pair of Petz's Conures
were bought from a bird farm. I did not know what to expect when
I opened the wooden carriage box. The pair spied out of the wire
front and looked quite inquisitive. They were a little smaller than
I had expected approximately 10 in. high. The colours were more
vivid than I had imagined.
the pair were settled into the small flight cage that would be their
home. The cage was similar to the ones I provide for our Maroon
Belly Conures, and Painted Conures measurements approximately 36
in. x 24 in. x 36 in. high. The nest box was positioned within this
space and was a standard cockatiel box.
started learning about the requirements of the pair of Petz's Conures.
I read that they were not commonly bred in the UK, but bred well
in the USA. The hand reared pets sounded fun, and was listed as
one of the most popular pets in America. I began to look at the
pair as a challenge, and I really wanted them to breed.
did not have success the first breeding season. I became suspicious
that I did not have a true pair. Although, they were very friendly
towards each other they had not used the nest box, even for roosting.
The pair were soon taken one hundred miles for surgical sexing with
our experienced avian vet. They were sexed as two cock birds. This
resulted in a new problem.
As I attempted to locate a surgical sexed hen Petz's Conure I found
that the hens were very scarce. There are many more cock birds to
hens in this species of conure. I was really pleased when I located
two surgical sexed hens. The owner had had them together as a pair.
I was hoping I had four similar aged birds all ready to breed. I
found that if I put fresh willow wood in the entrance hole of the
nest box I could generate some interest in the boxes. It was also
recommended by a breeder friend that I offer cork tiles as a nesting
it looked promising as one hen started using the nest box. Soft
ply wood was provided and a 50/50 mix of wood shavings and peat
as additional nesting material. The wooden materials were chewed
up very rapidly and arranged into a nest.
was able to inspect the boxes easily. Although, the pair were originally
imported birds they had become quite tame. They knew their names
and would shout at me indignantly when I talked to them during this
period. Soon I was rewarded with an egg and then two more eggs.
They were laid at two to three day intervals.
was very keen to hand rear the baby conures. I decided to candle
the eggs after ten days. I found two eggs were fertile, and one
showed as a blood ring. One egg had the airspace at the small end
of the egg. This fault encouraged us to take the eggs for artificial
incubation, so we could monitor this egg carefully. The chick might
suffocate at hatch when it internally piped at the large end of
the egg. At this stage the chick relies on the supply of air in
the air space until the correct hatch time.
incubation period was a very tense time of waiting. We knew that
we would need to offer hatch assistance to the first egg. The chick
surprised us when on the twenty-third day of incubation it externally
piped at the small end of the egg. This was great news as the chick
was upside down in the egg; it had manoeuvred its head to the air.
On the next day we started hatch assistance as we were unsure whether
the chick would make it on its own. We gave it warm water on a cotton
bud every two hours. On the same day the second egg internally piped,
starting its hatching process.