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 The Basics

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Pete
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PostSubject: The Basics   Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:55 am

Rosellas are easy to breed; they are robust, do not fear cold but need a dry shelter. The breeding season usually starts in March or April (in Australia from September through March). When courting the male will bow forward low on the perch while sounding out the mating calls. If approved the hen will do the same and they can often be seen feeding each other before mating.

The Eastern Rosella female typically lays 4 to 9 eggs that she incubates alone for about 18 - 21 days. During the incubation period she is fed by her mate. Established pairs can be prolific and may produce two to three clutches per season - especially if their young are pulled for handfeeding and they have plenty of food available. However, typically they raise one to two clutches per year. During the incubation period she is fed by her mate. After hatching chicks will leave the nest at about 6 weeks old.

Some breeders prefer to pull babies at 2-3 weeks old for handfeeding. This will allow parents to get started on another clutch. Handfed Rosellas can still be a bit flighty and care should be taken to ensure the wings stay clipped to avoid injury. The young will need daily attention to remain tame.

Housing:

Rosellas do best in an aviary setting or long flight cages as they are avid flyers. It is recommended that couples are kept alone in an aviary, and to even avoid keeping two couples in two contiguous aviaries - as they may be aggressive and get distracted from breeding. If this separation is not possible given the space and resources that you have, it is recommended to have the walls double wired with a separation of about 3 inches (75mm) or even place a solid wall between the neighbors. You also need to have available aviary space for the young birds as they should be separated as soon as they are fully independent of their parents.

Eastern Rosella eating dandelionsRosellas like to chew on wood therefore metal frames with strong wire / mesh is recommended.

Minimum aviary size should be about:

Width: 40 inches (1000mm) - 47 inches (1200 mm)
Length: 16 feet (5000 mm)
Height: 7 feet (2100 mm)

The roof should be covered with transparent or opaque corrugated roofing material. For easy maintenance and sanitation, a concrete floor that can be hosed down daily is recommended.

Nest Box:

In their natural habitat, they nest in a tree cavity, high above the ground, filled with chips or turf. In captivity, a standard rosella nest box size would be 10" x 11" x 24". Rosellas like their nesting place to be high up -- ideal would be 5 to 10 meters - or as high as the aviary allows. The nest log or box should be placed at the rear of the aviary in a sheltered location to protect it from the elements and provide privacy.




Rosella Incubation Data Average Eggs per Cluch Days of Incubation
Adelaide Rosella (Platycercus adelaidae) 4 - 7 eggs 21 days
Yellow Rosella (Platycercus flaveolus) 4 - 5 eggs 22 days
Eastern Rosella (Platycercus eximius)4 - 9 eggs 18 - 21 days
Green Rosella (Platycercus caledonicus) 5 - 9 eggs 21 days
Northern Rosella (Platycercus venustus) 5 - 7 eggs 19 - 21 days
Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus) 3 - 5 eggs 22 - 24 days
Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis) 3 - 8 eggs 20 days
Crimson Rosella (Platycercus elegans) 4 - 7 eggs 20 - 21 days

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