Spunky, fun-loving, and comical! That’s a Conure bird for you. If anything, these beautiful and bold birds have become extremely popular pet companions thanks to their loving personalities.
And unlike dogs, Conures live for more than 20 years. Though the vitality and healthiness of these birds depends entirely on what they eat. Conures must have a proper diet if they’re to lead a healthy, long life.
With that said, here’s everything you ought to know about what and how conures eat:
Foods Conures Can Eat
Conure enthusiasts will tell you that a low-fat diet along with balanced nutrients supplements is the most ideal for Conures.
Meals with all kinds of nutrients define what a Conure balanced diet is. In other words, you should feed your Conure foods from all groups- carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, proteins.
Not to mention that everything you feed your pet bird should be fresh. Just think of conures like children. Stale, musty, and hard food will only make them sick. In fact, fresh food is much more nourishing to Conures even when it’s uncooked and raw.
Example of foods your Conure will enjoy include:
– Fruits and Veggies
Greens, vegetables, and fruits ought to account for about 20- 25% of a Conure’s daily diet. Nonetheless, avoid offering your pet bird pale vegetables (with high water composition) such as head lettuce, celery, Iceberg, etc. as they provide little nutritional value.
Also, ensure that all fruits and veggies offered to Conures get washed thoroughly to get rid of any chemicals. And serve them in separate dishes, cutting each veggie into manageable pieces depending on your Conure’s size.
Serving fruits and veggies in separate dishes will help you realize what your Conure fancies.
– Beans and Legumes
Experts recommend that you provide your Conure with legumes such as chickpeas, pinto beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, mung, lentils, etc. In any case, legumes are an excellent source of protein and feature fibre as well as many different vitamins. Take note that you should never feed your Conure any type of dry beans.
So ensure soak and cook your legumes before serving them to your Conure. You see, uncooked dry beans contain some enzyme inhibitors that are indigestible in birds.
– Commercial Food
Commercial pellets or seeds usually come with all the nutritional elements your pet bird requires to be healthy. In fact, pellets ought to represent about 75-80% of a Conure’s diet. Take note that hand-raised baby Conures are the easiest to introduce to pellets.
It’s important to note that there are many ideal brands of commercial foods out there featuring pellets of different colors, shapes, and flavors. One good example is the Kaytee Forti-Diet Pro Health Egg-Cite! Conure & Lovebird Food, 3-lb Bag.
Foods to Avoid Feeding your Conure
According to Dr Lauri Hess, DVM, a Board Certified Avian medical practitioner and Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, “avoid any foods that contain preservatives, dyes, as well as high levels of sugars, fats, and salts“.
With that said, here’s a list of everyday foods you shouldn’t give your conure:
The avocado plant contains a compound known as persin. It acts as a fungicide and can cause respiratory difficulty, weakness, heart damage, and death. Persin is present in avocado fruits, leaves, seeds, stems, and bark.
Caffeine increases a Conure’s heart rate and can lead to hyperactivity, arrhythmias, and even cardiac arrests in birds. So no matter how much you love and appreciate caffeinated products like coffee, soft drinks, and tea, resist the urge of sharing them with your feathered companion.
One thing’s for sure. Most bird species find it hard to resist chocolate-containing foods and chocolate itself. Conures are no different.
Nonetheless, even small amounts of chocolate can be toxic to your pet bird since chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine. Take note that theobromine leads to vomiting as well as diarrhoea in birds. And in extreme cases, seizures and tremors.
– Apple Seeds and Fruit Pits
In as much as most fruits are generally healthy and safe for Conures to eat, fruits with seeds (apples, pears) and pits (cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, and apricots) shouldn’t get offered to birds without removing the pits and seeds first. Otherwise, these fruits will be deadly to consume due to the presence of cardiac-toxic cyanide compound.
– Garlic and Onions
These veggies may be beneficial to people, but they’re highly toxic to many different animals including dogs, cats, and birds.
Onions feature Sulphur compounds that irritate a bird’s lining of the eosophagus, crop, and mouth. These Sulphur compounds can also lead to anaemia as they rupture red blood cells.
On the other hand, garlic features allicin, which is another compound that causes anaemia as well as weakness in birds.
How to Feed Your Pet Conure Bird?
As a rule of thumb, feed your Conure at least 3 tablespoonfuls of pelleted foods every day. This should get supplemented with smaller portions of vegetables, seeds, grains, nuts, and fruits. Take note that pet shop Conures mostly eat seeds.
So you may need to develop your new bird’s taste buds by mixing seeds with pellets as well as natural fruit juices (instead of solid fruits) to get it accustomed to the new diet. The most ideal method is to have two dishes: one for pellet/ seed foods and another for supplementary foods.
This will make it easier for you to replace stale food as well as clean the food dishes easily. Other steps you ought to take when feeding your Conures include:
- Offer occasional Treats- Treats will help keep your bird interested in the foods it’s eating. But since you’ll be already giving it a daily variety in fruits, vegetables, grains, and pellets, ensure to offer it treats occasionally. As in, once (or twice) a week. You can give you Conure whole-grain pasta, unsalted popcorn, or well-cooked beans as treats.
- Provide fresh Drinking Water– Your pet Conure must have access to fresh drinking water. As such, ensure to include a separate dish specifically for drinking water. This dish should always stay free from debris or rotten food.
- Clean Water and Food dishes Regularly- To clean your bird’s dishes thoroughly, you’ll need to use hot, soapy water. You can even disinfect them using a bleach solution for a deeper clean. Just ensure that the bleach covers only 3% of the solution with 97% being water. Birds are extremely sensitive to disinfectant fumes, so ensure that no disinfectant gets left on the dishes and your bird isn’t in the room when you’re cleaning.
How Much and How Often Should you Feed your Conure?
As mentioned earlier, you should offer your feathery friend pelleted foods at least three times a day, and seeds and fruits in the mornings and evenings only.
You ought to give your Conure whole foods first, then pellets for day time snacking. It’s important to note that the amount of food to offer varies from bird to bird.
Because each Conure has a different level of metabolism and activity. All the same, birds love to munch on things throughout the day, so it’s best if they always have food available in their cages.
And just so you know, a Conure can’t overeat when on a nutritionally balanced diet. It will only overeat if you offer it too many treats.
What Do Conures Eat in the Wild?
The diet of a wild conure consists of mostly fibrous green foods. They include green plants, buds, leaves, shoots, springs, stems, and blossoms. Wild conures also love eating seeds, nuts, berries, and fruits.
Can Conures Drink Tap Water?
Yes. Conures can drink tap water. As Floridian veterinarian Dr Gregory Harrison, DVM put it, “If the water is safe for you, then it’s safe for your bird too“. Good thing, most urban areas have a treatment facility that filters out excess minerals and bacteria in tap water.
Can Conures Eat Hard-Boiled Eggs?
Yes, conures can consume hard-boiled eggs. In fact, eggs are an excellent source of protein as well as other nutrients that help to energize your birds and better their bodily functions.
Can Conures Eat Dairy Products?
Conures can eat dairy products, but in moderate amounts. You see, most dairy products feature high levels of fats, proteins and lactose, which are elements your Conure may find hard to handle.
Most birds are lactose intolerant and so face difficulties metabolizing dairy products. If you have to feed your Conure products like cheese, milk, yogurt, or ice cream, do so occasionally and offer small amounts at a time.
Your conure will only be as healthy as its diet. So if you keep feeding it junk, don’t expect it to be alive for long.
You should, thus, ensure that whatever you giving your feathery friend is okay for it. Don’t shy away from talking to a specialist if you aren’t sure about a particular food.