Jana worked in animal welfare with abused and unwanted pets. She loves sharing her hands-on experience regarding domestic and wild critters.
Sooner or later, most people who love budgies wonder about whether they should try their hand at breeding their pets at least once. In this article, we look at the reasons why you should—or should not—encourage your parakeets to tackle parenthood!
Avoid Impulsive Breeding
Budgies are easy to breed. If there is a male/female pair and a breeding box, they’ll mate and raise a family.
However, since budgies are one of the easiest parrots to breed, too many owners do so impulsively. They do not prepare properly in terms of space, a special breeding diet, and preventing exhaustion in the parent birds.
Why Do Breeding Budgies Become Exhausted?
Budgies are prolific. They will raise two or three clutches in quick succession. Needless to say, this will fatigue even the healthiest of birds. Responsible breeders also do not allow their birds to breed more than one clutch per year, giving them plenty of time to rest and enjoy their own lives.
Budgies that are tired also have a short temper and this can lead to tragedy. When one of the older chicks tries to climb back into the nest, where the second clutch is freshly laid or hatched, the mother will think nothing of attacking her own older offspring.
Reasons Not to Breed
- To entertain your kids.
- You want to sell to a pet shop.
- If your birds are younger than two years.
- If your birds are older than four or five.
- If you’re not prepared to learn how to hand-raise chicks.
- There isn’t an avian vet nearby in case the hen becomes egg-bound.
- If you aren’t willing to vet-check your breeding pair beforehand.
Tips to Breed Budgies Responsibly
Alright, let’s say that you’ve made up your mind and you want to breed budgies for the first time. You are also willing to bring everything to the table to ensure that breeding is done responsibly. But as a novice, you might be wondering how to prepare for the arrival of baby budgies and how to make the experience as safe as possible for the parents.
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The following quick guide provides an important foundation to keep you on the right track!
Consider the Future
Here you need to be very honest with your intentions and the reality of the situation. Even if you limit your breeding pair to one clutch, this could mean that you will have up to six baby birds. Do you already have good homes for them? If you plan on keeping them, do you have the space, time, and finances to provide them with good care for the rest of their lives?
Please do not breed on the assumption that you can walk into a pet shop and sell the babies. Most shops either breed their own budgies or get their birds from commercial breeders. They rarely, if ever, buy from a private individual. You might end up with birds that no one wants.
Consider the Time and Resources
Alright, let’s say that you have homes for your future baby budgies. The next concern is to provide a clean, quiet environment for the parents and offspring for the next few weeks. The entire process might last two months or more, depending on how many eggs are laid.
The hen will lay an egg every day or every other day, meaning that chicks in the same clutch can have wildly different ages. Sometimes, the oldest might be ready to explore the outside of the nest by the time the youngest one hatches.
Can you provide attention, space, and a healthy diet for the adults that includes vegetables, fruit, and supplements during this time? Getting a breeding cage, a spacious nest, and extra cages for the older chicks, plus the food can all amount to a lot of time and expenses that one must be prepared to sacrifice.
Become an Expert Before You Start
Don’t worry, you don’t have to study for ten years! Simply educate yourself about a good breeding diet, how to reduce stress for budgies during this time, signs of medical emergencies during breeding and egg-laying, when to remove the older chicks, and how to hand-raise babies in case the parents reject them. This learning is not a chore. Not only will you understand your favourite birds better but it can make the experience for you, as a first-time breeder, easier and more enjoyable.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Jana Louise Smit