will breed the best when more than one pair are
in the same area and they can hear each other,
but not see each other. Many people trying to
breed a single pair have not
had success. We will soon be offering a cd recording of the Parrotlet Breeding
Pairs in our aviary to remedy this problem if
you are only
breed one pair.
If you have multiple nesting pairs
they cannot be allowed to see each other pairs – males
are quite territorial and can injure or kill their mates out of jealousy. Check
your cages very carefully that they cannot touch or see the other pairs.
A healthy diet is essential. We have been successful with our
diet which was recommended to us by a Parrotlet breeder with many years of
experience and success. We have also noticed a difference using spirulina and
bee pollen supplements. Cuttlebone and mineral block is a must, as is powdered
calcium and vitamins sprinkled on the fresh foods several times a week. Calcium
is extremely important to prevent egg binding in females, so supply as much cuttlebone
as the females will eat. Many hens will eat a 6-inch cuttlebone a week for several
weeks prior to laying.
Parrotlets Need Sleep
very important that the birds can sleep peacefully
for 10-12 hours. The same conditions they would
find in the wild should be prevalent in your
aviary and that means bright light evenly balanced
with total darkness.
Breeding Cages for Parrotlets
Most breeders have had success with caging anywhere from 18" square up to 48" long and anything in between. We are currently using cages measuring 18"x18"x20" with dividers in between. A visual barrier must be placed between each cage to avoid potential problems. If Parrotlets can see each other, the birds may spend all their time arguing and fighting with their neighbors.
Nesting Boxes for Parrotlet
boxes should be roughly 8
inches tall, 7 inches wide and 7 inches deep. (Parakeet nesting
box) Ours have a 2-inch nest hole with a small perch and are
the hole with clean pine shavings. Parrotlets
chew and move shavings
around, so make sure they have a lot even if
it must be replaced from time to time. Place
the box on the outside front of the cage in
the highest corner possible. This way, the
will only see the inside of the cage when it looks outside of the nest box.
Toys, Perches & Swings
a perch, swing and at least 1-2 toys (chewy
kinds: leather, wood, natural fibers.) I
rotate them if I see the are not being used
or if they are pooping on them. (Sign they
the toy you gave them and you will never see
them playing on it, just pooping on it.)
Temperature & Environment
nesting boxes and cages are kept between
65 degrees at
and never over 90 degrees during the day, humid (provided with plants).The
room is well-ventilated
environment (exhaust fans) with a minimal of disruptions. No heavy foot
traffic or noise is allowed. Ideally, no other pets should be near your Parrotlets
if you want them to breed. I do not have my older pairs near
any other animals.
Ideally they are paired when they are babies or virgin birds.
These are eager to pair and pair easily. Parrotlets who are pets AND have never been in a cage with another Parrotlet
for say 1-1/2 years + are hard at times impossible to pair. They forget
Parrotlet. Their are exceptions to this.
previously paired can be repaired, but more caution should be taken. When
setting up a new pair, place the hen and male side by side in separate
a day or two with no other Parrotlets in sight. Don't put them in together
until you see "romantic interest". Meaning they will try to perch
close to one another, ect. The
Parrotlet Handbook says to put them in the same cage together and see if
they are perched/bonded
the next day. I disagree with this advice as I have had some violent attacks/deaths
and its too expensive of an investment to risk this.
If a Parrotlet is recently widowed or removed from his/her current
pair, I wait a few weeks to repair. They get lonely and/or forget about their
previous mate and will pair much easier. I have also noticed that if I have
had, for example, a male green paired with a blue hen, sometimes
it is easier to pair
him with another blue than a different color. Some of them seem to get used
to a particular color and this is all they want. Not always but be
aware if they
reject a new mate after previously being paired with another color.
Stop checking the nesting boxes constantly to see
if there are eggs!
I keep a log of my breeding pairs. ONLY every 3+ weeks will I
sneak a peak. At this time, I write down who is in the nest box
and who isn't, or if they have they gone
in the nesting box (you will see feathers and shavings arranged).
If I see eggs, I put a sticky tab post-it note on
the outside of the nesting box to remind me to be watchful of this
pair so I can feed more once babies are hatched. Also if the eggs
turn out to be clear (unfertilized), which is common the first
time, I note this and clean out the shavings of the nesting box.
gets a bit messy if they have been in there awhile sitting
on the clear eggs.
eggs have hatched, if
the mom and dad are both in the box and you peek, you run the
risk of one of the parents making a hasty exit and
injuring one of
the hatchlings. Try to do this when at least dad is out of the box
Pacific & Green Rump Parrotlets do not
have a programmed breeding season. However, it is best for
amount of clutches they have per year. Most breeders allow
their Parrotlets to have two clutches, then rest for two to
three months, then let them breed again. (Again good record
keeping is a must!) This usually results in three or four
clutches per year. Parrotlets
egg every other day (average) until a clutch of 6 to 8 is reached;
some hens will lay as many as 10 but 6 to 8 eggs is average.
Housing Baby/Young Parrotlets
You can keep unweaned (if they don't need to be in a brooder) & newly
under 3 months all together (males and females) in a nice big
realize who is male and who is female. I like doing this as I notice the babies learn to eat faster as they imitate their older cage mates (Parrot Behavior), also they are sociable with all colors, makes them easier to pair later. I keep perches at 2 different heights (one high, one low) in this cage as it takes the little ones longer to perch on a higher perch.
Housing Parrotlets for Future Breeding (Unpaired)
4 months and up, I have a large "Boys Only" cage and a "Girls
Only" cage also with
lots of toys that I keep them in until they are paired/sold.
There is a divider so that males can not see the females. Everyone
gets along just fine. The exception to this is, for example,
if I have all greens in the "Boys Only" cage, I will
not put in a different color. I have had them gang
the minority colors. I will set them side by side
the others for a few days and then put them in together.
I notice my Lutinos get picked on alot, so be careful. These I usually keep with other Lutinos apart from the rest. You can also clip wings to keep your birds calm. I have rarely have problems with this system.
Never pair a much older male (over a year who has bred) with younger hen (under a year who has not bred). He can get frustrated if she doesn't want to breed and starting picking on her.
Keep the wings clipped of the aggressor. This will keep your pairs calm.
If you ever see blood, IMMEDIATELY remove one of
the mates from the nest. Males will
peck and bite the female’s toes and legs to try to chase her into the nesting
box, if she’s not ready to mate he may kill her. (The female can be the attacker also) After seperating them, let them sit side by side
in adjacent cages and see after a few days if they look like they are ready to
be paired again. I give them a second chance, after this I repair with a new
mate. On one occasion, I had a male who would chase the hen away when she tried
to eat. This has only happened once but it would also fall under behavior
that you would want to intervene and unpair them. I don't have pairs fight often, only when I did not follow the above advice, it is rare, but you need to be aware so you can intervene if need be.