Q: What kind of maintenance goes into breeding parrotlets?
Sandee Molenda explains:
Generally speaking, breeding parrotlets need a varied, nutritious diet higher in fat and protein than other parrot species. I feed mainly fresh foods such as greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, sprouted seed, eggfood and complex carbohydrates such as wholegrain breads, brown rice and sweet potatoes. If pellets are fed, they should be supplemented with seed, which provides more fat and helps the resulting chicks’ growth and other development.
Breeding birds need room for exercise enough space to get out of one another’s way. Choose a cage that measures at least 24 by 24 inches. Toys and various perches further aid exercise and provide mental enrichment for your pairs. Hang an appropriate-sized nest box (I like small ‘grandfather’ style that measures 10 inches tall by 7 inches deep by 7 inches wide) on the front of the cage to increase the birds’ sense of security when looking out from the entry hole.
Most species will produce multiple clutches, but they should be limited to 3 or 4 clutches per year. If a pair rears two clutches in a row, remove the nest box for several months to rest the birds. Most species can be bred at one year of age but some species, such as Mexicans, blue wings and the yellow face should be at least two years of age.
Parrotlets require a lot of privacy with little disturbances from either people or other animals. They breed best when more than one pair is kept in the area and they can hear one another but not see each other