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Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

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Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

Postby bmsweb » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:03 pm

I've only had these Conures for 4 days. I also have a budgie and cockatiel.

The Conures officially moved into their new cage yesterday. They looked really happy ate heaps and both had a bath in their drinking water. Then they ate again an again and again. They must have been eating from 7pm till 9pm. Is this normal? and can birds over eat? My wife and I were sitting at the coffee table close to them, they just kept eating, changing from the seed/pallet mix to the Fruit bowl.

Cheers
Paul
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Re: Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:12 pm

They may just be compensating for under eating when they moved in. Parrots can overeat in the long term and become obese but I've never heard of overeating at once.
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Re: Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

Postby bmsweb » Thu Apr 08, 2010 5:26 pm

Thanks Michael,

I will keep an eye on it for now. My wife was thinking on the same lines as yourself. I've never limited what my birds eat and I prefer not to . . fingers crossed I won't have to.

. . . bugger I have a feeling they need a permanent bird bath in their cage . . they're bathing in their filtered water again . . and my IP Webcam is getting wet :(

Thanks again :)
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Re: Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:14 pm

Unlimited feeding for captive parrots is not necessarily the best idea. They get less exercise and more food than in the wild. The best way to balance it is by encouraging more flight and exercise and less food. Not only is the reduction of food beneficial to training but it is also important for their health. I am by no means suggesting starving the birds or to just cut their food right away. But over time, once you figure out how much they normally eat you may consider it. However, if you are housing them together you may not be able to fairly allocate proper distributions so I suppose that isn't even an option.

Is that a nest box in the cage? Are you trying to breed them? They may be too young for that and if they are siblings it's not a good idea.

Also I'd suggest some natural branch perches and some more toys for the new cage if possible. The natural perches are better for the feet, nails, and for chewing.
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Re: Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

Postby bmsweb » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:43 pm

What you say about Unlimited feeding makes sense Michael and I will take it on board. They tend to do everything together. One eats so does the other, one has a bath and the other follows. I might look for patterns and try to work out how much they eat and at what times, then possibly look at removing their main food source outside normal eating time. This is me thinking out aloud here :)

It is a nest box in the cage. They actually had a number of breeding boxes in the cage that the conures were in. The breeder suggested it. He said they will sleep in it if they want and when they decide to breed it will be used naturally. As far as the age goes, I'm still researching that and there seems to be a lot of conflicting information. All I know is they are over a year old for sure, how much older I have no idea. I am guessing 18 months of age, but that's only a guess based on when they had their Sex test done. As far as breeding them goes, I'm still doing heaps of research and I'm sure I have a lot to learn and I'm open to suggestion.

I'm told they are not Siblings by the breeder, how they know this I have no idea. Having said that, they did have a lot of Green Cheek Conures. I did contact Dr Tony Gestier from Vetafarm.com who did all the sex testing on that day. According to him they did 90 conures from the breeder that day.

Natural branch would be great in the cage, I might see if I can find something tomorrow for them. I haven't put much in the way of toys in the cage because my wife wants to shop for them, so I'll let her pick some toys on the weekend when we go shopping for them.

Thanks again :)
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Re: Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:55 pm

No problem, just remember that the nest box encourages breeding.
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Re: Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

Postby bmsweb » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:04 pm

Michael wrote:No problem, just remember that the nest box encourages breeding.


That's what I would assume and I have read this on forums and the web, but when I asked the breeder this, he said "don't be silly, breeding box will only allow them to breed successfully that's all, birds won't breed until they are ready".

Don't get me wrong I have no intention of blindly following what they say. I know he said there was no way I would be able to tame these conures and our male conure can be held on the hand now. I was confident I could handle them and he thought I was nuts.

Will keep you posted. Thanks again Michael.

Cheers
Paul
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Re: Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:08 pm

FWIW, my GCC Scooter has food available almost all of the time and he seems to be OK with that. He still does most of his eating morning or night. I try to set up some foraging opportunities to make it more interesting, but I am still experimenting with that. If he starts to gain weight or otherwise seem to experience problems I may reconsider. It does seem to me that wild birds also have access to food all day, but they have to work harder for it and generally don't forage all day long.

I'm looking forward to hearing how you and these guys get along. Scooter is a ton of fun!

As for the nest box, Scooter has a tent he likes to sleep in, your GCCs may also like to have an enclosed space to sleep. I don't know if that would also encourage breeding behavior, but they are cavity nest-ers and some even sleep upside down, lying on their backs.
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Re: Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:58 pm

bmsweb wrote:That's what I would assume and I have read this on forums and the web, but when I asked the breeder this, he said "don't be silly, breeding box will only allow them to breed successfully that's all, birds won't breed until they are ready".


What is one of the things parrots need in order to be ready to breed? A suitable nest location, check. It's not that they can't breed with or without the box. It's just that the lack of a nest box helps dissuade or postpone breeding until a nesting location can be allocated.
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Re: Can my Green Cheek Conures over Eat?

Postby bmsweb » Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:52 am

entrancedbymyGCC, My Cockatiel Jazz seems to be fine, he's put on 7grams since we got him a few months ago and is coming in at 87grams now. So he can still afford to put on weight which he is steadily doing. He eats about 3 times a day, spends 5min or so at his food bowl and that's it. These Conure seem to be eating all the time. Having said that, they seem to have settled a little today. So I'm hoping its just them making up for the stress of moving to a new environment like Michael said. I will keep you posted.

Michael, I thought the one thing they needed was a mate ;) . . . just kidding. I take your comments on board. At this point in time they have shown no interest in the box. The articles I've read so far tell me Green Cheek Conures are sexually mature for breeding at 12months, 18months and 24months. I assume the reason you would prefer them not to breed is you believe they are too young, is that correct?
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