If you are interested in breeding parrots, you must be able to understand how their breeding and reproduction work. The sexual reproduction of parrots is almost the same for almost all bird species, including the courtship rituals, how they behave during the actual mating process and how they lay eggs, but some parrot species differ with the success rate. As a breeder, it is your obligation to ensure that breeding two parrots to have multiple offspring is successful.
For the breeding process to be successful, the first step to consider is to ensure that you have both male and a female parrot. There are parrot species that are sexually dimorphic, wherein you can easily distinguish a male from a female. Years or months before the actual pairing, it is ideal for letting the parrots bond with each other already to ensure their compatibility. Most successful pairs have grown and matured together. You may need to create a breeding setup and consider the proper and basic necessities needed to make the reproduction work.
How Do Parrots Copulate?
It is important that both male and female parrots are receptive to mate. The breeding season plays an important role in the success of their reproduction; they prefer hot weather conditions and that their environment should be free from disturbances. The most prominent position during their mate is that the male is the one who will do the balancing on top of the female. To give the male an easier balance, the female will lay down, hunch, or bow and both of them will face the same direction.
The female will expose its cloaca by moving its tail on the side, and then the male will arch his body so that its cloaca will reach the female’s cloaca. When the two cloacas meet, they may rub each other for a few seconds wherein the sperm is quickly transferred into the female’s ova. The parrot’s hormone will give the birds the excitement over the week where they can do multiple cloacal kisses so that there will be a higher chance of insemination.
Things to Consider in Breeding Parrots in Captivity
If you would want to increase their population in captivity through the use of the natural way of bird reproduction, it is advisable to create a space that is suitable for them copulate. Medium-sized parrots need at least a separate space inside their cage with dimensions of 360cm long, 90cm deep, and 180cm high. There is no need to provide them a separate space inside their cage as long as their cage is placed in an area where they will not be disturbed.
If you happen to see them copulating, it is best to stay away from the area first. They have a very quick copulation period, but when they see someone near their cage, they might be afraid or embarrassed that will force them to leave. This interruption may hurt the other bird, or it may cause unsuccessful mating. Since the season plays an important role in their breeding and reproduction activity, you may need to know the breeding period of the parrot species that you have in the wild.
Almost all parrot species are monogamous, where they only tend to stick with just one breeding partner, they stay with their partners even though it is not the breeding season. Even though they are already staying together, males would still perform courtship acts such as auditory and visual displays just to woo the females. It is important for males to show their strength and good health to females to further convince the females to mate. These are some of the types of parrot courtship behavior.
- Singing. This is one of the most common courtship behavior that a parrot does to attract its partner. The different kind of sounds that parrot produce reflect its intelligence and maturity. In a competition to win a female, singing is a way for a parrot to warn its competitor.
- Dancing. Different physical movements are involved in a parrot dancing for a courtship ritual, may it be bill rubbing, head dips, or wing flaps. The males initiate dancing while the female just observes what the male is doing. During a bonding ritual, both parties would dance, if there are mistakes shown, it would mean weakness and hesitation.
- Preening. If the female shows interest to the male, the courtship ritual could advance into a more close contact interaction between a male and a female parrot by means of preening each other lightly. This aims to diffuse aggression and spatial boundaries with each other. It is also an activity to make feel each other that they will not bring harm to each other.
- Feeding. Another way for the male parrots to impress females is to bring them food. When a male brings food to the female, it shows that the male parrot is capable of providing food. When the male parrot has already formed a bond with the female, it may directly place the food inside its mouth, but when the male is starting to introduce himself with the female, the food it gathers will just be placed in a corner where the female will surely be able to eat it.
- Building. There are some parrots wherein they attract the female by means of displaying their architectural skills. They will build a nest for the females, an indication that they are trying to claim a territory. After mating, it’s up to the females still if it will stay on the nest or if it will create its own.
- Display. This is courting behavior is one of the most common ways of courting females, whereas males show off its plumage colors and body shape. They display their physical characteristics together with dancing so that females can be able to see the male’s posture well.
Parrot Breeding Problems
- Excessive or Chronic Egg Laying
This happens when the bird lays eggs than the usual number of eggs that it lays. Parrots that usually experience this disease is usually in a high-fat diet and high-calorie diet. When this disease is not treated, it will affect the maturity of the eggs.
- Egg Binding
When your parrot has a calcium and Vitamin A deficiency, there are high chances to have egg binding, which is a serious reproductive illness where the eggs are stuck in the cloaca. The eggs that are stuck are misshapen or soft-shelled. This is a common reproductive illness for parrots, especially those who are overweight and obese.
- Cystic Ovarian Disease
This is seen to parrots that have a history of egg production in the past but have not laid eggs after several years. Some parrots who experience this disease were found to have egg-yolk peritonitis, which is the secondary infection. There are some medical procedures that can still be done to allow the bird to reproduce again.
Mating of birds is an amazing process on how they reproduce. If you have the knowledge about how the breeding and reproduction of parrots is done, you would be able to understand the unique behaviors that they show off during their mating season and so that you could be able to arrange necessary preparations to ensure that the breeding and reproduction process will be successful.