Companion, Cute, Handfed, Noisy, Pet, Playful, Talking, Tame
Admiral Scurvy is a 6 year old Jenday Conure, in good health, very well-socialized, with a decent vocabulary for a small parrot. He is accustomed to spending 5-9 hours a day out of his cage, and is generally quieter than an average Conure because of this. Scurvy did live with a friend of mine for about 6 months and was only out of the cage for a couple hours a day during that time. He still did pretty well, but was a little more vocal than is normal for him and would likely remain a happy bird with longer periods out of the cage.... (read more) His veterinarian is always impressed by how quiet and social he is at his wellness exams. Not so say he doesnâ€™t get stressed out there, but he stays fairly calm and will let almost anyone handle him without hesitation. He has a large cage we keep in one part of the house that is generally quiet at night, and a smaller play cage in a different part of the house. He is almost never shut in the play cage. Itâ€™s accessible to him from the couch where we watch TV so he can get to food, water and toys if he wants to. We think Scurvy is actually a female, but we didnâ€™t figure that out until he/she was about three and just never broke the habit of referring to him as male. He mainly eats Harrisonâ€™s bird food, with a small amount of fruits and veggies, egg and occasional seed mix. Dairy isnâ€™t typically well-digested by birds, but he is obsessed with plain yogurt and milk. We let him have a tiny bit of those two items occasionally, to no ill effect. He generally thinks he should be allowed to eat anything we are eating, so it can be a balancing act to keep him off our plates. There are many foods that are bad for birds, so he isnâ€™t allowed to indiscriminately graze from our plates.
Scurvy generally likes respectful dogs and cats, although he can take a little while to warm up to them. He used to be great with them, but we adopted a young cat a couple years ago and spent about a year teaching the cat that the bird was not the-best-toy-ever. Things have calmed down now, but Scurvy needs some gentle introductions with new animals before he will fully trust them. Heâ€™s great with our older cat, who has always ignored Scurvy. He also can learn to accept other birds in the house, although that can take 6 months of slow, careful socializing to establish a good relationship. When Scurvy was about a year, my ex got a Quaker and Scurvy was pretty territorial for a long time, which is normal for a bird, but did usually tolerate the Quakerâ€™s presence. He would likely do better with another Conure.
Scurvy likes most people, although he despises people with baseball caps. He is sometimes nervous about other types of hats and tall men. He is extremely affectionate, loves nothing more than getting social time with his people, and with other people if his main flock isnâ€™t home. He likes to ride on our shoulders, sit in our laps or beg for bites of fruits and veggies if we are eating. Being scratched under the feathers on his head and neck is his idea of perfection. I keep a poop towel on my shoulder and Scurvy will usually crawl under that and take a nice, long nap if Iâ€™m sitting down. If someone has long hair, he will grab onto it and roll around on their shoulder until heâ€™s curled it around him into a cozy little nest so he can securely nap on his back. This is pretty adorable. I used to have long hair and he still tries it with me, but usually ends up getting a hold of my ear or cheek and a tiny end of hair. Also adorable. He has silly games he likes to play, such as Angry Chicken, where he will lie upside down on our lap and grab our fingers with his feet or beak and squawk in mock indignation while we tickle his belly and repeatedly ask â€œwhoâ€™s an angry chicken?â€. He also likes to do the same thing with some toys, although certain ones are off-limits in his mind and attempting to play with them will earn you a little nip. Like many birds, he is not afraid to nip if he feels itâ€™s absolutely necessary, but itâ€™s usually just a gentle nip to express his displeasure at things like being taken off someone he really wants to be on, having a piece of stolen food taken out of his mouth or letting a new person know whoâ€™s boss. That last one has decreased a lot; he almost never nips anyone new as long as I only let them hold him for a few minutes at a time to start. Anyway, you canâ€™t let him know youâ€™re intimidated by a nip or he will do it more frequently, and they almost never hurt more than, say, putting a clothes pin on your finger. He has occasionally bitten hard enough to break skin or draw blood, but that has only happened about 5 times since Iâ€™ve had him, and only in situations where he feels he is in extreme danger. It happened a few times after I got that cat I mentioned above. There were a few scary instances where I had to grab Scurvy when the cat was mid-pounce and got bit very hard because he was terrified. Canâ€™t say I blame him. He also bit one very tall man and one man with a baseball cap very hard, although he later ended up acclimating to the tall man. Hats, however, are just never going to be okay in his world.
Scurvy talks a little bit in the deep, barely intelligible way that Conures typically do. He says hello, step up, good boy, dookie, his name and some other things I canâ€™t think of right now. He sometimes runs through a litany of words he knows in an adorable, high-pitched squeak when heâ€™s falling asleep under his towel on my shoulder. He poops on command (dookie) in a trash can, toilet or sink and then will tell himself heâ€™s a good boy. He also steps up on command, and will often be ready with one foot up, repeatedly saying step up when you walk up to his cage to let him out. Like most birds, he can be territorial about certain things, such as his people, his cage, certain toys, his food bowl, although usually just with non-flock members. We have a method when we fill his food at night where we shake the bag once and look at him. This is his signal to get off the edge of the bowl and let us fill it. Otherwise, if we just try to pour food in while he is on the bowl eating, he will usually argue that heâ€™s hungry, (because weâ€™ve usually just put him back in the cage), and doesnâ€™t want to be bothered, and pellets scatter everywhere. He does not like to poop in his cage, so it requires infrequent cleaning. He usually waits until he has been taken out, which is why we taught him the dookie trick.
Here is a video of him softly squawking with a little talking (hello, good boy): Watch Youtube Video He was a baby here, and soaking wet, so his coloring is a little off. He takes a shower with me every day, which is pretty necessary for a bird whose was biologically evolved to live in a tropical rain forest (although Scurvy is captive bred). I have a shower perch that suctions onto the wall opposite the shower head. Usually the steam is enough, but I do get him quite wet every few days but putting him on my arm while the water splashes off my shoulder, misting him. He also enjoys taking a bath in a bowl of cold water. I advise against leaving him on a shower rod if there is any accessible window or door trim because he, like any parrot, will chew it. This is his frustrated noise; he wants me to take him down from the shower rod. He used to make this noise if my stepdaughter was trying to talk, although he is usually better now that she is 11. I think he didnâ€™t like her high-pitched kidâ€™s voice when she was younger. I had him for a couple years before meeting my husband, so he wasnâ€™t very accustomed to kidâ€™s loud, squeaky, erratic ways. Now heâ€™s great with kids and can even handle short intervals of being passed around from kid to kid when my stepdaughter has a bunch of friends over. Of course, any large gathering of people/strangers is stressful to a bird so I limit his exposure to short periods with a long interval of resting in his cage or on my shoulder away from the action.
Some general info on Jenday Conure personality and care:
One thing you will notice is that all the articles talk about these birds being very social and vocal animals. This is absolutely the most important â€œtake awayâ€ here. If you think you want a Conure, youâ€™ve got to be prepared for some screeching and screaming. However, this mostly occurs because they are very social creatures, and because they get pretty excited to be taken out of the cage when you are getting up in the morning or coming home - which goes back to my first paragraph about how much time he normally spends out of his cage. If you satisfy his social needs, there will be minimal screaming. I also never give him attention or let him out of the cage if he is screeching because that would just teach him that screeching will get him out. Another thing the articles mention is that birds love to chew. Love it. He is not terribly destructive, but will eventually chew through poop towels, sometimes through shirts, (we have inexpensive t-shirts and sweatshirts from Goodwill that we wear when he is on us), and they do poop a lot. Luckily, he does not chew the couch and things like that, although he may turn to that if ignored for too long. We keep an old bath towel on the back of the couch just in case heâ€™s walking around up there and gets the urge to check.
As you can probably tell from the details above, I love my bird and am very attuned to his needs and quirks. Iâ€™ve been struggling with the decision to re-home him for a long time for several reasons. One is that I have developed strong allergies to him. Another is that my husband does not like birds. I got Scurvy a couple years before we met. We didnâ€™t live together until we got engaged and bought a house, so he had no idea how needy and loud birds can be. I also started college full-time this past fall and donâ€™t have as much time for Scurvy now, which is sad for him. Iâ€™ve thought about this for a long time and have been very reluctant to re-home him because birds often donâ€™t do well in new situations and heâ€™s been with me since he was 3 months old. However, he lived with a friend of mine for 6 months, as I mentioned above and did very well with her. He is also incredibly social and comfortable with most strangers, much more than most birds. Jenday Conures are typically one of the most affectionate, friendly birds you could ever hope to find, and my Avian Vet really thinks he is exceptionally well socialized. The ideal home would be someone who spends a lot of time at home, and wants a pet that will spends hours a day with them. I would prefer he go to someone close enough to me that I could possibly visit him occasionally, (I love this bird), unless that proved more stressful than helpful to Scurvy. I would want you to be open to coming over a few times to let Scurvy get to know you and for you to make absolutely certain you want him before taking him. This is part of why I have given so many details about him, including the ugly truth about noise and nipping â€“ it would be devastatingly stressful for him to be bounced around to different homes. I would also require you to agree, in writing, that Scurvy would be returned to me, should you ever decide you canâ€™t keep him for some reason. I will request Veterinary references. I will not ship him, and will not adopt him out to an aviary - he is a pet only.
Birds have extremely delicate respiratory systems and there are several things that can kill them or make them sick. They can not take being in a smoking household or around someone who is a smoker, even the fumes from your clothes will irritate his throat and lungs. Teflon will kill birds. You can not use Teflon on the stovetop or in the oven, or even one of those waffle or Panini makers that is coated with Teflon â€“ it gives off fumes/chemicals that are deadly to birds, even at 200 degrees, which is much lower than most recipes call for. There are several Teflon alternatives, such as the brand Eco Pan, which we use. Anything coated with porcelain is perfect. You would also need to limit spraying chemical based air fresheners, Lysol, bug sprays, hair spray, donâ€™t have him on your shoulder while youâ€™re cleaning the bathroom, etc.
If you think you would be a good fit for Scurvy, and can give him the level of care and attention he needs, please feel free to email or call me. Email is generally the best way to contact me, as I check my smartphone often. I am asking a re-homing fee of $400, which includes a very large cage, his carrier, all his toys, food and other supplies. I will also include his smaller play cage if you have room for it. Thanks, Renee
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