As per all
parakeet types, esp. at Breeding times, they must have free access to Cuttlefish bone, Oystershell
and mineralised grit (for digestion + calcium/mineral content).
(pink) mineral blocks.
These help the hen form good quality eggshells.
Prior to Breeding and to
help bring the birds into Breeding condition you must start
the Protein levels in the Birds' food.
Adding shredded chicken
with Sweetcorn + Egg-food and a good quality
vitamin + Mineral
also add boiled eggs mashed together with their shells for added
Protein + calcium
small sprinkle of
Hemp seed is helpful in
enhancing Breeding condition.
Hen has laid her full clutch of eggs,
you then discontinue the Protein Levels and just feed a basic
seed and water (with added fruit and veg) but nothing with
High feed value while the Hen is incubating as she goes into a
semi-hibernation state as she broods, so doesn't need anything
more than a "Maintenance Diet".
The cockbird will survive
on seed and water + fruit and Veg.
The day before the first
chick is due to hatch - you then can put some soft-food in for
the parents to feed the chicks.
They are not aggressive by
nature, except during the breeding season when the Cockbird won't
tolerate other Cock birds in either the same Aviary or too near.
Make sure if you have
adjoining Aviaries that you double-mesh the adjoining sides
and have at least 1"
between double meshing
is ONE PAIR ONLY per AVIARY when BREEDING.
this is rather
limiting if you don't have a lot of space to put a few Aviaries to
accommodate each pair.
Their aviary must be of a
decent length (8ft x 4ft minimum) so that they can fly and maintain
condition, which is necessary for healthy breeding.
They like deep, dark
Nest boxes (9 - 10" square and min. 18"- 2ft deep).
The hen can lay 5 - 6
eggs (every alternate day)
and will usually wait until at least the 4th egg is laid before
she starts to incubate seriously.
This is so that the chicks
will hatch fairly close together.
INCUBATION: 21 days
approx. 4th egg being laid - so you can add 7 days from first egg
being laid until the hen starts incubation - so count 28 days
from 1st egg to give you a better indication of when to
expect first hatch, then you often have 2 chicks hatching
together and the following day another chick. They usually
hatch every other day, thereafter).
FLEDGING: approx. 45 days
(similar to Kakis)
CLOSE-RINGING: @ 12- 14
Ring Size: P
I usually say when the eyes
are approx. ½ - 3/4 open if you can't work out the
This is a link to a Site that sells Bird Rings.
Avian ID, P.O. Box 107, Truro,
Cornwall TR1 2YR
Tel: 01872 262777
Be careful how you go about
Make sure your hands are clean,
(but not smelling of soap etc) as the parents seem to be able to
sense if you've handled the chicks.
Sometimes, it's a good idea
to handle a bit of substrate (nest material - not with droppings -
out of their nest) to mask your own "smell".
Also, remember this if you
have to handle the chicks at any time.
Rosellas object to any
interference and have been known to abandon or even kill their
they think there is a "Strange smell" on them i.e. from your hands.
So if you don't have to
touch - DON'T!!
Leave them alone and try
not to even look in the nest - they really do not like it!!
They can go down and rear 2
and sometimes 3 clutches per year.
As with any other birds -
if they raise 2 good-size clutches they should be discouraged from
going down for a 3rd time.
parents have been known to pluck the backs and heads of chicks.
It's better to leave the chicks alone tho. and not interfere.
someone who put anti-biotic powder on the chicks where they were
bleeding from being plucked and
the parents killed them all - becos the chicks had been handled and
had a "strange-smelling" (to the parent birds) powder
The Hen does all the
sitting but the Cockbird will go in with her.
He feeds her and presumably
shares the feeding of the chicks.
As a rule they
not like to be bothered while in the nest box, unlike some
birds who will tolerate
you having a look to check all is well.
They growl and hiss if you bother them or go near the to keep
away from them.
message is leave the chicks and nest area well alone when they are
Once they start mating and
preparing the nest box you can up the protein levels to
help prepare them for breeding.
You can add a calcium
supplement x2 per week ONLY (follow directions
but once the hen
is incubating just give Seed and water only.
The Hen goes into
"Brood-mode" where she is almost in a state of
"semi-hibernation", where her body doesn't need sustaining the same as it does
when she's living a normal, everyday life.
So she is feeding for
General rule of thumb is
once the birds start mating you can expect your first egg to be laid
approx. 2 weeks later.
Once the first chick
is due to hatch provide Sweetcorn + E.M.P (or similar good quality egg-food)
Read the directions on the
tubs, carefully, for amounts to give to each Breed or Bird + how often to feed
it, as over-supplementation of any vitamin/minerals can be as bad as being
cause toxic poisoning if you over-supplement,
as the bird's liver can't cope.
You can poison the bird's system by over-loading it.
Remember, if you use a
liquid supplementation to put in the water, it does depend on how much
the bird drinks and whether it will drink it, due to the change in taste!
They will probably enjoy a
millet spray about now cos it's easier to digest to feed the chicks.
Once the chicks have
fledge and are fully independent, it may be wise to move them to a
as the Father-bird
may see the cock chicks as a
threat, and attack them.
is where you have to watch your birds.
I have never had this
problem and my youngsters live quite happily in the same Aviary
their parents even when they go back down for their 2nd round.
Other Breeders have
reported the Adult Cockbird chasing their male off-spring and
sometimes attacking them.
This is really an
individual thing both on the birds and the owners part. As some
parents tolerate the young being left with them as they go back to
nest and others won't have the young cock birds in the same
Aviary. So it's very much, " play it by ear" and err
on the side of caution at the sight of any aggression.