Newly adopted green cheek is addicted to his hidey hut, seemingly hormonal behavior.

Carolyn D

New member
Aug 21, 2021
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Parrots
Green cheeked conure
Hello, I'm new here and have read through some great stuff here, forgive me if my question is redundant: How can I help my possibly hormonal bird adapt to hidey hut withdrawal?
I recently adopted a 4 year old male green cheeked conure (bloodwork confirmed) His cage came cluttered with 2 hidey huts of different sizes. His previous owner was insistent that he needs/loves them, even gave me duplicates for when he chews through them. Yeah, no thanks! His cage also had very little variety in perches, mainly wide dowels and a couple of sand coated perches. He seemed to spend most of his time climbing the walls of his cage. Day one I added two grape vine perches, and it took him two days to sit on them. Any new thing he is very shy and cautious of.
First night at my house I removed one of the huts. I didn't want to stress him out with too much change too quickly (I had also swapped the sand perches out for grape vine). He was molting, lots of pin feathers on his neck and face. Also he dropped one tail feather and five or so large chest feathers within the first 3 days. He is preening and bathing in his water dish a lot, so I think it's really molting and not plucking.
He has been with us a week now, and yesterday he started to mate with my hand a bit, and definitely gets territorial around certain areas of his cage. He can also get kinda bitey at times. I am concerned that his hormones are at play, considering that he's had these huts for the first 4 years of his life. I really want to ditch the hut, but dont want to traumatize him, especially since he is still settling in with us. Any tips for how to help him through the transition? Do I wait for him to settle in before ditching his last hut? Every day that goes by I hate looking at that thing, especially since I know how dangerous they can be. Thanks for reading.
 

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chris-md

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Hello and welcome!

you’re overthinking this. You won’t “traumatize” him. Take the huts out, without remorse or fear. Your bird will be fine.
 

LaManuka

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Hello and welcome to the Forums to you and your new little adoptee!

Chris above is quite correct, your conure really does not need a fabric hut to hide in. And as you have mentioned, they are indeed very dangerous, both from the perspective of the hormonal behaviours that they can exacerbate, and also from the possibility of chewed synthetic fibres which can cause all sorts of very nasty health issues if ingested. Your conure may grumble for a few days when it's removed, but he should be perfectly fine doing without it.

Having said that, quite a few people (me included) use an alternative made of seagrass, like this one pictured below...

green-parrot-bird-toy-hanging-hideout.jpg

I ended up having to get one of these for my lorikeet who, for reasons known only unto herself :rolleyes: suddenly decided that she was going to forsake her previous comfy sleeping spot and hang by her toenails from the bars on the opposite side of her cage at night, where I cannot imagine she got any sleep at all. She is THE most hormonally driven, chronic egg-laying bird I have ever seen, but because of it's open-ended construction this hut does not elicit the slightest hormonal activity in her at all, although I watch her very closely for any change there. If your conure seriously cannot live without a hut of some description, perhaps this style might be one to consider, and it certainly is a whole lot safer!
 
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Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Transition to a new home can be stressful. Be consistent, use same phrases, create routines.

I'm an outlier , all my burds have sleeping huts, non fuzzy, and have for years. Conure are a cavity dwelling burd in the wild , and as a species seem especially drawn and comforted by them. All threads especially those soft rope toys and chewing your clothes can be risk, or if the chew their rope perch excessive. Some species or individual can have hormones triggered by them. This has nit ever happened with mine. I like Lamanku alternative. Parrots don't sleep out on an open perch by nature they would be vulnerable to weather and predators. Even providing a perch up high in a corner with a large toy screening it, can provide a retreat.

Congratulations!
You might find a lot of good information in this article
 
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Carolyn D

New member
Aug 21, 2021
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2
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Green cheeked conure
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Thank you for the replies. I probably am overthinking it. I have decided to give him a seagrass hut similar to the one above. We'll see what he does with it. I've never had a conure before, only budgies and cockatiels, and not for some years. I had never heard of birds sleeping on anything other than a perch before, and boy was I surprised to hear all the controversy around it. I just want to do right by the little guy.
 

Laurasea

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Aug 2, 2018
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Neptune blue quaker (MIA), Ta-dah GCC female, Penny quaker female, Pikachu quaker female!!, Phoebe quaker female, 3 parakeets males, Burt The Burd GCC female RIP
Yes lots of polarized...
I'm a naturalist, I observe nature, I researched this species on what little info is available. I know I added links in my huge ornithology thread on them . Conures unlike other species, use a cavity year round for sleeping , while most other species use a cavity only when nesting. Blue birds , Carolina wrens and some other north American cavity nester have also been documented using a cavity site for sleeping during non breeding times. Research is very lacking in general for parrots.

But just think of your observations of native burds in your area... I'm sure you will note they find deep thickets or snug into tree fir the night. They aren't sleeping on open telephone wire.. they find shelter

So at kear provides visual screen to retreat behind at night fir a roost. Parrots with nothing usually snug up to cage wall, or upper corner to sleep.
 

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