Breeding / African Greys

Starting Out

african grey parrot nestBefore breeding African Grey parrots, you must consider there are two types of of sub species.

Timneh (Psittacus erithacus timneh), are usually smaller in size and darker in color

Congo (Psittacus erithacus erithacus), are larger than the Timneh species and grow up to 30 centimetres long, they are paler in color and are the most popular sub species out of the two.

The Conga grey is believed to be the most intelligent out of the two species, however there is no imperical evidence to back this claim. The Timneh's which are from South Africa, are generally more difficult to breed, and are not as popular as the Congo, so bear this is mind before deciding breed African Grey Parrots. Before purchasing a parrot for breeding purposes, they should be surgically reviewed or DNA tested. Surgical will reveal additional information such as sexual maturity and if the breed is capable of reproducing, however it is more expensive and risky. Between the genders it is the male parrot which has a bigger beak than females, this should never be used to determine the sex.

Mating

Getting African Greys to mate can be difficult, the best method is to put two of them of the opposite sex into a cage, eventually they will grow to know each other, and become companions. Another useful tip is to purchase a nest box, first think about how African greys breed in their natural environment, they usually select a small dense location within a tree, therefore open and light conditions are not great when trying to breed your parrots. Purchase a nest box around 24 inches high and wide, shapes such as an L shape usually work well. Add a hole, not too big to the top of the nest, also inserting some wood chipping's within the box ensures the parrots and eggs are safe and secure.

The eggs hatch within 1 month, and there are usually between two to five eggs, you must be careful when removing baby greys, the mother can become aggressive and injure your hand, therefore be cautious, and never use gloves as they are not sensitive enough to handle a baby grey parrot. My advice is wait until the mother has left the cage rather than disturbing her.

Common Questions

How to I sex the parrot(s)

There are two methods of achiving this, either surgical or DNA sexing. Surgical costs more, however you will find out additional information such as the parrots maturity and reproduction capabilities. Generally males have a bigger head and sometimes break, however this isn't a good indicator and DNA sexing is advised by us.

How long do the eggs take to hatch

Typically the eggs from laying to hatching takes approximately 26 to 32 days.

How many eggs should my parrot lay

Between 2 to 5 is the usual number.

Should the parrots diet be changed at all

You can keep the diet the same as the one used all year around, however when they are feeding babies the addition of soft food is a good idea.

Do I need to check the eggs

I typically try to check the eggs once a week when the mother has left the cage to ensure no disturbance is caused


If you're looking for more information, my good friend Michael Joseph, an expert in parrot behavoir & breeding with over 25 years experience has released an ebook.

His Ebooks contain some great information, even I've learnt a thing or two, it includes:

  • A complete guide to parrots
  • Signs a parrot is ill
  • How to properly care
  • Why placing a cage inside your house is a bad thing
  • The best food to feed your parrot
  • And tons more

Click Here to view his website.