Conures are very sociable by nature, and love interacting with their owners, which is one of the reasons they are so popular as companion birds. However, because they constantly crave human interaction, they can be quite demanding of your time and attention. Hand-raised conures make fantastic pets, mainly because they are imprinted on humans, and quite honestly, believe that they are human. Some species, such as the sun conures, can become extremely vocal in their efforts to get your attention, and this is something that should be considered before taking on the responsibility of a bird that requires lots of love and attention. If you are unable to commit a good deal of your time to a companion that will reward you with lots of pleasure, then rather consider getting a less demanding pet, as a neglected conure will result in stress for both the bird and the owner.
It is best to provide your conure with a well balanced diet consisting of whole grain cereals, fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds to keep it in a healthy condition. Commercial seed and pellet mixes should be supplemented with fresh fruit and veggies. Fresh apple, corn on the cob and sprouted seeds will all be relished by your pet conure. Commercial pigeon mixes, consisting of corn, a variety of peas, and sunflower seeds can be cooked up and fed to your conure as a healthy part of his daily diet. Avoid feeding you conure milk products, which can cause sour crop. Chocolate, alcohol, and onions are also a no-no, and avocado pear, is highly toxic to parrots, and can kill your bird instantly, so never ever let your bird eat avo.
Keep you conure's cage away from draughts and out of direct sunlight. Place his cage in a central area of the house so that he is part of daily household activities. Tobacco smoke, aerosol fumes, and household cleaners can all negatively affect your bird's health, so try to avoid these around your bird where possible. Your bird needs plenty of sleep, so if you are a night owl, make sure your bird's cage is covered, and placed in a quiet dark corner at night time so that he rest undisturbed. If your conure is going to spend a lot of time out of his cage, consider trimming his wings so that he cannot fly off into the sunset. This is for his own good, as he may fly into a window and injure, or even kill himself; or fly off, where his chances of survival are limited. If your bird is to be housed in an aviary, then wing trimming is not recommended, as free flight is necessary.
Choosing a Cage
Although conures are small in size, they require a fairly large cage as they are active birds and require lots of stimulating toys to prevent them becoming bored. A small cage would quickly become too cluttered and restrict their movement. There are some wonderful cages on the market that offer open-up play-tops or play-gym combinations allowing your bird to move in and out of the cage freely. Choose a sturdy cage, that will withstand the wrath of your conure's beak. When choosing a cage, avoid painted or plastic coated wire cages as your conure will chew at the bars and can ingest this, which can compromise his health. Choose a cage with a bar spacing suitable for the size of your bird. Smaller conures require cages with a narrow gap between bars to prevent them escaping. Finally, look for a cage that is easy to clean.
|Conure clowing around (Photo: Richard)|
Conures are extremely playful, intelligent, and active, so provide a range of toys to keep them stimulated. These can included chew toys, such as rawhide and wooden toys; things they can climb on, such as ropes, chains, and wooden ladders; toys that make a noise, such as bells and shakers; and swings, which give them hours of pleasure, and provide good exercise too.
Conures are extremely playful and fun-loving. They have a mischievous air about them, and can be real clowns. They are intelligent and will learn tricks very quickly. They often roll over onto their backs in the palm of your hand. Conures also tend to be real water babies, so keep a spray mist bottle handy in hot weather, and provide a bird bath for them to splash around in. They will even join their owners in the shower, but just be careful not to overdo it, and make sure they dry off in a warm, draught-free area.