Will my Conure start playing again after rehabilitation?

by Deanna White
(Akron, Ohio USA)

I acquired my Green Cheeked Conure on August 9, 2011. He is afraid of everything. He will not play. He is afraid of water due to never having a bath. He is five years old and was cage bound all his life. After two weeks, I have been able to pet him for the first time with biting me. I got him use to the spray bottle by taking him into the bathroom while I wet my hair down, and then spray him. He is now use to the water, but still will not take a bath himself. He is still fearful of me. He is just now getting connection with clicker training. He has a long way to go. My question is will he ever get to point where he will play like Conures naturally do or lay on his back?

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Oct 15, 2012
by: LOL

i had the same problem with 3yr & 6 months old amazon, she was cage bound in a warehouse for 3yr till i rescued her, it take time & patience, it took 9 months now she loves spray showers & loves her fruit she sit on my shoulder now, loves her toys & now she got the confidence to fly she is a different bird very happy now

Aug 27, 2011
Will my Conure start playing again after rehabilitation?
by: Linda

Though I appreciate what you've been trying to do with him, you've missed a very important, even critical step here. First, he has to be examined by an Avian Vet for infections or other physical issues. This has to be done before any training or changing of the diet.

All birds coming from pet stores and most breeders and certainly from neglectful people like this one, contract infections from their immune systems becoming compromised opening them up to both bacterial and viral infections. If he's been neglected which it sounds like he has, then he is due a comprehensive exam by an Avian Vet Only.

You also need to get him onto an organic pelleted diet like Harrison's which is the best and Avian Vet endorsed. It and a few others are found here. Changing from a poor diet of either seeds, junk pellets like ZuPreem or Lafaebers takes time, and here is an article written by an avian vet on how to go about the change. BEFORE ANY DIETARY changes, your bird needs to have a thorough exam by an avian vet because both training and dietary changes cause stress, and a sick bird will not be able to go through either one.

So, back up many steps and get the Avian Vet exam done before even thinking of training. Your bird may very well be sick, and will not feel well enough for any of the things you are wanting him to do. Continue to bathe him using a plant sprayer with warm, not hot water in it and spray above him. He needs to be examined by avian vet before you do much of this either as it can cause pneumonia in already sick birds.

Find an Avian Vet

Thanks for writing,

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