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I've lived with Peachfront Conures Aratinga aurea for 30 years. I've bred 'em, trained 'em, even visited Bolivia to observe them in the wild. For more about me, click right here.

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Got a Peachfront, or thinking about getting a Peachfront? Here are some key posts you might like to read:

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5:34 p.m. 2012-04-21

a simple beans, rice, veggie mix for conures

Cooking for Peachfront Conures doesn’t have to become a second job. Sure, you can just throw up your hands and buy pellets, but my Peachfronts have their tasteful little ways of letting me know that they don’t appreciate an over-reliance on even the most beautiful and colorful and sweet-smelling of pellets. They play a little game of let’s pick out and refuse all the purple pellets. Then, another day, it will be: let’s pick out and refuse all the yellow pellets. Then, pretty soon, they’re picking out BOTH the purple and the yellow. Argh. I get the message. I wouldn’t want to eat pellets for life, and they don’t either. I want real food, and they do too. So…a couple of little tricks if you want real food for your Conures and yourself, but you don’t have a lot of time. The key is to build on real food you have to make for yourself or your human family members anyway.

You need two pieces of equipment, which you probably already have in your kitchen — a slow cooker and a rice cooker. I make the beans of choice, for people as well as birds, in the slow cooker. (I may as well admit that my top favorites are black beans and lentils, but you can use any beans you like or you can even use one of those 12 or 15 bean mixes.) I actually pre-soak most beans (but not lentils or green peas) by cooking them on low overnight in the slow cooker. Then, in the morning, I wash off the soaked beans and prepare them however I want ‘em to go in the slow cooker all day. By the evening, they’ll be ready, with very little effort. We all like rice with our beans, and somewhere along the way I’ll make some rice (preferably brown, for our birds) in the rice cooker. You had to make dinner at some point anyway, so you haven’t had to do any extra work. OK, now you split up the beans and rice into portions for people, and portions for birds, since you may want to put some bits of ham, Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning, or Tabasco sauce or freshly grated Asiago cheese or what-have-you on the portion for people.

But it’s super easy to do the portion for your Conures. For every 1 cup of drained beans, have 1 cup of the brown rice. Take 1/1-2 cups of frozen mixed veggies out of the freezer and heat them in the microwave. Stir into the beans/rice mix. You can “season” the mix by adding a little vitamin A from fish sources to the mix. I know, yikes, but my Conures seem to love the hint of fishy flavor. If you have any fresh greens around, such as turnip tops, snip some greens into tiny pieces and stir it into the mix. It just has to be healthier than pellets, and there’s no way they can pick and poke and pull out all the purple pieces, because there aren’t any purple pieces.

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