Please Help me with GCC Diet and Behavior

CarrotSticks

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Green Cheek Conure - Emmy
I apologize in advance for the long forum-post.

Emmy, my green cheek conure has been with me for about 1.5 years now. A few months ago, I took her to the vet because I saw that her diet had to be changed from all seeds to pellets and fresh veggies and fruit since she had black tips on her feathers.

The vet ended up saying that because she was a tropical bird, she needed more fruit in her diet, such as pineapple, papaya, cantaloupe, etc. She told me that green cheeks do not really eat leafy greens and will usually just play with it instead. This is where I was conflicted because I had been researching, it seems that too much fruit in a bird's diet is terrible, and I believed that she needed more vegetables, and I’ve seen GCC’s eat vegetables. I don't know whether to listen to my vet and add mostly only "tropical" fruits in her diet or to try giving her vegetables instead. The vet also advised me to switch her to pellets.

Currently, as I know that too much fruit is bad for a bird due to too much sugar, I started making chop from the BirdTrick's Seasonal Feeding System, and I thought it would solve my problems (it didn’t). She just picks at it. I also gave her about a chunk of cantaloupe, pineapple, blueberries, or whatever I had once a day. She eats a little, but not too much. I’m afraid I’m starving her so I give her a little bit of seed everyday just in case. Additionally, I am trying to give my GCC pellets, which she eats occasionally if she's really hungry.

Honestly, the black tips seem to be getting worse, and what kills me more is that she is very hormonal right now. I'm not sure if the black feathers are caused by her diet, the amount of time she comes out everyday, too much light, lack of sunlight, or boredom and stress. I know that she would stop being hormonal if her diet was better, and I feel like I've run out of solutions. I’ve ordered more toys so that she is less bored, which I’m assuming because she screams so often. I’ve also tried taking her out for about 15-30 minutes every-other day in the sunlight, but I don’t think that’s helping. I thought that maybe too much light would cause her regurgitation, as she goes to bed around 8:30ish and wakes up at 7. She comes out about 2 ½ - 3 hours everyday because I am so extremely busy with school (maybe that’s it?) I don’t know anymore what’s causing it.

I thought maybe the vet's advice would help, but I assume when I took her to the vet she just examined my bird and didn't run any blood tests. I've seen many videos of GCCs who eat chop, veggies, pellets, and limited fruit and their feathers are beautiful and healthy! I don’t know who to listen to honestly anymore.

I'm so conflicted and frustrated, because nothing seems to be working, and as a result, my bird is continuing to be hormonal and very annoying when I take her out because all she does is regurgitate and look for dark places to hide. I am trying my best to get her to eat the chop that I freeze and give to her, but she only picks out what she likes, even if it's finely chopped. And when she comes out, I try to discourage her hormonal behavior, and try training sessions instead. She ignores me most of the time to search for dark places instead. Any advice on what I should do? How to get her to eat vegetables and pellets? Any opinions on what my vet said?

I’d really appreciate anyone’s opinion or advice, and I’m so frustrated because nothing is working, and I feel guiltier and guiltier when her feathers look worse and worse. I dislike spending time with her now because she is so hormonal. Help me please! I’ve left a picture of her feathers down below, sorry if it’s blurry and I left a picture of her chop that she barely eats.
 

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clark_conure

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Cinnamon Green Cheeked Conure CLARK (F) and a Quaker crossover SCUTI (F)
If the bird will eat pellets over seeds that the most important thing.

Nothing wrong with fruits but pellets have all the elements they need crude fat and proteins to grow and be strong.

Fruits do have a lot of sugar. Natural sugar so it's ok but it is sugar nonetheless.

Seeds are mostly fat and oils, not healthy for some species, like conures, its ok for them as a treat. I think they mostly eat grains in the wild which is why farmers in South America like to shoot them.

I personally would up the pellets and make sure they are GOOD pellets. What brand and formula are you serving?

I give clark high end pellets and never had a black tip. She also gets a lot of human foods that are healthy for humans. veggies, chicken, hard (never soft) cheese.(they need calcium. OJ fortified with calcium is a good treat.)

Others will know more about the anti-oxidants and the ph of the grain bioprocess and what-not but I'd push high end pellets.

At least you'd get a baseline instead of changing the diet every other day.
 
OP
C

CarrotSticks

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Green Cheek Conure - Emmy
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Hi!!

Thank you so so much for responding. I serve my bird Fine-sized Harrison's Pellets. I'm curious as to what pellet you serve your conure because I'd be interested in getting that for my bird too if it helps :)
 

clark_conure

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Harrisons is good,

I personally feed Clark Zupreem fruit flavor. Medium size bird size.
 

clark_conure

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this is what i use.
 

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Laurasea

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Clark, orange juice nit good in my opinion. Abd from diet stuff and articles. First citric acid in orange juice is more concentrated , birds dint need vitamin C from my diet study links. Citric acid causes iron storage disease in birds, which is very bad on liver...
Vitamin C

There are only a few wild birds that have a direct need for vitamin C. These include the red-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus cafer) and the willow ptarmigan/red grouse (Lagopus lagopus) as well as the crimson sun-conure, a form of parrot. Birds in general do not need vitamin C in their diets as it can be produced from glucose in the liver. If a bird is suffering from liver disease, therefore, it may require a dietary source of vitamin C."


On chop, switch to offering chunks an inch to two inches. And spread out in like a glass casserole dish. My GCC eats lots of veggies, she would eat all fruits, but I rarely offer these. She eats abd like pellets, I feed oven baked bites, zooprem, Mazuri, and those seed ball pellets mix forget name. She also has seed mix with no sunflower or peanut.

I haven't had hormonal issues with her. But I have times she gets fearful of hands, or mad at me. Hand feeding bribe treats, watching body language, abd increased time with her gets her past that.
 
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clark_conure

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I said as a treat! I don't pour it in her water bowl, she gets a tiny bit, Conures need calcium though.
 

Laurasea

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Read this, I would strongly recommend nit, even as a treat. It can cause death. It builds up till they die! Cutric acid us way more concentrated in juice. Do not feed citrus fruits. South America parrots didn't evolve to eat Asian citrus fruits.

SUSPECTED CAUSES / CONTRIBUTING FACTORS:

May be hereditary in some cases

Some researchers voiced their concern that "fortified bird seeds / pellets" are to blame for the increased occurrence of this disease.

When feeding pellets or fortified diets to your pet, Please be aware that certain dietary components may increase the storage of iron, including Vitamin C, ascorbic acid (citrus fruit) and sugar.

Citric acid facilitates the absorption of iron. Therefore, Jerry Jennings, President / Director of Emerald Forest Bird Gardens strongly recommends "against feeding any citrus fruit at all - not even in moderate amounts

https://www.beautyofbirds.com/ironstoragedisease.html
 
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clark_conure

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He has a conure not a quaker.

Quaker gets no fruit.

But pic is related.
 

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Laurasea

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Ive seen the livers of burds that died from this. I'm not swayed by someone without experience saying its ok. It builds up over time, rarely do people have necropsy done, or done by true pathologist, its usually just a vet, who doesn't have the extensive extra training and specialist qualifications to be a pathologist, read takes a special stain to detect in liver of a dead bird. All birds, its just some species are even more sensitive

I wish EllenD our lab tech was active she also strongly against citrus fruits, and knowledge of iron storage disease.
 
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clark_conure

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I think we hijacked this persons thread enough.... Lets both calm down.

PM me about it if you want
 

Laurasea

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Its important enough to talk about, since you promoted orange juice. We good. I just want to save parrots, and provide my experience.
 

Cagzo

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Hatched late 2018.
Back to the OP. I can empathise entirely with you as we seem to be experiencing similar problems with our GCC. I think they are difficult birds to read,but so rewarding when youve gained their trust. I love mine to bits!
If you try the Harrisons fine,be aware of the use by date. I have kept some in the freezer to take a bit out each day.
You dont have a snuggle hut do you?That can make them very hormonal.
I hope everything is very soon resolved with your baby. Please dont ignore her,she will love you to just talk quietly to her,they seem to like a peaceful life with no kids around.
 

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