Saturday, March 27, 2010

Breeders & Pets? Breeding Lifetime/Annual Frequency?

Hello. I am looking into purchasing a breeding pair of parrotlets. I would like them to be pets but also raise and sell their young ones. 1 - will a breeding pair be friendly to humans if handled several times a day. 2 - how long do they breed (until what age and how many times a year)? Thank you.

In regards to your first question, no, parrotlets are not domesticated birds like cockatiels or budgies. They are still very much wild parrots with instincts that guide their behavior. They either imprint on humans and become good pets or they bond with other parrotlets and, hopefully, breed and raise offspring. They don't do both, at least that has been my experience breeding these birds for almost 30 years. Also, it has been my experience that males in particular, when imprinted on humans, do not accept a female under any conditions even after years of being kept with parrotlets.

Breeding lifetime depends on a lot of things. Indeed, I have written entire chapters in books. It depends on their age, sex, species, color mutations, environment, management, heredity, diet and the breeding characteristics of each individual bird. With all those factors in mind, generally speaking, normal (not color mutation) Pacific parrotlets if carefully managed, bred at the proper age, provided with the correct environment including diet and the number of clutches limited to no more than 3 per year, hens can breed until 5 to 7 years of age, males can go into their early teens.

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