Originally posted by Lemon&Lime: I have successfully bred 4 clutches of keets...and want to post something that could answer some Q's that some people have about breeding keets, and possibly help out some people that are considering breeding.....
But before you start taking lives into YOUR hands make sure you can answer [b]YES to ALL of these questions
:-Do you have a home for the keets in advance? What are you going to do with all those lil ones!?
-Are you responsible enough to care for so many keets lives?
-Are you or someone in your house home 24/7??? If not, you need someone there ALL the time. You have to watch over the mother and babies all of the time, and watch for emergencies or complications.
-Do you have a cage large enough for up to around 9 or so babies??
-Do you have money put aside for any emergencies? Make sure u have a emergency vets # in reach incase of any complications.
You will be risking the parents lives, and the babies lives by starting this process. (the mother could kill the babies, or the father, the mother could get egg bound, and MANY other complications that can occur!)
Keets are sexually mature around 8 mos. or so.... How to breed ur keets:
~What u'll need:~
-2 keets of opposite sex, at least 8 mos. old. Both in breeding mode. Female will have a brown crusty cere, with maybe a little bit of white or tan. Male will have a Deep blue, dark cere.
-a breeding/nesting box with a little indent on the inside floor of it
-a LARGE cage, enough to hold at max 9 keets (could have around 7 babies, u never know), complete with enough food and water for that many.
(see below-way below-for details on cage sizes!)
-a quiet room to put the cage in
-a POWDER calcium supplement to mix into thur food (only powder! liquid to mix into water will grow in the dish, and will harm your keets)
-a bedding of some sort (i have always used wood shavings and timmothy--a sort of a soft green hay type thing.)
NOTE: I personally wouldn't use those beddings that are 'specially made' for breeding, and pre-made nesting material...i prefer the good ol'natural stuff...it's up to you.
You can mount the nesting box either on the outside of the cage, or on the inside, but whichever place u put it, place it high up as possible, keets feel more secure high up, and like it better. ~Getting started:~
To start the breeding process, place the nesting box into/on cage w/ nesting materials inside. When the female starts to explore the inside and move things around and spend a LOT of time in there(this is called nesting), then you can add the calcium powder supplement to their food when nesting starts.
The female will start to get more aggressive now. Now watch for breeding (i don't think i need to explain that lol)--(You most likely will NOT see them mate, but u may!) After they breed, she'll lay the first egg in around 1 or 2 days...she'll continue to lay eggs up to around 7 or 8 (max-around), but the average clutch is aound 4 or 5 or 6 eggs. At this time, don't bother the mother so much, and only peek into the box when she's not in it. When each egg is laid, mark #s on them w/ PENCIL...and make a chart showing statistics of the eggs (date laid, what # egg it is, fertile or not, etc. )
When the eggs are 7 days, you can candle them to see if the egg is fertile or not... ~To candle:~
Hold egg up to a VERY bright light source (like a flashlight) and look at egg:
*If the egg has clearly visible veins, and a little dark spot, then it IS fertile.
*If it's just clear, and possibly a air bubble towards the top, then it's NOT fertile. Candle like every week or so to check on the growing keet babies.
***The eggs will take around 4 wks or so to hatch (around 28 days)...but don't be discouraged if they hatch after 28 days! my keet Lemon hatched a week late.***
after they're hatched, you can start handling the new babies...but be careful!!!!! with the utmost care. only hold 1 baby at a time, and low to the ground, and only when mom is off the nest...but before you start holding em...take the mommy out of the cage to a diff. area (like a play tree or something) only hold the babies only for a few mins at a time, they have to stay warm by mom!
When you handle the babies, it gets them used to the light, and the outside world. The sooner they are used to the light, the sooner they'll come out of the nesting box.If the mom or babies have ANY troubles (egg binding, abandoning, not feeding, etc.) CALL YOUR NEAREST VET RIGHT AWAY, I am not a vet and won't be responsible for your keets lives.
The babies will come out of the nest at around 5 wks. or so...after all the keets are out of the nesting box, then you can remove it. (it's normal for them to peek out of the box or hang out of it for a few days, they're just looking out and adjusting to the light. After all the babies are out, remove the nesting box RIGHT AWAY. The parents will start to try another clutch right away, and may harm or kill anything (babies!) in their way. make sure you have enough food and water for all of the keets. It's normal for the babies to stay on the bottom of the cage for a few days or so...when they are all eating on their OWN, and are fully capable of everything such as:
-eating on own
-drinking on own
-and other obstacles in life/the cage
at around 8 wks. old or so they may go to new homes when they are capable of the above things.***If you keep 1 or more baby...make sure you have a cage big enough for all of the keets in it.***
Minimum dimensions of cages: (thanks to Alyssa)
MIN. Size for [b]ONE
MIN. Size for TWO
MIN. Size for THREE
MIN. Size for FOUR
MIN. Size for FIVE
MIN. Size for SIX
you don't have to have the same dimensions as those, just make sure the volume inside is at or above what is required.
To find Volume: just multiply the Length x Width x Height. very easy. [/b]Thank you for being responsible enough to educate yourself on breeding keets, and taking ur time to read this long post. But, educate yourself even further, such as on complications and what to do while driving to the vet if you are put in that place or MANY other things...use books or the internet...or the best source...Avian Vet!
****IF you have ANY questions...or need help with the breeding process...just post on here...I'll get to your question the day of or in a day or 2..