The conure parrot species is currently among the most popular pet birds. This species includes birds that are colorful, lively and clownish. Conures make good choices for both inexperienced and novice pet bird owners because they are not so hard to look after.
Though conures can talk, like the other birds in the parrot family, they are not as good as the other birds and are therefore not very famous for their talking ability. There are over forty conure species you can choose from for your pet.
The two main types of conures are Pyrrhura and Aratinga. The Pyrrhura conures are the more popular of the two. This is because although they are as beautiful as the Aratinga conures and have the same personalities, Pyrrhura conures are quieter, less destructive and smaller than the latter.
Aratinga conures include the blue-crowned, Jenday, mitred, Nanday, brown-throated, dusky-headed, cherry-headed, sun, peach-fronted and orange-fronted conures. Pyrrhura conures include the crimson-bellied, maroon-bellied, blue-throated, green-cheeked and black-capped conures.
The pineapple conure is a popular variation of the green-cheeked conure. It was born out of a mutation of the yellow-sided and cinnamon conures.
The unique color combination of these two conures gives the pineapple conure a fascinating look that attracts pet bird owners. The following is additional information that will help you understand the pineapple conure.
Pineapple Conure Origin and Natural Habitat
Pineapple conures live in the South American wilderness. You can find them in the woodlands and forests of Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Mato Grosso.
Owing to their social nature, pineapple conures are found in flocks of 10-20 birds on treetops. The flocks can have higher numbers in places where there is a lot of food. At times, pineapple conures raid farming fields for food.
Pineapple Conure Appearance
A pineapple conure’s physical attributes will help you decide whether or not this is the pet bird for you. Since this conure is a mix of the yellow-sided and cinnamon conure, it will have a blend of the physical attributes of both birds.
The bird has yellow sides and a tan-colored head. Its back feathers have a lime green hue like the cinnamon conure’s while its chest has many bright yellow and red feathers.
The pineapple conure has a reddish-orange tint around its lower beak feathers with some red hints just above the cere. The tail feathers have a maroon to light red tint like yellow-sided conures do with a halo effect.
The halo effect is particularly noticeable in young pineapple conures. The bird’s eyes have a ruby red glow like the cinnamon conure.
You might not immediately differentiate a male and female pineapple conure. Even so, you can pick a female and male conure from the bird’s behavior. Male pineapple conures are territorial and adventurous while females are sweet and cuddly.
Pineapple Conure Food and Diet
As with all parrot species, food is a crucial part of a conure’s physical and mental wellbeing. You should aim for a varied diet for your pineapple conure to get optimum nutrition.
In the wild, pineapple conures will live on seeds, insect larvae, grass, fruits and nuts. While in captivity, you are responsible for what your conure eats. It thus essential to have a balanced diet by including the foods below in its feeds:
- Seeds: These are the favorites for pineapple conures. Include chia, quinoa, and barley seeds in your pet bird’s diet. You can mix these seeds up or feed them separately. It would be best to soak the seeds in water a few hours before feeding your conure to make them chewable. Remember not to overdo the seeds because they have a high fat content that can lead to obesity in your bird. Steer clear of a market-made seed mix in your conure’s diet since it has an imbalanced nutrition profile and a lot of fat.
- Pellets: These make 65-70% of a pineapple conure’s diet. Pellets have a balanced nutritional profile and are sure to deliver anything that your bird is lacking from its other daily feeds. Instead of settling for a brand name or the cheapest pellet feed for your conure, pick a high-quality feed.
- Fruits: Fruits are favorites of pineapple conures in their natural habitats. Include them in their diet in captivity in mangoes, pears, blueberries, grapes, apples and bananas. You can offer these to conures with or without peels. Slice, dice and puree them before serving to make them manageable for your pet. Discard all uneaten fruits within 5-6 hours of serving to avoid contamination.
- Vegetables: watercress, beet greens, and collard greens are among your best vegetables for a pet pineapple conure. Spinach is also a good choice since it adds some calcium to the conure’s diet. Other than leafy greens, include dark vegetables in the conure’s diet to deliver a healthy dose of vitamin A. Winter squash, pumpkin and sweet potatoes are good dark vegetable options when served in small bite-sized pieces.
- Cuttlebone: This is crucial to keep a pineapple conure’s bones strong and healthy. You can hang the cuttlebone inside your bird’s cage so that the pet chews on it when it wants. The cuttlebone would also double up as a beak grinder to keep your conure’s beak in shape.
- Nuts: These are good treats for pineapple conures. Moreover, the nuts are good EFA sources for your bird and will thus boost their brain health. Chopped walnuts or almonds make for a rewarding platter. However, do not serve your conure more than half a nut daily because of its high fat content that predisposes your bird to different issues. You can sprinkle seeds on the nuts to make them a delight for your pet bird.
- Water: It is essential to keep your pet bird well-hydrated more so in hot and humid conditions. Have a full water bowl in the bird’s cage and change the water every few hours. In hot months, consider having an extra bowl so that your pineapple conure is not dehydrated if the first bowl runs out.
Pineapple Conure Weight and Size
The weight and size of a conure will determine its cage size and who can comfortably handle it. Pineapple conures are considered the smallest among the conure species.
They grow to adult lengths of approximately ten inches. An adult pineapple conure weighs about 60-80 grams.
Pineapple Conure Lifespan
The death of a pet is an emotionally draining affair that few, if any, pet owners want to go through. Pets, after all, form an emotional connection with their owners much like families and friends.
A pineapple conure’s lifespan ranges from 10-30 years. In the wild, a pineapple conure can live for fifteen years because it is exposed to predators and other elements that shorten its lifespan.
With proper care and attention, it can live for over thirty years in captivity. This means you can be sure that you will not be mourning your pet bird in a few months if you take care of it optimally.
Pineapple Conure Breeding
You, of course, will want to expand your pet bird population whether to keep the birds, sell them or give them away as gifts. Pineapple conures reach their breeding ages when they turn 1-3 years old.
While females can breed at seven months, you should not allow them to until they are at least a year old. This is because early breeding often affects a conure’s health. In the wild, pineapple conures breed in summer that coincidentally falls in February.
You might observe pet conures exhibiting breeding behaviors during the same time in captivity. These include females hiding in the nest box, and both genders regurgitating their food to each other or nipping below the mid-back.
On average, pineapple conures have a clutch size of 4-6 eggs. Females and males both sit on the eggs for 22-25 days one after the other until they hatch. If the conures do not sit on the eggs for the first ten days after laying, they will not hatch.
Pineapple Conure Talking Ability
The talking ability of a pineapple conure can be compared to that of a parrotlet since it is not such a great talker. The conure is generally quiet though it can learn a few words. Its voice is deep-sounding and quite rough.
These qualities make it among the less popular birds to train to speak. Though pineapple conures have limited vocabulary, they have excellent imitation skills and will pick up words spoken around them repeatedly.
With its love for human interaction, it will not be hard to teach your pineapple conure a few words when you spend time with it. The talking ability and time it takes will vary among different conures.
Unfortunately, some pineapple conures do not talk at all. If the ability to talk is thus what draws you to a pet bird, you should reconsider getting a pineapple conure.
Pineapple Conure Cage Size
Pineapple conures do not need as much space as other parrot species because of their small sizes. A cage measuring 22-24 square inches with a height of approximately 30 inches will suffice for an adult conure to play around in as well.
The metal bars on the cage should be 0.5-0.75 inches apart to keep the conure protected inside. Cage accessories are a must in all conure cages. This is because the birds are by nature playful and active.
Without some accessories, therefore, a pineapple conure will get bored and might have deteriorating health. The following are some accessories to include in the cage without cramping the available space for your bird:
- Perches to strengthen your pet bird’s flexes and grip.
- Feeding and water bowls.
- Supplements like cuttlebone and high-quality mineral blocks.
- Toys like sparkly items with bells or mirrors on them, swings, rope-like hanging toys and small ladders with catchy patterns. You can also include homemade toys so long as they are made from non-toxic materials.
Are Pineapple Conures Noisy?
No, pineapple conures are among the quietest pet birds you can get. In fact, you can comfortably live with them in an apartment without worrying about disturbing your neighbors. Nonetheless, their quiet nature does not mean that the conures are boring.
They are rather playful and love spending time with their owners. Young pineapple conures are somewhat nippy and might bite you or make noise. Thankfully, these behaviors can be stopped with a little training.
Furthermore, your conure might become aggressive if you neglect its needs. Other than the risk of hurting you and the noise it makes when aggressive, the bird often becomes stressed or depressed. This predisposes it to diverse health issues.
Some pineapple conures are initially a bit noisy. Unfortunately, most owners respond to every loud noise that the pet bird makes. The response to these loud noises makes your conure assume that the noise is good and will attract you.
This reinforces the behavior. Learn to ignore the loud noises so that you discourage the behavior and foster a pleasant home environment.
Most people worry that training their pineapple conure is hard and are not as convinced to get the bird even with the information from the tidbits above. Even so, these pet birds are quite easy to train when young.
Generally, mature birds will not respond well to instructions. Use the step-up learning technique with your young bird. In the technique, start with simple things then slowly scale to seemingly complex things when teaching your bird.
This is among the most effective methods of training pet pineapple conures to grasp different things. During training, remember to clip your conure’s wings to prevent accidents. You can later let the wings grow free once the bird has learnt its limits and you have bonded well with it.
With all the information you have gleaned from this article, you are now hopefully better prepared to get a pet pineapple conure. There are several pet stores that now stock the conures. As such, getting one will not be a hassle.
Though the care needs of a pineapple conure are lower compared to other parrot species, you should have a reliable vet on call. This way, you can get specialist help promptly when the need arises.