Beginning of preparation in parrots

January 21st, 2021 | by Rafael Zamora Padron
Beginning of preparation in parrots
LPF NEWS
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The end of a year and the beginning of the next, mark a frontier for the management of birds under human care. At this time of the season the enclosures have to be prepared to receive a new breeding season, which may start in February or March, but which depends on the last two and the first two months of the year, for the parrots, to arrive in perfect conditions.

Every breeding center must have this period calculated, which requires control of handling, hygiene and diets. It should not be thought that animals need less attention because they are not in the breeding season. On the contrary, they require other types of needs that include a large number of tasks. Many times, forgetting just one of them, results in a problem at the same time as the breeding season progresses.

For this reason it is important to keep them in mind and make a list at the end of each season to fulfill each point.

Moluccan Cockatoo (Cacatua moluccensis) (c) Rafael Zamora

Cleaning and renovation of the enclosures

Nests
Surfaces
Floors
Shelves
Perches
Elements of environmental enrichment

Internal and external cleaning

Deworming Put fire to the most used surfaces or where parasites can lodge
Use of dead lime on the floor to avoid parasites

Pest control

Rodents, reptiles, and insects are the most common drawbacks in any breeding center. There must be a plan to keep them under control. Having it prepared before breeding avoids subjecting the pairs to last minute changes, usually when it is too late.

Control of raptors and birds from abroad

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Raptors can be a serious problem for many parrots. If they frequently fly over the enclosures, it can be enough for the parrots to not be calm and express problems that are difficult to detect. For this reason, they must have roofs under which they can hide and feel safe. In the same way, have a perimeter protection system that prevents a possible attack by a young owl or a hawk.

Generally, raptors do not attack parrots, but young specimens, that have not learned to hunt, may find an easy food resource interesting. And even if they can’t achieve their goal, just the scare that the birds get is enough to cause significant damage.

Otherwise, small birds such as sparrows, turtledoves and other local species, that move around the enclosures to eat remains of seeds or fruits represent a danger. These wild animals are often affected by parasites and diseases that can easily be transmitted to our parrots. For this reason contact must be avoided.

At Loro Parque Fundación it is time to review each of our specimens, to take care of every hygiene detail, to give exercise to the young birds which have been born this year, so that they grow with strength and the most important is to prepare the couples that have reproduced this year and those that will do the same in the new season.

Reviewing the data recorded during the season, we will find couples that were not compatible or whose fertility results were not appropriate. Focusing your attention on them during this period considered to be of rest, is the best option to see which changes are the most suitable.

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The behavior of parrots in the winter phase becomes calmer and allows keepers to see details that cannot be seen during the pre-breeding season. All parrots are real actors capable of hiding minor problems. For example, an internal leg injury. Mild dislocations or cracks in the bones, often go unnoticed and are the reason for infertile eggs or incompatibilities between couples. Something difficult to detect but that shows that both members of a couple must be in perfect condition and it is their caregivers who must achieve this harmony thanks to observation.

The behavior of parrots in the winter phase becomes calmer and allows keepers to see details that cannot be seen during the pre-breeding season. All parrots are real actors capable of hiding minor problems. For example, an internal leg injury. Mild dislocations or cracks in the bones, often go unnoticed and are the reason for infertile eggs or incompatibilities between couples. Something difficult to detect but that shows that both members of a couple must be in perfect condition and it is their caregivers who must achieve this harmony thanks to observation.

Author: Rafael Zamora Padrón, Scientific Director of LPF

Title photo: Lubos Tomiska

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