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Sun conure

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by Valzie, 8/6/18.

  1. Valzie

    Valzie Moving in

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    hello everyone

    So here is my questions.

    My son has had a green cheek conure for a year now. Chano was 3 months old when we got him. My son did/does a great job taking care of his birds and training.

    Now we introduce Skittles a rescue sun conure. Her previous owner never trained her and let her do as she pleases and gave her free flight in the house 24/7. She only ate junk food, never any veggies or fruit only peanuts and crackers and sunflower seeds. Skittles has no idea how to play with toys and she needs 100% human company all the time.

    So my son works and is in college, he is home different times during the day and always takes his birds out and spends time with them on average they are out of their cages about 3 hours a day. I know it probably isn’t enough but for now chano is used to and happy with it and he is a happy bird. Skittles is not. She screech’s almost 80% of the time, she won’t eat a balanced meal and she doesn’t like to play or entertain herself. Her and chano still do not get a long. My son is to the point that he feels he isn’t the right person for her. I should note her previous owner passed away and the family surrendered Skittles to our local pet store. My son was told basic info about her but as time goes on we discovered most of it is incorrect. Skittles clearly bonded with my son but she just isn’t easy to break all her old habits.

    Anyone have suggestions?
     
  2. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor BINGO CHAMPION

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    how long have you had her?
     
  3. Valzie

    Valzie Moving in

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    We have had her about 5 months now. Also it’s worth noting when we got her you could not have her step up on your finger she attacks hands when they are near her. She has gotten much better with my son at stepping up but I do a lot of the bird sitting and feeding when he is at work and in order for me to get her back in her cage I have to use my sons shirt to scoop her up.
     
    Last edited: 8/6/18
  4. NirAntae

    NirAntae Walking the driveway

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    First things first.

    GCC's and Suns are VERY different birds. The fact that they are both 'conures' almost feels misleading. (I have been told this difference is between 'red tailed conures' and other conures, but I don't know for sure if that is actually the case.)
    Suns are much, MUCH, MUCH louder than GCC's, even when they are perfectly happy. So just because she's a lot louder, doesn't mean she's terribly unhappy.

    Even though she doesn't like Chano, your son may be able to use his good relationship with him to his advantage. Have him try leaving Skittles in her cage, and have Chano out nearby. Share healthy food with him - both son and Chano eating the same foods from the same plate, like broccoli, carrot slices, bits of apple, etc. Play with toys together. Make sure there is still food on the plate and neither plate nor toys ever leave Skittles' sight. Then set Chano on cagetop or playstand or wherever he normally spends time while 'out', and open Skittles' cage. Bring her to the plate and the toys. Eat more of the food, and offer her some, by hand. Try to play with the toys, and offer them to her. If she's still uninterested, put her back in her cage (but leave the door open) and bring Chano back over, and share food with him, play with toys, etc.

    It may take many repetitions (and probably multiple days or even weeks), but Chano's good example should help her figure out what she 'should' be doing, eventually.
     
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  5. sunnysmom

    sunnysmom Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    5 months really isn't very long for a bird. It took my rehomed 'too over 6 to really settle in to our home and over 3 months before my rehomed cockatiel would even be more than 4 feet away from her cage. Each bird settles in at their own pace. It sounds like you're doing well with your sun conure actually. Old habits are hard to break.
     
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  6. Robert Schulz

    Robert Schulz Meeting neighbors

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    Can you tell us what a typical day for skittles is like? As in, what's her routine (meal time, bed time, out of cage time, etc)?
    Also, do you know what her favorite treat is? My male sun conure loves almonds. I would try breaking the habit of toweling her into her cage and rather place her favorite treat in her dish when it is time to go back in. This would make the in-cage experience for her better.
    Does she try to bite when you present her your arm to step up rather than your hand?
     
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  7. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor BINGO CHAMPION

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    Have you tried foraging? Make her work for her favorite foods and leave pellets out all day for her. It will entertain her and hopefully quiet her down a little.
     
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  8. Valzie

    Valzie Moving in

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    All of these are good ideas we should try. I haven’t tried the eating off the plate thing, we have done the 100% juice and she will share the drink with us. Also never tried the playing with the toys in front of her. I will say she is very loving as long as she is on us and we aren’t asking her to be on our hand. She loves having her back scratched . I can present my shoulder to her and she will climb on. We knew sun conures where a much louder bird, that doesn’t bother us as much as we just feel helpless to help her. We don’t have the ability to allow her free flight in our home we also have 2 cats.

    A typical day for chano and skittles is I wake them around 8:00 am and feed them breakfast. I go to work and my son gets up around 9:00 and spends about 1 1/2 hours in the room with them. They are both out and spend their time on and around him. Chano is usually on the gym while skittles is on my sons shoulders or chest. He then goes to work or school depending and when I get out of work around four I will pop in theirand sits and plays with them from room and talk with them close blinds what ever is needed. If m son is working I am the one that goes in around 7:00 and I spend until 9:00 when my son gets home with them. He takes over and they go to bed around 9:30, sometimes later if he gets out of work a little later. We try to give them the 10 hours of sleep.

    In regards to her favorite treat it’s crackers, she is constantly asking for them and would eat only crackers if allowed.

    Did I miss anything that I was asked?
     
  9. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor BINGO CHAMPION

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    My cracker loving Quaker loves these:

    Mango Ginger Minis

    You could also try something like making a pellet paste and baking it into a cracker to trick her into healthier eating. Bird bread might also be a good way.
     
  10. Barbara jasko

    Barbara jasko Strolling the yard

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    Sounds to me like your son is making good progress. As was said, it can take awhile to break old habits and change the diet. Good suggestions have been made here.
     
  11. Robert Schulz

    Robert Schulz Meeting neighbors

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    That's a great routine.
    As far as toys, does she show any interest in chewing on things outside of her cage (clothing, hair, furniture, etc.)? I found that my B&G macaw would much rather chew on clothing rather than wooden toys like I had thought. I therefor make chew toys from old clothing for him to enjoy.
     
  12. Valzie

    Valzie Moving in

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    Yes we will use these suggestions. I just ordered some of those crackers and bread for them. Hoping that helps her eating habits. There is no fresh fruit or veggies we can get her to eat. I really like the foraging suggestion also.
     
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  13. Valzie

    Valzie Moving in

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    She loves to chew on clothing, so that’s a good suggestion to, see we never thought of making toys from clothes. I did have my son cut up one of his t shirts to put in her cage but I was thinking more along the comfort her aspect.
     
  14. NirAntae

    NirAntae Walking the driveway

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    One of my Grey's favorite toy was a mop head. Seriously, just a 100% cotton string mop head. I did modify it a bit, because it had a metal 'clip' holding the strands together that I wasn't sure was bird safe, so I would cut the strands off, tie them together (to make a double-length strand) then use the last 4-5 to tie the whole bundle together (4-5 so that when (not if ;) ) she chewed through one, there would still be others holding it together.) I would usually put some wooden blocks or bundles of sissal or the like at the ends of some of the strands to be more interesting, but I think she'd have been just as happy if I hadn't. lol

    Honestly, a lot of birds aren't interested in (new) toys unless they see you play with them first. Seeing you play with it adds 'value' to the toy. Admittedly, it's usually more skittish birds like Greys, but it's not at all unusual.
     
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  15. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor BINGO CHAMPION

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    Also try different toy textures. One of the reasons I started my shop was because my birds didn't like the toys at the petshop! Balsa, sola, mahogany are all soft and easy to destroy but in very few major stores.
     
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  16. Barbara jasko

    Barbara jasko Strolling the yard

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    Sometimes with food, it is the way you present it. Some birds may like veg. chopped up, others like chunks that they can eat with their foot. Sometimes clipping different veg to the side of the cages. I have a cholla perch in each cage and stick pieces of carrot and other veg in the holes. My Senegal is not a big fan of chopped veg but I hand him a spear of broccoli or cauliflower while on his playgym and he eats it all. You have to try different ways of presenting it because each bird is different. Some birds may like the veg softer so try nuking it for a minute.

    Same with toys. Different birds like different types of toys. My GCC loves anything that he can make alot of noise with. Toys with hanging parts he can make move and bang against each other. He also like toys he can snuggle up into and sleep. My Senegal likes to chew. Softer wood toys, rope he can chew to death, pinecones he can destroy, etc. He doesn't like wood that is too hard. My Meyers doesn't play much with toys. But she likes the kabobs. They are a soft chew and she will destroy pretty quickly. You have to experiment with different toys. Eventually you will hit on the right type.
     
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  17. Valzie

    Valzie Moving in

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    Wow thanks for all these suggestions. We are making a toy out of one of my sons shirts that skittles has chewed many holes in already. Hoping she plays with it. My so. Also went out and bought a forging toy for her for now we will try that too.
     
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  18. Valzie

    Valzie Moving in

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    Sounds like if it’s safe and our birds like to play with it then we can fasten a toy out of it for them?
     
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  19. Mizzely

    Mizzely Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Vendor BINGO CHAMPION

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    For the most part, yes. with tshirts be careful she can't get tangled up in the threads and that she isn't eating it
     
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  20. NirAntae

    NirAntae Walking the driveway

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    It's always best to ask about potential dangers for a new toy material - even if they are generally safe, there may be things to stay on top of, like the threads @Mizzely mentioned from t-shirt bits. But the array of things just 'around the house' (and yard!) that you can use for safe bird toys is pretty impressive. I made about 75% of my Greys' toys, and they loved a lot of my homemade ones way more than purchased ones, cause once you know them, you can tailor the toys to their exact habits and tastes. (Unfortunately, I lost about 99% of my pics of my Greys, and apparently that includes all the pics of their toys. -.-) My first Grey like different wood textures and, as said, cotton rope, so she always had the mop-head toy, and a 'kabob'-ish type toy, but with pieces of different types of wood. She wasn't real adventurous beyond that (though I kept giving her stuff to try out). My second Grey seemed to like everything, though her favorite texture was bird-safe leather. I had lots of fun with her toys - lots of textures and colors and sizes etc.
     

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