How to Breed Parrotlets in Captivity
- 1). Wait until the parrotlets are at least 1 year old. Select parrotlet species will be sexually mature at a slightly younger age, but it is best to allow the birds to mature before breeding them.
- 2). Ensure that you have a mating pair. Male parrotlets are more colourful than the females and typically have blue feathers on the eyebrows, wings and tail.
- 3). Remove the pair from the communal aviary and place them into a breeding cage of at least 18 inches tall by 24 inches wide by 24 inches long.
- 4). Feed the pair egg food, potatoes, pasta, rice, fresh fruits, vegetables and sprouted seed. A high-quality parrot food mix must also be offered.
- 5). Place a budgie nest box, which is readily available from pet dealers, into the cage. Budgie nest boxes have a slight depression on the floor, which is the perfect size to prevent parrotlet eggs from rolling about.
- 6). Place a handful of fine wood chippings into the nest box and spread them out. Push some into the corners of the nest box, to prevent chicks from attempting to sit there at a later stage. Chicks should ideally remain together to keep warm and to be available for feeding by the hen.
- 7). Do not interfere if an individual hen chooses to remove the chippings. The hen tends to remain inside the nest box during the incubation of the eggs and the rearing of the chicks and must feel comfortable, or she will become stressed.
- 8). Ensure that all the perches are well-secured to the cage. Male parrotlets hold on to the perch tightly with one foot during the act of mating.
- 9). Watch to see if the cock, or male bird, is feeding the hen while she is in the nest box. Although she is free to leave, the hen will wait to be fed and only leave for very brief periods, mainly to drink water.
Place leg rings on the chicks between 10 and 12 days after hatching. Use an "L"-size ring.
Wean the chicks onto a diet of sunflower hearts, grapes, millet and apple between 4 and 5 weeks of age.