Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bird Breeding Tip for Small Exotics, Especially Bourke Parakeets

I've raised a variety of small exotic birds over the decades of my life. As a child my grandfather gave me budgies from his flock. Later, my father added a variety of finches, doves and quail. Except for a parade of tame budgies, all others lived in outdoor aviaries.
Flame and Pretty Boy, male Rosy Bourkes in adjacent cages.
They spend too much time displaying at each other.
Today although I have several other birdsmy favorites are the grass parakeets, especially Bourkes. They're gentle, quiet birds, and less messy or destructive than other varieties.
Putting up a visual barrier between the cages. Any old
piece of cardboard works well.
We recently gave nest boxes back to our Rosy Bourke parakeets. As usual, the two males began displaying at one another and ignoring their hens' attempts to entice them to breed. These photos show what steps we take each breeding season to help our males focus on their mates and not what they consider to be the competition next door.
Flame at left. Pretty Boy on right. Visual barrier in place.

Flame & Fuchsia on left. No longer does Flame stay on
the side of the cage next to his neighbor, ignoring his mate.
Pretty Boy also now focuses on his mate, Rosie.
Fuchsia at the opening to her nest box with Flame nearby.

Rosie in the doorway of her nest box. A swing is in foreground.
Top of Fuchsia's nest box is open. She's only
just begun to set up housekeeping.

A composite of two photos ... Rosie is half out of her
nest box opening. Pine shavings line the bottom of box.
If you have a large aviary, you can put Bourkes together when they're ready to breed. But, they do best one pair to a cage when indoors. I've found that mine get along better with other varieties of birds than they do with other Bourkes of the same sex. They can be competitive for mates and/or nest boxes. The same holds true for Splendids (Scarlet-breasted) Parakeets and possibly most grass parakeets.
Peace & Blessings.

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