Jenday obsessive chewing on clothes

by Tara

I am having a problem with my Jenday Conure, Buddie biting my clothes obsessively. We have had him almost a year and he is about six-years-old. We got him from a bird rescue. He has been thoroughly checked by our Avian Vet for any health problems. The vet is aware of his behavior but doesn’t seem very hopeful in changing his behavior. I don’t think that behavior is his strong point.
We also have a Female Nanday Conure that we have had about two years that we got at the same place. Buddie, the Jenday gets along great with her and moved in with her several months ago. He would go in her cage and eat her food and she wouldn’t care at all. He didn't want to go to his own cage at night so we just keep them together.

Buddy wants to constantly be with me and screams for me to get him. At first I would have a towel on my shoulder and he would chew on it. So I allowed him to chew on an old towel. I know I spoiled him. Now, if he is on the couch with me and I am busy doing something or I fall asleep he chews my clothing. I know I have spoiled him by not stopping him much. I have been too tolerant and just wear chewed-on clothes near him.
About four months ago he decided to start flying after and chasing my daughter who he used to love. I tried putting him in the cage and covering it with a blanket to let him know he was in trouble. The blanket distracts him from screaming for a while because he can't see me. We decided to have his wings trimmed because of his aggressive behavior. I was suggested on your site. He was chewing before the wing clipping but has definitely gotten worse. I don’t know if that is a factor. He also seems to be in a hormonal stage and is even worse right now. Now he screams for me to get him and wants to be with me either in my shirt or on my shoulder. My family says he is better behaved if I am not home.
Is there anything I can do at this point to change this behavior? I don’t want him to be stressed out and scream for me constantly. Actually, I would like having him do my chores with me and even hide in my shirt as long as he wouldn't bite my clothes. Please give me some advice.

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Feb 07, 2014
Jenday obsessive chewing on clothes
by: Anonymous

I think your bird has bonded TOO strongly with you. Which would explain the screaming for you, & the aggression with your daughter.

A bird's job is to tear stuff up. It's natural for them to do. It's your job to provide them as a pet, with the proper things to tear & chew up!

My Grey has about 16 toys in her cage & additional foot toys on the top play gym. Some are ropes, wood, straws, cardboard rings etc.

I had to teach her what was acceptable to chew on, & what was not. To teach her "no" without saying the word, I'd just give a little shake of my shoulder each time she'd try. (if and WHEN I do/did let her on my shoulder) Or if on my hand & she tried to get my sleeves, I'd give her a quick gentle twist to throw her slightly off balance to teach her no. Putting your bird on your shoulder, allows the bird to think they are the dominate one, NOT you. Typically don't let any of my birds on my shoulder, but sometimes you just need 2 hands! So I never allow them to sit there more than 2-3 min.

You need to provide your bird with PLAY AREAS. My bird has her cage top & a full size play gym, then a table top perch which I can take room to room with me.
You are letting your Bird run the house. You have to teach him YOU run the house. That he can be in the same room with you, but doesn't need to be on you or in a pocket. He needs to learn confidence, and security. Buying a table top perch for him vs. your shoulder or pocket will give him that. Make sure he's got plenty of toys for his size. Perhaps also putting him back in his own cage will be beneficial as well. If he is getting aggressive with your daughter, then he can turn that aggression to the other bird. He should be in his own cage till behavior issues are resolved.

Training is an everyday thing. Keep on top of it! Don't cover his cage when he screams bc he sees you, Just ignore the screams, and give positive attn. when he does sounds you DO like! That should resolve as well.
Do not reinforce negative behavior, or give into it. It only fuels bad habits & behaviors.


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