Just as many parrot species, Conures can be a wonderful family pet bird as long as you can provide this vivid color bird the right amount of time and management it needs. They come in a variety of sizes and colors that may adapt to your style and could come in handy depending on what you are looking for, the biggest one being the Patagonian Conure. Like any other bird, they are very curious, active, and kite smart that loves to play, but are a little limited on what they can get to learn or mimic from you meaning some things will take more time and patience than others, still, they can keep you and your family well entertained. If you want to learn more about this amazing bird species, keep reading to see if a Conure bird is a right pet for you.
A BEAK OF HISTORY
As a little confusing as this may sound, their origin is the only thing that avian enthusiasts and experts all agree. Coming from South and Central America, the colors or presentation that this small and yet beautiful bird has may well represent this part of the world. Although as mentioned before, you may get confused when reading some things about Conure species since depending on which person you speak with (either an avian expert or enthusiast) they will refer as a Conure a small parrot species while the others refer it as a Parakeet/budgie. Being an example the native and sadly long lost Carolina Parakeet, a Conure species that was hunted down till extinction. Whether it’s called a Conure or a Parakeet, they both belong to the genus of parrots, some being Aratinga, Nandayus (Nanday Conure), Enicognathus, Cyanoliseus or Pyrrhura Conure for their scientific nomenclature that also has been changed over the years.
As for their appearance, apart from being small birds, they mostly have thin bodies, long tail feathers, and of course some beautiful vivid colors, as the Sun Conure, Green Cheek Conure, Golden Conure, Jenday Conure, Pineapple Conure, Turquoise Conure.
A CONURE’S MANAGEMENT
As I mentioned before, Conures are part of the Parrot species, this doesn’t apply for their strongly curved beak and zygodactyl feet, it also means they are very social birds, they want to be near or next to you. As a wild bird, Conures are never lonely, they remain on their flock, they get to meet a new member of the flock every day. This keeps them active and since they don’t learn many gestures nor they are a talkative bird, they get along with everyone as they practically share the same language. They may have a preferred member of the family but they would love to spend time with everyone, in the end, you just need to teach your Conure to behave and also instruct the rest of the members of your family, that would become his new flock, how to deal with your new bird as they aren’t made for everyone, but all of you should work together as for the “Family” word truly stands for to try recreating as best as you can an environment that’s ideal for your Conure. They can get to be wonderful with kids, don’t get me wrong, it’s just best if you can avoid any unpleasant and unnecessary event that could be prevented by following some very simple guidelines since they have a lifespan of nearly 30 years so it’s a big commitment.
By saying that they are a good family pet it won’t assure you in any way that this could be the case for every single Conure, as with any other pet. Surely one that’s been handled and treated properly from the beginning and in the right way would make it easier to train and to get along with, although you still must work on your new pet so it gets to be the one you desire or expect. There would be some with a bad temper that with the right amount of love and time can get to be the lively and lovely bird Conures can get to be, or kite the opposite, you can get a wonderful young bird and turn it into a nightmare due to not understanding truly what this bird needs. Being smart makes them prone to developing behavioral issues, even for a small bird, they can get extremely noisy and repetitive just to seek the attention you’ve been failing to provide him with.
Something else that you should keep in mind is who you will leave your pet with since not everyone will know how to behave or how to deal with a bird, which could scare it and cause it to hurt the person who is holding it, either by a scratch or a bite. This type of response or behavior can completely ruin all the work you have already been doing to train your Conure. Even if they love to have new people around or just someone to hang out with, you should make sure that it’s someone capable of responding to your bird’s needs. Every single responsible member of your family must be willing to become a committed caretaker since a Conure requires daily interaction or entertainment, something to keep them and their minds busy.
Little time and attention to this type of pet bird are a big NO-NO, so you must have at least one person that’s most of the day on the house so they can both accompany each other, but mostly for your Conure. Keep them close to the room where you share the most with your family, remember that you should try your best to become his new flock, even if it’s not a bird that comes from the wild rather a sanctuary or you obtained it from an avian breeder, it is something you should keep in mind, and most of all respect this aspect of this exotic pet, so they can be where the fun is, even if you are watching TV and doing “nothing”, keep them close to you and it’s also important that you interact with your Conure while he is beside you. It doesn’t need to be on you, just by speaking to it does the trick but after this, you should allow it to get near with maybe some perches, in case you leave his cage open. Being a small bird he shouldn’t make such a ruckus but keep in mind that you must prevent any accident that it may occur whenever you set him free inside the house or a specific room, you wouldn’t want the new and lovely Conure that admires you so to become feathered confetti after he confronts your biggest fan (ceiling fan).
A Conure is an active bird that loves to be touched and handled, and while this might make them good for kids, you should also warn your kids or it’s parents, and teach these people that want to hold your Conure to avoid any unnecessary bad experience for everyone. Even by doing this, you should make sure the person that’s going to hold your bird won’t scare it, or else it would bite or scratch as a defense since they can pick up the stress and/or anger from humans whenever they feel it, so you should remain as calm as possible when you spend time with your pet Conure. So, bottom line, these birds must be handled by adults most of the time or someone with experience on the manner because they are not a bird for a first-time owner for their potential behavior issues. I don’t mean to scare you but it’s highly important that you truly understand how to handle a pet, not just a bird, as you need to adjust to their needs just as they would adapt to a different environment that birds were made for. Just like any spoiled child, even with a small body, they can manage to make such an irritating and loud sound when they seek attention or are used to being screamed at. It’s up to you if you want a wonderful pet Conures are or to develop an untreatable living being.
When choosing the right cage for your pet you should always take into consideration the size of your pet and the size of the household. This applies to any type of domesticated animal since just like you, they would love to have their space to feel comfortable and secure, so don’t be selfish and look for the needs of your pet so you can make it feel the best way you can afford. There are lots of cage sizes and materials, but you should evaluate first the space you have at your disposition to offer to your new Conure. As with all birds, you need a cage where your Conure can open its wings freely, taking to account any toys or any item you can get inside of it, space it’s important so it can play without bumping into anything while you are gone or busy and can’t set loose your pet bird. If you plan on leaving your bird inside a small cage 24/7 think how you would feel left alone inside a small bedroom which you can never leave, although you should see your Conure as a young child who’s going to have little patience before wreaking havoc.
Small cages are ok so they can have a place where they can feel safe and rest peacefully, but remember to cover his cage to help control the light time during the day to ensure proper rest and you’ll keep it away from anything that could harm it like a cold breeze or something that could scare your Conure. If you leave in an apartment I recommend you to set a room exclusively for your bird so it can spend time outside of his cage, whether as if you live in a house with access to a backyard you should consider buying an aviary since they are bigger cages and will surely be something any bird would love to have for its own as they love to play a lot and are an active parrot species. Being smart birds they’ll most likely are going to explore as much as they can and this means they would use their beak on everything they can find, being part of the parrot family, you must remember how strong Conure beaks can be. To avoid some issues in this manner, always try to find a chewable toy that won’t become a hazardous object, you can consult this with an avian veterinarian since there are plenty of cheap and simple ways to make a toy for parrots.
Just like you would with your house, you must keep his cage and room/space clean to avoid diseases or any source of contamination. The material of the cage must be strong enough to keep your bird safe inside the house, since they would most likely try to chew their way out to freedom, and also that’s easy to clean. It is recommended to have two sets of water and food dish so you can use one at a time while you clean the other one, this way you can help make his food more appealing to the eye and if you place them separately your bird would have to make some effort if she wants to either drink water or eat in between each meal.
The placement of each of the cages you manage to buy must be thought through. As this is not a bird that I recommend to have as a first pet bird you should know everything in this manner and with everything else I’ve said so far, but if you feel the need to go a little deeper on some specific care and management of pet birds you can check our link where I go deep on this specific but crucial subject.
HEALTH AND NUTRITION
So far I’ve spoken mostly about behavioral concerns and issues related to Conures because it tends to be the primary reason that birds attend to an avian veterinarian or worst, are left on a sanctuary or rehab. I can’t stress enough how influencing this subject is but I’m asking you to help me prevent, as well to other bird lovers and enthusiasts, to keep such wonderful and good creatures out of this highly possible misery, only you can help us make the difference on reducing this unnecessary statistic. Still, you should keep a good relationship with the avian vet of your trust as well as regular visits for check-ups the time he recommends. By cleaning your Conure’s cage you can check his depositions, if he’s eating everything you serve him to avoid any nutritional deficiency and this could be an indicator that your birds not doing well if they leave food on their dishes, also for the number of feathers (Feather plucking) or presence of blood on the cage’s floor. If you learn the body language of your pet you’ll notice in advance any abnormal behavior to detect at early stages most diseases as some may develop signs on a later stage.
As for your conure’s diet is concerned, again your avian vet would be your best source of information as well as a tutor in this manner, even for experienced owners, there is always something new to learn and it will depend on your bird’s needs. Formulated pellets are the best nutritional choice to fed your Conure but you should use more than one type of food so your bird won’t get bored. Foraging is something you shouldn’t overlook any bird as it is their way of feeding in the wild, some of the formulated foods come in a presentation that’s appealing to the bird’s eye to keep it interested and also active since they could play with their food at certain points.
So there you have it. Become a bird owner might seem like a challenging task but it’s not an impossible one. Remember that your new pet has the mentality of a wild Conure so do your best to ensure the life any living being deserves.
If you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below and I hope this post clears your doubts.