For the breeding of lovebirds to succeed, many factors must be taken into account. Getting healthy chicks primarily depends on the correct selection of parents. Also, parrots need to provide good food, a suitable climate. But even though all the rules are followed, there may be problems with laying or feeding the chicks. In this article we will tell you how to be in such cases.
For breeding, you must choose absolutely healthy lovebirds. Parrots should lead an energetic lifestyle, not give up walking around the room, enjoy eating, and not panic at any rustle. Their appearance should be in perfect order - clean feathers, no discharge from the eyes or nostrils.
Any deviations in the development of birds become reasons for their exclusion from breeding: drowsiness, inactivity, lack of appetite, physical disabilities, ruffled feathers.
You should not be limited only to external inspection. Ideally, the lovebirds selected for breeding should be shown to the veterinarian and a bird test should be taken. So you can identify possible hidden diseases.
If the parrot molts, then it is not worth it to be bred for breeding yet. It is better to wait a month after the change of plumage. During this time, all processes will be restored in the body of the bird.
The birds starting to nest should be in good physical condition - moderately well-fed. A small layer of fat on the belly of parrots is welcome, but you need to get rid of obesity. Due to excess weight, the birds become clumsy, lethargic, their internal organs begin to malfunction.
Lovebirds who are overweight are transferred to a special rice diet. For a week they are fed empty rice porridge on the water, sprouted grains, herbs. Gradually introduce a small amount of fruits and vegetables. As soon as the weight of the birds returns to normal, they are transferred to a diet for nesting, which can be found below.
To get rid of obesity, train muscles, and also strengthen the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, regular flights around the room will help lovebirds. Walking well affects the mental state of parrots, giving them a sense of freedom.
Lack of weight also affects the state of parrots. Thin birds are too weak to support the entire nesting period. They do not overeat the eggs, they do not feed the chicks. Due to fatigue and lack of strength, females can begin complications with laying: jamming or binding of eggs and others.
No close ties
Breeders in their work use inbreeding - mixing close relatives. With it, they are trying to get a new color mutation in birds or to fix any trait in chicks.
Using closely related relationships for simple breeding is pointless. Instead of healthy chicks and parents who are fully prepared for subsequent nesting, you can get many problems:
- unfertilized eggs
- small masonry
- increased mortality of chicks,
- weak chicks with external defects.
For lovebirds, sympathy is of paramount importance, as is antipathy. They constantly fight with some brothers, meticulously look at others until they find a suitable partner. If two lovebirds agreed by mutual agreement - this is forever.
The formed pair of parrots treats each other well and propagates easily at home. Therefore, for breeding lovebirds, it is better to choose an already held pair. You can keep a flock of parrots in an aviary or plant a female in a cage with two males so that she has a choice.
In a forcefully created pair, constant quarrels are not excluded. In this case, it is necessary to plant them in different cells for a couple of weeks, then run the female to the male. If this does not lead to anything, you will have to replace one of the partners.
If the couple lives together, but there are no chicks for a long time, despite the conditions suitable for nesting, perhaps two males live in the cage or one of the partners has not yet matured. In this case, you need to check their gender and age. In this case, the article “How to Determine the Sex and Age of a Lovebird” will help you.
Not all species of lovebirds breed well in captivity. The most bred are pink-cheeked, black-cheeked, Fisher's lovebirds.
Suitable time for mating birds
Parrots can mate throughout the year. But the best time for breeding is summer and early autumn. At this time, many natural vitamins and trace elements. Long daylight hours also stimulate lovebirds to mate.
In winter and spring, birds have an increased risk of catching a cold, and parrots are not welcome for short daylight hours. Ideally, lovebirds should be mated once a year, so that in winter and spring they rest and gain strength. More than two clutches per year exhaust the body of parrots, chicks are born weak or non-viable.
If nesting fell in late autumn, winter or spring, then lovebirds will need additional amenities.
In the cold season, humidity is greatly reduced. For lovebirds, humidity of fifty to sixty percent must be maintained with humidifiers. You can spray water every day in the corners of the nesting house. The temperature in the room where the parrots live should not fall below eighteen degrees or exceed a twenty-degree mark.
The light period must be increased to fifteen hours due to artificial lighting. Forty-sixty watts incandescent lamps, as well as ultraviolet lamps, are installed half a meter from the cage.
In summer and spring there are many seasonal vegetables, fruits, in excess of greens, berries, which must be present in the feeder at nesting lovebirds. They will fill the organisms of birds with vitamin and mineral substances. In the cold season, artificial vitamin complexes, for example Vita-Sol, will be needed.
When preparing lovebirds for nesting, it is necessary to diversify their menu with protein foods: cottage cheese, eggs, flour worms, insects. Also in the diet should include cereals from rice, oatmeal or peas, sprouted wheat or oats, young branches of fruit trees, honey - two grams per day, lemon juice - three drops per day.
The female will need additional sources of calcium and phosphorus. The stock of these substances in her body is used to form the eggshell.
To compensate for the loss of calcium and phosphorus, almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds, chalk, bone meal, eggshells should be added to the female food. Once a day, it is recommended to mix a crushed calcium gluconate tablet into food. Also, calcium accelerator-containing accelerators containing vitamin D can be added to food. For example, Zolcal-d, at the rate of one milliliter of the drug per hundred milliliters of pure water.
It is necessary to monitor the freshness of food and change it every two to three hours. Drinking with diluted liquid vitamins or minerals is also subject to frequent replacement.
Each pair of parrots needs to be provided with a convenient cage in which both parents and chicks will fit. It should be not only spacious for birds to live freely, but also equipped with everything necessary: feeders, a drinking bowl, perches, mineral stones.
In order to stimulate lovebirds to mate, it is necessary to hang a nesting house on the cage. You can find out which hollow is best for these parrots from the article "How to make a nest house for lovebirds with your own hands."
Female lovebirds build their own nests by dragging material in their feathers. So that the female had something to build a nest from, it is necessary to fix the branches of deciduous trees in front of the entrance to the hollow, and also inside it.
Branches of birch, oak, linden, willow, chestnut, ash, poplar or maple are suitable. Trees should be far from the roadway so that the smog does not settle on branches. Before giving the branches to the female, they need to be treated with boiling water or steam.
Some females are too zealous for the construction of the nest. As a material, they use everything that comes under the beak. Therefore, the number of branches should be three to four times less than the internal volume of the hollow.
During the nesting period, you should not cover the bottom of the cage with paper, otherwise it will go to the construction of the nest. The paper will get wet under the droppings, making it difficult to clean the nesting house. Sawdust is also prohibited. If the female loses eggs in them, then she will not hatch them.
Changes in bird behavior
During nesting, the behavior of birds changes markedly, especially in the female. She becomes more active, is constantly engaged in the construction of a nest, intensively nibbles mineral stones. May be aggressive when harvesting a cage.
The male in full cares for the female: feeds, cooes, dances. He rubs his cesspool on all objects in a row, showing the female that he is ready for mating.
After two to three weeks, the female completes the construction of the nest and the lovebirds begin mating. During mating, birds scream loudly and can fight. But the world is quickly recovering, and marriage games continue.
Five to seven days after mating, the female lays the first egg. Then the eggs begin to appear one at a time or every other day. A lovebird female can lay four to eight eggs.
For nineteen to twenty-six days, the female hatches eggs, helping the development of the embryos with the heat of her body. Twice a day, the female flips the eggs, swaps them, evenly distributing heat between them. This prevents the embryo from sticking to the wall of the shell.
During the incubation period, the female leaves the nest, mainly to go to the toilet. Care for the beloved falls on the shoulders of the male. His duty is to provide the female with food until she can finally leave the nest.
Do not disturb the female while she hatches the eggs. Changing water and food, cleaning the cage must be done quietly and accurately. Harvesting a bird house begins two weeks after the last chick appears.
When a week has passed since the last egg appeared, you can check the eggs for fertilization. The egg with the germ has a dim, gray-white light. An unfertilized testicle glistens unnaturally and has a yellowish tint.
When illuminated by a hundred-watt lamp, differences are also visible. In the fertilized eggs, you can see a dark spot - the embryo. Empty eggs are transparent. Inspect the clutch no more than twice a week in the absence of a female, preferably with medical gloves.
Many owners care about what to do if the lovebird laid an egg without a fetus? If the clutch is large, empty eggs can be removed; if there are few eggs, it is better to leave them. If all eggs are not fertilized, they cannot be removed. The female should sit on them for three to three and a half weeks. The disappearance of masonry will knock her out of rhythm.
It happens that all the eggs are fertilized, but the embryos die. There may be several reasons:
- not deep enough for masonry,
- poor air circulation
- lack of vitamins or minerals in the female’s body,
- the female leaves the nest too often
- anxiety of a female due to parasites on her body.
To correct the situation, you need to increase the recess, make an additional row of eight-millimeter holes in the floor of the nesting house, and diversify the bird's diet. If pests are found, it is necessary to treat the nest, the cage, all objects and parrots with a parasite remedy, for example, the Force Site.
If the male feeds the female poorly, she must be fed independently. If the female refuses to hatch eggs, they must be transferred to an incubator.
Occasionally, a female can eat laid eggs. This anomaly often appears due to a lack of calcium in the body of the bird. If the behavior of the female has not changed after adding minerals and calcium supplements to her food, she should be removed from the breeding for a year. Perhaps she is too young to nest and does not yet have a maternal instinct.
The emergence and feeding of chicks
Nineteen to twenty-six days later, the first chick hatches. Further, the chicks will appear with the frequency with which the female laid her eggs. In the light of the chicks hatch helpless: naked, blind and deaf. But this does not prevent them from starting to eat after a few hours.
The first meal of the chicks is liquid from the mother’s goiter. After a few days, the female begins to feed the babies with semi-digested food that the male brings. Later, the male begins to feed both the female and the chicks. During the period of feeding the chicks in the diet of lovebirds should be present protein foods, crumbly cereals, sprouted wheat, oats.
Parents feed their babies for about two months. On the forty-second to fifty-sixth day, the chicks begin to leave the nest. However, parrots continue to feed their babies until they learn to eat on their own.
Sometimes chicks die after appearing. This can happen if the parents do not have enough food, the female does not feed or warm the chicks. And sometimes one of the lovebirds kills babies. In this case, you need to increase the amount of food for the parents or feed the chicks on their own. The aggressive parent needs to be identified, removed from the cage and no longer allowed for breeding.
If the female began to pluck down feathers or feathers from the chicks, it is possible that her diet does not have enough calcium. If the female continues to pluck, it means that she has a metabolic disorder and calcium is no longer absorbed by the body. The chicks are separated from the female and fed on their own.
If the female begins to prepare for the next clutch, she may stop feeding the chicks. Sometimes she throws them out of the nest. It happens that parents, preparing for a new clutch, pounce on the kids after they left the nest. In any case, the babies must be relocated to a separate cage and artificially fed.
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The health of young parrots directly depends on their parents. Therefore, it is very important to choose healthy individuals. To create a couple, lovebirds, leading an active lifestyle, are suitable. The ideal option would be the birds who are happy to take walks around the room. It should be calm parrots, not experiencing stress, hearing the slightest rustle, and having a beautiful plumage.
Do not breed birds that have discharge from the nose and eyes. Individuals constantly experiencing drowsiness, having a tousled appearance and low level of physical activity, suffering from a lack of appetite or having physical disabilities will not work.
Important! Before breeding lovebirds, it is advisable that the veterinarian inspect the birds. Analyzes will help identify hidden diseases of pets.
Molting is not the best time to breed. Choosing for breeding lovebirds whose plumage changes, it is recommended to wait a month. When the plumage again becomes smooth and beautiful, all processes in the bird's body will return to normal, and it will be ready for reproduction.
Lovebirds selected for breeding should not be overweight. A small fat layer will benefit the pet. And overweight can adversely affect the work of internal organs.
A rice diet will help keep the lovebirds in shape. For seven days they are given boiled rice porridge, herbs and sprouted grains. Sometimes birds can be given vegetables and fruits. Weight-loss pets are transferred to specialized nesting food.
Underweight birds can also negatively affect offspring. Thin lovebirds are not able to hatch eggs and feed chicks. The absence of a fat layer in a female can cause egg jamming or binding.
To breed birds with an unusual coloring, plumage form a pair of parrots, which are close relatives. However, if the purpose of breeding is to obtain healthy offspring, you should not form a pair of relatives of birds. This will avoid numerous problems. If there are no closely related bonds between lovebirds, the probability of mortality of young individuals and the appearance of weak chicks with external defects is reduced.
Lovebirds can have different relationships with relatives. They conflict with some, sympathize with others. And only once they form a couple for life. An ideal breeding option would be an already existing pair of lovebirds. If not, you can put two males and a female in a separate aviary. In artificially formed pairs, conflicts often occur. In this case, the parrots should be planted in different cages for 14 days. However, if after this the lovebirds do not breed, it is necessary to replace one of the birds.
It also happens that there are no quarrels between the birds, but the chicks do not appear. This is possible if a pair is formed by individuals of the same sex or one of the parrots has not reached puberty.
На вероятность появления птенцов в неволе влияет вид неразлучников. Best at home reproduce black-cheeked, rosy-cheeked and Fisher's lovebirds.
Parrots reach puberty at the age of nine months. However, the reproduction of lovebirds at this time is not the best solution. Young individuals will not be able to become good parents for the chicks. Caring for babies will be a serious test for parrots, and their body, still continuing to develop, will be weakened. The result is health problems in the chicks and their parents, increasing the risk of death.
The optimal age for breeding birds is a year. Parrots are able to give offspring until they are four years old. In birds that are older than this age, sickly chicks often appear.
In the diet of lovebirds who are preparing for breeding, there should be foods rich in vitamins and minerals. It can be vegetables, fruits, berries. In winter and spring, specialized vitamin complexes will become an alternative to them.
Useful foods high in protein: insects, cottage cheese, flour worms, eggs. Lovebirds must be given three drops of lemon juice daily. Oatmeal, rice or pea porridge, wheat or oat sprouts will help to diversify the diet.
Particular attention should be paid to products containing phosphorus and calcium. Sources of these elements are egg shells, sesame seeds, almonds, chalk, walnuts. A calcium gluconate tablet should be added to food every day.
During the breeding of lovebird parrots at home, it is necessary to ensure that water and food are always fresh.
The microclimate in the house
In order to breed lovebirds, it is necessary to monitor the level of humidity and room temperature. In winter, the air becomes drier. Parrots feel comfortable at a moisture level in the range of 50-60%. Suitable conditions can be created by spraying water in the corners of the house. An important role is played by temperature. It is necessary that the air temperature is from 18 to 20 degrees.
To increase the length of daylight, artificial lighting is required. The optimal period is 15 hours a day. Near the aviary, you can install lamps with a power of 40-60 watts.
In order to breed lovebirds at home, you need a nest. Female parrots create them on their own. Near the hollow, it is necessary to place birch, linden, chestnut, oak and maple branches. It is better to harvest them away from highways. Before you put them in a cage, you need to douse them with boiling water.
At the time of construction of the nest, it is better not to put paper in a cage. Some females perceive it as suitable material for the nest. Sawdust will not be suitable for these purposes. If the eggs hide under their layer, the parrot will not hatch them.
Mating and laying eggs
Breeding lovebirds at home is accompanied by a change in the behavior of birds. The first sign of preparation for breeding birds is a change in behavior. The female is actively preparing the nest. She eats a mineral stone more often and aggressively treats the owner who cleans the cell. The male takes care of the female, cooing and feeding her. The construction of the nest lasts 2-3 weeks. Then mating occurs, during which the parrots make loud noises
A few hours after the young parrots were born, the female feeds them with goiter liquid. A few days later, the chicks begin to eat the food brought by the male. It is important that at this time the food of the parrots contains the required amount of protein. It is also necessary to give germinated wheat, oats and cereals. After 2 months, the offspring leaves the nest.
If parents refuse to feed offspring, the owner will have to take care of the lovebird chicks. As food, you can use milk semolina or millet porridge. You can add fish oil and sugar to it. Suitable specialized food for chicks. The source of vitamins can be vegetables and fruits.
The food should be preheated to a temperature of 40-45 degrees and given in a plastic spoon or syringe. At the time of feeding, the chicks are recommended to be placed on a terry towel.