In nature, seasonal changes create conditions that stimulate the release of breeding sex hormones that give parrots the urge to breed.
For most parrots this urge to breed is in response to the warm weather and increasingly longer daylight hours of spring, as these conditions create a surge in the availability of the natural foods that are needed for them to successfully rearing offspring. In captivity, these parrots are spring breeders. When fed properly (see side bar parrot breeding programme) these parrots can support multiple clutches during a long breeding season that extends for up to six months from late winter to early summer.
Some other wild parrots especially those living nearer the tropics breed best during autumn. In captivity, these birds breed best in the warmer parts of Australia where winter temperatures are mild. However, when these birds are kept in the southern states they may also want to breed in spring. It is at these cooler locations that these autumn breeding birds are likely to experience breeding problems such as infertility and sickness when they are allowed to breed through to late spring; a time when they should be completing their moult.
In order to identify the ideal times for your parrots to breed successfully, we must examine their natural breeding times in the wild in relation to the climatic zones they inhabit. Based on this information and through your observations of the flock, Dr Marshall can help you develop a breeding strategy to ensure your birds are breeding at the most appropriate time of year. This will maximize breeding opportunities and outcomes and promote a strong and healthy flock year round.
Dr Marshall's novel approach to parrot breeding centres on the natural moult period of each particular parrot species. This moult period varies according to the geographic location of each parrot aviary so that it is necessary for the parrot breeder to observe and identify the moult cycle of each parrot type kept.
Parrot breeding pairs should not be allowed to breed during their natural moult period. During this time the nest boxes should be removed or closed over so that the birds' breeding cycle is not stimulated and the pairs should receive a moult nutritional programe to accelerate the growth of new feathers allowing the moult to be completed in the shortest time possible. This enhanced level of nutrition during the moult primes parrots into breeding condition. The nutritional programme then continues seamlessly into the breeding season resulting in good fertility and strong healthy offspring.
Dr Marshall has developed specific breeding programmes to improve fertility and breeding outcomes for all types of parrots.
Dr Marshall and Tailai O'Brien have developed a culture tested bean mix for larger parrots, to provide them with variety and a low Glycaemic Index (GI) food.
See our comprehensive range of products for birds, designed to maximise health and improve wellbeing.