Conures, just like other birds, don’t have teeth. Usually, conures can’t chew food the way we do. Instead, they depend on gizzard, a muscular stomach pouch that helps crush the swallowed food.
In addition, they swallow grit and stones that aid the gizzard in crushing the food. From the functional point of view, the conure gizzard is just similar to teeth. Still skeptical about conure having teeth? Well, let us learn more.
Do Conures Chew?
Yes, conures do chew their food. Chewing is one of the instinctual, natural traits for conures. It helps in keeping their beaks fit and trim.
Allowing your conures to chew is highly recommended considering that they accomplish almost everything using their beaks (talk of preening, eating, climbing, nest building, defense, and many more)
Experts advise you to give your conures suitable objects to chew. For instance, get them destructible toys, or otherwise, they will chew your useful stuff such as baseboards, furniture, molding, doors, etc.
Unsupervised exploratory conures chewing poses significant risks to your companion birds as they can end up chewing toxic products or plants.
Whereas you cannot halt their desires to chew, you can re-channel this instinct towards safe and appropriate objects. For instance
- Hardshell nuts
- Leather toys
- Destructible wood
- Calcium blocks
- Hardshell nuts
- Foraging toys etc.
Some other significant benefits of conure chewing include:
- Release of extra energy
- Alleviating boredom
- Good for physical as well as emotional health etc.
How do Conures Eat?
Conures have particular bills that they use to take bites, but since they lack teeth, they don’t chew food as human beings do. Rather, they swallow their food whole.
If the food is too large for them to swallow, they break it down into smaller pieces that can be swallowed with ease.
In most cases, conures beat their foods against objects to break it down into smaller pieces. Likewise, they use nails to hold the food as they break into pieces.
Conures don’t eat small and soft foods only; they have a strong beak that can crack and bust open hard nuts or seeds.
Their beaks allow them to enjoy hard foods as easily as they do berries. Conures use their beaks like surgical scalpels to peel fruits or to remove seeds from their casing.
Do Conures Bite?
One of the biggest problems seen in conures is biting. As world creatures, they possess instinctual characters that are hard for them to quit. It’s easier for these birds to bite you if they are upset or whenever they get frightened.
You need to be careful when dealing with these companion birds as they can destroy your skin at any time with their beaks without warnings. Whereas not all conures are aggressive, this should serve as a warning to any individual who wishes to bring a new conure home.
Why do Conures Bite?
Just like most other conure lovers, you may have at one point or the other asked yourself the question, “why do conure bite”? Well, conure bites for several reasons including:
– Fear / Distrust of Humans
One of the reasons why a conure would give you a painful bite is fear. Even conures that were hand-fed in their early stages can develop a fear of human beings, especially if they are not well socialized consistently.
If you are bringing home an adult conure, it may have encountered several factors in other environments that could potentially cause fear biting.
If you have observed that your conure is not playing around with you, not afraid or not trying to climb you, aggression is most likely the reason behind its biting traits.
Aggression in conures is a serious issue that can lead to unhappy companion birds and, to some extent, unhappy owners.
– Recent Stress
If you have brought home conures, they will take time to adapt to the new environment. Such conures can easily bite you when you try to play around with them.
– Tired, ill, injured
A tired, ill, or injured conure is usually uncomfortable and does not entertain disturbances.
Does a Conure Bite Hurt?
As previously mentioned in this post, canures have sharp and strong beaks that can easily tear your skin. These companion birds are not to be messed with as they can give you painful and severe bites.
There are reported cases of conure owners who have lost their eyes, toes, and fingers to their companion birds. Others have sustained severe injuries on their noses, ears, and lips.
Some of the things that determine how painful a conure bite include;
- Beak size
- Bite inhibition
- Beak structure
What to Do If A Conure Bites You?
Below are some useful tips to help you heal your conure bite wounds quickly and painlessly.
– Evaluate the Wound
Was the bite too bad? If your conure bite did not break your skin, the chances are that you will be OK with over-the-counter painkillers.
However, if your conure bite was too hard that it caused bleeding, you will need to seek immediate medical assistance.
– Cleanse Your Wound Thoroughly
You need to observe proper hygiene, especially if your conure delivered a hard bite that resulted in open bleeding wounds.
An open wound would make it easier for bacteria to enter your bloodstream leading to other health-related complications.
To avoid such instances, scrub the conure bite wound thoroughly with soapy water prior to applying bandages or other wound dressings.
– Apply a Disinfectant
Once you have cleansed your wound, apply a good disinfectant. This will help to minimize the risks of catching any form of illness from your companion bird.
Some suitable clinical disinfectants include hydrogen peroxide, rubbing alcohol, among many others. Afterward, pat the wounds dry using sterile gauze.
– Apply Antibiotic Ointments
You have already cleansed and disinfected the wounds properly. Now look for over-the-counter antibiotic ointments (for instance, bacitracin and neomycin) and apply thin coatings to your injuries.
The antibiotic properties of these ointments will further block bacteria from entering your bloodstream.
– Cover Your Wounds and Keep Them Clean
Once you have done all the above steps as explained, now grab your bandage and cover the wounds. This will help to block bacteria and dirt from reaching the wounds.
More so, it will help to hold the medications in the right place, thus facilitating quick healing.
If you consider bringing home a new conure, rest assured that you’ve made the right decisions. These companion birds are active and colorful. As such, they will keep you entertained for the rest of your life (but only if you treat them as they deserve).
Now that you’ve accessed almost everything you’d like to know when deciding whether to adopt conures, why don’t you bring them home now? You will, at some point, look back and appreciate your decision.