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Thread: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

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    My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    I have always wanted a Green Cheek Conure and my mom always told me I could have one when I turned 18. Well, that didn't happen. I went to college, and after that I got married and had a baby, and we have since moved five times and lived in four different states. About 8 months ago we finally settled into our permanent home and I finally began looking for a conure. I didn't want to get one at a pet store so I kept checking back with the only bird rescues I know are within driving distance from me, and craigslist. A lot of birds came up both places but never any conures (not Green Cheeks anyway). I stopped looking for a few months after getting busy with family visits and other things, but today I had this strong urge to just go get one from the pet store. I have had a huge cage set up for months and I buy bird toys ALL the time as if preparing for a new baby. I went to the pet store and looked at their birds but I just couldn't bring myself to buy one from there. I went home and out of routine I checked craigslist one more time. (Still not my first choice but no conures at the rescue STILL)

    So this time a Green Check conure came up on the results. I was so excited, she was beautiful but not a baby, and she had been through a lot. I called the number and the man told me he knew she had had at least three owners before and that he thought she was seven. I had to decide-an untamed pet store baby, an older tamed bird, or keep looking. I decided to go and pick up this bird from this man, knowing that she would never have to go through being given up again if she came home with me. I met him half way, payed him, and we left. He did let me know a few things about her, answered all of my questions and said he was allergic to her. The cage he sent with her was pretty small, it fit in the passenger seat of my car WITH the seat belt. He said she came to him in this cage two years before and that the guy he bought her from said the same.

    On our way back home I realized she liked music and was eating in the car which I took as a good sign meaning she may not be to stressed? I also noticed this weird noise she makes that I hope to god isn't anything serious. It sounds kind of like a little gas leak but I don't think it is a hissing noise. Maybe like a sniffing noise but she opens her mouth when she does it.. The guys claims she does it when she is happy but I don't feel sure about that.

    When we got home I opened her cage door expecting her to want to stay inside but she flew right out onto my arm and up to my shoulder where she sat until she saw my husband. She seems to prefer him by far and always tries to get back to him when I hold her. She is now sitting at the foot of my bed.

    My main concerns are just the weird noise and the small cage. I have a HUGE cage ready for her compared to this small one she has but if she has been in it for 7 years will such a drastic change stress her out? I also have two medium cages that have been used by other pets in the past that I could put her in instead. Any other tips would be appreciated, neither me nor my husband want her to prefer him.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    We;come to the forum and the wonderful world of birds.
    They do choose who they like best and can become protective of their chosen one, so you do need to watch and work on that. Barbara Heidenreich may be of some help with this situation.
    As for the cage. I would let the bird decide. Sometimes and in most cases I have seen they do like the bigger cage.
    Yet I have cages of all sizes and Sophie has taken to roosting and spending time during the day in the smallest of them.
    I would just leave the big one open and put some foods in there and see.
    You right that if she has been in the same cage for so long it may be her safe zone and happy to stay with it. She is going to get enough out of the cage time, so it is not a real issue.

    It does sound like you did well with this girl. There is always a risk when they have been passed around. Yet sometimes it can also work for you. It does for me and never had a bad secondhand bird that has been in a few homes.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    Quote Originally Posted by clawnz View Post
    We;come to the forum and the wonderful world of birds.
    They do choose who they like best and can become protective of their chosen one, so you do need to watch and work on that. Barbara Heidenreich may be of some help with this situation.
    As for the cage. I would let the bird decide. Sometimes and in most cases I have seen they do like the bigger cage.
    Yet I have cages of all sizes and Sophie has taken to roosting and spending time during the day in the smallest of them.
    I would just leave the big one open and put some foods in there and see.
    You right that if she has been in the same cage for so long it may be her safe zone and happy to stay with it. She is going to get enough out of the cage time, so it is not a real issue.

    It does sound like you did well with this girl. There is always a risk when they have been passed around. Yet sometimes it can also work for you. It does for me and never had a bad secondhand bird that has been in a few homes.


    She is great so far and dances when she hears music. She hasn't left my shoulder (except when my husband enters the room and once for a drink) so i'm not sure if she'll check out the bigger cage on her own, but it seems like people are her comfort zone. She already cries when I leave the room, I hope I can stop this but if not at least I will know she has a better home because the only thing on my mind right now is the weird noise she makes. When I walked past her cage I got a huge whiff of cigarette smoke and my heart dropped. Now I think I may know what that sound is.. I can't believe it. I keep thinking I should have gotten my first conure at petco but I was so against that for so long and I have to remind myself how sweet this bird is and what a bad situation she is now out of if this really is what caused her gasping noise.

    Maybe I should post another thread focused on this issue.

    Thank you for your answer! <3

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    Do you have a Av close bye?
    A nasal flush may help. And is that smell on her or from her breath?
    On her I would consider a good wash with warm water and a little detergent.
    This will take natural oils out as well, but in the case of smoke I would do this.
    Not sure what an AV would have to say about her lungs though, that could be a worry.
    Try to not let her get puffed out and breath heavy for now. I have no idea how to detox.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    As long as you keep posting the thread will pop up when we click on new posts, so other will see this.
    I hope that helps.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    Quote Originally Posted by clawnz View Post
    Do you have a Av close bye?
    A nasal flush may help. And is that smell on her or from her breath?
    On her I would consider a good wash with warm water and a little detergent.
    This will take natural oils out as well, but in the case of smoke I would do this.
    Not sure what an AV would have to say about her lungs though, that could be a worry.
    Try to not let her get puffed out and breath heavy for now. I have no idea how to detox.
    Thank you so much. I called an emergency AV, it is a bit of a drive but the closet one I know of. Luckily I had the number on hand because I thought a 7 year old bird may need a check-up anyway. I was going to wait until next month because I won't really have the money until then but if it is an emergency I can always take out of my college account and pay it back next month!

    The AV just asked me some questions about the bird and she said all of my answers were good signs (except for the noise itself and the smoke smell of course.)
    The bird-Hula-doesn't seem to smell like smoke. It's hard for me to tell because my husband smokes, though OUTSIDE only thankfully. I can tell her cage smells strongly of it though. I wish I could get her into the bath, she doesn't let us touch her with her hands. She will fly to our arm or shoulders on our own but won't step up at all so it's hard to get her back into her cage :o
    I provided her with two different sized bowls of water when I got her home too because she is covered in poo and looks the way my budgies do when they are molting..

    The AV told me it didn't sound like an emergency and that the clean air in my house will be great for the bird. She still needs to come into the vet within the next few weeks to make sure there is no infection, sooner if anything on the list of symptoms she gave me start happening. I am just suppose to be trying to get her clean and watch her closely in the mean time. I am taking online classes so I probably will just stay home with her until she has her vet check.

    I feel like such a jerk now for being so upset that she liked my husband better then me when we got her home. This is so much more serious and who's shoulder she would rather sit on seems so trivial now. I know I just got her but I have been preparing for a conure for so long and it just feels like she's my baby already. Hopefully everything will be ok. I am glad I got her out of the smoky home before things got worse and I wonder if they rehomed her because she was sick and they didn't want to take her to the vet. They charged me quite a bit, I am shocked that someone would sell an obviously sick bird at full price. I would have said "someone please take my bird-someone who can afford to take her to the vet"

    Do I need to make a separate post? My title doesn't match my topic any more.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    One more thing-is a naval flush something to be done at the vet? I'm not sure how that works. Is there anything I can do besides bathe her and keep an eye on her until the AV has an opening? (They will bring her in for an extra fee if she starts having emergency symptoms despite how full they are)

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    Hi, and welcome to the forum. My opinion is that a nasal flush should be done by a Vet. Personally, since she has been in a home with smokers, I would throw out her cage that she came in and use the new one you had all prepared for a new bird. Smoking around birds can be fatal. It is not much different that we who do not smoke, being subjected to "second hand smoke" from other people.

    What seeds or pellet diet is she eating? If she is eating just seeds, then I would go to a pet shop and get a bottle of "birdy vitamins". Some folks put them in the water, but I put them directly in the seed cup. A couple of drops about once a week is sufficient. Just mix it with the seed. I do not put the drops in water because the water can go rancid with the drops in it and cause the bird to get sick.

    I would also encourage you to introduce fresh fruits and veggies to her. You can try fresh broccoli, carrots, peas, corn, leaf lettuce, cilantro, and others. Chop them up finely and put a plate of them on the age floor so she can try them. You also can try fresh fruits. You can put some of the mix in food cups as well. Or you can feed bigger pieces. Also, when you go to the pet shop for the vitamins, I would get some millet sprigs. Millet is a good "treat" food for them.

    My cockatiel came from another owner, and he definitely smelled like smoke when he came here. I used a spray bottle with tepid warm water to sprtz him. You also can put a deep dish in the cage bottom, put some tepid warm water in it and see if she would try bathing. Some folks take their birds to the bathroom shower and let the shower water run over them. It would be fine spray of course, and be sure to not have left soap or shower suds in the shower stall. I would clean the shower stall first before putting her in there.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    If you don't want to throw her cage that she came in away, then I sure would do a disinfectant job on it. I use white vinegar and warm water for cleaning my cages. Mix about 50% of each. Vinegar is very pure and will not hurt the bird after you have cleaned the cage. Maybe you could use that cage for a travel cage to the vet if you clean it. I would definitely replace any perches or toys that were in the cage.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    I agree there is no emergency as yet, so do not rush unless you see an issue.
    Maxollie is right and I should of thought about this, either clean the cage and throw out all the toys or move her to the new one and get rid of her old one complete.

    I am not sure I would just mist her as this will encourage preening and if there is smoke residue on her then she will ingest this preening.
    So I go with a good wash, bath, as this should remove at least some of the residue. Sorry you will have to force wash her. We have to with wild birds and she will hate you after I promise.

    Now! You may need to consider this. Your man smokes Right! He has to understand that there are still dangerous fumes coming out of his mouth for awhile after he smokes outside and there can still be fumes on his clothing which if she is getting on him could be harmful.

    Nasal flush may not do a lot if any damage is in the air sacks, but at least it will tell if it is just nasal or not. Yes should be a AV or vet.
    Take heart she is now safe with you, and she will of already picked up on that.

    Yes! You have to wonder why people pass birds on. They are not always honest about these reasons.
    I have only had one I can think of. And in saying that here he is not the Flying Attack Parrot, that I now know he was.
    All the others have had good reasons.

    I think it is OK to continue with this thread we are picking it up. And if you go over a few threads you will see a lot of them may not reflect the first title.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    Thank you, her cage seems to be nice quality even though it is a bit small. (The one she came with.) It is heavy, I think it is metal with some kind of thick coating so I think it would be safe to disinfect. I had her sleep in the new bigger cage last night but she flies to the small one when she sees it and I have noticed that she will leave my shoulder to go and use the bathroom on the small cage and then come back to my shoulder. I don't know if she would know where to go if I didn't keep it in the room so I may try and keep both IF I can get rid of the smoke smell.

    I don't know what this food is that they have given me. It is in a jar with no label and has a mix of things in it including seeds, pellets, peanuts, and other things. She seems to favor the pellets and the sunflower seeds. In my experience with other pets these mixes lead to animals picking and choosing what they want. I didn't want to make any abrupt changes so I was going to see what the vet recommended and switch her gradually unless it is okay to stick what she has, in which case I still want to throw this out and start over with a fresh batch. They also sent the vitamin drops with her and said they put it in her water, but with my guinea pigs it goes on their food for the same reason you gave me about the water going bad so I hadn't done anything with the vitamins yet.

    They told me her favorite food was bananas, is this ok for her to have? What about apples? Thank you for the list of fruits and veggies they cane safely eat. I will start introducing them to her. She dances for treats.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    I know she will need a vet to check her, but in case I am wrong about the noise I am just so paranoid that if she isn't sick already she will pick something up at the vet. I have the same worries with my my daughter. She only makes one other noise and she doesn't make the gaspy noise when she is sleeping so I wonder if its her voice and its raspy? I also wonder if she really is only seven.

    I got REALLY lucky with the bath. I think she is realizing she has moved because she was unwilling to take a bath yesterday, I am not sure if she has ever had a bath. She came with a very small water dish. But she has been on my shoulder all day and when I turned on the sink earlier she made it very clear that she wanted a bath so I set it up for her and she cleaned herself in the sink with the water. She seems to be thankful for it.

    My husband does smoke, and he didn't plan on being around Hula (Zoe? We are trying to decide between three names, she came to us as "Bird") much but the bird does want to go to him when he gets home from work.

    Damage in the air sacks? That sounds horrible and permanent?

    Thank you!

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    You are doing just fine.
    It does sound like her cage is her castle, so I think you are doing right by letting her keep it as "Home Base".
    You can scrub the cage with very hot water and detergent to clean then if possible water blast. If not just a good rinse will do.
    Are the peanuts in shells? If not they should be ok.
    I would point you towards Jason Creans group for advice on natural foods.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/AVIA...comment_follow
    We can help you there sort a decent diet based on a fresh natural diet for her.

    I feel you are doing correct in not trying to force change of diet straight away. But it does sound like she is already trusting you, that is going to work for you.
    I would be careful adding any supplements, certainly the last place I would put them is in her water. You can find real foods that will give all the supplements she needs.
    Calcium. Crush cuttlebone and sprinkle over her food.
    Protein. If you feel she needs a boost. Bee pollen is simple, but there are many other ways.
    Cleanser's. Dandelion, Flax seed, Sow or Milk Thistle, Chilli. Are all very good. Remember all in moderation.
    Greens. Dark green veg, Chard, Silverbeet, Kale. and a few others.Again remember moderation.
    Sprouts. Super foods. Though you do need to sprout these yourself, not shop bought.
    A few ideas for you.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    I am hopeful that she will not have respiratory injury (as the result of the smoke). If she doesn't, then I am thinking that within a few weeks her lungs are going to clear and she won't be "rasping". I agree with Clive about your husband smoking. But of course, that is something the two of you have to decide whether he can continue. Also, there is a thread that was created here on the tailfeathers about toxic and non-toxic items that birds should never be exposed to. Tefflon pans are one of the worst. Birds can die from a cook using Tefflon non stick pans, so if you have any, I would suggest you get either a good quality stainless steel pain or the newer ceramic (green pans) that many are using now. Also, no candles, air fresheners, essential oils (scented such as lavender, etc.), should ever be used with a bird in the home. I am going to look up that thread for you and I will post it in another quick reply space here on this thread.

    Also, you might visit a website called "cockatiel cottage". Even though it is a cockatiel website, there is great info on that website about safe foods to feed tiels, and of course conures are also a member of the parrot family, so I feel the info on that website would be of value to you.

    I do think it is a good idea to clean her little cage and let her consider that her "home" cage. She also may sleep better at night in that cage than the bigger one, because I feel that smaller cages make them feel more secure at night when they are sleeping. I also would suggest you cover the cage on three sides (leave the front side open) at night, and also leave a night light in her room, so that she won't get night frights. (be afraid of something she hears outside or even inside of your home at night). Night frights can injure a bird if they thrash around in a cage.

    You also can feed boiled chicken eggs. Peel the egg and crush the shell and put the crushed shell in with her seed mix. The egg can be mashed into small pieces, and she can have both the yellow and white of the egg.

    I don't feed my birds a seed mix with all kinds of "stuff" like the peanuts in it. I feed a basic seed mix (seeds only), and then I add plenty of fresh foods. There are some seed mixes that are full of so much extra stuff, and much of that stuff is very high in fat and sugar. I am very careful to not feed my birds any sugar products, and no foods with lots of salt. Also, no processed foods like potato chips, or taco chips, etc.

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    Re: My First Conure-How I Got Her and Care Question

    Under General Bird Talk, there are two threads that I have found that will be interesting for you to read. One is entitled The Most Complete List -- Good and Bad. (this one is a great list of all toxic and non toxic items that may be used and/or not used around our birds).

    The other thread is also under General Bird Talk. It is entitled: Food Pyramid for Parrots. This also is a great read and will give you great info!

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