Petkeen advocates for adopting before shopping. We understand there are many reasons for seeking a breeder or purchasing from a store, though, so we encourage it to be done the right way. Learn more.
Conures are a diverse and loosely defined group of parrots. They don’t currently constitute a scientific grouping, so the term “conure” is mostly used in aviculture, the practice of keeping wild birds in captivity. Regardless of semantics, conures are fantastic medium-sized birds with huge personalities and an affectionate temperament. They make great pets, but before you welcome one into your home, you must decide how to acquire your new pet.
There are several ways to obtain a conure, including adopting from local rescues, buying from pet shops or online retailers, or working with a breeder. No one way is right for everyone, so we’ve compiled this helpful blog to guide you in the beginning stages of the conure adoption process.
Read on to learn about conures as pets and the different ways you can acquire one.
Conure as Pets: What to Know Before Welcoming One Into Your Home
Conures are active and colorful birds that make great pets. They are entertaining and full of personality, so there’s never a dull moment when there’s a conure in the home. They are pretty easy to tame and can even learn to say a few words. Conures love attention and crave closeness with their keepers, so they are fantastic family companions.
Keeping birds of any species can be challenging if you’re a first-time bird owner. You should be committed to making some significant lifestyle changes before bringing a conure into your home. Birds have very sensitive respiratory systems, so fumes you may not even consider can be deadly to your pet.
Perhaps the biggest shift you’ll need to make is tossing your non-stick cookware and appliances. Things in your home coated with Teflon will emit toxic fumes at certain temperatures and cause sudden death. It’s not just your pots and pans you need to worry about; even things like space heaters, self-cleaning ovens, microwave popcorn bags, and hair straighteners are coated with toxic non-stick chemicals.
Where to Adopt a Conure
The most ethical way to adopt a conure is through your local shelter or rescue. The birds that wind up in these places are often surrendered by their well-meaning previous owners, who realize they no longer have the space, time, or lifestyle required for keeping pet birds. Thankfully, most rescue organizations make finding the perfect pet easy by keeping an up-to-date list of the animals available for adoption on their websites.
Some rescues are geared entirely toward birds, so if you can’t find a conure suitable for your family at your local shelter, try finding a sanctuary nearby.
PetFinder is a fantastic resource for people looking to adopt nearly any type of animal. This online, searchable database acts as a directory of almost 11,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico, allowing potential pet owners a simple way to search the entire continent for the perfect bird to add to their flock. Most rescue agencies that partner with PetFinder also provide information about their adoptable pets so you know the history and personality of the bird you’re considering adopting.
At the time of writing, there were 102 conures available across the nation.
2. Best Friends Animal Society
Best Friends Animal Society is an American non-profit based in Utah, though they have satellite offices throughout the U.S. They are one of the largest no-kill animal sanctuaries in the world, and their movement to end the killing of companion animals in shelters was a watershed moment in animal welfare.
Their website operates similarly to the PetFinder site but on a much smaller scale. At the time of writing, there were eight conures available for adoption
3. Meika’s Safehouse
Meika’s Safehouse is a registered charitable organization that strives to rehabilitate and rehome birds in need. The organization fully vets all surrendered birds into their care to prepare them for rehoming. Those who have been mistreated will need more rehabilitation than those coming from loving homes that simply can no longer care for them. The organization puts a lot of consideration into choosing appropriate families for the birds in their care and will always provide a health certificate so you know the animal you’re adopting is healthy.
Meika’s Safehouses has 17 conures in their care at the time of writing.
4. Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue
Mickaboo is a registered non-profit organization located in Northern California. Most of the birds available for adoption or fostering live in the Sacramento Valley or the San Francisco Bay area. The organization rescues domesticated birds that have been abused, neglected, or surrounded. They place a lot of emphasis on proper education for their potential adopters so anyone acquiring a bird from them knows the current standard of care.
At the time of writing, Mickaboo had 23 conures available for adoption.
Where to Buy Conures Online
Online shopping is certainly a convenient way to acquire home goods and clothing, but it isn’t the best way to adopt a pet. While online retailers for pets are few and far between to begin with, shopping online for a conure isn’t recommended for several reasons.
First, you shouldn’t adopt any animal sight unseen. It’s best to meet face-to-face with potential pets so you can see firsthand (a) the shape the animal is in, (b) the personality of the animal, and (c) how the two of you interact.
Secondly, shipping a bird can be an extremely stressful and traumatic event.
But if you do want to explore your online buying options, there are a few sites you can choose from.
1. Brenda’s Birds
Brenda’s Birds has been in business since the early 90s. They have a wide variety of bird species for sale and, at the time of writing, had just two conures in stock: one Jenday and one Crimson Belly. They currently only offer shipping within the United States via Delta Cargo for an additional $250.
2. Everything Birds Online
Everything Birds is a Florida-based bird store that’s been in business for 20 years. Like Brenda’s Birds, they ship to the continental U.S.; however, they state that $200 should be enough to cover the flights and the bird carrier. At the time of writing, Everything Birds has several conures available for adoption, including a Jenday, Sun, Black-Capped, and Turquoise Green-Cheeked.
How Much Do Conures Cost Online?
Buying a conure online comes with additional shipping costs. Depending on the store you buy from, you may also need to pay shipping container fees on top of the cost to fly the bird to you. The purchase price for the bird itself will vary from store to store and type to type. For example, Brenda’s Birds charges $799 for their Jenday Conures, while Everything Birds charges $750 for their Jenday.
Pet Stores That Sell Conures
Conures can be found for adoption in many nationwide and local pet stores; however, not all stores will carry the specific type of conure you’re searching for. We also recommend researching the pet stores you’re considering adopting from, as not all of them are ethical in how they treat or acquire the animals they sell.
PetSmart is the largest North American pet company, with nearly 1,700 stores throughout America, Canada, and Puerto Rico. PetSmart gets its animals from various sources, including breeding mills and animal rescues. In 2016, it was found a large breeder supplying animals to PetSmart and other chain pet stores was housing their animals in horrific conditions. Thanks to partnerships with local rescues, many of PetSmart’s adoptable animals are available.
Like PetSmart, Petco sources their adoptable animals from a variety of places. They were also implicated in that 2016 investigation. As with PetSmart, most Petco’s now bring in adoptables from rescue groups.
3. Local Shops
Local, non-chain pet stores may also have conures available for adoption. These businesses are often involved with other local organizations, ensuring that your support will go on to support the rest of your community and your local shelters. You should expect to pay more at these stores than their chain counterparts, but more of your money will go back into your community.
Note: At one point, both PetSmart and Petco were acquiring their birds from the Kaytee Preferred Birds program. This large-scale parrot mill breeding operation produced thousands of chicks annually. Though we cannot say if this is still currently the case, both companies do claim to acquire their pets through rescues. Further research may be required by you before adopting a bird from these stores. Don’t be afraid to ask where they are sourcing their birds; you have a right to know.
How Much Do Conures Cost in Stores?
Conures in pet stores will vary in price depending on where you live, what store you visit, and the type of conure you adopt. The PetSmart website lists Greek Cheek Conures for $699, while Petco lists them at $899.
On a personal note, I purchased my Jenday Conure from Petland in 2021 in Alberta, Canada, for $1300.
Conure Breeder Information
Another way to acquire a conure is by connecting with a local breeder. This is the best option for folks looking to adopt a specific type of conure, as not all pet stores or rescue agencies will have all types available for adoption.
Before moving forward with a breeder, you’ll need to do some research to find the best one. We recommend contacting your local avian veterinarian or aviculture society to be directed to a quality breeder. Most bird clubs are current bird keepers and breeders passionate about aviculture and keeping companion birds.
Once you have a shortlist of breeders in your area, inquire about what types of conures they breed so you can further narrow down your list. When you’re left with just a handful of potential options, meet with them to gather information about their husbandry and breeding practices and to inquire about how your potential new pet was raised. We recommend meeting face to face with the breeders you’re considering adopting from as it’s helpful to see the facilities in which the conure was raised. However, this may not be possible with all breeders as some choose to operate closed aviaries for the health of their flock.
Tips for Adopting or Buying a Conure
Adopt, Don’t Shop
We here at PetKeen advocate for adopting before shopping. Before seeking a conure breeder, we highly encourage you to check out Petfinder and your local rescue or animal shelters. There may very well be the perfect conure for your lifestyle waiting for his forever home. Not only will you be acquiring your new pet for less than you would if buying from a breeder, but you’re also providing a loving home to an animal that’s likely been waiting for some time.
Most people know how to care for common household pets like cats or dogs, but birds like conures are another story. We recommend you consult bird care books and websites and speak to local aviculture groups before adopting your conure. There are many specific care requirements for birds, and the last thing you want to do is bring your new pet home only to find out you’re in over your head.
Meet Potential Birds
As we mentioned above, we don’t recommend adopting a conure without first having a chance to meet one or more. Pay close attention to their behavior to understand their health and personality.
A healthy bird will be active and alert. They may be curious when you approach them, though some might initially shy away. Their eyes should be discharge-free and bright, and their beaks should be clear and free of discharge, too.
Take some time observing the birds to see their personalities shine. Are they quiet and shy or extroverted and excitable? What qualities are important to you?
Think About the Future
Adopting any new pet is a huge commitment, but it is especially important you’ve thought this through before adopting a conure. Captive conures can live up to 20 to 30 years if properly cared for. Have you always dreamed of owning a conure, or is this a temporary longing? Ensure you’ve reviewed your budget and have the available funds to keep up with your conure’s care, including his annual visits to the avian veterinary clinic, which may be pricier than traditional clinics.
Adopting a new pet, regardless of its breed or species, is exciting, but don’t let your eagerness cloud your mind and lead you into making bad decisions that could potentially affect the life of your new pet. Give yourself ample time to research the best places to acquire your new feathered friend. You’ll hopefully have 30 or more years together, so waiting a few months or weeks to ensure you’ve chosen the right adoption or acquisition route shouldn’t be too big of a deal in the long run!
Featured Image Credit: Tupungato, Shutterstock