Green Cheek Conure Sleep Habits



Green cheek conures sleep much like any bird - with their head under their wing. In this head under wing position, with eyes half closed, they look adorable. Couple this with nighttime beak grinding showing they're sleepy and content, who could resist snuggling these little green birds.



How much sleep does a green cheek conure need?

A green cheek conure requires between 10-12 hours. That's 9PM-7AM or from 9PM-9AM. Make your bird a dark and quiet space to sleep. A healthy bird needs a dark, quiet, uninterrupted sleep space or nest box.


10-12 hours of darkness an issue? That's okay. Cover the conure's cage with a blanket or towel. Covering with a towel or blanket blocks light and noise that otherwise wakes your bird up.


How do Green Cheek Conures sleep?


Green cheek conures sleep with their head tucked under their wing. They can sleep in a nesting box or on a perch, but prefer to hang from the bars of their cage while sleeping. 


They normally hang from the top right or top left corner of their cage. Hanging in a cage corner from bars while you sleep doesn't look comfortable to us, but it's a natural sleep instinct for green cheeks to be ready for predator attacks.

Can my Green Cheek Conure Sleep With Me?


It might seem cute to let a conure snuggle up in your hair and go to sleep with you. But  sleeping with your bird is a bad idea. We forget how fragile conures are - they bounce into a window, and fly off without a scratch. 


But green cheek conures are fragile birds who could be crushed by sleeping when you roll over. Let your green cheek sleep in their own cage for safety.

Too Little Sleep


Too little sleep for your green cheek is unhealthy. A quantity of owners have a difficulty where their green cheek conure won't fall asleep. If he won't hit the sack - fear not. A bird's internal clock goes to sleep when night time falls. Simply place the conure, when he won't slumber, within darkness and also a calm position, and he'll end up resting immediately. Ensure that it is peaceful - green cheek conures won't slumber in case the TV, ac unit, or chatter is actually quite loud - they'll scream rather! So, silent please!

A Lot Of Sleep

Sleeping an over-abundance could warrant a trip in direction of the bird doctor. Birds who sleep a lot more regularly than normal, that happen to be puffed up, not even consuming, or perhaps staying along at the bottom of their own cage want veterinary interest. Sleeping way too much happens to be a mark associated with a sick birdie.

Do Not Disturb!

Even more versus a healthy diet, way more as compared to out of coop time, green cheek conures require 10-12 hours of sleep for fair wellness, absolutely no exceptions! We found that out unfortunately a couple of weeks ago.

Our five year old was taking the sleepy green cheek conure, twiggy, from his coop when he was meant to be sleeping.They were mutually supposed to be sleeping, honestly. She thought it can make him happier to play. Well, he soon began getting strain bars on his feathers, and also had started to pluck his chest bald. We were worried sick up until we realized exactly what was occurring!

Once he soon began receiving his 10-12 hours of rest once again, the plucking and the strain bars were eliminated. So as a heads up, constantly ensure the green cheek conure's rest habits are steady and undisturbed.

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How Long is the Green Cheek Conure Lifespan?


Green cheek owners might be wondering about the green cheek conure lifespan. It's a scary thing to think about - old age and death in our conures, who are like our children, especially when we don't know how to find out their age were when we got them. 

There are a few common theories on how long green cheek conures' lifespan in captivity is, but most avian experts think their average lifespan is 10-25 years.

10 Year Lifespan

I have heard, through my internet searching, that 10 years is the minimum lifespan of a green cheek conure in captivity who has been treated with neglect. Yet another reason not to neglect your green cheek conure, as if there were enough already. Neglect isn't just hitting, though. Neglect can mean a poor diet of mainly seeds, with no fruits, veggies, and calcium supplements.

15 Year Lifespan

This medium lifespan seems the average age of conures in death. Captive conures, when treated moderately well and without neglect, will live to be an average of 15 years old.

25 Year Lifespan

This is the maximum lifespan reported to me by many green cheek conure owner friends. However, not many birds have lived this long in captivity, since widespread importation of green cheeks began only 20 years ago. 25 seems to be the maximum age, however, with immaculate care.

Male Versus Female Conure Lifespan

Male green cheek conures generally live longer than female conures. This makes sense, thinking about it. Female green cheek conures go through stronger hormonal changes. Going through hormonal changes takes a toll on a female green cheek conure's body, shortening her lifespan significantly.

Female green cheek conures risk becoming attached to their owners and laying eggs. Laying eggs appears natural - after all, green cheek conures naturally do it in the wild. However, egg laying takes a toll on bird health and lifespan. Egg laying depletes calcium and nutrients in female green cheeks. Egg laying females also risk egg binding, besides calcium and nutrient depletion, and death when laying eggs.

If you'd like to increase life and also keep your own green cheek egg-producing and healthy, tend not to allow her to start reproducing. In spite of this, female green cheeks live around 15-20 years, compared to a 20-25 year life-span for male green cheek conures.

Green Cheek Conure Life-time Varies By Mutation

All green cheek conure variations live the same amount of time. For example, a pinapple conure life-time isn't really longer as compared to a yellowed sided green cheek conure's life, or even a common green cheek mutation's existence expectancy.

Some owners report that the cinnamon green cheek conures live less time, due to a uncommon respiratory illness that has an affect on only cinnamon green cheeks. Otherwise, pineapple, yellowish sided, normal, and turquoise conures all reach the age of equal amount of years old within captivity.

Conures living to be 50+ years old

My own breeder informed me that green cheek conures reach the age of 50+ years aged with suitable care and attention and also diet regime. I guess he was merely full of it, notwithstanding, and also wanted me to buy a bird. If you want your green cheek conure to live longer, just give him ample space, varied diet of veggies, attention, and socialization, and he'll live to his maximum lifespan of 25 years old.

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Green Cheek Conure Egg Laying



 Green cheek conure egg laying is a common behavior of green cheek hens who have reached sexual maturity - at about one year old. However, unless you, as a conure owner, are willing to breed and hand-raise green cheek babies, conure egg laying should be stopped.

When Do Green Cheek Start Laying Eggs?

Green cheek hens can produce 5 eggs a year after sexual maturity at a year old occurs. Conure eggs may be fertile (have a baby chick inside the shell) or infertile, if your green cheek conure doesn't have a mate.

 Signs of sexual maturity include adult colored plumage, a successfully completed molt, and nesting or breeding behaviors. However, like newly sexually mature human teenagers, hens might not be mentally or physically prepared to lay eggs at the first sign of sexual maturity

How to Stop Green Cheek Conure Egg Laying

Green cheek conures will pair and lay eggs after they've found a compatible mate, and chosen a nesting site.  These small birds will also begin egg laying when the days get longer in the spring season, and when "soft" foods, such as yogurt or cheese are available.

Who could their mate be? It could possibly be you. Be careful of letting your green cheek conure over-bond with her owner. Vent rubbing, a casual wing pet, or cute regurgitation could be a sign your bird is ready to lay eggs. Never pet your bird any place other than the head, and if you notice regurgitation, vent rubbing or other sexual behaviors, discourage the behavior and put her back in her cage immediately.

 Green Cheek Nesting in Happy Hut
Step two in the conure egg laying process: find a nesting site or box. Conures in the wild, including green cheeks, sun conures, and Nanday conures, nest in the dark holes of trees, so eliminate any dark secluded areas she could finding a nesting site in. This means taking out of the cage any nest boxes, happy huts, and not allowing your conure into dark secluded places on her own. Any place dark and private enough could be perfect for laying eggs.

Discourage soft foods like cheese or yogurt in the spring. "Soft" foods, rather than dry seeds or nuts, mean in the wild that food is abundant, and the time is perfect to lay an egg. During the spring and summer season, the days get longer, triggering your conure's instinct to pair with a mate and breed. Cover the cage earlier at night in Spring and Summer season time to eliminate the instinct to breed or lay.


Chronic Egg Laying in Green Cheeks

If the above doesn't work, your green cheek conure might be a chronic egg layer. Chronic egg layers are birds who, for whatever behavioral reason, will lay themselves to death, in and out of breeding season. This happens commonly with conure species, especially Sun Conures. Chronic egg layers are common, and can't be stopped once started. But feeding plenty of calcium, hemp seeds, veggies and fruits, along with pellets, will make sure even a chronic egg laying conure stays in good health.


How to Get a Green Cheek Conure to Lay Eggs

Okay, so you want to get your green cheek conure to lay eggs. For your bird's health, the best time to mate your bird is a year or more after first molting, adult plumage, and breeding or nesting behaviors. When you see signs your bird can physically and mentally handle egg laying for the first time, it is okay to pair off birds and encourage green cheek conure egg laying.

To start egg laying, rather than stop egg laying, flip the behaviors I've stated above. Get your green cheek conure a sturdy nest box, size large. Let your green cheek conure hen bond with a male bird. Feed as many soft foods as possible, and let her get as many long daylight hours as possible. Her body will tell her it's time for egg laying, and she will turn into an egg laying machine.

Please be responsible before encouraging egg laying, however. Remember not to breed young birds, feed plenty of hemp seed for breeding stimulation, and a varied diet full of calcium, fruits and nuts for a smooth egg laying experience. A diet full of nutritional hemp seeds, fruits, nuts and calcium will make the egg laying process easier, especially the hen's first time.

Signs a Green Cheek is Ready to Lay


Green Cheek 'pregnant', Ready to lay - signs of plucked chest and stomach egg pouch


Whether it's a hen's first time laying eggs, or she's laying for the 10th time, green cheek conure behaviors are predictable when successful breeding has occurred. Green cheek conures "pregnant" isn't the right term, since the eggs incubate outside the hen's body. Parrot pregnancy doesn't happen, so a better term is "with egg."

Green cheek conures will often pluck their chest and stomach feathers bare to make a nest for their coming eggs. This is different from other self-mutilating chest and stomach plucking, however, since the plucking usually stops after the eggs are laid. 

A green cheek who is ready to lay will also display a bulge in her stomach. It looks like a pair of human male testicles, except that the bulge is quite large. A large bulging area in the stomach or vent area is normal, and is a sign that a green cheek (or Sun Conure, or Nanday Conure) is ready to lay within days.



Green Cheek Egg Binding


Egg bound chicken hen - egg stuck in vent
Good breeding practices lead to healthy chicks and hens.

But when breeders or owners are irresponsible, or a hen is too young to breed and lay, egg binding occurs. An egg bound conure is the worst outcome of egg laying, and needs immediate veterinary attention, and surgery. An egg bound green cheek conure will be puffed up and lethargic, unable to lay her egg.

The bound egg shell  is soft like leather, and unable to get enough traction in the bird's vent to pass. The egg then gets stuck in the vent, rather than being laid.

 An egg bound green cheek conure could die without vet attention, if the egg breaks inside her vent. Don't attempt to remove an egg from an egg bound green cheek hen yourself - your green cheek conure could die from the stress and shock of an improper egg binding removal surgery.

In you want to encourage, rather than stop a green cheek conure egg laying habit, breed your parrot responsibly. Calcium is essential for all laying hens of all conure species, including green cheek conures and Sun Conures. Calcium includes pre-formed bagged pellets, but also egg shells mixed with hard-boiled chicken eggs, and calcium supplements like cuttlebone. By providing a cuttlbone, and calcium egg shells to eat, your green cheek conure can stay healthy during the egg laying season.

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What Not to Feed Green Cheek Conures


Back off -- it's my food
If you own a green cheek conure, they may have  favorite foods, but remember which foods not to feed your birds. Green cheeks are like children - just because they have favorite foods, doesn't mean you should feed it regularly.


There are many foods which fall under the category 'what not to feed' green cheeks, just like for all parrots. There are some toxic parrot foods which your green cheek conure should avoid. Poisonous or unsafe foods vary in danger. But vet visits and your bird's health is nothing to toy with, so remember not to feed your bird these dangerous foods:


Avocado

Green cheek conures have been known to die from ingestion of a small amount of avocado. Ingestion of all parts of the avocado fruit, including the pits, meat and peel are dangerous. Letting your green cheek conure nibble on or ingest any part of the pits, peel or meat could result in a sick bird and a vet visit, so never feed this food.

Coffee

Coffee is another no-no for green cheek conures. Coffee and anything with caffeine should be avoided. In with coffee, never let your bird consume caffeinated beverages and soft drinks.

Chocolate

Chocolate is a known bird killer and avian poison. Chocolate is unsafe, and should be kept away from a green cheek conure's consumption at all times. This includes chocolate infused treats such as chocolate chip cookies.

Onion

The jury is still out on feeding your green cheek conure onion. In dogs, onions create a powerful poison. However, with birds this may not be the case. However, even without being a risky unsafe food, onions carry no nutritional benefit for birds. Best to add onions to the list of what not to feed green cheek conures, and substitute healthier vegetables.

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol is a killer of birds such as green cheek conures, as their system cannot digest it. Avoid feeding your green cheek conure alcohol.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a food your bird would never naturally consume. As well, their systems can't handle the ingestion of mushroom. Mushroom consumption should also be avoided.

Ammonia 

This one sounds obvious, but I have recently come across the story of a woman who feeds her green cheek conures ammonia to 'help with their digestion.' Please never do this! Ingesting ammonia, along with any household cleaning product, or cleaning chemical is extremely bad for your bird. Unfortunately, this woman's green cheek conure died before I got the chance rescue it.

This is an incomplete list of poisonous and dangerous foods for green cheeks, but is a good general nutrition guideline. When in doubt, consult your vet first. When you memorize the list of what not to feed green cheek conures, both you and your bird will feel safer and happier at home.

Green Cheek Conure Aggressive Behavior


Conures are wild aggressive animals, even though their owners treat them like babies. All parrots are wild and aggressive animals - the jungle hasn't been tamed out of them. 

Unlike domesticated dogs and cats, parrots and green cheek conures retain a wild, aggressive, and unpredictable nature. It's a good thing we don't put euthanize parrots for biting like dogs or cats, or we would harm a lot of parrots.

Reasons for Green Cheek Aggression

Green cheek conure aggression comes from their wild, undomesticated spirit - one minute you're scritching them, the next your conure is attacking. Aggressive behavior also comes from not understanding your green cheek conure's body language. Green cheek body language can tell you what's cooking in their avian brain.

Aggressive Strutting/Head Bobbing/Neck Stretching Body Language

If your conure is exhibiting the body language above, such as strutting while stretching their neck, or bobbing their head, it means your green cheek is making a territorial display. Green cheek conures can be very aggressive and territorial when not properly trained.

Try bringing out an aggressive display: bob your head back and forth rapidly, stretching your neck while your  green cheek conure is watching. This is a territorial threat to green cheek conures, a display or sign of aggression that I discovered one day by accident. Your green cheek conure will begin to act aggressively, strutting, trying to bite or puffing out their chest. Their tiny rages are adorable!

Green cheek conures may be food aggressive. If your green cheek conure spots you eliminating their food 7 days a week to fill it up, they could see you as a form of threat and assault you. These birds may possibly become belligerent over toys, cages, and also most of all, their own nest box.

By no means, never ever touch the nest box of a typical breeding green cheek hen when she's still within the coop. She will bite your finger and draw blood. When I was a young parrot breeder, I moved (or tried to move) a brooding hen out of her nest box to clean it - bad mistake! I've still the scar on my knuckle to show it.

3 Ways to Stop Green Cheek Conure Aggressive Behavior

1.) Bring your bird down to eye level to mellow hostility problems. Why this can help: taking birds down to human eye level or under shows them one is the "alpha" bird, or head associated with the flock. Keeping all of them at eye level or under without exception asserts your own place as front of the flock, and also tames aggression efficiently.

2.) Move your own green cheek conure's toys around all the time. Why this can help: shifting a green cheeks playthings, or perhaps rearranging their own furniture, as I Actually call it, keeps a green cheek from getting quite affixed to their own playthings. Swap toys out, or shift toys about to mellow aggressiveness within the bird.

3.) Earthquake them. If your green cheek conure is standing on your arm, biting you, don't make it a stable platform. Every time he gets aggressive, move and "quake" your body, shifting their footing and making them uncomfortable. They'll soon get the message that gentle nibbles are okay, biting is aggressive and not acceptable.

Even when properly trained, all of the green cheek aggressive and unwanted behavior won't disappear. Some green cheek aggression is normal. All you can do is love your little aggressive green cheek conure anyway, even when he or she is acting territorial and trying to bite. In other words, like a little brat.

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Green Cheek Conure Beak Grinding






If you are a green cheek conure owner, you may have heard your green cheeked parakeet grinding their beak from time to time. Beak grinding is perfectly normal, and beak grinding before going to sleep at night is a sign of a happy bird.  

A bird that is stressed or unhappy will not grind, but instead will be perfectly quiet before going to sleep at night. Scientists are unsure of the exact evolution behind grinding the beak, but there are some reasons it might be beneficial.

Grinding for a Healthy Beak

Beak grinding may have evolved to keep a green cheek conure's beak in tip-top shape. Hey, it's not easy keeping a beak this nice!

Beak grinding might be an extra measure of birds to trim the lower mandible, especially if they don't have shredding toys, wooden toys or cement perches in their cage. A bird's beak is constantly growing, so grinding the upper and lower mandible together is necessary to groom the beak

Providing Shredding Toys and Perches


You can also help keep his beak and tongue healthy by giving him lots of fun shredding toys to destroy. Small wooden blocks, or hard wooden perches made of manzanita wood can help keep your bird's upper and lower mandible from getting overgrown. 

Manzanita wood perches or cement perches allow your bird to chew, trimming the mandibles without harming the perch or themselves. Manzanita wood perches are hard enough to last for years. Cement perches last for years like manzanita, and have the added benefit of giving your green cheek a nail trim.

An overgrown beak or nails are rarely a problem in green cheek conures, but shredding toys are still necessary for a fun beak trim, as well as the mental health of your bird.

Other Reasons for Green Cheek Beak Grinding

Of course, in addition to necessity, green cheek conure beak grinding also means you have a happy (and sleepy) bird. If you hear small grinding noises coming out of the cage at night, or while the bird is sitting on your shoulder, then congratulations! Your green cheek conure feels safe and happy in their environment. This is a perfectly healthy behavior for a sleepy bird.

There was only one time that we, as green cheek conures owners, didn't hear this noise coming from our bird's cage before going to sleep. That was when we took him to the vet, and for some time afterward. Taking him to the vet must have stressed our little bird out a lot.

My husband and I call the grinding his happy sleep noises, and are glad to know that our green cheek conure is beak grinding. It means he is content with us.

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Green Cheek Conures Masturbating Behavior



 The above video shows not Green Cheek Conures masturbating, rather exhibiting mating behavior. Green Cheek Conure mating behavior and Green Cheek masturbation habits go hand in hand.

For the object of a Green Cheek's affection - their owner - this masturbating behavior can be very uncomfortable, especially when guests are over.


Signs Your Green Cheek Conure is Masturbating

Your Green Cheek Conure, if female, will raise their tail and rub their vent against objects like the female bird in the video. Males will "mount" an object, and may become more aggressive. Females will chirp slightly or may scream, along with small flicks of the wings.


Is Masturbating Normal?

Masturbation is normal, since a Green Cheeked Parrot can't be spayed or neutered like a cat or dog. Since they can't be spayed or neutered, these small parrots take out their sexual frustrations elsewhere. Parrot puberty comes at the age of 8 months old for Green Cheeks, and is accompanied by molting in their adult feathers.

Parrot puberty with molting, age factors, and springtime hormones all contribute to this unwanted rubbing behavior. Unfortunately, parrots may rub or relieve their sexual frustrations on an owner's head, hand or clothing.


How to Stop Green Cheeks From Masturbating

Masturbating on or rubbing on any part of their owner, including hand or head, should be discouraged. This can lead to overbonding. Overbonding can lead to aggression and other naughty behaviors.

If your parrot is making a strange noise especially while petting their wings, back or tail, or rubbing their vent on you, stop what you're doing immediately and put them back in their cage.

Only pet the head of your pet conure, as petting their wings, tail and especially vent area may be seen as sexual mating behavior.

If your Green Cheek Conure must masturbate, let them take out their frustrations on a toy or inanimate object. Again, never let them rub their vent on your hand or head, as they might start to see you as a mate. Simply ignore the masturbating behavior, and show the bird that you are not interested.

Their masturbation carries no long-term negative consequences. Once spring is over and their hormones have died down, your Green Cheek Conures masturbating should become less frequent.
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