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Really thinking about getting a conure

nm0710

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Hi all!
I saw an umbrella cockatoo and absolutely fell in love. I was sold the minute I saw his personality and I loved the talking. After really looking into it.. I don't think it'd be a good fit for a first time bird owner. After looking at some posts online, many sites suggest the conure as a first bird.

So first off I'm twenty one. I understand that they live for many years (i don't need a lecture on that). I'm also a full time student. I have time to play and socialize the bird but, how long should this be per day? I'm home afternoons/evenings. I wouldn't have any problems taking them out of the cage to run around.

How similar is their personalities to a larger bird (cockatoo)? I know that every bird is different in their own way.

As far as vets I've seen several different takes on this. Some say twice a year, once a year or you really don't have to worry about it unless they're sick. How much can I expect to spend for just the basic vet bill (not sick).

What kind of conure would you suggest? I'm looking for a bird that likes talking (I know some conures aren't the best talkers). I'm also looking for one that is playful. However, I'm not okay with constant screaming.

Male/female differences? I don't have a preference. But does one tend to be different than the other? If so what are their differences?

Do they do okay with other pets? I have two dogs and two cats. I know they will be very curious of the bird. I obviously wouldn't let the bird out with them around but I don't want it to feel tormented in its cage.

Anything other advise would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
 

Sylvi_

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Welcome to the forum! :welcome2:Conures are wonderful birds.
Because you mentioned noise level being a factor I would stay away from the Aratinga conures. They tend to be much louder then the Pyrrhura conures, which are what I'd recommend.

Green cheeks are fabulous birds to have and tend to be animated little clowns with tons of personality. I love my girl, though many of them can be nippy. That'll be another factor to consider if you decide on them.
I personally see no difference in gender, it's all about the individual really. Though for females there's the added pressure of egg laying, and you'll need to keep a calcium source available 24/7.

For vet trips, I usually expect to spend anywhere to $20-$40 for nail trims but a wellness exam(which should be done yearly) would cost $100-$200+ depending on what's done.(bloodwork would obviously be more to get done)

With dogs and cats(Of which I have both) you'll need to have commands or boundaries set for the pups. A good sit and stay or leave it helps a lot. Depending on the cats prey drive, they may just ignore him/her like mine do. But if yours have a higher prey drive you'll need to set boundaries by closing off doors, making sure the cats can't jump onto surfaces near the cage trying to get to the bird etc.

I hope I helped a little! You'll realize often the bird chooses us no matter how much we plan. So follow your heart and keep an open mind when deciding on your future feathered companion.

I hope you enjoy the forum! :)
 

Jaguar

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I saw an umbrella cockatoo and absolutely fell in love. I was sold the minute I saw his personality and I loved the talking.
It's really easy to fall in love with a parrot you don't spend 24 hrs a day with for 50 years - keep that in mind.

I have time to play and socialize the bird but, how long should this be per day?
As often as possible. Parrots are extremely social animals and they would rarely be separated from their flock in nature. Many people work or study full time and keep single birds - some thrive and some don't. A few hours of 1:1 interaction is minimum, but quality is more important than length. Even ambient attention (talking back and forth from the cage, etc.) is better than nothing. You will have to teach your bird how to be independent. This includes teaching it how to play with toys and how to forage so it can keep itself busy when you're away. Other things you can do include leaving the TV or radio on, or leaving the cage in front of a window so they can watch things going on outdoors.

How similar is their personalities to a larger bird (cockatoo)? I know that every bird is different in their own way.
They can't be compared. Pyrrhura conures are boisterous, bossy, and headstrong - they might be small but they certainly don't think it. They are acrobatic and playful - young conures will often play on their backs and hang upside down by one foot. They can talk a little, but it's very grumbly and can be hard to understand. They can be physically affectionate and like to sort of lean against and cuddle up to things, and so they tend to like snuggle tents/huts. On the downside, they suffer what could be called the avian equivalent of small dog syndrome - they tend to be bitey, especially as they mature. All in all they are a lot of fun, but you have to make sure you're ready to potentially be bossed around by a 70 gram ball of feathers.

What kind of conure would you suggest? I'm looking for a bird that likes talking (I know some conures aren't the best talkers). I'm also looking for one that is playful. However, I'm not okay with constant screaming.
A lot of these qualities are what we like to call the Perfect Parrot (TM). Everyone wants a bird that talks, cuddles, likes to play, and doesn't scream. Some of us get lucky, but most of us get a mixed bag. You have to be up for dealing with screaming, biting, territorial displays, sexual behavior, and so on. It does happen, and it will happen. Even the sweetest little baby can grow up and turn into a little @!#% during hormonal season.

Male/female differences? I don't have a preference. But does one tend to be different than the other? If so what are their differences?
There is little difference. Males can get more territorial and loud, females might be more reserved and nesty.

Do they do okay with other pets? I have two dogs and two cats. I know they will be very curious of the bird. I obviously wouldn't let the bird out with them around but I don't want it to feel tormented in its cage.
Can't really say for sure. It would be best to keep them in separate rooms if you can't be sure the dogs/cat will leave the bird alone.
 

sunnysmom

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Welcome to the forum! I really believe that you should get the bird that you connect with and am not a proponent of get this bird as training for the bird you really want. That is provided of course that you've done the proper research, etc. on whatever bird you get. You mentioned that you're a student- do you have roommates? If so, then you definitely need to have a bird discussion with them as having a bird means no Teflon pans, no burning candles, no air freshners, etc as they have very sensitive respiratory systems. Also, do you have space where you can let your bird out away from the cats and dogs? Even the best dog or cat can't be trusted around a bird. It's the predator/prey instinct. I think the general consensus is a bird should get at least an annual wellness check up. The cost varies a lot depending on where you live.
 

Animallover03

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:welcome2:
 

echobird

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Hello and welcome to the forum,

A conure is a great choice for a bird. What you have listed for the traits you want are the perfect bird traits. I agree with @Jaguar you will not get a bird with all the traits you want, you'll get a mix.

I've never had a larger bird to know them well enough to compare. I have three green cheeks (pyrhurra) and I'll tell you they think they are the same size as a macaw.

I am also a full time student. I generally have a few hours between classes that I spend with my birds. I would say I spend 6 hours with my birds (out of cage and one on one). I also happen to have a large family so my birds get about 8 hours of out of cage time daily some times more. Since I have 3 I don't really need to give so much one on one time (though I do to maintain my bond) as the birds play among each other and sometimes I can tell to them I'm the annoying overbearing mother. My newest baby gets a lot of one on one since he's not introduced to the other two yet.

I would say minimum out of cage time should be 6hours unless you have a very large cage filled with toys (and your bird actually plays with the toys). As for one on one time, it doesn't strictly have to be out of cage. I sometimes give kisses and scritches through the cage bars, especially if I'm doing homework and I can't have those little buggers distracting me.

For vet visits, I would limit it to an annual wellness check (bloodwork, physical, gram stain) and sick vet visits/nail trimming.
When you first get your bird you have to take it in for a wellness check. This should include a cbc, Chem panel, gram stain, physical, and anything else your vet suggests. It usually cost $205 for those tests including the office visit but might cost more depending on the vet. I have gone to 3 vets in my part of California. They were very different in pricing. My current vet, and by far the best of the three, is the cheapest. I got lucky there.
Some will charge $45 for an office visit alone while others will charge $50-$60. What I'd suggest is going to a certified avian vet that works at a bird clinic. From my experience the vet that sees birds and only birds is cheaper and more experienced than the vets that see more common pets like dogs and cats. If your bird is severely sick you will have to pay a ton so keep a close eye on bird droppings.

If you want a quiet conure I'd suggest pyrhurra but if you want a good talker then I would suggest the blue crown. As far as other aratinga (nanday, Jendays, suns, peach fronts, etc) conures they are loud but also aren't very great talkers. They will say a few words but from the people I know who have them, they only talk as much as my greencheek and are as gravelly as well. Not very understandable. Blue crowns aren't categorized in the aratinga subspecies anymore but they used to be. I would think they are pretty loud as well.

No gender difference I know of other than that females are more nesty. And the egg thing.

I don't have dogs but I do have cats. My cats don't mind the birds, ignore them actually. The only time the cats show interest is if the birds are flapping their wings.
Don't leave your dog and cats with your bird unsupervised. You know your dog and cats best so it's up to you to determine whether it would be an issue if you had them out at the same time as the bird is out.

What i suggest is volunteering at a rescue for a couple weeks. Get to know the birds species you are interested in. You'll know what to expect from there.

Good luck and be sure to ask any questions you might have!
 
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Mizzely

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First, birds of all levels are difficult to integrate into your life; cockatiels can be some of the best and easiest, and cockatoos can be some of the hardest. But, don't get a conure because someone told you it would be easy; get a conure because you really think a conure is for you.

Birds are adaptable, so out of time will vary, but don't keep it out for 12 hours a day if you can't sustain that. Figure out what time will work for you and go from there. They do need 10-12 hours of sleep, and a large cage (for a most, 32x21 is a decent size to live in on a daily basis) and go from there.My birds have cages but they are left open 24/7 right now; they are contained in their room from 8pm to 9am, and let out at 9am to have run of the house.

In my experience, conures are more independent than cockatoos, but are still super silly and can be very companionable. They do not tend to talk as well.

I take my birds to the vet yearly. It's a chance to make sure they aren't too fat or thin, that their beaks and nails are trimmed, etc. I can also talk with my vet about any behavior issues. For a first time visit with bloodwork, I pay about $300. For wellness check ups, I pay $45-$60.

Green cheeks or the pyrrhuras are basically the only types I personally would consider. I cannot STAND the sound of aratinga conures (sun conures, jendays, etc). My green cheek could talk a little, but they aren't very clear. Screaming is largely behavioral - they will learn to scream to get their way if that's how they get a reaction. And the best way to get a bird who will talk - is to adopt one who already does!

Not many differences in male vs. female, but since @webchirp has a bunch and could give you better feedback :)

Birds and other pets is a gamble. They can and WILL attack cats and dogs - they don't realize they are little!! My cats are not allowed in the rooms where my birds are out because you can't trust them either. They also do not have access to the cages either, because birds know they are prey and get nervous being stared at by predators!

Definitely see if you can spend time with some, and hear their call up close and personal! Also, after going through puberty with two birds now, I 100% recommend not starting with a baby. It is SOOO much harder than an adult, in my opinion!
 

webchirp

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I think others have it covered. I only have about 3 hours a night to give the majority of the birds time out...although I am working towards mini-aviaries for all of them. My boys and boys I have adopted out have been nippy little buggers. Zephyr is nice to me when his girl is visiting her other boyfriend but if she is on his side of the net, he is a naughty nipper drawing blood on many occasions. I adore my girls. My boys will start the nesting business and get everyone going. My girls are just softer and sweeter (well except Kari although I really am going to redo her DNA one of these days). There is no such thing as a "starter" bird....unless you have plans to wait 20 or 30 years for another bird. I would not mix birds with other animals and I believe in similar beak sizes if out in the same room. We have heard stories of birds escaping the cage and being harmed or killed by other pets. If you can't have them out with you under watch and away from other pets, have a room with a door. Do not ever count on the wire cage as the only thing to keep them safe. Keep in mind the curiosity of a green cheek is amazing and alarming. I often wonder how they manage to survive in the wild...surely they get into as much trouble as those in our lives.

Keep your bird to a consistent schedule...if you start out six hours and that is what s/he expects, it will become a problem if you can't continue. I generally have a soft spot for those with medical or mental issues so a lot of my experience may be worst case scenarios. My initial vet visit (disease testing, DNA and grams stains) is usually around $300. However, I rarely get out of the vet's office under $100. Chya wasn't feeling well last week and had a vet visit of $144. I thought that was a steal! And there have been other times where a I have sighed relief at a $700 vet bill. The vet techs always laugh at me...

Good luck and pick a bird that you love or that loves you. Visit rescues if you can and see who clicks. Feathered Friends of MI currently has over 30 green cheek conures looking for homes in addition to the many others. Rescue needs you, whatever chirp you decide to love.
 

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I'm looking for a bird that likes talking (I know some conures aren't the best talkers).

I have 2 Greys (known to be some of the best talkers) one talks a bit, and the other one talks maybe twice a year, and all she says is "Give me a kiss" followed by a smooch sound.
Every bird is an individual. Your best bet to get a talker is to get one that's older and IS a talker, and even then it's a crap shoot, some birds will talk in one environment but not in another.

Good luck in finding the right friend for you, and welcome to AA :)
 

webchirp

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You may want to research peach front conures.
 

Evelyn

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In the many years of my life, since childhood, I have owned Parakeets, Cockatiels, a Quaker and Parrotlets. I got my first Sun 3 months ago and I am delighted with her. My favorites are Parrotlets and my Sun. I love their personalities , they all can demand a lot of your time and some do well on their own. All a so different. Would be nice if you could visit a few different types.
 

DancingFeathers

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I'm glad you looked into it! I love too's to death but God knows I would be dead by now if I had one. Even just my little conure is a bigger handful than any of the dogs. I've volunteered with toos but haven't had any, but in my very brief experience, my little guy is a WAY less extreme version.

My green cheek is my baby and I have a bias considering he is my first and only bird, but he is a sweet heart. He's two now and talks pretty well. He speaks constantly at a very soft pitch and certain words are crystal clear while others are impossible to anyone but me. Sometimes he whistles and laughs, but he is either. silent or speaking most of the time

As for male and female, I personally don't like the idea of having females because my experiences with egg-binding in reptiles have been scary and expensive.

If you are considering getting a green cheek, I cannot urge you enough to adopt a bird three years or up. Triton was a nightmare at 1, was kind of nippy up until he turned 3, and now he's a sweetheart. Birds have their terrible twos as well. It has been an entirely different experience. Not to mention most people only want babies.
 

alicat

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Welcome!

I just want to say quickly - don't get a bird you're okay with just because it's a "good starter bird". Get the bird you love and would be happy having for the remainder of its life. A lot of times people get "starter birds" then "trade up". Which is okay if you plan on keeping and loving your original bird and adding a second - but often times the first bird is discarded and left to find a new home.
There are no starter birds. Some are easier definitely, but just do your research and get what you really really want not something to make the transition to a larger bird easier.

Also, everyone wants a bird that talks and never screams! If it was as simple as that, no one would have screamers. Any species can scream... my cockatiel contact calls me when I leave the room to even go pee. I can hear him outside my apartment building sometimes.
That being said, it's easier to tell in adult birds their personalities and such. With a baby it's really a complete gamble as to how vocal they are, clingy etc. And then you go through puberty and again, it's a gamble again on how their temperament will be..

Birds don't do great with other pets honestly. It depends bird to bird, dog to dog, cat to cat. But it takes a lot lot of training and a certain temperament of dog to be let out around a bird (tons of people even then wont) and with cats you have to worry about them swatting through the cage.
Even if your dog or cat gets to your bird and doesn't kill it, they have bacteria in their saliva that can kill your bird in a day once infected. So a cat scratch that stopped bleeding could still kill.

Male vs female, females always worry me about egg laying. You may have to get dummy eggs and try to make them less hormonal so they don't lay eggs. But often getting a bird you don't know the gender unless it was DNA sexed by the pet store or rescue. The store I got my tiel from didn't sex any of their smaller birds so I'm still not positive Piper is a boy.

Hm. Not sure what else to add. I'm about your age and juggling a bird, puppy, job, and online school has been a challenge and I still feel I'm letting piper down sometimes.
Just do a lot of research once you narrowed down what you want. Read all you can about them, go see them if possible. Then read about other parrots, so you can again be sure you're making the right choice in species.

Good luck!
 
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nm0710

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I don't know if everyone gets a notification but I found a conure by accident today! I went to a pet store with my mom and was greeted by a little green cheeked conure with a big hello. I fell in love. She's just under a year old and is talking away. She can say what, hello, laughs and purrs like a cat lol. I was able to talk the store owner into a deal of $650 for her, the cage, toys and food. I feel like it's a good deal. She is so far adjusting great!

13139269_1014774415243135_5034930686271240681_n.jpg
 

Sylvi_

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She is quite cute! By the way, I believe she is not a green cheek. She looks like a Blue Crowned conure.

Congrats though! She is stunning.
 

nm0710

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After looking at pictures, you're totally right. She's for sure a blue crown. A bit annoying because I was told she was a green cheek but she's pretty awesome regardless!
 

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No matter what the species... its yours :joyful: and that is ALL that matters! :hug8:
 

Begone

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and the other one talks maybe twice a year, and all she says is "Give me a kiss" followed by a smooch sound.
But T, that is because she only want a kiss once or twice/year. So now I have solved that problem! :p :D
If you have learn her "Don't give me a kiss" instead she probable had been talking all the time. :lol:
 
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