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Re: New conure

Posted by Yardpro on 10/19/07
(5) Comments

    On 10/16/07, Popcorn wrote:
    > Hi. I have never owned a conure before, only parakeets
    > and cockatiels. Now I have come across a green cheek
    > conure, whose owner is not caring for him properly and I
    > have finally convinced him to let me have the bird. So,
    > this weekend my mom will be going to get him. He is seven
    > years old. They say they take the bird out sometimes and
    > I think that may mean about once a month. At the moment
    > he is living on the top of a dresser in a small cage where
    > he is above everyone's head and has no contact with them
    > unless they are cleaning him (which doesn't happen often)
    > or taking him out. I held him last night for the first
    > time and he is BITEY! And he bites hard with his strong
    > little beak. He broke the skin once (not bad but it did
    > bleed) and left a few bruises. His owners were saying
    > that it's just because there were so many people in the
    > room (there were five of us) but he seemed unaffected by
    > the amount of people and just has never been worked with
    > enough to stop the biting. When he started biting me I
    > imobilized him by grabbing him around the neck and holding
    > him against my body. He couldn't bite me from this
    > position but when he calmed down and I let him up he went
    > at it even harder and I repeated my response. It
    > continued until he got hard enough to break the skin and
    > then after that he was still biting but not as hard. I
    > think he got worked up when I was holding him because as I
    > grabbed his neck his owner (more his owners kid) freaked
    > out because I was "strangling" their bird. I kept calm
    > but I could tell their tension was mounting even though I
    > explained everything I was doing as I was doing it. I
    > don't think that helped the bird.
    > My problem is that I am in college and only see my birds
    > when I am home for break. My sister lets my birds out but
    > she will not know how to handle a biting bird. So the
    > bird will only be worked with when I am on breaks. I have
    > five weeks till I will be home and able to work with him
    > and even then it will only be a few days. In the mean
    > time I intend to have my mom/sister start introducing him
    > to the fresh food I feed my birds, since he is on an all
    > seed diet at the moment. I know that this is not an ideal
    > situation for taming him but it is better than the one the
    > bird lives in now.
    > My actually question is does anyone have any advice on the
    > biting issue or keeping him entertained while I am not
    > around? Any special toys I can get that can make him
    > happy and he can play on his own and not be bored?
    > Thanks, Popcorn!

    Hi Popcorn,

    I don't know whether we can help each other out or not,
    but I'm sure it's worth a try.
    I'm in the process of trying not to be forced to give up
    a green cheeked conure that flew to me out of the blue sky. I
    was so excited he came to me, but almost gave him to the
    avian vet the same day since I knew nothing about birds. I
    actually wanted to keep him but didn't know for sure that I
    was the right person. However my daughter expressed interest
    in keeping him, so I decided to start learning about how to
    care for him. He's still biting 4 months later, and I still
    don't know enough, but in between classes, etc. (I'm a
    student too) I'm reading books about how to train parrots.
    He seems to like being with my family, but is displaying a
    certain amount of unhappiness. Since he's being treated like
    royalty, I'm relatively certain that he's sad because he's
    been with other birds, and instinct is telling him he's
    missing an important part of his life. I really like him,
    but need to make it practical to keep him. Last week I
    talked to the man at Project Haven, a place people can take
    their birds if they no longer want them. He says that I need
    to find him a mate, for that reason - the fact that he knows
    what it's like to live with other birds. I don't have the
    budget to go out and buy another bird, so maybe we should get
    our birds together, and work on making them both happier if
    we can integrate them with each other. The detail I don't
    know is whether mine is male or female, but I might be able
    to find out, based on his leg band, if I can find our where
    he was hatched. If the two birds are not the same gender,
    maybe they would consider each other mates. What do you
    think? I'm in the Dallas area.