The Sun Conure Experience


So you've decided to try breeding one of the conures. You've had some experience with cockatiels, canaries and budgies, and your next logical step seems to be conure breeding. You've looked at all the conures and, like many people, when you walked into a room full of Sun Conures and they started screaming you thought none of that! Why would anyone want a baby that makes that much noise? You could never hear yourself think.

While breeding rooms can be loud with all of the pairs competing for attention, a handfed baby Sun Conure Aratinga solstitialis is not necessarily loud. The Sun Conure, while not a great talker, can learn to imitate sounds. My pet Suns, which are in the front window, make great watchbirds letting me know when someone is coming up the walk. If a stranger is in the house, they fluff up and let me know about the intruder until they're sure I'm safe. After all, I am part of their flock. As for loud, you can expect the normal parrot calls as they say good morning and good night to the world, and occasionally they do get carried away. But for the most part, they are incredibly sweet. Suns, if handfed and handled from two weeks, can be loving, cuddly, fairly quiet pets with close bonds to their owners. If taught to socialize early, they become outgoing and gregarious, and will go to almost anyone. Very few things are as nice to wake up to as my Angel (her name) climbing out of her cage with a loud, "Gimme a kiss" with everybody in the room imitating her kissing sounds.

All right, you're convinced. You'd like to try breeding Suns, but you're not sure just what's involved.

First of all, contact every breeder you can and ask questions. Too many people go into breeding without enough knowledge and in that situation the birds are the ones hurt the most. If the breeder will allow you, check out their breeding rooms, but don't be disappointed if they won't let you in. You'd be amazed at how Suns will react to strangers. I once allowed my sister to look into my breeding area from the doorway, and on later inspection found two dead babies and a broken egg. Be sure and ask questions about anything, but especially about the four most important points which are, in my opinion, breeding stock, environment, housing and diet. Breeding Stock

Should you start with handfed or parent-raised breeding stock? If the option is available, parent-raised would be best and a handfed female paired with a parent-raised male next. Two ha ndfed babies may provide nothing but clear eggs for quite a while, until the male figures out what he's supposed to do. This can frequently be overcome by placing the pair within view of a proven pair so they can watch and learn. In addition, look for a pair with a background of prolific parents and grandparents as this trait seems to be genetic. Try for a pair about one and a half years old or older. If someone offers you a proven pair, ask yourself "why are they selling them?" Why would anyone give up a prolific proven pair? You might be better off starting with a young pair and watching them grow into maturity. Most important, be sure to look for healthy, alert birds with clear eyes, a strong voice and clean vents, feathers and toes. This may seem obvious but, on occasion, all of us get carried away by excitement and forget the simplest of precautions. Environment

At California Flights of Fancy, we keep our Suns in a controlled environment in an enclosed building.