Gather Your Supplies
The first thing to do is to get our supplies ready. You should always be prepared for anything when breeding budgies. Below you will find a list of essential supplies you must have handy;
- Breeding Cage that is at least 24 “x 16″ x 16″
- Sturdy Perches
- Water and Food dishes
- Balanced Seed diet for Parakeet
- Iodine Block
- liquid Vitamins
- Nest box
- Wood shavings for bedding
- Petamine Breeding Supplement
- Millet Spray
Choose Your Budgies & Condition Them
Now you need to make sure that you have a proven male and female budgie. A way you can sex a budgie is through the cere (flesh area above the beak). Males will have a bright blue cere unless it is an albino, lutino, recessive pied mutation, those will retain their ceres a pink or flesh color. Females will have a light to medium brown cere. If the female has a dark brown cere she is past her fertile period. If the female has a dark brown cere it will still breed and lay fertile eggs but she is not in optimum condition therefor I would advice not to breed.
Learn How To Sex Your Budgies
Another thing of importance is that your budgies must be at least 12 months old. It is best not to breed budgies that are less than a year old because it will help avoid any problems such as egg binding ( when a hen cannot pass the egg through the vent), or nest abandonment. Immature females will sometimes attack their chicks and possibly kill them.
Before you even think of placing your budgies in the breeding cage you must condition them. This is very Important and should not be skipped if you want to avoid fertility problems or health problems of the offspring.
We condition our budgies for about 1 to 2 weeks or longer. Feed your birds a good balanced diet, and provide them with the liquid vitamins, include the Petamine breeding supplement. I like the Petamine breeding supplement because it gives you a higher fertility rate and I have noticed that female budgies tend to lay larger eggs and thus produce healthier chicks. The charcoal is essential to remove any toxins in the body.
Do not forget the cuttlebone. The cuttlebone is a good source of calcium which helps the budgies and chicks develop stronger bones and helps females with egg production. You can also use a liquid calcium supplement instead of the cuttlebone. Cuttlebone also helps keep the budgies beaks trimmed. Just make sure you get a lot of extra pieces of cuttlebone as the budgies will chew through them quickly.
Add Your Budgies To The Breeding Cage
After you have completed the conditioning process it is now time to add the budgies to the breeding cage. The female budgie should be added first as this gives her time to get familiar with her new home. After and hour has gone by add the male. Pay very close attention to your birds. You have to determined if you have a compatible pair. It’s not always a match. Some budgies will not be compatible and might hurt each other or kill each other. A way to determine if you have a compatible pair is to look at the following signs of compatibility.
Compatible budgies will:
- Preen each other
- Will be close to one another
- Feed each other (Male does more of the feeding)
- Female will allow the male to follow her around
- Female will follow the male to the nest box
- Male will bob his head with excitement
- Female will become excited and will raise her tail
The Mating Dance
Mating should take place after the female raises her tail. When budgies mate, the male will do a dance that consists of jumping from perch to perch, chirping, and bobbing his head. He will then move side to side on the perch the female is in while bobbing his head and tapping his beak against the females beak. He does this to get the female excited and soon after the female accepts the males’ advances, she will stay still with her pupils very visible and start arching her back and raising her tail. Her tail will point straight up and while arched, the male will mount her and place his vent against hers. He then moves his vent against hers from side to able to inseminate her after he is done he will fly away. Mating will not last very long but it is repeated several times within a day.
Laying Of The Eggs
After mating has taken place, female budgies will start to focus on their nesting site. The hen will spend most of her time in the nest modifying it and might even throw the wooden shavings that you provided them. You will notice that her abdomen will be swelling and her droppings will become larger. It will be till about 4-6 days that she will lay her first egg. Do not worry if she lays her first egg outside the nest box. This type of behavior is common among fist time laying hens. If the egg is still intact place the egg in the nest box so that she will get the idea that eggs are supposed to be in the nest box.
Hens will usually start to incubate the eggs after the second or third egg has been laid. Incubation can take from 17 to 23 days to hatch and feeding usually starts within 24 hours. Do not fret if you notice that the baby chick has not been fed after hatching. The baby still has to absorb all nutrients from the yolk sack before it starts to beg for food. If you notice that its been past a day and the chick has not been fed try transferring it to another laying hen. If you do not have any other hen sitting on eggs then this is the time to start hand feeding.
Once the chicks have hatched you must monitor the nest at least once a day. This will allow you to see if the female is actually feeding the chicks or if she is attacking them. The development of chicks is a wonderful thing to see and experience. As the chicks are growing you will have to clean the nest box to reduce the amount of bacteria and replace any soiled wooden shavings. Budgies are born totally naked and blind, they will depend on the mother a lot. They will begin to open their eyes at about a week old and feather down will soon follow. Feathers begin to grow and their color mutations begins to emerge.
At about four weeks old the flight feathers should have grown and at that stage they are ready to leave the nest box and begin to fly. Even after the chicks have left the nest you still have to look out for them because they might not be able to eat on their own yet. Strong chicks will observe the parents crack seed and will begin to imitate their actions. Spray Millet is a good treat for young chicks that are weaning. As it is high in fat and easy to digest.
By following this guide you will have an easier time breeding your budgies. Remember that breeding your budgies is a lot of responsibility. Keep visiting back soon for future articles about budgies.