Green Cheeked Conures . . . An owner’s guide, part 1

Green Cheeked Conures (a type of small parrot) can make very rewarding pets but they take a lot of hard work, dedication and time. A Green Cheek can live up to around 25 years or more, so you are taking on a big responsibility and need to be prepared to provide it with a loving, comfortable home for that length of time.

If you are prepared to make such a big commitment, you also need to consider whether this bird could fit in to your lifestyle. Conure’s are very sociable birds and need a lot of time and attention to keep them happy. Even if you keep a pair, they still need several hours of out-of-cage playtime with their humans, so if you aren’t home much, they might not be the bird for you. They bond with their human owners and consider them one of the flock, so as flock birds, they get very worried if you’re not around plenty.

As for their home, they need a large cage, as they are very active. You should go for as big a cage as you can, but make sure the bar spacing is small enough, otherwise your bird could get his head stuck between bars and injure or even kill itself. The cage needs to be equipped with a variety of perches of different sizes and textures, as well as somewhere to hide if the bird is feeling frightened. Also vital, is having a multitude of toys. Conure’s are very playful and can become easily bored and depressed if they don’t have enough toys to keep them occupied. These toys should include chewing/destructible toys, foraging toys to encourage natural behaviour and indestructible toys. Puzzle toys are brilliant too, as Conure’s are intelligent birds and so a challenge will keep a lot more satisfied. Be prepared to buy a lot of toys and to frequently change them around and move them about, to prevent boredom for your bird.

Diet wise, there are several options. There are pros and cons to each but when you receive your bird from the breeder or pet store, make sure you ask what food they are currently eating, so when you take them home, you don’t suddenly change their diet, as well and their surroundings. Some of the types of food available are seed mixes, which often contain dried fruit and other ingredients. Conure’s are prone to being seed addicts and may ignore the other components of these types of mix. This can lead to poor nutrition, so if you do go for a seed diet, make sure you supplement it with a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, to ensure they are getting all of the vitamins and minerals required to keep them healthy. Another popular diet option is pellets. These are a complete food option and contain a balance of all the things your bird requires in its diet. It is wise to always provide fresh food alongside the pellets too, as variety keeps your Conure happy. It is worth researching the different diets available and decide which you think would best keep your bird happy and healthy. Some people mix pellets, seeds and fresh food for a rounded, varied diet.

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