Conure Birds Mating Behavior – How Do Conures Mate?

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Nowadays, people are looking for pets with which they can form an emotional bond. This necessitates getting an intelligent pet. The leading choices, in this case, are members of the parrot family.

Conures are among the most common pets in this family because of their small sizes hence easy to care. Their vivid colors and sociability also make them perfect pet birds.

Conures will live for 20-30 years when you optimally meet their needs. Breeding a pet is an essential element in maintaining your pet’s generation and avoiding the devastation that comes with losing your pet.

Though the new pet birds you have might never replace the one you lose, they will ease your pain and guarantee your birdcage is not empty. For new pet owners, reproduction is always a challenge irrespective of the type of pet they choose.

Conures reproduce through egg-laying. The female, in this case, will lay a fertilized or unfertilized egg. Only fertilized eggs hatch to produce young conures. Fertilization of the eggs takes place when the male conure mates with the female. Though the mating sounds easy, it is far from so.

Below is what you need to know about the breeding behavior of conures.

When do Conures Usually Mate?

Your conure will reach its sexual maturity at one year old though some females attain maturity at seven months. However, it is prudent to wait until the bird is 1-3 years old to breed it so that its health is not compromised.

Unlike humans and most animals, conures do not breed all-year-round. They generally mate in spring since this reflects the warm weather conditions they are used to in their natural habitats. When the winter snow starts turning to rain, and the weather warms up, it is time to breed your bird.

Unfortunately, the mating season is quite short and typically lasts for a week or two. If you miss it, you might have to wait for an entire year, so you should be vigilant. In fact, outside this short mating period, the conure’s reproductive organs shrink to almost nothing.

During the mating season, the organs puff up to about ten times their non-breeding size. Remember that conures are monogamous, meaning they will mate with a single partner for life.

How to Tell the Difference Between Male and Female Conures?

Conures are dimorphic. This means you cannot simply look at them and tell their gender differences. Some people place two females in the same cage waiting for them to breed and miss out on the breeding season. To avoid this mistake, here are a few pointers for distinguishing a conure’s gender:

  • Head shape: In most cases, female conures have round heads, while males generally have flatter heads.
  • Behavior: Compared to females, males are quite bold.
  • Feet color: A few researchers found out that female conures have pink feet, whereas males have gray feet.
  • Pelvic exam: You can gently press the pelvic bone of your conure. If the bones split, this means that they are wide and round, a trait found in female conures. Sharp pelvic bones that are seemingly very close together indicate a male bird because there are no eggs that pass through them.

The above are only subjective pointers for determining a conure’s gender. The only accurate choice for knowing whether your bird is male or female is a DNA test. This test can be done on your bird’s feather or blood and is thankfully inexpensive.

Mating Behaviors of Male and Female Conures

It can be hard for a novice, and even a seasoned conure owner, to know that his/her bird is ready for mating. Fortunately, some behaviors can signify that your bird is ready for mating. These include:

  • Birds becoming overly sexual when petted, more so on their wings or backs.
  • Feather plucking between the legs and on the chest.
  • Frequent food regurgitation.
  • Nest-building or nesting in dark spots.
  • Extra aggression towards strangers and possessiveness of the bird’s owner.
  • Masturbation
  • Increased vocalization.

Some of the triggers of the mating behavior in males and females include:

  • Extended daylight hours since these increase the size of a conure’s reproductive organs and hormonal activity.
  • The availability of suitable nesting materials and an appropriate nest.
  • Availability of a mate.
  • Foods with increased levels of starch, proteins, and fat. Nestling food {warm wet food} also encourages mating.
  • Perceived sexual petting.

Unlike most mammals, male conures have no penis, but rather a small hole that resembles the females’. To mate, the male will climb on the female.

How to Get Your Conure to Breed?

The first step when breeding a conure is to select an unrelated pair. Be careful to pick the right breeding mate because conures will mate with only one bird throughout owing to their monogamous nature.

Though conures are not fussy as regards choosing mates, not all birds are well-suited. If you are unsure whether your bird will match its mate and do not have time to try out different mates, consider getting a proven pair from a breeder. This comprises two conures that have bred in the past.

Most conures will reject their new partners for some days after the introduction to the cage. Give your bird time to get used to a potential mate rather than quickly change it.

To increase the odds of your conure accepting its potential mate, opt for a bird of the same species. Cross-breeding is challenging and comes with more risks than when breeding conures of the same species. As such, it is best left to professional breeders.

After pairing your bird, get a separate cage for the two mates since they become quite territorial when breeding. The diet of breeding conures should comprise a lot of vitamins, calcium, and minerals to get a healthy embryo.

Exercise is essential for your birds’ breeding vitality. Get them a cage that is at least 4 x 2 x 2 feet so that they can have a free flight and plenty of exercises. You can also increase your conures’ exposure to daylight and include artificial lighting in their cages to boost the chances of breeding.

How Often do Conures Breed During the Year?

Conures can get multiple clutches per year. To maintain their health and nutritional wellbeing, however, you should not breed your birds more than thrice annually. To discourage breeding, you can remove the nesting box from the side of the cage.

Remember to replace this box with a bird tent because conures love snuggling in cozy places throughout. You can also minimize the bird’s exposure to daylight and separate different sexes to minimize the risk of breeding.

Conures will incubate the eggs for 23-27 days after laying them. Though most birds will get 3-5 eggs per clutch, they seldom take care of more than three young ones. Even when all the eggs hatch, the conure will only raise a maximum of three babies.

You can choose to sell the rest or hand raise them. The young conures stay with their parents for 7-8 weeks, after which they will leave the nests and live independently.

Conclusion

If you intend to breed your conure in the future, you should be well-versed with the above specifics to ensure the mating of your bird is seamless. It would be best if you also take the time to know your bird before breeding it.

This way, you can understand any changes it will undergo during the breeding season and know what to expect from its offspring. Try as much as possible to stay out of a conure’s way when breeding and after the eggs hatch.

If mating conures are uncomfortable, they might break their eggs or not incubate them. When they have newly hatched conures, the parents can abandon their chicks if you keep disturbing them.

Ensure the birds have everything they need, then leave them alone to mate or raise their young ones.

Conures - Updated: October 24, 2020

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