The breeding season of Quakers is a very difficult period for them. It poses problems to Quaker owners too. They tend to display strange behaviors due to the hormonal changes they suffer from. Let us find out some important information about Quaker Parrot Breeding.
Quaker parrot Breeding Season
Quaker parrots are bred all over the world, including the United States, Australia, Asia, Canada, and Europe. As there are humongous geographical differences, their breeding season varies with climate and region. Rainy season can be marked as their breeding period. So, mid-fall to early spring are the mating months for these little creatures. The season lasts for about six to ten weeks and the incubation time is 23 to 28 days.
Normally, Quaker parrots mature near the age of 2 years. Some have shown signs of sexual maturity while as young as 7 to 8 months old. Quaker parrot comes into breeding age of 7 to 24 months.
When the eggs fertilize after breeding, the Quaker lays her first egg in around 25 hours. Subsequent eggs follow with the frequency of one egg in every 24 hours. This way 4 to 8 eggs are laid at once. The next clutch of eggs is laid in about 4 weeks following the same pattern.
Females don’t need a male partner to lay eggs. Even if you have a single female Quaker at your home, she can still lay eggs on her own. The eggs, of course, would not develop and will be abandoned by the bird after they break. It is important to let your female Quaker sit on her eggs and not remove the eggs from her cage. Otherwise, she will lay more eggs without realizing that these eggs are not worth her efforts.
There have been cases when female Quakers do not lay eggs even after breeding. It might happen due to the lack of an urge for laying.
Quaker Parrot Breeding Behavior
You might wonder why your Quaker has suddenly started behaving weirdly? Why has he changed into a monster from a little cute buddy? The answer to all these worries lies in the hormonal changes Quaker parrot experiences during his mating season. Let us discuss some of these abnormal behavioral patterns in detail.
Quaker parrot Mating season is usually between October and January.
Even the sweetest and calmest bird starts showing biting behavior when they feel sexual frustration. The breeding season is hard for them and they make it hard for their owners too. Many owners give-up on bearing the pain of Quaker bites and leave them to the rescue centers for the good of all.
Quaker parrots become extremely noisy during the breeding season. It happens due to the hormonal changes they experience. They need an outlet to release the frustration they face during these months. It becomes unbearable for the Quaker owners to quieten their pets so they try harsh methods of scolding and punishing their Quakers. But, it is advised not to punish or scold your Quaker when he screams, it will encourage them to scream louder. Ignoring their unnecessary sounds is the best you can do until the mating season subsides.
3. Feather plucking
Though normal preening behavior is observed in Quakers by their owners year long, they might behave show some abnormality during mating months. They might over preen themselves leading to extra loss of feathers. If your Quaker continues the abnormal feather plucking behavior beyond the breeding season, you must consider taking him to a vet. A full body check-up is required to determine the cause of this problem.
4. Territorial behavior
Quaker parrots are territorial beings but a tamed Quaker is less likely to display this behavior. During the rainy season, the hormonal Quaker becomes possessive for his belongings, including his food, toys, and cage. He might also show some signs of possessiveness for his favorite human being. If kept in pairs, you might observe your Quakers becoming overprotective of each other.
5. Mating Displays
During the mating periods, you might observe your Quaker showing some creative physical displays. Eye pinning, wing flapping, regurgitation, and tail fanning are the most common ones. They feel an urge to woo a mating partner during their breeding season. So, they tend to perform these displays in the hopes of getting a mate. As your Quaker considers you his flock-mate, he might try to woo you too. It is an honor for you if such a thing happens as it shows the strength of the bond you have developed with your pet. You have made him comfortable enough to equally consider you as a mating partner along with other Quakers. This behavior will, however, subside when his hormones will start behaving normally again.
How to deter breeding behavior?
Our other pets including dogs and cats can be spayed to deter breeding behavior, control their population, and protect them from breeding problems. But in the case of birds, spaying is very difficult and possess a threat to their lives.
Here are a few measures you can take to deter your Quaker’s breeding behavior –
1. Do not provide her dark enclosed space
If you don’t want your female Quaker to lay eggs, don’t provide her with a nest box in her cage. All parrots look for a dark enclosed space for laying eggs. Since Quakers are intelligent beings, there is a possibility that they would create a dark place for themselves to carry out their functions. You must, therefore, supervise your Quaker during the breeding months so that she doesn’t build an enclosed structure inside her cage. You also need to keep an eye on her during her out-of-cage sessions so that she doesn’t lay eggs under a couch or bed or another such place where she can hide.
2. Put her to bed early
The breeding months of Quaker parrots observe long days. If you allow your Quaker to stay up late, she perceives it as an environmental cue to lay eggs. To deter the breeding behavior, you must put her to bed early and mimic winter environmental displays. Provide her with complete darkness and silence to make her believe the days are short yet. The light emitted by television sets and computer systems can also stimulate your Quaker’s brain. Even a minor flicker of light can be interpreted as daylight by the bird’s pineal gland.
3. Serve fiber-rich food
We, humans, love to experience a wide variety of foods to satisfy our taste buds. We tend to offer our pets with the same level of variety out of our love for them. In the wild, Quakers do not get a platter of fruits. They have to do a lot of effort to find food for themselves and need to forage through the whole food to eat the edible part. This consumes their energy and provides them with just the amount of food sufficient to function properly.
At home, they receive abundant food without doing any effort. It gives them abundant energy which is channelized in the form of breeding behavior.
The non-breeding season of Quakers doesn’t give them many food options in the wild. When you offer your Quaker a platter full of fruits like banana, apples, and grapes; his brain interprets the excess sugar as a source of breeding.
Breeding box for Quaker parrot
What food can you offer?
The fruits related to their non-breading months like vegetables are the best option to deter breeding behavior. They are fibrous and provide the right amount of energy for your bird to carry out her daily tasks. Green veggies are also low in sugar content. To fulfill their daily requirements of omega 3 fatty acids, serve them with flax seeds and walnuts. Offer them good quality pellets and inculcate a habit of foraging in your pet.
Perform limited petting
It is normal for us to pet our birds by touching them at their back, beak, head, etc. During your Quaker’s breeding months, limit petting to scratching his head only. Touching your pet bird anywhere below the neck might send him mixed signals. Since you are perceived as equal by your buddy, he could interpret that you are offering yourself as a mate.
Warm temperatures trigger egg-laying in Quaker parrots. If you are determined to deter your bird’s mating behavior, you must consider mimicking the winter atmosphere. Maintain a low temperature in your Quaker’s room to avoid the accumulation of environmental warmth. Their brains will equate cold surroundings to winters and won’t release mating hormones.
Separate your Quaker from other birds
Keeping your Quakers in the same cage might encourage breeding behavior in them. Your Quaker’s cage-mate might not be of the opposite sex but you still need to take precautions. Having a look at other birds, whether of the same species or not, can trigger vocal and visual stimulation in the birds. So, keep all your birds in separate cages and out of each others’ site during this period to keep their mating hormones in check.
Introduce your Quaker to a new cage
Female Quakers are more likely to lay eggs in their comfortable living place i.e. their cage. If you change her cage, she will take time to adjust to the new environment. As her brain will be preoccupied with adjusting to a new place, it won’t release mating hormones. This will keep a check on her breeding behavior.
Use hormone injections
Medical drugs help us during our tough times. Similarly, certain injections protect your bird from the mating period’s frustration. Your vet may recommend giving your Quaker testosterone, HCG, or Lupron.
Health problems of Quakers during the breeding
Breeding is one of the most natural aspects of a female being. The same goes for our pets. A female Quaker parrot laying eggs is also normal, though not certain. It comes as a shock to many Quaker parents when their Quaker lay eggs out of the blue. It boggles their mind when they do it without a mate being in the vicinity. But it is all normal and can be controlled in case you don’t want her to lay eggs.
And then Quaker parents freak out when they start laying eggs frequently. But this time, one should feel concerned as the frequent laying of eggs can ultimately be life-threatening for your little birdie. Let’s understand the problems to know their urgency to be addressed rather sooner.
Dystocia or commonly known as egg-binding is one of the biggest concerns among Quakers while laying eggs. While laying eggs, sometimes the egg gets stuck in the uterus. This generally happens in the beginning stage of the egg-laying period. Quaker finds it difficult to pass the egg and this obstruction may happen due to various reasons:
Age of the Quaker at the time of laying eggs can cause Dystocia. If your Quaker is too young or too old to take the stress of pregnancy and egg-laying, he might not lay it comfortably.
Adverse weather like humidity levels or unsuitable temperature during the egg-laying process can interfere in the laying process of Quaker causing Dystocia.
Malformed egg in shape and size can sometimes get stuck while laying. Say, if the egg is extra-large or broken or positioned inappropriately or is joined to other eggs, it will become difficult for Quaker to lay it.
Ill health of the mother Quaker while delivering the egg would put a strain on her and she might not lay the egg. Such a sickness could be general, or due to muscle inactivity or illness related to pregnancy like contractions.
Lack of nesting site can also become a cause of your Quakers’ inability to lay eggs properly. To lay eggs successfully, a proper and a quiet place is a prerequisite for mother Quaker to focus just on laying.
Dehydration is another reason for Dystocia. A hydrated body is a must for a mother to give birth to young ones otherwise the eggs may not pass properly and can get stuck.
Obesity is a major problem with Quakers if not fed properly. It also interferes with their egg-laying process. Due to excess fat deposited, the egg gets stuck and it becomes difficult for Quaker to lay it.
Malnutrition is another major cause of Dystocia in Quakers. A mother needs a full spectrum of nutrients and healthy enough to lay eggs. Being nutrient deficient can cause the egg to get stuck.
Stress hormones in mother Quaker while laying eggs can make the process of egg-laying painful as she might not be able to lay eggs properly. Such stress could be due to overcrowding of the place where she is laying eggs or the presence of people she is not comfortable with or the size of the enclosure is small, etc.
Kidney disease might be the culprit in some cases. If your Quaker has a history of any kind of kidney disease, be cautious with the egg-laying process. Say, kidney enlargement due to kidney disease can sometimes block the pelvic area and make it difficult for the egg to come out.
Infections of reproductive organs may also interfere in the egg-laying process, thus, causing Dystocia.
Always look out for any kind of obstruction in the egg-laying process of your Quaker. If you notice it, do not treat her yourself as it may be life-threatening. Take her to the vet immediately.
This is the next major concern for all the Quaker parents when they see their Quaker bird laying eggs. Egg-laying depletes the calcium resources of a Quakers’ body and if it is done in excess, it may lead to extreme deficiency and hence weaken the bones or cause Osteoporosis. It is imperative to supplement your Quakers’ diet with calcium-rich foods like cuttlebone bit still excessive egg-laying should be controlled as it will eventually exhaust your little bird of calcium.
When a mother lays eggs, her metabolism rate is extremely high. The same holds for birds including Quakers. The egg manufacturing takes up a lot of Quakers’ nutrients. And she needs to be fed at regular intervals and that too, with foods rich in proteins, fats, calcium, and minerals. Also, it takes a lot of her energy to lay the eggs and starve her. If this nutrition deficiency goes unnoticed in the beginning, your little birdie may soon starve to death. So, feed her adequately.
More about Quaker parrot Health:
Breeding period is not the time to leave your little bird alone but to give him more strength. You took his responsibility and cannot leave him on his own. Your Quaker needs you the most during this period as he is not able to cope up with the hormonal changes he is facing.
Being the owner, take charge of the situation and do every bit you can to reduce the agitation your Quaker is bearing. Deterring breeding behavior is important to keep your Quaker mentally healthy. In the case of female Quakers, excessive egg-laying might lead to serious health issues. So, take measures to stop her from laying the eggs.
If your pet has already started showing breeding behavior, you can still follow the above-mentioned deterring ways to better the situation. Closely monitor your Quaker’s behavior to keep him healthy and happy.
Quaker parrot Breeding Mutations
Here is Quaker parrot breeding mutations Color chart. It shows which combinations of parents color give what results in offspring color.