Successful breeding of the Meyer’s Parrot. PART I

July 7th, 2016 | by Oldrich Siska
Successful breeding of the Meyer’s Parrot. PART I

Read also the second part of this article:

Successful breeding of the Meyer’s Parrot. PART I


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


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.



Meyer’s Parrot (c) Oldrich Siska


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.

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.



Meyer’s Parrot chick hatching (c) Oldrich Siska


Meyer’s Parrot chick (c) Oldrich Siska


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.


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


author: Oldrich Siska

Title photo: (c) Oldrich Siska


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