Green Cheek Conures are fabulous birds. Of course, you already know that because you own one. What you may have also found out about your Green Cheek Conure is that they can be prone to biting. This is a common behavior problem among Green Cheeks for a number of reasons. Fortunately, the problem can be eliminated in a few steps.
Three steps to stop your Green Cheek Conure from biting once and for all.
The absolute first thing that you need to do is determine if your Green Cheek is biting or breaking. Green Cheek Conures are particularly prone to breaking behavior. It is normal behavior and one that you do not want to discourage in your bird. Beaking is your Conure’s way of exploring you and his environment. It is important that he be allowed to express his natural behaviors.
That being said, it is also important that your Conure understands the difference between acceptable beaking and beaking with too much pressure – beaking that turns into biting.
Pay attention to when your bird exhibits the behavior. Does he bite when you reach into his cage? Does he bite as he’s interacting with you, maybe sitting on your shoulder? Does your Green Cheek Conure bite as a greeting?
Is your Green Cheek Conure going through his nippy phase?
Many Green Cheek Conures, actually many parrots in general, go through a nippy phase as they mature. It generally seems to occur around the age of two. It can be a tough time, as Green Cheek Conures tend to take this nippy phase to the extreme. If you don’t get it under control, it can become a real behavior problem.
You don’t want to punish the bird by hitting the cage and you certainly don’t want to hit your parrot. Some Conure owners find that pulling their hand away and startling the bird works for them, but this is a risky practice and can end up making the problem worse because the bird becomes scared and skittish.
Trick Train your Green Cheek Conure
There are two really important ‘tricks’ that you need to teach your bird right away. When you train these tricks you will eliminate much of the biting behavior. What are the tricks? Step up and Step down. They are commands that you give your bird to let him know that you want him to step onto your finger or off of your finger and are particularly useful when retrieving your bird from his cage.
These two commands teach aggressive birds that you are the boss, you are the one in control and they give shy or timid birds the comfort of knowing what you expect from them. The commands provide structure.
Trick training is a wonderful way to bond with your Green Cheek Conure and eliminate biting, however training these two commands is only the beginning and if you train them incorrectly they can make the biting problem worse. The best advice is to seek the skills of a bird training professional.