Desperately need help with CAG w/ MAJOR behavior problems

by Lynne

African Grey - Ryo

African Grey - Ryo

I'm at my wits end here. I don't know what to do. Ryo, my 6 month old CAG is having MAJOR behavioral problems. Let me start off by saying that he is always very loving towards me and loves my attention (of course). He used to be this way with my boyfriend, but he changed overnight, won't let him get near him without freaking out (flying away, yelling, lunging at him to try to bite him), so my bf has stopped even trying to win him over even though I encourage him to talk to Ryo and give him treats, etc.

For the last three days, Ryo has acted this way toward me, but only at a certain time. For example, this morning I got him out of his problem. The usual kisses and hugs and baby talk just like every morning. I placed him on his tree perch in the living room and nothing seemed wrong. I gave him his usual pellet/seed/veggie mix and he seemed okay.

All of a sudden, he flies off his perch. Well, this is normal and I go to pick him up like usual...only, he's screeching very loud, flapping his wings and trying his best to get away from me. This was very strange because he has never done this in the past, usually I scoop him up and put him back on his tree or cuddle with him. This time though, he flies (he can fly only short distances) to the kitchen, and I'm following hurt and puzzled right behind him. He then flies behind the couch to get away from me, screeching and going crazy. I try to get him out from behind the couch and he lunges at me as if he is going to bite. This scares me a little so I back off.

I finally do end up picking him up and notice that his heart is beating sooooo fast, he's breathing heavily and screeching loudly again, and flies away. It's as though he is terrified of me!

I ended up having to towel him to put him in his cage, and left crying. I almost called into work, but instead I cried all the way to work and had a really bad day because all I could think about was why Ryo has been acting this way. I'm so afraid he's going to start treating me like he does my bf. I couldn't even come up to his cage without him getting agitated. Was toweling him the right thing to do? He acted worse, screaming, kicking, and trying to flap his wings after he was toweled. This broke my heart!

Tonight, I come home at 11pm and check on Ryo. He's as fine as he can be. I take him out of his cage and we cuddle like normal. Everything is fine. I put him in the floor and sat beside him to see what he would do. He climbed on me, giving me kisses and cuddled with me like nothing was wrong.

This has happened for the past 3 days. I'm not sure what is triggering this. It's just that certain time of day before I go to work that he acts this way. He's fine up until he flies off his perch, then all h-ll breaks loose. Then, at night he's fine, even if he flies off his perch. I have been reading that birds need at least 10 hours of sleep at night. I used to not bother him at all at night, but ever since he started acting afraid of me during the day, I always feel I need to check on him when I come home from work.

Maybe he's not getting enough out of cage time??? Mon-Thurs (when I'm working), he gets 2-3 hours of out of cage time, but Fri, Sat, and Sun it's usually all day or at least 6 hours. I'm not sure what to do. I'm sorry this was so long, I just needed to vent and also need advice desperately!

Comments for Desperately need help with CAG w/ MAJOR behavior problems

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Feb 27, 2008
Ckeck this
by: Anonymous

Have you changed anything in your appearance in the last 3 days? New watch, earings, glasses? It may be something small that you are wearing or putting on before work that you do not have when you get home?

I had this same trouble with one of my birds. Same thing, she would freak out so bad I was afraid she was going to really harm herself. This went on for 4 days before I figured out that she was afraid my hand because I had a band-aid on. I put it on before I went to work to keep the cut clean and was taking it off when I got home.

I don't know if this will help. Hope it will be that simple-good luck.

Feb 09, 2008
Some things to try
by: Anonymous


First, calm down. I've had this problem too, and my bird and I are still together after 15 years.

Second, your bird has had a big fright, and your anxiety isn't helping the situation.

Third, you need some basic information about what some of these postures and activities mean. May I suggest that you take a look at a good behavior book and read it cover to cover, just to give you a sense of what's going on.

If you can't find another one, try the behavior section of Conures from the Animal Planet Pet Care Series. I wrote this book to help everyone with their birds. The chapters are short, simple, and to the point. Your local library may have a copy if you don't want to purchase it.

Have your boyfriend back off for a few days. Try not to be so worried. Keep doing what you're doing, but get a little more education about your feathered friend.

My website, has some articles that might help you.

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