Soon to be First Time Sun Conure Owner

doddfranko

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Jun 14, 2021
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Hello Everyone,

I just reserved a Sun Conure egg (weaned hand fed) for my grandmother's birthday gift, so I figured I'd join a forum to make sure we both do everything we can to make sure it will be a happy baby and live a long happy life.

I have never owned a parrot, so I will be doing a lot of reading here and maybe ask a few questions along the way.

Thank you in advance for all of your help,
Andrew
 

Scott

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Congratulations Andrew, Sun Conures are beautiful, charming, entertaining companions! Ensuring the chick is hand fed and fully weaned crucial for safety and development into healthy adult.

Is your grandmother aware the gift of a vibrant, long lived bird is forthcoming? My impression is it will be co-owned or you will have a significant role?
 

wrench13

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Hi Andrew. I wish I could say this nicer, but giving a surprise present of a parrot to someone almost always results in poor environment for the parrot. Parrots are the kind of pet ( companion) that one should really, really want, because the upkeep and maintenance and companionship needed is far far greater than with any other animal. Beside the fact that he will 100% outlive your grandmother.
 

fiddlejen

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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).
Wait, what?

Hello Everyone,

I just reserved a Sun Conure egg (weaned hand fed) for my grandmother's birthday gift...

Oh - reserved an Egg. You mean, the Breeder has conures who have eggs, they will wean it and hand feed it until the right time for it to come to you, rihgt?

Hopefully your grandmother is either aware of this gift, or else has made it known that she really does want & is prepared to care for a sun conure, and that is why you're getting for her, right?

If that is so, then I wish you all the best, and look forward to pictures, and you have come to the right place. :)
 

noodles123

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Last edited:

noodles123

Well-known member
Jul 11, 2018
8,141
173
Parrots
Umbrella Cockatoo- 15? years old..I think?
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, 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.
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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doddfranko

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Jun 14, 2021
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Congratulations Andrew, Sun Conures are beautiful, charming, entertaining companions! Ensuring the chick is hand fed and fully weaned crucial for safety and development into healthy adult.

Is your grandmother aware the gift of a vibrant, long lived bird is forthcoming? My impression is it will be co-owned or you will have a significant role?

Thank you for your kind message, Scott. Based off of the replies below, I guess I should have clarified that my grandmother has previously owned a conure and she is aware of her gift.

I did my research before choosing an aviary to purchase the conure from. After it hatches, it won't be available for 8-10 weeks. I am very confident the aviary will take good care of the baby until then.
 
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doddfranko

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Hi Andrew. I wish I could say this nicer, but giving a surprise present of a parrot to someone almost always results in poor environment for the parrot. Parrots are the kind of pet ( companion) that one should really, really want, because the upkeep and maintenance and companionship needed is far far greater than with any other animal. Beside the fact that he will 100% outlive your grandmother.

Thank you for your reply, wrench13. Based off of some of the messages I've read on this forum, I understand where your concerns stem from. It seems as though a lot of people aren't aware of all the work it takes to raise/own a healthy bird.

I'm new to owning a bird, but my grandmother isn't. We'll both make sure it is a happy companion and lives a long healthy life, even after my grandmother passes. There was definitely a nicer way you could have said that particular sentence.
 
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doddfranko

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Wait, what?

Hello Everyone,

I just reserved a Sun Conure egg (weaned hand fed) for my grandmother's birthday gift...

Oh - reserved an Egg. You mean, the Breeder has conures who have eggs, they will wean it and hand feed it until the right time for it to come to you, rihgt?

Hopefully your grandmother is either aware of this gift, or else has made it known that she really does want & is prepared to care for a sun conure, and that is why you're getting for her, right?

If that is so, then I wish you all the best, and look forward to pictures, and you have come to the right place. :)

Hi fiddlejen, thank you for your reply. You are correct, the baby won't be available for pickup unitl 8-10 weeks after it hatches.

My grandmother is definitely aware of sun conure. The aviary we went with will be posting photos online of the baby as it grows. I'm looking forward to digging in here and learning everything I can in preparation for its arrival.
 
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doddfranko

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welcome! Please read the following links for detail:
http://www.parrotforums.com/cockatiels/90059-cockatiel-first-bird.html


https://www.ewg.org/research/canaries-kitchen


http://www.parrotforums.com/general...change-after-getting-your-first-big-bird.html


I'm posting a long one next-- It's a copy and paste for people new to parrots- please read it for detail too!

Hi noodles123,

Thank you very much for all of the information. I came across your "pinned" post the other day and read it throughly. I'll read through all of these as well and make sure we have all of our bases covered.

I've read some posts on this forum where people talk about their birds becoming ill unexpectedly. I know we can't prevent all illnesses, but I can't help but wonder what exactly caused their birds to get sick.

It would be interesting to know if harmful cleaning chemicals or other toxic sources were the root cause.
 

Scott

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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Thanks for the updates, Andrew! We're a fiercely protective group of companion birds, good to know you are one of our flock! I'm certain your grandmother will love her feathered gift and share knowledge and enthusiasm with you!
 

wyattspoppa

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Hey my thoughtful friend,
It's very generous of you to want to gift your grandmother such a costly bird, but I'd ask you to pay close attention to @wrench13 comments. I am not an expert by any means, though I've kept quite a few birds for 20 years and I hang out at our local bird retailer not 5 minutes from my home (size of a supermarket). First, if well-cared for, this bird will outlive your grandmother by at least a decade. Second, her tolerance for loud noise must be exemplary as Sun Conures have an ear-shattering call, even many Parrot fans find it intolerable..and that's saying something. I highly recommend you not only discuss this gift with her, but bring her to a bird retailer to hear a Sun Conure in person, and lastly, be prepared to "own" this bird if things don't go as planned. This is no one's "first bird". Best of luck.
 
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doddfranko

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Hey my thoughtful friend,
It's very generous of you to want to gift your grandmother such a costly bird, but I'd ask you to pay close attention to @wrench13 comments. I am not an expert by any means, though I've kept quite a few birds for 20 years and I hang out at our local bird retailer not 5 minutes from my home (size of a supermarket). First, if well-cared for, this bird will outlive your grandmother by at least a decade. Second, her tolerance for loud noise must be exemplary as Sun Conures have an ear-shattering call, even many Parrot fans find it intolerable..and that's saying something. I highly recommend you not only discuss this gift with her, but bring her to a bird retailer to hear a Sun Conure in person, and lastly, be prepared to "own" this bird if things don't go as planned. This is no one's "first bird". Best of luck.

Hi wyattspoppa,

Thank you for your response. I should have clarified in my initial post that I am the one who is new to the bird world, not my grandmother. She has actually owned a sun conure in the past and has been talking about wanting another one for the past year.
 

Inger

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Welcome to the forums! You?ve come to the right place to learn about birds. Dig right in and you?ll make an excellent parront.


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Flboy

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Welcome to you! Now before you go surprising——— kidding! Looks like you will have some great guidance as the relationship matures!
 

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