I've been breeding budgies from a very young age. I've been through this process more than 100 times now.
Budgie Breeding Is an Important Decision
Breeding budgerigars (parakeets) is a very delicate and time-consuming process. Difficulty and hard work aside, breeding budgies is an experience worth remembering. You won't forget the sight of the chicks hatching out of their little eggs and moving around in the box.
If you want to breed budgies, you have to dedicate some of your time to them because this process requires you to be attentive and note all the details associated with it. The budgies depend on you. So, decide carefully whether you really want to breed your wonderful budgerigars.
What This Guide Covers
If you've decided to breed your birds, you can check out this guide to learn more about the following aspects of the breeding process:
- Getting Started
- Introducing the Breeding Box
- Mating and Laying
- Incubating and Hatching
- Feeding for the First Month
Step 1: Getting Started
The first thing that you will need is a standard sized cage (39"×20"×32"). You will also need a pair of adult budgerigars (over a year old).
Place the cage in an area where they won't be disturbed regularly. Ideally, you will place them at a height of 5 feet. This way, they won't be too worried when you come to see them, and you will keep them out of the reach of children or predators.
Step 2: Introducing the Breeding Box
Once you have provided your budgies with suitable surroundings, they will start to bond with each other. If you see them feeding each other and the cock seems a lot more energetic, it's time to introduce the breeding box. You can get the standard breeding box from your local pet store. Simply hook the box to the opening on the side or the front of the cage.
Step 3: Mating and Laying
After installing the breeding box, the cock will encourage the hen to inspect the box. It usually takes 2 to 3 days for the hen to be satisfied with the box. If she is satisfied, she will start to spend most of her time in the box.
Once she is happy with the box, they will start to mate. Mating usually lasts for a minute, and they will mate several times a day. Within the next few days, the hen will lay the first egg, and the rest will follow within a gap of at least 24 hours. During this time, you must provide the pair with a good amount of calcium (cuttlefish bone is a great source). The hen will lay between 4 to 8 eggs before she starts to incubate them.
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Step 4: Incubating and Hatching
The hen spends most of her time in the box incubating the eggs, and the cock will provide her with the food she needs. It takes between 18 and 21 days for the eggs to hatch. By the 20th day, the first chick will usually hatch. Not all the eggs will hatch on the same day, as some are older than the others, and not all the eggs are fertile; some don't even hatch.
Usually, a clutch consists of four chicks, which is best that way. If there are more than four chicks, it makes things very difficult for the hen. This could result in poor chick growth.
Step 5: Feeding for the First Month
Now comes the most essential part of breeding budgies. Once the chicks have hatched, you have to provide the pair with triple the amount of food that you had been giving them previously so they can feed the hatchlings. The difficult bit is that you can't just feed them the seed mix you bought from the market; you must make soft food for them.
Proper nutrition is important so that the hatchlings get all of the essentials to grow into strong budgerigars with radiant colours. You can buy egg food from your local pet store. Still, this doesn't compare to freshly homemade egg food and the veggies you get from the market. For the next month, you have to continuously provide the pair with enough soft food so that the hatchlings also get a taste of it.
Step 6: Weaning
Once the chicks are 30 to 35 days old, they will start to leave the box and settle at the bottom of the cage. At this stage, the chicks can't fly, and they can't use the perches, either. You have to provide them with the soft food and the seed mix at the bottom of the cage so they have easy access and learn to eat by themselves. Make sure the temperature in the cage doesn't go below 77° F (25°C) as it can be harmful for the chicks.
Install a perch at the bottom of the cage so the chicks learn to use it. Within the next 10 days, the chicks should learn to eat by themselves and have some idea about flying as well. At this stage, you can even separate the chicks from their parents so they don't harm them and remove the breeding box once the last chick has come out. That way, their parents won't start the breeding process all over again.
Good Luck With Your Budgies!
I hope this information helps you in breeding your budgies. I personally love to breed budgies and would recommend breeding budgies to youngsters as it teaches them to be responsible. It's a great hobby, especially once you see the fruitful results. If you have any questions, please do let me know in the comments below. Thank you for reading!
Further Help Breeding Parakeets
Here Are Some of My Favourite Chicks
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
bookpaw on March 30, 2018: