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Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

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Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

Postby Louisa » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:42 pm

Hi all. I am new to this forum and as a parrot owner. I have a question about my current situation.
I have a 6 month green cheek conure called Peach. I don’t know the gender, but I think she is female. We have a great relationship, as I am at home all day. She spends nearly all day out of her cage. I also don’t have any other pets. My husband also works from home, and Peach loves his attention, so fortunately she’s not getting attached only to me.
So the issue is, is that Peach will still call out for us when she can’t see us for more than 10 minutes, and when she does need to go inside the cage because there is a hazard (like a hot stove), or we are eating a meal that is toxic to her, she spends most of the time in the cage screeching and desperately scrambling to get out. We’re usually sitting next to her and it’s just for 15minutes (30 mins max). I feel so bad for her, I don’t want her to feel excluded, but she really tries to get into everything you’re doing!
I like having a pet that is so bonded, but am I doing her wrong by not getting another bird companion for her? I realise that these birds are never alone in the wild, so am I hurting her every-time I have to leave her alone, especially since she is still a baby? I am much more used to dogs, so any advice here would be appreciated.
Louisa
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

Postby stevesjk » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:41 am

No i wouldnt get a mate for it if i were you, he has you both home all day and to him you are his flock - chances are he wont get on with another bird now anyway as hes imprinted to you, all you'll be doing is creating jealousy issues.

And if as i said they dont end up getting on you will have to seperate them so that means two cages, double the mess, double the noise, and out of cage time could be seperate meaning one will be in the cage screeching while the other one exercises which basically means constant noise all day rather than the 10-15 minutes of noise you currently endure.

If you want one for yourself fair enough but dont get one for your other bird because he has you and your husband home all day. Keeping parrots in pairs are usually suggested to people who are not home throughout the day.
stevesjk
Conure
 
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Re: Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

Postby liz » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:09 am

Your bird is a baby. By the time it can feed itself it is like a human toddler. You would not keep a toddler in a playpen. You would toddler proof the room. So parrot proof a room and let her out.

I have found that they are happy with any food I give them if it comes from my plate. I and my aunt live together and she is as off balance as I am. We have Amazon place settings at the table.

If I have oatmeal I separate some for them before milk and sugar. I separate their share of veggies before they get salt and butter. The food looks the same to them but what I give them will not harm them.
If I am eating something they do not like they will still go to their food and eat while I do.
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liz
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Re: Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

Postby Louisa » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:10 pm

stevesjk wrote:No i wouldnt get a mate for it if i were you, he has you both home all day and to him you are his flock - chances are he wont get on with another bird now anyway as hes imprinted to you, all you'll be doing is creating jealousy issues.


Thankyou stevesjk for this advice. This comes somewhat as a relief, as my GCC is quite the handful already, and I enjoy doting on her like an only child :D .

When I think about it, it is likely that she will get jealous, as she already has (fearlessly) flown in the face of my MIL's dog, just because I was briefly cuddling the dog (FYI - this dog is safe around birds). Now the dog is scared of the GCC. Also my GCC is welcoming to other humans, so it is likely she thinks she is more human than bird at this point.
Louisa
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

Postby Louisa » Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:19 pm

liz wrote: If I have oatmeal I separate some for them before milk and sugar. I separate their share of veggies before they get salt and butter. The food looks the same to them but what I give them will not harm them.


Thanks liz, this is a great suggestion, and I have started planning how I can keep a part of my meal bird safe.

Last meal-time I noticed that she was not really that hungry, so she'd quickly lose interest in the piece of food in-front of her and instead try to get the food that is going in our mouth, probably out of curiosity. Therefore moving forward I am going to take away her food bowl in the afternoon, and then bring it out when we're having dinner. Hopefully by doing this, she'll have some better table manners. :lol:
Louisa
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

Postby Bird woman » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:25 am

Hi Louisa , welcome to the forum. One of the most important things to teach our birds is to be able to play and keep themselves occupied when we're busy or not there. Although human contact time creates a very strong bond that is most important it is also as important to let them gain some independence. It is the role of us women to want to treat them as our child , nurturing them and being there at every beckon and CALL, BUT THIS WILL CREATE A LITTLE SPOILED MONSTER SCREAMING EVERYTIME YOU LEAVE THE ROOM. So you must provide lots of other stimulation , training sessions , foraging toys even music and TV. As far as the food thing they always want what you have and when a bird eats out of my plate I keep a separate fork to hand feed them with , then they think it's mine. Remember Good luck on the table manners all mine except one mollucan are piggys. :lol: BW
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Re: Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

Postby Pajarita » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:53 am

Hi, Louisa and baby GCC and welcome to the forum!

OK, let's see. At 6 months of age, she is still a baby. A big baby but a baby nonetheless so she needs the reassurance of your presence to feel safe and that's why she screams when you put her in her cage. It is great that you can have her out all the time but, as you have already learned, they do get into everything and that can be dangerous for them so cage time is necessary for their own protection. Having said that, the trick is to put them into their cage always at the same time. Captive birds benefit highly from a very strict schedule and routines. The fact that everything always happens exactly the same way and at the same time every day gives them a sense of being in control of their lives which, in turn, makes them feel safe. My birds are so used to the schedule that they go into their cages on their own when it's 'that' time. The only one that insists on staying out is the little female lovebird which, because this is the breeding season, has been chewing the back of my curtains and tapestries hanging from the wall but, when I call her name, she answers me with a PEEP and pops her head from behind them so I can see where she is - and, once she gets hungry enough (one of the tricks is to ALWAYS feed them in their cages so they have no choice but to go back to them), she actually flies to my shoulder so I can put her back in her cage.

So, that's your number one goal right now: think of a schedule where you can combine your need for doing something you don't want her to get into and her meals. To help you with this, I must tell you that birds eat twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening (about one hour before dawn and one hour before sunset -they are crepuscular feeders so dawn and dusk is when they get their meals). They also need to be kept at a solar schedule (up with the dawn and to bed with dusk) because their endocrine system is regulated by light so it's essential that she is exposed to the different light that happens at these times (without any artificial lights on that would interfere with the different solar spectrum that happens then) because it is this redder light that turns on or off their 'internal clock'.

Now, as to 'getting them used to being independent'... well, I have to tell you that, although this is, indeed, the right approach, it simply does not work with GCCs. It works with other species but it doesn't with them. I've had four (all given up because of behavioral issues) and have one now (a female which lives with a boyfriend, old ex-breeder peachfront conure ma that is not tame at all) and I can tell you without the shadow of a doubt that the only thing that GCCs want out of life is to be ON you. That's it! No toy, no food, no nothing will satisfy them, only being on your shoulder cuddling next to your neck or taking a nap inside your top perching on your chest. They are extremely needy little birds and they just don't do well on their own. My female, Codee, lives in a real large cage (5ft tall by 3ft wide and 3ft deep) with her mate but still comes out to fly every day and spends 2 solid hours on me in the morning. And that is the second great thing about them having a mate! The first being the enrichment in their lives (they were created to have the same mate all their lives) and the second being that this allows you to have some time to yourself.

I know that most parrot owners will tell you not to get a second one but I don't agree with that. I think that all parrots should have, at the very least, a companion bird of their own -if not a mate. People say that if they don't get along you end up with another cage to clean but, in my personal experience, some species are real easy to get to bond to another bird and GCCs are one of them.

Now, just as an FYI, GCCs are mainly fruit eaters in the wild so they should never be free-fed their high protein food (which should never be actually 'high' but low protein). It makes them terribly hormonal and ends up destroying their liver so be careful about that. Also, she should still be eating soft food on a daily basis so I hope you are feeding her some.

Let me know if I can be of further help or if there is anything that needs clarification.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

Postby Bird woman » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:11 am

NICE TO HAVE YOU BACK!!!! You know my education is limited with smaller species. Welcome back :thumbsup: BW
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Bird woman
Amazon
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 841
Location: Southern , Oregon
Number of Birds Owned: 10
Types of Birds Owned: 2 mollucans, 2 LSC'S, 2 macaws, 1 bare-eye, 1 grey, 1 goffin and max the quaker
Flight: Yes

Re: Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

Postby Louisa » Sun Mar 19, 2017 4:56 am

Bird woman wrote:Hi Louisa , welcome to the forum. One of the most important things to teach our birds is to be able to play and keep themselves occupied when we're busy or not there. Although human contact time creates a very strong bond that is most important it is also as important to let them gain some independence. It is the role of us women to want to treat them as our child , nurturing them and being there at every beckon and CALL, BUT THIS WILL CREATE A LITTLE SPOILED MONSTER SCREAMING EVERYTIME YOU LEAVE THE ROOM. So you must provide lots of other stimulation , training sessions , foraging toys even music and TV. As far as the food thing they always want what you have and when a bird eats out of my plate I keep a separate fork to hand feed them with , then they think it's mine. Remember Good luck on the table manners all mine except one mollucan are piggys. :lol: BW


Hi Bird woman, thank you for the warm welcome and the suggestions! We have just started with clicker training, and my GCC has really taken to it, she gets so excited when I get the target stick out. So I will continue with this, as well as your other suggestions for enrichment.

It's hard to know when I cross the line into spoiling her, she is so cute I don't know if I'll ever stop seeing her as a baby :roll: . The call she does when no-one is in eyesight is different to the one she makes when in the cage seeing us have dinner. The former is less persistent and more out of concern. In the latter she seems to be in "tantrum" mode, where she sounds very annoyed and even tries to tip over her food bowl in protest.
Louisa
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

Re: Hi! Beginner Parrot Owner. I have a question.

Postby Louisa » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:25 am

Pajarita wrote:Hi, Louisa and baby GCC and welcome to the forum!

OK, let's see. At 6 months of age, she is still a baby. A big baby but a baby nonetheless so she needs the reassurance of your presence to feel safe and that's why she screams when you put her in her cage. It is great that you can have her out all the time but, as you have already learned, they do get into everything and that can be dangerous for them so cage time is necessary for their own protection. Having said that, the trick is to put them into their cage always at the same time. Captive birds benefit highly from a very strict schedule and routines. The fact that everything always happens exactly the same way and at the same time every day gives them a sense of being in control of their lives which, in turn, makes them feel safe.


Hi Pajarita! Thankyou for that information and the invitation to ask further questions. It is very reassuring to know there is a place to get support from people with extensive personal experience with your parrot species.

We keep a good light schedule, fortunately my GCC is a big help in that respect as she will put herself to bed at sunset (she loves her cage then :thumbsup: ). I will watch out for all artificial light, I thought it was only the blue light (from computers) that would affect birds, like how it interferes with melanin production in humans. :?

Admittedly, the rest of the day we are a little shakey on the routine, as we recently moved house and we are still settling in, so hopefully I will get some improvement there.

Even though my GCC eats the most in the morning and at dinner-time, I keep food out for her throughout the whole day (which she eats from regularly). I feed her an exclusive fresh food diet (with some supplementation), so I am always worrying that she is getting enough calories as she does fly quite a bit in order to follow us around all day. I weigh her to ensure she is a healthy weight. Are you saying I should remove food during the day, or at least keep the denser caloric foods away?

My GCC can usually entertain herself with foraging/chewing toys and acrobats, as long as I am in eyesight. She knows that if I am sitting down, she can fly in for scratches when she feels like it, as I will usually stop what I am doing for a few minutes. I feel like she engages in more independent play from having that reassurance, as I used to work overnight shifts and sleep during the day.
If I were to try to find my GCC another bird friend, would it be better to do it when she is younger? It worries me quite a bit that it will not work out. :gcc:
Louisa
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 5
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Green Cheek Conure
Flight: Yes

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