Jan-Feb 2016, Volume 26 Issue 1

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The Scarlet Chested Parrots

Scarlet Chested Parrots are a common kept species in Australian aviaries. They are one of the neophema species which are non-aggressive and can be kept in a mixed collection. It is unadvisable to keep them with other neophema species due to hybridisation, plus it is illegal to knowingly hybridise Australian Parrots in Queensland. These birds are a very attractive addition to any aviary and are a pleasure to keep. Scarlets are known as a soft bird to keep meaning they can succumb to chills very quickly. Life span, in my experience, is approximately 5 to 7 years, maybe a little longer, but not much more. This seems to apply more so to hens, possibly due to excessive breeding and egg laying.

Perches in cages and aviaries

A quick stroll through Petlink recently revealed a lot of well intentioned but very poorly presented photographs attached to the adverts offering birds for sale. Whilst some of the birds looked quite good, the entire sale message was let down quite badly with images of parrots, Amazons in particular and many other species pictured in a. Dirty cages (some with rusty wire mesh), b. Scruffy backgrounds to the photograph, (very distracting and off-putting to the prospective buyer) and one had clearly dirty water in the bowl and much more, however the one issue that stood out beyond all, was the use of totally inappropriate perching for the birds. One image of a pair of blue fronted Amazons pictured in a very small and cheap painted black wire cage with the usual plastic tray under, (the type that you see regularly for sale in pet stores and in the Reject / Crazy Clarks outlet stores) with a dirty floor of spent food and faeces etc. (and folks complain that they find it difficult to sell their birds…! hmmm), however the pair of Amazons were sitting or at least trying to perch on a small diameter piece of manufactured dowel. Yep, that’s right!

Important steps in basic bird breeding

As in most journeys in life, the road named aviculture is littered with remains of the unfortunates who went too fast and who ventured one step too far. So what are the basic secrets to becoming a successful bird breeder? Essentially, it depends on where you want to take it and how far you are prepared to go on your journey. One thing is certain however. Breeding birds successfully, is not an easy task. Nor is it a vocation that anyone should aspire to without a lot of careful thought and planning. Taking the step from companion Parrot owner to bird breeding is a desire not a financial adventure. There is a well-worn trusted saying in the world of aviation that is well worth remembering, as it applies to most things in life. Especially in aviculture. “Remember the five P’s” Proper-Preparation-Prevents-Poor-Performance.

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