Green Cheek Conure won't play with any toys.

by Chris
(Austin, TX)

I bought a green cheek after many weeks of research and finally falling in love with this one green cheek at a local breeder. This is my first bird so I didn't really know what to expect but I know that GCC need lots of toys so they don't get bored.

I've had him for about 2 months now and I have a few different toys with rope, bells, little things to eat, beads, etc. on them. He never plays with these toys though and is always crazy for attention due to how bored he gets. Is this normal and if it is, when do you think he will get used to the toys and play with them?

Also, I sometimes offer him fresh fruits and vegetables such as carrots, apple or orange pieces and things like that but he never eats them even if I cut them small enough for him to easily eat it. Does anyone else have the same problems or a solution?

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Aug 22, 2017
Experienced with GCC
by: Anonymous

I have a female GCC and a pineapple. They play with a new bird toy for several minutes and then their inquisitiveness ends. In five years I have not found a toy to hold their attention. They love bird boxes though and both prefer to sleep in a sheltered box than being perched all night. When I added this huge bird box to their flight cage, I found that their temperaments changed because I think they were getting better sleep. My GCC loves to stay warm under a towel at night but my pineapple tends to get overheated trying to keep her company. So she stays inside protecting the opening of the box which is so cute. They seem to be much happier now. I would suggest getting a second bird. Even though my GCC bonded with me for two years, I knew it was time to get her a companion because I started working more. Her companion can preen her, snuggle with her at night, and perch with her during the day. They share food among other things. It was the best decision I made for my GCC. Also, putting favorite foods inside those plastic balls (after removing the metal bell)will hold their attention for a little while.

Jun 19, 2010
playing with toys
by: marsha

my first bird is a green cheeked conure with mutations. grew up with an african grey and a cockatoo. my bird loves to play with everything. if he ignores his new toy i let him know its there. since he is my only bird i play with him sing to him and talk to him. sometimes i tease him in the cage, grabbing his tail and touching his beak, he loves it. if he bites, i blow in his face and gently hit his beak, he knows. take your bird out on your hand, talk to him or her and let him know you are his best friend. also maybe you dont know his taste. my bird loves bells and untie knots. my bird does not like those plastic rings. maybe he doesnt like his food. all birds love apples. mine loves honey treats and almonds. birds all have heart, get to the heart and you will have a very happy bird.

Feb 20, 2010
Green Cheek not playing with toys
by: Tracie

In my opinion this is sort of normal. Young GC's that have been hand fed and are hand tame, want to be with their "flock" and that "flock" is you.

Have you read our story about getting our GC's?

And then our story about getting another GC to keep the first one company, because it seemed so needy.

Also, we have some suggestions for training your bird new behaviors on our Parrot Training page.

I am sorry to just give you a bunch of links, but I think you will enjoy these links better than me trying to summarize them.

Thanks for writing and let us know how things go.

Feb 19, 2010
Green Cheek Conure won't play with any toys.
by: Chris


I don't think that my bird is sick because I haven't noticed any changes in behavior or anything like that. He is currently on a sort of expensive pellet diet but well worth it. I also don't have anything on the toys that are small enough to get broken and eaten the only hazard really is it has some rope so I watch that so he can't get caught in it because I've heard stories about that and I don't want that to happen to him.

He is still just hyper almost all the time always eager to play so I don't see any energy level changes and he eats pellets and millet fine even from my hand just not any fruits or anything like that.

Like I said, i haven't had him that long only about 2 months so I don't know if he just hasn't gotten used to them yet or what. Most of the time when he is in his cage, he sits on a natural perch I bought and leans up against a little fuzzy corner thing I purchased at a local pet store. It was called a cuddle corner I believe. He has gotten very used to that so I don't know whats happening.


Feb 19, 2010
Green Cheek Conure won't play with any toys.
by: Linda

First, your bird may be sick and will need to be taken to an Avian Vet in your driving area. When birds change homes, they are vulnerable to infection because of immune system being compromised. All new birds need to go to Avian vet for a checkup to make sure they are healthy, and if not, then to be diagnosed and treated so they will be.

Parrots also need to be eating organic, high quality pellets, and Tracie carries several kinds out here. The cost is more than some of the other brands because the quality is better in that they are organic having no dyes, pesticide/fertilizer residue. Changing from seeds to pellets takes time, and here is link to article about that: Switching Birds to Pellets article

You need to get a good book about your Conure and parrot care in general. Make sure the toys you have have no small beads or other pieces that can be swallowed because they will be, and will have to be surgically removed if they don't kill bird outright. Now is the time for learning about your bird, and the learning goes on for a lifetime, so there is NO end to it.

If your bird's energy level is low, then he is sick. If he is refusing many kinds of food, he is sick. Take him to an Avian Vet to be checked for infection and/or any other physically-based problems.

Good, healthy diet, large cage and appropriately sized naturtal branch perches and toys plus your attention will be all you need once he is cleared by the Avian Vet.

Thanks for writing,

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