Hello I recently rescued a little dusky conure from a bad situation and had a few questions I thought you might be able to help me with. When I recieved him he was only being fed sunflower seeds, he had no idea what a perch was for, and had never even seen a toy! They also gave me the cage he was being kept in, it was small rusty and chipping paint! Needless to say I was angry but took him to get him out of the situation! I have since bought him a new cage, playstand,and toys! He is very active and friendly! He is still a bit skinny but I have got him on Roudybush maintanence diet! My question is how can I get him to eat fresh foods? He will not touch it and i have tried all I can think of! Also since he is not on the best diet should I put him on some sort of vitamins/mineral supplement? If so what kind do you recommend? I also have just ordered a UVB bulb and lamp for him! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! O and he wont touch a mineral block either and their are no avian vets in my area! Thank You!

-- First, thank you for rescuing this lucky little guy!  Now let's dispel that myth about 'no avian vets'.  In my 10 mile radius alone there are 4.  Do you know how many are listed that way when looking in a phone directory?  -0-

So it's a treasure hunt.  You have to find them.  If you're looking for a 'board certified avian vet', yes, they are a rarity.  That doesn't mean a 'regular' vet can't be a good avian vet.

 The myth of vet exams for birds being outrageous is usually when an owner needs to rush to a vet they've never seen before during an emergency situation.  Then, yes, the cost is very high.   Which is why it's important to have a vet established and ready to see your bird during emergencies, often for a regular office visit price or just slightly more.
In my area a regular bird visit is about $40..  Thatís less than .11 cents a day; or .22 cents a day for twice a year.  Even if you end up paying $60 per visit, thatís about .16 pennies a day for once a year;  just .32 cents a day for twice a year.    You pay 2, 3 or even 4xís as much for a daily newspaper and itís not nearly as full of love, devotion and beauty as your bird.
 Though specialized avian vets are ideal, any vet who sees a majority of birds or at least 1/3 of their practice consisting of birds is a good choice.
 If you have a Pet Smart, you have Banfield Clinic inside, open 7 days a week and they see birds.
If you have a Pet Co, they have a list of vet names that they use for themselves and are happy to give you, ask for 'bird vets'.
Ask any vet in town who they'd recommend for bird care.   Ask any good breeder in town who they use (if they don't use anyone, they are not a good breeder, stay away from them).

 Now, when it comes to getting him on a better diet?  I've got it all outlined right here:


Good luck and again, thank you!


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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott


Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.


Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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