There are loads more pictures on the turquoise page links to the left!
~ Standard and Rare Mutation Cockatiels ~ Standard and Rare Mutation Lineolated Parakeets
~ Meyers ~ African Greys ~ Whitecap Pionus
Please note that ALL photos on this site are privately owned and cannot be used without permission of the author. Thanks for your understanding in this regard.
Homestead's Hatchery copyright 2006
I'm so glad you came for a visit... it's nice to have your company! Why not grab a cup of your favourite beverage and we'll spend some time together. I'm a small home based aviary located in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, that breeds and exhibits standard and rare cockatiels, including yellowcheek, silver, whiteface, creamface and the suffused silver (or emerald) mutation. I also work with African Greys (both Congos and Timnehs), Meyers, Whitecap Pionus, and Lineolated Parakeets (aka "linnies"). I hope you enjoy your journey through my pages and would be tickled pink to hear from you! Drop by from time to time and don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions!
Please note, I no longer work with caiques or dusky pionus.
~ This site was designed by
Jane Gillespie, B.A., B.Ed.
AFA Certified Aviculturalist
~ Breeding and exhibiting top quality parrots since 1995
~ Canadian hookbill judge and US Panel judge for the Cockatiel Foundation Inc.
PLEASE NOTE! I will not sell unweaned babies, nor do I endorse this irresponsible practice. Responsible breeders know that selling unweaned babies has nothing to do with bonding and is life threatening to chicks. I cannot recommend any breeders that insist on endangering the well being of young birds by selling them before they are fully weaned.
My Philosophy, My Aviary and My Practices
Homestead's Hatchery, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada, is a private, home based aviary, dedicated to raising the finest companion parrots possible for approved families. Species I am working with currently include standard and rare mutation cockatiels and lineolated parakeets, African greys (timnehs and congos), meyers, blue fronted amazons and whitecap pionus.
I breed selectively for colour, temperment, conformation and sometimes, size. Being a small breeding facility, I am able to provide my handfed babies individual attention daily, allowing them to fledge naturally and abundance wean at their own pace. Like all creatures, my babies gain confidence and learn quickly with lots of positive reinforcement and praise. Chicks are stimulated with a variety of colourful toys of different textures and shapes to encourage exploration and develop a sense of curiosity and play. They are weaned onto a pelleted diet, supplemented with a wide variety of fresh produce and sprouts daily, and seeds or nuts are given daily as a treat only. I believe a well rounded diet with variety is essential. (Please see my "Feeding the Flock" page.) Socializers come and spend time with the babies so they'll have more interaction with other people!
My aviary is smoke free and birds hear only G-rated language. I practise strict guidelines for the safety and welfare of my flock and for this reason, do not offer tours to the public. I am available by appointment only. Children are asked to be respectful of my birds and stay with their parents at all times. Please coach your children beforehand of the importance of keeping well back from all cages and proper etiquette when visiting someone's home. Visitors are not permitted into the breeding facility areas as strangers upset breeding pairs. My breeding facility can be viewed on this site however, from the turquoise link provided above.
It is my mission to provide education and support for all adopting families to ensure the welfare of my babies and to provide the best opportunity for them to stay with their new human flock members for the remainder of their lives, as companion birds do not fare well when bumped from home to home. Please make sure your commitment to these amazing creatures and do your homework before taking on the responsibility of a parrot that may very well out-live you! Be prepared to spend the same amount of time you allow with your bird the first week, for the rest of it's life! Most of my babies are held with non refundable deposits before they are weaned.
I guarantee the health of my birds within 3 business days of purchase. I highly recommend that all birds be examined by an avian trained veterinarian and if during this 3 day interval, the bird(s) are found to have a condition that affects their health as determined in writing by an avian trained vet, Homestead's Hatchery will either refund the purchase price or replace the bird(s). Because many avian diseases are transmitted through the air, my guarantee is valid only if the bird(s) are not kept in the same air space as other birds. For this reason, I will happily keep the bird(s) at my facility for one week past delivery date or until DNA disease test results are determined if so desired. All vet bills are the sole responsibility
of the purchaser.
I offer if pre-paid : DNA sexing @ $20. (non refundable)
Meet a beautiful suffused silver (or "olive" or "emerald") chick that was a wonderful new year's surprise for 2007... this youngster is a light phase olive and will be staying at the Hatchery for future breeding.
WHAT'S NEW AT THE HATCHERY !
Jan. 2014: Handfeeding Congo greys (2 sold)
Jan. 2014: Handfeeding 1 green linnie (sold)
My First Recommendation of 2004:
" My experience with Homestead's Hatchery was excellent. I appreciated Jane's knowledge about different species of birds. She gives special care to the birds while she has them and cares about the home they go to. She recommended the right bird for our family.
From first discovering Homestead's Hatchery website to her after sales service, all was excellent.
She was a good communicator over the phone and responded quickly to my emails. I have a few birds and have had dealings with many breeders. Her business practice and ethics were second to none. I think she's one of the best. All this and her birds are beautiful too! "
M. B. - Saskatchewan
Kind Words from A Satisfied Customer 2005:
"Jane, just wanted to say thanks for another great bird. For some reason, every time I visit you, I end up adding to my flock! :) I now own 4 cockatiels from Homestead's Hatchery and could not have asked for better birds. They are great show birds, breeders and pets. If anyone is looking for quality birds, give Jane a call. If you need a reference, feel free to email me!
I knew the minute I spotted Murphy among his clutchmates at Homestead's Hatchery that he was the one. Something about the look in the sweet little cobalt linnie's eye said so. Within 2 weeks she had been fully weaned and made her home with us. As it turned out, Murphy was full of surprises, the first of which was revealed with the results of a DNA test, which actually corrected our assumption that Murphy was not a he, but a she. But she was already Murphy to us, that would never change.
This incredible little bird quickly took a place in my heart. She had a wonderful start at Homestead's Hatchery under Jane's knowledgeable and loving attention and care. Of Murphy's many qualities, it was her inquisitiveness, lack of fear and adventurous spirit that we found most endearing. Ironically it was those very characteristics that one day put her in harm's way, and coupled with a mistaken assumption on my part, resulted in a tragedy.
Regrettably, Murphy's story does not have a happy ending. But if sharing her story – as a 'warning' of sorts to other caring linnie owners – can help prevent another such tragedy from taking place, then it is worth retelling here.
My flock would enjoy as much freedom as I could give them. Murphy had become an adept flyer, which allowed her to enjoy free time with her budgie buddies that much more. She would also fly to me for visits to examine whatever I was doing, or to demand cuddles and head scratches. As she became more mobile (and curious), she developed a tendency to
'burrow' amongst the couch cushions, and even though she was never 'allowed' to do so without discipline, she would still attempt this from time to time. One morning, while I was half asleep and assuming she was still sharing a snack with the budgies, the worst that could happen... did. This is the hardest way I've ever had to learn a lesson, with no second chance. My only consolation is that it happened quickly, with a minimal amount of suffering.
Teflon pans had been banished from the house for years. Toilet seat covers always left down. Precautions taken while cooking and doing dishes. Toxic plants removed. Toys examined for hazards. I never thought this could happen, but it did. A harsh reminder that linnies have an innate tendency to seek out hiding spots whether it be the cozy folds of a towel, a shirt pocket... or something more treacherous. I've now learned that one can never be too careful.
As my first true "companion bird", Murphy truly enriched my life daily and I know she was happy and healthy to the last moment. She is and always will be greatly missed by both her budgie and human flock.
No one thinks this kind of tragedy will ever happen to them. This family listened to everything I cautioned them about parrot ownership dangers (scented candles, teflon, ceiling fans, aerosols etc.) and went well beyond the norm to bird proof their home so their beloved pet would be safe. Their preventative measures were in place more than most. Let Murphy's story be a testament to the benefits of flight trimming a companion bird. For those of you who allow your parrot free indoor flight, say a prayer and thank the Lord for the bullets you've dodged to date. Go and give your feathered friend a hug and a scritch as leaving him/her fully flighted, you too may very well experience the tragedy spoken here. Sadly, there are far too many stories like this one that go unspoken. As a breeder I hear of many. Please don't let Murphy's legacy go unnoticed. May his story save at least one cherished companion parrot through awareness and a change of attitude.
I have the best parrot. Her name is Sydney and she is confident, busy, curious, affectionate and very interactive. If you were to see us together you might not guess that she is five months old and we have only been together for 6 weeks. I attribute a great portion of our successful relationship to Jane. Jane not only raised and nurtured a mentally and physically healthy little bird, but as she prepared Sydney for life as a companion parrot, she prepared me for life with a companion parrot.
I was fortunate to find Jane and discover that she had the type of parrot that I was looking for – a Congo African Grey. When I first went to visit Jane, Sydney was only a couple of weeks old, completely naked and growling at me from the back of what appeared to be a microwave oven. (a brooder!) I was indecisive as to whether baby birds were ugly or cute, but I was certain they had the most enormous feet. I had read about parrots on the internet, was half way through my third parrot book and although I was no stranger to animal husbandry, I had never really been close to a parrot, had never touched a parrot and had certainly never lived with a parrot. Fortunately, as much as I was eager to learn, Jane was willing to share. I visited as much as I could and Jane always made me feel welcome. It was a privilege to be able to watch Sydney develop and to be able to slowly become accustom to how birds move, how they feel and how they behave. With each visit, both Sydney and I became more familiar. Jane taught me how to handle a parrot, feed a parrot, play with a parrot and understand various aspects of parrots. By the time Sydney was ready to come home, I was ready to bring her home. I felt confident and knowing that Jane was an email or phone call away was a great safety net.
I can’t imagine life without Sydney now. I am constantly surprised at how much presence she has, how expressive she is and what good company she provides. I have taught Sydney how to wave, to turn around on her perch and she is learning how to pick up items when asked. She enjoys her food, her toys and pulling my pens and markers out of their holders. Sydney will trash a scrabble game given half a chance, runs off with quilting fabrics and pulled the on/off button from my calculator in the blink of an eye. I am honoured that Sydney trusts me enough to lie on her back in the palm of my hand and she sometimes makes a soft little cooing/hooting noise that sounds like whispered sweet nothings. I got the best parrot, I’m sure of it. Thank you Jane.
First Recommendation of 2009!
Lori would be happy to answer any of your questions about Sydney and her experiences here at the Hatchery! You can email her at:
As the holiday season is upon us, you might be interested to know that fresh Christmas trees carry high levels of mold, especially aspergillus. The longer the tree is in your house, the moldier it gets. Please do not let your birds near your tree, including on the ground where the needles fall. An artificial tree is much healthier for you and your
birds. Remember to wrap it in a bag or something similar to keep the dust off between seasons! Also, space heaters can be deadly to birds. Many, especially the cube shaped ones, are internally coated with teflon and once turned on, the teflon heats up and turns into a toxic fume that often kill birds very quickly. The oil filled fin radiator type heaters are safe to use.
Christmas Concerns For Our Birds !
Sydney's new favourite game is to swing upside down from my hands and get twirled around and pulled back up by her beak and dive down again. I can hold her feet and swing her down and lift her back up over my head and she seems to think this is all grand.
Sydney is testament to: you get what you put into your parrot! African greys are highly intelligent and LOVE to be challenged and learn. To date, Sydney puts rings on a peg, drops a basketball into a hoop and for variety, decided to make it more interesting by dropping the rings into the hoop! She is now learning how to roller skate and she's just over a year of age! ...And they call them bird brains!
The companion parrot is part of the family! When including our feathered friends in the holiday season we must keep them safe.
...Of course, the holidays are also associated with lots of cooking. Confine your pet bird to its cage to prevent accidents with pots of boiling water and pans of frying food. Also, remember the danger of cooking fumes, particularly from overheated nonstick pots and pans. The release of polytetrafluoroethylene (Teflon) fumes is well known to be toxic, potentially cause bleeding and fluid in the lungs, and possible death...
Never offer sweet treats like chocolate and sugary treats to pet birds. Chocolate contains theophylline, which is toxic to birds and animals. Sweets frequently irritate the gastrointestinal tract. Items containing caffeine, avocado, salty snacks, alcohol, and rhubarb should also never be offered...
Holiday stress is not just a problem for humans. Take your bird's personality into account when making them part of your holiday. Some individuals enjoy the noise and excitement of holiday festivities, while other birds may become stressed. Shy birds may do better with a view of holiday activity from a distance.
Update On One of Our Timneh Babies...
This is 2 1/2 Year Old LUNA!
It's Amber and our Timneh Grey Luna! I just wanted to give you an update on Luna. I hope that you and your flock had a wonderful holiday season. Luna continues to be a little bundle of joy. She knows oodles of words and is quite the chatterbox. She loves to have whole conversations with people! I got her a bunch of toys for Christmas and she was very excited about them all. Luna's favourite type of toy are balls in any shape or variety, so I made sure to include a couple of new ones with her presents and she loves them all !
I'm attaching a picture of Luna playing with one of her balls. She loves to flip onto her back and use her feet to play with them. It's quite an amazing sight! The picture was taken in December 2009. You can see what a beautiful girl she is! Thank you for this amazing bundle of feathers! She's more than we ever imagined!
Luna at play with her favourite toy ball!
I wanted to send you best wishes for the new year, and let you know that I have had the best 3+ months in a long time, since I got my parrot Kaya from you :)
She has been doing WONDERFULLY, and is a joy to be around. She gets along great with my daughter & son, but is still hesitant around my husband.... unless she sees him going in the kitchen cupboards or the fridge... then she knows she's gonna be getting a treat from him. :) I wake up each morning, thinking I'm in the Rainforest.... with those wonderful sounds that she makes. My goodness, it's been fantastic hearing that, especially since I'm such a nature lover. She loves me dearly and my sisters already tease me, telling me that it's like I now have a little grandchild :)
Anyways, just wanted to tell you that I'm SO thankful for Kaya....she's definitely one of the family, and the kids ADORE her!!! Thanks again. She's very healthy, and I constantly continue to read & educate myself about parrots, in a few parrot forums online....just for extra little ideas all the time.
I also go into your site from time to time, and I LOVED that article about 'Biting'. I printed it, and let my kids both read it....so that they understood and were reminded to ignore the little spoiled brat (laughing) when she gets in one of her moods. So that helped greatly!
Anyways Jane, here's wishing you the very best for this year, and best of health....prosperity....and many blessings. May God bless you & family.
All the best!
UPDATE ON KAYA... ANOTHER OF OUR TIMNEH AFRICAN GREY BABIES - JANUARY 2010
Please email for my phone number
I’ve been keeping birds as pets for 28 years. This is the best website I have ever seen. I can only imagine how fabulous your flock is! I love everything you are all about. Your site is truly amazing. Congratulations!
Meet one of our newest flock members... a 10 week old galah named "Storm"
Obtaining a Timneh African Grey from Jane, owner of Homestead Hatcheries, has been the best experience I have ever had purchasing a pet. From the beginning, when Sage was just a twinkle in Stetson and Serenity's eyes, Jane's kind and detailed emails provided service and caring that were above and beyond anyone I had contacted regarding African Greys. Her passion for her birds is infectious, and there was no doubt in my mind that this was exactly what I was looking for, an extremely experienced and caring breeder. She provided weekly pictures, updates, information, and exceeded my expectations. As for my TAG, Sage, it is so obvious from her easygoing demeanor and fun loving personality that there is no better start she could have gotten. She is healthy, lovable, smart, balanced, social and beautiful! She is brave and sweet, and I know the reason she can take on the world so well is because of the care and attention paid to her by Jane and her flockmates in her first few months of life. I am forever grateful for my Sage. Anyone who wishes to hear further on how my dealings with Homestead Hatcheries has been, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This small letter really doesn't do justice to Jane and her abilities, she really is that good!!! Thanks to Jane for my amazing TAG, and we will only deal with Jane when we add to our flock!
Read about Sage... another timneh baby from Homeatead's Hatchery
From the moment you let our family in to see your flock family, it has been a very emotional time! Our three children were so excited about adopting a cockatiel that they couldn’t sleep! You made us feel so at ease about our adoption with your knowledge and passion about your babies, that we knew right away we had made the right choice. We have never had a cockatiel or any bird in our family before, and we had so many questions to ask and every one was answered with expertise and devotion! We look forward to many happy times with our "Coconut" and knowing that we have made a new friend in you, and that you will be there for us is a blessing! Thanks so much again!!!
The Friesen Family
The Friesens have added 3 more cockatiels to their flock family and now have 4 beautiful boys from the Hatchery. I tell you, having cockatiels is like eating potato chips... it's hard to stop at just one!
Whitecap Pionus adult
My experience with Jane at Homestead's Hatchery has been an absolute pleasure. I've had unpleasant experiences in the past dealing with breeders and shipping birds but Jane made ever effort to ensure the health of the newest addition to my family, a whitecapped pionus. Pita is an exceptional sweet well mannered lil lady with very beautiful, healthy looking feathers. Just looking at her you can tell how much she was cared for. I will most definitely be getting the next addition to my family from Jane! Any questions I had no matter how silly were answered and she always responded to my emails in a timely manner which is nice to find. For anyone looking to add a new addition to your family you really couldn't ask for any better than the beautiful babies and the excellent customer service you will get with Jane!
Alexandrea Taylor - Newfoundland - June 4th, 2013
Thanks for everything Jane, Ivy is a very gentle and loving bird and she is that way because of you and how you raised her. Chris can't believe how different she is to his parents bird Holly and when they brought her home, she was aggressive towards everyone and wouldn't let them near her.
Ivy is adjusting well to her new home and she is spoiled. She is so sweet I have been giving her plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday but what a mess she can make! It's funny to see her beak full of food, happy as can be. Today was Ivy's first vet appointment and everything went well. Here are some pictures of Ivy in her new home all of them she is sitting on her favorite perch on her balcony.
Chris and I are very happy to have gotten our bird from you Thanks again.