Conures are a group of medium-sized parrots with a long tail. They can be found in the wild in Central and South America. They are loved as pets because they easily adapt to new surroundings, they are relatively low maintenance, and they are easy to get your hands on by buying one for a reasonable price or by adopting one.
How long do conures live for? If you keep your conure in a clean and healthy environment, its lifespan will be, on average, about 20 years. When you properly care for a conure, you are assured of a lifetime companion. That said, this number varies depending on the species of conure that you get. Here are the lifespans of some of the common conures:
- Jenday conure. It is sometimes referred to as the Jandaya parakeet. It has a green tail and wings, an orange body, and its head and neck are yellow but the cheeks are orange. When given the right care, this bird can live for 25 to 30 years.
- Nanday conure. These birds display a beautiful set of colors. Their head, throat, cheeks, and head are black. For this reason, they are sometimes called black-hooded parrots. The rest of the body takes up shades of green and their breast might be blue. Proper care and feeding will ensure that the bird reaches its full lifespan- 25 years.
- Golden conure. They have a vibrant gold set of feathers from head to toe except for the wingtips, which are a rich green. Since it is not usually prone to disease, it has a rather long lifespan of 30 years.
- Dusky conure. It is also called Weddell’s conure. It has a greyish brown head, a green body, and a tail with a blue tip. They are playful and one of the longest-living conures as their lifespans lie between 35 and 40 years.
- Black-capped conure. Most of their bodies are covered in green feathers but they are brown from the head to their upper breast. If the bird is not given the care it needs, it can live for around 10 years but if it is taken care of well, it can live for up to 30 years.
- Blue crown conure. This bird’s feathers are blue-green and among the species of conures, it can be counted as one of the best talkers. With proper care, it can live for 20 years.
- Patagonian conure. It is commonly called the burrowing parrot. They have a green head, a gray underbelly, and their feathers have hints of yellow. If you provide it with appropriate care, you will enjoy your pet’s company for around 30 years.
To ensure your conure lives for as long as possible, make sure you provide it with a suitable habitat and nutritional foods. This article will show you how to properly take care of your conure.
Caring for Your Conure
Choosing to own a pet means assuming the responsibility of its well-being even when you are not around it. Luckily, a conure’s care requirements are low, so even a first-time bird owner can give it the care it needs.
Part of these needs is a proper habitat. You need to provide a warm and exciting environment to endure your conure stays healthy. Here are some of the things you should keep in mind when creating a home for your conure.
The Cage Size and Setup
Conures are very active and this will warrant a large cage for them to play in. For small birds like the painted conure, the cage size should be at least 18 x 18 x 18 inches and for larger ones like the Patagonian conure, the cage should measure at least 36 x 36 x 36 inches.
The cage should have bars that are spaced such that the bird cannot pass through or get their head stuck between them. For small conures, this width is about half an inch. If you can, find a cage with horizontal bars for your conure to climb and exercise on.
If your birdcage is too small your conure will be uncomfortable and it might also result in the bird screaming, biting, and feather plucking.
The shape of the cage is also a factor to consider.
It has been found that round cages can negatively affect the bird’s mental health so you should consider getting a square/ rectangular cage.
Cages can either be suspended from a point or placed on a surface so you should choose one that you feel is most appropriate for your home since they can live in any type.
Toys and Perches
Once your cage is set up, there are a few things you will need to put in there for your bird to be comfortable. Conures are playful birds and if they don’t get something to do, they may result in self-harming (feather-plucking). There are different types of toys you can put in the cage.
In the wild, conures get their food by foraging. Foraging toys can keep your bird busy by letting it copy this behavior. You can also put in shredding toys for your bird but you can use newspaper as an alternative.
Put in multiple toys with different textures so that the conure doesn’t get bored. Also, ensure that they don’t have parts that could choke/harm the bird.
Perches are also a must-have in the cage. The cage should have 2 or more with diameters between 1/2 and 5/8 inches. They should have different shapes and feels to strengthen the conure’s feet. When setting up the perches, ensure that they aren’t too close to the cage bars.
Where you place the cage is also vital. Ensure that it is above the ground either by hanging it or placing it on a stand. Please note that the cage shouldn’t go above eye level as this might make your bird feel superior and cultivate bad habits like biting.
Conures are comfortable in a room with moderate temperatures. Do not keep them near air vents that could change this temperature. The room should also be quiet for the conure to sleep well.
Your Conure’s Diet
What you feed the conure greatly determines its health. The quantity and frequency of feeding will depend on your bird’s eating habits but if you notice that it is not feeding normally, you should consult your vet as soon as possible.
Inside the cage, there should be three bowls: two for food, and one for water. Your bird’s diet should be a balance of seeds, nuts, pellets, fruits, and vegetables. You can also put in some vitamin supplements to ensure they are as healthy as possible. Remember to clean out the food and water bowls every day to prevent your bird from getting sick.
Good Birdseeds to Feed Your Conure
Conures enjoy eating seeds so you should find a quality bird seed mix. Stay away from supermarket brands since some of them contain filler and low-quality seeds. You can ask your vet or a local pet store for what brand to get.
Birds can be picky eaters, and you will notice your conure eating certain seeds and leaving the rest. Do not refill the food bowls until they are empty. Some of the seeds enjoyed by conures are sunflower and millet seeds.
Good Pellets to Feed Your Conure
Pellets are usually created with the conure’s nutritional needs in mind. For this reason, if your bird is on a seed-only diet, you should consider transitioning to pellets.they should make at least 75% of your bird’s daily diet. There are pellets for different stages of the conure’s life like breeding and molting.
Fruits That Your Conure Can Eat
In addition to pellets and seeds, fruits are a useful addition to the bird’s diet. Ensure that you give the bird a variety of fruits at least once weekly and if you see the bird-eating one fruit more than the others, consider keeping it off the menu for a few days.
Before giving fruits to your bird, ensure they are properly washed to remove pesticides from them. Also cut them into small pieces and remove the seeds from apples, plums, and cherries as they are considered poisonous.
Some of the fruits you can give a conure are mangoes, bananas, and kiwi.
Good Nuts to Feed Your Conure
Nuts are a good source of proteins and healthy fats. You should feed your bird nuts once a day since the high-fat content can make them obese. Conures can be fed with hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, and macadamia nuts. Ensure that the nuts are low in salt and the peanuts are unshelled.
Vegetables That Your Conure Can Eat
Vegetables are also a good source of vitamins and minerals so you should incorporate them into the bird’s regimen daily. Opt for dark green vegetables since they have a higher nutrient content. Paler produce like lettuce has high water content and would not do much for your conure.
Examples of vegetables to feed your bird are spinach, zucchini, and pumpkin.
Treats to Feed Your Conure
Treats are important as they make your bird feel happy and loved. They are also used as rewards when training the conure to perform tricks like stepping up and saying phrases.
You can look for manufactured treats at your local pet store or healthy snacks like scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, pasta, and beans.
Foods to Never Feed Your Conure
Here is a list of food that you should never feed your conure.
- Avocado. It contains a toxin called persin that is fatal to birds.
- Chocolate. It has caffeine that can cause death due to an increased heart rate.
- Apple seeds and fruit pits. They have been found to contain cyanide which is poisonous to birds.