Ask Lafeber


December 21, 2017

Green cheek conure feeding and training

I recently purchased a 2 year old green cheeked Conure from a parrot rescue place. He does not like being touched, but once I have him in my hands he’s ok, but would fly off once I’d release my grip. He isn’t interested in biting, has never tried to. He’s a very fussy eater. Lafeber Nutriberries are his favorite, but does not like Avicakes. I’m at a loss at what to feed him. In fruits he likes mostly apples, veggies, not so much except sweet potatoes. He can fly and his cage door is open at all times except at night. He acts like a bird that hasn’t been handled much. He wasn’t hand fed as a baby.


Hi Nan,

It’s good that he does not bite – he certainly has potential to train more. Generally it is easier to train a bird when the wing feathers are trimmed. You can have this done by a professional at your Vet or a bird shop. Don’t worry – the feathers will grow back when he molts again. But training will go a lot better if he can’t keep flying away from you.

It is also better to train him before you let him have so much free access out of the cage. If he can be out all of the time anyway, he has no incentive to bond with you. If he depends on you to take him out to handle him, he will look forward to that contact. Basically too much freedom also makes a bird very hard to train.

I recommend that you read through these pages and you will learn more about his behavior, body language and how to work with him.

Pet Bird and Parrot Behavior

Teaching Your Bird

As far as diet goes, the Nutri-Berries are nutritionally balanced the same as a pellet, so he is getting complete nutrition with those. However, offering fruits, veggies and table foods is also good and helps him to have a more varied diet. Offer things more than once – sometimes it can take a bird a while to recognize something as a food.

This link here will help with some diet suggestions:

Bird Food Guide

Congratulations on your new bird!

Happy Holidays!


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