Many people associate feeding a conure primarily with seeds and nuts. Parrot nutrition experts, however, have concluded that a diet based on these products fails to meet a conure’s nutritional needs. This often results in avoidable health issues, undesirable behavior, and an abbreviated life.
Like a healthy human diet, fresh vegetables and fruits are essential elements of a healthy conure diet. Most vegetables and sprouts can be offered in almost unlimited supply, whereas fruit should be offered less bountifully.
Read on to find out which vegetables and fruits are your best choices, and what are the few foods your conure should never eat.
I) Benefits of eating veggies and fruits
II) What fruits and veggies can conures eat?
III) Getting a picky eater to taste veggies and fruits
IV) What foods are bad for conures
Benefits of eating veggies and fruits
Vegetables and fruits are packed with nutrients
The vitamins, minerals, and proteins crucial to a conure’s long-term health are often lacking in traditional seed or pellet diets.
While a good base pellet should be part of your bird’s daily diet, it should be supplemented and rounded out with an abundance of veggies and an assortment of fruits.
Birds that enjoy regular servings of fresh produce tend to have healthier skin and feathers, better energy, fewer behavior problems, and fewer health issues.
Pet birds that eat more vegetables are less likely to be overweight
Some parrots have earned a reputation for being “perch potatoes.” Few pet birds get as much exercise as their wild counterparts.
A diet high in vegetables and lower in seeds will reduce the chance your bird will put on surplus weight, which can lead to other health problems and a shorter lifespan.
Eating vegetables and fruits is interesting
Foraging toys and puzzles are popular because they encourage parrots to work for and play with their food.
Vegetables and fruits can stimulate and entertain your bird in a similar way. They can be hung on the side of the cage, hidden inside one another, or skewered together as a kabob.
The sheer variety in the textures, tastes, and ways of serving veggies and fruits will make mealtime much more interesting for your bird.
What fruits and veggies can conures eat?
Conures can and should eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits—with an emphasis on vegetables.
The amount of vegetables a conure may be offered is virtually unlimited. They are packed with nutrients that support healthy cell performance and complex carbohydrates that release a steady supply of energy.
Fruits, on the other hand, are made up of simple carbohydrates, which can lead to excess weight gain and release energy in sudden bursts, leading to sugar highs and lows.
Because conures will often choose to eat fruits instead of vegetables if offered together (due to fruit’s sweetness), fruit should be considered more of a snack food.
- Dark green and cruciferous vegetables: collard greens, chard, spinach, kale, watercress, turnip greens, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussels sprouts
- Red/orange vegetables: red peppers, sweet potato, yams, carrots, pumpkin, and winter squash
- Starchy vegetables (in moderation): corn and potatoes
- Other vegetables: asparagus, eggplant, rutabaga, radishes, okra, green peppers, peas, green beans, cucumbers, and zucchini
Most vegetables’ health benefits are best raw or nearly raw. However, potatoes and sweet potatoes should always be cooked before feeding. Legumes also should always be cooked or sprouted.
- Berries, apples, grapes, guava fruit, nectarines, pomegranate, figs, papaya, bananas, pears, melons, plums, peaches, apricots, mango, kiwi, cherries, pineapple, and passion fruit
- Tomatoes, oranges, lemons, and limes (in moderation)
When feeding fresh fruits and vegetables, keep in mind that they will begin to spoil after two or three hours.
Whatever has been left uneaten should be removed and disposed of. Dishes that were used should also be washed to avoid bacteria buildup.
Getting a picky eater to taste veggies and fruits
If your conure has never tried fresh vegetables or fruits before, it may take a little coaxing to get her to taste them. With fresh goodies like the ones discussed above, though, it may not be as difficult as you fear.
The best time to offer new foods is when your bird is awake, hungry, and curious in the morning. Make sure she isn’t filling up on too many treats to be hungry for a regular meal.
Try this, try that
One of the best ways to tempt a parrot to try an unfamiliar food is to eat a bit of it yourself (or at least pretend to) and make a big deal about how good it is before offering your bird a taste. (“yum yum!”)
Try offering veggies in different forms—raw, steamed, chopped, mashed, shredded, etc. Texture can be as important to a bird as taste. Sometimes a bird will taste something warm that she wouldn’t touch cold—or vice versa.
Mix things up
Try sprinkling the new food on top of your bird’s regular diet, or if that doesn’t work, offer it in a special “treat” dish. Try sticking it through the cage bars so she will pull on it, play with it, and maybe taste it. Mix favored fruits or sweet potatoes with less tasty vegetables to get your bird interested.
Many well-rounded parrot chop recipes are available online. These recipes mix various whole ingredients that are often so intriguing parrots will dig in with little hesitation.
Keep it fresh
Never offer the same serving of food over and over, as its decreasing freshness will only discourage your bird further. Remove any food that hasn’t been eaten after a couple of hours and try again with fresh food later.
What foods are bad for conures
As with other pets, there are foods (including a few fruits and vegetables) that you should not feed your conure. Some of them are potentially toxic. Others are just unhealthy or indigestible for birds.
This also goes for coffee and any other caffeinated foods or drinks. Caffeine can dangerously increase your bird’s heart rate and even cause seizures and death.
Chocolate also contains theobromine, which affects birds in a similar manner.
The darker or stronger the chocolate or coffee, the more hazardous it is, but even small amounts can lead to your bird experiencing an increased heart rate and developing tremors.
We have a separate article about why chocolate is bad for your bird, so definitely check that out!
Even a tiny amount of alcohol can lead to severe brain and liver damage in a pet.
Though it’s considered a healthy food for humans, avocados contain small amounts of a natural fungicide called persin that can cause respiratory issues or heart damage in birds.
Some birds may appear unaffected, while others may have a sudden allergy-like attack that can end in sudden death. It’s best to avoid feeding avocado at all.
Apple seeds and fruit pits
Apples are fine, but remove the seeds before feeding the fruit to your conure. Apple seeds contain small amounts of toxic cyanide.
Peach, apricot, cherry, and plum pits also contain cyanide and should be removed before feeding your bird any of these fruits.
Onions and garlic
Conures, as well as other birds and even dogs and cats, should not be fed onions or garlic. Although they are fine for humans, they are toxic to pets.
Garlic can cause digestive issues, and onions can break down red blood cells leading to “onion poisoning” or anemia.
Meat contains saturated fat and cholesterol, neither of which is good for your bird. While some parrot owners will occasionally allow their birds a nibble of lean meats like chicken or fish, they are not part of a conure’s natural diet and are best avoided altogether.
Though dairy is not toxic to birds, they can’t digest the lactose found in dairy products, leading to digestive problems and diarrhea.
Yogurt and cheese are the exceptions, as they contain little to no lactose. However, they should only be fed in small amounts as an occasional treat.
Junk food and fried food
Like people, conures can have a sweet tooth and be partial to foods full of salt, sugar, or fat. A smidgen of pizza or the edge of a non-chocolate cookie is fine now and then.
As a general rule, however, you should avoid feeding “junk food” to your bird as it can cause multiple health issues.
Very acidic fruits
Citrus fruits and tomatoes should be fed only in small amounts as they are highly acidic. Experts also advise against feeding rhubarb as it contains oxalic acid, a potentially toxic substance for birds that can cause kidney damage.
Nightshades and inedible mushrooms
Tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant are all part of the nightshade family—meaning the plants themselves are toxic.
While conures can safely eat the fruit, they should not be given the leaves or stems of any of these plants. Any mushroom that would be toxic to humans is also toxic to birds.
If you are unsure about a food item that has not been included on this list, it’s best to play it safe. Do further research or avoid feeding it to your bird at all. There are plenty of healthy fruits and veggies he can enjoy instead.
It’s also possible to find creative recipes for bird-safe alternatives to the treats like quick bread, pizza, or mac & cheese that your bird is always begging for but shouldn’t have.
Remember that your bird’s long-term health comes first, and a wholesome diet is foundational.
What fruits and vegetables are good for conures? ›
40-70% premium commercial parrot pelleted diet • 10-35% vegetables (recommended vegetables include: capsicum, broccoli, chili, corn, carrot, zucchini, squash, spinach, pumpkin, sweet potato, beans and peas) and sprouted seed. 10-40% fruits (i.e. melons, strawberries, banana, blue berries, grapes, peaches, pear, apple).What fruit and veg can green cheek conures eat? ›
Green Cheek Conures should be fed on a quality South American pellet and given daily fresh fruit and vegetables. This can include apple, carrot, beans, peas, corn, broccoli and spinach. This food should not be left in the cage for too long as spoilt fruit can gather bacteria and yeasts that can make your bird ill.What fruits can conures not eat? ›
While most fruit is safe and generally healthy for birds to consume in small amounts, certain fruits containing seeds (such as apples and pears) and pits (such as cherries, apricots, peaches, nectarines, and plums), should not be offered to birds without removing the seeds and pits first, as these seeds and pits ...What is a conures Favourite food? ›
A conure will often selectively eat only one or two of its favorite types of seed and nuts. Conures particularly love peanuts and sunflower seeds that are high in fat and deficient in calcium, vitamin A, and other nutrients.What vegetables can conures not eat? ›
- Cassava (tapioca)
- Dairy products.
- Onion, garlic, scallions.
Yes, carrots are a healthy vegetable for parrots. They contain vitamin C, carotenoids, and a variety of antioxidants. Each different color of carrot contains different antioxidants, and the way a carrot is prepared affects the amount of each nutrient present.What are good treats for conures? ›
Gather all the known treats that most parrot owners use such as sunflower seeds, pine nuts, millet, almonds, pumpkin seeds, safflower seeds, and even banana chips make some parrots go crazy!Can conures eat tomatoes? ›
While fresh tomatoes are not actually toxic to birds, many vets recommend not feeding them because they are acidic and can irritate a bird's digestive system.Can conures eat cooked rice? ›
Yes, parrots can eat rice! As parrot owners, we can integrate rice into a bird's diet as part of a healthy lifestyle.Can conures eat peanut butter? ›
Peanut butter is a good high-protein food for birds, and they can eat any of the same types humans do. If you're buying it specifically for birds, look for natural or organic types with the fewest additives.
Can conures eat oatmeal? ›
Grains: Cooked grains can include barley, brown rice and quinoa. Other grains that your parrot may like include oatmeal. Fruit: As far as possible, look to give your parrot organic fruit and wash it thoroughly before dishing it up. Safe fruits include apples, mangos and peaches.Can conures eat yogurt? ›
In general, parrots should not have any dairy products. However, a small bite isn't going to harm a parrot. Kefir is not likely to be any better for a parrot than any type of yogurt. The way most kefir is made, makes it very high in sugar and parrots should not have high sugar content foods.What is everything a conure needs? ›
Conures generally love to bathe — in their water dish, in the shower with their owner or via a spray bath. A conure's diet should include a nutritionally balanced manufactured diet, supplemented with fresh vegetables, fruit and healthy table foods. Conures have busy beaks, which makes Lafeber foods a conure favorite.What makes conures happy? ›
Conures are very interactive birds who need quite a bit of attention and engagement to be happy. You should consider leaving the bird's cage door open for much of the time that you are home with it. This will give it the freedom to move around and to interact with you.How often should you bathe your conure? ›
Birds should be encouraged to bathe often, as their feathers and skin will look healthier if they bathe frequently. Start by offering a bath to your bird once or twice weekly. You may notice that your bird has a preference about the time of day it likes to bathe.Can conures eat scrambled eggs? ›
Can parrots eat scrambled eggs? Parrots can feed on scrambled eggs without issues, as long as you use minimal or no oil.What are the healthiest vegetables for birds? ›
- Leafy green vegetables like spinach and kale.
- Cucumber, zucchini, pumpkins, cauliflower, broccoli.
- Most birds love corn, but care is needed not to overindulge.
Spinach and other types of leafy green vegetables such as romaine lettuce and kale are also wonderful additions to any pet bird's healthy diet. 2 Not only do most birds love to eat these healthy veggies, but they are also full of nutrients and antioxidants that can boost your bird's immune system.What do conures like to chew on? ›
You shouldn't discourage your conure from chewing, but you can of course redirect the behavior. The best way to do so is to offer plenty of fun chew toys made of natural wood! Parrot-safe branches collected outside work well, but you can also opt for toys made out of materials like balsa, cholla cactus, vine and more.Can conures eat cooked chicken? ›
Can parrots eat chicken? Yes. A little bit of lean, cooked chicken from time to time isn't bad for your parrot. You can include a shred here and there, but it shouldn't be part of its daily diet.
Can conures have celery? ›
It is perfectly fine and safe to feed raw celery to pet birds or to leave some outdoors to see if wild birds will have a taste. However, to avoid any potential problems with long strings from the stems, chop up any raw celery you offer into bite-sized pieces or offer raw celery juice instead.Do conures bond with one person? ›
Conures have less tendency than their larger parrot cousins to form a strong bond with just one person. If well-socialized, they often get along with multiple family members.Can conures eat popcorn? ›
Believe it or not, many pet birds enjoy snacking on popcorn. You can serve your bird either popped or unpopped kernels.Are eggs good for conures? ›
After all, parrots are birds and they lay eggs to procreate, but it really isn't at all unusual for birds in the wild to eat other species' eggs. Eggs are a completely natural food and are good for your birds—they have no carbohydrates and no sugar—but, as with anything, moderation is key to a healthy flock.Should conures be covered at night? ›
As long as a dark, quiet and somewhat secluded area is provided for a bird to sleep in, most will be fine without being covered at night. Remember, however, that sleep is vital to a bird's well-being. If you are in doubt about your pet's reaction to being uncovered, play it safe and resume covering the cage at night.Can conures eat spaghetti? ›
Can Parrots Eat Pasta? Yes, of course. Your pet parrot can have pasta but in very small quantities. If you do decide to give pasta to your pet, it should be only as an occasional treat and never as a part of its main diet.Can conures eat canned vegetables? ›
They are an excellent place to add powdered vitamins and minerals. Canned vegetables are high in sodium and they should not be used. Red peppers, green peppers, yellow peppers, jalapeno peppers, and other types of peppers are okay.Can conures eat cooked sweet potato? ›
Sweet potatoes are a favorite of most parrots and can be fed raw or cooked. However, as with any fresh food, one or two small pieces is plenty when you consider the size of the bird. You don't want him to eat a dish full because too much of even a good thing can be a problem.Can conures eat cooked beans? ›
Can Birds Eat Cooked Beans? Once fresh, raw, or dried beans have been cooked thoroughly, they will no longer be potentially harmful to people or birds and can safely be fed either to pet birds or to birds in your backyard.Can conures eat cooked potatoes? ›
Yes, parrots can eat cooked potatoes.
Can birds eat cheerios? ›
Birds can eat Cheerios and often love to do so. But that does not mean that they are the healthiest choice for birds (or even for us!). Their high sugar content and salt content mean that they are not the best option if you are looking for foods to share with the birds.Can conures eat tuna? ›
Offering these fish to our parrots in moderation will not cause them harm, but there are other types of fish which present less concern such as salmon, catfish, cod, pollack and canned tuna (only use water packed tuna).Can birds eat popcorn? ›
It's not the worst food you can give to birds. It's not toxic like chocolate or honey; a small amount probably won't cause significant problems. However, it's best to avoid feeding popcorn to birds in large quantities. Never give birds salted, cheese-covered, buttered, or caramel popcorn.Can parrots eat Cheerios? ›
“Parrots often accept Cheerios or Grape Nuts (cockatiels seem to love them!) instead of seed, and they then seem more willing to try other things, like pellets,” Muscarella says. “If one is concerned about additives, there are organic cereals on the market.Do conures eat cheese? ›
Cheese is not healthy for parrots. It can lead to stomach ache and other digestive issues in your parrot. So is best to avoid feeding cheese.Should conures eat bread? ›
Birding experts Kenn and Kimberly Kaufman say, “We discourage people from feeding bread to birds, as there are far too many potential risks. If moldy, bread can be dangerous to birds. Bread gets moldy quickly, and mold can pose a number of health problems for birds.Can my conure eat ice cream? ›
Things like milk and ice cream or heavy cream are those types of dairy to have too much lactose in them and they're not recommended for birds.What cereal can conures eat? ›
There are healthier ways for your bird to get his or her crunch on. If you want to go the cereal route, make it of the low-sugar, low-sodium variety, plain Cheerios vs. Honey Nut Cheerios, for example. And keep it to a couple of beak-sized pieces.
Birds can benefit from the fiber in dried dog food, and the carbohydrates they contain can be part of a healthy and balanced diet. In moderation, you can offer these dry dog foods to birds.Do conures need a bird bath? ›
Some owners may feel inclined to give their parrot a bath every day, but this really isn't necessary. In fact, bathing them too often can lead to overly dry skin. Depending on the air quality inside your home and your parrot's activity levels, you can probably get by with bathing them twice a month.
What do conures like in their cage? ›
Conures need a large cage with plenty of space to move around in – both vertically and horizontally. They need several perches and a variety of toys to stay happy and engaged in their cage. Clean your conure's cage diligently every week, and rinse out the food and water dishes daily.What are conures scared of? ›
Parrots are prey animals and can startle easily by new large objects, loud noises, and sudden movements. Keep your parrots away from the sight and sounds of predatory animals. That is good for your parrots.Do conures like being touched? ›
A parrot can be perfectly happy without touch, though many love it. We should not be touching our parrots outside of the head, neck, and feet, as it brings such frustration to our birds. If continued, human touch can actually spur hormonal attacks in our feathered pets.Where do conures like to be petted? ›
Even if a bird's sexual organs aren't located in the areas of their back and beneath their wings, most birds still prefer being pet on the head and neck. Start petting your bird gently at their beak so they can get to know you and start trusting you.Where do conures like to sleep? ›
Some parrots roost in large groups, others in pairs, and some, like golden conures, sleep in tree cavities even out of breeding season — but all, it seems, value their shuteye. “Most of the species I've watched tend to arrive at roost sites half an hour to an hour before sunset,” Kyle said.Should I mist my conure? ›
Captive birds in the home are often deprived of humidity in the air that would normally be in their natural environments. Replacing some of this humidity by misting your pet and his enclosure each day can help ensure that your bird's lungs stay as healthy as possible.Can I leave my conure for a week? ›
Yes, this is fine and it is actually what is recommended when a parrot is being cared for by someone who isn't used to handling him. If you boarded him somewhere, he would not be taken out of the cage for his own safety. He will be fine – make sure he has some toys to keep him busy.Can conures eat raw vegetables? ›
Vegetables are best fed raw, but may also be served cooked (steamed or sautéed with a small amount of healthy vegetable oil).How often should conures eat fruit? ›
Conures enjoy many every day and tropical fruits. Many of the tasty fruits that you like to eat can also be enjoyed by your conure. It is important to manage portion sizes when feeding fresh fruits to your conure.What do you feed conures in a day? ›
Typically, you should give your conure three tablespoons of pellet food each day, supplemented with a smaller portion of fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, and nuts.
Is peanut butter safe for conures? ›
Peanut butter is a good high-protein food for birds, and they can eat any of the same types humans do. If you're buying it specifically for birds, look for natural or organic types with the fewest additives. Try offering crunchy peanut butter for an extra nutty treat.Can conures eat cheese? ›
Cheese is not healthy for parrots. It can lead to stomach ache and other digestive issues in your parrot. So is best to avoid feeding cheese. Dairy foods are not recommended but it is not fatal.Can conures eat boiled eggs? ›
The short answer is yes, your parrot can have some boiled egg. If you'd like to know more about how much to feed, which parrots benefit from a little boiled egg in their diet, how to feed eggs and more, keep reading!Do conures eat cooked rice? ›
Technically, both raw and cooked rice are safe for parrots. Keep in mind that your bird's ancestors would only encounter raw rice in the wild.Do conures eat tomatoes? ›
While fresh tomatoes are not actually toxic to birds, many vets recommend not feeding them because they are acidic and can irritate a bird's digestive system.How often should conures bathe? ›
Birds should be encouraged to bathe often, as their feathers and skin will look healthier if they bathe frequently. Start by offering a bath to your bird once or twice weekly. You may notice that your bird has a preference about the time of day it likes to bathe.Do conures need baths? ›
Yes! Similar to people, parrots get dirty, and they need to keep clean to feel comfortable and promote good health. Most of our companion parrots are just a few generations out of the wild. A good bathing program can satisfy many of their natural needs, wants and desires.What time do conures go to bed? ›
Let Your Bird Have 10 To 12 Hours Of Sleep Each Night
In the wild, parrots are awake from sunrise to sunset, which amounts to about 12 hours on average, and sleep from sunset to sunrise the other 12 hours in the day.
They are very active birds, curious about the world, comical, and eager to explore. Since they're highly intelligent, Conures require a fair amount of socialization and mental stimulation. Owners should plan to spend a few hours every day interacting with their bird, which will need sufficient time outside its cage.