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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 11-07-2016, 11:19 PM
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Default First time parents (and grandparents)

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to take a moment to share some photos of my first ever clutch (and newborns). I don't have any burning questions, thanks to this site which has been an extremely useful resource. The stickies have been very helpful, and I think I've done everything right in order to ensure the safety and health of my budgies and their chicks (e.g., waited until my budgies were at least 1.5 years old, separated a bonded pair into their own cage with a nest box with a concave bottom and pine shavings, provided calcium and egg food and fresh veggies during egg-laying and onward).

I'm so proud of the parents, who seem to have done everything just as they should. Momma laid seven eggs, every second day as predicted, and started incubating after the second egg (laid Oct 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22). So far, four eggs have hatched, and out of the three remaining eggs, only one is fertile (the others are clear when candled). Based on timing, I think that eggs 4 and 5 were infertile, and eggs 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 were fertile. My birds hatched: two of them together on Oct 29, then one each on Oct 31 and Nov 6. I'm expecting my last chick to hatch tomorrow (Nov 8). The incubation period appears to be 17 days, although it's impossible to know which two eggs are the infertile ones. Is it normal that two of the middle eggs were infertile? The dad pops into the nest box every once in a while, but spends most of his time loading up on food to feed the growing family.

I have a few questions, as there is some conflicting info online about a few things. First, when is a good time to start cleaning out the next box? It was starting to smell quite bad, so I cleaned it out yesterday (chick ages were 8 days x2, 6 days, and a newborn from that day that I discovered when cleaning the box). Is it too soon to be handling the chicks? I put them temporarily in a tupperware container lined with lots of paper towel. They huddle together with the tiny baby squeezing close to stay warm. Mother and father sat quietly on a perch watching until I finished. Mother came over to the nest box and peeked in the hole as I put the chicks back in, then crawled inside the second I closed the lid.

My next question is when should I start inspecting their beaks to make sure food isn't getting stuck? They look so delicate, I don't want to flip them upside down and try to look inside their mouths until I need to. How frequently should I be doing that at this stage? I was terrified picking up the newborn to clean the nest--he was so delicate.

Another question, based on the photos, is are the crops too full??? The crop on one of the older ones looks so full that it seems to be half his body size. When I looked the day after the photos were taken, they didn't seem to be as full. I've been trying to get a good look at the newborn once or twice per day to make sure he's being fed, and he appears to have a yellow liquid in his crop, although much less so than the older siblings. I'm surprised that the mother can get at him to feed him with the three older siblings being much bigger and likely fighting for food.

Thanks for bearing with my rambling post. I'm excited to share my story and some photos with you and I look forward to any advice you might be able to provide, based on my post.

Photos are of the parents (not recent--from 1.5 years ago when they were chicks) and the chicks (taken yesterday--Nov 6). I apologize for some of them being sideways.
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2016, 12:17 AM
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Cleaning the nest box now is fine.
Make sure to wash your hands wish warm water before picking up the babies so your hands don't chill them.
Clean the nest box quickly - you especially want to ensure the littlest ones don't get chilled.

As the chicks begin to grow, you'll simply want to check the outside of their beaks to see if there is food stuck to around it (wipe with a cotton ball or Q-tip dampened with warm water if so).
Also, check their feet/legs to ensure they don't have poop stuck to them and to ensure there are not signs of splayed legs.

It sounds as if the feedings are going well so far with regard to the parents caring for the babies.

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-budg...me-chicks.html

https://talkbudgies.com/articles-budg...treatment.html

Best wishes with your clutch!
I'll be looking forward to updates in the days to come.
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Old 11-08-2016, 11:47 AM
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The parents are beautiful and the babies are darling! Looking forward to "watching" them as they grow up!
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Old 11-08-2016, 12:12 PM
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Congratulations on your first chicks!
From your description and by looking at the photos, the parents are doing an excellent job in raising the chicks with your help.
Their crops are normal, they are nice and full and the chicks look great health wise.
As the chicks grow, so will the size of their crops and the mother budgie knows just how much to feed each chick.

The daily nest checks are very important to see how all of the chicks are doing, if they are clean, well fed, developing well, etc.
You can take advantage of the short breaks the mother takes when leaving the nest to have a sip of water and "go to the bathroom".
As the chicks continue to grow, you will have to start to clean the nest box more often because it will gradually become messier. As for the newly hatched chicks (less than 4 days old), if you don't feel comfortable in handling them, you can simply remove the older siblings and quickly clean the nest by using a few squares of toilet paper to sweep, pick up and remove the droppings. This can easily be done without disrupting the newly hatched chick.

I hope everything continues to go well on your first breeding journey!
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Old 11-08-2016, 11:29 PM
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They are beautiful! Congratulations I agree with the great advice offered above, and I'm glad everything is going well with the chicks

I can't wait to stay updated on their progress!
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Old 11-14-2016, 12:27 PM
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Hi everyone. I have a sad update on my chicks. This morning when I woke up and checked on the nest, the middle budgie (2 weeks old) was dead and the other three were huddled together in the corner. The mother was out of the nest preening at that time. I removed the dead chick and the mother returned to the nest shortly afterward. It's crop seemed full, and the other chicks look healthy, including the youngest (1 week old). Does anyone have any idea what may have caused this, and should I be worried for the other chicks and/or the mother's ability to care for them? How should I dispose of the chick's body? Thank you for your advice.
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Old 11-14-2016, 12:47 PM
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I'm very sorry to hear that... Unfortunately, we can't tell you the exact cause for your chick's passing. The early deaths in chicks are more prevalent before they reach one week of age, because that's when they are the most vulnerable.
If you want answers, you can have necropsy done on the chick.
Burying the chick would be a good option.
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Old 11-18-2016, 01:21 AM
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Thanks for the advice, Aluz. I'm also wondering how long I should leave the remaining eggs in the nest. They are long past their due date, and I am certain that nothing will hatch. Two of them are unfertilized, and the other had begun to grow, but the chick must have died somewhere along the way, as it was laid 27 days ago (at the latest). I read that it's good to leave some eggs in the nest for the little ones to lean on, but the youngest is now 12 days old. I don't want to leave the eggs there if there is a chance they will spread disease or cause the mama hen to incubate them needlessly. Any advice on what to do with them at this stage? I'm also including an updated photo of the oldest chicks (both 20 days old). They're quite curious and adventurous--one of them tried climbing up the paper towel to get out of the container. Here's a link to a very short video of the cuties while I changed their nest: https://youtu.be/pwQz_77sys0
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