A healthy conure has bright, clear eyes that sparkle with curiosity and energy. Its feathers must be smooth, and clean of any pests. It must be able to eat regularly—perhaps not three square meals, since it usually nibbles throughout the day, but at least consume the contents of its dish. It’s normal for it to have occasionally runny droppings, but it should return to normal within 2 or 3 days.
But without proper diet, and a safe and hygienic environment, the conure can become vulnerable to disease or just slowly waste away. Watch out for poor appetite. Does it leave its food untouched? Has it lost weight? It may also “let itself go” and stop grooming altogether—surely a sign of depression, weakness, or lethargy. Be very alarmed if it has stopped perching and prefers to just sit at the bottom of the cage. It may also have nasal discharge and sneezing, and its droppings may change in texture or appearance. Prolonged fluffing of feathers is another sure sign of a problem.
Conures Care and Safety- Hidden hazards
While a trip to the vet can avert any diseases, prevention is the best cure. Try to protect your bird from anything that could make it sick or agitated. Obviously this includes keeping it away from cats—but not just to save it from becoming a snack. Cats carry the Pasteurella bacteria, which is totally harmless on them (it’s part of their natural flora) but can kill birds. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial that you bring your bird to the vet if it’s come in contact with a cat, cat’s saliva, or the cat’s food.
It’s also important not to let your bird in your kitchen. Not only can it fly near, or even into, a heated pan, but Teflon can emit dangerous gases that can kill them very quickly. It can also accidentally drown in a filed sink, or fly too near the vent.
Birds should also be kept out of the bathroom, to prevent accidental drowning in the toilet bowl, or any exposed pails.
If you let your birds loose in the house, cover any electrical wires. Conures are very fond of chewing and they may suddenly decide to “play” with the computer cords. Also clear any chocolate or coffee from the table. You should also avoid leaving out any chips or salty food. They aren’t inherently poisonous, but birds aren’t able to excrete salt very well, so too much salt can make them very sick.