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Old 05-12-2017, 08:40 AM
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Hello From Appalachia!

Hello there!

I've been lurking for the past several months, reading up on the birds I've already had (6 glorious and sweet little parakeets). Until recently, they were my first and only venture in the amazing world of birds (and what a trip it has been! ).

Recently, I have unintentionally acquired a very lovely Sun Conure whom has now been named Solstice. She's been with me for five days now, and I as I said. I did not intend to buy her, I was actually looking for a Turquoise baby (literally) given that I wanted a larger companion bird whom would bestest buddy. However, though the Turquoise was beautiful and was comical to watch. There was this lonesome Sun Conure who just did not seem happy. The store owner (it's a family store getting birds from local breeders/expos) informed me when she saw me watching the Sun (i.e. my lovely Solstice) that the bird had been there for 2 years (so...not a baby). However, I simply could not walk away from this bird. Something about her, just spoke to me. So, I left the store to consider what it was I wanted to do given that I had originally gone there to get a younger bird that would be more open to training, cuddles, and all that fun stuff.

In the end, I went back and asked to see the owner remove the Sun from her cage given that she had explained to me the Sun was very cage dominant. After a few minutes, I was pretty sure it was going to be a challenge to overcome the fact that she had been in such a small cage for so long a time, and that she never really left that cage except when it was being cleaned. However, finally with a glove the owner freed her from the cage and she was better. Still terrified, and unhappy but she sat there (probably out of fear) on the woman's shoulder. She did offer to let me take her, and even offered the glove. But, gloves are in my opinion pretty useless. At some point, that glove with have to come off, so I reached out very slowly to take her--and she came right to me. Sat there, and then ran up my arm to my shoulder where she proceeded to get comfy--and that was the end. I now have a lovely Sun Conure named Solstice.

In the five days that I have been with her, we've had some challenges. Initially, her cage. She has a 30x22x63 cage which I set up for her. However, upon placing her there and watching her over the course of a few hours she was absolutely terrified . Utterly terrified of being in there, and I was working with her throughout the day in small, very brief sessions on getting her to be less aggressive with stepping up in the cage, but she hated the cage. I tried everything, I rearranged it, took out all the toys, I was pulling my hair out for days because she hated this cage--even though my birds are not caged during the day (they spend all their time out on the playset). She refused to go back into the cage, period--and she's clipped. She would rather leap off and nearly hit the floor, than go back in that cage. But, she seemed fine in the travel cage (20x14) so much smaller it's a parakeet cage really). However, the travel cage is sadly bigger than what she had. So, now she sleeps in the travel cage and she seems happy with that. I'm still working on getting her into the bigger cage, but thus far she isn't having any of it, and I don't want her terrified of what should be her home.

At any rate, she will step up--very nicely most of the time now, some mornings we take a step back and she tries to bite--but it's no where near as hard as the first day or two. When she's out and happily on her swing, she steps up beautifully. She will step up from anywhere, and she loves to ride along on my shoulder. I work from home, so I spend literally every minute with my animals. She is still learning to navigate ladders--we're working on this along with targeting, and allowing me to actually touch her. To date, I can stroke a single finger down the very center of her beak, and she will be calm with that. So, we are making some progress! As I said, she loves to be where I am. She did have a full vet check--twice actually.

The first vet check was immediately after I purchased her, and she had a clean bill of health. The second came this morning . She exhibited some very odd behavior (to me) last night in that she refused to go to sleep. I put her in at 8pm, and she wouldn't quiet down. She had not been eating a rope perch I'd given her, but last night she started shredding it (so no more rope perches for her). When I took her back out and let her sit with me till 9-9:30 she seemed perfectly fine. She was playing with my hair, "kissing" my ear while she sat on my shoulder and I did some last minute work. I put her back in around 10, and I could STILL hear her. Except now she was making a near whispering noise, so I lifted her cover and spoke to her, head bobs everywhere! I went through the list, are you hungry--no, are you thirtsy--no (she has water but no food in the cage they eat on the play gym and I make sure they all eat before bedtime). So, she wasn't hungry, she wasn't thirsty. But, she would not stop head bobbing, dancing across her new wooden perch, she would bend over and put her little head down, and whisper to me. Then stand up and bob her way to the cage door. So, I got her back out and put her in her swing (she loves the swing but I need a thicker branch for her). She didn't want to be on the swing, she took a flying leap and I caught her (gently) and she climbed her way up to my shoulder. So, to the vet we went on the chance that something was wrong. But, couple tests later (please don't ask me to spell them ) and she had a clean bill of health. The vet suggested she just wasn't tired, and she really wanted attention. Has anyone else experienced this? This is the first she's ever done this whispering thing (some tests my vet had to send out to another lab, so we're waiting on those). Normally, she squeaks when she wants something. Either she wants me to come over, or if she wants something else. It just really worried me given it's only been five days, and assuming she was just asking for my attention seemed a bit off. I've never had a bird take that fast--the budgies took months. Especially given she didn't have much interaction where I purchased her. She will take food from my hand (I hand feed her breakfast and let her pick when to eat through the day until around 6pm when I handfeed her again to make sure she's eating and I'm seeing it), and she is thankfully eating pellets (that was a blessing it's been a year I've been trying to convert the keets and they STILL won't touch a vegetable or a pellet .

Solstice will not eat vegetables, and I think I've tried every fruit under the sun. She'll try it if I 'eat' it first, but she tends to spit it out. But, for now she's eating pellets and hey that's a huge weight right there. No trying to convince her they're yummy, and delicious! In all it's been a heck of a five days, she is still jumpy with some things. Namely the dogs (I have two rescued pitbulls) and though they adore the birds (they would sit there and give kisses if I let them). They do tend to scare her, so I make sit very quietly when they're around the playset.

Sorry for the book of a post! If anyone has any thoughts on the strange nightly event from last night, I would love to hear it! Or maybe on how to get her to not be absolutely terrified to a statue in her larger cage!

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Flboy Supporting Member (05-12-2017)
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2017, 09:53 AM
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JoJo, 'Special' GCC, Bongo, Cinnamon GCC(wife's)
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Re: Hello From Appalachia!

Welcome! I am so glad you followed your heart!
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Old 05-12-2017, 09:59 AM
Jen5200's Avatar
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Baby - Sun Conure; Tango - GCC; Bindi - Sun Conure; Stanley - Pineapple GCC Screamer “Scree” - Cockatiel
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Re: Hello From Appalachia!

Welcome - Solstice is a beautiful and lucky girl to have you! You seem to have made great progress in a short period of time. I suspect she just feels more comfortable in smaller spaces as that is what she is familiar with. Hopefully she'll get used to the larger cage over time if she's able to get used to it and explore it on her terms. It sounds like you are doing a great job with her and are being patient while she adjusts to having a real home.
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Old 05-12-2017, 10:51 AM
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The Rickeybird, 35-year-old Patagonian Conure
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Re: Hello From Appalachia!

Gorgeous bird. Welcome. Glad you joined in.

My contribution about diet...
Harrison's Bird Foods
I feed Harrison's, supplemented by fresh healthy treats. My first, and later, my current avian vet recommended it. 30-ish years ago, Harrison's was still a small company. My vet was actually able to talk to Dr. Harrison about my bird's species and status, and they decided on the High Potency. My bird loves the pellets now, but to get him converted, my avian vet suggested putting pellets out all day, and putting seeds (his old diet) out for two 15-minute periods a day. That would sustain him but leave him hungry enough to try new stuff. I presume the same technique could be used to get him to eat other healthy stuff. My guy was eating pellets in a couple of days, and now I can feed a good variety of other stuff, knowing he has the pellets as a basic. Pellets are out all day... fresh treats a few times a day.

I loved your book!
My Rickeybird
35 year old Patagonian Conure
The Artist. He chews holes -uh- designs - in cloth. I sell them in my eBay art store, Galeria Pet Portraits.
The Scrapbook. 1984-?.
The Star. Cinema verite!
The Pet of the Day. Suggest one!
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