Diary of a Chick
Photo: Andreas Beck
Lutino at the nest box
Female birds should be
older than 14 months
at their first brood (Vriends 1999). According to Arndt (1986) Thick-billed Parrots tend to egg-binding quite easily, which nearly always leads to the death of the affected bird. Obviously the risk for egg-binding is much higher at young, ill and weak animals.
Although Lineolated Parakeets can cope three broods per year without problems, you shouldn't allow more than two to give them a break.
Usually no problems occur during the
of two single animals. It happens quite rarely that a pair doesn't harmonise (Henig). But of course it is nicer for the birds if they can look for a partner on their own. Such voluntary connections lead to harmonising couples and uncomplicated breeds. In general younger birds are more flexible and thus easier to mate as older.
Borchard/Fiedler describe the problematic in that way:
"(...) Because older birds have a strong relationship to their long-time partner, it is not that easy to create new breeding couples, for instance. Therefore I think, one should not separate older couples for mating them to a younger bird. (...)"
Bauer (1990) is of the same opinion:
(...) After analysing the situation I found, that frequent moving and re-mating was the reason for a disturbing interference of the breed rhythm. The latter especially was obvious, if the former partners were able to see and hear each other."
of the Lineolated Parakeets lasts from April to August (Arndt 1986), but depending on accommodation (heated room with 15°C) you can breed all the year round (Pfeffer).
The existence of a
had been denied a long time. Also it had been suggested, that partners don't feed each other. Both have to be corrected according to newer observations. Though the courtship is inconspicuous, several breeders confirm my observations of the existence of a courtship at some Lineo couples. This behaviour is discussed further in the rubric "
Copulations, at which the parakeets cant's be disturbed easily, can last up to 5 minutes. Interestingly the
of the female through the male bird takes place "sidewards". Therefore the cock puts one leg onto the back of the hen, the other leg remains on the branch. Both get closer to each other and press their cloaca on each other. During that procedure they chuckle and caw constantly. In general the mating takes place inside of the nest box.
Breeding couple at the nest box
usually takes place one week after mating (Laegel). You can recognise fertile eggs by fine, red veins already after 4 days. Approximately 3 days later the fertile eggs get darker (Pfeffer).
The hen hatches firmly, seldom after the first, usually after the second or even third egg. Thereby the data for the incubation time vary. The cock is feeding the hen during the brood.
Nest box controls
are usually tolerated. Only sensible or shy couples could give up their clutch as a result of such disturbances. The eggs could be destroyed or just not incubated any more (Wagner 1998).
Other hens have to be pushed off their eggs or chicks for control. If the hen leaves the clutch during that control process, she usually returns directly after that.
The amount of eggs varies between 3 and 6, at an average
are laid. However, there also have been extraordinary huge clutches. Roeder (Buedingen) knows of one clutch with 8 eggs, of which 7 young birds had been raised to independence. Henig (Rottendorf) even states 8 to 9 eggs as the maximum egg number.
averages approximately 21 x 17 mm, they are evenly white.
10 days old chicks; green and lutino
Concerning the indication of the
exist great variations, the observations range from 17 to 26 days. This depends on various factors, e.g. if the hen starts breeding with the first or the third egg and what's the temperature in the breeding room. But most of the breeders state a incubation time of approximately 21 days.
The freshly hatched chicks show a feathery, white down, which later will be dark grey as that of the parents.
When the young birds are about 8 to 10 days old, the hen leaves the nest at times.
Aged 10 days the chicks open their eyes (Weber 1992). After approximately 12 days the chicks will be enringed with 4.5 mm closed rings.
Already 2 weeks after leaving the nest the young birds are completely feathered (Weber 1992).
Photos: Andreas Beck
Chicks: 3 - 4 weeks old
Photo: Andre Laegel
Fledged young birds (6 weeks old) meet in small groups at night.
The data concerning the
are imprecise as well. The observations range from 4 to 6 weeks.
Often the young birds are fed by the adults 2 to 3 weeks after they left the nest (Arndt 1986).
One can't distinguish the young birds from the adults already after 2 months any more (vide:
The family association is quite strong, the nesting box often is used by the young and adult birds together during the night.
The boxes used for breeding of the Lineolated Parakeet vary from breeder to breeder. Manderscheid (1992) recommend
with the dimensions 150 x 150 x 80 cm, in contrast Pfeffer (2001) regards the dimensions 80 x 50 x 50 cm as sufficient, just as Henig (Rottendorf) und Borchard/Fiedler (Duderstadt). Welkisch (Braunschweig) and Röder (Buedingen) breed in 160 x 50 x 50 cm big boxes. It's understood, that the couples should be kept in that boxes just for the brood. Outside the breeding period the birds should have the possibility to live in larger aviaries (vide:
Last update on May 11th, 2014