How to Breed Quaker Parrots

Quaker parrots produce up to eight eggs per breeding cycle.
Quaker parrots produce up to eight eggs per breeding cycle. (Image: Hemera Technologies/ Images)

The monk parakeet, also known as a Quaker parrot, is a good variety for owners interested in breeding. Quaker parrots typically have large families and are popular with consumers, ensuring you will have a market for selling the babies. The parrots live 35 to 40 years and they can be noisy, so it takes time and commitment to raise and breed Quaker parrots. The birds also maintain their own schedule, so you can't count on having a clutch of chicks at a certain time or be assured the pair will even breed. There are also several things to consider when breeding Quaker parrots.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 or more breeding pairs
  • Sufficient space
  • Breeding cage or cages
  • Nesting material, like straw, leaves and twigs
  • High-quality diet
  • Calcium supplements, especially for the female

Buy several Quaker parrots and allow them to pair off naturally, if you have sufficient space, to form a strong bond. If you have only one pair, let them get acquainted and become affectionate with each other before expecting any breeding to occur. This can take months, and if they haven't bonded within six months, they probably won't ever be mates. One strategy is to buy birds that are only a few months old and allow them to live together as they mature to reproductive age -- usually 12- to 18-months-old.

Prepare or buy a strong breeding cage, since Quaker parrots are good chewers. Provide a nesting box and nesting materials. Nesting boxes are readily available at pet shops. A cockatiel box is ideal for Quaker parrots. Provide a variety of nesting materials, like wood shavings, twigs, leaves or grass. Leave the nesting box as undisturbed as possible, year-round.

Feed a high-quality diet to your birds, with seeds reserved for treats. They are high in fat and low in complete nutrients. Ensure your birds get enough calcium, especially the potential mothers, by adding a supplement to their water bottle.

Consider lighting arrangements, since light cycles are what trigger the birds to breed. Birds on a natural light cycle will breed about two times per year. You can induce additional breeding periods with artificial lighting, but it must be adjusted precisely and can put additional strain on your breeding pair.

Look for eggs on a regular basis. The female bird will lay up to eight eggs, typically one every other day. The eggs will hatch about 26 days later. Leave the birds as undisturbed as possible during breeding and incubating.

Tips & Warnings

  • The only sure way to determine each bird's gender is through DNA or surgical sexing, performed by a veterinarian. First-time parents may have difficulty with hatching or feeding their young ones. In that case, you will have to provide warmth for hatching and be prepared to hand-feed the babies. Give the breeding pair at least one more chance if they aren't good parents the first time. Like humans, maturity often makes them more capable.
  • Don't handle the baby chicks until you are ready to take them from the parents and start hand-feeding, since the parents might not accept the babies after they are out of the nest.

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