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BREEDS & THEIR NEEDS
GOLD MANTLED ROSELLAS

(&  Mutation Colours) 

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GMR.rub.cock+lut.hen.on.mesh.gd.sml.jpg (75441 bytes) GMR.RUB.LUT.mesh+flooded.field.gd.sml.jpg (89757 bytes) Gmr Nrml.HEN. N.Box.sml.jpg (77569 bytes) GMR.rub+lut.gd.sml.jpg (80745 bytes) GMR's.rubino+lutino.gd.sml.jpg (86808 bytes)
Rubino Cock & Lutino Hen Rubino Cock & Lutino Hen Normal GMR Hen Rubino Cock & Lutino Hen Rubino Cock & Lutino Hen
Eastern Rosella GMRs_Nrml.rubino.gd.sml..jpg (29395 bytes) GMRs_rubino.nrml_gd.2.sml.jpg (29675 bytes)
Normal Cockbird Normal Hen + Rubino Cock Normal Hen + Rubino Cock 2 Chicks from
Rubino + Lutino parents
Nrml chick with plucked back
this will grow back quickly.
  • Gold Mantled Rosellas come in lots of different variations and sub-species of their normal colours,

  • even in the wild, depending on which part of Australia they originate from.

  • They are approx. 12" long and quite a robust shape.

  • They live to approx 15-20yrs in the wild

SEXING

  • They are pretty much dimorphic  i.e. the Male and female colouration are very similar,

  • altho. the cockbird does tend to look more yellow on it's back and is a much brighter colour.  

  • The Hen is more of a green colour on it's back and the "lizard" markings on her back  go up the
    nape of her neck to the top of her head

    • - similar to all youngsters until they go thru their first (juvenile) moult. (4-6months)

  • The big give-away (even in the youngsters) is the head and beak (similar to Kakis)

  • The Cockbird has a bigger flatter head and a bigger beak more like a Roman Nose.

  • The Hen has a smaller, neater head and also a smaller and neater beak.

    • The Beaks are quite distinctly different esp. if you have a cock and hen side by side.

  • There are a few colour mutations that have been bred in captivity

    • - The Lutino Yellow back with red head  and the vibrant red Rubino are shown
      in the photos above.

    • Also see picture of chicks in nest box above - out of the Lutino and Rubino parents
      - the Rubino chick will be a Hen becos the father was the Rubino
      and the Lutino chick will be a Cockbird becos the mother was Lutino.

  • They have a lovely, piping call which once again shouldn't offend neighbours.

  • They are similar to Barrabands in their habits and diet.

  • One of their peculiarities is that they seem to have a musky odour about them.

  • They do like to bathe but not as much as Kaki's do. - Do provide a bath for them.

FEEDING

  • They eat "Large Parakeet mix", but as with most birds they seem to relish the Sunflower seeds, and will tend to pick these out to eat first.

  • So these should be limited, as they have a high oil content, which is not healthy if eaten in excess.

  • They like Millet sprays but don't love them and seem to be able to take or leave them, except when feeding chicks, then they seem to like them, as they are easy to digest and feed to the chicks.

  • The do love carrots, apples, brussel sprouts, broccoli and other veg,

    • (they seem to prefer Veg to fruit - unlike Conures who seem to prefer Fruit to Veg!)

    • which you can stab onto small pin nails on branches or shelves.

    • They like cooked frozen Sweetcorn,

      • (top to it's own level with boiling water > put in Microwave for 2-3 mins > drain and either fed
        as it is or with added egg-food and vitamin + Mineral supplement.

      • Good to feed when leading up to Breeding season as Protein Level is good in Sweet corn

      • And also when feeding chicks.

  • They also like to strip willow and eucalyptus branches + the bark off their perches.

  • They like all the usual wild foods  inc. Mtn. Ash Berries, dandelion leaves, chickweed etc.

BREEDING

  • As per all parakeet types, esp. at Breeding times, they must have free access to Cuttlefish bone, Oystershell
    and mineralised grit (for digestion + calcium/mineral content).

  • Iodised (pink) mineral blocks.

    • These help the hen form good quality eggshells.

    • Prior to Breeding and to help bring the birds into Breeding condition you must start upping
      the Protein levels in the Birds' food.

    • Adding shredded chicken with Sweetcorn + Egg-food and a good quality vitamin + Mineral supplement.

    • You can also add boiled eggs mashed together with their shells for added Protein + calcium

    • Also a small sprinkle of Hemp seed is helpful in enhancing Breeding condition.
       

  • Once the Hen has laid her full clutch of eggs, you then discontinue the Protein Levels and just feed a basic seed and water (with added fruit and veg) but nothing with High feed value while the Hen is incubating as she goes into a semi-hibernation state as she broods, so doesn't need anything more than a "Maintenance Diet". 

  • The cockbird will survive on seed and water + fruit and Veg.
     

  • The day before the first chick is due to hatch - you then can put some soft-food in for the parents to feed the chicks.

    • i.e. Sweetcorn + Egg food.

    • Millet Spray

  • They are not aggressive by nature, except during the breeding season when the Cockbird won't
    tolerate other Cock birds in either the same Aviary or too near.

  • Make sure if you have adjoining Aviaries that you double-mesh the adjoining sides

  • and have at least 1" between double meshing

    • Otherwise you could end up with toes nipped off!!

  • The RULE is ONE PAIR ONLY per AVIARY when BREEDING.

  • this is rather limiting if you don't have a lot of space to put a few Aviaries to accommodate each pair.

  • Their aviary must be of a decent length (8ft x 4ft minimum) so that they can fly and maintain condition, which is necessary for healthy breeding.

  • They like deep, dark Nest boxes (9 - 10" square and min. 18"- 2ft deep).

    • Make sure they have mesh fitted up the inside so they (and their chicks when they fledge) can climb up and out of the pop-hole.

  • The hen can lay 5 - 6  eggs (every alternate day)

  • and will usually wait until at least the 4th egg is laid before she starts to incubate seriously. 

  • This is so that the chicks will hatch fairly close together.

  • INCUBATION: 21 days

    • (counting from approx. 4th egg being laid - so you can add 7 days from first egg being laid until the hen starts incubation - so count 28 days from 1st egg to give you a better indication of when to expect first hatch, then you often have 2 chicks hatching together and the following day another chick.  They usually hatch every other day, thereafter).

  • FLEDGING: approx. 45 days (similar to Kakis)

  • CLOSE-RINGING: @ 12- 14 days.  
    Ring Size: P
     

  • I usually say when the eyes are approx. - 3/4 open if you can't work out the chicks' age
     
    www.achughes.com/sizeinfo.html  This is a link to a Site that sells Bird Rings. 

    P.S.U.K.  Bird Ring Manufacturer
    Avian ID, P.O. Box 107, Truro, Cornwall TR1 2YR
    Tel:  01872 262777  : 
    www.avianid.co.uk

  • Be careful how you go about Ringing. 

  • Make sure your hands are clean, (but not smelling of soap etc) as the parents seem to be able to sense if you've handled the chicks.

  • Sometimes, it's a good idea to handle a bit of substrate (nest material - not with droppings - out of their nest) to mask your own "smell".

  • Also, remember this if you have to handle the chicks at any time.

  • Rosellas object to any interference and have been known to abandon or even kill their chicks if
    they think there is a "Strange smell" on them i.e. from your hands.

  • So if you don't have to touch - DON'T!!

  • Leave them alone and try not to even look in the nest - they really do not like it!!

  • They can go down and rear 2 and sometimes 3 clutches per year.

  • As with any other birds - if they raise 2 good-size clutches they should be discouraged from going down for a 3rd time.

    • It doesn't do the hen's health any good over-breeding her.

  • Some parents have been known to pluck the backs and heads of chicks. 

  • It's better to leave the chicks alone tho. and not interfere.

  • I knew someone who put anti-biotic powder on the chicks where they were bleeding from being plucked and
    the parents killed them all - becos the chicks had been handled and had a "strange-smelling" (to the parent birds) powder applied!

    • They were a healthy 3 weeks+ old and well-grown at the time. 
       

  • The Hen does all the sitting but the Cockbird will go in with her. 

  • He feeds her and presumably shares the feeding of the chicks.

  • As a rule they do not like to be bothered while in the nest box, unlike some birds who will tolerate
    you having a look to check all is well. 

  • They growl and hiss if you bother them or go near the to keep away from them.

    • Cockatiel Chicks act in the same way.

  • So the message is leave the chicks and nest area well alone when they are breeding.

  • Once they start mating and preparing the nest box you can up the protein levels to help prepare them for breeding.

  • You can add a calcium supplement x2 per week ONLY  (follow directions on bottle)

    •  - no more, as then the egg shell may then become too hard and you could end up with the
      hen egg-binding.

  •  but once the hen is incubating just give Seed and water only.

  • The Hen goes into "Brood-mode" where she is almost in a state of "semi-hibernation", where her body doesn't need sustaining the same as it does when she's living a normal, everyday life.

  • So she is feeding for maintenance only.
     

  • General rule of thumb is once the birds start mating you can expect your first egg to be laid
    approx. 2 weeks later.

  • Once the first chick is due to hatch provide Sweetcorn + E.M.P (or similar good quality egg-food)

    •  to which you can add any calcium + vit/mineral supplements etc. 

    • A good one is Bird Care's Daily Essentials 3. 

  • Read the directions on the tubs, carefully, for amounts to give to each Breed or Bird +  how often to feed it, as over-supplementation of any vitamin/minerals can be as bad as being  deficient. 

  • You could cause toxic poisoning if you over-supplement, as the bird's liver can't cope. 

  • You can poison the bird's system by over-loading it.

  • Remember, if you use a liquid supplementation to put in the water, it does depend on how much
    the bird drinks and whether it will drink it, due to the change in taste!

  • They will probably enjoy a millet spray about now cos it's easier to digest to feed the chicks.

  • Once the chicks have fledge and are fully independent, it may be wise to move them to a separate Aviary,

  • as the Father-bird may see the cock chicks as a threat, and attack them.  

    • This is where you have to watch your birds. 

    • I have never had this problem and my youngsters live quite happily in the same Aviary with
      their parents even when they go back down for their 2nd round.

    • Other Breeders have reported the Adult Cockbird chasing their male off-spring and sometimes attacking them.

      • So, be observant and you can avoid such problems.

  • This is really an individual thing both on the birds and the owners part.  As some parents tolerate the young being left with them as they go back to nest and others won't have the young cock birds in the same Aviary.  So it's very much, " play it by ear" and err on the side of caution at the sight of any aggression.

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