Hi I have a pair of conures both around 3 years of age I was told they bred last year, since I’ve hooked up the breeding box they have both been in it and only come out for food and water I also hear her scratching around a lot in the box and see she has put a far few feathers inside it’s been near 2 weeks now and still now eggs so my question is will they breed and how long can it take also is there anything I can do to speed things along? Thankyou
There is one rule that applies to breeding any kind of bird – it takes a lot of patience! You are going to have disappointments. You didn’t mention the species, but at 3 years, they really are just now old enough to breed, if this is one of the smaller species like the Green Cheeked conure. Do you know if they actually produced any chicks last year? Right now, from what you have described, it all sounds very promising. However, I am always guarded when someone sells a “proven” pair – especially if they came from a breeder. When a breeder sells a pair, there is often an issue – they don’t incubate the eggs, they don’t feed the chicks, etc. Breeders do not sell good producers as a rule. But, as I said, this pair is behaving like a pair that is planning to settle in and lay eggs soon.
All you can do is provide what they need, give them plenty of privacy, and hope for the best. If you check on them too much, the pair can get nervous and not want to lay. It’s very important that they are on a nutritionally balanced diet like pellets or our foraging diets, and not a loose seed mix. You should also be offering dark leafy greens, chopped veggies and a small amount of fruit. While you have them set up for breeding, you should be feeding an egg food. You can offer cooked eggs with the shell cleaned, crushed and cooked with them or a commercial egg food. The hen needs the protein and calcium to replace what she uses to form each egg. If the pair does produce chicks, you need to remove the nest box as soon as the chicks have left it or are pulled to hand feed. The parents should be rested for 6 months before you return the nest box to let them breed again. We just hosted a webinar on reproduction that you may want to view. It’s good to learn more about how each egg is formed and the toll it takes on the female. I hope you see some eggs and then chicks, soon!