Breeding

Lovebird, Peach-Faced (Agapornis rosiecollis)

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by Jim Hayward

Original homeland

Found in countries of South-west Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Cape Province in South Africa & Angola.

Natural habitat

Arid open country.

Status in the Wild

Plentiful

Status in Aviculture

Plentiful, especially in the numerous colour varieties.

Level of keepers experience

Ideal for beginners.

Hardiness

Hardy against cold, but susceptible to frost bite on feet in severe freezing weather.

Type of Accommodation

Aviary (suitable size 3ft x 4ft x 6ft) or cage (suitable size 3ft x 16in x 3ft). The frame can be made of wood, but suffers some gnawing; minimum guage mesh - 19g.

Type of Diet

Mixed seed - 50/50 Canary and white millet mixture, panicum and Japanese millet, and a small amount of sunflower and safflower. Small amounts of apple and other fruit sprinkled with vitamin-mineral powder; a little hard or boiled maize is also appreciated. Seeding grasses and chickweed can be given as available; other types of wild growing food are enjoyed. Cuttlefish bone should be available at all times, and a good quality mineralised grit is beneficial. When young are hatched, soaked millet sprays and moistened wholemeal bread can be given. Clean water daily - of course.

Sexing

There are no plumage differences in the sexes, but adult hens are wider in the abdomen, and adult cocks longer and slimmer.

Sexual Maturity

Some birds will attempt to breed at six months old and even younger, but should be held back if possible until a year old.

Nesting season in Britain

Any time of the year, but most successful from late summer to late autumn.

Type of nest

In the wild a woven nest in the hollow trunk or branch of a tree, or old weaver nest. In cage or aviary a wooden nest-box with willow being provided as the perfect material for next making; this the birds whittle, carry into the box tucked in their rump feathers and weave into a cup.

Usual number of eggs

4 to 6

Incubation period

22 days

Usual number of young

3 to 5

Fledgling age

Around six weeks

Usual number of clutches

Best to limit to three clutches per year.

Nesting habits

Only hen incubates, both sexes whittle nesting material.

Special considerations

Small but regular supply of fresh willow twigs, or other suitable non-toxic tree species needed.

Noise factor

Natural calls inoffensive at a short distance.

Availability

Usually plentiful.

Colour Varieties

Since the 1970's a whole range of striking colour varieties have been established with the Violet and orange-faced being the most recently available to British breeders.

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