Pacific Parrotlet Care and Information
The word Parrotlet means = "Little Parrot"
About: One of the worlds smallest Parrots, known as the Tea Cup Parrot, Pocket Parrot and many other catchy names. They are cousin to the large Amazons and their personality shows it. Almost all of their DNA matches the Amazon. They are sometimes called small Amazons and are described as dynamite in small packages. Parrotlets are in a group of the smallest New World parrot species, comprising several genera, namely Forpus, Nannopsittaca, and Touit. They have a stocky build and a broad tail, much like the lovebirds of East Africa and fig parrots and pygmy parrots of Australasia. They are endemic to Middle and South America. The Pacific Parrotlets (Forpus coelestis) - also known as Celestial, Western, Lesson's or Ridgway's Parrotlets - occur naturally in Western Ecuador and North-western Peru (on the Pacific coast). They are resident (non-migratory) within their range. These birds inhabit arid lowland scrub and semi-open tropical deciduous woodland.
These miniature parrots in the wild travel in flocks
which, depending on the species, can range from as low
as four to over 100 birds. Most species travel in flocks
of about 5–40. They form lifelong and tight pair bonds
with their chosen mates.
Parrotlets are rambunctious, playful, bold, confident, clownish, fearless, and determined, all wrapped into one package. A hand-fed Parrotlet kept singly can make a wonderful pet and companion. When keeping two or more together they are likely to bond to each other. Parrotlets do need daily interaction to keep them manageable and interested in you. I always like to see birds have mates, However if you are able to spend good quality time with your pet parrotlet, you will end up having a wonderful bonded new best friend. They are little packages of joy!
Personality of the Parrotlet varies greatly from shy and reserved to outgoing and bratty. They are real individuals because each bird is completely unique and different.
The word Parrotlet means = "Little Parrot"
The most commonly kept Parrotlet in the USA is by far the Celestial or Pacific Parrotlet. The Mexican Parrotlet, Spectacled Parrotlet, Green-Rumped Parrotlet and Yellow-faced Parrotlet are also fairly common pets. Their popularity as pets has grown due to their small size and large personalities. Parrotlets are commonly known as playful birds that enjoy chewing as much as their larger Amazon counterparts. Being highly intelligent and active parrots, parrotlets must have ample opportunities to play and exercise. Environmental enrichment must be made a part of their lives as to prevent boredom. Parrotlets keep themselves more than occupied when left alone for several hours, so long as they are provided with an array of chewable and destructible toys to play with. However, when their keepers get home, they often greet them with lovely chirps and whistles to let them know they want attention. They can mimic speech with a somewhat impressive vocabulary though their voice is very small. Males mimic better than females do. They can be very territorial inside their cages and may try to bite if a human reaches in, even to feed them. They consider the cage to be their sole territory. But the same bird, when outside his cage, can be very affectionate—flying over to land on your shoulder, eating out of your mouth, and cuddling. They do not seem to know how tiny they are, and may not be afraid of cats or dogs. Their personalities are the same as much larger parrots, so like small dogs they may try to attack other pets. On the other hand, if properly introduced they may befriend them.
Interaction & Social
Behavior with other
Parrotlets for Sale)
Parrotlets for Sale)
Parrotlets for Sale)
The information on this page is mainly for
the Pacific Parrotlet.
& Harmful Foods:
Things to remember when feeding your bird:
• Fresh food and water should always be available.
• Vegetables and fruits not eaten within a few hours should be discarded.
• Remember, treats should not exceed 10% of total food intake.
LuckyFeathers: We feed each Parrotlet a high quality cockatiel seed mixed with low sunflower count. Also we mix in a high quality pellet food. I wean all of my babies onto Wild harvest Cockatiel Seed and Pretty bird pellets mixed into the seed. I wean my babies onto this formula because both products are available to my customers in any part of the USA. You can get the Wild Harvest mix at your local Walmart and the pretty bird pellets can be picked up at almost any pet shop. We also supply each baby with lots of millet for the first few months and recommend that my customers also supply millet every day for at least the first week after receiving your new baby. Parrotlets are recommended to have both seed and pellets as a daily diet. Sunflower seeds are a great source of vitamins and fatty acids that Parrotlets need. However you must watch your bird and make sure it is not eating the sunflower seeds only. Many parrots like the sunflower seeds so well that they eat nothing else. If you find that your Parrotlet is doing this, try to leave the seed in for a longer period of time before changing it. Many times this will cause the bird to eat the rest of the seed mix after it has picked out all of the sunflowers. We also use and recommend a liquid bird vitamin that can be added to the birds water. If you are feeding your Parrotlet pellets or a seed pellet mix, we do not recommend vitamins on a daily basis. The pellets are loaded with vitamins so only give your bird liquid vitamins once or twice a week. A diet with to much vitamin content can cause your Parrotlet to get ill or have health issues. Twice a week our birds get one of the below treat meals or some kind of fruit or veggie.
Whole cereals and whole grains:
amaranth, barley, couscous, flax, whole-grain pastas,
oat, quinoa (truly a fruit but used as a cereal),
whole-wheat, wild rice, whole rices.
Parrotlet Seed Mix
There are so many things that are really bad for birds, Make sure to look up the food online first before giving it to your bird. Once the bird takes a bite - it is to late. It is always best to do just a little research in advance before trying new foods. So in general do not feed your bird anything high in salt, sugar, and fat. Table salt, cooking spray, donuts, chocolate, etc. should never be fed. Common toxic foods include avocado and guacamole, caffeine, fruit pits and apple seeds (contain amounts of cyanide), persimmons, onions (prolonged exposure can lead to a blood condition called hemolytic anemia), mushrooms (fungi should be avoided at all costs; it causes digestion problems and can induce liver failure), dried/uncooked beans (contain hemaglutin, a poison toxic to birds), the stems/vines/leaves of tomatoes (the actual fruit is fine), and eggplant.
Different Kinds of Wood - Tree Branches:
Birds love to chew, The following kinds
of wood should be harmless as long as it has not been
treated with anything:
Apple Cider Vinegar
HEATED vinegar emits toxic fumes similar to carbon
dioxide. Bird owners have lost their pets by adding
vinegar to their dishwashing cycle, or used it to
clean coffee machines.
This question is one of the most asked questions of all time in the breeding business. I personally feed my birds a good seed mix with pellets added along with fresh fruits, veggies and treats. I do not believe in a total pellet diet. Below is an article I found on the internet that was written by one of the most knowledgeable parrotlet breeders in the word. With over 30 years experience in breeding parrotlets I truly believe she explains this issue best. So as to not try and reinvent the wheel I have posted her article below.
- Sandee L. Molenda
Housing / Cage:
Back in the early 1980's when I first started breeding birds my goal was to become an expert, I was very young and had no real experience. I believed that the answers to all my questions were printed someplace in a book. How wrong I was. Over the years I have read many books, university studies and watched many videos. But I have to say the most beneficial education was actually learning as I go. The best lesson I learned was to never be blinded by new ideas or new ways of doing things. Breeding birds is actually a science and what you learn as you go - will be the most important information. One way to learn valuable information is to talk with other breeders. Go to the bird shows, meet other breeders, join facebook groups and pick up some good books from the local library. Do not close your eyes to new ideas.
Note: The below breeding information is valid for
the pacific, Green-Rumped and Spectacled Parrotlets.
Their may be some small differences between the three
different kinds of Parrotlets, but as far as diet,
breeding, nesting and handfeeding, I personally have not
seen any difference and following the same practices
with each has been very successful for me.
The male will usually investigate the box first and when he deems it safe, will try and entice the female into it. Once mating has taken place, the hen will lay from four to eight eggs although Pacific hens have been known to produce ten fertile eggs. She will hardly leave the nest box from several days prior to laying until the last baby is gone, which can be as long as nine or ten weeks!
If you have a pair that will not breed don't give up. Try different things such as moving the breeder box or removing it totally for a couple of weeks. Sometimes when the box is there for a long time they just get used to seeing it and are not interested in checking it out. Before breeding your birds remove any breeding triggers such as sleeping huts or sleeping nests if used. When you add the breeder box make sure it is on the outside of the cage and put it up as high as possible. Move the perches or at least one perch in the cage close to the box so that it forces the birds to be closer to the opening of the box. This will give you a better chance of the birds checking out the box. If they show no interest after a couple of weeks try putting a piece of millet spray in the hole of the box with just a little bit of it sticking out. They will eat the millet and follow it into the box in order to get the rest of it. This sometimes helps trigger the breeding to start. Many people who have no luck with breeding only need to make a few changes in order to get results. I have talked to people who have placed the breeder box inside the cage or on the floor, or they have bought a cage that has a precut hole to attach a breeder box but the pre cut holes are almost always in the wrong spot. I have seen these cages with the precut holes placed down to low on the cage or on the side in the middle. This will not work for many breeder pairs. I have my best results with the breeder box on the outside of the cage placed up as high as possible with perches inside the cage moved close to the opening of the box. Also my advise is to check the box every day even if you know they are not going in it or have not laid any eggs. Many birds are strange breeders and they do not like to be disturbed when laying, sitting on or hatching eggs. In order to get my birds over this fear I check the boxes daily by looking inside. They see me looking in the box every day from the start. When they start laying eggs or hatching eggs they will be completely used to me looking in the box. There are several reasons you want to do this other than getting the birds used to it. Checking the box will allow you to catch problems quicker. Problems such as eggs that are buried or covered with pine shavings, broken or cracked eggs or even chicks that are having a hard time hatching. However I do need to advise you to use caution when looking into the box. If you have not got your birds used to it over time or if you did not start looking in the box prior to them having eggs. Starting this practice after the fact or disturbing birds that are not used to you looking in the box can cause problems. Many pairs will leave the box never to return or they will break or even through out the eggs. Get your birds used to you looking in the breeder box early. Another tip that helps trigger the breeding process is longer days. Keep the lights on in your bird room longer. My lights are on a timer. They turn on at 8am and turn off at 10pm each day. At night I use a backlight ( a regular black party light ) as a night light. This allows the birds to see at night and also gives them a very small amount of UV rays needed for health issues. For more on lighting see my Spectrum Lighting section.
Even though birds can handle high heat and low cold
- allowing them to be exposed to large
temperature changes that happen quickly can cause
illness or death. Keep them away from cold drafts.
Nest or Breeder Box
[ my breeder nesting boxes for sale
Update - Note: I am in the process of adding and offering breeder nesting boxes and supplies for sale. You can check out the different sizes and prices on my new website www.BreederBox.com or www.BreederBoxes.com
Toys, Perches &
Pairing - The Bonding
Caution of Young
Males ( 5 months to a year old )
Nest Box Size:
Definition of Abundance Weaning: The phrase
"abundance weaning" describes the way that most
reputable bird breeders wean the baby birds that they
hand feed. In abundance weaning, the breeders continue
to give the chicks handfeedings while offering them
solid foods to try, such as millet and softened pellets.
The birds are allowed to stay on handfeedings until they
themselves decide that they are ready to eat solid foods
and drink water on their own. Most breeders agree that
abundance weaning techniques lead to birds with more
stable physical and psychological health. Abundance
In most cases, males have a longer breeding life cycle than females.
Many things depend on the life of a parrotlets breeding cycle such as bird management, care, diet and environment. With females who were started early around 11 months old and did not receive proper rest periods the life cycle is shorter - 4 to 5 years. Females who have been well taken care of and allowed proper rest periods can produce eggs 4 to 8 years. Remember this is just an average. Females are born (hatched) with all of the egg cells that they will ever have already developed inside of her body. If she has been laying eggs non stop for 3 or 4 years her breeding cycle is close to an end. This however does not reflect or have anything to do with her actual life span, But with any bird, bad conditions and diet will shorten the life span and the breeding life. I personally try to sell my female breeders around the age of 3. This allows a new breeder who buys her to have several years left of breeding ( on average )
Males can breed and produce fertile eggs for much longer. The average is generally 7 to 10 years. I have one male that is still producing at 14 years old and have heard from other breeders stories of males producing well into their teens.
So it is safe to assume that females can produce
well between 1 and 4 years of age.
I recommend a video so you can see exactly how to feed the chick as just one mistake when feeding can drown the chick. Do some research on YouTube and the internet and watch some videos if you do not know what you are doing. One of the best ways to learn is to find someone who is already rearing baby parrots and try and visit them to see how they do it. Be warned, it seems very easy when you see an experienced hand feeder at work but there are so many things that can go wrong and with these very small chicks, you do not normally get a second chance - one mistake and they are dead. Parrotlets start to wean around 5 weeks of age and great patience is needed at this time, at this time food should be offered on a flat low dish on the cage floor and lots of variety.
Below are listed some of the different
ways to handfeed. I personally like and use the Syringe
Syringes are widely used for handfeeding. It also benefits from the chick's
natural feeding response and teaches the baby to eat. The handfeeder can easily
control the flow of the formula. I prefer the syringes with the rubber-tipped
plungers, as they operate very smoothly.
Spoon feeding is the easiest and "fool-proof" way to feed babies. It takes
advantage of the baby's natural feeding response and introduced it to the taste
of food. You can do a search on Yahoo to see videos of how this is done.
The negative part about spoon feeding is that it gets very messy. Have some wet paper towel available for a clean-up after the feeding.
Some breeders swear by this method. They use a Dixie cup with one edge
pinched to a point. I personally have never used this method, but it sounds easy
and the big benefit is that there are no dishes to wash afterwards.
Power Feeding /Force Feeding / Gavage / Tube Feeding
I do not power feed my babies. I have had to
tube feed over the years when the baby simply will not take the formula any
other way. Power feeding is also known as Force-feeding, gavage or tube feeding. Gavage
feeding is a method of feeding, in which the food is pumped into the crop
through a tube that has been put down the esophagus and into the crop.
I use full spectrum lights only in my birdroom.
Unless you have an outdoor aviary you should have full-spectrum UVA/UVB lighting. Without proper lighting pet birds and breeding birds can become vitamin D deficient. When you are looking for a quality breeder of any parrot species insist on one that provides full-spectrum lighting for proper egg development and vitamin D. It is very expensive to provide this lighting in a full scale large bird room or indoor aviary. Twice a year I change out my spectrum lights and the bill runs around $350.00. However for the pet owner, it does not cost a lot at all because you only need to purchase one bulb. The average cost of the bulb runs around $20.00
Glass windows filter out up to 90% of the beneficial UV spectrum unless that glass was made pre 1939. Aluminum screening used can filter out 30% or more UV light. High-grade acrylic (cages) filters out less than 5% of the UV light.
Sunlight and artificial sources of light are measured by color temperature and rendering. If you were to consider the intensity of the sun at noon daylight, it is about 5500 degrees Kelvin (K).
Natural light not only provides
warmth, but brings out the intensity of colors in a way
that artificial fluorescent lighting rarely mimics.
Natural daylight is also measured at a color rendering
index (CRI) of 100, which shows the vibrant and
intensity of colors in and around our environment. Our
full spectrum light for birds, the Vital Lamp spiral
bulbs, have a CRI of 88, and will bring out colors in
your bird's feathers that you may not have even known
existed while using a standard fluorescent cage light.
Natural daylight is also measured at a color rendering index (CRI) of 100, which shows the vibrant and intensity of colors in and around our environment. Our full spectrum light for birds, the Vital Lamp spiral bulbs, have a CRI of 88, and will bring out colors in your bird's feathers that you may not have even known existed while using a standard fluorescent cage light.
spectrum fluorescent light emits light in all parts of
the visual spectrum and some in the ultraviolet range
(short-wavelength, high-energy light). To be a full
spectrum bulb, the color temperature must be 5000K or
greater, and the CRI must be at least 88
A standard fluorescent bulb generally only has a CRI of
between 60 and 75, which means the intensity of the
source of light is much lower, the temperature is
cooler, and there is a noticeable difference or dulling
of colors when objects are placed under a standard bulb. * Prepares bird for seasonal changes Birds have four-color vision and the lower wavelength
ultraviolet (UVA) adds the fourth visual perspective.
Correct spectrum and photo period of light are also
critical factors in normal preening and Breeding as
well as the skin and feather health of birds. If a
bird's system is not stimulated through adequate
environmental lighting to maintain proper endocrine
function, it may become lethargic and not continue
normal preening or breeding behaviors. One of the greatest benefits of full spectrum
light for birds is the natural synthesis of Vitamin D
precursors allowing the animal to naturally regulate
calcium uptake. Another important benefit of full spectrum lighting
is the effect it has on the glandular system; the
Thyroid Gland controls how and when the other glands
function and for it to function properly, it needs to be
stimulated by normal photo periods of full-spectrum
light. The Hypothalamus is involved in proper feather
development and skin. The Pineal Gland controls the
cyclical processes such as molting and the reproductive
A standard fluorescent bulb generally only has a CRI of between 60 and 75, which means the intensity of the source of light is much lower, the temperature is cooler, and there is a noticeable difference or dulling of colors when objects are placed under a standard bulb.
* Prepares bird for seasonal changes
Birds have four-color vision and the lower wavelength ultraviolet (UVA) adds the fourth visual perspective. Correct spectrum and photo period of light are also critical factors in normal preening and Breeding as well as the skin and feather health of birds. If a bird's system is not stimulated through adequate environmental lighting to maintain proper endocrine function, it may become lethargic and not continue normal preening or breeding behaviors.
One of the greatest benefits of full spectrum light for birds is the natural synthesis of Vitamin D precursors allowing the animal to naturally regulate calcium uptake.
Another important benefit of full spectrum lighting is the effect it has on the glandular system; the Thyroid Gland controls how and when the other glands function and for it to function properly, it needs to be stimulated by normal photo periods of full-spectrum light. The Hypothalamus is involved in proper feather development and skin. The Pineal Gland controls the cyclical processes such as molting and the reproductive cycle.
full spectrum light for birds can help reestablish the body's natural rhythm, which controls things like timing of sleep, hormone production, body temperature, and other biological functions.
should the light have?
It should have a CRI (color rendering index) of 90 or more, preferably 95-98. Natural sunlight has a CRI of 100.
A color temperature of 5000K is considered to be perfect but temperatures up to 5500 or so are OK. 5500K is the color temperature of the sun at noon on the equator.
The light fixture should have an electronic ballast, not magnetic, to avoid flicker problems which are invisible to humans but stressful to birds. Fluorescent light fixtures are currently manufactured with electronic ballasts because they are much more energy efficient than the old magnetic ballasts. But this changeover is fairly recent (beginning around 2002) and older fixtures might have a magnetic ballast.
I use a CRI of 90 to 94 and Color temperature of 5500K.
I will be offering
these bulbs for sale on my website soon. Until I have
them in stock and listed on the website you can get them
directly from BlueMax at
www.bluemaxlighting.com - The bulbs I
use are true full spectrum (visual). I use the screw in
compact fluorescent lights (CFL) for short. They also
offer the long tube bulbs as well. If you want to
get the long tube bulbs you will need to call them for
the model numbers.
For a small room you really don't need more than one or two bulbs. My bird room is actually my car garage and in order to have really nice light I use 22 bulbs that I change out every 6 months. In between changing the bulbs I use a can of pressure air to keep them clean of dust.
It may not be necessary to change out the bulbs as often as I do. I change mine out because I need to make sure the color spectrum does not fade over time and drop below 90 CRI - also if the bulbs gets old it could be possible that it starts to put out more of the red or blue color spectrum rays. To much of the Blue spectrum can result in producing more females. In order to assure this does not happen in my bird room I always have a couple of the old regular Incandescent type bulbs running (60w) Because the older Incandescent bulbs put out a lot of the red color spectrum this gives me a good balance and assures I don't end up with to many female babies.
DO NOT position the bulb where the bird will have to look into the bulb to look out of the cage. The bulb should be above the bird at all times.
As a night light in my bird room I use two 4 foot black lights. The black lights give off enough light to reduce the risk of your birds having night fright spells. Also they produce some of the ultraviolet rays that help your bird produce Vitamin D.
The full spectrum color rays are more important than the ultraviolet rays. From all of the studies I have read the bulbs that produce ultraviolet rays put out such a little amount that it just does not justify paying the extra expense. Also even the best ultraviolet bulb only lasts about 40 to 50 days. After this amount of time the bulb still works however the ultraviolet rays have dropped very low if not totally down to zero. Also I did not like the fact that you would have to put the bulbs very close to the birds (16 to 20 inches ) So after a lot of reading I decided to use only the full spectrum bulbs during the day and at night I use the black lights for a small amount of ultraviolet rays. My birds also get Vitamin D and minerals daily in their food and water, so the Vitamin D is supplemented well.
NOTE: I recommend that everyone read up and do internet searches about full spectrum lighting for birds. It took me several weeks and many hours of reading and study to finally decide that the above procedure was best for my aviary. You should read other information available on the internet and then make a choice as to what kind of bulb or lighting is best for your bird room or aviary.
Parrotlets are one of the most intelligent birds that we have ever known. They easily & quickly master understanding of the human language and learn the names of certain thing almost instantly. They are creative and ingenious.
Often, birds start out being "closet talkers",
meaning they will only talk if you are not in the room
or if they are in their cages. They practice quietly and
often you can't quite figure out what they are doing. It
starts out being a medley of sounds that eventually turn
into distinct words. At first, it can have a squeaky
sort of honk sound. When perfected, it retains a robotic
quality. Many start out with a "song" rather than
Parrotlet Biting State:
A Parrotlet hen will appear swollen in
the vent area before eggs are laid. Another indication
of impending egg laying is extremely large droppings.
The average clutch will usually be four to seven eggs,
although I've heard of up to 10 eggs being laid. The
eggs will be laid every other day until the clutch is
completed. The hen will not always sit tight until the
second or third egg is laid. It's not unusual to see
several clutches of clear eggs before fertile eggs are
produced. A pair may go through several cycles before
actually producing chicks.
Babies for Sale)
Parrot Egg Incubation
written by - Howard Voren ( also applies to
Parrotlets - all Parrots )
Well over 8,000 psittacine eggs have passed through my various incubation procedures during the last four years. The numbers of birds that we have hatched successfully staggers most people (over 1,500 this year alone). I myself am more staggered by those that don’t hatch. Infertility can be depressing, but what really hurts are the babies that die in the shell sometime after the second week of incubation.
Due to my success as an aviculturist, I am called on by many professional breeders for advice. Being in this position allows me to see that everyone who incubates large quantities of eggs has similar problems. Although it is impossible to help people solve problems that I have not been able to solve myself, this communication allows me to question them freely and stockpile facts–facts that at some point lead to answers.
The first fact that becomes glaringly apparent is that the first 10 days to two weeks of incubation is the critical period. Correct procedures during this initial time will almost always result in a successful hatch.
Without exception, anyone incubating a reasonable quantity of eggs who claims a success rate of over 85 percent is not pulling the eggs as they are laid. They are either allowing the hen to keep the eggs until the entire clutch is laid, or they are leaving them with her for two weeks of natural incubation. Those who allow the hen to sit for two weeks have success rates well into the 90-percent range. Once this critical two-week period is over, the egg can be successfully brought to term with a wide variety of temperatures and humidities.
Temperature (Top of Page)
Under natural conditions, the most important factor in successful incubation is heat. As long as the egg gets enough of it and is not permitted to lose too much of it for too long a time, everything will be fine. This is true even though the actual temperature of the egg fluctuates drastically when the hen is off the nest. Hens that “sit tight” (those that rarely leave the nest) do not have a noticeably higher hatch rate than those that leave the nest at regular intervals. From this, it’s safe to assume that eggs have evolved to be less sensitive to temperature drops than to other more unnatural circumstances.
One thing that a bird cannot do no matter how hard it may try is overheat an egg. This, of course, is possible in an incubator. Overheating is one of the things that an egg is very sensitive to and can result in eventual death. Temperatures that have been used successfully range from 98.7 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. At Voren’s aviaries, we have settled on 99.3 degrees Fahrenheit.
Of course, the best temperature for you to use will depend on many different factors. The most important of these factors is humidity.
Humidity (Top of Page)
It has been long assumed that 50-percent humidity is required for successful hatching. This is not necessarily the case. Humidities ranging between 38 and 52 percent have been used by different professionals under different circumstances. All have proven successful in the situations used. An egg should undergo a specific percentage of weight loss during the incubation period. This weight loss is achieved by the evaporation of water through the pores of the shell.
Since increasing the incubation temperature can shorten the time period in which it takes a chick to hatch, there is less time for the required water loss to take place. If using these higher temperatures, the lower humidities should be used to allow sufficient water loss during the shortened time period. Conversely, if lower temperatures are used, the chick will take longer to hatch, and higher humidities should be used in order to keep too much evaporation from taking place.
I have experimented with different humidities and found that under the same environmental circumstances, large eggs do better at lower humidities (38 to 45 percent), and smaller eggs do better at the higher range (46 to 52 percent). In fact, it is now standard procedure for me to incubate all macaw and Amazon eggs at between 38 and 42 percent humidity. Conure eggs at these humidity levels experience too much water loss and die, or hatch in a dehydrated state. For conures, we use a humidity level of 48 to 52 percent. I believe this is a function of eggshell calcification differences rather than a difference in the amount of water held in large eggs versus small eggs. In my aviaries, the larger birds generally produce eggs that are harder and thicker-shelled than the conures’. Logic tells one that an egg with a thicker and denser shell would require a lower humidity level in order to incur the same water loss as a thinner or less dense-shelled egg.
Differences in diets and individual metabolisms are the major reasons that there are so many different reports as to the ideal humidity to use in a specific case. One must not lose sight of the fact that a bird can sit on an egg under almost any reasonable humidity and hatch it regardless of how marginally over or under calcified it might be. This tells me there are major flaws in our basic incubation philosophies.
Turning (Top of Page)
The next most important aspect of incubation is turning the eggs. The number of times per day that a parrot egg should be turned in the incubator is still a subject of debate. Poultry research supports the theory that eggs should be turned between 12 and 24 times a day. However, some people, myself included, think that between four and eight times per day is sufficient.
Under my incubation conditions, I noticed a marked difference in development when the incubator was set to turn the eggs only six times a day instead of 12 times. The eggs developed more evenly. That is to say that the veins that grow out from the embryo covered a larger area and reached around to the “underside” of the egg much earlier in the incubation process than those turned every two hours. There was no difference in incubation time, but hatchability was increased.
Vibration (Top of Page)
Vibration is probably the most unconsidered variable that is responsible for mortality in the shell. It also explains why under “exactly” the same conditions, two different people can have completely different results using the same model incubator.
Minor differences in mounting positions, as well as the age and type of fan motors used, can have a great effect on the amount of vibration that is transferred from your incubator to your eggs. Eggs in their natural state are incubated in a vibration-free environment. It stands to reason that even the slightest bit of vibration can affect the development of those tiny veins in a negative way. The question is, how much can they stand before vibration proves lethal?
Hatching (Top of Page)
The first sign that hatching is around the corner is when you see the egg “draw down.” This is when the air space in the egg enlarges. It will change from its normal round appearance to elliptical. One side of this now-elliptical air cell will extend down one side of the inside of the shell. The other side remains up near the top of the egg where it has always been–hence, the elliptical appearance. At this point, many aviculturists move the eggs into a hatcher. Others prefer to wait until the first “pip mark” appears on the egg.
The “hatcher” is an incubator with high humidity and no turning mechanism. The high humidity is to make it easier for the chick to hatch. Since the incubation process is complete, the high humidity (the higher the better) does not interfere with evaporation but does make it less likely for the internal membrane to stick to the hatching chick. Chicks that get stuck to the membrane must be assisted out of the shell, or they will die trying to get out. Normal time lapse between major draw down and hatching is usually about three days.
Hatch Assistance (Top of Page)
Knowing when to enter into an egg and when to stay out is an art in itself. Many chicks have been saved by timely assistance, but anyone attempting this must remember that it is always a gamble. Hatch assist is something that you can consider if you have a chick that has come to term but for some reason does not hatch.
One should wait at least for an internal pip before even beginning to monitor an egg for possible need of assistance. An internal pip is when you can see the chick moving in the area of the air cell. This happens just prior to the chick attempting to break through the shell wall. Once broken through, the pip mark is called an external pip. If an external pip is not forthcoming, then there may be a need for assistance.
You also may have a problem if a chick externally pips one pip and then stops. Stopping to rest after the first pip is normal. If, however, two days pass and no further attempt has been made to continue the hatching process (more pip marks), then help might be necessary. With either of these two problems (just internal pip or just one external pip), you would proceed in the same manner.
Chip a small hole in the shell so you can see inside. There are some dental tools that are perfect for this work. You should make the hole where the pip mark is or where the pip mark should be. To determine where a pip mark should ideally be, estimate about 3/4 the distance down from the center of the top of the egg (the fat end) to where the expanded air cell ends along the side of the egg. If there is no pip mark, you will have to make a tiny hole. A small nail spun between the thumb and forefinger makes a perfect drill for this procedure.
Once you have drilled a hole or located the pre-existing pip mark, begin to chip away tiny pieces of shell until you can see what is going on inside. Sometimes a chick will pip and get stuck to an overly dry internal membrane. If this happens, the chick will not be able to rotate and pip in enough spots to facilitate hatching. A sure sign of this problem is when you notice upon candling that there are no veins left on the inside of the shell. The feet appear to be moving freely, and the chick keeps pipping at the same spot. In the case of no pip mark other than internal, the problem could still be an overly dry membrane. It might also be a problem of the head being poorly positioned and unable to make an effective strike on the shell.
Remember to keep the hole as small as possible. The membrane will usually be white in appearance. Paint the membrane with water using a tiny paint brush. This will make the membrane transparent and clearly show any veins that might still be carrying blood.
If the chick has not come through the membrane and you are convinced that it is overdue, then make a tear in the membrane to free the chick’s beak and nostrils. Be careful not to break any blood vessels in the membrane. Only work in spots that are free of vessels. This allows the chick to breath and eliminates suffocation as a possible cause of death.
You should now cover all but the smallest air hole with a small piece of tape. At this point, you have the choice of allowing nature to take its course or going in to complete hatching if you feel that there are no more live veins in the membrane, and the yolk has been completely absorbed. If the hole allows you to see that the membrane is completely devoid of veins and the chick has internally pipped and its only obstacle is a dry membrane, you might wish to take off the top of the shell and let the chick lift its head out of the torn membrane. When removing the shell and membrane from around the head, work from the nares back to the crown, if there are any hidden blood vessels they’ll be in the area of the crown. If no viable vessels are noticed as you proceed, then lift the shell and membrane off the bird’s crown down to the upper neck. If the chick is ready to come out, you will get what I call the “jack in the box” effect; that is, the chick’s head will pop straight up out of the fetal position. If the chick does not pop its head up and tries to return to the fetal position, even if you coax the head upward, it’s best to tape the bird in with paper tape (I use Micropore by 3M with great success) and try again in six hours. If the bird does pop its head up, at that point you can look down to see if there is any yolk that has not been absorbed. If none exists, the chick on the half shell should be placed in a small tissue basket back into the hatcher so it can crawl out when it is ready. This is when the last few veins at the navel have dried.
Pulling a chick out of the half shell too early can cause it to bleed to death. If, however, you can see some yolk sac, you should place the chick’s head back into the “fetal” position, place the top of the shell back on the egg, and tape it together. Place the egg back into the hatcher to allow the chick to finish absorbing the yolk. A chick in this situation will have to be released from the shell at the proper time.
Remember, always proceed with great caution. Good
luck, and may all your eggs be fertile.
Howard Voren is a Psittacultural Scientist specializing in the maintenance and reproduction of Central & South American Psittacine birds. Information about Howard Voren can be found on his website at www.Voren.com.
birds tend to become ill in case they are exposed to
draught or quick changes in temperature. A bird who
suffers from a cold fluffs up the plumage, behaves
apathetic, and in case the animal caught a cold , the
nose may also be running and from time to time the bird
may sneeze. Other kinds of infections affect the lower
respiratory tract (lungs, air sacs) and the bird makes
sounds that remind of coughing. In fact, coughing is not
quite correct since birds are unable to do so. They
don't have a diaphragm and due to this difference in
anatomy they can just make sounds that are a bit similar
to coughing. On the left you can see a bird whose nose
is severely infected, (a bacterial infection).
Different kinds of cold
Other important things concerning a cold
Birds are susceptible to a respiratory condition called "teflon toxicity" or "PTFE poisoning/toxicosis." Deaths can result from this condition, which is due to the noxious fumes emitted from overheated cookware coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). This chemical is found on most non-stick cookware and appliances, some stain repellant products, and other household items. (PTFE) intoxication, is a rapid and lethal gaseous intoxication of all species of birds. We strongly recommed you research PTFE online for more information.
Whether you're a first-time avian owner or an experienced one, did you know that the nonstick pans in your kitchen are your bird's worst enemy?
Commonly referred to as Teflon poisoning, polytetrafluoroethlyene (PTFE) intoxication is a silent, deadly killer of all species of birds.
While concern about PTFE intoxication tends to increase during the colder months when we close the windows in our homes and decrease the air circulation, the reality is that Teflon poisoning can take place at any time throughout the year.
Why Are Nonstick Pans Dangerous to Birds?
The first nonstick pan coated with PTFE was created in 1954 by French engineer Marc Grégoire, who called the nonstick resin "Tefal." In 1961, the first U.S.-made nonstick, PTFE-coated frying pan called the "Happy Pan" was sold in stores.
PTFE is now commonly known as the DuPont brand name Teflon.
PTFE toxicity occurs when the nonstick cookware is overheated. The excessive heat creates a gas emission that is typically harmless to humans and other mammals. Birds, however, are particularly sensitive to the airborne gas emission—even in small dosages due to their high metabolic rate and unique anatomy (high levels of oxygen are emitted to their musculature system in order to fly).
Toxicity from PTFE causes severe edematous pneumonia—where a bird's lungs quick fill with fluid which is then leaked into the airways.
Not many birds can survive PTFE toxicity. The best course of action to ensure your bird's health is prevention.
Do You Have Toxic Cookware in Your Home?
Your cookware does not have to be the specific Teflon brand to cause PTFE toxicity. All nonstick pans containing polytetrafluoroethlyene are toxic to birds.
Types of nonstick cookware include but are not limited to:
Symptoms of Teflon Toxicity in Birds (Top)
PTFE toxicity in birds is devastating and acts quickly.
Symptoms of PTFE toxicity include severe respiratory distress — open-mouthed breathing, tail bobbing and raspy breathing, and birds dropping off their perches. PTFE toxicity is typically fatal, rarely offering owners the time to have their birds examined or treated for the poisoning.
All types of birds are affected by PTFE toxicity. Smaller birds suffer even faster due to their size—less gas is required to register the poisonous effect.
What to Do If You Suspect Your Bird Has Been Poisoned by Teflon (Top)
If your bird is showing signs of respiratory distress and you suspect Teflon poisoning is a possibility, act quickly.
If your bird survives the initial exposure to PTFE, your veterinarian may place the bird in an oxygen cage, administer antibiotics and diuretics in an attempt to relieve the excess fluid in the birds lungs.
Prevent Teflon Toxicity in Your Home (Top)
Not many birds can survive PTFE toxicity. The best course of action to ensure your bird's health is prevention.
Removing all nonstick-coated cookware will eliminate the threat to your bird.
If you have spoken with an avian specialist — whether this is your veterinarian or someone affiliated with veterinary avian care — and removal of all nonstick cookware is not recommended (there are varying opinions on this), take caution when cooking with Teflon-coated products:
Discuss PTFE intoxication with your veterinarian to ensure your bird has a safe, healthy environment that both of you can be comfortable with.
* Below is a list of just a few different medications that vets can use. As always I recommend that you take any sick or ill bird to the vet for treatment. Do not try to medicate your bird unless a vet has written you instructions.
Acetylsalicylic Acid (Aspirin): potent anti-inflammatory, useful for musculoskeletal pain, also will bring fever down;
Acyclovir (Zorirax): used to treat certain Herpes virus infections; it interferes with the synthesis of the virus’ DNA. It can be applied topically in ointment form, orally or intravenously; can be nephrotoxic (kidney damage), so hydration must be maintained.
Allopurinol (Zyloprim): used to treat gout; its action inhibits uric acid production; given orally, usually in drinking water; antiviral; potentially nephrotoxic; treats hyperuricaemia, which causes gout; not enough testing done in birds to note all side effects
Amikacin (Amikin): an aminoglycocide (as is Gentamicin); a potent antibiotic that must be given by injection as it is not absorbed orally; can cause deafness and/or kidney damage, so fluids should be administered during injections to prevent kidney damage: may also be used in nebulization therapy.
Ammonium solution (Penetran): ointment; analgesic, antipruritic, anti-inflammatory; reduces swelling and relaxes muscles; can be used on fresh wounds; avoid overuse
Amphotericin-B (Fungizone): a newer, antifungal antibiotic used to treat fungal infections that do not respond to other antifungal drugs, esp. Aspergillus; Lotion, cream, ointment, intravenously, injected directly into trachea, or delivered to the respiratory tract via nebulization; may cause bone marrow and kidney toxicity; the most commonly used drug in veterinary medicine for systemic fungal infections. In avian medicine, Aspergillus infections are commonly diagnosed and amphotericin B is widely used to treat such cases; typically administered to birds intravenously or intratracheally (IT) or via nebulization; despite its potential for toxic effects, continues to be one of the first drugs selected in both human and veterinary medicine to treat systemic fungal infections. (Top of Page)
Amoxicillin (Amoxil and Clavulanate): a combination of drugs that makes amoxicillin more effective in treating some bacterial infections; used to prevent pasteurellosis from animal bites
Amprol (Amprolium, Corid): used in combination with other drugs for Coccidia; put in drinking water; birds may not drink medicated water.
Aralen Phosphate (Chloroquine): for malaria, acts to destroy Plasmodium in the red blood cells, given orally.
Azithromycin (Zithromax): an antibiotic new to avian medicine; effective against a variety of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacterial pathogens and has some activity against anaerobic bacteria and protozoa; more testing needs to be done to determine effectiveness in psittacines
Butorphanol (Stadol): a pain medication and cough suppressant; a powerful synthetic opioid; presently it is the mostly commonly used analgesic drug in the management of acute pain in avian and exotic mammal medicine; used in perioperative and postoperative pain management; is the current recommendation for opioid analgesia in parrots.
Calphosan: injectable form of calcium used to treat convulsions due to low serum calcium level; also dietary supplement during egg-laying, egg-binding and laying of soft-shelled eggs; periods of rapid growth or bone healing
Calcitonin (Miacalcin, Fortical): a hormone used to treat metabolic bone disease; treats hypercalcemia secondary to neoplasia and poison toxicity.
Calcium EDTA, preferred initial drug to chelate lead or zinc-related toxicosis; given by injection; caution in patients with renal or hepatic impairment.
Capricillic Acid: positive results seen when administered with anti-fungals for aspergillosis in parrots; contains calcium, magnesium and zinc caprylates; given orally.
Carnidazole: trichomoniasis, hexamitiasis, histomoniasis; cockatiels with Giaria.
Carprofen: oral or injectable pain reliever; Carprofen remains a popular NSAID in avian and exotic medicine; NSAIDs are the first course of therapy for chronic disorders. Carprofen is the current drug of choice because of its widespread use and low incidence of reported toxicities.
Cefotaxime (Claforan): in the group of cephalosporins, an injectable antibiotic that crosses the blood-brain barrier; can be used to treat susceptible bacterial infections in the brain; useful for serious susceptible bacterial infections elsewhere in the body; excreted by kidneys; reduce dose with renal impairment; good for Staph, Strep and some Gram-negative bacteria; may cause diarrhea, secondary candidiasis.
Celecoxib (Celebrex): pain reliever, a COX-2 enzyme inhibitor, NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory), used to control signs of Proventricular Dilatation Disease (PDD); is not a cure; used for general pain relief, arthritis, anti-inflammatory.
Cephalexin (Keflex): also a cephalosporin; can be given orally to treat susceptible bacterial infections; may be good for deep skin infections; varied efficacy for many Gram-negative bacteria. (Top of Page)
Chelating agent: used to bind toxic elements (lead, zinc, iron) and remove them from the body safely; chelating agents are effective against zinc, (a metal that can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, diarrhea, polydypsia, polyuria); found in galvanized metal, some adhesives, some toys, pennies minted after 1982, and more; is associated with feather-picking in some birds, especially cockatoos.
Chlortetracycline: an older member of the tetracycline family, formerly used to treat psittacosis (Chlamydophila); treat concurrently for yeast infections; oral preparation; however, Doxycycline is preferred.
Chorionic Gonadotropin (Pregnyl): a hormone used to inhibit egg laying; also used to treat feather-picking due to sexually related disorders.
Ciprofloxacin (Baytril): broad-spectrum antibiotic, made for human use, often used in avian medicine, was in the news during anthrax scare because it is a first-choice antibiotic for treating it; is a fluoroquinolone, in the same family of antibiotics as Enrofloxacin; most anaerobes (Pseudomonas and Streptococcus) are resistant and may overgrow; Chlamydia and mycoplasma only moderately susceptible.
Cisapride (Propulsid): an oral medication to stimulate gastrointestinal motility, increases gastric emptying rate.
Clortrimazole (Lotrimin): an antifungal used as an adjunct to aspergillosis treatment; can be administered into air sacs, into the trachea, topically or by nebulization; patient must be stable and out of respiratory distress.
Corticosteroids: Hydrocortisone, Prednisolone, Methylprednisolone, Desamethasone; used to treat hypovolemic and septic shock, acute trauma and toxicities.
Cortisone (Cortone), a corticosteroid that should be used with extreme caution in avian patients due to immunosuppressive properties.
Clopidol (Coyden): used to treat Coccidia
D-Ca-Phos: balanced Vit. D3-calcium-phosphorus nutritional supplement.
Dexamethasone (Decadron): a potent steroid, anti-inflammatory; used for shock and trauma; may predispose a bird to aspergillosis and other fungal infections; a synthetic steroid; used in treatment of inflammatory conditions and hormonal imbalances; use with caution—egg-related peritonitis.
Dextrose: for seizuring birds caused by hypoglycemia; measure blood glucose level prior to use.
Diatrozoate sodium): for goiter in budgies.
Diazepam (Valium): used for sedation, seizures, convulsions; acts to relax skeletal muscle, IV, intramuscularly, oral or injectable; can be used with anesthetic agents; may cause hypotension; may increase intracranial and intraocular pressure; caution in renal and liver impairment. (Top of Page)
Digoxin solution (Lanoxin): for congestive heart failure in conures and parakeets; lower dose in patients with impaired renal function.
Dimercaprol (BAL): chelator for arsenic and gold, mercury if ingested; helps in lead excretion.
Dimercaptosuccinic acid (DMSA): oral chelator for removing toxins from kidney and blood, nasty smell and taste. Preferred oral chelator for lead and zinc toxicosis.
Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) (Rimso-50): topical, for edema, pain, swelling; causes vasodilation and histamine release.
Dimetridazole (Emtryl): used in drinking water to treat giardiasis and trichomoniasis; not to be used when birds are breeding as males feeding hens in nest may consume enough to reach toxic levels; prolonged use may result in toxicity or development of candidiasis; extremely hepatotoxic; can cause death.
Diphenhydramine (Benadryl): antihistamine, used for allergic feather picking, pruritis and allergy signs; given orally; calming effect in some anxious birds; may cause hypotension.
Doxycycline (Atridox): a very effective drug for treating psittacosis (Chlamydophila); bacteriostatic and anti-inflammatory; can be given orally in water; is also available as an injectable preparation that will provide blood levels for one week with one injection; also used to treat susceptible bacterial infections and mycoplasmosis, allergy, skin irritation; general antibiotic for many issues.
Enrofloxacin (Baytril): broad-spectrum antibiotic, useful for a wide variety of infections such as chlamydiosis; injectable, orally and in tablets; multiple injections should not be given—they can cause serious tissue, pain and nerve damage; it is bactericidal and has excellent activity against both Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens; this antibiotic has also been used to control certain intracellular pathogens; not well accepted by birds when put in drinking water; more research is needed fo its usefulness in birds. (Top of Page)
Ether: an inhalant anesthetic agent no longer used due to inflammatory and explosive qualities at concentrations needed to induce anesthesia.
Fenbendazole: a new anthelminthic; indicated for the removal of a wide variety of parasites; not enough testing has been done on birds; not recommended at this time; toxic in some species, esp. cockatiels.
Ferric Subsulfate: a coagulant to stop bleeding; available in liquid and powder form; limited to hemorrhage of beak and nails, as it will cause tissue necrosis.
Florfenicol (like chloramphenicol): is a broad-spectrum, bacteriostatic antibiotic that is effective against many Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms; needs more research for use in exotic species.
Fluconazole (Diflucan): antifungal medication (fungistatic); useful for treating Candida yeast infections; may cause regurgitation; (can be combined with another treatment for yeast—Nystatin); also used to treat Cryptococcus.
Flucytosine (Ancobon): an antifungal (fungistatic); can be used prophylactically in raptors and waterfowl to prevent aspergillosis; may be used as adjuvant for aspergillus treatment; its action is to inhibit certain biochemical reactions necessary to the life of the fungus cell, thereby killing it. It can be toxic to the bone marrow, administered orally.
Fluoxetine (Prozac): used as adjunctive treatment for depression-induced feather-picking, antidepressant.
Fluoroquinolones: anti-microbial drugs that inhibit bacterial gyrase (the enzyme able for coiling DNA); may induce GI signs and seizures.
Furosemide (Lasix): a diuretic, helps remove excess water from tissues, causes increased urination; can be used in treatment of heart failure, fluid build-up in tissues or celoem.
Gentamicin (Gentak ointment) (Genoptic drops) (Gentamicin Sulfate Cream): an aminoglycosid; can cause deafness and kidney disease, not absorbed orally; used in some eye preparations; can be nebulized or given by injection, not recommended for injectable use as safer, newer aminoglycosides are available; mostly used for cockatiels; treats dermatitis; available as drops for nares, eyes and as an antibiotic cream and ointment for sores and lesions
Glipizide (Glucotrol): an oral agent that can be used in the management of diabetes mellitus.
Haloperidol (Haldol): an oral medication used for behavioral disorders and for frustration-induced feather picking; used with hormone injection; for obsessive/compulsive behavior; commonly fails; may work for short time because it increases prolactin levels; may cause hypotension and anorexia. (Top of Page)
Halothane (Fluothane): an older inhalation anesthetic agent, not usually used in avian patients; it gives moderately good muscle relaxation but has the potential for kidney and liver damage.
Heparin: treats sores; shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Hyaluronidase (Amphadase): added to sterile fluids for injection, causes increased rate of absorption of fluids (such as Lactated Ringers solution) when administered subcutaneously; in some cases, replacing the need for intravenous or intraosseous fluids.
Hydrocortisone: a steroid that should be used with extreme caution in avian patients due to immunosuppression in some topical agents. (Top of Page)
Hydromorphone (Dilaudid): a newer opioid agonist that is related to morphine and is used for sedation, analgesia, and as a restraining agent. Hydromorphone is 5 times as potent as morphine; more effective at relieving continuous, dull pain versus sharp, intermittent pain; can be used in nebulization to help with dyspnea because of its respiratory depressive effects; can have deleterious effects on the intestinal system, slowing down gut motility and causing constipation and ileus; may not be the best choice for managing analgesia in avian patients until further research is performed.
Hydroxyzine (Vistaril): mixed in water; lowers the threshold for seizures, hypotensive, anti-anxiety, anti-pruritic and antihistamine action; not to be used with CNS depressants.
Injacom: injectable preparation of vitamins A, D3 and E used to treat Vit. A deficiency and to promote bone healing and in the treatment of egg binding, soft-shelled eggs, and soft bones.
Insulin: injectable hormone for lowering blood glucose levels in diabetes mellitus; appears to have very short duration of activity in avian patients.
131 Iodine (Iodotope therapeutic): radioactive form of iodine, used to treat hyperthyroidism and in the diagnosis of thyroid disorders; administered orally.
Ipronidazole (Ipropran): used to treat giardiasis and trichomoniasis, put in drinking water.
Isoflurane (Aerrane): an inhalation anesthetic agent that is very safe for use in avian patients, rapidly becoming the anesthetic of choice for avian anesthetic procedures due to its safety, effectiveness and rapid recovery period.
Isoniazid (Nydrazid): treats avian tuberculosis; bacteriostatic for bacilli that are not growing, and bacteriocidal for bacilli that are dividing rapidly; given orally.
Itraconazole (Sporanox): an oral antifungal agent used in the treatment of aspergillosis, candida, Cryptococcus in psittacines; may cause hepatitis, bone toxicit, hypokalemia (a lack of potassium in the blood, usually caused by excessive amounts of it being excreted, that leads to muscle weakness, heart irregularities, disorientation, and sometimes cardiac arrest)
Ivomectin (Ivermectin) (Stromectol): an antiparasitic drug; can be given orally, injected or applied topically; effective for scaly mites, lice (ectoparasites), may not be as effective in eradicating ascarids, other nematodes; reported toxicity in finches.
Ketamine (Vetalar): injectable dissociative agent, may be combined with other injectable medications to provide anesthesia; non-barbituate anesthetic that produces immobility without analgesia; given intramuscularly or intravenously.
Ketoconazole (Nizoral): for systemic fungal infection, including aspergillosis, candidiasis; may cause regurgitation and adrenal gland suppression, so can be dangerous for use in stressed birds; used only when nothing else works; Fluconazole is a safer antifungal for treating candidiasis . (Top of Page)
Ketoprofen (Orudis): non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent, for analgesia, arthritis.
Lactated Ringer’s Solution: composed of sterile water, sodium, calcium potassium, chloride and bicarbonate; these components are in the same amounts and proportions as found in the blood; used intravenously to treat shock and dehydration.
Lactobacillus: preparation of nonpathogenic Gram-negative bacteria that promotes the reestablishment of normal bacterial flora in the gut, without which digestion of food and absorption of nutrients cannot occur; given orally.
Lactulos solution: oral suspension; reduces toxins, restores GI flora in liver-damaged birds; carrier for oral meds; overdose causes diarrhea; caution in birds with diabetes mellitus; has been used as a laxative, although more recently for treating hepatic encephalopathy and other diseases that result in liver failure; Lactulose has also been used as a prebiotic and intestinal protective agent in birds exposed to toxins, particularly those affected by oil spills; It is not known whether the digestive tracts of exotic species, particularly birds, are able to digest lactulose; therefore, the effectiveness of this product in these species remains unclear.
Leuprolide acetate (Lupron): drug to prevent ovulation, useful for sexually-related feather-picking and behavioral issues; for use in reproductive diseases; may be helpful in sexual aggression cases; reduces the production of estrogen; used with chronic egg-laying, particularly in cockatiels.
Levamisole (Ripercol-L): used to treat intestinal roundworms; also to stimulate depressed immune systems; when used for this purpose it seems to restore certain immune mechanisms in white blood cells; also stimulates the production of T-lymphocytes. Given in drinking water or administered via feeding tube, or as injection.
Levothyroxine (Levothroid): treatment for hypothyroidism, obesity, lipomas; however, hypothyroidism cannot be diagnosed by just one solitary thyroid test; hypothyroidism is very rare in pet birds and is probably over-diagnosed.
Lincocin or lincomycin: an oral or injectable antibiotic used for skin infections, pododermatitis (bumblefoot), bone infections; antibiotic that is effective mainly against Gram-positive bacteria, thus limiting its usefulness in parrot species, in which bacterial infections are usually of the Gram-negative variety. Administered orally.
Lipotropin powder, sprinkled on food, chelator for liver, fat break up, used for fat packets near wing on chest. (Top of Page)
LS 50: Lyncomycin and spectinomysin: respiratory and alimentary tract infections caused by Gram positive bacteria. Respiratory/nasal infection, oral or injectable antibiotic for skin infections, dermatitis.
Lugol’s solution: iodine solution used to treat certain thyroid conditions such as goite; added to drinking water; excess may cause thyroid hyperplasia; unnecessary if on formulated diet.
Lupron: see Leuprolide acetate.
Meloxicam (Mobic): is a COX-2 preferential nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory; it has analgesic, ant-inflammatory, and antipyretic (reduces fever) properties; used commonly in avian and exotic species, even though studies are lacking and the information of its use is anecdotal. Often used for arthritis, post-operative pain; few side effects when not used in high doses.
Methoxyflurane (Metofane): An inhalant anesthetic that gives excellent muscle relaxation but has the potential for liver damage and causes prolonged depressed body temperature.
Methylprednisolone acitate (Medrol):, corticosteroid, anti-inflammatory, may predispose a bird to aspergillosis and other mycoses, should be used with extreme caution; treats allergies, e.g. Amazon foot necrosis: given orally.
Metoclopramide (Reglan): an injectable or oral medication used for gastrointestinal motility disorders (regurgitation, slow crop motility); used for controlling vomiting, nausea; not to be used if GI obstruction, hemorrhage or hypertension present; not used for epileptics (lowers the threshold for seizures); caution in renally impaired; antagonized by narcotics; not used with monoamine oxidase inhibitors; often used for PDD sufferers.
Metronidazole, (Nitroimidazole) (Flagyl) an oral or IV injectable bacteriocidal antibiotic/antiprotozoal agent, an amebicide; treats anaerobic bacteria (such as Clostridium), hexamita, Giardia and other GI protozoal flagellates; caution in renal or hepatic impairment; may cause seizures, peripheral neurophathies, anorexia or GI upset; may enhance candidiasis; toxic in finches; seems not as effective in eradicating Giardia since many isolates seem to be resistant now, so for treating Giardia, Ronidazole may be a better choice.
Mintezol (Thiabendazole): treats ascarid (roundworm) infestation of the gut, also gapeworm (Syngamus); Given orally.
Myambutol: (Ethambutol): treats avian tuberculosis, acts to suppress the growth of the TB organism, given orally. (Top of Page)
Neocalglucon: oral preparation of calcium used as a dietary calcium supplement; given in drinking water.
Niclosamide (Yomaesan): Used to treat tapeworms; administered orally
Nystatin (Mycostatin): an oral suspension used to treat candidiasis (yeast infection), medication must contact the organism, so used most often to treat oral or gastrointestinal candidiasis, some isolates of Candida are becoming resistant to Nystatin, so it may be used as a carrier for Fluconazole (a systemic antifungal agent); any baby bird on an antibiotic should also receive an antifungal agent to prevent secondary candidiasis; also Chlorhexidine or Ketoconazole are used as preventatives for candidiasis in hand-fed baby birds being treated with other antibiotics, or in adult birds on long-term antibiotic therapy, especially of the tetracycline family; resistance common.
Nyzoral: anti-fungal, effective against fungal dermatitis.
Oxytocin (Pitocin): a drug for use in humans and mammals that causes uterine contractions and milk letdown; has been used by injection in cases of egg-binding; however, since birds are not mammals, this is not the best, most effective drug to use, but it may help a hen lay an egg in certain cases; hormone used to aid in egg expulsion in egg-bound hens; acts to stimulate both the frequency and force of smooth muscle contractions in the oviduct; used to stop uterine bleeding; may cause cardiac arrhythmias.
Penicillin G (Procaine): the procaine in this injectable preparation used in small and large animals is very toxic in avian species and should not be used if safer antibiotics are available to treat the condition.
PEP-E: injectable amino acid supplement; an immune stimulant and nutritional supplement in anorexic and compromised birds; (anorectic: a medicine that suppresses the appetite)
Phenobarbital: an oral medication that can be used to try to control seizures in avian species, especially in cases of epilepsy; will diminish oviduct contractions; may cause osteomalacia (a disease that results from a lack of vitamin D or calcium, causing softening of the bones and resulting pain and weakness); caution in liver-impaired; shortens efficacy of Doxycycline.
Pimobendan: cardiovascular drug, a new cariotonic vasodilator (an agent that widens the blood vessels, which in turn decreases resistance to blood flow and lowers blood pressure. Drugs that act as vasodilators are used medically to treat high blood pressure and various other circulatory disorders) ; more tests are needed to determine effects in birds.
Piperacillin (Pipracil): injectable antibiotic in the penicillin family, good broad-spectrum drug; excellent antibiotic alone or when combined with Amikacin; effective against many Gram-negative/Gram-positive bacteria, anaerobes, pseudomonas; excreted in urine and bile; good for liver infections, dog-bite wounds; contraindicated in neonates.
Polysulfated glycosamine glycan (Adequan): cartilage precursor used for arthritis.
Ponazuril: a new triazine coccidiocidal drug which specifically attacks the protozoan parasite from the phylum apicomplexa (this parasite attacks the central nervous system); appears to be safe and effective in a variety of vertebrate species; may prove useful against a variety of apicomplexans found in exotic species; further research is needed.
Praziquantel (Droncit): a dewormer that can be used to remove tapeworms and some flukes (trematodes); can be administered orally or by injection; it causes increased muscular activity in the intestine, causing the worms to lose their grip on host tissue; it destroys the skin of the tapeworm, making it susceptible to the host’s immune mechanism and results in destruction; given in food, by tube or injection; metabolized in liver; toxic to finches; caution in neonates and juveniles, (esp. African Greys). (Top of Page)
Prednisone, Prednisolone: corticosteroids that are anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive; may predispose birds to aspergillosis and other fungal infections; should be used only with extreme caution; given either orally, topically or by injection; may cause GI ulcers.
Prepidil gel (Dinoprostone): topical, applied to utero-vaginal sphincter; allows for expulsion of egg.
Primaquine: treats avian malaria; useful in killing malarial protozoa lodged in body tissues such as the liver, rather than those in the red blood cells; for this reason, it is almost always used in conjunction with an anti-malarial drug such as Chloroquine, which is effective against the protozoa residing in the red blood cells; given orally.
Probiotics: a live microorganism that exhibits beneficial effects on the host’s health beyond inherent basic nutrition; used in preventing and treating disease and promoting overall health in humans and animals; Lactobacillus, Enterococcus, and Bifidobacterium are most often used in human and animal commercial probiotics; more research is needed before practitioners will feel comfortable recommending them for their avian patients.
Probucol (Lorelco): used to lower cholesterol, control lipemia and lipomas; contains iron; use with caution in birds that are susceptible to hemochromatosisa (a genetic disorder in which there is excess accumulation of iron in the body leading to damage of many organs, especially the liver and pancreas).
Progesterone (Depo-Provera): a hormone used to inhibit ovulation in hens with chronic egg-laying problems,given in injection. (Top of Page)
Proguanil: treats avian malaria; given intramuscularly.
Propyliodone (Dionosl): a molecule used as a contrast medicine for bronchography.
Propylthiouracil: treats hyperthyroidism; acts to inhibit the formation of thyroid hormones; administered orally.
Prostaglandin E2 (Dinoprostone) gel: for use in cases of egg-binding; placed into cloaca; will help deliver an egg (if not too large and there are no complications).
Prostaglandin or Oxytocin: to help passing of egg in egg binding.
Prozac, Doxepin, Haloperidol, Clomipramine, Naltrexone: behavioral drugs; Prozac has a relatively low level of toxicity and relatively few side effects. It is even tolerated in patients with hepatosplenic disease. Toxic to finches can be given orally, and in many cases is effective after a single dose; uses are still being discovered.
Pyrantel Pamoate (Nemex): an oral dewormer that is very safe and effective; to remove intestinal roundworms and other types of intestinal worms (except for tapeworms).
Quinacrine (Atabrine): oral medication rarely used to treat malaria (Plasmodium) in avian species; given orally via feeding tube; concentrates in liver, caution with liver impairment; may cause jaundice and seizures;
Ryfadin (Rifampin, Rimactene): used for avian TB; inhibits the growth of the tuberculosis organism and enhances the effectiveness of Isoniazid, with which it is combined; given orally; has numberous drug interactions; side effects are numerous and associated with most body systems; hepatoxic; do not use with liver impairment; usually used with other drugs to treat mycobacterium (fungus); resistance occurs rapidly; absorption reduced with food.
Ronidazole: oral antiprotozoal medication, very safe and efficacious for treating giardiasis in avian species; (however, not produced for use in the U.S., but is available through companies in this country that import the medication).
Selenium and Vit E (Selsun): used for neuromuscular disease in cockatiels.
Sevoflurane (Ultane): newer inhalation anesthetic, similar to isoflurane; provides more rapid recovery. (Top of Page)
Silver sulphadiazine (Silvadene): topical; for burns, ulcers, under bandage; good to help rehydrate wounds when applied under a transparent dressing; if used over large areas, make sure hydration is maintained.
Silymarin: milk thistle, digestive aid.
Sucralfate (Carafate): for upper GI bleeding; given 1 hour before food or other drugs; may cause constipation; acts to form a protective barrier in the GI lining; treats stress ulcerations, esophogitis, duodenal ulcerations, GI ulcerations resulting from NSAID use, GI reflux disease; considered safe with few side effects.
Sulfachlorpyridazine: powder antibiotic for susceptible bacterial infections of the gastrointestinal tract; also used to treat coccidiosis; not to be used in birds laying eggs.
Sulfadimethoxine (Albon): an oral and injectable medication used to treat coccidiosis (a type of protozoa), Haemoproteus, Pasteurella, Salmonella in small psittacines; make sure hydration is maintained. (Top of Page)
Tetracycline (Sumycin): an older antibiotic that is bacteriostatic, was used for treating Chlamydophila, Mycoplasma, spirochetes, rickettsiae (a parasitic bacterium that typically lives inside ticks and can be transmitted to humans, causing Rocky Mountain spotted fever), forms of typhus, and other diseases; some aerobic and anaerobic bacteria are susceptible; also can be used to treat certain protozoal infections; rarely used as birds may not drink sufficient water.
Thyroxine (Synthroid): thyroid supplement; may cause recrudescence (to become active again after a dormant period) of thymus in adults; toxic levels cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and heart failure.
Ticarcillin (Timentin): effective against many Gram-positive and Gram-negative organisms including Pseudomonas and some anaerobes; resistance may develop rapidly.
Tramadol (Ultracet): anopiate for pain management, used for past 25 years in humans; an analgesic for moderate to severe pain; combined with isoflurane to maintain anesthesia; also used in local anesthetics; more research needs to be done for use in avian species.
Triamcinolone: a corticosteroid often found in topical preparations used for dogs and cats; can be dangerous when used topically in avian species; may predispose to aspergillosis and other fungal infections. (Top of Page)
PLEASE NOTE: HEATED vinegar emits toxic fumes similar to carbon dioxide. Bird owners have lost their pets by adding vinegar to their dishwashing cycle, or used it to clean coffee machines.
Wing Clipping - Should I clip my Parrotlets wings?
Wing clipping could be
labeled one of the most controversial subjects in aviculture.
There are many reasons why some bird owners choose to clip
their bird's wings, and just as many reasons why some bird
owners do not. While wing clipping is generally recommended
for most captive birds, the decision to trim a bird is one
best left to the individual owner.
Below are some photos that show you where to clip. Also i recommend watching some videos on Youtube. Some of the videos posted by users are very good and detailed.
Clipping Your Parrotlets
Keeping your parrotlets
wing's properly trimmed is an essential part of owning a
parrot. Not only does it aid in keeping you, the owner, as the
dominant member of the bird-human relationship, it is very
important for the safety of your pet. The vast majority of
"lost bird" reports come from people who claim to never have
clipped their bird's wings, or to have "forgotten" to do this.
Even birds who owners claim "never even attempt to fly" are
prone to a startle reflex when suddenly frightened. In this
case even a handraised bird's instincts tell then to attempt
to fly off. If the bird's wings are clipped, the parrot will
flutter harmlessly to the ground - if not, this act of owner
negligence could result in the loss of a bird.
Covering the cage can
also help reduce "night frights.” Night frights are when
something scares the bird at night and they end up flapping
all over the cage in the dark, potentially hurting themselves.
Some birds, like cockatiels, are particularly prone to this.
Pet birds cannot see well in the dark, so things like the
moving shadows in a dark room can really scare them. Usually
you won’t even know what it was that scared them. If you cover
them, that eliminates most of those sorts of visual stimuli.
Top 10 Bird Killers
A. Stepping on the
One of the best books written about Parrotlets.
Below is a list of the Contents.
Table Of Contents
Chapter I - Meet the Parrotlet
Parrotlets and their Special People
History In Captivity
What Are Parrotlets?
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Differences in Personalities Between Subspecies?
What is a Parrotlet’s Average Life Span?
Chapter II - Parrotlet Identification
Color Mutation Parrotlets
Pacific Color Mutation Descriptions
Green Rumped Parrotlets
Rare Species Of Parrotlets
Blue Winged Parrotlets
Yellow Faced Parrotlets
Chapter III - Choosing A Parrotlet
Are You the Right Person for a Parrotlet?
Considerations When Picking A Parrotlet
One Parrotlet or More?
Where to Buy a Parrotlet
Purchasing from a Breeder
Purchasing From a Pet Shop
Picking the Perfect Parrotlet
Healthy Parrotlet Checklist
Tips For Purchasing Parrotlets
Chapter IV - Housing The Parrotlet
Covering the Cage
Cleaning the Cage
Finding Safe, Fun Toys
Birdie Buddies™ and Happy Huts™
Playpens and Baskets
Chapter V - Feeding The Parrotlet
Pellets and Color Mutation Parrotlets
Other Necessary Foods
Fresh Fruit For Your Parrotlet
Fresh Vegetables and Greens – Fed Raw Unless Noted
Organic and Homegrown Produce
Nuts, Seeds, Legumes and Non-Animal Proteins
Legumes and Other Non-Animal Proteins
Hot Cooked Diets
Vitamins and Supplements
Spirulina™ and Wheat Grass Powder
Cuttlebone and Mineral Blocks
Grit and Oyster Shell
Healthful Recipes for Parrotlets
Daily Fresh Food Mix
Birdie Corn Muffins
Brown Rice Recipe
Basic Bird Bread
Parrotlet Ranch Beans
Is Your Parrotlet Eating?
Chapter VI - Bringing The Parrotlet Home
New Home Checklist
New-Parrotlet Check Up
New Bird Examination Procedure
Patience and Understanding
Chapter VII - Behavior and Training
The Spoiled Parrotlet
Egg-Laying Pet Females
The "Teenage Years"
The "No" Command
The "Step Up" Command
Teaching Parrotlets to Talk
Pepper the Wonder Parrotlet
Teaching The Parrotlet Tricks
Get the Bell
Riding on a Toy
Standing on Head
Chapter VIII – Grooming The Parrotlet
Green Rumped Parrotlet Beak Problems
Preening and Pinfeathers
Chapter IX – Breeding Parrotlets
Housing Breeding Pairs
Nutrition for Breeding Parrotlets
Hand-Feeding and Socializing
Proper Equipment & Disinfection & Hygiene
Hand Feeding Equipment Guide
Color Mutation Parrotlets
Pellet Diets and Color Mutation Parrotlets
Breeding Parrotlet Mutations
Inheritance Modes and Color Combinations
Recessive Color Mutation Chart – Single Factor
Recessive Color Mutation Chart – Combination Colors
Chapter X - Traveling with Your Parrotlet
Basic Travel Tips
Traveling by Air
Chapter XI - Hazards and Disaster Preparedness
Around the House
List of Common Household Airborne Toxins
Paint and Pesticides
Teflon™ and Other Non-Stick Surfaces
The Avocado Controversy
Other Birds and Animals
Toys and Cages
Zinc and Lead
Common Household Sources of Lead
Emergency Bird Supply Kit
Chapter XII - Illness and Diseases
Know What to Look For
Signs of Illness
Bird First Aid Kit
Cuts and Abrasions
Broken Beak Tip
Working With Your Veterinarian
Chlamydiosis (Psittacosis, Parrot Fever)
Mycobacteria (Avian Tuberculosis)
Avian Gastric Yeast
Beak and Feather Disease (P.B.F.D.)
To Vaccinate or Not?
Proventricular Dilatation Disease (P.D.D.)
Books and Magazines
Death of a Parrotlet
Chapter XIII – Showing A Parrotlet
What is a Bird Show?
Societies and Specialty Clubs
Great American and National Cage Bird Shows
General Parrot Standards
International Parrotlet Society Standards
Preparing A Parrotlet For A Show
Show Cage Training
Before the Show
Night of the Show
Attending the Show
Show Tag and Registration Form
Banquet and Raffles
Chapter XIV - Beyond the Basics
International Parrotlet Society
American Federation of Aviculture
National Cage Bird Show
Society of Parrot Breeders and Exhibitors
American Bird Conservancy
RARE Center for Tropical Conservation
Magazines and Periodicals
Bird Talk Magazine
American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, Inc.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
Association of Avian Veterinarians
Chapter XV - Glossary of Terms
Chapter XVI- Appendix
Classifications of Forpus Parrotlets
Book Preview By
Leg Banding Or Leg Rings
There are a number
of reasons why identification of a bird is important. These
include proof of ownership, governmental requirements in some
states, identification of lost or stolen birds, and tracking
of birds for breeding purposes (very important). The ability
to identify a bird also acts as a deterrent to smugglers and
the illegal bird trade. Thus it has a
Adding a leg band to a bird - CLOSED BANDING
#1 the band is slipped over 3
I have links to
many great articles about birds, Illness, Disease and bird
care on my Links Page.
Visit my other bird care websites
Pacific Parrotlet Color Mutations & Pricing Guide.
Pure white Parrotlet with red eyes. Males are
visually indistinguishable from females unless held
under a black light, blue becomes evident. DNA
sexing can also be used to differentiate sex. For
other white parrotlets see
American White or
Blue Parrotlet: Color can be light powder blue, Dark Blue to turquoise. Dark eyed mutation. Males retain dark cobalt markings. There are many different shades of the blue Parrotlet. Many of them have a strong turquoise cast of color, however they are not classified as a Turquoise Parrotlet and fall into the blue mutations.
Blue Dilute Parrotlet: Combination of the dilute and blue mutations. Light, sky blue with patches of white. Dark eyes and males retain blue markings. This color is also been called American White by many breeders in the USA.
Blue Fallow Parrotlet:
Combination of blue and fallow. Blue bird with red eyes. Males retain blue markings.
Blue Pastel Parrotlet: – Similar to dilute-blue i.e., sky blue coloring with dark eyes and males retain blue markings. Can be differentiated from dilute-blue by ‘lacewing’ type of pattern across wings. Birds with no lace wing pattern are not pastel. With no lacewing pattern see dilutes such as Blue Dilute or American White.
Blue Pied Parrotlet: Blue with white feathers scattered over the body and head. Dark eyed and males retain the royal blue markings on wings and rump.
Cinnamon Parrotlet: (Recessive) - Also known as Isabelle in Europe. Light yellow with more beige and green than fallow. Eyes are deep ruby red.
Cinnamon Parrotlet: (Sex Linked) - Also known as "Pallid" in Europe. Similar in appearance to the recessive cinnamon but the first known sex linked mutation.
Green Parrotlet: The normal in the wild color of the Parrotlet. It was from this color that breeders developed all of the other colors listed below. Many greens have a cast of yellow over the full body or in parts. We now have many different shades of green parrotlets. They are the normal (original) color of the parrotlet. Because of the many new colors that have been developed the greens have become hard to find in many areas of the USA. Clean Greens are now rare and are very hard to find. Just because a parrotlet is green does not mean that it is a clean green or carry the color mutations DNA. What is a clean green? A clean green is a green parrotlet with no other color mutations in its background or bloodline. Many breeders and some vets now believe that the color mutations (blues, yellows, pieds, ect.) do not live as long as the clean green parrotlet. Here at LuckyFeathers I have a clean green breeding program - I have several pairs of breeders that are 3rd and 4th generation clean green. I do not always have babies available so make sure to get on my waiting list if you are wanting a clean green parrotlet. They are beautiful birds and are as close to the original wild type parrotlet that you can find. Because they are rare and I have a very limited supply of babies they do cost a little more than a regular green.
few times each year we have green females for $95.
These are handfed female babies that did not sell
within the first 3 months. After 3 months we do put
them on special - We have maybe 7 to 12 each year
that we end up marking down to $95 They are
for pickup only.
Grey or Gray Parrotlet - Currently found only in Europe
(Top of page)
Green Olive Parrotlet: (aka: Green Darkfactor, See Olive Parrotlet )
Green Pied Parrotlet: Green bird with yellow feathers scattered over the body and head. Dark eyed and males retain royal blue markings on wings and rump.
Parrotlet: Bright yellow Parrotlet with red
eyes. Males have white instead of blue markings on
the wings and rump area. Most lutino Parrotlets need
to be DNA sexed. Some breeders are able to put the
birds under black UV lighting and tell the sex by
looking at the color. I recommend having the bird
feather DNA sexed to be sure. If you have a solid
yellow bird that does not have red eyes - it is not
a lutino. Lutino birds must have red eyes. See other
Olive Parrotlet: (aka: Green Olive Parrotlet)
Turquoise Parrotlet: (True Turquoise Parrotlet) A genetically incomplete blue with both green and blue markings; face is usually green with a blue body. Dark eyes and males retain blue markings. Notice the green on top of the head, this is what makes them a true turquoise. The True Turquoise was the first turquoise color mutation. Later came the turquoise dilutes, pastels and pied.
*Note: Photo #4 above is not what I call a True Turquoise Parrotlet. This birds full body color Turquoise (not blue) so i classify this as a Turquoise Tinted Parrotlet. I posted the photo here as an example of how the True Turquoise Parrotlet sometimes gets mixed up with other colors. The true turquoise parrotlet should be a blue bird (body color) with a green patch of feathers on the top of the head.
Both Turquoise Dilutes
and Pastels have very light pale sky blue coloring
and may have a touch of Turquoise color cast running
over the body ( under UV lighting ) They have dark
eyes and the males retain blue markings. The face,
forehead and or top of the head have the green or
turquoise tint or color cast. The difference between
the pastel and dilute are the lacewing markings on
the wings. In fact the pastel bird could also be
called a lacewing, however most breeders list them
as a pastel knowing that the lacewing is assumed as
part of the mutation color name in all of the pastel
color mutations. So the key is - Use a magnifying
glass, check it under different kinds of lighting -
Look for the lacewing pattern. If the bird has
the correct colors and lacewing pattern it is a
pastel. If it has the correct colors and no lacewing
pattern it is a dilute. Remember if the bird has no
turquoise on the forehead or top of head area you
have a Blue Dilute, Blue Pastel or an American
White. It also helps to know the background of the
and sometimes called: Dark Factor Blue, or Cobalt
White Parrotlet: (also called Snow by some breeders) A visually all white Parrotlet with black eyes. Under special lighting you may see a blue cast to the rump or tail area of the bird. Many times these are classified as dilute blues by different breeders. However a white bird that has no visual blue anyplace is a white parrotlet. A true white or snow will have no blue color cast. If the bird has a blue cast to its body color see (Blue Dilute / American White) If the all white bird has red eyes see (Albino) *A true white parrotlet would be extremely rare and some breeders claim they do not even exist. I personally have never seen one. So be careful if you are buying a white or snow parrotlet, You may in fact be getting a Dilute Blue or American white. Dilute blue and American white are the same thing as far as the general classification goes.
Yellow Parrotlet: (Also called American Yellow)
Photo #1, #2 male
Yellow Dilute Parrotlet: Light or pale Yellow-green bird with a green cast of color around the edge of the wings. Males retain royal blue markings. Eyes are dark. There are many different dilute colors. Remember that the dilutes have no lace wing markings, A light or pale yellow bird with lace-wing marks would fall under a pastel mutation. If you have a red eye solid yellow bird ( bright yellow ) not a pale or dull color of yellow (see lutino) If you have a red eye bird that is dull or pale yellow see (fallow colors)
Yellow Fallow Parrotlet: - Combination of fallow and yellow. Bright yellow bird with red eyes. Different from lutino in that males retain blue markings.
Available only in Europe - I don't think this color is available yet in the States. From what I have been told there is a new line of colors called the Yellow Front Colors. They come in different colors of pied and pastels all having a yellow forehead. Called the Yellow Front as to not be confused with the species Yellow Faced Parrotlet.
Available only in Europe - I don't think this color is available yet in the States. From what I have been told there is a new line of colors called the Yellow Front Colors. They come in different colors of pied and pastels all having a yellow forehead. Called the Yellow Front as to not be confused with the species Yellow Faced Parrotlet.
Yellow Pastel Parrotlet:
Notice that in photo #1 the bird
has white lacewing patterns. This makes the bird a
pastel and not a dilute.
Remember and take note: - The above color mutations are only to be used as a guideline to help you and are subject to different breeders and standards. Because we now have over 50 different actual visual shades and colors of Parrotlets and no regulatory association making the standards, I have decided to use the color mutations I have posted above in my aviary so that I can have a regular standard to follow for now. As time progresses different colors and mutations will come into play. Names and color classifications will change.
Google Images Search provided many of the photos above as
examples of different color mutations. If one of the photos is
your copyright and you want it removed or want a photo tag
added with your name, simply contact me by email (attach a
copy of the photo ) and I will remove it or add your name to
the photo tag.
International Parrotlet Society Color Standards:
(Top of page)
Very rare species of parrotlet - A very few amount of breeders received permission to import 20 of these beautiful birds back in the 1990's. From those breeders we do have a few available in different states - but they are very rare and super hard to find. I currently have a few pairs of these birds in my aviary set up to breed. At this time I am working with a handful of other breeders trading back and forth in order to get unrelated pairs for breeding. The very few babies that I have been able to sell or will have for sale in the future are already reserved in advance. Right now I estimate that the waiting time from my aviary would be about one year for a female or up to two years for a male.
General Pricing Guide:
Yellow-Faced Parrotlet (Top)
More info coming soon.
Very rare species of parrotlet - it is not available in the USA at this time. A very few amount of breeders may have received permission to import some into the USA a few years ago for education reasons. So hopefully this species will be come available in the next few years. In Europe this bird is not rare.
and take note: - The above color mutations are only to
be used as a guideline to help you and are subject to
different breeders and standards. Because we now have
over 50 different actual visual shades and colors of
Parrotlets and no regulatory association making the
standards, I have decided to use the color mutations I
have posted below in my aviary so that I can have a
regular standard to follow for now. As time progresses
different colors and mutations will come into play.
Names and color classifications will change.
lucida parrotlet breeding Pairs in Alabama
Pacific parrotlet breeding Pairs for sale in Alabama
Spectacled parrotlet breeding Pairs for
sale in Alabama
Green rumped parrotlet breeding Pairs for
sale in Alabama
Pacific Parrotlet Breeders in Alabama
Forpus Breeders in Alabama
Celestial Parrotlet Breeders in Alabama
Spectacled Parrotlet Breeders in Alabama
How to breed parrotlets in Alabama
Blue Parrotlet, Yellow Parrotlet,
Dilute Parrotlet, Pastel Parrotlet, Color Mutations Breeding For Sale in Alabama
Fallow Parrotlet, Red Eye Parrotlet, Lutino
Parrotlet, Albino Parrotlet, Color Mutations Breeding For Sale in Alabama
Pastel Yellow Parrotlet, Pastel Blue
Parrotlet, Turquoise Parrotlet, Color Mutations Breeding For Sale in Alabama