Breeding of the Lesser Jardine’s Parrot. PART II

March 8th, 2016 | by Oldrich Siska
Breeding of the Lesser Jardine’s Parrot. PART II
Breeding
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Read also the first part of this article:

Breeding of the Lesser Jardine’s Parrot. PART I

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I keep the breeding pair in an outside aviary during summer and inside aviary during the winter season. Mostly, they are moved inside at the end of September. The dimensions of both aviaries are the same – 1,7 x 1,2 x 0,8m. I use the conventional vertical nest of size 30 x 30 x 50cm which is hung from the outside. There is no perch at the entrance hole but an attached wooden board. When birds are moved, female does not go inside the nestbox immediately. Initially, she stays on the mentioned board and keeps scratching it. This behaviour usually lasts for a week and is very noisy. Shortly after, copulation follows and the female starts going into the nestbox. Both birds also chew rotten wood which is placed inside. Just before the laying of eggs I also add two handfuls of wood shavings.

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Second and third nesting in the season

The story is always the same. Three eggs are laid in October, two or three hatch. Two chicks are raised by their parents up to the age of five weeks and then I take them out of the nest to hand feed. If the third chick hatches, parents move it to the corner of the nestbox and do not feed it at all. After the chicks are taken from the nest, I put new pieces of rotten wood there and wait for the next clutch which is laid at the end of January. This clutch is mostly smaller and counts only two eggs, extraordinarily three. Parents don’t feed their babies well after the fifth week also in case of the second nesting. Therefore, there are hand raised. Sometimes the pair nests also for the third time. It is not my intention to push birds to nest. However, when I remove the nestbox female will lay the eggs on the ground.

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Asiatic parrots Grey Parrots soft Macaws

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I keep stable temperature 20°C with humidity 60% in the inside aviaries. The daylight is prolonged artificially from 6AM to 10PM. There is a large window of size 120 x 90cm in that room.

Fertility of all eggs which have been laid by my pair is very high – 90%.

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Feeding

Out of the breeding season I feed with seed mix for African parrots, apples and carrots. From August I also give rowanberries, chokeberries, hawthorn berries, unripe corn on cob and sunflower. Just before the nesting season seeds are being soaked and sprouted. Commercial eggfood, egg shells and a boiled egg are added to the mixture.

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Loss of the breeding male

My pair was successfuly breeding up to the end of 2010. I have observed that some of their youngers were more or less blue but this was not related to their sex. After the first molt this difference disappeared. In 2009, I tried to take for hand rearing only one of two chicks and surprisingly, the second chick was raised by parents. For the first time! Between 2003 and 2010 I have bred more than 30 youngers from this pair. For hand rearing a couple of hand feeding formulas (NutriBird, Kaytee, Harrison’s) has been used. The progress of chick development was sometimes different but the final weight at weaning stage did not differ at all.

In 2010, I finished a new complex of combined aviaries with the length of outside flight four meters and the length of inside part three meters. Unfortunately, when my breeding pair was replaced to the new aviary, the male was killed because of strong hit to one of the walls. Therefore, I had to find a new husband for my female. I found a guaranteed male which was three years old. I made DNA tests just to be sure that this bird is a real male and after that both birds were put together. Surprisingly, the new male laid two eggs in January 2011 and started incubating them while the old female was staying outside.

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17 days (c) Oldrich Siska

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1 month (c) Oldrich Siska

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45 days (c) Oldrich Siska

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I had to find a new male again. Finally, I got a bird four years old with a little beak defect. In March 2012, a pair set up from the new male and younger female produced two eggs, both infertile. Unfortunately, I loss the new male without knowing what was the exact cause. My disappointment was really big at that time. The most prolific species of my collection don’t reproduce anymore. Because of that I sold the old breeding female to other breeder and set up a pair from the younger female and a young male which I bred from the original pair. From the first moment, it was obvious that this pair is compatible.

At the end of November I observed the first copulation and in December two eggs were laid. A month later one of the chicks hatched, the second egg was infertile. Both birds seem to be great parents, food was just disappearing from the feeders. At the age of 20 days I removed the chick from the pair to hand feed again. In February, the breeding pair copulated for several times and laid eggs but those disappeared.

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8 weeks (c) Oldrich Siska

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10 weeks (c) Oldrich Siska

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I think that the important condition of success is to set up a compatible pair. I believe that hand raised parrots can become great breeders and parents.

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author: Oldrich Siska

Title photo: (c) Dick Daniels. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

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