How do I hand tame a 2 year old sun conure who is cage aggressive

by Dream
(Newark Nj )

I work at Petland discounts And I have worked here for about a month now. Every morning when I clean the bird room I let the sun conure out so I can show him some attation. He has been in that store with no one interacting with him and he has been stuck in the cage. My co workers say that he had been mean ever since they sold his mate about a year ago.

I plan on buying him I think he needs a good home but every time I put my hand out to him to try to teach him to step up he bites me hard what should I do??

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Feb 25, 2018
Trust and time
by: Anonymous

I used to visit Petland in Saskatoon a lot when I lived there . There was a sun conure which had a little aggression towards anyone that tried bringing him out the cage . Even the staff at the store were a little afraid of him . So they warned me about him before I opened the door that he bites. I thought well there’s a challenge to start , so I clenched my fist so there wasn’t much to bite at and let him try take his anger out on me . I did the same for a few days and eventually put my fingers out to make him step up which he was wary at first but after a few hrs he was confident to do so . Next few days I brought him out the cage and let him climb up my arm and started interreacting with him with millet and sunflower seeds . This went on for a few more days until he become my friend and never wanted to go back in his cage as he was that comfy with me he liked to snuggle up against my neck . One of the staff noticed the progress and told me he’s beginning to miss me and is always looking for me . Which I noticed when I came in to see him and he couldn’t wait to come out the cage for me . Was told that he didn’t like anyone else go near him and that I should buy him , I was tempted but didn’t have the funds and wasn’t prepared to pay the price they were asking for him which was $1899 . I can buy them cheaper in the UK for a lot less without tax added on too for $445.00 which is 250 pound in uk money . But since it was a pet shop I went in to see him and he was sold which kinda upset me a little and after time I did the same to other conures . I’m now back in the Uk after 7 years in Canada so thinking of buying a sun conure to have a good friendship with .

Feb 07, 2013
Cage aggressive bird
by: Tracie

Congratulations! Cage aggression is not unusual. Our conures became cage protective. We just opened the door to the cage and let them climb out before picking them up. I would put them on a play stand to mess with the inside of the cage.

We have some training articles and health articles on our Parrot Training page if you would like more reading material.

Feb 07, 2013
by: Dream

Thank you so much for all your advice! I bought him! He's still a little shy but I'm glad I took him cuz he only likes me and I know I care about he's well being. I've done alot of research and bought a few books but I know he'll be happy he has so much stuff lol! Thnx again :)

Jan 14, 2013
How do I hand tame a 2 year old sun conure who is cage aggressive
by: Anonymous

I had brought my uncles IRN into our home, she was passive, and scared. My uncle died of cancer, given to his kid, and she moved, a lot of change. She stressed and plucked, then became aggressive.

Do not buy the bird bc you feel sorry for him. Buy the bird bc he will be apart of the family, and bc you HAVE time to work with him. Birds require a lot of attn. DAILY.

This is what I did with her:
First 2-3 wks, let her sit in her new cage, let her get a feel for sounds, smells, and daily routine. I sat next to the cage, sang and talked to her. Gave her treats thru the bars. Changing water food, papers daily.

Month later, I still talked/sang to her. I went bought a DOG training clicker. Used the same basic steps for training a dog for the bird. Starting with getting him to step up on a perch you're holding, then target training. Again, not attempting to hold her. You have to EARN the bird's trust, it's not given freely. Eventually you can hold him, but it will take alot of time, and working with him daily.

There's videos on youtube that you can watch to help with training & target training, using a clicker.
Bird does what you want, click, treat. There's also other training videos as well. Watch them all.
Watch the birds pupils, if they pin (get really small) chances are he will bite. Remember you're quicker than the bird.. if you see the eyes pin, & bird starting to reach for you quickly show the flat back part of your hand (fingers tucked into a fist) to him. Never pull your hand away. Birds can't bite a flat surface. This shows the bird you're not afraid. Bitting won't make you go away.

Training is important it builds trust btwn you 2, even allowing a bond to form. The bird needs to know you're in charge, not him. Birds will try to bully you. You can't let them. Never scream, yell, or throw things at the bird bc he bit you, or wouldn't do what you wanted. You need to start with training basics, step up onto a perch that you're holding, then target, then from there, establish tricks, like high 5.

Chances are, you will get bit a time or two during the begining stages of training, never pull your hand away, or react. The bird may like your reaction, and do it just bc of that.

You will have your hands full. Look up all info on the bird's breed, get informed. Watch training videos before you buy him so YOU know what to expect. Make sure this is something you're willing to do dailiy. Can't just let a bird sit in the cage alone with no input.
Make sure to have plenty of toys for him as well.

THink before you buy! GL have fun if you decide to make him apart of the family!

Jan 14, 2013
by: Anonymous

I had a very very mean Conure years ago, he went through alot and was much older than the one you are interested in. TIME, and a change of ENVIRONMENT will def. make a dent in your progress. THe problem is that he/she is stuck in that environment. He may never come around there. He sees himself in JAIL with a bunch of other animals. Once he has his new home, new comforts, new routine and sees you on a one on one time, routine, that bird will make a new friend in you and forget about the past life he had. He is ANGRY, SAD, LONELY and you are NOT A BIRD so don't give up, they have amazing personalities trapped in there, they just don't know how to tell you whats wrong. If you adopt you will have the right time and setting to work with the bird. Mine came around after six months. Some birds take less time, some longer but thats okay, they live for many years! Join a parrot group, talk to other conure owners. Today I have 1 Sun Conure and 1 baby Indian Ringneck, they are both the stars of our home, loved and spoiled.

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