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Old 08-02-2020, 09:08 PM
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New Conure parents

Hello and good evening from the Bay Area.



My wife and I just brought home an eight week old sun conure. We have named him Percival Sunny Parrot Esq, or Perci for short. We are very new to the bird world.



It all started with a trip to PetCo to look at fish tanks. They had lots of tanks, lots of fish. But right at the entrance was a Green Cheek conure. And it was so friendly. My wife wanted it right then and there. Thankfully PetCo did not have any cages in stock at the time. So no fish.... We went home and she immediately started researching. Watching video after video, eventually ending up to watching just about every video on BirdTricks.com. Which led to a new problem... She now wanted a Macaw or an Amazon as well. Other than the huge dent in our finances, we live in a condo. So she decided it was going to be between to birds. A Blue Crowned Conure or a Sun Conure.



We called everywhere, no one had either. And one pet shop literally sold their sun conure while we were on the phone discussing a deposit. We were fortunate enough to find a breeder though in Prunedale that had plenty of birds at various ages. He was kind, truthful, and very informative. And that is where we got Perci.



So far this is day one of Perci's life with us. He as been a very good bird so far. Eager to learn, and quick to learn. Right now he is in a sleeper cage, his full size cage arrives on Tuesday. (his sleeper cage is definitely big enough)



As new conure parents we are excited, and looking forward to many years of adventure with Perci. (fingers crossed all good).



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Old 08-02-2020, 09:23 PM
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Re: New Conure parents

Hey- welcome! Beautiful baby!
I will try to post some 1st-time "parront" links.
Some things that are important right off the bat, NO fumes or scented products, chemicals, candles, self-cleaning ovens on that setting, Teflon/PTFE/PFOA/PFCs, standard cleaners...Birds have very very sensitive respiratory systems.

No snuggle huts, tents, hammocks, hollows or access to other/similar shadowy spaces.

Teach your bird to play and be independent (ish) early-- do not start things you can't sustain forever.

Take it slow-- build trust. DO NOT force physical contact if your bird is not willing or if there is biting etc.

Pet on the HEAD AND NECK ONLY....The rest is sexual in the long run and can lead to behavioral, health and hormonal problems long-term.

Last edited by noodles123; 08-02-2020 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 08-02-2020, 09:29 PM
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Re: New Conure parents

Here is my copy-and paste for potential owners:
I am going to write a ton here because it sounds like you are very new to this and there is a lot to learn. I don't mean to overwhelm you!

One really important thing when keeping a pet bird in the house is that you cannot use scented products or chemicals/fumes in your home (even things that smell nice to us(---things like smoke, perfumes, air freshener, standard cleaners, vaping, burning food, incense, cigarettes, glue, paint, window sealing kits, polishes, aerosol sprays etc can harm your bird's sensitive respiratory system (which is not the same as mammals'). Using products that heat or are heated which contain Teflon/PTFE/PFCs = very very dangerous. These products off-gas and can kill a bird in under 5 minutes. Teflon/PTFE/PFOA/PFCs are most commonly found in the kitchen (pots, pans, cookie sheets, drip trays, air fryers, popcorn poppers, baking mats, crock pots, toasters, toaster ovens, popcorn poppers, waffle irons, electric skillets etc. They can also be found in space-heaters, curling irons, blow-dryers, straighteners, heat lamps, heat guns, irons, ironing board covers etc. These fumes have killed birds through closed doors and on separate floors of a home, so you should replace your cookware with stainless steel, cast iron or ceramic. You may be thinking-- well, I have used them before and my bird is fine, but they kill very inconsistently and it depends on what you are cooking, the age of the pot/pan, the specific bird etc. There was a member who lost many of her birds from a pan she had literally used for years...then one day, her husband cooked an egg (without burning or overheating) and many of them died, while the rest showed signs of respiratory distress.

You will need an avian-safe cleaner to use within your home (both on the bird cage, but also, around the house). Again, chemical cleaners cannot be used in the home unless avian safe. F10 SC (the yellow/clear concentrate) is a great, avian-safe disinfectant. Other (less effective) options include products such as "poop-off", white vinegar + water, grapefruit seed extract + water, baking soda etc. Peroxide is also fairly safe for disinfecting places like your bathroom, but you do not want your bird to come into contact with it.

Some foods are toxic to them--avocado, coffee (even decaf), caffeine, rhubarb, alcohol, onions/garlic/leeks/chives, mushrooms etc. Salt is also very bad for them, as is most human food. They love it, but it's not healthy.

They should not just eat seed--you will want to feed lots of washed fresh vegetables. Fruit is fine in moderation, but too much can lead to obesity and behavioral issues due to sugar. I feed my bird a mix of high-quality seed (no sunflowers, no peanuts) and pellets (in addition to fruit/veg). Fruit pits are toxic, as are apple seeds. Corn cob and certain nut shells (if swallowed in big pieces) can cause blockages, so you should be very cautious if you give your bird nuts in the shell. Peanuts can harbor aspergillosis, and should be avoided altogether (even they you often see them marketed towards parrots).

It is important to make sure that your bird's toys and cage are made of safe metals. Stainless steel is safest. They can get metal poisoning from playing with or mouthing objects made of unsafe metals.

They need a set amount of sleep each night (at least 10 hours) and the largest cage you can manage with lots of different perches. You want to avoid the totally smooth/round ones as they can lead to a condition called bumblefoot. Never place a cage near drafts and never allow cool air to blow on a bird. They are sensitive to drafts and any temperature shift greater than 10 degrees can cause a shock to their system.

They need lots of safe toys and safe wood to chew. Not all wood is safe, so don't just assume you can give them any kind you want.

They hide illness and so you have to watch them to make sure they are eating normally and pooping normally etc. You should try to find an avian vet (certified avian) if at all possible and take your bird AT LEAST 1 x yearly for an exam. An avian vet is NOT the same as an exotics vet who sees birds--- so if a certified avian vet is available within a few hours of where you live, you will want to set up care.

All parrots can easily confuse the relationship with their human for a sexual one. You don't want this to happen, even though it seems sweet at first. Stick to petting on the head and neck only (the rest is sexual) and do not allow your bird to play in shadowy places, like boxes or under furniture, as these spaces are similar nesting sites and are hormonal triggers. NO SNUGGLE HUTS/TENTS!

Food and water should be replaced daily--- wash the containers daily. Never leave wet food out for more than a few hours (as it can lead to bacterial growth). Never try to medicate a bird via drinking water and never add vitamins to water. Vitamins can be over-dosed easily and harm a bird. Plus, when you add things to water, it makes it impossible to know how much they have gotten and it also encourages bacterial growth. Sometimes it can prevent them from drinking adequately if they don't like the flavor of whatever it is you added.

These birds have the intelligence of a 4-year-old human, but they are wild animals (not domesticated like dogs). This means that they see the world (and humans) in a very unique way and so you must learn about their behavior in order to prevent problems (screaming, plucking etc). They need lots of time out of their cage daily and a lot of interaction (at least a few hours). At the same time, you don't want to spend TOO much time with a bird of they will become overly dependent and not know what to do with themselves when you go to work etc.

Finally, baby birds are ALWAYS sweet compared to adult birds. When your bird hits puberty, expect that it will exhibit some annoying and problematic behaviors (much like a teen). A through knowledge of behavior and setting expectations at an early age will make your life easier when that time comes, but do prepare yourself and expect that things will not always be so smooth-sailing. Think about a baby human compared to a teen...

I am sure there is more...but that is a basic overview of caring for birds.

Here is an excerpt from another post (which you may want to reference when shopping/ calling about Teflon:
The most insidious is the Teflon/ptfe/pfoa/pfcs because you have to call the company to verify that anything that heats or is intended to be heated does not contain these substances ("PTFE free" doesn't mean PFC free and so there are a lot of marketing gimmicks out there to make people buy what seems like healthier cook-ware, even though it still contains a version of the same chemicals). Also-- these chemicals can be woven into fabric, mixed into metal during the moulding process, applied as a powder, applied as a clear-coat, or mixed with a colored coating. You cannot assume that you will be able to identify them visually, so, when you call, you must provide all abbreviations and full names + spellings of each chemical compound (and then they usually give you "the run around" for a week or so IF they ever answer your questions at all---because sometimes it's a "trade secret"). It's all very sketchy and DuPont (manufacturer of Teflon) claims that off-gassing only occurs at really high temperatures, but there have been numerous documented/scientific and anecdotal reports of birds passing away at temperatures in the 300 F range (and again, it kills through closed doors and on different floors).
FYI- Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE)
Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
A perfluorinated compound (PFC)
Teflon (a common brand-name of non-stick cookware containing these chemicals)

10- 12 hours nightly for sleep, so if you get up at 6 and make a bunch of noise, you will wake the bird up (even if they are still covered). If they wake up at 6, bed should be between 6-8. You want to keep it around the same time if possible (because that's how it is in nature).

Food- I leave a high quality mix of pellets and some seed in my bird's cage (no peanuts, no sunflowers, avoid fillers like corn etc)..Fruit/veg daily (more veg than fruit if at all possible--and not too much fruit). Citrus and fruits high in vitamin C should be given in extreme moderation because they can cause "Iron Storage Disease" (for a cockatoo, 1 small tangerine slice 1-2 times a week was okay, according to my vet). She gets something interesting/ cooked (no salt or sugar or unsafe spaces-- like a grain) 2x daily as well but she is picky as heck, so you have to watch it because some birds will fill up on one thing and not get proper nutrients or they will eat too much and become obese.


OH-- something I didn't mention in my last post-- stainless steel is really one of the only safe metals for them. Research the heck out of your cage and make sure that if it uses a powder-coating it is truly non-toxic. Birds can get metal poisoning from playing with sketchy toys (many made in China do not adhere to best practices) and just mouthing things like money, bolts, locks etc can cause toxic impacts...A man I know allowed his bird to play with un-used toothbrushes and (unbeknownst to him) there were small copper bits that held the bristles in place-- this nearly killed his bird even though the bird didn't actually swallow the pieces.

ALSO- AND NEVER EVER BUY A BABY THAT IS UNWEANED!! IT WILL NOT HELP YOU BOND BETTER. THIS IS A MYTH!!!! SERIOUSLY!
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:38 PM
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Re: New Conure parents

We actually read that post well before purchasing Perci LOL.

We cook primarily with SS cookware already. We had two pans that were Teflon coated and got rid of them. My wife never uses a hair dry, she feels it damages her hair. As for the cage, it is powder coated. We bought it from the breeder. We also got rid of all the scented candles in the house. As for diet we are trying to ween him into an organic diet. So far pellets are his favorite.

The question that I have, is when cooking dinner in SS cookware etc, are the fumes from the food ok?
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:40 PM
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Re: New Conure parents

LOL!

Deep frying and high-heat cooking can be dangerous, depending on the oil type, temp and duration. Browning butter should be avoided, as should long-term cooking at temps in the 400s (F)
For instance, the other day, I did fries and the bag said that they should be heated at a high temp, so I did 375 F for a longer time than what was recommended for the original (higher) temp and it worked fine...Roasts and super fatty pizzas etc with high fat in the 400s should be cooked with caution.

Last edited by noodles123; 08-02-2020 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 08-02-2020, 10:57 PM
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Re: New Conure parents

Obviously I don't know the layout of your home so this might or might not be helpful.

For myself, my house is long and the birds are located far away from the kitchen.

I know in Some apartments or apt-style condos, there might be a stove hood which only just vents right into your appartnment so double-check that.

I have a window In my kitchen (but NO hood no vent). i bought a window fan (the kind which allows you to Choose the fan Direction) to use for a cooking-exhaust fan. IF I am baking or cooking on the stove, I will always run this fan. (Also I keep the birdies far away from the kitchen whilst cooking also.)

Some variation of the window-fan idea might potentiall work for you also..
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:21 PM
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Re: New Conure parents

Our condo does have a fume hood, and sadly it vents into the house. Always hated that so we never use it.

We shall make sure that during meal prep Perci is in his sleeper cage upstairs. Not in his day cage.

He has been home fo 8 hours now and has his favorite toy picked out.

He can fly, his wings aren’t clipped. He flew around the breeders office for bit. Not the best at landings though. When we got him home his sleeper cage is five times bigger with many perches compared to his old cage. At first he would stay on the main perch only. Slowly he worked his way around, it really amazed us at how agile he is with his beak and talons. Now he flies from perch to perch.

We were also able to get him to learn a little bit of target training.
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Old 08-02-2020, 11:23 PM
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Re: New Conure parents

Welcome to the forums, Perci is exquisite! We have a thriving conure community, feel free to post your questions, concerns, and challenges.
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Old 08-03-2020, 08:41 AM
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Re: New Conure parents

You will want to work on Bite-Pressure Training with him as early as possible. Basically, engage him in beak-play. Remembering, since birds use their claws to stand, they often use their beaks as hands. But with sharp beaks, they need to learn to be GEntle. So stroke their beaks, let them explore your hands with their beaks, let them Chew on you. They will try to preen you by helping remove the pinfeather-coverings (aka fingernails) at the ends of your fingers.

IN other words, they should Enjoy beak-play with you. But some of it will feel like Biting. As long as he is enjoying it, then removing your hand which he is enjoying, will effectively teach him the meaning of "Gentle."

Use the word "GEnTLE" as the command you are teaching. Why? It will temper YOUR response. If you say "no" or "no bite," there is more of the wrong emotion in that word. Biting or chewing is OKAY -- IF IF it is gentle.

So Perci will be enjoying interacting with your fingers. Then he chews too hard and you say "gentle" and remove your fingers (not far - just away from his beak). The fun stopped! But pretty quickly give him back the fingers... when it happens again, repeat... I promise a bird will learn gentleness quickly, especially when young. Refreshers will happen naturally over time as he gets excited, chomps too hard, etc; or actually tests that limit to the point you have to walk away or put him back in cage etc. Always Always use the command GENTLE. Hey you can yelp or whatever too--sometimes. Other birds would do so. They don't go around chomping each other, much, in the wild, and when another bird chomps them they do react.

Please read this recent post, it is really great, by another Sun owner:

A question for seasoned sun conure owners.

ONCE you have taught the Command "Gentle" using these principles, I would add an additional principle --- but very carefully. IT's the idea of, "IF you Bite, what you get will not be what you wanted." BUT this must be applied judiciously, FAIRLY, and again ONLY to the extent a BIRD can understand. **Also it must ONLY be applied to Intentional, "let me HURT you" BITES -- and NEVER NEVER to "let me take hold of you for BALANCE or Security" bites.

SO. I OFFER her to come out of her cage, and if she tells me "No" by Deliberately BITING me... then I WILL take hold of her and bring her out of her cage. While telling-her-all-about-it in a CALM but firm voice.

Normally, since I've had her, if I Offer her to step up to come out of her cage, and she does not want to, she Backs Away. This IS OKAY!, and must ALWAYS be Allowed and Honored.

THUS she has learnt that if SHE wants to Say No - she Can do so by Backing-Away. Whereas Biting Me does Not work to tell me "No."

OR if she BITES* to try to stay Out of her cage - same thing: In She Goes, immediately. In the most Boring and Non-Fun way possible! (Remember, slow careful removal of shirt, containing birdie, is always an option to get her off your shoulder and back to cage.) Whereas if she just does all her other cute "Please Let me Stay on your shoulder" behaviors, then she usually Does get Her Way, at least for a while, or at Least she gets laughter and Happy Sounds from me.

*Sometimes this can be harder to discern since she might not be visible to you at that moment. If not 100% clear, Better to err on the side of assuming it was Not a bite, and that she was trying to Hold On. IF she bites to Hang On, you need to just ignore it as if it had not happened. Remember you are two things at once to your bird - a birdie-friend and also a TREE. Grabbing hold of Tree with beak for extra security to hang-on is a natural bird-behavior that you must learn to Endure as the owner of a small bird.

So again - she has learned that biting to COMMUNICATE does not get her the result she wants, BUT Other behaviors DO.

BUT BUT BUT. IF I Must get her out of cage quickly, and cannot wait for her to decide to step up; or Must put her away (ie someone has come to the door, etc) WELL I just proceed and IF she bites at me (happens rarely), I just pretend she didn't, knowing that it was a normal response for her, and that to try to extinguish THAT response would be UN-Fair AND UN-safe. Likewise if I have startled or frightened her in some way, or some other unexpected noise at the wrong moment, etc, when some part of me is near. SUCH BITES get a Complete NON-RESPONSE knowing that they were a correct and natural response on her part, to grab more tightly onto her TREE (which is me).

Thus my principle of "IF you bite what you get is Not what you wanted," must ONLY ONLY be applied in an extremely Fair and Thoughtful way. It is ONLY a method to teach them to Not use Painful Bites as a Form of Communication. It must NEVER be applied punitively because birds do NOT Understand punishment.

Always remember your bird is a highly social, very compassionate creature with, believe it or not, a very strong sense of fair-play, and more intelligence & longer memory than can be explained by the size of their little heads.
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Last edited by fiddlejen; 08-03-2020 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:13 AM
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Re: New Conure parents

Dear Ockslvr, Congratulations on your new baby! I wish you a continuing bonded relationship. Remember a ruff start is not a predictor of future events. The first time I put my hand in Paddy's cage he drew serious blood,with a month of diligence I was a friend.Paddy follows me around riding on my shoulder.We are like 2 peas in a pod. Blessings Bonita
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