Breeding Aratinga Conures
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The breeding season for Aratinga Conures starts in April and goes on through the end of May; and they reproduce once per year. The male's mating call alerts the female that he is ready to mate. These parrots are monogamous.
In their natural habitat, Aratinga species have various nesting habits, most will nest in tree cavities, however, the St. Thomas conure prefers termite nests, and the Aztec Conure will build her nest in rock crevices. The Jamaican Conures or Olive-Throated Parakeets build their nests in termite holes.
The average clutch size consists of 3 - 5 eggs which are incubated for 26 - 27 days. The young fledge about 50 days later.
Conures are generally fairly easy to breed. Below are the dimensions of nesting boxes usually used for these conures. However, the dimensions can vary widely, as they are influenced by the owner's and the birds' preferences. The preferences of the breeding birds can also be influenced by the size and type of nest-box / log in which the bird was hatched and reared.
If space allows, offering a choice of sizes and types of logs or nest-boxes, and placed in various locations within the aviary, can allow the parent birds to make their own choice. Once a pair has chosen a specific nest-box/log and been successful in it, offer that one to them each breeding season. Try and keep that one for their exclusive use. Once a pair has chosen its log or nest-box, the other ones can generally be removed. If the "spare" boxes are to be removed and moved to another flight, ensure the log / nest-box is cleaned to ensure the receptacle has the minimal contamination of mites, parasites and pathogens.
Log / Nest-box:
- Marcy Covault from Feathered Companions Aviary suggests using a deeper box, either a bootbox or a vertical grandfather box (18" - 24" deep). Some conures do accept cockatiel-sized boxes, but using a deeper box will reduce the conures' tendency to remove the shavings and lay their eggs on the bare wooden base.
- Diameter of entrance hole approx.3 inches (70 - 80 mm)
- Inspection hole: Can be square or round. Diameter: ~4 inches (100 mm)
- A Removable top / lid can be a useful access point for inspections and for cleaning.
- Location and height of log / nest-box: Install in a sheltered part of the aviary at about 5 feet (~1.5 - 1.8 meters) height, but not too close to the roof to cause heat problems in the hotter months.
- Angle of log or nest box: 45 degrees through to vertical. Most boxes are vertical.
- Nesting log / nest-box material: Add about 2 inches of decomposed suitable nest box litter to the bottom of the box to help stabilize the eggs and absorb the droppings from the chicks.
Options for suitable nesting material are decomposed non-toxic saw dust, corn cob, shredded newspaper, clean straw / dried grass or wood shavings (i.e., Aspen shavings or wood chips). The larger wood chips the better, so the parents don't feed it to the babies or the chicks accidentally ingest it.
Please note that some wood shavings - such as pine, cedar and redwood - give off aromatic hydrocarbons (phenols) and acids that are toxic and can cause dermatitis, allergic symptoms and irritation of the digestive tract. They should not be used in cages, aviaries, or nestboxes.
- Incubation: Hen and cock both share in incubating the eggs.
Nest inspections are generally not tolerated. If nest inspection is necessary, wait until both parents have left the nest. They can be aggressive and protective of the nest area when breeding.
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