Hello dear Parrot Lovers!
Since over a month I am a proud owner of a baby Green Cheek Conure that me and my partner named Elvis. He has been the focus of our attention for the past period as well as the subject of most of our conversations lately. In this blog post I want to give some updates on latest developments and adventures that our family went on 🙂
For the very first impressions and adjustments, you can revisit my previous post below:
How did I teach my Green Cheek Conure to Step up?
When we brought our green cheek conure home for the first time, he was very afraid of us and the world around him. He would indicate with his behaviour though that he liked being outside of his cage and spend time with us. He was a natural in staying on our shoulders, no training was needed there!
However, we wanted to pick him up on our fingers. That is how the step up training became a necessity.
In the beginning he was very uncomfortable with my finger around his feet. After a bit of research we found out that we can use peanut butter as a training treat. It took our parrot about a week to understand how to handle the spoon with peanut butter on it held at about 3 cm in front of his beak and my finger under his feet.
I captured the first results in a video. You can check it out below:
How did I potty train my Green Cheek Conure?
Every morning Elvis is exited to be out of his cage. That is the first thing he wants to do the moment he opens his eyes. I am also more than happy to let him out of his cage every morning, as that allows me some time with him before I need to leave for work. We would have nice bonding moments every morning, until he would leave a big and ugly “present” on my shirt or on the floor.
Even though I am a big parrot lover and I enjoy each minute I spend with my bird, these situations in the morning started to become frustrating. It turns out there is a solution to it: potty training!
How it works
The green cheek conures hold their poop in for the whole night and that is how in the morning there is a big one ready to go. The solution that me and my partner have implemented is to allow him a few moments on the cage until he performs and only after that we pick him up. We try to follow this procedure on a consistent basis: every morning and also every time he has been in the cage for a longer period, we leave him on his cage first and then we play.
In the beginning Elvis was a bit resistant. He was getting upset and angry on us, as he would fly to our shoulders and we would put him back on the cage (about 10-15 times). He would even misbehave by flying around us and leaving his present on the couch 🙂 This behaviour would be immediately punished by getting him back in his cage.
Now he is used to it and knows the procedure, he waits (almost) patiently until he goes and only after he flies to us.
We were very happy to have managed to teach him that and we went even a step further. We started creating pooing stations: tissues and pieces of paper that we would put next to us or on the table. Periodically we would pick him up (if he is on our shoulders or cuddling under the sweater) and simply put him on the piece of paper.
In the beginning we could read deep confusion on his face, but now it works almost 90% of the times. He knows exactly what he needs to do and he does it quickly so he can get back to his cuddling.
What does my Green Cheek Conure eat?
We were pleasantly surprised to find out that our parrot is curious about new foods and is willing to give it a try to anything to allow him to have. Apart from the usual food recommended for parrots (half of the amount pellets and the other half seeds) we spoil him with the following:
- Bananas: He already recognises the banana the moment I have it in my hand! He totally adores it and would not allow me to go anywhere without sharing it with him. He then dives his whole beak in it and stays busy for the next few minutes;
- Apples: This is another top item on the list of favorites. What makes apples special is that they are crunchy apart from being tasty and super healthy for birds. That means that there is a natural tendency to eat them;
- Oranges/mandarins: These are another favorite that Elvis will not refuse. Actually the contrary, he will keep complaining until he manages to get his piece;
- Salad leaves is another natural choice when it comes to my green cheeked. It crunches and it tastes amazing!
- And many more like kale, boiled potatoes, peas, beans, corn, paprika, etc.
Among the veggies that were not as successful as the ones above are broccoli and carrot – he simply did not like them. We hope that in time, as he gets older, he will give those two another chance.
The first New Year’s Celebration in Elvis’ life
This is the picture from this New Year’s Eve. No, he did not like the fireworks, even though they were beautiful!
For the new year’s celebration we decided to take a small trip and enjoy a few days away from home. Elvis consequently had to do the same, except that his enjoyment turned out to be less.
The travel cage
There is no place like home and therefore the travel cage is nothing compared to his permanent home cage. The travel one is smaller (so that Elvis can be easily transported when needed), it consequently fits fewer toys, fewer bowls with different kinds of foods and generally has less space to move around. And poor bird had to accommodate himself there for a few consecutive days!
On top of the cage issue there were the fireworks (quite a few of them) that were scaring him. At the end of the trip our bird was less relaxed than before it, he was getting scared by each small noise he would hear and after those few days away from home he was very happy to finally be back.
Now he is slowly recovering while still getting scared at times for loud and unexpected sounds.
One month learnings: Green Cheek Conures are the best!
It is very exciting to watch my green cheek conure growing and becoming friendlier and a full member of our family. He is now used to his environment, he eats on top of his cage and he has learned the rules of the house. He adores being under warm sheets or being cuddled with warm hands, especially after one of his daily baths. However, he is still afraid to be left alone when outside of his cage, he then cries for us or flies over.
Below is a video I took as he was warming up of my hands:
Feel free to share with me your experience in the comments below. I would love to hear your story!
To all the Parrot Lovers,
Founder of Best Parrot Toys
Disclaimer: I am not a parrot expert therefore the information in this site represents my opinion based on my experience. Please do not make decisions based solely on my articles. It helps to do further research.