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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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6:52 p.m. 2012-08-13

is this nuts?

OK, so I just read about a breeder who was approached by a family who wanted to buy a conure, but the child was severely allergic to nuts. This breeder raises many species of conures, and she was able to provide a Green-cheeked Conure to the child, along with instructions for a pellet-based diet.

I'm not sure a Peachfront Conure would be a good choice in that situation. My birds go through periods when they lose interest in pellets. I am convinced that, on at least one occasion, I overdid it a bit on the pellets, and it contributed to one of my bird Timmy's bouts of feather-plucking.

There are also times when we have a heat advisory, and it is simply not desirable to leave pellets sitting out all day, because the Peachfronts will soak them to create a disgusting-looking bacteria soup. You just can't tell me that's healthy.

So there are definitely times when I have my Peachfronts on a seed mix, especially if I'm traveling during summer, and I know that my husband or bird-sitter can't be here during the day to change the water multiple times. Yes, you can buy peanut-free seed mixes...but I don't think you can guarantee that the machines used to process the seed mix are 100% peanut free.

It's a difficult problem but I'm thinking in the rare event that a family member is that sensitive to peanut or other nuts, it might not be a good idea to choose a Peachfront (or most parrots) for the family pet.

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