When breeding ringnecks there are two approaches that can be successfully practiced–housing the birds separately according to their sex, or housing individual pairs together permanently. Both methods are commonly used with great success. Choosing a type of breeding method usually depends on the breeder’s motives.
Housing Ringnecks According to Sex
Breeders who raise ringnecks for mutations usually separate the males from the females. Just before the breeding season approaches the male is introduced into the cage of the female who has worked the nesting box (digging inside the box). If this method is practiced special caution should be used before introducing the male into the female’s cage.
A female ringneck can be very aggressive, especially when guarding her territory. She sets the pace of courting and will gladly make her mood known to her mate. A female ringneck that is not supervised can quickly injure or kill her companion. So before placing the male into the female’s cage, a few techniques can be practiced to help minimize any aggressive behavior.
When the female begins to show an interest in breeding, usually by spending time inside her nesting box, the male should be placed near her cage. The female needs to adjust to the male’s presence before he can be introduced. During this time, the female might spend hours clinging to the side of her cage near the male. The male might pin his eyes and bow while the female tilts her head back. Keep them separate for about a week or until the breeder is sure she is interested in her mate. Then place the ringnecks together.
After the ringnecks have been introduced the female might chase the male. During this time the breeder should wait around to ensure the female is not harming the male. If it’s obvious the male is being harmed or the breeder believes the pair will not bond, the pair should be separated or a new mate chosen.
A great technique would be to clip the female’s wings enough to allow her to fly into her box, but not enough to harm her mate. The male’s wings should always be fully grown to avoid any sudden attacks.
If the birds cannot get along and the breeder wishes to try to keep them paired, placing both the female and the male together in a new cage in a new location should help to solve this issue. Moving the pair to a new cage will force them to cling together and develop a bond.
Housing Individual Pairs Together Permanently
The second method, which is housing pairs together throughout the year is my favorite. This method is preferred because it reduces any aggressive behavior. This will minimize the chances of the male being attacked because the female has had a full year of bonding with him. When breeding begins, the male and female will start to become more affectionate towards each other–usually both will go about their business throughout the year, then become exceptionally interested in each other during breeding. When this happens, I know it’s only a matter of time before the first egg is laid.
I find keeping my pairs together has many benefits. Firstly, it is easier to predict how well both parents will care for their young and what mutations are possible. Secondly, it makes keeping accurate records of the babies easy and is less work in general.
Choosing Your Method of Breeding
It should be said that choosing the breeding method is strictly dependent onwhat the breeder’s intentions are. I am a small breeder who enjoys my ringnecks and therefore not really interested in breeding or creating new mutations–so for this reason, I house my ringnecks together as pairs. On the other hand, if I wanted to breed specifically for mutations or personality traits, I might select the first option. The breeder will know what method is ideal for him or her.