Jenday conures are terrific pet birds with a bold personality wrapped in a conveniently sized package. If you're looking for a colorful pet that's intelligent and entertaining, this species is definitely worth investigating.
Meet the Jenday Conure
The Jenday is a member of the Aratinga conure group, and it's a beauty. This conure has a golden-yellow head with varying degrees of orange patches around the eyes, emerald green wings with blue flights, and an orange-gold body with a tail that's green at the base and then turns to blue.
Other quick facts include:
- Origin - Brazil
- Size - About 12 inches in length
- Weight - 4 to 5 ounces
- Lifespan - 25 to 30 years
Behavior and Personality
Jendays are intelligent, playful, and highly social birds that can make wonderful family companions when raised as hand-fed babies. During hand-feeding, they learn to form bonds with humans, and this bond can be re-established with new owners once a chick is weaned and moved to its new home.
These conures tend to be quite affectionate once they bond with you, and they thrive on attention. They like to perch on your hand, sit on your shoulder, and maybe even snuggle down for a nap on your chest. They are interested in whatever you're doing, and they'll definitely sneak a bite of whatever's on your plate, so be careful at mealtimes.
Like most conures, Jendays have some minor talking ability, although it's nowhere near the level of an African Grey parrot or a Yellow-Naped Amazon. Still, they can learn to mimic some words and respond out of habit to phrases you use frequently with them.
Like other Aratinga conures, Jendays have a loud, piercing call that they use frequently throughout the day. Unfortunately, this can be difficult to bear; these birds are definitely not the best candidates for apartment living.
Difference Between Jenday Conures and Sun Conures
Ounce for ounce, there's not a lot of difference between these two conures since they're both about the same size and have similar coloring. In fact, it can be difficult to tell them apart as babies unless you're familiar with both species. The biggest difference is that Jendays have mainly green wings, while Sun conures have yellow feathers on their shoulders and back, and the yellow spreads further down both the older the bird gets. In the video below, the Jenday is on the left, and the sun is on the right.
Guide to Jenday Conure Care
Daily care, a clean environment, and a yearly vet checkup will go a long way to keeping your conure healthy.
According to VCA Hospitals, Jendays should have a staple diet of pelleted food to provide balanced nutrition and it should be available at all times. Conure seed mix may also be fed, but shouldn't be the main diet. Additionally, fresh organic veggies and fruits such as chopped kale, carrots, apples, and other foods should be offered daily. Cooked eggs also provide good nutrition.
Fresh water is essential to any birds health. Provide your pet with fresh water first thing in the morning and dump the soiled water a couple times a day and replace it with fresh. Wash the food and water bowls daily to remove germs.
You can also provide your pet with a mineral block formulated especially for conures and other pet parrots. Jendays also love chewing on cuttle bones.
According to the vets at Lefeber.com, the minimum cage size for a Jenday conure is 36 inches long, 24 inches wide, and 24 inches high. Choose a cage with no more than 1/2-inch spacing between the bars and make sure the bars are sturdy because these conures can snap the bars on flimsy cages. It's also best to choose a cage with doors that have a locking mechanism so your conure can't figure out how to escape when you need it to stay inside.
- Jendays love to bathe, so try to use a large water cup your pet can splash around in. You can also mist your Jenday with a clean spray bottle of water to encourage it to preen its feathers.
- Ideally, there should be two food cups; one for seeds and pellets and one for soft, fresh foods.
- Perches are a necessary accessory. Include perches of varying diameters to keep your pet's feet healthy.
- Hang several toys in the cage and keep a few more toys on hand that you can swap out to keep the environment interesting.
Jendays are quite energetic and love to play. They should be a allowed a few hours of supervised time out of their cage each day for exercise.
Boredom can lead to destructive behaviors, so make sure your Jenday gets plenty of mental stimulation. These conures need a lot of toys, including wood toys for chewing, foraging toys that help them put their wild instinct to use, and any other toy that requires them to think about how they're going to use it. The video below shows a Jenday playing with a ring toss toy with its owner and enjoying the interaction.
Jenday Conure Health
With the proper habitat, diet, exercise, and mental stimulation, Jendays are generally quite healthy. However, the vets at Lefeber.com caution they are susceptible to many of the same diseases and conditions that other parrots are prone to, including:
- Feather plucking - This is a behavioral disorder where a bird plucks its feathers compulsively. The plucking can be caused by an undiagnosed skin disorder or illness as well as anxiety or boredom. Once the habit is set, most birds won't stop and wind up partially bald.
- Aspergillosis - This respiratory fungal infection is caused by aspergillus spores commonly found in many food sources, including peanuts.
- Beak malocclusion - The upper and lower beaks don't align, which leads to beak overgrowth and malformation which hinders eating and other activities. Malocclusion may be genetic or the result of an injury.
- Chlamydiosis - Also known as parrot fever, this is an infectious disease caused by Chlamydia psittaci. Unfortunately, it can be transferred to people - a condition known as psittacosis.
- Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease - This is a viral infection which causes abnormal feathering and beak deformities.
- Proventricular Dilatation Disease - This disorder is caused by avian bornavirus. It damages a bird's gastrointestinal tract causing the animal to waste away. It can also cause neurological damage.
How Much Do Jenday Conures Cost?
The price of Jenday depends a lot on the bird's age at the time of sale and whether DNA testing is included. On average, expect to play close to $600 for a freshly weaned and DNAed baby, and likely closer to $400 for an adult. You might also get lucky and find a Jenday that's being rehomed at a lower price, but figure in the cost of a vet check to make sure the bird is healthy when you get it.
Is a Jenday Right for You?
If you can tolerate those piercing screeches and it's legal to own one where you live, you might enjoy sharing your life with a Jenday. They do require a lot of attention, but what they give back in affection and entertainment is well worth it. Be sure to spend time getting to know this conure so you can be sure bringing one home is the right decision for your household.