Well, didn't think I'd be back here again until spring to ask breeding questions, but here I am
I attempted to breed my pair this past summer but it was unsuccessful. I took the nest box out in August because I thought that they were coming out of breeding condition and didn't want them to breed while out of it. Well, 3 months later and they're still not out of condition. Izzy's cere is still a dark chocolate brown, though crusty (it started getting crusty in Aug and that's why I thought she was on the tail-end of condition) and Hermes' cere is still a deep, bright blue. They've been in condition since May. I tried to find information on how long breeding condition lasts, but what I've mostly found is what they look like in condition, how to bring them into condition, why breeding condition is necessary...but nothing on how long it lasts. The most I've found is that it varies with each bird. Oh, and one website said they could breed every 7 weeks so, uh, yeah that source wasn't reliable
I guess it's time for the actual question
I was planning on attempting to breed my birds again this spring, but if they stay in condition this long, how long will it be after they finally come OUT of condition before they'll come into it again? I know I can "force" them to come into condition buy managing how much daylight they get, feed them certain foods, etc. Would that be my best bet? I'd prefer for them to come in and out of condition naturally, if at all possible. Behavior-wise, Hermes acts like he's in condition year-round
Izzy's still chewing quite a bit; when I was attempting to breed them I gave her access to a nest box and more things for her to chew on so I don't know if she truly is still in condition behavior-wise since she doesn't have access to those things anymore.
Is it possible that Izzy's cere is just going to be a brown in and out of condition? If so, would I just have to watch her behavior so I knew when she was IN condition. One last thing...if my birds indeed are still in condition, would I be crazy to attempt breeding them again? Last time, the breeding cage I had them in only had a spot for the nest box lower in the cage. The new, giant cage I bought for them has many access points to put the nest box, so I'd put it higher up. (It would be okay to just keep them in the large cage to breed, right?) If they are still in condition and safe to try one last breeding attempt before calling it quits for the year, I'd just give 'em the nest box for a few weeks and if they're uninterested or unsuccessful, regroup for next year.
Thanks for your time!