Bourke's parakeets, or parrots, as they're sometimes known, are small, friendly birds. They tend to be quiet, colourful and very amiable toward both their owners and other bird species, making them a good choice for a pet. The rosey Bourke's parakeet is named for their colouring, a dark or light overall pink colouring that is caused by a genetic mutation. This mutation is carried and passed on by the parent birds, so breeding for the rosy colouring is relatively easy. Because they are so easy-going, breeding the Bourke's parakeet is not too much of a challenge.
Set up a medium-sized parrot cage as a breeding aviary for the Bourke's parakeet pair. This cage should be at least 30 inches long by 18 inches wide. Because the parakeets are so social, they are easy to breed in a group setting, even though the birds do form mating pairs. However, when you're breeding for a specific colouring, it's often best to breed one pair at a time, so you know who the parents are, and have a better idea of what the chicks will look like. If you do decide to breed in a group, provide a larger aviary.
Place at least two nest boxes in the breeding aviary. These boxes are where the birds will lay their eggs. The boxes should be placed as high as possible in the aviary. They should be about a foot square in size, and should allow the birds to easily move in and out. If you're breeding in a group setting, provide more boxes, setting up two for every pair so that the birds have a choice.
Fill the bottom of the nest boxes with about 1 inch of wood shavings. The birds will arrange these shavings to their liking as they get ready to lay their eggs.
Place a pair of rosey Bourke's parakeets in the breeding aviary. Male parakeets are larger than the females and have bluish brown crowns and a band of blue feathers about their beaks. Female parakeets tend to be a darker colour, with more grey in their feathers. They have grey crowns.
Feed the parakeets a nutritious diet of sprouted seeds. These seeds will provide the nutrients the birds need in order to produce healthy eggs. Fresh fruits and vegetables, such as kale, carrots and apples can also be given, as well as calcium and mineral supplements.
Wait for the birds to breed. These birds breed year-round, so this should happen quickly after they are introduced to the aviary and the nest boxes. Bourke's parakeets usually lay between three and six eggs, which will hatch after 18 to 21 days.
Things you need
- Breeding aviary
- Nest boxes
- Wood shavings
- Various parakeet foods