In the wild, conures feed on a variety of fruits, seeds and greens, so that it is not difficult to offer them a substitute diet. You can either prepare your own seed mixture, or use a standard parrot food as the basis for the conures' food intake. In both instances, sunflower seed is likely to feature prominently in the mixture. Various forms of sunflower seed can be obtained, and these vary in their nutritional value. The striped form is commonly available, but the white variety is preferable, since it contains less oil (fat) and relatively more protein. Unfortunately, since yields tend to be lower, the price of white sunflower is correspondingly higher. Do not confuse white sunflower, which is a flatfish seed, and quite large with safflower. This is another oil-based seed which tends to b popular with most conures and has a more rotund appearance than sunflower.

Caution with Peanuts
You can buy peanuts in their shells, but you are simply paying extra for waste that will be discarded. In addition, you will not be able to see the quality of the nuts. This is especially important with peanuts, as they are susceptible to infection with Aspergillus molds. These in turn produce toxins, which are likely to have harmful, irreversible effects on the liver and can cause death. The disease itself is known as aflatoxicosis, and apart from being difficult to diagnose while the conure is alive, there is also no effective treatment available for this ailment.

If you prepare a seed mixture for the conures, you may prefer to use peanuts from a health food store, as these are likely to have been more closely screened for the presence of aflatoxins than those typically used as bird food. Never store seed in plastic containers as this may cause it to sweat, giving rise to condensation, and in poorly-ventilated surroundings the seed may turn moldy.

Seed Mixtures
A variety of seeds is recommended in any mixture, but unfortunately some are not widely available. Pine nuts have become more common during recent years, the smaller grades are ideal for Pyrrhura conures, while the larger Aratingas and of course the Patagonian Conure will be able to crack the bigger nuts without difficulty. The quality of pine nuts can vary; some batches could be badly contaminated with a bluish green mold. Watch for this, as such nuts could prove potentially harmful to your birds. The availability of pine nuts tends to be somewhat seasonal, as these seeds are gathered in the wild. European suppliers usually obtain pine nuts from Russia or China; you may have to seek out a specialized seed merchant in order to obtain them. Their advertisements can be found in various avicultural magazines.

Cereal Seeds
Aside from these oil seeds, it is usual to include a proportion of cereals in a seed mixture for conures. The cereals as a group differ in their relative nutritive value, as they contain a significantly higher level of carbohydrates than the oil seeds. In contrast, their oil and protein content is lower. The cheapest cereal seed often
present in most parrot food is oats, a long, relatively narrow seed with a distinct husk.

You can obtain them dehulled, known as groats; these are especially popular with many smaller conures. Other cereals that can be offered include plain canary seed and millets, which together are the usual ingredients of Budgerigar seed mixtures. These seeds are therefore quite small, and tend to be lost amongst sunflower and other seeds typically offered to conures. As a result, it may be best to provide them in a separate container.

Maize in various forms is of value as a source of vitamin A, which is present only in small quantities in most seeds. Flaked maize is suitable for all conures, but whole or kibbled (broken) maize is much harder, and can only be cracked by species with the most powerful beaks, such as the Patagonian Conure.



Read More About Conures :

Common Types of Conures
How to Train Your Conure
How to Breed Conure Parrots
How to Build a Nesting Box for Conures
How to Deal with Common Diseases of Conures
Characteristics of Conures
How to Choose Your First Conure Wisely
Expert Tips on Housing Conures
Feeding Your Conures with a Balanced Diet