Conure diet, food and feeding
Conures are relatively flexible in the food that they eat, reflecting their life
in the wild. That said, conures are fairly consistent in the food that they eat.
When introducing a new food into the conures diet, it may take some time to
accept it and may not accept it at all. Some conures like highly varied diets
whereas other do not. Imported birds may have a basic diet and not as
predisposed as conures that have frequently been introduced to different foods.
You will soon notice that conures eat the things they prefer first – not unlike
most humans! As a general rule it is useful to have separate dishes for
different conure seeds. The main reason for this is that often the smaller seeds
sink to the bottom of mixed seeds and it is difficult for the conure to get hold
You also need to decide whether to use gravity water bottles or open dishes. The
bottles should have metal ends as plastic ones are very swiftly ripped up! If
you choose a dish the best type is a large earthenware crock. This has the
additional benefit that the conure can splash about in it if t wishes to. This
will benefit the plumage of your conure.
It is essential that your conure gets the essential minerals and vitamins that
it needs to stay healthy. Providing a cuttlefish bone will provide your conure
with the vital calcium that it needs, but you may opt for supplement calcium
too. The cuttlefish bone also keeps the conures beak in good shape. It is also
essential that you provide grit for your conure. The conure uses this grit to
aid digestion of its food.
You should (obviously) constantly check the food dishes of your conure. Note
should be taken of changes in the amount of food that your conure eats.
Fluctuations are potentially a sign that your conure is not in good health or is
ill. If you do notice a dip in the food your conure is eating you should take
the bird to an avian vet.
• Food can be prepared in bulk and kept refrigerated
• Seed must be kept clean, fresh, dry and cool
• You should not store more than a months worth of seed
• Cheap seed tends to be of a lower nutritional quality and less clean. Buying
cheap seed is a false economy
• All green food should be washed to remove any potentially dangerous pesticides
or the like
Conures prefer to be fed at the same time each day. Naturally, seed and water
must be available to your conure 24 hours a day. You should plan and write down
your conures diet so that no essential nutrients are forgotten and nit part of
your conures diet. Conures should not suddenly have large quantities of a new
foodstuff given to them; you should offer a small amount at first and build it
up. Green foods are essential for conures and should be given regularly.
What makes a good diet for a conure?
There are many different things that you can offer to your conure. Of course the
diet your conure has is unlikely to be like the one that it would get in the
wild, but you can still ensure that your conure gets a wholesome, well-rounded
and balanced diet.
There is two overarching categories of seed. Firstly you have seed rich in
carbohydrate and secondly those which are rich in protein and fatty oil.
Carbohydrate seed is essential for giving your conure energy to go about its
daily business. Carbohydrate seeds include:
• White Millet
• Yellow Millet
• Canary seed
Canary seed and millet are most commonly given to Conures and confer the
additional advantage of giving your conure something to do in terms of removing
the husk, which is small and takes more time. These seeds should be considered
to be the lynchpin of your conures diet and need to be supplied on a year round
Protein and fat-rich seeds need to be given in a more controlled fashion. They
are the seeds that the conures use to build tissue and are especially vital for
younger conures who are still growing. The fatty oil aids the conure in getting
benefit from vitamins and the metabolic processes of the conure. The proteins
and fats are also used by the conure to build a layer of fat to keep the conure
warm. If a conure is given too much of these seeds the conure will become
overweight and unhealthy, this will affect breeding ability and the conures
quality of life. Protein and fats rich seed include:
• Pine nuts
It is a good idea to give your conure small quantities from the whole range of
Some people like to collect vegetation that grows locally for their conures.
There is really nothing wrong with this as long as certain plants are not given
to your conure. You will need to check which are poisonous and which are not.
Most plants that a wild bird eats and conure will eat too
Fruit and vegetables
It is essential that conures get a good quantity of fruit and vegetables in
their diet. They not only enjoy them but provide many of the vitamins that they
need to lead a healthy life. To give your conure the widest range of vitamins
you should give it a large variety of different fruits and vegetables.
Fruit possibilities include:
Vegetable possibilities include:
Wild plants can also be added. All should be washed to remove any traces of
harmful pesticide and can be chapped up and served with other foods such as
Vitamins for conures
Just as for humans, without vitamins the conure will become unhealthy. It is
imperative that your conure has the vitamins in its diet in order to lead a
happy life and resist illness. On the other hand too many vitamins can also
cause issues. The most important vitamins are A, E and in particular B vitamins.
One method is to add a small quantity of cod liver oil or wheat germ oil to the
seed mix. Minerals are also essential to your conures health and the most
important mineral is calcium which you continuously be supplemented. Calcium
supplements are available from good retailers. Other methods include cuttlefish
bone and crushed eggshell mixed with grit. As mentioned previously grit is
important for conures as it helps them digest seeds. It also provides minerals
for the conure. Grit can be purchased from pet suppliers.
It should go without saying really, birds need water 24 hours a day. I should be
fresh every day.
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