Grote alexander parkieten koppel
Parakeets

Alexandrine parakeet, the big brother of the ringneck parakeet

The large alexander parakeet has 5 subspecies:

  • Psittacula eupatria eupatria
  • Psittacula eupatria nipalinesis
  • Psittacula eupatria magnirostris
  • Psittacula eupatria avensis
  • Psittacula eupatria siamensis.

The Psittacula eupatria nipalinesis is the nominal form and is most common among growers. Although few of the subspecies will remain in captivity because they have been massively crossed, breeders usually choose the largest bird without knowing that it is another subspecies.

Distribution of the Great Alexander parakeet

The large Alexander parakeet occurs naturally in Southeast Asia, more specifically in India and neighboring countries. But there are also large alexanders with us in Brussels or Amsterdam, these are escaped or deported specimens that have remained alive in our climate.

Gender discrimination


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With a female the black stripe in the front of the neck and the pink band at the back of the neck are missing. This makes the sex clearly visible with adult birds, and with young birds it is a bit more difficult because they look like a female. The young men get their neck bands from the age of 3.

Large alexander parakeet couple
Clear difference between man (link) and pop (right)

Character of the Great Alexander parakeet

The large alexander parakeet must be kept per pair. Multiple couples or housing with other bird species is highly discouraged because the birds are rather intolerant to other birds, especially in the breeding season. They can make quite a lot of noise but can also become quite confidential with their caregiver. Because of their enormous appetite you have to make (willow) branches available all year round. Because of this rodent, perches often do not last long.

Housing

Large alexander parakeets can handle our climate quite well, but it is nevertheless advisable to provide a frost-free night loft. This is because the large alexander parakeet has so-called “meat legs” and these could freeze when the bird stays on the cold mesh. This mutilation must in any case be avoided! Make sure that the perches are sufficiently thick so that the bird can easily keep its legs warm between its plumage. The aviary must be at least 3 meters long, 1 meter wide and 2 meters high. And preferably in low-impact material such as aluminum. Also do not forget to place double mesh if there are other birds in addition to the large alexanders. In this way you prevent them from biting each other’s toes.

Nutrition

As food I give a mixture for large parakeet, supplemented with 25% parrot mixture. I also give them a piece of fruit every day. This is increased during breeding and egg food with germ seeds is also given. Of course, the bird must have stomach gravel and grit every season. If they do not record this themselves, this can be mixed between, for example, the seed germ. Just like every bird, fresh water must be given daily.

Breeding

The large alexander parakeet generally breeds very early. Usually the first egg is laid in February, but my couple already have eggs and it is only the end of January. The breeding block is often also used as a sleeping block and can therefore remain hanging throughout the year. Good dimensions of the breeding block are, for example, a bottom of 30 cm x 30 cm and 60 cm high. The entry hole must be approximately 8 to 9 cm in diameter. To allow the bird to crawl out of the nest well, it is best to attach a few staples or gauze to the inside of the breeding block. Wood shavings may be used as ground cover, whether or not supplemented with, for example, peat.

The female usually lays between 2 and 4 eggs that are laid every other day. After about 28 days of incubation, the eggs hatch, the young are completely naked. They can be ringed at the age of 12-14 days with a hardened or stainless steel foot ring of 8mm. When the youngsters are +2 months old, the youngsters fly out and are fed by their parents for 2-3 weeks.

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