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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
 
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new sun conure owner!

hi guys! im on talk budgies forum too, i have 1 girl budgie named Peeps. today i went to a parrot breeder in tucson, az and picked me up an adorable 4 month old baby sun conure. i was told shes been weaned for 3 weeks already. this is my first parrot..so i have a couple of questions for u experts

first....the breeder told me to bond with my conure, i need to handle it with a towel for 3 days instead of bare hands. im to wrap it up so its head id poking out and just hold it so it can see me for 15 mins to up to an hour. i can stroke the head if i want to and speak to it. is this a good thing to do?

second...since she is newly weaned, he told me its normal for her to not eat for maybe 2 days..if it gets to 4 days then i can feed her cream of wheat with a syrenge to maybe get her to say oh yeah i need to eat. or if shes out walking around to sprinkle some food on the surface and maybe she'll pick at it. is cream of wheat a proper substitute for a baby conure? he said its very close to what momma gives baby.

third... shes in her nice cage now, and when i go up to her to talk to her nicely and see how shes doing, she does this funny thing where she sticks her neck out with mouth open, fluffs up what little feathers she has, and moves her head and body around in circles and back and foward slowly. ive attached some pictures of it below. is this a defensive behavior or is it a baby "feed me" face? she does this too when we are not looking at her but are sitting on the couch next to her cage also. sometimes making little growly sounds or grinding her beak.

thanks for reading my long post and i look forward to opinions from the more advance
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 10:58 PM
 
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She's certainly adorable! I don't know about the towel thing.. that's an unusual way of taming birds I'm not familiar with. I would just go slow, offer your hand, and see how she reacts. As a baby, she could give you a good pinch but she's not likely to bite hard enough to break the skin. I'm unsure about the cream of wheat as well... again, seems strange but if it works... Offer soft foods, veggies, fruits, you can offer soaked pellets, etc. What was the breeder feeding her before? It's best to offer that.

Do you happen to have a postage or food scale? Your best bet to monitor how well she's eating is to weigh her every morning before offering food and after a poop (if possible). Any weight loss greater than 10% of her body weight is critical and she would need to go to a vet ASAP. More important than food is water consumption. Make sure her water dish is easily accessible and she's drinking. Since she's young, it may be worth putting a towel on the bottom of the cage (in case she falls) and putting a shallow food and water dish down there as well

Does she make a noise when she does her open beak thing? Baby conures looking for formula have a distinct little baby chatter, you can hear it in this video. YouTube - baby sun conure chicks @50,52&54 days old It almost looks like a threatening posture and since your breeder wants you to towel her, I'd be afraid she might be a little nippy or fearful. Most people only towel aggressive birds...

My only concern, not to be a debbie downer.... she's really brightly colored for a baby. Usually, sun conures are a really dusky green shade and rather mottled till their first molt around 8-10 months. You can see the green mottling in the babies in the youtube video. Does she have a band or a certificate to verify her age?



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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-07-2010, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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i do have some of the food he was using for them, and thats in her dish right now but she hasnt touched it. i do not have a scale to weigh her with, besides a regular human scale and thats digital. its a bigger platform and goes down to .01lbs, not sure if thats a small enough weight.

when she does this behavior she kinda does make that sound in the video, but its veryyy faint.

i have her on a perch right now should i just be putting her on the bottom with her dishes? i didnt even think because shes a baby maybe she cant perch yet lol. she does seem a bit wobly when shes trying to nap. ill put one down there to be safe.

i see what u mean about her being brightly colored. there were other sun babies almost the same age as mine, they had less of the green wing feathers, but none on the head, so they were pretty much the same color as mine. those ones were banded but mine was not. all i have to go on for age is the breeders word. his wife is from ukraine and she doesnt look like she can lie because she speaks english well but still not very well lol and shes the one that told me the age, i trust her more than the guy. i was kinda wondering why she looked a bit naked compared to the others but they told me the feathers were still coming in, and she was just very young still. i hope shes not just an older bird thats been losing its feathers
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-08-2010, 11:40 PM
 
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She could still be young, maybe closer to that 6 month stage of molting, which would explain missing some feathers The biggest thing is to make sure she eats and drinks and to do whatever seems to click in her head to encourage it. Try keeping multiple dishes of food and see what she takes too and keep a close eye on the food in the dish - if it's seed, you should see the empty shells, or hulls, of what she's eaten and that will let you know she's definitely eating some

If she's standing on the perch, then she should be OK to perch. The first day or two she's likely to stay still but once she gets comfortable she'll move around. I would just try to keep things quiet for her so she can settle in. Once she feels safe in her cage and is moving about and eating you can work on taking her out and playing with her. It's important she feels safe and secure in her cage since she will spend her "alone" time in there

How is she doing today? Have you noticed her eating at all or any difference in her behavior? I'm sure she'll do just fine!



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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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i cant tell if shes actually missing feathers or just doesnt look as fluffy. the other 4 that were out were nice and fluffy, except 2 of them had pulled out all of their tail feathers. my girl is just not so fluffy all over, so i guess she has been molting, i hope! still, its annoying they told me 4 months barely weaned...

anyway, today she had been climbing around all over the cage, playing with the toys along the way, chirping in her conure way. now the behavior she was displaying before was just a warning, now she tries to lunge at u and bites the cage bars. but instead of offering my finger to bite, i used a spray of millet and she bites whatever i put infront of her. she tasted it and was like whoaaa what is this?? and rolled it around for a while, and then would lean down for more. she did this for quite a few bites and i even swapped places with my 5yr old and he was holding it for her. then she said ok no more and went into the corner and continued to threaten lol.

i wasnt sure if she has been drinking so after the millet i got a dopper and offered her some water, she thought it was very fun and was sipping and trying to splash the drops around on her face. later on too i noticed seeds and empty sunflower shells on the floor so she had been nibbling the food. i filled both water and food to the top incase she was just eating from the perch and not standing on the bowl and couldnt reach it.

the lunging thing i think is from the breeder toweling them and trying to tell us its a good idea to do that for 3 days. i tried to do that today because my husband thinks because the breeder said so its good lol but i think it just makes her aggressive. she'd bite the towel and thrash kinda like a dog would. soo im going to let her calm down and later try step up training in about a week or 2. shes a lil meanie but shes MY monster
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 11:13 AM
 
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Kristina, you're instincts are very good with your bird You're doing all the right things - offer her treats from your hand to get her comfortable with you and build up trust and let her come to you. It takes longer than the forced interaction method but the end result is a deep, trusting bond that will last

It sounds like she may have been trying to take a bath with the water dropper - maybe in a few days, once she's settled, you can try gently misting her with water or putting a shallow dish of water on the bottom of the cage. Sunny's generally seem to like baths a lot My macaw loves her baths but she'll only bathe if I bring her in the shower with me and she'll splash around on the floor



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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 11-09-2010, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
 
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shes been doing better on not lunging at us, and even comes onto the bars closer to where we are sitting. shes been squawking happily and preening. ive been seeing her nibble regularly now but not really have a big meal. i gave her water with the dropper again today but i bet shes been drinking on her own.

we left to go pick up one the kids from school and go to the petstore after, and she was squawking for us to come back, which i thought was very cute. i had my husband feed her some treats today to make sure shes used to all of us. got her some new shredding toys to play with and an edible perch for a new feeling on her feet. trying to get her perch trained to come out of the cage but shes not quite there yet. she hopped out of the cage today on accident lol and since the cage is in the corner and the corners of 2 couches are fencing it in, she was on the little bit of exposed floor but not really enough room. i didnt know what to do, i didnt want to towel her to get her back in, so i took the ladder from her cage and put it on the floor, she climbed up it right away and i led her back into the cage. she was kinda like whoops, i didnt mean to jump out lol. i give it 2 weeks for her to be a velcro bird :P
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