Green Cheeked Conure

Hi, two things: my green cheeked conure is about 6 months old. He is affectionate and generally happy bird. When he is in his cage he sometimes bobs his head up and down quite quickly. i have heard that this means he is unhappy? Should I be worried?

Also recently I have noticed that when he is cleaning himself some flakes are falling off him which look like dandruff. Is this normal? He has lost some of his feathers recently naturally which are growing back so I guess it could be to do with that but I'm just wondering if it is normal?


Kay Carpenter

Comments for Green Cheeked Conure

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Jun 03, 2009
by: Anonymous

Thanks guys that's really helpful and put my mind at ease - I will look into changing his diet. We are feeding him parrot mix but with fresh fruit everyday but as you say this may not be enough. Thanks again, Kay

Jun 02, 2009
by: Anonymous

I agree with the first commenter. Head bobbing is a happy thing. Because he's so young, it also could be left over baby behavior.
A bath a couple times a week and misting with room temp water (spray gently from above and not directly in his face) will help get rid of the pin feather shafts and also make him feel great. Birds tend to get dry skin, and after the first couple times, love to bathe. He might be cautious at first. Try a bowl with an inch or so of water for him to frolic in. Its so good for them. Continued good luck with your little guy. GCC are so sweet.

Jun 02, 2009
by: Linda

Head bobbing is kind of like a form of dance. He may actually put feet movements with it at some point or not. The head bobbing is because he is feeling good. Uncontrolled jerks are what you would be concerned about where it looks like movement is out of control, so this does not sound like that. This sounds like a bird "moving to his own music".

The material you see falling is the shaft ends of new feathers as they break through. Some of the grooming birds do is gently breaking these little ends off so feathers can come on out. The only places they cannot reach to do this themselves is on their heads, necks and backs. When you have two parrots together, they'll groom each other. The little ends break off anyway as the feather pushes its way out, and the bird doing it just hastens what will happen anyway and is not a concern. If you are seeing new growth, that is what is happening now.

If you have not had your bird into an Avian vet yet, it would be a good idea to do so when you can. It is recommended that birds go in once a year for a checkup to make sure they have no infections or parasites. They can have infections that you won't see until they become pronounced, and a test can reveal a problem before it becomes big. Also, your bird is young right now, and it would be a great idea to get some blood work done like a CBC and a few other things as a control so in coming years', the vet can compare what he was at the beginning of his life with where he is in the future.As parrots age, this becomes very important. It's a way to see if there are any nutritional and/or physical problems that can cause trouble later, like kidney, liver or heart problems. If he is eating an all seed diet, you need to change him over to a more nutritional pelleted diet like Harrison's pellets which are made using only organic ingredients. They also have a Birdy Bread mix that my Amazons love a few times a week as treat food. Seeds just do not and will not ever be a complete diet for a parrot, and so you can easily change him over while he is so young. Follow directions on package or go out to where you can find a weath of information about changing birds from seeds to pellets plus a whole lot more. Traci carries Harrisons products out here to make it easy for you. If you have any questions about size of pellets, just ask her or Harrisons directly.

Switching Birds to Pellets article.

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