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Please ... talk me out of a conure (update #18 or so ...)

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  • Please ... talk me out of a conure (update #18 or so ...)

    ... a darling Green-cheeked Pineapple Cinnamon, to be specific. She's about 8 months old and has been at the PetCo where I buy cat food since August.

    My BF has a very mature (25 years old!) Quaker and is very experienced with obnoxious bird behavior. The bird would live with them since I'm still buying cat food

    But it's a 20+ year commitment and I've already got two cats and a horse to care for.

    I spent about two hours watching her over the weekend and am just smitten. I still think it's a terrible idea ... please help!
    Last edited by AllWeatherGal; Mar. 5, 2013, 11:57 AM. Reason: update title

  • #2
    I really love birds and when I was in Petco stores every weekend working as a dog food rep, I dang near bought one--just like you.

    BUT...If you're not really in a position to care for it yourself long term, I might skip it. Unless boyfriend agrees that if things were (for some reason) to go south between you two, he'd keep the bird. Clearly, he is able to care for a bird well. I just wouldn't want to be in a position of trying to rehome the bird. I know we can't always tell the future and there's no guarantee you wouldn't eventually have to rehome a cat or a horse either. But I would think that rehoming a bird would be harder.

    PLUS, I'm really against pets being sold in stores like that and I would feel like I was perpetuating the practice.

    That's my best argument against.

    That said, maybe give yourself a month to think about it and if you still feel like you really want the wee thing and BF is on board, go get her.
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...


    • #3

      I love Conures. Had a Sun Conure once. They are wonderful pets, although they can be quite noisy. Since the bird would be living with experienced bird people that's a big plus in favor of getting her, as sounds like the family knows exactly what they're getting into.

      The cons would be that here you have an intelligent creature who should be getting a lot of freedom (out of cage) and attention. Could you give her what she needs with your other commitments?

      It sounds as though you're buying the bird for your bf's family, since their other pet is elderly and the conure would be living there. Nothing wrong with that, and since they know birds, could work out great.


      • #4
        OK! "Inside voice"

        You are what you dare.


        • #5
          You're right OP - it's a TERRIBLE idea.

          As "Anne FS" said - "NOISY NOISY NOISY". Did I say NOISY????

          I've had pet birds since I was a kid. Bred & raised cockatiels, Lorikeets, Red-Rumped Parakeets, & Australian finches. Had a pet Quaker & now own a Citron-Crested Cockatoo. But as lovely, friendly, & comical that many conures can be, I've yet to succumb to owning one.

          Nothing, but NOTHING compares to the noise a conure can make. A Quaker's screams don't even come close. Nor does my cockatoo. And as others have stated, it doesn't sound like you'd be buying the bird to be a companion for yourself, but rather buying it just to buy it because you're "smitten". It won't even be living with you.

          Parrots are extremely social birds that - as pets - require a lot of human interaction. That doesn't sound like it's going to be happening with you, but rather foisted off on your BF (& perhaps his family, since you say "them"?). You already sound like you have enough on your plate - do you really want to take on a noisy bird that will be living with someone else, yet still require pricey vet visits (YES - birds DO require regular vet care), proper food, interaction, etc.? What happens to the bird if you & BF split?

          Let the bird idea go & enjoy your BF's Quaker. Hopefully you've now been "talked out of".


          • Original Poster

            Hmn... research says that green-cheeks are relatively quiet birds.

            "Them" is BF and his bird And she'd be there because I would worry about the stress of being stalked by my (granted elderly) cats ... who actually pay no attention to BF's bird when he (and BF) come over and we all sit on the sofa and watch TV (bird in hand or on my shoulder) because the cats are draped all over BF.

            I'm also not much in favor of selling animals at pet stores and wouldn't like to perpetuate the practice ... and at first I thought I'd be saving her from too much stress, but the truth is, she seems to like the level of activity ... except her favorite salesperson just resigned (for a management position at a donut store), so I'm not sure she'll get as much handling. She does get lots of visitors and the store manager said she gets baths 2-3x a week and is out of the cage for at least an hour a day ... which is pretty good for a bird in a store. Parrots are actually hand-delivered to the store. They order two at a time and a rep from the breeder flies with them from Texas. But if they don't sell her in the next 3 months, she'll go to another store ...

            Yet another issue ... birds are supposed to fly, so I resist the idea of clipping wings. At the same time, that really increases the opportunity for disaster and accidents involving open doors and wandering around on the floor.

            The thing is ... BF is totally on board, tho he'd rather have another Quaker ... AND there is a parrot rescue within an hour's drive ...

            I'm yearning, but will be responsible. First the lottery, then another animal companion.



            • #7
              Green cheeks are NOT NOISY. They are pyrrhura conures, which are smaller, not as colorful, gentler and generally quiet. Certain not as noisy as the quaker. The sun the other poster was talking about is an Aratinga conure- they are LOUD, bigger, more colorful, and much more demanding. Honestly, it isn't that hard to "parrot proof" a cat. I'd never leave them loose unattended, but I have had many many cats with many many parrots. At one point I was breeding parrots, and fostering/hand raising cats and kittens. If she is a well socialized baby, I'd say go for her- they do live a long time, but they are not as demanding as a bigger conure by far.
              ~Former Pet Store Manager (10yrs)
              ~Vintage Toy Dealer (rememberswhen.us)
              ~Vet Tech Student
              Mom to : 2 Horses, 4 Dogs, 2 Cats


              • #8
                Go for it. I had a green cheek. They are not noisy like Sun Conures. They're not that noisy at all. Of course now I have a red front and a blue and gold so maybe I'm not the one to talk to But they are typically not noisy. They are also quite friendly.

                Oh, and my cats are afraid of my birds.

                He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                • #9
                  BF is on board?


                  I have no idea about Conures.

                  I seriously don't think the bird would be too stressed by the cats.
                  Unless oc course they decide to do a Garfield on the side of the cage.

                  as to clipping or not....personal preference.
                  It would make it easier in the beginning to make friends with the new bird. Some Parakeet owners believe it's safer for the birds to be limited initially as they explore their new surroundings. But it is up to you.

                  20 year commitment....you re no stranger to it. It's time serve concurrently, so why sweat that part!

                  Of course bird keeping is easier when the species is the same, but I converse with enough people who have a regular aviary zoo.

                  While I do not care much for most pet stores, the pets need to come from somewhere. And I am pretty sure the bigger the stores are the more supervised they are.

                  (and as more casual bird owner, I don't think I would touch a bird from a rescue. I don't think I would be equipped to handle baggage)


                  • #10
                    My birds are flighted. Rescue birds have as few or as many issues as rescue dogs. Often I've fostered birds that simply are homeless because they've outlived their owners. Don't assume they have baggage. Also, these guys are wicked smart -they learn so much that you can teach an old bird new tricks.

                    I'm active with Phoenix Landing http://phoenixlanding.org/

                    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                      My birds are flighted. Rescue birds have as few or as many issues as rescue dogs. Often I've fostered birds that simply are homeless because they've outlived their owners. Don't assume they have baggage. Also, these guys are wicked smart -they learn so much that you can teach an old bird new tricks.

                      I'm active with Phoenix Landing http://phoenixlanding.org/

                      I was thinking about the abundance of people who pick a bird because it matches the decor.....not that dogs are exempt from that.


                      • #12
                        A pineapple conure stole my nose stud! So they're the devil in my book.

                        Sun conures, on the other hand... I'm not a bird person but if I ever got a bird it would be a sun conure. They are by far the sweetest birds out of the mix of conures, ringnecks, and other tropical birds we have at the aquarium I work at.


                        • #13
                          My MIL has had three Conures. Two Sun and one Green. The first Sun was apparently a great bird but very loud (I don't know; I wasn't around when she had that one). It died and she replaced it with the other two (Sun and Green). The Green was the less annoying of the two, but that's not saying much, because the Sun was literally the worst, most annoying, irritating "pet" I've ever been around. It screeched, screamed, bit...can you tell I didn't like it? The Green seemed like a slightly more mellow version of the Sun. Which on it's own would probably have been very annoying, but in comparison... She ended up rehoming both with experienced parrot people.
                          *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*


                          • #14
                            How would boyfriend's parrot handle an interloper vying for attention?


                            • #15
                              I LOVE green cheeks. They aren't that loud. Here's a video or one being noisy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUxhYGC0B-E As far as birds go, a green cheek is pretty easy to move around with as your life changes. I've had my Blue Front Amazon for almost 25 years. (since I was in college). I've had cats and dogs and horses in that time too.

                              I say get her.


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by carp View Post
                                How would boyfriend's parrot handle an interloper vying for attention?
                                This is completely unknown. BF's last relationship came with Quaker companion for Max. BF says that Max stuck with him (BF) and the other bird stuck with the woman and neither of them cross-friended. In fact, I'm Max's first non-family friend and his 3rd favorite person after BF and BF's mom. After agreeing to let me be part of his flock he has opened up a little more and no longer attacks BF's dad and takes treats from BF's clients when he goes to work.

                                Thanks for the discussion, everyone ... it helped to get that out of my system. I think I'll donate to the two local rescues for now. (I did the same thing when I realized that my life wasn't right for adopting an elderly Dobie, either.)


                                • #17
                                  I had a Conure once - a green headed I think? When I got him he was terribly unsocialized, and attacked pretty much everyone. After taking him to the vet to have his claws clipped - they were way overgrown - and his wings clipped - the vet did it to where he could "fly" short distances, but not out the door - I was able to leave his cage open during the day, and he turned into a different bird. Oh course it was interesting explaining to people who called, who the "person" screaming "I'm Bob!!!!" in the background was...

                                  He ended up being quite a loving little guy, and adored watching TV with me. He would make these purring noises, and gently thump me with his beak...I'm assuming it was some sort of mating ritual, lol.....

                                  Parrots make wonderful pets, and I would love to have another one day, but they are a huge commitment. Like horses, they need to be on a good diet, which for them includes lots of fruits and veggies. They are pretty sensitive to certain things - cleaning chemicals, fumes from non-stick pans, etc. and they can be pretty particular about their likes and dislikes. Bob only liked me, and would attack my husband and son. Eventually I gave him back to his original owners, who gave him to a woman who had a large aviary and lots of other parrots.
                                  The Equine Wellness and Nutrition FB Group - Come join us!!


                                  • Original Poster

                                    So, last week I asked BF to buy cat food so I wouldn't be tempted by darling conure, if she was still there. Not only was she there, but he had to tell me all about how sweet and fun she looked. He wanted her.

                                    We researched cages and went to a couple of local bird/exotic pet stores and got earfulls (contradictory) about how to Best Care For ...

                                    Miss Bandit (that's the name she came with) joined the family on Saturday afternoon and is making the house her home. She's living in Max's travel cage right now until her big cage arrives, but she throws her stuff all over so is leaving a significant footprint.

                                    Speaking of "prints" ... I've got scabs on one hand because she's also very much in her young NIPPY phase of life. BF has a high pain tolerance but I do not which is making training her not to nip very difficult for me. Also, she can snuggle her entire body in his hand which she seems to adore. Mine isn't big enough and while she likes me scratching her, she is quieter with him.

                                    Oh, Mr. Senior Quaker is totally digging his new friend. They chat and eat at the same time and he's getting as much attention as ever since I can recover from wounds with him.

                                    Biggest problem ... birds at BF's, horse at barn, and cats at home. But they like sleeping at their age, so night time company is working out.

                                    ANYWAY ... welcome positive stories on training not to nip!


                                    • #19
                                      Re: the nipping - be uber careful NOT to accidentally reward the behavior in even the slightest way. For instance, if you're scritching her or trying to scritching her & she nips, immediately put her away/leave her alone. Ignore her for a good 30 minutes. Parrot-family birds thrive on attention - even the untame ones - & it doesn't take long for one to make the connection between a certain behavior & getting ignored. And regardless of BF's pain threshhold, it's important that he also do the ignore thing when he gets nipped. If he doesn't, then it completely undermines you doing it.

                                      Also - & this can sometimes be difficult - lol - try not to "OWWWW" or yelp, etc., etc., when you do get nipped. Some birds actually enjoy loud human noices & consider it a positive reinforcement.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                                        Ignore her for a good 30 minutes.
                                        That'll be difficult for me, too It is suuuch a long time. However, I understand what you're getting at about positive reinforcement and will discipline myself.

                                        Whether I can influence BF is another issue. He grew up with birds AND is doing all the work, so I feel like he has the right to make some decisions. (I have already decided to take it in stride if he becomes her favorite person.)