Parrots: Sexing and Breeding

The commonest cause of illness in parrots is incorrect feeding and general management, particularly lack of exercise from too small a cage. Other factors are poor hygiene from placing perches over food and water, cluttering the cage with feeding utensils and toys, and exposure to droughts or marked fluctuation in temperature. In addition, marked variations in the length of time the bird is exposed to light and/or solitary confinement for long periods produce boredom and self-plucking of feathers. Exposure to direct sunlight for long periods without shelter, failure to remove stale food and provide plenty of water, and failure to provide green food are further causes of illness in the parrot family.

Parrots are capable of inflicting skin wounds and should be handled with gloves. When grasping the parrot always try to hold it by the neck with one hand allowing the head and beak to protrude through. The two legs and wings should be held by the other hand.

Sexing

Sexing the parrot family is very difficult and depends on the species of parrot, As there are hundreds of different species.

Breeding

Breeding parrots is a specialized job. Parrots usually nest in shafts inside hollow trees. For the larger parrots these shafts are up to 2 meters deep. In captivity parrots' nesting logs should be lined with sawdust or wood shavings. Smaller parrots will use hollow logs suspended from the aviary roof or a larger version of a budgerigar nest.