How should I set up my  Green Cheek Conure’s bird cage and how often should I clean it?
2362656 - green cheek conure on branch ready to fly away

How should I set up my Green Cheek Conure’s bird cage and how often should I clean it?

I own a green cheek conure. He has a pretty large cage, not sure of the exact dimensions, but I’m very confused on how to set it up, I hear that people put newspaper to line the cage with but are you supposed to put that on top of the litter or under it? Also, how often should I change the litter?
Hi John

I did a Facebook live stream for our customers GCC in their home.and walk you through the cage set up – we know, it needs an edit

We remove the grate in our cages and only use newspaper we can easily refresh daily. We don’t like “litters” as they promote mold growth possibly leading to aspergillosis plus it hides poop which is essential to inspect on a daily basis.

Birds get Aspergillosis by exposure to a fungi of the genus Aspergillus. The fungus itself doesn’t cause the disease but the illness can be triggered by a weak immune system. Yes humans can get Aspergillus.

At the very least 3 types of perches – grooming, wood and rope should be in your bird’s cage. A rope perch should be installed close to the top of the cage for the bird to sleep on preventing arthritic feet. The grooming perch should be installed by the food dish as the bird is active while eating and will groom toe nails and beak on it.

Remove the long perch that came with the cage and replace with something like a manzanita (wood) perch having uneven surfaces challenging the bird’s feet.

We like thermal perches for all our birds so we heat the bird not the home. Cuttlebone is really only necessary for females and although it helps beaks there are better beak conditioners like lava rock.

 Most importantly a full spectrum light 6 inches above the cage on a timer. 12 hours on 12 ours off with no respect for daylight savings time. This helps keep the birds circadian rhythms in tune and will reduce hormonal behavior.

 You can get your bird DNA tested for $18 so you know what you are dealing with.  Why is your bird’s sex is important to know? Breeding activity in hens coupled with a molt can be a big drain of caloric resources and nutrition should be adjusted during these stressful periods is a major reason. Knowing how to deal with aggressive males is another.

Use the smooth dowel rod that came with the cage for “stick training” Make sure it is your bird’s “friend” so oher people can handle the bird if you’re not around and something you can use to fish the bird out from behind a dresser or refrigerator.

Here’s a set up for our 4 budgies

 Think of toys as the “leaves of the trees” your GCC would be living in the wild. You want wood, shredding and at least on interactive toy all in the upper 1/3 of the cage.

 Toys should be placed around the perimeter of the cage for easy accessibility also to provide private for the bird. Include at least one swing that doesn’t bang any other accessories. The cage in the video above  needs at least 10 more toys in the upper third portion.

I clean our 2 birdcages every 24 to 48 hours that way it doesn’t become a big mess nor a huge chore here’s how

written by mitch rezman
approved by catherine tobsing

your zygodactyl footnote

Mitch Rezman

He's handled a 1000 birds of numerous species when they visited monthly birdie brunches in the old Portage Park (Chicago, IL) facility. The one with the parrot playground. Mitch has written and published more than 1100 articles on captive bird care. He's met with the majority of  CEO's and business owners for most brands in the pet bird space and does so on a regular basis. He also constantly interacts with avian veterinarians and influencers globally.

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