Question on Bedtime and Hand Feeding

imouse1

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Oct 10, 2021
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Green Cheek Conure: Sir H. H. Gregg Q. T. Birb, III
Hey, Guys!

As most of you know, I'm new to conures except what I thought to research in advance of rescuing Sir Birb from the big box store.

I know it is very important for him to have a routine in which he gets food, gets his cage cleaned, goes to bed, etc. And conures are basically cats with wings from what I've read on these forums lol

He's been home a week now and his naps are pretty erratic, which could be due and owing to the change from big box to home or from his unique circumstances of not being held for nearly 3 weeks because of a supposed injury he turned out not to have.

Other than my Mom rhe first day and my brother earlier today, I am (to my knowledge) the only one who has had interaction with him. I have PR a couple times a week and OR the same but separately so it is possible someone came in here but based on how he treated NY walking nicotine patch of a brother, that wasn't the case. I am in a noisy house during the day because the doges #Can'tStopWon'tStop but nothing after 7PM / before 8AM *or* any interaction between Gregg and any other animal in the house outside of me.

I don't want to wake him him from his naps because he's a growing boy but he's having a hard time settling at night. Like, super, super hard. He'll perch and start tucking in his beak then just start to snore then...be up for three hours. This isn't disruptive to me but I caught him on his nanny cam so I'm worried he isn't getting enough sleep.

*But* I'm also worried the reason is because he is getting the big mad at night.

So, while all this is going on I'm trying to create positive associations with him when I put my hand(s)in the cage, like when I go to change out food and water I try to reward him so he's getting something while I'm taking stuff away, and then I return those when I take out/wipe down the toys to clean them off, then return those when I clean out the tray, then another tray. Conures are defensive by nature and it's important for them to see good things not experience bad things.

The last few days, though, he has upped his biting game *hard* (pun intended). I get the dipped fingernails because my nails are very thin due to s### genetics. The only times I've broken them before has been breaking a finger in a car door or something similar. I can get them to survive bleach, ammonia,vinegar, hot water, cold water, whatever.

Until now. I've pulled back before he's swallowed any pieces (THANK GOD) but he's pretty pissed at me. I trier breaking it up a little today but uh, he's still big mad. He bit me almost hard enough to break the skin over the bruise he's been working on on my arm and I put him him to bed without his black grape (so far his most favorite thing). He cooed at me for, like, 45 minutes but I didn't break down because I usually do and I think I'm setting us both up for failure.

The bruise he has been working on is on my arm. I've been, again, trying to do positive associations with him so give him some fruit (which he was initially fine with and now drops IMMEDIATELY in favor of coming at me), put hand in cage (because he needs a clean one), do things, give fruit, leave no fruit in cage so it's a treat/reward. But today he's been biting the ever-loving Jesus out of me so I haven't given him any fruit at all. No squawking or warning until he goes absolutely ape####. I'm careful when I shower to use neutral soap with no scents. I wash my hands before getting into the cage. I even changed my shirt in case it was that color. Just getting worse.

Things started out great, he was even presenting for me and letting me pet him on Day 2 unexpectedly. But the big mad has set in, as I said. He seems confused on why he's not getting his fruit but even now I can hear him eating his millet...angrily...in the dark...behind his three blankets he tried to tear up earlier...3 hours after being put to bed.

100% willing to be patient. I just want to make sure I'm not missing something, especially if it is obvious. This is more for his safety than mine because I don't want to react suddenly and crush or impale him when he's doing what animals do. I want to correct what I'm doing wrong instead of punishing him because I don't want to lose any more trust (if there is any left for him he feels he can) and I want us to grow. He doesn't need any more big box abuse so help steer me, please!

TIA!

PS - I was using a list that talked about edible plants for birds that listen dandelion and hibiscus so I gave him some of those that were growing in my garden. 100% pesticide (except for diatomaceous earth in the soil for the centipedes and marigolds growing nearby), herbicide, and fertilizer free (unless you count the compost I made and put in at the beginning of the season lul). The same list had basil flowers on there, which another member said was likely toxic so I didn't give him any. Now I'm worried when I'm seeing the other flowers on otter lists going both ways. Is it possible he has been poisoned? Should I take him in?

PPS - Our vet canxelled because their office got the RSV going around and there's no one healthy enough to talk to parents. Currently looking for someone else within an hour's drive even though his carrying case got delayed (since it's unlikely I'm gonna get him in anyway). He has some obvious pin feathers but the way things are right now I'd be too scared to reach for them then have him flip and it plucks one or bursts a nearby blood feather.
 
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imouse1

imouse1

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Green Cheek Conure: Sir H. H. Gregg Q. T. Birb, III
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Hey, Guys!

As most of you know, I'm new to conures except what I thought to research in advance of rescuing Sir Birb from the big box store.

I know it is very important for him to have a routine in which he gets food, gets his cage cleaned, goes to bed, etc. And conures are basically cats with wings from what I've read on these forums lol

He's been home a week now and his naps are pretty erratic, which could be due and owing to the change from big box to home or from his unique circumstances of not being held for nearly 3 weeks because of a supposed injury he turned out not to have.

Other than my Mom rhe first day and my brother earlier today, I am (to my knowledge) the only one who has had interaction with him. I have PR a couple times a week and OR the same but separately so it is possible someone came in here but based on how he treated NY walking nicotine patch of a brother, that wasn't the case. I am in a noisy house during the day because the doges #Can'tStopWon'tStop but nothing after 7PM / before 8AM *or* any interaction between Gregg and any other animal in the house outside of me.

I don't want to wake him him from his naps because he's a growing boy but he's having a hard time settling at night. Like, super, super hard. He'll perch and start tucking in his beak then just start to snore then...be up for three hours. This isn't disruptive to me but I caught him on his nanny cam so I'm worried he isn't getting enough sleep.

*But* I'm also worried the reason is because he is getting the big mad at night.

So, while all this is going on I'm trying to create positive associations with him when I put my hand(s)in the cage, like when I go to change out food and water I try to reward him so he's getting something while I'm taking stuff away, and then I return those when I take out/wipe down the toys to clean them off, then return those when I clean out the tray, then another tray. Conures are defensive by nature and it's important for them to see good things not experience bad things.

The last few days, though, he has upped his biting game *hard* (pun intended). I get the dipped fingernails because my nails are very thin due to s### genetics. The only times I've broken them before has been breaking a finger in a car door or something similar. I can get them to survive bleach, ammonia,vinegar, hot water, cold water, whatever.

Until now. I've pulled back before he's swallowed any pieces (THANK GOD) but he's pretty pissed at me. I trier breaking it up a little today but uh, he's still big mad. He bit me almost hard enough to break the skin over the bruise he's been working on on my arm and I put him him to bed without his black grape (so far his most favorite thing). He cooed at me for, like, 45 minutes but I didn't break down because I usually do and I think I'm setting us both up for failure.

The bruise he has been working on is on my arm. I've been, again, trying to do positive associations with him so give him some fruit (which he was initially fine with and now drops IMMEDIATELY in favor of coming at me), put hand in cage (because he needs a clean one), do things, give fruit, leave no fruit in cage so it's a treat/reward. But today he's been biting the ever-loving Jesus out of me so I haven't given him any fruit at all. No squawking or warning until he goes absolutely ape####. I'm careful when I shower to use neutral soap with no scents. I wash my hands before getting into the cage. I even changed my shirt in case it was that color. Just getting worse.

Things started out great, he was even presenting for me and letting me pet him on Day 2 unexpectedly. But the big mad has set in, as I said. He seems confused on why he's not getting his fruit but even now I can hear him eating his millet...angrily...in the dark...behind his three blankets he tried to tear up earlier...3 hours after being put to bed.

100% willing to be patient. I just want to make sure I'm not missing something, especially if it is obvious. This is more for his safety than mine because I don't want to react suddenly and crush or impale him when he's doing what animals do. I want to correct what I'm doing wrong instead of punishing him because I don't want to lose any more trust (if there is any left for him he feels he can) and I want us to grow. He doesn't need any more big box abuse so help steer me, please!

TIA!

PS - I was using a list that talked about edible plants for birds that listen dandelion and hibiscus so I gave him some of those that were growing in my garden. 100% pesticide (except for diatomaceous earth in the soil for the centipedes and marigolds growing nearby), herbicide, and fertilizer free (unless you count the compost I made and put in at the beginning of the season lul). The same list had basil flowers on there, which another member said was likely toxic so I didn't give him any. Now I'm worried when I'm seeing the other flowers on otter lists going both ways. Is it possible he has been poisoned? Should I take him in?

PPS - Our vet canxelled because their office got the RSV going around and there's no one healthy enough to talk to parents. Currently looking for someone else within an hour's drive even though his carrying case got delayed (since it's unlikely I'm gonna get him in anyway). He has some obvious pin feathers but the way things are right now I'd be too scared to reach for them then have him flip and it plucks one or bursts a nearby blood feather.
Little Bruh didn't get much sleep last night and I'm getting worried. Got him a warm birdie bath and the only reason he got in was to bite me. After he bathed he bit the bejesus out of me when I went to take the water away so he wouldn't keep trying to drink it (and he'd gone up to sleep in his perch, anyway, but dropped down like he's part hawk). I just put him to bed at 10:45AM so he could warn up and hopefully get some sleep. He chirped at me for a few minutes then stopped. It sounds like he might be trying to preen. Not sure what to do. I don't want him to get sick from a dirty cage but now that he's tastes my blood I'm worried he's going to see me as another juice source haha
 

Stitchthestitch

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Feb 9, 2020
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Albie - Pineapple Green Cheek Conure - Hatch date 14 Dec 2019 - Gotcha date - 4 March 2020
Please please slow down with sir bird, he's had such a huge upheaval, he doesn't know what's safe and what isnt so he's going to reacting in a negative fashion until you 2 develop a trusting bond. You can do this with treats and target training, itll make his little brain work making him tired.

Be consistent with his bed time. If you can, have a seperate cage in another room if possible, and cover him when he goes to bed. Yes he will make a fuss to begin with and the do like to chatter for a bit I'm the dark. Albie does almost every night when we put him to bed. Stop covering him during the day it's not going to help

I found albie does best on pellets and a chop made of fresh veggies with minimal fruit in his diet as sugar is a huge trigger for him biting.

They do have temper tantrums very much like toddlers when they don't get their own way. It's our job to look after them and give them. What they need rather than what they want.
 

fiddlejen

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Mar 28, 2019
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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
And conures are basically cats with wings from what I've read on these forums lol

Please. This is just, so, so Not true. Birds are SO VERY VERY DIFFERENT. You will not get anywhere in your relationship with your bird, thinking this way.

I am speaking as a cat Lover. The reason I have birds is because I am highly allergic to cats (and dogs) and I decided it was better to breathe and be able to function. But I love cats, I understand them, and they love me as well.

IF you let yourself think of your bird, as a cat with wings, you are Not going to get on well.

To start with -- the body language. It is in many ways Exactly the Opposite.

A relaxed, happy cat will be relatively smooth-furred, and if a cat is highly-fluffed, that means it is tense, trying to look bigger, in response to some perceived threat, possibly angry and ready to attack.

A relaxed, happy Bird, will be relatively FLUFFED, and bigger-looking. A bird that is tense, frightened, nervous about a potential threat, wants to be FLIGHT-READY.

A Flight-Ready bird will be completely SMOOTH and SLEEK. When your bird goes Smooth and Sleek, you need to gently back away, at least a little, withOut making any sudden movements or noises. You need to speak gently and calmly at this point. A SMOOTH, SLEEK bird is Flight-Ready, Alert to Possible Danger, ready to try to fly away.

Alternatively, if a CAT, or any mammal has suddenly gotten all Puffed -- that is when you do Not offer to pet it, you might get scratched. (Even humans, our hair stands-on-end if threated, goosebumps.)

But if a BIRD is suddenly puffing itself up, its little birdie-mane puffing out and bending toward you, the BIRD has just has decided to Offer you Trust, giving you a chance to offer him scritches. This is when you can interact well with the bird.

If you think your bird is like a cat, your relationship will get all messed up. Because you will approach the bird when he is feeling scared and does not want to be crowded, and he might bite you so you give him room.

And alternatively, he will feel abandoned by you when he is actually asking for your attention. Because, thinking he is like a mammal, you will read that body language wrong and back away, when he was actually inviting you in.

And keep in mind, birds do sulk, and even bear grudges. Not like cats, but like people.

On the other hand -- you are referring to "the big mad," "eating angrily," etc. THIS is Not Likely. Your little birdie probably Is a big bundle of emotions, and especially so now, while trying to get used to whole new situations again. BUT these emotions are changing pretty quickly. Don't think in terms of anger! Your birdie is probably not. At least half or more of any biting or "attacking" right now, is just trying to learn to communicate with you. Right now, phrases to use, when speaking to birdie And when speaking/thinking to Yourself about your bird, are "It's All Right, It's Okay," ..."Be Gentle," ...and... "Be Calm, It's okay, I loovee you."

Body Language, right now, is currently the Most Important way in which you need to realize how very much, birds are NOT flying cats.

But it does go further. So, (2) Birds have far more variety in personality than cats. Birds have as much Variety in Personality as People do. ALSO they respond like people. That is, they get offended, get insulted, take things personally, and develop totally random opinions about things, out of the blue and for no reason. If you think they are like cats, you will miss (and be confused by) their exteme variety of personality. (Furthermore, you will eventually learn that birds manipulate, as well. Again, they do this like people do, not like cats. Birds are "control-freaks," and cats are not.)

And (3) CATS are PREDATORs. BIRDS are PREY. This drives their personalitys and behaviors. They respond to threat differently -- and, they See Threats differently. All sorts of behaviors and sounds that are enticing to cats, are threatening to birds.
 
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imouse1

imouse1

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Oct 10, 2021
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Green Cheek Conure: Sir H. H. Gregg Q. T. Birb, III
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Please. This is just, so, so Not true. Birds are SO VERY VERY DIFFERENT. You will not get anywhere in your relationship with your bird, thinking this way.

I am speaking as a cat Lover. The reason I have birds is because I am highly allergic to cats (and dogs) and I decided it was better to breathe and be able to function. But I love cats, I understand them, and they love me as well.

IF you let yourself think of your bird, as a cat with wings, you are Not going to get on well.

To start with -- the body language. It is in many ways Exactly the Opposite.

A relaxed, happy cat will be relatively smooth-furred, and if a cat is highly-fluffed, that means it is tense, trying to look bigger, in response to some perceived threat, possibly angry and ready to attack.

A relaxed, happy Bird, will be relatively FLUFFED, and bigger-looking. A bird that is tense, frightened, nervous about a potential threat, wants to be FLIGHT-READY.

A Flight-Ready bird will be completely SMOOTH and SLEEK. When your bird goes Smooth and Sleek, you need to gently back away, at least a little, withOut making any sudden movements or noises. You need to speak gently and calmly at this point. A SMOOTH, SLEEK bird is Flight-Ready, Alert to Possible Danger, ready to try to fly away.

Alternatively, if a CAT, or any mammal has suddenly gotten all Puffed -- that is when you do Not offer to pet it, you might get scratched. (Even humans, our hair stands-on-end if threated, goosebumps.)

But if a BIRD is suddenly puffing itself up, its little birdie-mane puffing out and bending toward you, the BIRD has just has decided to Offer you Trust, giving you a chance to offer him scritches. This is when you can interact well with the bird.

If you think your bird is like a cat, your relationship will get all messed up. Because you will approach the bird when he is feeling scared and does not want to be crowded, and he might bite you so you give him room.

And alternatively, he will feel abandoned by you when he is actually asking for your attention. Because, thinking he is like a mammal, you will read that body language wrong and back away, when he was actually inviting you in.

And keep in mind, birds do sulk, and even bear grudges. Not like cats, but like people.

On the other hand -- you are referring to "the big mad," "eating angrily," etc. THIS is Not Likely. Your little birdie probably Is a big bundle of emotions, and especially so now, while trying to get used to whole new situations again. BUT these emotions are changing pretty quickly. Don't think in terms of anger! Your birdie is probably not. At least half or more of any biting or "attacking" right now, is just trying to learn to communicate with you. Right now, phrases to use, when speaking to birdie And when speaking/thinking to Yourself about your bird, are "It's All Right, It's Okay," ..."Be Gentle," ...and... "Be Calm, It's okay, I loovee you."

Body Language, right now, is currently the Most Important way in which you need to realize how very much, birds are NOT flying cats.

But it does go further. So, (2) Birds have far more variety in personality than cats. Birds have as much Variety in Personality as People do. ALSO they respond like people. That is, they get offended, get insulted, take things personally, and develop totally random opinions about things, out of the blue and for no reason. If you think they are like cats, you will miss (and be confused by) their exteme variety of personality. (Furthermore, you will eventually learn that birds manipulate, as well. Again, they do this like people do, not like cats. Birds are "control-freaks," and cats are not.)

And (3) CATS are PREDATORs. BIRDS are PREY. This drives their personalitys and behaviors. They respond to threat differently -- and, they See Threats differently. All sorts of behaviors and sounds that are enticing to cats, are threatening to birds.
So, the "cat with wings" comment was a tongue-in-cheek joke from the computer thread in which the GCCs demand engagement or get destructive and get vocal. I'm aware they're not going to purr at me, become my friends for canned food, or sleep in the same bed like, ever. While as needy as they are independent, GCCs are as much cats with wings as pigeons are rats with wings.
 
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imouse1

imouse1

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Green Cheek Conure: Sir H. H. Gregg Q. T. Birb, III
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Please please slow down with sir bird, he's had such a huge upheaval, he doesn't know what's safe and what isnt so he's going to reacting in a negative fashion until you 2 develop a trusting bond. You can do this with treats and target training, itll make his little brain work making him tired.

Be consistent with his bed time. If you can, have a seperate cage in another room if possible, and cover him when he goes to bed. Yes he will make a fuss to begin with and the do like to chatter for a bit I'm the dark. Albie does almost every night when we put him to bed. Stop covering him during the day it's not going to help

I found albie does best on pellets and a chop made of fresh veggies with minimal fruit in his diet as sugar is a huge trigger for him biting.

They do have temper tantrums very much like toddlers when they don't get their own way. It's our job to look after them and give them. What they need rather than what they want.
(Fell asleep responding. Apologies!)

Food Problems

Every place I'm ordering the seedless pellets from is either not delivering them or they're out of stock, and I have been trying since before he got here. (If everyone could please stop panic buying the small parrot pellet-only food, Sir Birb would appreciate it 😫). Basically, as I said, he is only eating seeds and some of the fresh veggies and the small amount of fruit I was giving him.

We have 5 total pet stores that sell non-wild bird stuff other than the 8 non-neighborhood Wal-Marts in a 5 city radius. Five. I have struck out at all of them so it isn't for a lack of footwork on top of laying out capital that I have to wait for refunds on. I've tried in-store or curbside pickup for product that turned out to be unavailable, which was also frustrating, but I'm still trying.

I've come up with this road block with both Harrison's and ZuPreem in both veggie and fruit. Those were the brands I saw recommended here and elsewhere but I'm open to any suggestions and any source at this point. I've tried Amazon, Target, and Wal-Mart (didn't deliver, on "backorder"); Chewy ("not available"); and big box stores (not deliverable to my area for some insane reason). I've asked the local pet store I've shopped at for literal decades if they could give me a call when they get it in so 🤞

The food he has right now isn't even the food the big box store had been giving him because they were out of it. (They were supposedly going to get a truck yesterday so I'm going to check today to see what's in or not but that might be an additional comfort for him if they do.) So, he's on one meant for "all parrots" but the pellets are absolutely massive--the small ones are half the size of his beak so he just throws all of them into "the abyss" of the grate of his waste. We don't yet have the kind of relationship where I can take one and show him how to dip it because I don't want him to think I'm taking his food (last thing he needs is to have food insecurity on top of it) and he hasn't put that together on his own yet. I'm waiting on his second Chewy order to come in with the attachable water dish so I can put it near his food bowl that goes in the door of the cage to maybe help him but if the Amazon prime orders taking 1+ weeks are any indication, I honestly don't know when his order due this Friday will actually be in. I'm hoping soon because the Sir needs to eat something other than seeds =(

To reduce food insecurity concerns, I was giving him the fruit at the beginning of the cage clean out, taking the water dish out, cleaning it, drying it out, taking out the food dish, filling the former water dish with food from the bag in front of him, and putting it back in the cage. He'd go check on it to ensure it was, in fact, food, then go back to his fruit. Then I'd do kinda the reverse with the water at the end except he has a BPA-free, silicone water bottle I'd pour into the cleaned dish before putting on the hood. He'd go use it to get some water and clean his beak, then wait for his reward.

I was originally cutting up his vegetables into small cubes, strips, and sticks, cooking them slightly so they would be easier for him to eat and hold per the suggestions I saw, and changing them out every few hours to keep any fruit flies, etc. from bothering him based on what the forums said.

When I began to suspect that this was getting into his space too much, I moved up the PVC tree plan. It's literally a PVC pipe splitter with an end cap filled with water that has broccoli and marigolds coming out of one end and beetroot greens and a small rosemary stem coming out of the other. Once a day I just need to change out the water and rinse off the tops to make sure there's no bacteria, plus get rid of anything that may look peaky. It's leaning up against one of the perches and one of the cage walls so it's accessible to him to eat off of, which he mostly eats broccoli to satiate the "I can destroy" feeling and the beetroot leaves when a piece tears off after he tries to hoist it when he's showing me his strong boi lifts.

Since that is far from complete with him not eating his pellets, I made him veggie purees I froze into ice cubes so that they will take a long time before needing to be removed. Meaning instead of several times a day I only need to get into his cage twice for food and once will be during the basic daily clean. (I have not attempted a big cage clean--I don't think he's there yet.) One of them is bell pepper-based because he likes those, and that one has more sweet potato. The other one is more chile based because he loves that and that has more carrots. He gets one cube in the morning and one at night--the one at night being a semi-defrosted version so he can eat some right away if he wants to and so, again, positive associations with him getting something he likes.

He is completely ignoring his cuttlebone even though it is the same holder as he had at rhe big box store and he played with/ate there, so I know he isn't getting his minerals, so every bite of minerals counts with his fruits and veggies. I also gave him a mineral block on Day 1 he just uses as a perch. I'm going to try to find flavored ones when I go tomorrow. They may not be ideal but they might at least help him feel better.

We're kind of stuck on the pellet front for right now, which is why I'm trying to supplement with the fresh veggies. (Not that I in any way anticipate he will go immediately from the self-imposed all-seed to me-imposed all-pellet diet switch, but if he isn't going to let me in there at least I'll know he has something that isn't going to rot immediately and will be good for him.) The fruit I was giving him was, again, very limited to give him a positive association with me getting into the cage so I can clean it out, then again as a reward for letting me do it--1 total black grape for the day or or its visually equivalent weight in mango. It was keeping him busy while I did the clean out until it didn't and then the day before yesterday he just decided he had had enough, and yesterday he drew blood when I was trying to feed him.

If I can't find something that is going to be more sustainable to him, the next step is going to be even more invasive by putting my scent all over the food when I take out all the seeds and leave just the pellets I have to chop up to make small enough for him to crack. It will also be less nutritious with me having to remove the fresh veggies because I'll have no way of getting to them to put in, much less take out. He'll be down to Oops, All Pellets with me dropping random seeds and refills into the dish with a spoon or something until he gets to a point where he's got less murder in his eyes.

I'm also trying to sprout some of his bell pepper and chile seeds to see if he enjoys those in terms of veggies. I was hoping to save my serano plant once I realized how much he loved the chiles but the first overnight chill had already gotten to it and I couldn't get it to come back from its funk. Maybe I'll be able to get a couple of the sprouts to plant indoors--it's a very easy hand-pollination overwinter.
 
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imouse1

imouse1

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Green Cheek Conure: Sir H. H. Gregg Q. T. Birb, III
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Please please slow down with sir bird, he's had such a huge upheaval, he doesn't know what's safe and what isnt so he's going to reacting in a negative fashion until you 2 develop a trusting bond. You can do this with treats and target training, itll make his little brain work making him tired.

Be consistent with his bed time. If you can, have a seperate cage in another room if possible, and cover him when he goes to bed. Yes he will make a fuss to begin with and the do like to chatter for a bit I'm the dark. Albie does almost every night when we put him to bed. Stop covering him during the day it's not going to help

I found albie does best on pellets and a chop made of fresh veggies with minimal fruit in his diet as sugar is a huge trigger for him biting.

They do have temper tantrums very much like toddlers when they don't get their own way. It's our job to look after them and give them. What they need rather than what they want.
I'm Not In A Rush

I'm just trying to make sure I'm not doing something wrong before it's too late. Like I said, this is more about his physical and emotional safety for doing what animals do when I react for being s dumb###. I knew going into this that things were going to be slow and it could be years before we have "that" kind of relationship after he got pulled off the floor when he got marked as damaged. They're very intelligent so if I mess up he's not going to forget if, sort of thing.

But I'm also aware they're very stubborn so if it was me indulging something I shouldn't be I wanted a me correction on that, too. I didn't think it was likely but particularly with him not hardly sleeping at all, I wanted to make sure I didn't need to take his millet or something away but it doesn't sound like it.

That said, if the Sir is going to present his neck for some gentle scratches I'm not going to turn him down because I don't want him to think that *I* think he did something wrong. I think it's better for him to turn me down after he's offered once (even if his eyes did the glaze) than for him to offer and feel rebuffed after not being handled for so long until he got the vet. That memory is going to be long ÷(

Literally, all that I'm working on right now is cleaning the bottom of the cage, giving him warm water to bathe with, feeding him clean food, and giving him clean water to drink, all once a day (except for the purees, as I said).

I'm not trying to train him to come out or do any tricks (because as I've said, the last 3 weeks he had before this were likely pretty rough at the big box store and I had already intended this to be as much a time of rest and quiet as possible, going so far as to pick up chores and dog walking around this shared house to keep the noise down as much as can be made possible). He doesn't seem to be interested in stepping onto anything except to eat from it or attacking it so without increasing his sugar load, there doesn't seem much of a way for me to not increase his non-seed load to try even something as step up. The only thing I have used a chopstick for so far is to scoop some of the puree up for him and he likes to lock off the puree then try to break the chopstick so...50-50. We'll work on that maybe in the upcoming weeks when he feels less under attack from me.

Because he has so little space to call his I don't want him to feel invaded so, as I said, I'm not even changing out out fresh stuff as often but, instead finding different ways to keep it in there longer so I only have to rinse things off once a day and return it. He can and does take the hoods off of both the food and the water to let me know he won't be needing them haha, but with that comes the mess in both of those. I'm not fixing them until the next day because I'm not trying to be too much in his space...unless he makes poopers in his water in which case I feel obligated to so he doesn't get sick. He hasn't made shat upon his food as of yet.

Sleep Problems

The reason I was asking about the midday nap was because I wanted to make sure if it was or wasn't something I should do because other than "have patience" there is literally no information on what people are doing in real time in these situations. There was one video on YT that said to just turn your back and another that said to leave but I can honestly say he is 100% fine with both of those. Obviously, all the advice I can find is to shy away from punishments *but* there is nothing on, "Hey, so he has you down to the bone--what now?"

There is no available space for an ancillary cage in another part of this shared house at this time because of the others, their doges, and the cat...so his play area is his sleeping area is his filthy area if he won't come out and/or let me clean it. I start making it dark for him by turning down then off the lights, reducing noise as the house starts winding down, etc., and then pulling blankets over his cage until he is in total blackout, if that is the same-room concern. He can't see my phone screen and it dampens noise (though, once we've started bedtime procedures no music or videos even in headphones because I'm sure he can hear it). Our door is closed to reduce noise from other occupants.

The most he will come out is to check out the blankets but it's non-productive, even for whatever he wanted to accomplish. He'll get on top of the cage, beak the blankets, be unhappy, then go back inside. They're not washed with anything other than vinegar and water then an extra rinse JIC but whatever it is that they are, they do not meet with his expectations and I'm not sure how to remedy that. But he has to have clean food, drinking water, bathing water, and air as some very basic things so that's what I'm focusing on for right now.

Until the day before yesterday, he was beaking me (which is why he was working on the bruise) but then he took it a step further and now he's tasted blood. Calling him the Sir was kind of a joke before but I do believe we have entered The Most Dangerous Game phase of our relationship lul.

That said, after he "got up" after his forced nap he was a much different bird and I can't tell if that was because he was extra warm from being in the cage (like how when you get up from a nap) or felt fresh (like how you feel after a shower) or if he got some actual rest (because even though I opened the blanket after 20 minutes he stayed down for quite a few consecutive hours without waking to eat like he normally does at night and despite it being during the day). I'm so confused about his sleeping schedule because it's so different than how it was. I'm so worried he was kept from the sun for so long because of his "injury" it just messed him up ÷(

I am doing as you said and I will keep doing as you said about the bedtime routine but, again, that's why I came to ask. I wasn't sure how normal it was for a GCC to still be up 3 hours after being put to bed, napping, then getting up to eat to start that cycle again. I may not have expressed it correctly but the sentiment I was trying to convey was he has been surviving on a series of just straight up naps of, maybe, five or ten minutes at a time from what I can tell. Then he gets up to eat and is up for awhile. So, the forced nap seemed good in theory because it gave him "permission" not to have to be awake with the rest of us after his bath. But I don't dare touch his toys to take them out because I'm pretty sure he will come out the cage--to kill me haha. He's actually amassing kind of an impressive collection of water bottle caps. He doesn't eat them. He just puts them in his coconut swing. Are GCCs known for collecting?

Vet Concerns
The vet we were supposed to go to this week cancelled on us because they got the RSV going around since August, not even the COVID, and most "exotics" in this town are classified as guinea pigs. Some vets here sell regular food in addition to prescription food to supplement income so I'm hoping we will luck out there I'd something doesn't come through before then.

In any case, I want the Sir to go to an Avian vet, not just an exotics vet, given the luck he's had--he deserves that much. The big box store wasn't able to get him in for almost 3 weeks and the few places finding ing now are looking the same so that might be a further help, as well, once we get there, or might know the lead on a place I don't know about (which almost inevitably is out in the mountains an hour in another direction haha).

I might end up having to drive to the Capitol but that's going to be at least 2 hours of driving on top of the appointment time and I don't want to put him through that if I don't have to while he is already this stressed out. (Sir Birb just needs a tiny break, Lord, please 🙏) I just want to get those pin feathers taken care of since we're already in the cold season, he's already cold, he's not going to be able to bathe if I can't change out his water, and we're going to be playing a dangerous game of "let's turn up the heat to dry out the house while making it humid enough the insects and spiders notice you're not letting me clean anything out."

I don't mind paying for the heating or equipment but there isn't much pest control that is going to be able to overcome a lack of cage cleaning whether or not it is safe for the Sir--which I would rather it be (but I would much more rather he not have to worry about it). Like, I can squash the bugs, fine. He can't and that isn't fair to him.
 

fiddlejen

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About the sleeping. It doesn't matter too much if he Really does or Really doesn't sleep at night when it's dark. As long as the bird is Provided with his 10-12 hours of darkness nightly, this is what matters. Maybe he sleeps thru, maybe he stays wide-awake the whole time. Napping during the day is fine too. As long as he gets his nighttime darkness, and his daytime daylight, that is fine.

(Sometimes my Sunny is up throughout the night, eating. Other nights she sleeps all night. Sometimes she wants me at night, and rings her bell for me. We have a bedtime routine that includes, among other things, I sing lullabies to her & the budgies. IF she rings her bell loudly in the night, I sing more lullabies to her, on the theory that she had a nightmare.)

As far as food, it matters over the long-haul. Not so much over the short-term. Give the bird a good selection in whatever method works best for you & him. My Sunny mainly likes her nutriberries. I give her veggies most days, sometimes she eats or destroys them, often she ignores them. She also has a small dish of pellets - harrisons - that she seems to enjoy as a snack. I ran out of harrisons and have been putting others in there, she doesn't care for them. So, I've had to order more Harrison's directly from their website.
 
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imouse1

imouse1

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Green Cheek Conure: Sir H. H. Gregg Q. T. Birb, III
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About the sleeping. It doesn't matter too much if he Really does or Really doesn't sleep at night when it's dark. As long as the bird is Provided with his 10-12 hours of darkness nightly, this is what matters. Maybe he sleeps thru, maybe he stays wide-awake the whole time. Napping during the day is fine too. As long as he gets his nighttime darkness, and his daytime daylight, that is fine.

(Sometimes my Sunny is up throughout the night, eating. Other nights she sleeps all night. Sometimes she wants me at night, and rings her bell for me. We have a bedtime routine that includes, among other things, I sing lullabies to her & the budgies. IF she rings her bell loudly in the night, I sing more lullabies to her, on the theory that she had a nightmare.)

As far as food, it matters over the long-haul. Not so much over the short-term. Give the bird a good selection in whatever method works best for you & him. My Sunny mainly likes her nutriberries. I give her veggies most days, sometimes she eats or destroys them, often she ignores them. She also has a small dish of pellets - harrisons - that she seems to enjoy as a snack. I ran out of harrisons and have been putting others in there, she doesn't care for them. So, I've had to order more Harrison's directly from their website.
This was really helpful--thank you. I appreciate your patience with this. I'm just so worried I'm gonna do something to set him up up failure ÷(

I can tell the Sir is still a youngin when I get mixed messages like him crawling onto my shirt when I'm cleaning out his cage today. After the Great Blood Gash of yesterday, I decided to just give him some space but he really needed things cleaned out today. So he just, uh, casually did this.
20211020_221156.jpg

I just let him sit there and didn't try to clean anything. I gave him a few seeds from his bowl and a bite of his blackberry but he was just more interested in watching himself on my screen. I tried to take care of rhe pin feathers to help him get comfortable but that was the step too far haha. He got on the chopstick I offered and went back into his cage. That was that. (D### kids and their lack of consistency bahahahaha 🥲)

I was wondering if you could tell me that since he is about 4.5 months if there is anything specific I should be looking for? I know molting will be "due" between 5 and 11 months, most likely after winter around February, but 5 months is just a couple weeks away. Is this kind of normal around that time? I think it might be a stretch since it's most likely changing pains. I was more curious since he was throwing such mixed messages.

Thanks again!
 

fiddlejen

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I would suggest at this point, it is really too early in your relationship for you to help with those pinfeathers. They are actually quite uncomfortable to the bird and if you touch them wrong it hurts them. If he bends his head and fluffs his neck feathers to you, he may be inviting you to "scritch" him, and that is fine, but I'd suggest just pretend you have no awareness of the pinfeathers one way or the other.

One of my budgies, Mr. Jefferson Budgie, believes in Lookie-No-Touchee. Not just towards me, but towards everyone, even all other budgies! When he has little pinfeathers on his head, he rubs his head on the bars to take care of it. So, down the road, in the future, your little bird will come to you for help with future pins. But for now, he is able to take care of them himself when he needs to. Or, even if not, eventually the feather casings will work themselves off.

You did well to follow his lead, when he wanted to be On you. These are the moments that will grow your relationship!

Eventually as you grow closer you will be able to work on "Bite Pressure Training." You're probably not there yet... your bird has some recent trauma and just needs to relax without pressure for a while, get used to the idea this really is his home. But start, now, by trying to make your response to any biting, always using the phrase "Be Gentle."

GCC's can normally be a little bitey, as I understand. But it's usually part of their attempt to communicate. Keep that in mind. 95% of the time, it's Not anger. It's just, lack of words & lack of hands. I'd suggest you might want to start reading up on "Target Training." Not to implement it YET. Again, for now, just relax, hang out nearby, talk to him, etc. Then after a while you could start to incorporate a little Target Training. Or even if not, some of the principles involved can help you communicate better.

Don't worry too much about the molt either. It'll happen. There will just be a point when you will realize, more loose feathers around than normal; more pinfeathers than usual. Your bird realize hasn't been with you long enough to really show you it's settled personality, but after a few years, you'll know you're seeing Relative grumpiness or short-temperedness at molt-time.

Right now, I would not think of Anything your bird does as "mixed messages." He is just trying to learn about his new world. Sometimes he Needs Space, sometimes he is curious and ready to explore. He is learning to trust you, and to trust your stable presence in his world.

Basically, at this point, you want to just be a non-threatening Flock Member to him. One way you can do this, is Follow His Lead. So, is he preening? Great, that's a good moment for you to maybe gently yourself do some human, birdie-style stretches (like, stand and slowly stretch, maybe twist and lean over one way or the other while doing it. Basically, low-level "pretend you're acting like him"), or maybe a good time to fluff your own hair with your hands. Is your bird eating? Good, that's a good time for you to have a snack, in front of him, as well. Do you notice him sitting there, just relaxing & chilling? Great, spend a few moments, hide your hands, tuck your elbows loosely, maybe lean forward a little, and chill together. ETC. Just do these things from time to time, following his lead. He will start to see you as a non-threatening member of his flock.

Then when you are changing or cleaning his cage, let him know what you're doing while you're doing it, or just before. So as to not-startle him. He may still be attacking you at first. But he will catch on. Using the same phrases for different things will help him relax about it, since he will know what you are doing.

I know when you first get your bird, everything can seem so important and it's all so new. Really a kind of wonderful time! But relaxing with your bird, and trusting that your relationship is gonna work out, is probably gonna serve you best here. Even if he Seems angry. It's best to just Assume he's not, pretend you believe he's just trying to communicate, and just be reliable for him.
 
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imouse1

imouse1

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Green Cheek Conure: Sir H. H. Gregg Q. T. Birb, III
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I'm not sure where most of my reply went but it sounds like you and I are thinking the same way. It would be easier to type out and I just don't have it in me to spend another two hours to do it on my mobile lol
 
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imouse1

imouse1

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Oct 10, 2021
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Green Cheek Conure: Sir H. H. Gregg Q. T. Birb, III
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I would suggest at this point, it is really too early in your relationship for you to help with those pinfeathers. They are actually quite uncomfortable to the bird and if you touch them wrong it hurts them. If he bends his head and fluffs his neck feathers to you, he may be inviting you to "scritch" him, and that is fine, but I'd suggest just pretend you have no awareness of the pinfeathers one way or the other.

One of my budgies, Mr. Jefferson Budgie, believes in Lookie-No-Touchee. Not just towards me, but towards everyone, even all other budgies! When he has little pinfeathers on his head, he rubs his head on the bars to take care of it. So, down the road, in the future, your little bird will come to you for help with future pins. But for now, he is able to take care of them himself when he needs to. Or, even if not, eventually the feather casings will work themselves off.

You did well to follow his lead, when he wanted to be On you. These are the moments that will grow your relationship!

Eventually as you grow closer you will be able to work on "Bite Pressure Training." You're probably not there yet... your bird has some recent trauma and just needs to relax without pressure for a while, get used to the idea this really is his home. But start, now, by trying to make your response to any biting, always using the phrase "Be Gentle."

GCC's can normally be a little bitey, as I understand. But it's usually part of their attempt to communicate. Keep that in mind. 95% of the time, it's Not anger. It's just, lack of words & lack of hands. I'd suggest you might want to start reading up on "Target Training." Not to implement it YET. Again, for now, just relax, hang out nearby, talk to him, etc. Then after a while you could start to incorporate a little Target Training. Or even if not, some of the principles involved can help you communicate better.

Don't worry too much about the molt either. It'll happen. There will just be a point when you will realize, more loose feathers around than normal; more pinfeathers than usual. Your bird realize hasn't been with you long enough to really show you it's settled personality, but after a few years, you'll know you're seeing Relative grumpiness or short-temperedness at molt-time.

Right now, I would not think of Anything your bird does as "mixed messages." He is just trying to learn about his new world. Sometimes he Needs Space, sometimes he is curious and ready to explore. He is learning to trust you, and to trust your stable presence in his world.

Basically, at this point, you want to just be a non-threatening Flock Member to him. One way you can do this, is Follow His Lead. So, is he preening? Great, that's a good moment for you to maybe gently yourself do some human, birdie-style stretches (like, stand and slowly stretch, maybe twist and lean over one way or the other while doing it. Basically, low-level "pretend you're acting like him"), or maybe a good time to fluff your own hair with your hands. Is your bird eating? Good, that's a good time for you to have a snack, in front of him, as well. Do you notice him sitting there, just relaxing & chilling? Great, spend a few moments, hide your hands, tuck your elbows loosely, maybe lean forward a little, and chill together. ETC. Just do these things from time to time, following his lead. He will start to see you as a non-threatening member of his flock.

Then when you are changing or cleaning his cage, let him know what you're doing while you're doing it, or just before. So as to not-startle him. He may still be attacking you at first. But he will catch on. Using the same phrases for different things will help him relax about it, since he will know what you are doing.

I know when you first get your bird, everything can seem so important and it's all so new. Really a kind of wonderful time! But relaxing with your bird, and trusting that your relationship is gonna work out, is probably gonna serve you best here. Even if he Seems angry. It's best to just Assume he's not, pretend you believe he's just trying to communicate, and just be reliable for him.
Hey, can I ask you a question? The Sir likes to cuddle against this straw-like material in his toy. Is there something that I can put in his cage that might be less likely to poke out his eyes? Something that, maybe, is on his lazy loft? I know fabrics are out because if eaten could cause impaction.

I'm going to be making a materials run to the hardware store. I want to make some adjustments to the tree thing (I think it needs to be thinner). I also want to get a little PVC to make a longer neck on the cat fountain he's supposed to be getting on Friday so he can take a proper birdie shower until he's ready to come out and take one in the big boi shower. (I'm already training the other occupants that day is coming by having his shower perch in there with a laminated bird picture on it haha just a reminder for when we clean so we're used to it.)

I'm strangely handy so I'm willing to think outside the box. But wasn't sure if there was something he could have that might be more comforting people usually get for their birdie babies.
 

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