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Old 05-15-2014, 05:05 PM
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Setting up a home/cage for a Sun Conure

Hi all,

I'm new to the forum, and new to keeping birds. I am doing all my reading and research, but I also like to hear from someone first hand their experience.
This will be our first bird, and I am trying to get a baby conure. I have 3 boys (11, 8, & 2 yrs), we have dogs and fish and turtles. I never leave my unsupervised with animals- EVER. Without writing a novel on here, I am a responsible pet owner and mom, and I teach my children to respect the animals by using love and caution. With that said, I am open to any and all advice and suggestions anyone may have for me.
I have a cage that is 24x22x30" (inside space). I am waiting for my shipment of perches and toys to show up.

Question: does anyone use the Lixit glass water bottle?? I'd like to use water bottles as such if they will work in my case.
Question2: should I have a nesting box? or suspended hut?

Thanks in advance everyone! Can't wait to hear from you!
-Shanna
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Old 05-15-2014, 10:55 PM
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Re: Setting up a home/cage for a Sun Conure

About the cage.... the bigger the better.... get at least a 24inch or higher, they need to be able to stretch their wings inside the cage( get a wider cage not taller, if its a tall cage, they just gonan be using the top part of the cage).... get a happy hut instead....
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Old 05-15-2014, 11:13 PM
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Re: Setting up a home/cage for a Sun Conure

First congrads on the future new addition!

The space is a bit small for a sun. 30 wide by 24 deep by 26 high is mine and I would not go smaller. I've actually looked into 40 wide by 30 deep for my sun. I don't like the water bottles personally. My sun takes a bath in his water sometimes so I like him having the option. Plus, you just never seem to get water bottles as clean as the metal bowls.

Do not get a happy hut. They are known for loose strings and birds hanging themselves on them. I bought my huts on etsy from the seller LaGaleriaDeDual and they have held up well with no strings even after going through the wash. For any huts be warned that if you have a female she might try to nest in it so you will have to take it away if she shows an inclination for that when she reaches maturity. Also, take bells off any toys you have bought. If you want a bell there are stainless steel ones you can get for parrots that are safe but any on toys bought usually aren't safe.

Have you picked anything for a diet yet?
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:37 AM
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Re: Setting up a home/cage for a Sun Conure

Congrats on your soon-to-be feathered family addition! I adopted a Nanday Conure (similar to Suns in both size and average noise level--or so I've heard lol). Ezio is approximately a year old and the cage he came to me in, while not ludicrously small, wasn't one I could feel comfortable keeping him in long-term, although I'm glad to have it on hand as a temporary cage when needed and have used it as a sleep cage at times. It measures 24"w x 20"d x 30"h (actual usable cage space). Even a moderate amount of toys, perches, food/water bowls, and any other accessories were a tight squeeze and definitely did not leave any space inside for him to comfortably extend his wings fully, much less be able to fly about at all. I can get a bit obsessive when it comes to researching housing, diet, healthcare, etc. for my pets and this was no exception lol. I spent a lot of time looking at all my different options--or more accurately--options available that fit the criteria I had in mind. I knew I wanted one with a play top, bar-spacing no larger than 3/4", actual inside cage dimensions of 30"w x 24"d x 30"h as the absolute minimum, ideally larger. Although not perfect, I finally decided on this cage:
Amazon.com : Prevue Hendryx Signature Select Series Wrought Iron Bird Cage in Black : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Prevue Hendryx Signature Select Series Wrought Iron Bird Cage in Black : Pet Supplies
. I wished it would have given the actual cage dimensions, but the reviews seemed pretty good. I never got to find out how I actually liked the cage in person because only 1 of 2 boxes ever arrived leaving me with not even half a cage lol. Extremely frustrating but maybe a hidden blessing. Soon after I resumed my search I took a closer look at a cage that had popped up often in my searches but that I'd never bothered to really look at. Ended up having all the features I wanted, even *larger* cage dimensions, a significantly lower price tag, and just as surprisingly, excellent reviews. It's the Petco Designer Mink Brown Standing Parrot Cage: http://www.petco.com/Shop/Product.aspx?sku=1282000 or
Amazon.com: Petco Designer Mink Brown Standing Parrot Cage: Pet Supplies Amazon.com: Petco Designer Mink Brown Standing Parrot Cage: Pet Supplies
(shipping is free from both amazon.com and petco.com). I was able to get it for the online sale price at my local store although the current sale price is even less than what I paid lol. It actually clearly states the exact cage dimensions as well (30"w x 30"d x 43"h) along with the total size which is nice. The 1/2" bar spacing was another plus. While I can't speak to its suitability for larger/stronger/more destructive birds, I find it to be ideal for conures. Tons of room for perches, toys, etc. while still allowing ample room to comfortably move around. For the price (especially the current $224.99 sale), you're not going to find a better value imo.
I have one of those Lixit water bottles that I've been planning on trying out, but personally I plan to only use it in conjunction with water bowls as well. I can see possible benefits to having my bird at least know how to use the water bottle since there may be certain temporary situations in which it ends up being more practical (in a travel cage for example), but personally don't feel comfortable with them being the only water source on a regular basis.
I'm definitely still a novice owner--I've had my guy for only 4 months--and have been primarily a lurker on this forum, but during that time I've noticed that riddick07 who has also replied here consistently offers advice that is based on both experience and genuine knowledge so if nothing else, I think her input and suggestions are well worth taking to heart.
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Last edited by Eugooglizer; 05-16-2014 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 05-16-2014, 03:49 AM
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Re: Setting up a home/cage for a Sun Conure

I haven't ever had a conure, but I know they're active. My Red Bellied parrot on the other hand is not a super active bird, and he has been happy in his 20x24 for 19.5 years. He doesn't even usually use the whole cage! The more active, busy species should have a larger cage though I agree. Be careful of bar spacing, get one under 1" for a conure.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:14 PM
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Re: Setting up a home/cage for a Sun Conure

A little bigger cage would be ideal but if that is the cage you have right now and can provide a lot of out of cage play time, he should be fine and then at some point you may be able to get a little bigger cage.
I'm not fond of water bottles but use the stainless bowls. My sun was an avid bather in her bowl. It was crazy. Every time you replaced it, she got in again, splashing all around.
I don't think any kind of hut is needed, and the only time i ever used one in all the years i had birds was for a very ill budgie who couldn't perch (she had kidney tumor which caused lameness in her leg so we gave her pain management injections and a hut to hang out in).
You will probably find which type of toys your bird prefers after a while, so have fun with that. Bird toys are so cute. My sun conure liked having a 'pacifier' type of chew toy right by her sleeping perch. She kind of snuggled with it and chewed at it.

Oh, your cage probably has small enough bar spacing, but i think it's a 3/4" spacing that's recommended for the conure cages. I'd have to measure mine but that is what is popping in my head.
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Old 05-16-2014, 04:26 PM
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Re: Setting up a home/cage for a Sun Conure

I love all this info!!! Thank you everyone!

I am actually thinking maybe we should get the Green Cheek first with the cage we have. And I laid out those measurements wrong, it's 29.5H x 23W x 21D of actually usable space inside the cage. With 1/2 bar spacing.

I haven't decided on diet yet. I would appreciate input on diets for a Sun baby and a Green Cheek baby.

I figured on having the water bottle along with a bowl of water, not just a water bottle.

I have actually spent a ridiculous amount of time researching (my laundry is suffering the most, ugh) but you find different opinions and answers everywhere you look. Research is never-ending, for me at least, it's sorta what I do. I'd rather be over-informed and know all the different things to expect, than under-informed and unprepared. So, I continue to welcome more ideas and input. Thank you all again!!
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Old 05-16-2014, 05:20 PM
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Re: Setting up a home/cage for a Sun Conure

If you look around "Food, Recipes, Diet" you will find a lot of information. I feed Harrisons pellets plus fresh foods (veggies, pasta, etc). I try to vary what foods he gets when, so it's not the same old same old (except for the pellets).
That cage sounds good for a green cheek to me, as they are pretty small, and so pretty. Someone with a green cheek, and there are many here, would give better 'hands on' info than I can.
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:07 PM
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Re: Setting up a home/cage for a Sun Conure

I got my sun conure (Hotrod) back in February. I'll show you a couple links to some things I got for him.

Amazon.com : New Large Play Top Bird Cage Parttot Finch Macaw Cockatoo Birdcages : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : New Large Play Top Bird Cage Parttot Finch Macaw Cockatoo Birdcages : Pet Supplies
This is the cage I got for him. It is a very decent price and it's soooo easy to clean. He loves it and I think it is plenty big for him.

Amazon.com : Vitakraft Super Fruit Cocktail and 20-Ounce Pouch : Pet Snack Treats : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Vitakraft Super Fruit Cocktail and 20-Ounce Pouch : Pet Snack Treats : Pet Supplies
This is a fruit/nut mix, that has tons of the fruit dices that conures love in here. I give him this as a treat, and I also usually put a little on top of his seed/pellet mix in the morning before I leave for work.

Amazon.com : Hagen Living World Nature's Perch, Medium : Bird Perches : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Hagen Living World Nature's Perch, Medium : Bird Perches : Pet Supplies
He uses this perch the most in his cage.

Amazon.com : Wesco Pet Original Bird Kabob Shreddable Bird Toy : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Wesco Pet Original Bird Kabob Shreddable Bird Toy : Pet Supplies
This is absolutely his favorite toy!!!!

Amazon.com : Multipet Happy Hut Plush Cage Hut for Birds, Assorted Green, Grey and Yellow Colors : Bird Nests : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Multipet Happy Hut Plush Cage Hut for Birds, Assorted Green, Grey and Yellow Colors : Bird Nests : Pet Supplies
HE LOVES THIS! Sleeps in it every night, I hung it above one of his perches so he can crawl in it that way. Keep an eye on it for any strings he may have caused from chewing though, so you can monitor his safety.

Right now in addition to freshly prepared food, I give Hotrod a mixture of Zupreem fruit pellets and Kaytee's Rainforest foraging conure food. I just ordered Volkman Avian Science seed mix for parrots which is ALL natural, which I intend on combining with Zupreem and Kaytee foraging mix. When I run out of the Kaytee mix, I am going to purchase the conure/lovebird mix by Volkman as well, because the ingredients are much, much healthier and natural.

Also, I just ordered this bird bath for Hotrod
Amazon.com : Lixit Corporation BLX0787 Quick Lock Bird Bath : Pet Baths : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Lixit Corporation BLX0787 Quick Lock Bird Bath : Pet Baths : Pet Supplies
I have not received it yet so I don't know if he will like it, but the reviews are great!

Hopefully I was able to give you an idea or two on what to get for your sun conure. And congrats, you are going to love having a conure! I can honestly say getting my precious Hotrod is one of the best decisions I have ever made, he brings such joy to our lives!
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Old 05-19-2014, 04:49 PM
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Re: Setting up a home/cage for a Sun Conure

I think flight cages are perfect for conures.

A&E Flight Cage A&E Flight Cage
HQ Flight Cage HQ Flight Cage

As for diet, I would recommend Harrison's fine/superfine, Totally Organics, Zupreem Natural, or Roudybush pellets, and a wide variety of fresh fruits and veggies. Save the seeds for an occasional treat or reward for training. Be sure to add plenty of foraging toys to the cage!
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