STARTING TO BREED
The first thing is to make sure your birds are not overweight before we start to pair them up, as overweight cock birds can produce clear eggs, also make sure they are in perfect feather condition once paired up if kept in heat, increase the length of the day by ajusting your timer by 20 minutes per week.
This will stimulate the onset of spring, and increase the protein intake by introducing eggfoods and mealworms they will usually take this willingly.
Once the new birds have settled in and are fully adult, usually more than nine months old, they should come into breeding condition. Signs of this will be obvious, cock birds will sing and display and the hen will sidle up to him. In some species the beak changes colour and the birds will appear to be bursting with vitality. If not already provided, nest boxes should be made available together with nesting material. Dried grasses and coconut fibre are the most suitable(do not use horsehair or artificial fibres as they may get entangled around the birds legs.)A small quantity of shredded paper tissue,white feathers or fur can be given for the birds to line the nest. Give the materials to the birds and wait. Nest building will begin over the next few weeks, and eggs should be laid within a month. No eggs can mean two cocks; old birds or an incompatible pair. More than seven eggs usually means you have two hens. The only answer is to swap pairs around until breeding is achieved.
In most cases however, eggs will be laid and hatch between 12 and 16 days after incubation begins. If the eggs appear to be late hatching, leave them at least five days past the due date. Many birds, until they are really used to the owners, will resent interference with their nests. Some will not tolerate it at all.It is best to leave well alone unless you think something is wrong.the young should be ready to leave the nest at 21 days old, and kept with the parents for a month after that.If you loose any in your first round of eggs try not to blame yourself as very often they will lay again and be very good parents the second time around.
Also increase the amount of baths and sprays you give your birds,