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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Budgie Breeding


Budgie Breeding Before breeding any species, it is important to learn as much about the animals, their personalities and the best practices to follow for responsible and ethical breeding prior to making the commitment to take on the responsibility.

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  #1  
Old 03-20-2016, 11:24 PM
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Default Been left with a massive budgie task, please help

Hi from Australia, this is my first post

I have just moved into a new property, and it came with an aviary in the yard. Turns out the previous tenant has left the birds here, which is 22 budgies and 24 zebra finches. The real estate offered to remove them, but I'm not sure whether they were going to rehome them properly or not (I'd say probably not), so I told them to leave the birds. So now I need help!
I have had no previous experiences with budgies (or finches), and I have been trying to read as much as I can (this forum is a wealth of knowledge, thanks!)
The situation is there are four nesting boxes:
1) has a budgie with five eggs in it.
2) has a baby budgie in it.
3) has a budgie with five eggs in it.
4) has two budgies in it, running around in circles, looking frustrated? I've been here two days and only seen them come out to eat, then they go straight back in.
I want to stop the breeding, as I'm guessing they are all related in some way. I can't see any French molt on any of the birds. All of their legs seem to look fine too. Should I be looking for any other symptoms?
Any help would be appreciated, especially what steps I should take so the breeding stops occurring. And will they need separating, if so, what should be paired with what, etc. Also there was a big bag of budgie seed left behind, and it looks like that's all they have had. So I would love advice on what to start feeding them.
The photo is of one of the nesting boxes
Thank you so much!
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Old 03-20-2016, 11:40 PM
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In short to stop the budgies breeding remove the nesting boxes, after the recent clutch have left the nest. U may want to add some fruits and vegetables to all the birds diet.
Zebra finches breed like cray they will breed almost any where in FaceTime seen them lay eggs in small food dishes. Best bet though is remove any nests, boxes and small dishes. They are a lot of posts in relation to breeding within the forums that will assist you, I hope this helps
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Old 03-21-2016, 12:11 AM
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Hi Mandy and to the forums!

You're definitely in the right place to learn all about these little birds that you've "inherited". It was very kind of you to concern yourself with them even though it is such an incredibly challenging task! There's a special place in heaven for people like you

I'm glad you've been reading the information on the forums, I hope it will continue to be helpful to you as you continue caring for these birds.

The first challenge is to see if it is possible to separate non-breeding birds from the ones who have chicks. Because it is in a colony breeding setting, (which is not advisable at all to have) then this may not be possible. It oftentimes can be difficult to locate who the parents are. If you aren't able to do so, you will have to monitor everything closely to ensure no tragedies occur. Candle all the eggs and see which are fertile. Is there any way to separate the budgies and the finches?

If there are no eggs in the fourth nestbox, remove it right away. Another pair shouldn't be allowed to breed. As long as you don't provide nestboxes or other places to nest, the breeding will stop. The precarious situation right now is the colony situation, because ideally, each pair should have their own breeding cage, but it's usually very difficult to tell who is the parents of which nestbox, so moving the nestboxes isn't really a viable option.

I'm glad you've been thoroughly monitoring all the birds and checking for signs of illness or injury. Look for scaly face mites, often times that is common in less-than-desirable aviary conditions and can be easily passed on to chicks in the nest. It begins as a flakey, whitish crust on the feet, beak, or eyes.

Since you are new to budgies, it might be better for you to re-home some of the budgies and only keep a more manageable number (same goes for the finches) as it may be difficult to maintain that many birds permanently. For now, though, the best you can do is keep an eye on everyone and provide the best care you can give.

Diet wise--breeding budgies should have a daily mixture of eggfood (mashed hard boiled egg) seed, pellets (the best brands are Roudybush, ZuPreem, and Harrison's, although since it seems the budgies haven't had any of this, you might want to try Lafeber's nutriberries) and vegetables every single day. For large scale situations, there are several recipies on the forums that can accomodate that number of birds that I will link below.

For non-breeding budgies, they still should have access to seed, pellets, and fresh veggies for the best diet. In all situations, cuttlebones and mineral blocks should be offered at all times as they provide vital nutrients and calcium to their systems.

That's about the most I can say right now, even though I'm sure you have tons of other questions. I dug up some links you should read to continue to expand your knowledge of these surprise little birds! Be sure to ask if you have any questions afterwards:

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...s-new-old.html

Planned Co-Parenting in Raising Tame Chicks

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...s-dangers.html

Are You Ready to Breed Your Budgies

What is Breeding Condition

Are Your Budgie's Eggs Fertile

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...gs-safely.html

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...treatment.html

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...ox-safely.html

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...s-what-do.html

Budgie Hand Feeding and Weaning Guide

Decisions About Breeding Related Birds

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...ding-diet.html

Budgie Breeding - Must Read Useful Threads

https://talkbudgies.com/budgie-breedi...revention.html

When We Don't Want Eggs

List of Stickies

Quality Seed Mix

Safe Foods for Budgies

Tips to Introducing Vegetables

Aviary Egg Food Recipe

Useful Budgie Articles

You might have read some of these, but I thought I'd put everything here just in case.

You should look for an avian vet nearby incase any emergencies occur, and to give you general advice and prescriptions if they are needed. If possible, I would locate a reputable breeder in the area as well, and see if they can assist you with some of this process.

Please, please keep us posted--I hope everything works out well! We're all keeping our fingers crossed.

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Old 03-21-2016, 01:39 AM
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Thank you for the replies and welcome!
The nesting boxes are joined together via a piece of wood, so I blocked the empty one so no birds can get in. But the two budgies that were in there are now sitting on top of it! Will they eventually move? I will get another cage tomorrow for the finches, I plan on rehoming these ones, but I should state that they're not for breeding together, is that right?
There are two male budgies sitting at the entrance of each nesting box that have eggs in them, the female is inside the box, should I assume these are the fathers of the eggs?
And last question! There are about seven little budgies with black beaks, they are the younger ones, am I right? If so, I could probably rehome those as well?
Thanks again!
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mandyjay View Post
Thank you for the replies and welcome!
The nesting boxes are joined together via a piece of wood, so I blocked the empty one so no birds can get in. But the two budgies that were in there are now sitting on top of it! Will they eventually move? I will get another cage tomorrow for the finches, I plan on rehoming these ones, but I should state that they're not for breeding together, is that right?
There are two male budgies sitting at the entrance of each nesting box that have eggs in them, the female is inside the box, should I assume these are the fathers of the eggs?
And last question! There are about seven little budgies with black beaks, they are the younger ones, am I right? If so, I could probably rehome those as well?
Thanks again!
Eventually, yes, the two birds should move. The important thing is to throw them from the breeding cycle, and the first step is to limit potential nesting sites. You'll have to keep an eye on them to ensure that they don't try and invade another pair's nest to try and compensate--that can happen, with tragic consequences.

Since each male goes to the same female each time and knows where "his" box is, then yes, it is safe to assume that they are the fathers. Are any of the birds tame at all? If so, you might be able to transfer the pairs to their own breeding cage if need be.

Yes, the little ones with the black on their beaks are probably just fledged. The black is excess melanin that fades as they grow older. You can rehome them, but you should ensure they're fully weaned and able to eat and crack seeds on their own, and have fully left the nest. Another thing you could do is separate the recently fledged chicks from the rest of the aviary in their own flight cage, you would be able to control their diet much better and get to know them so that if/when you do rehome them, they won't be absolutely terrified of people and will take to new foods.

If you would like to keep any of the birds, you can start considering that, too, and figuring out how much space/time/resources you have.

Best of luck!
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Old 03-21-2016, 02:37 AM
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wOw .........You have inherited a HUGE number of birds .

StarlingWings above has given great advice regarding what your options are.

-The only thing I wish to suggest is that you unblock the extra nestbox.
Yes , you shouldn't let any more pairs breed and must aim to stop them once the chicks have weaned.
-The biggest issue is that since you are new to these birds and budgies in general , you would have no idea about the dynamics of this flock.
Female budgies are highly territorial and aggressive especially when it comes to breeding and nesting spaces.
Blocking the entrance might cause the female using that space to try and invade the other nest box which currently have chicks.
Budgie females have been known to break eggs or even kill other chicks in competition over space.
I think the possibility of having a few more chicks outweighs the risks of your current chicks being attacked.

-Keep an eye on the budgies. If possible , try and figure out which birds are the parents or at least which ones are the moms. Once you know this , you should immediately take out all the extra hens until the current chicks are weaned.
Males are much better but there are instances of them fighting.

By taking out the hens , you will end any chances of more chicks (extra box issue sorted) . This does seem like a lot more work but at least the birds will be safe. This will only be for a few weeks though. The chicks grow like weeds and will flying before you know it .
You can always add the extra females back to aviary and then decide which birds you want to keep.

I also suggest you get a few smaller spare cages to separate the birds you do decide to keep just in case they fight.


You should separate the finches right away. I personally don't advocate it but many people do keep budgies and finches together .This is mostly in non-breeding situations. A finch stands no chance against an angry budgie mom. You could have a bloodbath with beaks and legs missing .

Goodluck !
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Old 03-21-2016, 07:46 AM
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Hi there and welcome to the forums!

You have been given excellent advice for your current situation.
I would only like to add that you can avoid that extra pair of budgies who were sitting on top of the nest box from breeding by placing them on a separate cage and to not give them anything that they can use as a nest. This change of scenery will throw them off the breeding mood and can even prevent that female from starting to lay eggs.

I have also noticed the nest box in the photo is soiled with old poop from previous clutches of chicks. This should also be addressed and all nest boxes should be cleaned. You can place a thin layer of bedding on the nests.

It would be important to try to candle the eggs to check for fertility and depending on the results, you can even remove more pairs from the colony setting. It's very possible these budgies are exhausted from back to back clutches and this will have a very serious impact on the health of the parents as well as of the incoming chicks.
Close daily monitoring of the chicks is needed in order to see if they are developing well in terms of growth (watching out for first signs of splayed legs), if they are being well fed and well taken care of (no signs of injury on the chicks).

You should also prepare yourself for the eventuality of having to raise some of these chicks in case there is clutch abandonment or if the chicks are being attacked.
Getting hand feeding supplies, a brooder, thermometer, gram scale and if possible you should also try to locate an experienced breeder who may be able to assist you in case you run into any problems with your chicks.
This breeder can show you how to hand feed your chicks or even help in terms of fostering chicks into other pairs. Given the circumstances, it would also be wise to find an avian vet specialist.

I hope all goes well and very soon these budgies will have a much deserved rest from breeding. Best of luck!
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Old 03-21-2016, 08:52 AM
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Thank you everyone again! I did notice all the nesting boxes are dirty and need cleaning - but I shouldn't do the occupied nests yet, is that right? Could I put some shavings or something in there for now, or just leave it?
So Im now trying to figure out how to seperate them. First I will seperate the finches from the budgies, then seperate the male and female finches. Then I'm thinking off putting the young budgies in their own area - I'm thinking maybe a cage inside so I can get them used to people? Then seperate the cocks and hens, finally leaving the budgie parents with the nesting boxes and eggs. Does that sound ok?
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Old 03-21-2016, 09:47 AM
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When the hen leaves the nest for a short break, you can quickly clean some of the poops with the help of a paper kitchen napkin. This can be done without interfering with the eggs. The cleaning can be done around them.
Then you can place a thin layer of pine shavings on the nest.
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Old 03-21-2016, 10:34 AM
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My heart goes out to you, this is a huge job. Everyone's advice is awesome and I think a great help would be local breeders who may be able to lend supplies/take on some of the birds for you. At the very least be a person physically close to you that can help out.

You're doing a wonderful job and it takes a very special type of person to take on a job like this with great care. Good luck! Look forward to seeing your progress <3
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