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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Conure questions

Okay we were in a petstore picking up supplies (I'm going to start having them mailed to me to avoid these window shopping situations that are disastrous to my sanity) and when i came back from the dog food aisle my husband had fallen in love with a sun conure. It was cuddling him and giving him kisses and everything!
So now I'm getting an email about every 7.5 minutes about sun conures and green cheek conures for sale.

Anyway if any of you are experienced keepers I have a few questions.
1. Since they are soo socially demanding will a conure just lose his mind if everyone in the household works days?
2. If so do they do better if you house them as a pair or should they be housed singly and just get a lot of human attention?
3. We don't have a whole lot of bird experience, are they delicate? Am I going to kill it accidentally?
4. Are they fairly trainable? I've seen some parrot training tapes and materials, if we used those and worked with one are they fairly easy to train and socialize or do they tend to be bitey and aggressive? If so can they actually do damage by biting?
5. Is it very difficult and expensive to meet their nutritional needs or is it fairly doable at your neighborhood petshop?
6. Is there one species (sun, green cheek, half moon, etc) that is more sociable or a better beginner bird?

My husband is so excited about all this that I don't want to say no without any consideration, but I also don't want to risk jumping into purchasing a pet if we can't meet all of its care requirements.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-16-2009, 08:51 PM
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Anyway if any of you are experienced keepers I have a few questions.
1. Since they are soo socially demanding will a conure just lose his mind if everyone in the household works days?

No, not at all. To a great degree, it depends on the bird and how it was raised. But plenty of toys are a good way to entertain them, and switch toys out from time to time, that way they always have something new to play with (or at least a toy they haven't seen for a few weeks).

2. If so do they do better if you house them as a pair or should they be housed singly and just get a lot of human attention?

Single is fine.

3. We don't have a whole lot of bird experience, are they delicate? Am I going to kill it accidentally?

Birds are different. They have an extremely efficient respiratory system. That's why canaries were used in mines, the birds die first from airborne toxins and gasses. Get rid of all your non-stick cookware, no smoking anywhere around it, keep the wings clipped so there are no excursions into windows, mirrors, ceiling fans, frying pans, toilets, etc. Be very, very vigilant around other animals. Be gentle, and be careful. You'll do fine.

4. Are they fairly trainable? I've seen some parrot training tapes and materials, if we used those and worked with one are they fairly easy to train and socialize or do they tend to be bitey and aggressive? If so can they actually do damage by biting?

In all likelihood, YOU are the one who'll be trained. Birds are smarter than you think, ...even if you already think they are smart. Books, tapes all help.
Birds are VERY social animals, the problem isn't socializing most hand raised birds, it's getting them to be able to live in/on their cage so you can have a little alone time yourself!
As a rule, I don't like to be bitten, ...by anything. It always hurts to be bitten. Conures in particular have sharp little beaks. They can break the skin and make you say bad words. Don't let them on your shoulder so they have access to your face, ears, nose, EYES, etc. You won't die, and you probably never have to have stitches, (...but remember. I warned you about the bad word thing).


5. Is it very difficult and expensive to meet their nutritional needs or is it fairly doable at your neighborhood petshop?

One word: PELLETS, ..or pelleted diet (Okay, that's more than one word..). Doesn't really matter which one. The absolute worst pelleted diet is far, far better than the best seed diet. Seeds should only be an occasional supplement, used as a treat for training. It's healthier and makes training easier.
Other foods, like table foods (bits of bread, cheese, veggies, fruits, seeds, etc) should be in moderation, ...meaning about a third or less of the total diet.
Do not let your birds have free choice, they are like kids, they'll eat dessert first if you let them, and then not be hungry for the healthy stuff.


6. Is there one species (sun, green cheek, half moon, etc) that is more sociable or a better beginner bird?

I like the smaller conures, Green-cheeked are my faves. They are quiet and gentle. Suns, Nandays, Jendays are all cool birds, but a bit larger and much louder. If I was going with a bigger one, I'd look for a Patagonian. They are very cool, and not all that common.


My husband is so excited about all this that I don't want to say no without any consideration, but I also don't want to risk jumping into purchasing a pet if we can't meet all of its care requirements.

Look for a breeder, check them and their facility out first. Then, BEFORE you get the bird, ....FIND A VET!. Make sure the vet specializes in birds. Not all vets do.

I did not put any links on this, as you should google the heck out all of these subjects. ...pellets, wing clipping, training, avian vets, etc. If you have ANY questions, feel free to PM me. I've owned birds all my life and bred them (including conures) for over thirty. I am not the ultimate authority, but I'll help if I can.

Bob



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Last edited by Mygala; 03-16-2009 at 08:55 PM.
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