Karl Hansal talks about his successful breeding of Golden-shouldered and Timor Red-winged Parrots. PART I

February 16th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
Karl Hansal talks about his successful breeding of Golden-shouldered and Timor Red-winged Parrots. PART I

Read also the second part of this article:

Karl Hansal: When you start counting money in breeding than it’s too bad. PART II


Many years ago he bred the Timor Red-winged Parrot (Aprosmictus jonquillaceus) as the first one in the Austria. Then he moved to the Czech Republic where built an amazing facility with very spacious aviaries. He started breeding bigger parrots like amazons, macaws or cockatoos but didn’t forget about the Australian parrots. In his collection we can find species which are rare and difficult to breed. As Karl Hansal says, he likes challenges.

Did you move from the Austria to the Czech Republic? How has that happened? Mostly, people move in the opposite direction.

I married into this country. It’s been already more than 16 years when I moved there and built the house. I run the business with molasses for sugar refineries so I was used to travel and movements.





You have bred parrots already in Austria. You had to move all the parrots across the border?

I didn’t have so many parrots in Austria, just about 15 aviaries. Anyway, it was quite complicated to move them to the Czech Republic. Import duty was very expensive.

Why it was so complicated?

I remember that I came at the customs once and they didn’t let me go because, allegedly, I didn’t have all the papers. So I had to go back and process all the documentation again.

What were your first parrots? How did you start in Austria?

At the age of 10 years, I had budgies and zebra finches.





It was your idea to be a breeder or somebody showed you this way?

Nobody in family was interested in the breeding of birds. When I was a little kid I always enjoyed walks to the forest and finding the bird nests.

When was the turn? I mean when did you switch from budiges to big parrots?

I got my first budgies at the age of 8. I had prepared cages for them but the mesh was painted by toxic paint that’s why all my budgies died the second day. It’s been already 60 years and such birds were quite expensive so I had to save the money again. My parents weren’t rich at that time.

So you started with bigger parrots in the Czech Republic?

Yes. In Austria I had only Galahs (Eolophus roseicapillus). In there I bred the Timor Red-winged Parrots and Mountain Parakeets (Bolborhynchus aurifrons) as the first one in Austria. At that time those species were very rare.





How do you choose which species are you going to breed? You have a nice collection of Australian parrots but southamerican conures, amazon parrots and macaws as well.

It’s not easy to maintain all the species at one place. Just feeding takes 3 hours daily. But I don’t think that I will ever reduce my collection.

Many breeders are specializied in certain groups. Your collection is really varied.

In the past I focused mostly on Australian parrots because it was almost impossible to get complete collection of those from South America. The market has changed so there was a good chance to get whatever you want. Anyway, I still keep Australian parrots.

You have above-standard facility. Your aviaries are so big! Your Blue-headed Macaws or Blue-winged Macaws have so much space to fly. It would be enough for Hyacinth Macaws!

Those proportions comply with german law. It’s a pitty that I couldn’t have such aviaries earlier. However, I think that it’s never too late. Do you know the citation from the J.F.Kennedy about the gardener of the french marshal Lyautey? This marshal asked his gardener to plant the tree. The gardener said that this kind of tree grows so slowly that it won’t be high enough even after 100 years. Lyautey answered that he shouldn’t waste the time then and plant the tree at this afternoon. I also didn’t expect to build a new house when I was at the age of 55 years. However, today we live here for 16 years already.





It seems that parrots enjoy so much space.

I think so. Galahs nest in our facility at the first year. In smaller aviaries we probably wouldn’t reach such success.

I remember that Dr. Petters bred also Galahs at first year. He said that one day he is going along his facility and suddenly see three birds instead of two in one aviary. He didn’t notice that his birds nest.

Wife: We found similarly one younger of Red-winged Parrot.

So you help with breeding?

Wife: Not anymore. Unfortunately, I found out that I’m allergic to birds. When I was feeding I didn’t feel well all the time. Doctor then told me that it’s allergy to bird feces. I give them fresh water in outside aviaries sometimes but I never go inside. I would be suffocated.





You are well known because of your success with Timor Red-winged Parrots. How long have you been breeding with them?

25 years. They came from the first imports from Indonesia. I knew one importer in Salzburg who could bring whatever you want – Gang Gang Cockatoos, Golden-shouldered Parrots, everything. Golded-shouldered Parrots costed 6000 german marks. Timor Red-winged Parrots costed 300 each. He had 10 young birds which were sold as females. All of them were males eventually. I did exchange one male for a female which was sick. However, we cured it by penicilin and she got over that. From this female I had the first offspring after 6 years. I had smaller aviaries that time, only 4,5 x 1 x 2 m and birds start nesting in winter (-5°C) when I put them to bigger aviary which were 8 m long and 2 m wide. They used a log as a nestbox.

So they reproduced at the same season as in Indonesia?


You have to breed this species in umpteenth generation.

The first pair lived for 26 years. They had eggs at this age.





Did the importer know that he is selling Timor Red-winged Parrots to you?

Yes he did. Some Germans visited him and wanted to buy 60 birds.

I can see that you don’t use deep logs anymore. There are conventional nestboxes.

They have standard nestboxes now and they breed without any problem there. One pair breeds 3 youngers every year.

Do you think that this species became already „domesticated“ in your aviaries?

I think so but males are still shy.





And they nest in winter or in spring now?

In spring, it’s much better now.

Besides Timor Red-winged Parrots you breed Golden-shouldered Parrots as well. When did you start?

Four or five years ago. We can breed them but appropriate diet is necessary. They need much of unripe corn when they nest.

Within the summer you have them in outside aviaries and then in autumn you move them to inside cages.

At the beginning, they start nesting very soon so I had to heat the nestboxes. I always time the movement so the birds nest in inside part of facility.





How do you heat the nestboxes?

I use heating foils which can heat the nestbox up to 20°C.

And you put it into the nestbox? Can’t eggs get burned?

You can’t heat the nestbox when eggs are in there but after the chicks are hatched. For the first 5-6 days after hatching the female sits on them tightly but after that you can put the foil inside and turn it on.

The foil is attached to the bottom?

It’s under the subtrate. As substrate I use 2-3cm thick layer of bark.

So Golden-shouldered Parrots are quite sensitive to cold?

Yes, especially the chicks in the nestbox. Female stops warming them very soon.


Title photo: (c) Jan Potucek, Ararauna.cz


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  1. Pingback: Karl Hansal: When you start counting money in breeding than it’s too bad. PART II | Parrots Daily News

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