a year. This behavior has started recently. I don't want to suck it up, I have enough problems without her attacking me. How to discourage it?
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Re: Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

Postby Bird woman » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:10 pm

You mean it's being done viscously :shock: well I also have a new one that will rip the hair out of my head if I'm bent over him scolding him and I put his little butt in time out when he does it. Honestly it sounds a little like hormonal behavior which I'm dealing with also in my flock. I have a small rescue and honestly these birds are forever changing for many different reasons. Hormones , season change , maturity , something changing in household , cage placement , food change , light schedule difference etc etc . Try and think of anything different that's happened since you noticed the change . This is one of the reasons so many parrots end up in rescues or banished to a back room because we as humans don't understand there response to all of the above all we can do is study , listen to others story's and Glenn through the mountains of good and misguided info that's out there. Be patient and try to figure it out and your sweet bird will return . I have parrots that I have had for years and when they get hormonal there like having a miniature T-Rex in the house. Check out pajirta's solar schedule and cage placement and species specific postings on nutritional needs and I'll bet that helps. BW
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Re: Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

Postby Pajarita » Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:12 pm

Well, at her age, she has recently gone through or is still going through her 'puberty' so I think her aggression (yes, I agree with you, Elaol, that this behavior is a mild form of aggression) has to do with hormones and/or frustration so I would re-evaluate your husbandry, if I were you. Is she been kept at a strict solar schedule? A low protein/low fat diet with lots and lots of fresh (dry doesn't count) fruits every single day? Is she having enough out-of-cage and one-on-one time? GCCs, contrary to what most people who acquire them believe, are not easy birds to keep. Their diet needs to be maintained at low protein/fat and high fiber/moisture and they need an INORDINATE amount of personal time spent on them...
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Re: Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

Postby Elaol » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:27 am

Pajarita wrote:Well, at her age, she has recently gone through or is still going through her 'puberty' so I think her aggression (yes, I agree with you, Elaol, that this behavior is a mild form of aggression) has to do with hormones and/or frustration so I would re-evaluate your husbandry, if I were you. Is she been kept at a strict solar schedule? A low protein/low fat diet with lots and lots of fresh (dry doesn't count) fruits every single day? Is she having enough out-of-cage and one-on-one time? GCCs, contrary to what most people who acquire them believe, are not easy birds to keep. Their diet needs to be maintained at low protein/fat and high fiber/moisture and they need an INORDINATE amount of personal time spent on them...


She has chop every day, so a lot of fresh vegies, not a lot of fresh fruit. We cannot buy pellets anywhere, so she is on seed diet, unfortunately. But there are a lot of healthy seeds, like hemp, chia, sesame, flax, etc.

She is out 5 or more hours per day. She is usually really affectionate, we cuddle with her a lot (only the head). She chews furniture a lot, she has drilled a hole in one box. She likes to hide there.

The only thing that was out of ordinary is that my mom has given her Spelt seeds without me knowing about it.

We live in a small apartment, so we don't have the luxury of moving her in another room. We put her to bed at 10 PM (please don't judge me here, if we put her at 8PM she continues playing with her toys until we go to bed). We wake up at 9AM so that is when we uncover her cage.

That is about it considering our routine.
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Re: Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

Postby Bird woman » Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:06 pm

I would be willing to put money on the hormonal issue being the problem. Although most of my parrots love to play in boxs , hide inside closets and carriers ,this only serves to increase there hormonal instinct to nest and breed and those things have been taken away. I'm not getting on you about the bed time thing , but pajarita is very right about the solar schedule or as close to it as possible or I fear your problems are just beginning considering your baby's age. Maybe a bird safe full spectrum light on a timer during the day and a very dark cover at night would help to regulate the sleeping schedule but that would put your baby up at daylight and if your grey is anything like mine when she is up we are all up! :lol: several of my fids stay up messing around in the dark for a while but they still see the dawn and the dusk and it keeps them regulated. The only time I have a problem is when a new one comes into the rescue changing it from a human light schedule and I'm running out of windows. :roll: BW
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Re: Hair plucking Maroon Bellied conure

Postby Pajarita » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:03 pm

Well, there's your answer! She is been kept all year round at a breeding light schedule and she has become not only sexually frustrated but is, most likely, in constant pain from it so, if I were you, I would put her on a strict solar schedule ASAP. It's not a matter of us judging you - believe me when I tell you that we all know how hard it is to keep birds to a strict solar schedule - Sheesh! I have NO social life whatsoever for 9 months of the year because of it!
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