The parrot family is enormous, it comprises about 400 types, those belong to 92 different genera, some of them may be available to adopt as pets while other types are very rare and even endangered in cases. This diversity of types can sometimes lead to a really important question, especially when you have the idea of breeding parrots in mind, and this question is “Can Parrots Crossbreed”.
As you know, it is possible with species such as cats and dogs. I am not saying that a dog can breed with a cat. No, what I am saying is that almost every type of pet cat can breed with other species in the same family. The same also goes for does. They can even crossbreed with wolves. These types of pets have similar DNA, which makes it possible for them to crossbreed with others. And knowing that parrots have about 400 subspecies within the same family, it is sensible to ask
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So, Can Parrots Crossbreed?
Yes, parrots can crossbreed. However, it’s not very common in parrots as you might imagine. Parrots can only crossbreed with close relatives (Sister Species). For example, Macaw and cockatoo can’t crossbreed, but with blue and gold macaw and scarlet macaw, there is a possibility of crossbreeding.
The crossbreeding between close species of parrots will lead to producing hybrid parrots, and in this article, we will dive into everything related to this topic. So, without further ado, let’s get into this.
What is Hybrid Parrot?
The hybrid parrot is a parrot that has parents from different species, usually from related genera. The hybrid parrot is the result of crossbreeding, and sometimes it will hatch healthy and grow to develop different traits from the parents. Sometimes it will be good and desirable traits and sometimes it will be bad.
These traits can appear in the general looking of the hybrid, behavior, and overall health. And sometimes the eggs will be dead once the female lays them.
Famous Parrot Hybrids
There are a few hybrids that are famous and you might never have thought about them as hybrids. And here are some of the famous parrot hybrids.
- Galah-tiel, hybrid of Galah cockatoo and cockatiel.
- Harlequin macaw, hybrid of blue and gold macaw and scarlet macaw.
- Camelot Macaws, hybrid of scarlet macaw and catalonia macaw.
And there are a lot of hybrid parrots that don’t have their own names. And here is a link for a page that shows a lot of parrots’ hybrids.
How to Know if Parrots Can Crossbreed?
400 subspecies of parrots can make it confusing to know whether this or that different couple of parrots can crossbreed. This is if you already have the couple and you are just wondering because they belong to different subspecies.
Whatever the case, crossbreeding parrots can only happen if 2 different factors are existing, at least for breeding healthy chicks.
The first factor is, they need to be of the same size. Don’t expect a macaw parrot to breed with a little quaker or cockatiel. It’s going to be impossible. Not to mention that the little parrot might get in danger when you put it in the same cage with the giant macaw.
This factor might be the most important, and the absence of it will make the crossbreeding process impossible, even for the parrots who belong to the same genus.
The second factor is the couple should be from related genus or sisters species. And this is the most important factor because it will grant the needed DNA similarities between the couple.
However, if the second factor is fulfilled, you can to some extent ignore the first one, and what I mean by that is there a possibility for parrots to have slight differences in size to crossbreed if they belong to sisters species. For example, Cockatiels and galah cockatoo.
What Species Can Crossbreed?
As I mentioned earlier, parrots have to be from very close genera to crossbreed. For example, the macaw family has a lot of possibilities to crossbreed. The same also goes for the Amazonian family, conures, lovebirds, lories, and cockatoos.
These families have a lot of potential hybrids. however, the success rate may be very low. I mean the mating could happen correctly but the eggs are infertile or even dead.
Crossbreeding or Not
Personally, I tend to avoid crossbreeding between different parrot species, especially when I don’t know what is the hybrid will be like, is the hybrid going to healthy (which is my primary concern), how is his personality going to, aggressive or cuddly, and is he going to be fertile.
Yes, Hybrids sometimes are not fertile, and they can not breed as a normal parrot would do. And this always strikes a chord in my mind that crossbreeding and actually not the right thing to do.
I know they are some of the healthy hybrids and lovely, but I don’t know. I am really hesitant about this topic. I prefer breeding parrots from the same genus.
I may adopt a hybrid, but I don’t think I am going to allow him to breed. Although they can bring big profit, it’s not the case at least from my perspective.
I believe I am looking at it from the ethical side.
However, it’s all up to you if you want to crossbreed parrots, just make sure that you try it with species that are known to produce healthy and lovely chicks. Avoid trying something new.
Do Parrot Crossbreed in the Wild?
Yes, they may crossbreed in the wild, but it’s extremely rare.
In conclusion, yes parrots can crossbreed and produce hybrid parrots. In fact, there are a few types of parrots that are actually hybrids, and also available to adopt as pets. Expect to pay some extra money to get one of those.
However, if you want to try to crossbreed a couple of parrots you already have or are yet to get, you need to know that the success rate of crossbreeding is very low.
If you are a beginner in breeding parrots, crossbreeding between different species can be very hard, and might lead to the death of one of the parrots you have. So, I highly recommend not to try unless you are doing it out of experience and already had previous success in breeding parrots from the same genus.
If you want to learn more about breeding parrots, I suggest reading this article and you will find everything you need to know about this topic, and it will help you to succeed in crossbreeding later on as it shows the same basics every parrot need to breed.
And yes, that’s about it. Hope you find this article informative and easy to digest. Thank you for reading…