Kakariki Breeding Info


Letter

Having just found your site, I was delighted with the amount of information you have on the Kakarikis. I've just bought a couple of the red faced birds for my husband. We were told that they are last years young, but though we've only had them 33 days, indoors in a cockatiel cage, they have already started to lay eggs and are most definitely mating!

However we have no information on what to do next! Sometimes they fight, but not all the time. He feeds her, they both seem to want to sit on the eggs, so far they're up to six from last Tuesday. We feed them on mainly cockatiel mix, orange, grape, broccoli, apple and egg. There is both a mineral block in the cage, and a cuttlefish bone, as well as a couple of hanging toys.

They seem to be getting on ok, but are we doing anything wrong? Or is there something more we should be doing? There are no books available that we've been able to find, and yours is the first Kakarikis site we've found that we could reply to.

Our original intention was to tame the birds because they are very young, but now they've decided to breed we're not too sure.

Reply

Well do you have a nestbox? If not I'd advise getting one or two (depending on the cage size) and adding them to the outside of the cage. If the eggs are on the floor you'll want to make sure they don't roll around or get seperated. Your feed seems fine. There's not much else you can do right now except watch and make sure the parents do their job.

I've never heard of kaks both incubating the eggs; this is something cockatiels and cockatoos do. Usually the hen will sit and the male will feed her. You may want to double check that you have a true pair just in case. Mating may indicate male-female but some same sex pairs will mate too. One of your birds should appear much larger than the other or at least be heavier. You can test this by picking both birds up. Some females keep their feathers puffed up and will appear the same size as males, but when picked up you can feel the difference. Females have thin beaks and males have much thicker ones. It's easy to tell the difference if you know what to look for. I just took some pictures this weekend showing the difference. I'm hoping they come out. I'll send you one if they do.

Kaks are cool in many respects, one is because they are really easy to tame. Chicks handled the day after fledging will become just as tame as handfeds. Older birds are a bit harder. If your birds act curious about you when you service the cage or don't fly to the back when you're near I'd say they'd be easy to tame. I prefer all my breeders (every species) to be tame because it just makes breeding chores easier for me and less stressful on the birds. It's up to you whether or not you want to tame yours since curious kaks are pretty mellow anyway.

I've seen a couple of articles in magazines on kaks but this is very rare. The only book I've found that really discusses them is "A Guide to Australian Long and Broad-tailed Parrots and New Zealand Kakarikis." Usually books lump them together with the Aussie parakeets. Though they are different you may want to look up Aussie keet information and go by that.

Feisty Feathers
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