Conure Questions

cecelauren

New member
May 21, 2021
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Hey! So I’m planning on getting my first green cheek conure (first ever bird) in around July time but want to have all of my research done well in advance. I have a few questions if anyone can help with them!

1. My bird will be kept solely in my room (in a cage when im not there or when im sleeping), but I’ve heard a lot about teflon and PTFE. How do i check my appliances for these and would i be safe using teflon pots/pans in a kitchen if a bird was on another floor of the house? I don’t wanna harm my bird so I’ll do anything that’s necessary.

2. I’m getting an air purifier too for my bedroom, would this help with that at all? Do scented candles downstairs harm a bird upstairs?

3. Nail clippers? I’ve seen people talk about those nail trimming perches but have heard that they can cause feet issues. I plan on getting natural wood perches rather than dowel ones, should i get nail clippers aswell?

4. Any other advice or things that are good to know before getting a green cheek conure would be appreciated! Especially what to do when taking a bird (either young or adopted) home for the first time!
 

Flboy

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
12,041
581
Greater Orlando area, Florida
Parrots
JoJo, 'Special' GCC, Bongo, Cinnamon GCC(wife's)
Hi! And welcome!! First off, your little one will do much better being in the middle of family life! But that can be an issue if they aren’t onboard and willing to change!
Teflon. It is a creeping death that spreads!
 

Oliver17

Member
Oct 2, 2017
176
9
Midwest,USA
Parrots
Green Cheek Named Garth
Your doing great by researching first. I would like to address the perches,
I would say don't waste your money on the nail trimming ones, you'll be spending more on vet bills.
When you get the natural wood perches get different widths. That is great for their feet
the different widths make their feet stretch tight, or wide on another.
good luck
 
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cecelauren

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May 21, 2021
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Your doing great by researching first. I would like to address the perches,
I would say don't waste your money on the nail trimming ones, you'll be spending more on vet bills.
When you get the natural wood perches get different widths. That is great for their feet
the different widths make their feet stretch tight, or wide on another.
good luck


Great! Thank you so much, will these eliminate needing to nail clip or just keep them down for longer?
 

T00tsyd

Well-known member
May 8, 2017
1,087
101
UK
Parrots
Green cheek conure - Sydney (Syd) Hatched 2/2017
Please don't leave your little one in your room all the time. They love company and want to be around at least to see what is going on. They are flock birds so loneliness can be a real problem. Can you not have 2 cages?

Syd loves change of scenery. I live on one floor so with his cage on wheels he goes all over the place even when he is in his cage. He also has a sleep cage for night-time. I guess he is a bit spoiled but the important thing is he seems happy.
 
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cecelauren

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Please don't leave your little one in your room all the time. They love company and want to be around at least to see what is going on. They are flock birds so loneliness can be a real problem. Can you not have 2 cages?

Syd loves change of scenery. I live on one floor so with his cage on wheels he goes all over the place even when he is in his cage. He also has a sleep cage for night-time. I guess he is a bit spoiled but the important thing is he seems happy.

I could move the bird if needed, however the primary reason for me getting a bird is because I spend 18-20 hours a day in my room. I’m autistic and even before the pandemic spent little time out of my bedroom! I’m in my room far more than I’m elsewhere but if I feel they need more interaction I’d commit! Another question about the teflon, is it only when heated to a certain temperature that it becomes bad? I’ve been reading for a specific temperature and seen 400F and I know family members have hair appliances that heat to less so are these safe? Just checked all of my pots/pans and they’re teflon (PTFE) free!
 

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
148
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
Here are some SUPER important things for first-time parrot owners---
You can't use scented products or chemicals/fumes in your home (even things that smell nice to us(smoke, perfumes, air freshener, standard cleaners, vaping, burning food, incense, cigs, candles (scented or non,glue,paint, window sealing kits, polishes, aerosol sprays etc can harm your bird's sensitive respiratory system (which is dif from mammals'). Using products that heat or are heated which contain Teflon/PTFE/PFCs = very very dangerous. These 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). ECCLECTUS PARROTS SHOULD NOT EAT PELLETS. 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 (10 hours on a schedule) 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. Pressure blasted or chemically treated wood (e.g., lumber and many other types of wood from the hardware contains toxic chemicals or are cut from trees that are naturally toxic.

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. 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).

These birds have the intelligence of 3-4-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-no fewer than 3-4 daily). 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...

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).
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. Copper, zinc, nickel, some iron, lead etc are all toxic. Chicken wire and most screens= bad news.
 
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noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
148
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
My reply to this thread has some really good info on some behavioral issues. http://www.parrotforums.com/new-members-welcome/89840-sulking-alexandrine.html (see links within link after reading replies) <-- you should see all of the links and replies to the threads therein.


Here is a thread on diseases--- you need to read up on this issue of asymptomatic carries etc if new to birds: http://www.parrotforums.com/general-health-care/89912-disease.html


sexual maturity and behavior changes/problems with petting etc- http://www.parrotforums.com/behavio...cament-bird-bird-agression-advice-wanted.html


More on hormones (NO SNUGGLE HUTS/TENTS/ANYTHING SHADOWY!!) http://www.parrotforums.com/conures/89646-gcc-biting-cage.html


please watch the videos I posted on this link as well--- "live laugh birds" is an excellent resource and I feel that anoyone getting a bird should watch all of the videos I posted from that source on the following thread : http://www.parrotforums.com/questions-answers/89863-thinking-getting-cockatiel.html



Here are a few in case you don't click it: [ame="https://youtu.be/xwvsbJuCQsg"]10 Common Household Dangers Deadly to Parrots! **This Can Save Your Bird’s Life!** - YouTube[/ame]
[ame="https://youtu.be/FFT2bHptiGY"]Reacting to My Subscribers’ Bird Cages! - YouTube[/ame]
[ame="https://youtu.be/WNDyy3B-34c"]Reacting to My Subscribers’ Bird Cages! | Pt. 2 - YouTube[/ame]
[ame="https://youtu.be/0aDicZLr5gU"]Reacting to My Subscribers’ Bird Cages! | Pt. 3 - YouTube[/ame]





NO CANDLES OR CHEMICALS/CLEANERS/TEFLON/PTFE/PFOA/PFCS should be used in the house at all. It all circulates. If you cannot commit to this, don't proceed.


Here is an excellent resource on teflon etc https://www.ewg.org/research/canaries-kitchen (if teflon/ptfe/pfoa/pfcs are used in your home AT ALL your bird can die or suffer permanent damage, even if the signs aren't immediately visible). Your bird will not be safe from chemicals (especially teflon etc) just because it is in your room and that is an unfair existence for a bird to confine a creature that flies with a flock for 30+ miles a day to a cage in a bedroom...Think about keeping a 3-4 year old child in a box within a box and it's the same idea...only, humans are far less active. Your ENTIRE home needs to be committed and on-board with the safety and behavioral issues that must be followed when you "own" a parrot.

Your bird needs to stay in the most active room in your house--- your bedroom alone is not suitable for the bird because they are flock animals and far more social than dogs/cats (they must be a part of the family and out of the cage for at least 3 hours a day), but they DO need 10 HOURS solid sleep on a schedule nightly. Even if they sound quiet, if you are moving around or making sudden noises or even shuffling papers, you can disturb them and prevent this. Sleep cages are one option, as is a bird room. 10 HOURS is vital to their immune health, mood and hormones and lack of sleep becomes even more detrimental in terms of behavior at sexual maturity. No shadowy spaces, huts, tents or petting anywhere other than the head or neck (this is sexual for adults and if you set the standard as babies they want it to continue). Medical touching is okay if short and essential but it should not be necessary. You will need bird safe cleaning alternatives...standard chemicals are unsafe for them due to their extremely efficient respiratory systems.


No dowel perches...no mirrors...get the biggest cage possible but make sure gauging and bar spacing is appropriate..
 
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noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
148
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
I'm sorry I didn't welcome you, by the way! This is a great forum and I am glad you are here! I care a lot about this, so please don't let my enthusiasm scare you off! EEK!

Last one- I promise-- Please read this thread for detail: http://www.parrotforums.com/general...change-after-getting-your-first-big-bird.html


TEFLON/PTFE/PFOA/PFC's off-gas at FAR LOWER temperatures than those listed by Dupont and you cannot trust those generic websites (of manufacturers of said products) who say this--- again, read this website for detail:https://www.ewg.org/research/canaries-kitchen <---this is sooooo important that I feel like I need to repeat it again and again because it's the leading cause of death in captive parrots according to my avian certified vet.



Thank you for researching and just know that there are well-documented cases within academic/lab settings (and a ton of personal accounts) narrating deaths of birds in the 350F + range------it's serious and just because they don't die, doesn't mean they are okay (even though they can die in as few as 5 minutes and whether or not they die, any teflon damage is permanent and has no cure-the particles coat their air sacs).



How did you check your pots and pans? 99% OF THE TIME, the only way to do this is play phone tag for a number of days and insist upon speaking to someone other than the customer service rep who will say some canned lines about how "our products are safe for families and all pets" (they have no idea-- it's a script). Pots, pans etc containing teflon/ptfe/pfoa/pfcs will not list those things on a content label...it's VERY tricky and essential that you dig deeper. They also are in many things other than pots and pans. You can't always see them, they can be clear-coats, they can be on internal coils, they can be mixed into paints and even fabrics and mascaras (mascara is not a threat in terms of inhalation, but I only mention that so that you understand that your home likely is full of this stuff). I would say that 95% of homes without birds are unsafe for them because almost all houses are full of chemical cleaners, non-stick pans, space heaters, blow dryers, paints etc etc.


MAKE SURE you get a non-ionizing, non-sanitizing, non-ozone producing air purifier--- if the setting is optional, that is fine as long as you never ever turn it on. Ozone particles etc stay in the home and get kicked up with foot traffic, vacuuming etc. You do not want any more of them that what might be produce naturally.





 
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