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Posted: 1/22/2011 5:57:40 PM EDT
So I bought a conure





He looked pitiful and stressed at the store since he had plucked some of the feathers out of his chest. Anyway, I made an offer on him and they took it. He looks mostly green which is said to indicate he is young....I guess they can change color as the age?





This is my first bird.....so any pointers?



His/Her name is Charlie

Link Posted: 1/22/2011 5:59:02 PM EDT
[#1]
Gently pluck the rest of the feathers before cleaning/marinade/cooking.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 5:59:32 PM EDT
[#2]
Just kidding congratulations.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 5:59:44 PM EDT
[#3]



Quoted:


Gently pluck the rest of the feathers before cleaning/marinade/cooking.


He hasn't pissed me off that bad yet



 
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:00:54 PM EDT
[#4]
I had a Nanday Conure when I was in highschool...

That bird was my favorite pet EVER. Seriously, I loved it.

I cried when it died (Choked on a seed)

It died in my hands...
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:01:10 PM EDT
[#5]
I've never been into a house with a bird that didn't have a smell.  Put it in a room that you don't mind it smelling.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:02:47 PM EDT
[#6]
We only have all small birds. Finches. Many exotic species, all tropical.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:04:50 PM EDT
[#7]
Quoted:
I've never been into a house with a bird that didn't have a smell.  Put it in a room that you don't mind it smelling.


I have a Hahn's McCaw and no smell.  I suspect dirty home owners.  BTW conues can be fuckin screamers so set limits and do not let it control you like a spoiled child,  

Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:11:23 PM EDT
[#8]
The "smell" of birds was never bad, but the birds we had growing up were always loud as fuck.

We had this bird that my parents owned before I was born, then sold when I was born so it wouldn't bite my fingers off, then they bought it back from the same guy when I was about 14.. It had this screeching cry noise it would do to get attention.. all of the other birds would mimic that bird and make the same noise, all at once.. and it was enough to make you want to claw your eyes out .

I don't know anything about conures, we had an african grey, a red crested amazon, a quaker parrot, two ringneck parrots, and a parakeet.

If it pulls out it's own feathers just make sure you keep it in a spot where things are happening (living rooms, kitchens etc) so the bird feels like it's part of the group and there are things happening around it. Figure out what type of things it likes to eat and play with as well. Birds are VERY picky about crap in their cages, some toys scared the living shit out of them so don't go out and buy $100 worth of chew toys without seeing what the bird likes.

We had some rolling perch that we kept the birds on, we could move it around the house so they could sit there and not crap on whatever they were sitting on, but sit and watch what was going on.


Be sure to spend some time talking to the bird and playing with it. Even if it acts a little pissy toward you, any sort of interaction is good.

If the bird bites a lot, find a good leather glove to use and teach it to "step up" onto your hand. Say "step up" and push your hand up into them and they'll figure it out.

Our birds didn't like Hats or sunglasses.. it bothered them for some reason.

Otherwise, it was fun to just let the bird get on the floor and walk around and explore, they will usually attach themselves to one person in the house and follow them around. Fun animals.

ETA: Another thing that helped with "quiet time" was to cover the bird's cage with a blanket or a sheet when it was time to goto sleep or when it was being a loud asshole. Be sure to talk to the bird and say "Time for sleep".. we would always say "sleepy birdy" and they would say it back when we would cover up the cage when it was "bed time"...  And if they were being pricks we would say "BAD BIRD".. which they would mimic of course.. then we could cover them up still, but they would be quiet and recognize that it was "quiet time".. just don't let them sit too long during the daytime covered up.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:17:24 PM EDT
[#9]
Quoted:
Gently pluck the rest of the feathers before cleaning/marinade/cooking.


Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:20:12 PM EDT
[#10]
Have had a blue fronted Amazon for 15 years now.  Make sure to feed pellet  type food mostly, not so much seeds, as many folks tend to do.  Also fresh fruits and vegetables are good and parrots love them.  The uncolored pellet s are the best like RoudyBush or Harrisons, but Pretty Bird or Zupreme arent bad either.  (What was the shop feeding your conure––changing food types can be a test in patience)  Some seed is okay but seeds are fattening, and since the bird is caged and immobile, too many seeds can pose a health problem eventually. (fatty liver disease and heart disease)  I change the paper in the cage everyday, with a good cleaning once a week.  The only thing that smells is the food sometime––the colored foods are colored with fruit juice and have a particular odor about them.  Also be careful as some foods––avocado and chocolate in particular can be deadly to parrots. Dont let them chew on house plants either––many are toxic. Its not a human so try not to get it addicted to human food either. (Junk food is what I am thinking about here.  Lots of info available on the web, and books available from Amazon.com.  My first bird was a Maroon bellied conure.  Had her for 8 years, and she chewed some particle board type furniture when I wasnt paying attention and died a nasty death.  The worse I have ever felt about losing an animal.  If they are out of the cage they must be watched.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:30:21 PM EDT
[#11]
Do you have a picture?

I'm curious about what kind of conure, the aratingas (sun, jenday, nanday, half moon etc) are significantly louder than their pyrrhura (black cap, green cheek, maroon belly etc) cousins.

The feather plucking/picking is most often a sign of boredom.  Make sure they have plenty of toys and plenty of human interaction.  All three of our birds (a sun conure, senegal parrot, and blue and gold macaw in my avatar) are out pretty much any time we're home.  Note that the plucking can be lifelong, and difficult to break them from.  also if they've been at it for a while they may have damaged the feather follicles and they may not grow back.

Some other environmental conditions can contribute to plucking like poor diet, insufficient light, vitamin deficiency, dry skin, etc so a change of location will likely help.

Make sure they get more than just seed.  If you can get them to eat pellets that's great, however any fruits and vegetables and even a little meat and cheese are good for them.  Our birds pretty much get some of whatever we're eating.  

Anyway just a thinking out loud post.  If you have questions IM me, glad to help.

Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:39:55 PM EDT
[#12]
I was supposed to have custody of a quaker parrot for 6 weeks until the owner found a place that would take pets.

This was 5 years ago.

 This bird is the biggest asshole in the entire world.It is the Michael Moore has bred with Joy Behar of parrotdom. If a parrot likes you,it's awesome.If it hates you there is absolutely nothing you can do to change its mind. It adores me brother and will make special trips across the room to bite the living hell out of me. A bill that can open seeds has no problem with human flesh.


 However,I give it the best home that I can.

 Read The Parrot Who Owned Me as possibly the best book about human-parrot interaction.


 My cockatiels OTOH are awesome little guys.


*** NOTE: never,ever,ever go to a parrot forum and insinuate that your parrot is an asshole. Those crazy fucks ran me out of there faster than an Arfcommer at DU. Some of those nutcases take their "fids" a *little* on the serious side
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:40:15 PM EDT
[#13]
Quoted:
Have had a blue fronted Amazon for 15 years now.  Make sure to feed pellet  type food mostly, not so much seeds, as many folks tend to do.  Also fresh fruits and vegetables are good and parrots love them.  The uncolored pellet s are the best like RoudyBush or Harrisons, but Pretty Bird or Zupreme arent bad either.  (What was the shop feeding your conure––changing food types can be a test in patience)  Some seed is okay but seeds are fattening, and since the bird is caged and immobile, too many seeds can pose a health problem eventually. (fatty liver disease and heart disease)  I change the paper in the cage everyday, with a good cleaning once a week.  The only thing that smells is the food sometime––the colored foods are colored with fruit juice and have a particular odor about them.  Also be careful as some foods––avocado and chocolate in particular can be deadly to parrots. Dont let them chew on house plants either––many are toxic. Its not a human so try not to get it addicted to human food either. (Junk food is what I am thinking about here.  Lots of info available on the web, and books available from Amazon.com.  My first bird was a Maroon bellied conure.  Had her for 8 years, and she chewed some particle board type furniture when I wasnt paying attention and died a nasty death.  The worse I have ever felt about losing an animal.  If they are out of the cage they must be watched.


This is truth.  They are curious and mischievous little bastards.  Our macaw managed to spill a bottle of nail polish my wife left on the end table recently.  Of course my wife blamed the bird but I blamed her because leaving a bottle of nail polish open around was just stoopid.  Luckily he wasn't hurt but it could have ended badly.

The little shits love to chew, and this is natural and healthy for them.  Just make sure that it's encouraged on the proper items aka their toys -  and not the house, furniture, etc.  

In short they're like toddlers, except that many people don't understand that corporal punishment doesn't work like it does on a dog.  The only time any "physical" punishment really works on them is when they're caught in the act.  Beating their ass after they've chewed up something doesn't register with them.  However if you see them going for an object that you've attempted to train them to avoid, a quick squirt of water can be an effective deterrent (just don't get overzealous with it) as can scooping them up and putting them in their cage for time out.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:40:31 PM EDT
[#14]
We have 3 conures, 2 are sun and one is a Jenday the suns are about ayear old now (we got them very young and hand fed them) and the Jenday was about 6 months old when we got it. They can be really fussy at times you just have to figure out whats going on at the time and make it right with them lol.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:44:53 PM EDT
[#15]



Quoted:



The feather plucking/picking is most often a sign of boredom. Make sure they have plenty of toys and plenty of human interaction.  



Some other environmental conditions can contribute to plucking like poor diet, insufficient light, vitamin deficiency, dry skin, etc so a change of location will likely help.





Good advice. Also, a good cage does wonders. They need plenty of room to move around. You can also try a cage cover at night. It helps keep them quiet during the night and in the morning before you wake up. Keeps them a little warmer too. http://www.drsfostersmith.com/ is a phenomenal place to get stuff.  





 
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:45:20 PM EDT
[#16]
Quoted:


*** NOTE: never,ever,ever go to a parrot forum and insinuate that your parrot is an asshole. Those crazy fucks ran me out of there faster than an Arfcommer at DU. Some of those nutcases take their "fids" a *little* on the serious side


I used to frequent a parrot forum when I first got into birds.  You're right most of those fuckers are *nuts*

Someone ran across a youtube video of a macaw walking across a floor with a limp or other leg problem.  They posted it and started a firemission to send the uploader shitty emails about how they should take the bird to the vet, how they probably abused the bird, etc until the poor bastard replied to one of them that his macaw was having leg problems and he was on some island somewhere without easy access to a vet and had put the video on youtube so that a vet in another country could take a look and give him an idea of the problem.  They shut up after that.

Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:55:02 PM EDT
[#17]
I had a Nanday. Named him Benson (after the sitcom) He was a cool bird had a personality.. Loved to take showers I'd perch him up on a soap caddy.  He loved to listen to southern rock and start bouncing to the beat.He would eat toast in the morning and liked black coffee.

When I'd get home from work he'd fly over to me and hang out on my shoulder, or on his perch next to my Lazy boy. When I'd be gone for several days he'd have a case of the ass when I came home. He'd freaking nip me, and scream like a banshee.  Pro Tip  water spray bottle helps get them to shut up..

Never a  picky eater, loved to eat cheerios. Had to keep open beer away from him,if you weren't careful he would find it. had him for 11 years. Then one morning I found him dead in his cage. That hurt for a while.

To tame him you've got to have hand time. He will bite and it will freaking hurt and bleed you will have to work through that.Find his "crack" addiction Cheerios,chips,fruit what ever and have plenty of it on hand to treat him with as he sits on your hand.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:57:00 PM EDT
[#18]
I have a green cheek conure.

They need lots of love and attention.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 6:58:14 PM EDT
[#19]
Here is a picture....I stuck him in a cage I had kicking around but will be moving him into a more suitable one tomorrow..... I just got one of those 4.5ft high by 24"x24" bird cages  (not sure if he is gonna freak out on me while I have to move him/handle him)




 
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:00:27 PM EDT
[#20]
I never had any experience with birds other than my 'tiels and I've had these guys for 12 years so I said "sure,how much different can a similar sized parrot be? I'll take care of her for a couple months".


 I wasn't told that she A) had at least 4 prior owners B) had long ago plucked all her feathers C) once lived in a frat house where they used to give her booze. In short,I was given custody of the parrot equivalent to a crackbaby.

  So,I sought out some advice on how I could feed her without bleeding,how I could make her used to me enough to not do panic squawking when I came home etc.

  I was pretty much told that I somehow had no business taking care of her,but that I would be the worst person ever for also trying to find her another home.Still not sure how that one works

She's smart as hell- she knows a few phrases and the appropriate times to say them,says "peekaboo" when she can't see your face behind a magazine or whatever and does a few things that'll make you laugh your ass of such as,no shit, mimicking machinegun sounds with a BBDDDDDRRRRRRRR noise when watching war movies. If I wasn't so scared of the parrot mafia tracking me down,I'd put up a clip of her watching Battle of Britain shooting down Messerschmitts as it is incredibly,incredibly funny. Still,guess I'm stuck with her biting ass for the next couple decades-LMAO


 Here she is: her name was Rocketman but considering that was both gay and...gay...I started calling her Fenway because she's a green monster. She loves going outside for walks and stuff,I just can't let her near my bare skin or else she f's me up:

 


 and here are a couple of my boys:

 
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:02:20 PM EDT
[#21]
It's up to you.. But you may want to learn to trim his flight feathers. Because they will get out and head for the highest tree and beyond
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:05:33 PM EDT
[#22]
That's a peach fronted conure (Aratinga aurea).  The plucking doesn't look too bad so hopefully you can stop it from getting worse.  
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:05:40 PM EDT
[#23]

Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:15:04 PM EDT
[#24]
Quoted:
Here is a picture....I stuck him in a cage I had kicking around but will be moving him into a more suitable one tomorrow..... I just got one of those 4.5ft high by 24"x24" bird cages  (not sure if he is gonna freak out on me while I have to move him/handle him)
http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/4526/charlie3n.png  
.

If he's skittish or not sure of you, one of the best things you can do is to sit next to his cage and read aloud  It seems like the store he was at didn't give a shit and never interacted with him so it may take a little for him to get used to his surroundings and get used to people.  

After he learns that you're not a threat you can teach him to step up on a stick, or if he seems OK with you your finger.  Then take him out and watch TV or read with him on you (make sure he spends time with EVERYONE in the house), and pretty soon he'll want to come out and be with his "people" all the time.  

Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:18:44 PM EDT
[#25]







Quoted:
Quoted:



Here is a picture....I stuck him in a cage I had kicking around but will be moving him into a more suitable one tomorrow..... I just got one of those 4.5ft high by 24"x24" bird cages  (not sure if he is gonna freak out on me while I have to move him/handle him)



http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/4526/charlie3n.png  
.
If he's skittish or not sure of you, one of the best things you can do is to sit next to his cage and read aloud  It seems like the store he was at didn't give a shit and never interacted with him so it may take a little for him to get used to his surroundings and get used to people.  
After he learns that you're not a threat you can teach him to step up on a stick, or if he seems OK with you your finger.  Then take him out and watch TV or read with him on you (make sure he spends time with EVERYONE in the house), and pretty soon he'll want to come out and be with his "people" all the time.  




He hangs out right up front of the cage when we(wife and I) are talking to him.....He even gently nibbles our finger if we put it to his beak. So far so good.



The more we stood their at the pet store debating to buy him or not, the more he seem to warm up to us
 
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:27:02 PM EDT
[#26]
Birds can be great companions, but can be a real handful.  They have the intelligence of a 2-3yo child (a bit more for some of the bigger birds) but behave like 2 year olds with too much caffeine.  

A bird is exactly as good as you make it.  Its not a dog in the sense that you cannot ignore it for long periods and it will still love you.  The more attention you give them the better.  Treat them like a member of the family as much as possible.  

The key thing to keep in mind is birds view everyone in the house, including other pets, as members of the flock.  However, they do not recognize a leader like dogs do.  You simply cannot force a bird to do anything.  

Read up on foods that you cannot give them, then give them everything else.  The more variety the better.  

Conures scream and are noisy.  Just get used to it, there is no cure, but they are some of the sweetest and cuddly birds out there.  If you think your conure is too loud them borrow a cockatoo or macaw for a week.

Quakers are assholes, its just who they are.  

This is Sarah, a 3 year old Congo African Grey that is new to our house.  She can say "Elton (the cat) is an asshole" but so far refuses to learn "Molon Labe".  

BTW, if not already mentioned one common reason for plucking is bad food.  Try pellets, if you can get the bird to eat Zupreem pellets you are GTG.  



Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:28:50 PM EDT
[#27]
My Nanday (Duke) used to sit on my shoulder, nibble on my ear, and sleep with me...

One time he flew away and landed at the top of a tree... I tapped my shoulder and he flew back to me.

He liked music and would head bang to it.

He wasn't loud and he never bit me.

He used to sit on my shoulder for hours while I played video games and browsed the web.

I miss that bird... He was like a little person.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:30:26 PM EDT
[#28]
Quoted:
Birds can be great companions, but can be a real handful.  They have the intelligence of a 2-3yo child (a bit more for some of the bigger birds) but behave like 2 year olds with too much caffeine.  

A bird is exactly as good as you make it.  Its not a dog in the sense that you cannot ignore it for long periods and it will still love you.  The more attention you give them the better.  Treat them like a member of the family as much as possible.  

The key thing to keep in mind is birds view everyone in the house, including other pets, as members of the flock.  However, they do not recognize a leader like dogs do.  You simply cannot force a bird to do anything.  

Read up on foods that you cannot give them, then give them everything else.  The more variety the better.  

Conures scream and are noisy.  Just get used to it, there is no cure, but they are some of the sweetest and cuddly birds out there.  If you think your conure is too loud them borrow a cockatoo or macaw for a week.

Quakers are assholes, its just who they are.  

This is Sarah, a 3 year old Congo African Grey that is new to our house.  She can say "Elton (the cat) is an asshole" but so far refuses to learn "Molon Labe".  

BTW, if not already mentioned one common reason for plucking is bad food.  Try pellets, if you can get the bird to eat Zupreem pellets you are GTG.  

http://i994.photobucket.com/albums/af67/broken_reticle/sara3.jpg



+10000000000

I had a quaker... Little fucker was mean. It flew away.
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:40:11 PM EDT
[#29]
sulfur crested?
Link Posted: 1/22/2011 7:54:02 PM EDT
[#30]

My dad has a bunch of birds, one of which is a Quaker.  Now mind you I was around this bird since day one.  When young I used to handle her a lot and play for an hour or so every day.  However, once she reached sexual maturity the only person she will allow to handle her is my dad.  She gets very aggressive if anyone else even comes near her cage.

A few years ago my wife and I visited.  Several times my wife walked by the quaker's and the bird just got more and more pissed.  She doesn't like women and really took a dislike to my wife.  Fast forward a couple of days.  My wife is sitting on the couch next to the quaker, a foot so away.  The quaker is being surprisingly quiet as the comes to the side of the cage, positions herself just right and propels crap several feet onto my wife's arm.  The bird them lets out a very loud and prolonged scream.  This pretty much sums up quaker's personality.  

The sad part is they are very smart and can be very talkative, but for the most part bond with one person.
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 10:12:02 AM EDT
[#31]
I got his new cage set up. I put it next to the old one and he just walked right into the new one










Link Posted: 1/23/2011 10:16:31 AM EDT
[#32]
Be prepared for it to live a long time. My aunt has a conure that she got in 1988 and it still screams like monster if you piss it off.

Link Posted: 1/23/2011 10:23:36 AM EDT
[#33]
Does he have beautiful plumage?
Is he merely stunned?
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 10:27:05 AM EDT
[#34]



Quoted:


Be prepared for it to live a long time. My aunt has a conure that she got in 1988 and it still screams like monster if you piss it off.



You wanna talk about loud? My grandma use to have about a half dozen peacocks running around the farm....When those things squawked, it sounded like a lady screaming bloody murder. I'm sure the neighbors were amused  



 
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 10:29:10 AM EDT
[#35]
My suggestion would be to get a bunch of ear plugs and a lot of band-aides.  Also, lots of paper towels for cleaning up crap.
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 11:45:01 AM EDT
[#36]
Quoted:
Be prepared for it to live a long time. My aunt has a conure that she got in 1988 and it still screams like monster if you piss it off.


Yes, this.  My Blue fronted Amazon can easily live to be 50 years if cared for properly.  Conures not quite as long.
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 3:30:16 PM EDT
[#37]
You neeb to get it some shred toys to tear up.
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 3:49:47 PM EDT
[#38]
Quoted:
You neeb to get it some shred toys to tear up.


I take newspaper, roll it up and tie it to the cage bars.  Bird loves it.
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 4:06:45 PM EDT
[#39]
Quoted:
Quoted:
You neeb to get it some shred toys to tear up.


I take newspaper, roll it up and tie it to the cage bars.  Bird loves it.


I use those brown bag lunch sacks.  Just open it up and put it in the cage.  They'll come from the other room the moment they hear the paper crinkle and will play hide and seek in the thing for hours while they turn it into confetti.

The best training tool ever is the squirt bottle.  I haven't even put water in it in years, just pick it up and they'll go into the cage and get VERY quiet.

Like already mentioned, keep them off the human junk food. My niece fed ours a Cool Ranch Dorito once, he'll fight you for them now.
Link Posted: 1/23/2011 4:13:31 PM EDT
[#40]


Do those things have a strong 'game taste'?
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 2:48:27 PM EDT
[#41]
Here are a few before and after shots showing the poor condition he was in when I got him Vs. a little over a week later.....He has most of his front feathers back.





We did have to clip his wings so he can't fly away from us....that freaked him out a bit
Before







After














 
Link Posted: 2/1/2011 3:51:54 PM EDT
[#42]
Looks like a new home with caring people helped greatly.  
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