Rose Crowned Conure
I have kept the Rose crowned ‘P.rhodocephala’ conure since 2003 and found it to be the most prolific breeder of all Pyrrhura conures I have kept to date. My birds parent rear the chicks without problems and clutch size is usually 4/6 eggs, but have had 7 in total couple of times. One particular pair will continually breed if I let them. Soon as the chicks are removed, hen will lay another clutch within a few weeks. Only drawback is the hen becomes loosely feathered, so I try to stop it by removing the pair to an inside cage which usually does the trick and puts a halt on any more eggs being produced for the season. I prefer one clutch a year for my birds.
When chicks are in the nest I have found more often than not, you can visually sex them in the nest; cocks have more red on the heads than hens which can easily be seen. Once moulted out into adult plumage they can lose this distinction. Both sexes can have the same amount of red or hens can be more colourful. So DNA sexing is the only way to confirm the sex. So visually sexing them only applies when they are in nest feather. I still have all young DNA sexed as when selling surplus it’s what the buyers wants, to purchase with confidence they are obtaining a pair etc. Adult plumage is usually fully acquired within 12 months, but the white flight feathers can take up to 3 years for the full set. I have also had chicks fledged the nest nearly in full colour, and with nearly a full set of the white wing feathers... so the rule does not apply to all birds.
Mutations have appeared in the Rose Crowned mainly on the continent such as a possible Misty? or Dark factor?, are being produced. There is also an ‘intense red’ where the head colour has spread all over the head & cheeks resembling the Aratinga, Red mask conure. The ‘intense red’ has also been bred here in the UK, but in its very early stages of being established.
Below: Possibly a Dark factor or Misty mutation