Selecting a Conure Parrot – considerations (Species, cost,
pet or breeding and where to buy a conure from)
Once the decision to purchase a Conure has been made there are a number of
financial and practical considerations that must be made. The most important
decision is regarding accommodation. Of course, this should be sorted out before
a conure is bought.
Other aspects which should be accounted for include:
• Which species is most appropriate/desirable
• The financial implications
• Purpose of the purchase: breeding or pet
• Where to buy a Conure from
• Issues regarding health
These will now be discussed in more depth
Choosing a conure species
Choosing a species is not a decision to be made lightly. The best manner to do
this is to take time and look at many different species before you make the
decision. It is advisable to speak to other owners – the forum on this site is a
good place to start.
There is a large variance in the cost of conures. There are a number of factors
which impact the cost of conures. As a general rule imported birds or bred
species are the least expensive due to the greater supply of these birds.
Homebred conures tend to be more expensive; however, imported conures are likely
to require more care when you first acquire the conure. Furthermore, imported
birds are likely not to be as used to humans as homebred birds. Generally
homebred conures tend to have superior plumage. Due to these reasons it is
usually better to buy a homebred conure. On the other hand not all species are
readily available so buying an imported bird may be the only option.
It should also be noted that the price of a conure will be affected by the age
of the bird. For example a hand raised chick will be more expensive than an
older imported bird. It is difficult to determine the age of conures after their
first moult, at the age of under a year. It is the case that where the birds age
is known for sure, the price of the conure will be higher.
Sexed conures are also more expensive. Conures of either sex look very similar
in appearance and surgical sexing (endoscopy) is often the best most cost
effective way of sexing conures. If a pair have mated before then that is
another way of sexing conures.
It may be worth paying the extra money to buy hand-tamed conures. This can be
particularly time-saving. Conures may be hand-tamed by breeders to be
specifically suitable for keeping as pets. Particular care should be taken when
purchasing previously owned conures as their upbringing massively impacts their
personality and the conure can be a particularly noisy, aggressive and
destructive if not brought up well.
Rarer conure are obviously more expensive. This is a reflection on the
difficulty in acquiring them. Particularly noteworthy is the Queen of Barvaria
conure which commands significantly high prices.
As has been demonstrated there a large number of factors impacting the price of
conures and therefore choosing a conure that is suitable is imperative, it is
not a case of purchasing the first conure you see.
Purpose – pet or breeding?
Depending on the purpose for which you are buying a conure will affect the
conure you purchase. If you are looking to buy a conure as a pet you should look
for a conure that is as young as possible. This gives it the best chance
possible to fit into its new surroundings and life. Hand-readed conures are the
best as they have already had interaction with humans. Young conures that have
only recently fledged are the next best option. Another option is to purchase a
conure that has not yet molted, then you will know for sure that the conure is
less than one year old. If you do purchase an older bird it will be more
difficult to tame. It is highly likely that it will be tameable, but unlikely to
be as tame as a conure purchased at a younger age. Indeed it is possible that an
older conure never really became truly tamed.
If you are looking breed then you will be looking for a pair of conures. You
should only buy a pair that has been surgically sexed or have already bred
together otherwise you could be waiting a long time for eggs! Generally there is
an above 50% chance that the pair will be compatible.
Where to buy a conure from
The biggest factor to consider when deciding where to buy a conure from, will be
the reputation of the breeder or seller. Unfortunately with some species there
is not a great deal of choice of breeders. Pet shops tend to be relatively good
but you should look out for cleanliness of the premises, stock and knowledge of
the staff. A good pet shop should provide good advice not just now but also into
the future. Birds imported into the US and the UK should have been quarantined
for roughly35 days and therefore you should be able to be fairly confident that
the conure has been feeding well and are relatively healthy. It is difficult to
tell an imported conure (whose feather will improve after the first moult) from
a poorly kept bird and therefore an experts opinion should be sought. It may be
a good idea to visit a conure showing that has classes. By doing this you will
be able to see what a healthy conure should look like. As mentioned previously
you should not make any quick decisions – take the time to really have a good
look at as many conures as possible.
It is often useful to view a conure from a long distance. This will allow you to
see its natural behaviour, rather than when it has been disturbed. Things to
look out for include:
• Not moving about much
• A bird that rests on two feet (healthy conures sleep resting one leg tucked
under its feathers)
• Eyes provide important clues regarding health
o No discharge
o Should be round, bright and clear
o No swelling around the eyes or nostrils
• Should have a well formed beak, not overlong or poorly aligned
• Birds with some feathers missing is not indicative of problems, but bald
patches should definitely be avoided
• Feather should be tight to the body and shimmering
• Scales on the legs should lay flat
• The backside of the bird should be free from stains or faeces
• The faeces should not be hard, too viscous or show signs of blood
• You should ask to hold the conure. It should feel plump and will probably flap
its wings giving you an opportunity to check them out briefly
We have another article dedicated to housing conures
like this page please
link to it!