By Susie Christian,  Morro Bay, CA.

Two Galah babies, parent hatched and brought in at a week old to hand feed. 

A few more thoughts

In most parrot species it is the male who is responsible for the success of the nest, and the female who is responsible for the rearing of the young. This is almost always true in pairs of psittacines, where the female does the incubation and early rearing alone. With Galahs, both sexes are involved in the incubation and rearing process, and it is easy to see why an older, experienced male might be successful with a very young mate. He would obviously be doing most of the work. Even though both sexes do the incubation, the female usually takes the evening, night and early morning shift, while the male takes the day shift. This delegation of duty is similar to that of the cockatiel.

I raised a female Galah here, and when she was a year old, I put her with one of Dale Thompson’s ancient, wild caught male Galahs, who had lost his mate the previous year to egg binding.  She produced fertile eggs at barely a year old, they incubated successfully, and gave me two babies, which I pulled at ten days.  This isn’t the norm by a long shot, but it is possible.    

Once egg laying begins, an egg is laid with intervals of at least two days between eggs, and incubation usually starts with the laying of the second egg. The Galah egg incubation period averages around 22-23 days, but up to 25 days is not unusual.

Many breeders remove Galah eggs as soon as they are laid, and place them in artificial incubators. This strategy results in many more eggs being produced within the breeding season, over allowing the parents to incubate and rear their own young to an age of ten days, before removing them for hand feeding.  There are Galah pairs that will set, hatch and feed babies well, and then there are the pairs who eat eggs, put a peck hole in the egg, or otherwise wreak havoc in the nest box.  Usually it is the male who makes a mess of the eggs.  I believe the old wild caught pairs most always knew what they were doing and were very steady in captivity, to care for the nest well.  But I have artificially incubated, hand raised pairs who will set properly and hatch babies out as well.  Just that those fine old individuals that came from the mother country did such a splendid job.

Being able to work with, live with and breed Galahs has been one of the brightest highlights of my life.  Their sheer beauty, cheery attitudes and comical ways never fail to brighten my day, and I personally feel that every one who loves birds should possess a Galah, or a few.

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Photography by Susie Christian© 2010
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Last Updated July 6, 2010, by Bear Canyon Productions