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GCC: Stress bars or just wear-and-tear?

JFin25

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Hello everyone!

I just brought home my green cheek conure this last Thursday. His name is Korben Dallas and he’s a playful little guy that loves the attention he can get (and nibbling on my toes).

I was wondering if there might be something wrong with his feathers as they’re not as green as other GCCs that I’ve seen around. He doesn’t seem unhealthy at all and eats just fine, he was pretty alert and happy and playful in the pet store which is initially why we set out to buy him in the first place!

Any thoughts/comments on the matter is much appreciated. I’m a new bird lady so I’m soaking up all the information I can get from articles and more experienced bird owners.

8F3B9A82-1EE9-45B5-BAA8-EB99D667C8F5.jpeg

I’ll probably post a better picture later on when I can. Right now I only have videos where you can see it clearly. I have them uploaded on my Instagram (jfeltan) if you want to look for yourself.

Thanks!

EDIT:

It’s worth it to note that his hatch date is May 6th, 2018 so he’s quite young!
 

Mizzely

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You can see the bands or bars on his feathers - bronzing won't do that. Those are stress bars. Some of it might be wear and tear but this baby has SEVERAL instances of bands, which means it had a rough time at several points while those feathers were growing in. This is usually due to poor nutrition, health and/or heating while he was young.
 

JFin25

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You can see the bands or bars on his feathers - bronzing won't do that. Those are stress bars. Some of it might be wear and tear but this baby has SEVERAL instances of bands, which means it had a rough time at several points while those feathers were growing in. This is usually due to poor nutrition, health and/or heating while he was young.
I was afraid of that. :(

He’s definitely going to be in a better environment and have access to a healthier diet now that he’s home with us. Would they go away after his first molt provided everything is in check? (Diet, sunlight and stress free environment that is.)
 

Mizzely

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I was afraid of that. :(

He’s definitely going to be in a better environment and have access to a healthier diet now that he’s home with us. Would they go away after his first molt provided everything is in check? (Diet, sunlight and stress free environment that is.)


Yep! Stress bars basically are an indicator that what the feather needed at the time of forming wasn't there, so it is "weaker". So if the new feather has what it needs when it is growing, there is no reason why it shouldn't grow in properly :) Some stress bars are not uncommon in baby birds, and green cheeks are really hard on their feathers (around the shoulders especially) so they may not be pristine always! But as far as stress bars, those shouldn't return.
 

JFin25

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Yep! Stress bars basically are an indicator that what the feather needed at the time of forming wasn't there, so it is "weaker". So if the new feather has what it needs when it is growing, there is no reason why it shouldn't grow in properly :) Some stress bars are not uncommon in baby birds, and green cheeks are really hard on their feathers (around the shoulders especially) so they may not be pristine always! But as far as stress bars, those shouldn't return.
Thank you so much, this has been helpful and gives me a peace of mind. I’m obviously going to be taking him to an avian vet soon once I find one nearest to me and reputable.

It’s just that I’ve been feeling a little insecure about his feathers after noticing other birds online and in the pet store he came from that I wanted to get some insight from more experienced bird owners before the vet visit happens. ; A ;
 

Monica

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I'd have to recommend getting rid of the wooden dowel, the mirror and the rope toy. Keep an eye on the rope perch.



Otherwise, though, everything that Mizzely said!
 

JFin25

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I'd have to recommend getting rid of the wooden dowel, the mirror and the rope toy. Keep an eye on the rope perch.



Otherwise, though, everything that Mizzely said!
He’s got this mangle-y branch like perch he seems to like a lot as opposed to the dowel at least so maybe I should get more like it. Other recommendations for perches?

I just bought the rope and mirror thinking he’d like it (seems to like the mirror) but I was wondering what was wrong with them?
 

LSA

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Echoing @Mizzely regarding the stress bars.
The dowel can cause something called bumble foot and even early-onset arthritis.
Mirrors of that sort often contain lead. Not only that, in some birds they depend on their reflection for friendship and bond to themselves in the mirror instead of a human.
 

LSA

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Oops my GCC decided the little POST REPLY button needed biting.
Anyway, mirrors can cause problems also with increased territorial behavior
 

Mizzely

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Yeah dowels can cause arthritis and bumblefoot, so if used they should be minimally used. Lots of textures and diameters for healthy feet!

The mirrors flake and can be ingested which causes issues. And some do get more aggressive with a mirror because they are either A) trying to keep people away from their mate or B) trying to protect their space from the intruder

I don't personally have an issue with the rope toys BUT some birds do ingest the fibers which causes crop impaction, and they need to be kept short because otherwise they can become a strangle hazard.

Lots of toys at my website Small Parrot Toys by Lil Monsters Bird Toys however we have a ton of vendors here who all have great things from perches to food to toys. List of Vendors and AA Store Profiles | Avian Avenue Parrot Forum
 

LSA

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Sorry, my assistant is cute though.
I love "wacky perches" that give them balance practice while allowing them traverse the cage. I also use natural branches from my backyard... just make sure they're on the safe list! I find that fig branches work well and resist conure chewing. Being pithy in the center makes for great DIY toys, too.
 

Monica

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Natural perches are great! Rope perches are fine *as long* as the birds don't chew on them. Mirrors already explained. I'm not a big fan of any toy with long rope like areas that birds could potentially get a toe or otherwise caught in it. Probably fine under supervision, but not good when you aren't around.
 

JFin25

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Natural perches are great! Rope perches are fine *as long* as the birds don't chew on them. Mirrors already explained. I'm not a big fan of any toy with long rope like areas that birds could potentially get a toe or otherwise caught in it. Probably fine under supervision, but not good when you aren't around.
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! All of this has been very helpful! :swoon:
 
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