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two parrotlets on a tree

Parrotlets are one of the easiest birds to breed. Most varieties reach sexual maturity when they are a year old. Others, like the Yellow Face, Blue Wing and Mexican parrotlets, can only breed in their second year. Before initiating parrotlet breeding, call your veterinarian.

Parrotlets Breeding-Cages

Do not mix breeding pairs; each one should have a separate cage. Parrots tend to become quite territorial during mating season and may attack, or even kill, other birds. However, some say the Mexican parrotlets aren’t as aggressive as the other varieties. Ironically, parrotlets also tend to breed when they are around other birds. What’s the best way out of this dilemma? Place cages or nesting cages next to each other, but separate them with a tall sheet of cardboard. That way, they can hear each other but not see each other.

The cages or nest boxes must at least be 18 inches tall, 24 inches long and 24 inches deep. However, many professional breeders recommend using flights instead of cages. It’s also important to include perches, made from wood branches rather than manufactured dowels.

Parrotlets Breeding-Nesting material

Fill the cages or nest boxes with nesting material, preferably untreated pine shavings. You will need a generous amount, since parrotlets will often throw out old material and get “fresh batches”. Never let the hatchlings sit on a bare floor. This can lead to orthopedic complications that can even lead to permanent handicaps. On the other hand, don’t put too much nesting material. Parrotlets may bury the eggs so deep that they can’t find them again.

Parrotlets Breeding-Diet

Parrotlets will need three to four times more food when they are taking care of hatchlings. Choose a high quality mix, and provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, grains, and seeds. Make sure to provide good protein and calcium sources like cuttlebone, broccoli, and leafy greans. Your veterinarian may also recommend vitamins, which you can mix into soft food like boiled egg.

Parrotlets Breeding-Hygiene

The only disadvantage of flights is that they’re difficult to clean. Cages can have removable trays, so it’s easier to remove droppings or any stray bits of food. If you are not planning to breed many parrotlets—or at least, not do it professionally—cages may be the simpler route.

To maintain cage hygiene, use a water bottle instead of a water dish. Your parrotlets will only turn the latter into a swimming pool, and wet nesting material attracts bacteria and leads to mold.