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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 of them.

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.

Tips

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

Routine

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.

Seed
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:
Wheat
Millet
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 basis.

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
Peanuts
Sunflower
Poppy
Linseed
Rape
Hemp
Niger
It is a good idea to give your conure small quantities from the whole range of these seeds.

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:
Apples
Oranges
Bananas
Melons
Pineapples
Grapes
Pomegranates
Plums
Peaches
Figs
Raisins
Dates
Vegetable possibilities include:
Spinach
Celery
Beetroot
Kale
Carrots
Brussels
Sprouts
Corn
Peas
Beans
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 seeds.

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.

Water

It should go without saying really, birds need water 24 hours a day. I should be fresh every day.

 

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