Conures are small to medium sized members of the parrot family from South America. They are very intelligent and good natured birds. Amongst the loudest of all the parrot species, conures are very colourful and playful. They come in many different varieties such as maroon belly, jenday and nanday.
Average adult size: 9-12 inches from head to tail depending on species
Average life span: 20+ years with proper care
Shopping list for your new conure:
- Appropriately sized cage
- Cage cover
- High quality conure food
- Millet spray
- Cuttlebone/millet holder
- Cage paper or litter
- Food and water dishes
- Variety of perches
- Variety of toys
- Mineral block chews
- Grooming supplies
- Vitamins and supplements
- Play gym
Because all conures are potential carriers of infectious diseases, such as Chlamydiosis, always wash your hands before and after handling your conure and the content of its cage. This helps to prevent the spread of diseases.
A well balanced conure diet consists of a good quality seed mix and fresh fruit and vegetables. Conures should also have constant access to clean, fresh water.
Conures should not be fed fruit seeds chocolate, alcohol or caffeine as these can cause serious medical conditions.
It is important to remember when feeding your conure that they should have constant access to fresh food and water. When feeding your bird fresh fruit and vegetables, any uneaten food should be discarded within a few hours. Treats should not exceed 10% of your conures diet.
Conures acclimate well to average household temperatures that do not exceed 27˚C. A conures home should be placed off the floor in an area that is well lit and away from drafts. We recommend providing your conure with the biggest cage possible, this gives them room to fly and stretch.
Perches should be at least 9” long and ½” in diameter. A variety of different perches in different sizes is advisable so they can exercise their feet and help prevent arthritis.
Placing a metal grate over their droppings tray will help keep your conure away from droppings. Line the tray with cage paper for easier cleaning. Avoid contamination by not placing food and water containers under perches.
Conures are very sociable birds and they enjoy human interaction. Some species sleep on their backs on the floor of their cages. Don’t worry, this is normal! Conures love to chew and the need a lot of toys to chew on. Provide them with foraging toys to promote mental stimulation. Always ensure toys are securely clamped to the side of their cages as conures can unscrew c-clamps and cause themselves injuries.
Cages and perches should be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Cage liners should be replaced at least twice a week. Toys, perches and dishes should be replaced when they are worn or damaged and introduce new toys into the cage regularly. Make sure all cage accessories and toys do not contain lead, zinc or lead based paints as these can cause medical issues if your bird ingests them.
Do not use too many cleaning agents around your bird as the fumes can be harmful to them.
Grooming and Hygiene
Provide your bird with a bowl of clean lukewarm water regularly for them to bathe in. This must be removed as soon as your budgie is finished with it. Alternatively, use a spray bottle to spray your conure with lukewarm water. Clipping your birds’ flight feathers is not necessary, but when it is done correctly it can help them prevent injury or escape. Consult your vet to see what is best for your bird. Their nails should be trimmed by a qualified professional in order to prevent injury.
Signs of a Healthy Animal
An active bird is a happy bird; they should be alert and sociable. A good sign of a healthy conure is seeing them regularly eating and drinking. Their nostrils and eyes should be dry and bright and their beaks, legs and feet appear normal. Their feathers should be clean, smooth and well groomed and their bottom should be clean and dry.
Common Health Issues
|HEALTH ISSUE||SYMPTOMS OR CAUSES||SUGGESTED ACTION|
|Chlamydiosis||Appetite loss, fluffed feathers, nasal discharge, green stools||Seek immediate veterinary attention|
|Diarrhoea||Faecal portion of stool is not formed. Multiple causes from diet change to internal parasites||Consult with your vet and ensure a proper diet|
|Feather Plucking||Bird plucks own feathers: may be due to boredom, poor diet and other illnesses||Consult with your vet and relieve boredom with new toys or new space|
|Polyoma Virus||Anorexia, lethargy, weight loss, sudden death||Seek immediate veterinary attention|
- Beak swelling or accumulations
- Fluffed, plucked or soiled feathers
- Sitting on the cage floor
- Wheezing or coughing
- Runny or discoloured stools
- Eye or nasal discharge
- Red or swollen eyes
- Loss of appetite
If you see any of the signs in your bird, then please seek professional advice.