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Hi everyone. Last year, my mom had purchased a breeding pair of parrotlets. These pretty little guys we're not hand trained at all. We tried holding them and getting them used to us, but they wouldn't have it. My mom passed away maybe a couple of months after she got them. I do not know anything about them other than what the internet tells me. I want to keep my mom's spirit alive and do what she had planned which was to breed them. I bought them a breeding box, some nesting stuff etc. The little girl ended up laying 5 eggs on the one side of the nesting box that didn't have any nesting material. It was just the solid wood. Anyway, not sure what to do, we just let her do her thing. Unfortunately none of the eggs we're fertilized.
Can anyone offer advise on whether or not the mom and dad birds are trainable or if they are past that age?
Is there some sort of nesting materials I could get for them?
I appreciate any advice as this is all new to me. Thank you.
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum! I'm sorry about your mother. I have no experience with breeding, but have plenty of experience with general bird care and dealing with parrotlets.
Do you have any parrot experience? Any breeding experience? It is a challenging thing to undertake especially without experience. Do you have an avian vet to have your parrotlets checked for health and also any babies that hatch? Like dogs and cats, parrotlets should be seen by an avian vet every year to check their health. We have a listing on this forum to help you find some, since the average vet is not suited to seeing parrots.
As far as whether you can possibly earn the mother and father's trust, there is no such thing as too old, but it takes time and patience. It isn't really about training them so much as working to gain their trust. It takes time and patience to overcome whatever their previous experiences of humans have been.
Do you know how old they are? What colors are they? In the wild, parrotlets are only green, and while selective breeding has produced more colors, it can be dangerous genetically for the babies to breed certain color of the more recessive combinations together.
It is important for the babies that you work with the parents to gain their trust because some of the best parrotlets are "co-parented" by the breeder - meaning that the bird parents are in charge of feedings but the breeder is in charge of snuggling and making sure they grow up ready to live in a household. Since parrotlets are so small, handfeeding them can be very challenging while their parents are very well suited to the task, but if they won't let you handle the babies then co-parenting isn't really possible.
Speaking of living in a household, there are lots of things necessary to make your home bird safe, from making sure you don't use any aerosol sprays to giving up most non-stick cookware. Make sure you read up on all the household dangers for birds in general as well as for breeding birds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi and welcome to the forum! I'm sorry about your mother. I have no experience with breeding, but have plenty of experience with general bird care and dealing with parrotlets.
Do you have any parrot experience? Any breeding experience? It is a challenging thing to undertake especially without experience. Do you have an avian vet to have your parrotlets checked for health and also any babies that hatch? Like dogs and cats, parrotlets should be seen by an avian vet every year to check their health. We have a listing on this forum to help you find some, since the average vet is not suited to seeing parrots.
As far as whether you can possibly earn the mother and father's trust, there is no such thing as too old, but it takes time and patience. It isn't really about training them so much as working to gain their trust. It takes time and patience to overcome whatever their previous experiences of humans have been.
Do you know how old they are? What colors are they? In the wild, parrotlets are only green, and while selective breeding has produced more colors, it can be dangerous genetically for the babies to breed certain color of the more recessive combinations together.
It is important for the babies that you work with the parents to gain their trust because some of the best parrotlets are "co-parented" by the breeder - meaning that the bird parents are in charge of feedings but the breeder is in charge of snuggling and making sure they grow up ready to live in a household. Since parrotlets are so small, handfeeding them can be very challenging while their parents are very well suited to the task, but if they won't let you handle the babies then co-parenting isn't really possible.
Speaking of living in a household, there are lots of things necessary to make your home bird safe, from making sure you don't use any aerosol sprays to giving up most non-stick cookware. Make sure you read up on all the household dangers for birds in general as well as for breeding birds.
Thank you so much for responding. My mom also has an African Grey Congo that she hand fed, so I'm a little familiar with parrots. He loved my mom and I saw how she worked with him. Luckily he has taken to my sister since my mom passed away. When my mom got these little guys, the breeder told her they were 5 to 6 months old. So that would make them a little over a year now. They are a really pretty blue color with the male having some white.
I unfortunately don't have any breeding experience outside of the internet. I was very excited to see when the little girl had laid eggs however like I said, it was kinda weird that all the nesting stuff was on one side of the nesting box and she laid all her eggs on the bare wood side.
I'm glad to hear that it's never to late to try and earn their trust. Being that they are a pair, do they need to be separated in order to start? Should they be separated at all? My mom's African Grey was/is depressed now that my mom has passed away. He makes little calls for her all the time. I don't want to separate or do anything with the parrotlets that would cause them to get depressed.
Again, thank you so much for the response. Any and all advice is more than welcome.
 

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Welcome to the forum! If they are male and female and together, then you will have a very hard time getting to be their friend. They are bonded, but not with you. After a long time, they may be friendly with you, but it is not likely.
I know that sometimes their first egg laying will result in eggs that will not hatch. Let her sit on the eggs for a few days and then start to remove the eggs, one by one each day. They will lay more.
Send us a picture of them...up close...so we can see the tops of their rumps and a side view of their wings.
You said one has white feathers? If I am not mistaken, p'letts can't have white feathers. Check this out.
Start reading, reading, reading all you can about raising baby p'letts. You tube has plenty of videos on this subject.
BTW..are you feeding them a fortified food? They need it for healthy breeding.

David and Vicki
 

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They would have a more engaging life and a better relationship with you if you separated them and treated them as individual members of the family. Initially, yes, they would protest the plan, but it gives the best opportunity for them to bond with you. Two side-by-side cages would allow you to have separate time with each of them as individuals. Every bird is different, and it is worthwhile to get to know then as individuals. Parrotlets are capable of the same level of bonding with humans as the African Grey if you take the time to get them to trust you. Because they are smaller birds, they are more naturally frightened (and sometimes aggressive, although they can't do any real damage to humans unlike the bigger beaked birds) and so you have to first convince them that you are not a parrotlet-eating-monster. The downside of any strong bond is the grief at its loss, as your mom's African Grey is demonstrating, but the amount of love and relationship far outweighs the eventually loss. Parrots are intelligent animals, even more so than dogs or cats, and while it can be challenging to build the relationship (dogs and cats trust people much more naturally than small birds), it is a very rewarding relationship to build. Essentially, parrots aren't "specie-ists"- we are just big weird birds without feathers, and when we build a relationship with them we become their flock. A bonded bird can experience your household in a meaningful manner, and even readily accompany you on adventures in life. Tumi often travels with me, seeing everything from the Grand Canyon (he was unimpressed) to Death Valley to major cities. If you keep them as a pair, they are likely to essentially be cage-bound, with their world having a single other bird in it and consisting of the room that they are in.

As a note, if you do keep them together know that sometimes parrotlets decide that they don't want to live with a mate. Watch out for signs of aggression (usually from the female), and be prepared to separate them if they start squabbling. If you don't separate them and they are fighting, parrotlets have been know to kill their mates. They might not be able to really damage a human, but they are quite strong enough and short tempered enough to injure or kill another bird of any size. I'd keep them away from the African Grey as well, since parrotlets are known to attack bigger birds pre-emptively and injury to one or both often results.

Blue is a recessive color, and two blue parrotlets won't necessarily produce the most genetically healthy birds, especially if they came from the same breeder. There is a chance that they are related, coming from the same breeder, which makes them not ideal to produce offspring. They would produce beautiful babies, but there is a chance that they also have shortened lifespans or serious genetic issues as a result of that human created beauty.

Btw, I don't hate non-green parrotlets - as you can see, I have an American Yellow parrotlet. I just think that it is best for people to know what they are getting into and the potential consequences of it so they can make informed choices. Parrotlets are very, very cute, but they are full parrots in tiny bodies and it is important to respect them as such.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Welcome to the forum! If they are male and female and together, then you will have a very hard time getting to be their friend. They are bonded, but not with you. After a long time, they may be friendly with you, but it is not likely.
I know that sometimes their first egg laying will result in eggs that will not hatch. Let her sit on the eggs for a few days and then start to remove the eggs, one by one each day. They will lay more.
Send us a picture of them...up close...so we can see the tops of their rumps and a side view of their wings.
You said one has white feathers? If I am not mistaken, p'letts can't have white feathers. Check this out.
Start reading, reading, reading all you can about raising baby p'letts. You tube has plenty of videos on this subject.
BTW..are you feeding them a fortified food? They need it for healthy breeding.

David and Vicki
Hi. Thank you so much for the response. I'm not sure what you mean by fortified food. I get a medium bird food from Walmart. Is there a certain kind I should be getting? Do you order the food? My mom always ordered the food for her African Grey so we have continued to do that but not the food for the little parrots. I will de take a couple of pictures of the parrotlets and send them. I could be mistaken about the white feathers. They could be a light blue or grey even.
Is there a special kind of nesting materials I should order? I see different reviews on stuff and it scares me a bit. I say scares me because there is this one nesting stuff that apparently little birds get caught up in and somehow end up killing themselves because they can't get free from it. I did put some newspaper strips but they didn't seem to like that very much and threw it all out. I did read to put the nesting stuff in the box and they will pick and choose what they want in it. Apparently reading the news wasn't something that interested them lol.
Again, thank you for the response and any information you may have.
 

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Hi~~~ What I mean by fortified food is when a pair of birds, any type of birds, are in the mating /nesting time of their lives, they need a much better diet. There is a seed mix fortified/enbiched with egg and calcium, amino acids, etc. in bird food stores and on line. Stay with the name brands of seed and pellet mixes. Google something like this..." Where can I get small hook bill foods in ( your home town name ) for Parrotlets? " I know this is extremely wordy, but Google will sort it out. Also, go to You Tube videos and search for videos that talk about how to set up nesting for p'letts. Also, search for Special foods for nesting p'letts. There are plenty of videos out there in You Tube.

P'letts are picky when it comes to nesting materials. I would try a thin layer of finely shredded tissues. Do not over do the amount. In the wild, they do not cushion their nest hardly at all.

I have to stop now.... Keep asking questions!

David
 

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Both of your birds are blue? Please do not breed them. I am sorry, but they need to be put in separate cages. You should never breed blue series birds together. They will produce genetically weak babies. As mentioned before, your two birds could be related. Actually, they probably are related. Please to not add to an already poor genetic pool in the US.
 

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Hi. Thank you so much for the response. I'm not sure what you mean by fortified food. I get a medium bird food from Walmart. Is there a certain kind I should be getting? Do you order the food? My mom always ordered the food for her African Grey so we have continued to do that but not the food for the little parrots. I will de take a couple of pictures of the parrotlets and send them. I could be mistaken about the white feathers. They could be a light blue or grey even.
Is there a special kind of nesting materials I should order? I see different reviews on stuff and it scares me a bit. I say scares me because there is this one nesting stuff that apparently little birds get caught up in and somehow end up killing themselves because they can't get free from it. I did put some newspaper strips but they didn't seem to like that very much and threw it all out. I did read to put the nesting stuff in the box and they will pick and choose what they want in it. Apparently reading the news wasn't something that interested them lol.
Again, thank you for the response and any information you may have.
Monty has some white feathers. He is a blue pied. If one of your birds is a pied, I would advise even more against breeding with another blue mutation. Paired parrotlets can live happy lives with their owners and together with no breeding involved. In fact, they may really enjoy their own space.

I'm sorry to hear about your mother. That is really tough. It sounds like she really loved birds.
 
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