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Weird feelings/ depression about new GCC???

Parakeet88

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Hey everyone, I know its long but I would really appreciate any help/advice or hearing if any ones been in a similar situation. Thanks in advance. :what:

I bought a GCC Sunday the 12th and I have more mixed feelings about it than I was expecting. I have wanted a conure for years but when I first got interested in them I was just about to start college so I figured I'd better wait. I've had finches and parakeets since then. My current flock is two keets, two bourkes and three cockatiels. The tiels are staying with my parents for a bit though. The keets were hand fed but only the male will occasionally step onto my finger so basically none of them are tame at the moment although I'm continuing to work with my male keet.

So back to the conure. I fell in love with his goofy personality at the pet store. He came over to dance for us and is the most beautiful turquois color. An employee took him out and I played with him for about a half hour, he was very well behaved and can already dance and give kisses on command. I figured this would be perfect. Since I now have my own apartment, my own money, and some experience with birds (I've also done a lot of reading on conures since I've been wanting one) I decided to buy him. As soon as I got him home he wanted to be out of his cage and wasn't scared at all of his new surroundings. He settled in really well.

I just don't feel the way I thought I would about having him. I always get a bit of anxiety when I bring a new bird home but this guy is different. For some reason I've been kind of depressed since I got him and I don't know why. In doing some research I read about "post puppy depression" where some people sort of mourn their loss of freedom and fall into a funk until they get a new routine going after getting a new puppy/dog. I'm hoping this is what I'm going through and that things will get better soon but I can't be sure. I'm also feeling a little guilty about now having less time to spend with my other birds. My male keet talks really well and his favorite thing is when I go over to his cage to talk to him and I feel awful that I haven't been able to do that as much as I used to.

I definitely love my conure but I don't know why I've been feeling so down since getting him. I work night shift at a hospital so I have him out from the time I get home until I go to bed around noon and then I take him out before I leave for work but I still wonder if this is enough for him to have a happy healthy life. I knew getting a conure would be a huge responsibility and I knew he'd be more needy and demanding than my other birds but I truly thought I was ready to handle it. Actually having him here is so much different than imagining/ reading about life with a conure even if you imagine a realistic life and not a perfect fantasy.

I don't know if I'm having true regrets about buying him or if I just need to bond with him and get into a new routine with him around. It's really bothering me that I have so many negative feelings about such a great bird and this is something I've wanted for a long time. I wasn't expecting any of these weird emotions when I bought him and now I don't know what to do. I'm definitely going to see how the next couple of months go but I'm worried that these feelings might not go away. I really don't want to be that person who has to rehome their bird because they were too ignorant to realize how much work it would be. After doing my research, having experience with other "beginner" birds, and waiting years to make sure I really wanted one I really thought I was ready but unfortunately maybe I'm not and I feel terrible for bringing this incredible bird into this awful situation. :( Any general conure advice/ tips would also be helpful as I'm trying my best to get our relationship off on the right foot and avoid behavior issues. Thank you
 

finchly

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You refer to it as an "awful situation" but it doesn't sound awful! The bird has a great home.

This sounds like anxiety, and perhaps focusing on how to bond with your bird and spending time with him and the others will alleviate it. Focusing on your worries doesn't help. :)

Are your birds not in the same room together? I don't see why you couldn't talk to the keet while playing with the conure (for example). I can't find my thread but I kept a journal for a month recently while changing my way of spending time with the birds. It started out as trying to get my 2 tiels to stop screaming --- I gave them away and when they came home they screamed all the time and are no longer interested in being touched. It ended up not only with a lot less screaming but also I had bonding with all my fids, and breakthroughs in training.And although the journal was over a couple weeks ago I am still spending lots of time in their room working with them.

I recommend: reading and singing to your new bird

Spending time with all of them at once if possible; I even had canaries (3), caique, pionus, and parrotlet out together yesterday. Oh and the 2 tiels. I put food on a table for them along with a pan of water in case anyone wanted a bath (no one did, but they threw pistachio shells in the water). The other side of the table had a big play stand. I sat in a chair and read aloud some and silently some. A lot of the time I just watched them. About 1/2 the time I had one on each shoulder and one on my head.

Hold off on decisions for a couple months. It takes a LONG time for a fid to settle in.

Good luck!
 

Parakeet88

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Thanks for the reply!
Yeas thay are all in the same room and I do talk to my keets while I have the conure out but my keet loves to be nearly in my mouth when I talk to him lol so I guess what I mean is that I haven't been able to spend as much time at his cage really focusing on him. None of them are tame at the moment but I do think I could get the male keet out eventually. Again maybe it was bad timing to get the conure while I'm still trying to train My keet. I was hoping maybe having the conure out would help the keet want to come out more but they are both still afraid of each other.
I do need to find ways to truly bond with him instead of just having him out and sitting with him. I hope my feelings will change once we get a stronger bond going. As much as I enjoy him now I still don't really know him so he's still sort of "just a bird" to me if that makes any sense.
I'm definitely waiting before making any decisions, I know it could take months for us to bond and it could take just as long for me to get comfortable in this new lifestyle and get on a new routine.
 

finchly

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:) I know what you mean! I feel guilty over each of mine. It's hard to split your time.

Will he play with toys? What if you did some clicker training? There are great threads on here about that. I just purchased a basketball "court" and am (unsuccessfully) trying to teach them that. And @saroj12 is doing all sorts of fun training with hers.

I do think they learn by watching, so maybe having them tame conure will help with the keet's training!

My iPad battery has died....
 

jmfleish

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I say just take your time and enjoy the moment. This is going to sound silly, but try not to over-analyze it!

I'll tell you a little story that might make you feel better! I'm not a dog person at all but I fell in love, I mean absolutely head over heels in love with French Bulldogs after one of my favorite authors introduced one of them into a series he writes a long time ago...more than a decade ago. I couldn't even tell you the name of the author or the series, but that was it for me...that dog was a pretty big part of the series after that and then I saw Frenchies everywhere and I couldn't stop thinking of them and every time I saw one in a movie, or a TV series or anywhere else, I was enthralled with them! I've always had cats and then I went from cats to birds. My husband has kind of been saying for the last several years that he really wants a dog but I've been like, no way, I'd get stuck taking care of it, but in the back of my head I was like, maybe we should get a Frenchie. We are terrible trainers, so I knew I did not want a puppie and I'm also a terrible Craigslist browser and I found an ad here and there for a Frenchie puppy and I would show them to Jon and we would think about it a little but not seriously until we found a two year old male that really just clicked for us and was close to where we live. We went and met him and dove into being owned by a dog! Me! Having a dog in my house with all my birds! It was INSANE! But, we did it.

At first I was like what in the world did I do but one look at that crazy face and I was totally in love but there were a few problems...he wasn't trained at all. He was really good at going to the bathroom outside, thank god! But he was so crazy! He would jump on you all the time and was completely hyperactive! No one tells you that about this breed! I was under the impression that they liked to hang out with you and were like the perfect apartment dog, not that it mattered really since we live in a house and have a huge fenced in yard but it really bothered me that he would constantly jump up on you and I had all these feelings of, OMG! I didn't want a dog I wanted a cat...I missed my cats (I had lost my last cat about four years before and had decided not to get another one). So, I told Jon a week after we got Murphy that I wanted a cat and he said fine and I found a kitten who needed a home...talk about a circus! The kitten grew up and is now incredible friends with our dog and I'm incredibly in love with our dog who is totally awesome. All the initial resentment I felt for him is completely gone and he sleeps with me in the bed along with our cat and our life feels complete. He's even learned to get along with the birds...or at least that they just aren't as interesting as he once thought!

So, give it time! Live in the moment and try not to think like you made a mistake! I'm guessing you will quickly realize that your new bird is wonderful and you can't live without him!:)
 

Distaff

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Great thread! I find I get a bit depressed after any animal acquisition, and I've come to expect it. I found my rats take more work than the birds (at least the way I prefer to keep them), and while they integrate nicely into the routine and food prep, for a while animal chores DID seem a bit like drudgery.

Also, after we got the most recent budgie addition of two males, the whole house sort of fell apart. Our normally trustworthy dogs suddenly weren't, and out came the baby gates which I constantly trip over. Then, the canary decided that he didn't care to sleep in a cage at all. That's not gonna work. I ended up moving all the small pets out of the main living space for both the safety of the birds, and because the new rats were making so much noise at night, we weren't sleeping.

It can take some time to find workable household adjustments, and get an efficient care routine up and running again. Also, worst case scenario, if you really find this new GCC isn't working out, you are in a better position to find the bird an excellent home than the person who sold him to you, because you CARE.
 

Parakeet88

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I had all these feelings of, OMG! I didn't want a dog I wanted a cat...I missed my cats
This is definitely one of the feelings I'm getting. I'm starting to think maybe I didn't really want a conure, maybe what I really wanted was a tame parakeet (the male keet I'm working with) and I just thought I wanted the conure because he was already very tame. I feel like even a tame parakeet is much less work than a conure.

Regardless of what my brain was thinking when I bought him, he's here now and I'm taking care of him to the best of my ability and hoping it will work out.
 

Parakeet88

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Thanks for all the replies. I definitely over analyze things especially with the conure. Everyone compares parrot behavior to that of a toddler but I didn't realize I also think of them as toddlers because they are so malleable and observative. I feel like any move I make could reinforce or discourage good or bad behaviors and I want to start off right instead of having to go back and correct bad behaviors.

It also might be helpful if I could find a better/ quicker way to prepare their food. Every morning when I get home from work I prepare them fresh fruit and veggies. Usually a base of broccoli and a spinach mix along with whatever else I have on hand (carrots, berries, snap peas, and nuts are the usual). It takes me atleast a half hour every day just to prep their breakfast, washing and cutting everything up. All my birds are small so they like everything finely chopped which takes a while to do. And then I have to clean everything up. Then before I go to bed everyone gets their pellets to munch on for the day. If I could shorten their meal prep time I'd have more time to actually spend with them but I know their diet is incredibly important and they all really look forward to their fresh breakfast every morning.
 

Parakeet88

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Parrot Nation is a blog. The lady who writes it coined "chop." She makes big batches and freezes it. Lots of info on her site.
Thanks I will definitely check it out
 

Donna turner

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Maybe part of your problem is you feel you "betrayed" your budgie by bringing home someone else. When I've thought what a second bird would be like this is the feeling I get. However, all the people on this forum have proved that feeling is for the most part unjustified. Many have multiple birds and they are all happy. Maybe after everyone is settled in new routine and you have seen that the sky didn't fall your anxiety will fade away and turn into love. It sounds like you have a very likable gcc.
 

janicedyh

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Definitely prepare the food ahead of time. I make huge batches and freeze them in sandwich bags that have enough for 3 days per bag. You can also cut your fruit and have it ready in the fridge. I would absolutely be at my wits end trying to do it on a daily basis.
 

CrazyBirdChick

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I can relate to this alot! Infact, I started a thread here not long ago, and was surprised to find out that alot of other members could also relate .

Not sure if you're interested in reading but if you are, it's here http://forums.avianavenue.com/index.php?threads/my-little-secret.193835/ The gist of it is that I bought him from a bird fair and regretted it right away. I even took him back to the breeder one day when I just couldn't take it anymore. But I learned that day just how truley bonded to me he was and even though I still didn't really want him, I kept him cause I wanted him to be happy. I know that sounds awful but it's true.


Parrots are hard and they definitely force you to change your whole lifestyle. I've had lots of days of feeling sadness, exhaustion, and depression over getting my extremely demanding quaker.

I still feel that way sometimes, and I've had him almost a year now, but then there are days when I just can't wait to get home to him too.

No one here can tell you whether or not your conure is right for you but I will say that in time he will grow on you more and more. But at the same time, the longer you keep him the harder it will be on him. I wish you all the best and hope it works out. I can tell you'd be a wonderful conure parront. But as Distaff said, even if you decide you can't keep him, atleast you'd be choosy in rehoming. I know you'll do your best either way
:hug8:
 

sunnysmom

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I think even those of us with just one bird have moments where we feel overwhelmed, and think what did I get myself into. LOL. I think it gets easier when you and your bird get a routine established. It took some of the pressure off me knowing- okay Saturday, I clean the cage; Sunday I make birdie bread; Monday, I'll make a batch of food for the week, etc. And you're still getting to know your bird. It takes time to develop a relationship. It will be okay. :)
 

Parakeet88

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It sounds like you have a very likable gcc.
He is really fantastic and I think that's adding to my problem. I have this amazing, smart, well behaved bird that I've been waiting years to get but now for some reason my brain is telling me I might have made a mistake. I have no reason to not want/ like him or to be angry with him so why do I feel so off? I know it's probably just that I need some time to get the hang of things, I couldn't have asked for a better bird to be having this weird issue with. I can't imagine what it would be like to not only have this weird feeling of "maybe I made a mistake" but then on top of that to have a misbehaved cranky bird.

I definitely feel like I betrayed my budgie. He was the first bird I got after my last keet died unexpectedly. He's the first bird I got hand fed from a breeder. He's my first bird that has talked and his little voice is my favorite thing on the planet. It's also hard because I have a weird relationship with him. He seems to be semi bonded to me but also bonded to his cage. He loves to get close when I talk to him and he lets me give him kisses but he is still wary of my hands. It would be easier to spend time with him if I could get him out but now since getting the conure I have less time to spend working on taming him.
 

janicedyh

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Before no time they may be talking at each other. My GCC and IRN are constantly going back and forth with "what are you doin" etc all day. They don't physically interact together but I am sure they banter back and forth and learn from each other. I made a little play pen from a plastic container and put a bunch of toys in and things to forage on the table every day and they have their turn and one on one time playing with me while the others watch. The other birds sit on the edge of their cage top waiting their turn and I know they trust me to give them their "turn". Things can feel overwhelming ... its a common and natural feeling but I do think once you get into a routine you will feel better. I love all my birdies and they all have their special traits. I have to say though...my biggest laughs come from watching my little clown GCC.
 

Distaff

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I'm no expert, but I think most birds do better with another bird to hang out with, even if it is a different species, and they are caged separately. So, you didn't betray the budgie (a very social bird), you just got him a friend.

Reminds me of the time I found a Mastiff mix at the local shelter. I had wanted a mastiff, read all about mastiffs, and had generally become obsessed with getting one - specific breed didn't really matter as much. So, I brought her home, and immediately felt an overwhelming wave of regret. We already had two dogs. WHAT had I done?? I felt guilty for asking BF to put up with yet another expensive pet. I obviously needed my head examined. So, while this calm, sweet, gentle girl was still getting her bearings, I clipped a leash on her and took her back to the shelter. As soon as BF found out where she was, he called the shelter and told them to hold her - we would be back for her in the morning. Understandably, Beverly turned out to be more his dog than mine - she's a Daddy's girl.
 

finchly

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I definitely feel like I betrayed my budgie.<snip> It would be easier to spend time with him if I could get him out but now since getting the conure I have less time to spend working on taming him.
Ah! And there we have it. @Distaff you hit it right on the head.

You did NOT betray your budgie. :) A bird friend is a bird friend (no matter how small, sorry, people prolly don't even get Dr. Seuss references any more...)

And I'll bet it would not be difficult to rearrange things, speed up an activity ,or cut out a TV show in order to find more time for the little one again. You could even split up the training time into 5 or 10 minute segments. Which might even help him learn faster.

Hang in there, and keep us informed ok? And pictures! We love pictures!
 

iamwhoiam

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Congrats. Don't second guess yourself. Just enjoy your new feathered friend.
 
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