Interview with an owner of bird aviaries in France about parrot breeding

January 22nd, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
Interview with an owner of bird aviaries in France about parrot breeding

Can you tell us how many bird aviaries do you have and how many birds are living in here approximately?

We have about 130 bird aviaries and cages ( according to the species), 70 for lories and lorikeets and 50 for bigger parrot species. I think there are about 150 lories and lorikeets + 100 other parrots.

You are one of the biggest French parrot breeders for sure. When your family started breeding birds and when have you decided that you want to do this as well?

We aren’t the biggest french facility for breeding of parrots. Some are bigger than us in parrot breeding. It case of lories we probably are, but only in total number of birds, not in number of species (just 13 different lory and lorikeet species for now).

My father started breeding approximately 45 years ago. He started with finches then had some parakeets and finally parrots. With lories we started in 90‘s.

About me, I decided to do it when I was young. At the age of 15, I was breeding finches for 10 years and then lovebirds ( all species except the Red-faced LovebirdAgapornis pullarius). Unfortunately, I had to stop breeding birds because of my work. But I still help my parents with husbandry and travel with them to visit breeders.



The breeding facility for lories and lorikeets.


France is very far from the Czech republic. It’s more than 1500km so there are bad contacts among breeders from both countries. Can you tell us something about french breeders? Which birds are mostly kept in here, is there big tradition of breeding birds? How many parrot breeders do you think are in France?

We haven’t many contacts because of the distance. Now thanks to the internet, we try to get in touch with other breeders all over the world. Most of french breeders are located in the the north of the country. Many breed canaries then some finches and parakeets and sometimes parrots. Loribreeding is very rare in here. I think in France we have about 5000 to 6000 bird breeders.

It’s generally known that in France is really strict law about keeping of exotic birds. Have you any bad experience with this? Is it a problem for french breeders?

YES, it’s a problem for french breeders. Frequently, there is inconsistency in law interpretation of local authorities. You need to fill and manage lots of papers about breeding of birds! Authorities have to approve your breeding and then check adequate conditions regularly. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this.

Do you have any strategy or aim of your breeding or you just breed what you like?

I wouldn’t say we have any strategy. We just breed what we like and what we have an opportunity to have. Our most important priority is to breed well what we have rather than to acquire new species.



A very nice photo of Blue & Gold Macaws.


What means breeding of birds for you at this moment? Is it just a hobby or a full time job? You have so many birds so it has to take a lot of time. How do you share the care with your parents?

It’s a hobby for now. We spend much time each day by feeding and cleaning aviaries. I takes about 4 hours each day. At this moment, I help my parents when I’m not busy because of my work. For the future, I think birds are going to become my full time job.



Marajon Amazon young birds.



I can see you have many lories and lorikeets in your collection. When did you start breeding them? Why do you choose lories (why do you like them)?

We started breeding lories 20 years ago. Firstly, we acquired loris for my brother as he always wanted a pair of Rainbow Lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus) and he fell in love with them. Now my brother lives in England and lories still represent a part of our breeding. What is more, we extended our collection so we have much more species now.

The feeding of lories is frequently discussed topic. Can you tell us how do you feed and which food do you use?

For feeding loris we have tried everything. For over 15 years, we feed with Nekton Lori Nectar. It’s the best nectar but a very expensive product as well. However, good breeding results compensate our expenses. Our lories have beautiful plumage. As supplement we give fruits and vegetables.

Nectar, fruits and vegetables are the essential elements of lory nutrition. Because of the frequent fungal infections the consistent hygiene and cleanness is necessary as well. Lories can be very sensitive in captivity.

Are you satisfied with this way of feeding or do you still try to improve it?

Yes, we are satisfied with this feeding. We try to make it still better in measuring the amount of food given daily to different species. We do that to avoid wasting.



Lovely family, Yellow-streaked Lory


What is in your opinion the main problem in breeding of lories? Is there anything you still don’t know how to solve?

There are no particular problems when the hygiene is respected. We clean and disinfect every day the bowls for food.

Do you heat your bird aviaries in winter? What temperature is in there within the whole year? Do you think lories are sensitive to cold?

Yes, we heat bird aviaries in winter, 6-8°C is the minimum temperature. Outside we have maximum -10°C at the night and 0°C during a cold day normally. For the rest of the year, temperatures are ok for breeding. Lories are sensitive to cold because they are nectarivorous. Some parrot species are more resistent of course. In the wild loris don’t know low temperatures !!!

Have you already bred all species which you had and which you have in your collection now?

Currently, we breed all species which we have in our collection. On the other hand, some species which we had, have never reproduced. That time we haven’t had the experience and technique of today for breeding.

What was your biggest success in breeding of lories?

Our biggest success in the breeding of lories was the breeding of Johnston’s lorikeets (Trichoglossus johnstoniae). We lost the last female last year at the age of 12 old. Recently, our biggest success was with Rosenberg’s lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus rosenbergii) , Purple-naped lory (Lorius domicellus) and Deplanchi’s lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus deplanchii).



Unfortunately, there are any Johnstone’s Lorikeets in this facility for now. Maybe in future?


The Deplanchi’s Lorikeet and the the Horned Parakeet (Eunymphicus cornutus) are very interesting parrots of your breeding. Can you tell how did you get these birds? These birds are very rare in Europe.

We acquire these birds through import in 1999 directly from New Caledonia. I pass the details but it was a piece of adventure to have these birds. We got three pairs of Horned Parakeets (one female died during the transport) and six pairs of Deplanchi’s lorikeets.

Did you already have the youngers from them?

We have youngers from them and now we are to second generation. In Deplanchii we have 2 import pairs which still breed.

Can you compare breeding of captive bred parrots and parrots from the wild? Which one do you prefer?

We prefer parrots from breeding because they are acclimated, it’s less problematic then.

Do you think there is some way how to import some parrots out of EU to France today?

I don’t know. But today an import of parrots into France…… impossible I think .



Very rare Deplanche’s Lorikeet



What can you say about breeding of bigger parrots?

For breeding bigger parrots, you need enough place. Firstly, we try to breed properly species we have and then we can exchange youngers for new species. My father do this more than 30 years.

My father kept macaws, amazons, cockatoos because he like them. All parrots we have, are in here because my parents like them. As for me, I like all parrots and I would like to have all of them but the problem is the place and the time spent with feeding.

As every breeder, we have face to problem when pairs are not willing to care for their eggs chicks. We have to artificially incubate or hand feed them then. It’s very nice to save species and lifes of little chicks but it’s a lot of work. But when you love your hobby then one doesn’t count the time !

You specialize in breeding of less species in more pairs. Do you find new bloodline to your breeding or you have enough birds to set up new pairs?

We specialize in breeding less species in more pairs and want to set up more generations. In some species it’s hard to find new bloodline. In other species we have enough birds to set up new pairs.

Actually, the problem was with the Marajo Amazon (Amazona ochrocephala xantholaema).There isn’t any breeder of this subspecies in Europe . Just one breeder in EU and they are found in Loro Parque as well. Then only hybrids (ochrocephala ochcocephala x ochrocephala xantholaema).

How do you get your new birds? Only from french breeders?

We get our new birds from all Europe (Spain, Italy, Germany, England ) sometimes from french breeders. They always have to be in a good shape and good health.

I have seen that you handfeed many youngers. Do you prefer parent raised or handfeeded parrots in your breeding? What is better?

We handfeed many cicks. We prefers parent raised but when they break eggs or kill chicks, there is no other way how to save youngers. When chicks get weaned, we put them to big bird aviaries let them socialize with other youngers. Consequently, they are not scared of people and don’t suffer an identity crisis.

But young raised by parents are good too. Parrots handfeeded than parent raised are the same for us. We also have good results with the twice.



Like a painted picture! Moluccan Cockatoo


You have already had many species in your breeding. Are there any species which you would like to have again or which you woud like to have and you have never been having them before?

Yes we have already had many species in the breeding.

We would like to have again:

– in lories: Johnstone’s Lorikeet (Trichoglossus johnstoniae), Black-winged Lory (Eos cyanogenia)

– in parakeets: Timor Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus jonquillaceus)

– in macaws: Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus)

New species that we have never had and would like to, are:

  • in lories: Rajah Lory (Chalcopsitta atra insignis), Varied Lorikeet (Trichoglossus versicolor), Purple-crowned Lorikeet (Glossopsitta porphyrocephala)
  • in amazons : Diademed Amazon (Amazona autumnalis diadema), Red-tailed Amazon (Amazona brasiliensis)

There are more species we want but these take the first place.


We thank to breeders from french facility Vitiga for the interview and wish them to find new breeders of Marajo Amazons so they can swap the offsprings! Follow and Share them on FB: Vitiga Psittaciformes

Photos: Vitiga Vitiga





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