Successful breeding of the Meyer’s Parrot. PART I

July 7th, 2016 | by Oldrich Siska
Successful breeding of the Meyer’s Parrot. PART I
Breeding
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Read also the second part of this article:

Successful breeding of the Meyer’s Parrot. PART I

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Today, we recognize six subspecies of the Meyer’s Parrot, these can be classified to two groups depending on their coloration:

a)green group – includes subspecies with green belly:

Poicephalus meyeri meyeri

Poicephalus meyeri saturatus  – intensive yellow coloration on the head

Poicephalus meyeri reichenowi – no yellow color on the had and smaller body size

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b)blue group – included species which have a blue belly

Poicephalus meyeri matschei – intensive yellow coloration on the head

Poicephalus meyeri damarensis – very rare in captivity, no yellow markings on the head

Poicephalus meyeri transvaalensis – very rare, yellow band on the had

Unfortunately, hybridizing of the subspecies is very common in captivity. Because of that it might be difficult to determine the subspecies we have. I believe that pure birds are still kept in a few facilities in Netherlands and Germany.

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Meyer’s Parrot (c) Oldrich Siska

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The Meyer’s Parrot has never been my „target species“. A breeder who lives not far away from my place was offering two males. One of them was from 2012, in fantastic condition and therefore I decided to buy it. After some time, another friend of mine had a female with similar coloration which was at the same age as my male. Because of that, I could set up a nice pair. The female was sexed by DNA test. Both birds were placed to an inside aviary three meters long with outside flight four meters long. I was really happy about this pair, birds were strong flyers and consumed everything I offered them – seed mix for African parrots, NutriBird pellets, fruits and vegetables, rowanberries, chokeberries and hawthorn berries.

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At the beginning of 2015, I saw the pair copulating. This was repeated in following days for several times. I was still thinking that these birds are not old enough to be sexually mature but when I noticed larger belly of the female I decided to hang a conventional vertical nestbox of size 20 x 20 x 35cm with an entrance hole 8cm. The nest was occupied immediatelly by male and a day after also the female came in. At the end of January I found four eggs inside. To put a pair of Aztec Conures in the adjacent aviary was obviously a mistake. I did not expect Meyer’s Parrots to nest so soon and therefore I did not put an invisible partition between the aviaries. Conures are loud parrots and disturbed the young couple on eggs. On February 17th, I found one broken egg, two infertile and one fertile egg which was placed to incubator.

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Meyer’s Parrot chick hatching (c) Oldrich Siska

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Meyer’s Parrot chick (c) Oldrich Siska

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The cracks appeared on the egg on March 11th. Next day, the chick hatched. You can check frequency of feeding and weight gain in the attached table.

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Tab.1  Meyer’s Parrot chick development

Age Day 1 Day 5 Day 10 Day 15 Day 21 Day 28 Day 35 Day 42 Day 49
Weight 6 g 11 g 22 g 35 g 64 g 106 g 125 g 134 g 132 g
Feeding frequency 3 hod 4 hod 5 hod 5-6 hod 6-7 hod 8 hod
Food amount 0.5-1ml 2-3 ml 3-4 ml 6 ml 8 ml 8-10 ml
Temperature 36,5°C 36°C 35°C 33°C 30°C 27°C 24°C Room temperature

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author: Oldrich Siska

Title photo: (c) Oldrich Siska

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