Breeding programs reduce the need to capture wild parrots. Taking birds from the wild is illegal in many countries, and has already led to the extinction of many species in their natural habitats.
When buying a bird, always make sure that it was born in captivity. Most bird breeders do it for love of a particular species, not necessarily for the profit, as raising birds can be quite difficult, not to mention expensive.
If you are trying to breed your birds, look for signs of courtship between the pair. Breeding displays are usually obvious. The male bird will show its colors, often dancing around the female bird. The most difficult part of breeding is often getting the pair to mate. Set up an environment that is as close to their natural surroundings in the wild as possible. Research the specific type of parrot you are trying to breed; some types need certain amounts of light or only breed at certain times of the year. If breeding is successful, the birds will create a nest into which the female lays the eggs.
In most cases the female is the only one to incubate the eggs, although in some species the duty is shared between the male and female. The incubation period ranges from 17 to 35 days. Young parrots spend anywhere from 3 weeks to 4 months in the nest. The young take several years to reach maturity, and once they reach breeding age, they usually produce three or fewer young each year.
Once the eggs have hatched, a breeder’s job is only just beginning. Each bird must be socialized and fed. Most breeders hand-feed the young so that they will be accustomed to human contact. A parrot’s early life can greatly influence future behavior and even lifespan, as well as the ability to learn tricks or speak. A parrot breeder must be completely committed to the birds. This takes a lot of time and energy. Parrot breeders must understand how their methods affect the parrots’ health.