Please help if you can!

by Sheila Hall
(Richmond, Maine)

Green Cheek Conure

Green Cheek Conure

My green-cheek conure, Squeaky Lee is behaving oddly. He is 19-years old and has been a member of our family for 15 of them. This year he has started spending time in the bottom of his cage chewing the paper towels I put there to catch his droppings. Every day now he has a pile of 'saw dust' and a bare cage bottom.

It's spring, so I thought maybe he was preparing for parenthood, but he has never done this before, so why now? He also chews magazines and miscellaneous paper when he's out of his cage. PLEASE, if anyone recognizes this as worrisome behavior, tell me! I'd die if anything bad happened to my baby boy. Thank you, in advance, for any light you can shed on this curious behavior.

Comments for Please help if you can!

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May 08, 2013
Please help if you can!
by: Linda

As Tracie mentioned, cages have to have grate in the bottom to keep birds away from poop which causes bacterial infections.

The other issue is that magazines, printed newspapers, circulars anything printed in either black and white or color are toxic for birds. Newspaper print is especially nasty, and color print is also harmful.

Your bird needs to be examined by an Avian Vet soon as you can get an appointment. Older birds sometimes develop problems that can be taken care of early if we take our birds in for yearly exams. If it has been over a year since your bird's last avian vet visit, now is the time to have her checked out to make sure all this paper tearing/eating is not related to a physical issue.

In the meantime, a cage with a grate in the bottom would be a very good move. Make sure cage bars and grate are correct for her feet ( cage made for a conure bird size). Smaller or larger cage bars and grates can cause some deathly accidents, so make sure cage is suitable for her size.

Let us know what avian vet has to say and how it's going. She is an adorable little bird, and sounds like you love her a lot which is a wonderful thing to hear.


May 08, 2013
Bird chewing paper towels in cage
by: Tracie

The first thing you need to do is save up to purchase a cage that has a rack that keeps the bird from the poopy paper. Your bird can get infections eating food and breathing the dust from the feces.

Your bird could be wanting to nest. I have no solution for this because you don't have a cage that keeps the bird from the paper.

I DO suggest you switch your bird to a healthy pellet diet if it either eats no pellets or cheap colored pellets. Your conure may start laying eggs, and if it doesn't have the proper nutrition it may become egg bound.

Our avian vet says that birds that eat 80% Harrison's or Roudybush pellets and only 20% healthy treats and seeds, NEVER become egg bound and rarely have health issues.

Here is the Switching Birds To Pellets article for you to read if you need that.

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