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Breeding Your Amazon

By: PetPlace Veterinarians

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Breeding birds is not as simple as it sounds, and breeding your Amazon is a decision that should only be made after a lot of research and talking with experienced breeders. To safeguard the health of your bird and his or her offspring, you need to be able to handle any situation you encounter.

Make sure you have the time and money necessary, as well as easy access to an experienced avian veterinarian. Also make sure you already have homes lined up for the new babies. If you are properly prepared, breeding can be a positive experience.

Breeding

If you want to breed your Amazons, make sure they are mature and healthy. Breeding birds need to bond and get use to their surroundings. The birds must be well fed and their new spacious cage must be clean.

Many Amazons are difficult to breed in captivity. In North America, most Amazons breed predominantly in the spring and have a limited breeding season typically from February or March to June or July.

Amazons will need an appropriate nest box. Wooden nest boxes approximately 12-inch x 12-inch x 24-inch can be used.

Clutch size is typically 3 to 4 eggs. Incubation period is approximately 24 to 26 days. Chicks will usually fledge at approximately 10 to 12 weeks of age. If breeding was successful, babies are relatively easy to hand-rear. Most hand rearing formulas can be used successfully.

Male Amazons are occasionally aggressive toward their mates. Clipping the wings of the male prior to the breeding season may be necessary in aggressive individuals to help the female to escape in case the male becomes aggressive. Males in breeding condition can be very aggressive to keepers.

Amazons can be noisy when in breeding condition. When breeding Amazons, noise and proximity to neighbors must be considered.

Care of Chicks

You will need to check the nesting box every day to make sure the chicks are being fed properly. Offer fresh food and plenty of water daily. If the parents care for their young, you will not have to worry too much. However, first time or inexperienced parents may not care for their young, and you have to care for them.

Hand-rearing chicks takes time and the right equipment. You may need to place them in an incubator and hand feed them every 2 hours (commercial diets are available, to which you just add water). The feeding technique is not difficult to learn, but you should have your avian veterinarian show you how to do it properly. This is a critical period in the life of the new birds and it is during this time you may encounter a high rate of complications and mortality.

Soon the new chicks will slowly start to pick at smaller (cracked) seeds you offer. Once you are sure they can eat by themselves, it is time to separate the chicks, some sooner than others, from the parents and start the taming the process.

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