Monday, September 10, 2018

How to Train Your CONURE

Green-Cheeked Conure
Photo by sonstroem
A hand-raised conure will have little or no fear and should respond well to human attention. Encourage the young conure to feed from your hand at every opportunity, often with the cage door open, so that it will have no fear of your presence. Check that all doors and windows are closed. A clear glass should be screened, in case the conure fails to appreciate the presence of a barrier and tries to fly through the apparent exit. This can have fatal consequences. Any cats must be out of the room whenever the conure's cage door is opened. They should be kept apart as much as possible, since in some cases, the cat may be able to reach the conure through the bars of the cage.

Most rooms have other dangers which could prove fatal for a young conure. For this reason alone, never leave the bird free without watching its movements closely. It may attempt to gnaw through a live electrical wire or eat poisonous houseplants. An unguarded fireplace or an uncovered fish tank can spell disaster for the unwary conure as well.

On the first few occasions that you let the conure free in a room, there are likely to be problems in persuading it to return to its quarters. To lessen the risk of injury some owners like to clip the flight feathers of one of their conure's wings. This task can be easily accomplished with a pair of sharp scissors. Persuade someone else to restrain the conure, and carefully open one wing. The long flight feathers will be clearly apparent. Cut across these in a straight line, a few centimetres away from the wing itself, and leave the outermost and longest flight feathers intact. When the wing is then closed, the clipping will not be clearly discernible, yet the conure's power of flight will be restricted. This temporary handicap will be removed when the flight feathers are moulted, but by this stage, the conure should be well established in the home.

A tame bird will sit on a finger in the cage, generally making no attempt to bite. Its claws may be rather sharp, however, so you may want to wear a thin glove, at least at first as a precaution. Persuading the conure to sit on your finger is largely a matter of getting the bird to see this simply as an extension of its perch.

Start by extending your finger along the perch near the conure, and slowly lift the bird's toes. It should then attempt to transfer across onto your finger, as you try to displace its grip gently. An older bird will be much more reluctant and is more likely to simply retreat back to the sides of the cage. With patience, however, you should be able to win the conure's confidence, provided that it is not an adult.

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