How Long Can Green Cheek Conures Be Left Alone?

Many would-be bird owners may be discouraged from bird ownership due to work or travel.

Nobody wants to get a new pet and then discover that their schedule is harmful to that animal’s health.

On the other hand, maybe you already have a bird, and you spend lots of time with it, but you want to go out of town for the weekend?

What do you do then?

How long can you leave your green cheek conure alone?

Parrots need a few hours of daily attention, so you can leave your green cheek conure alone while you’re at work for 8-10 hours and spend quality time with them while you are home. If you have to leave town, it’s best to have someone watch your bird. 

In this article, we take a look at how much attention a green cheek conure needs, what to do with them when you’re at work and much more.

Let’s not waste anymore time and get right into it!


How much attention does a green cheek conure need daily?

Green cheek conures are flock birds, meaning they live, forage, sleep, and spend all their time with other birds in the wild.

They are highly social and rely on their flock for protection as well as company.

When you bring home a green cheek conure, you are becoming its flock. 

There is a lot of conflicting advice about how much time you should spend with your green cheek conure every day.

Some sources say 2 hours is enough, and some say at least 6 hours of quality time is necessary.

While people may disagree on an exact number, the general sentiment is the same – these birds need companionship and attention to thrive. 


What should I do for my green cheek conure while I’m at work?

Let’s be realistic.

Most of us have to work and will be away from home for at minimum 8 hours a day.

If not now, it’s likely that at some point during the 30-year lifespan of your green cheek conure, you will have to leave home to go to a job.

If you want to give your bird some entertainment while you’re at work, you can leave calming music or television on for them to watch.

You can leave a window open for your bird to watch what happens outside.

You can also leave your bird in the same room as other pets, provided you have the kind of pets that won’t bother the cage.

Anything you can do to give your green cheek conure some stimulation while you’re gone will be helpful, but it’s still not as good as having you around to spend time with them. 


Can I leave my green cheek conure alone for the weekend or longer?

This question is up for a lot, and I mean a LOT of debate.

There is a lot that can go wrong while leaving your bird unattended for days.

Is it a death sentence? Most likely not, especially with technological advances and a little prior planning.

Is it good for your bird? Again, this is debatable. 

Is it good for their health to leave them alone for multiple days?

There are ways to mitigate health risks if you find yourself in a situation where you need to leave your bird for multiple days.

First, you’ll need to make sure they have access to enough clean water and food.

There are vacation feeders available that dispense pellets slowly so you can be sure your bird doesn’t chuck their whole supply of food out of the cage the first day you leave out of spite.

Second, you can invest in a Lixit water bottle feeder.

This bottle keeps water clean with very minimal bacterial growth for multiple days.  

Okay, so food and water are sorted out.

What about mental stimulation?

We live in a magical era where you can purchase accessories that allow you to control the electronics in your home from anywhere.

You can turn on lights, television, air conditioning, heat, and more from anywhere.

You could provide foraging toys and chewing toys for your bird to play with while you’re gone.

You can even invest in a camera to watch your bird as often as you want while you’re gone from your phone.

Some cameras allow a voice to come through, and you can talk to your bird if you really wanted to. 

We have come a long way from leaving animals at home for days with food, water, and a prayer.

But is it GOOD for them to be left alone?

I still say no.

If possible, at least get a sitter to check in on your bird and interact with it some.  


What happens to my green cheek conure if I leave it alone too much?

These repercussions depend on your bird and the amount of time you’re gone.

If you’re home and spending time with them daily but go out of town a few weekends a year, your bird will probably be just fine. 

If you’re working multiple jobs and your bird spends most of its time alone, home, and inside its cage?

That can cause a host of problems for your bird that you’ll want to do everything you can to avoid. 

Consistent stress can cause mental illness in your bird that can manifest as compulsive feather plucking, screeching, loop-de-loops in the cage, and changes to the appearance of the feathers called stress bars.

Stress bars are lines that run crosswise through a feather shaft due to stress or poor nutrition.

Parrots’ mental illness manifests similar to human mental illness, so if you notice these patterns in your bird, talk to your avian vet to see how you can help. 

If you find yourself in a situation where spending a few hours a day with your green cheek conure is impossible, consider rehoming it either temporarily or permanently to avoid some of the disfiguring and permanent effects of mental illness that comes from neglect. 

If you find yourself traveling for work a lot, consider having a regular sitter that gets to know your bird well, watching your bird while you’re away.

Also, consider investing in technology to ensure the safety of your bird while you’re gone. 

Nothing replaces you spending time with the bird that bonded to you, but there are options to potentially avoid causing any substantial harm. 

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