Budgie BreedingBefore 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.
Hello! I'm a first time bird-grandma (I've owned budgies for almost 6 years, but hatchlings are a foreign territory for me), but so far everything is going well! The chick is 12 days old and is very strong and healthy (only one egg hatched; 2 of them were infertile and the mommy ate the 3rd!), and it's being very well taken care of by its mom (dad's a little awkward around the baby, but he's trying his best too). I just have a couple of questions that I'm having a hard time finding answers for.
I've read in a lot of different places that moving the nest is generally a bad idea, as it can stress out the mom and cause her to abandon it. Waffle (the mommy) made her nest in one of those Kozy Keet logs (which, in retrospect, I probably should have never offered her!) that I have hanging near the top of their cage. I know that once the chicks get older they have a tendency to try to venture outside of the nest. My birds are housed in a large flight cage, and seeing as how there's a little less than 3 feet between the top and bottom of the cage, I really don't want to risk the little guy getting hurt! Should I try to move the log down to the bottom of the cage, or should I just make some sort of ledge underneath the log to catch the baby if it should fall out?
My other question has to do with weaning the chick. I'm not going to be able to hand-rear the baby. I'm a college student and I'm gone from about 8am-5pm 4 days a week. Since I don't have the time to do it myself, I'm just going to let the parents take care of it naturally. That said, is there anything I should do to assist with the weaning process once we reach that point? Or should I leave that up to the parents as well?
Offering anything as a nesting area- coco huts, kozy keet logs are always a bad idea if you are not prepared to breed and happen upon it accidentally.
Some budgies will get broody and look for normal items in their cage like food dishes to make a nest. It's best to not encourage nesting behaviour in our birds unless you are prepared for breeding and that your budgies are on an appropriate diet and are in the correct age bracket for breeding.
I can't say whether moving the nest is a good idea, but someone with more experience will be able to advise you on that.
When it comes to weaning, you can let the parents raise the chick. Usually breeders may hand rear to try and make budgies tamer when selling them on, or if there's a large clutch or if the mother dies when the chick is very young.
It's not essential that you feed the chick and you can still interact as it gets older to get the baby used to being handled.
I suggest have a good read up on the budgie breeding section as you will find out *so* much information about your birds and the journey you are on.
I'd move the Kozy Keet Log down to as close to the bottom of the cage as possible at this time.
Since the Mom is doing a good job of caring for the baby, she should be quite willing to move right along with the "nest" site.
You may also want to place a folded towel on the bottom of the cage under the Kozy Keet Log in cage the baby accidentally falls out.
Please read the information in the following links:
When it's time for the baby to begin weaning, be sure you offer millet so it can learn to crack seeds.
Also offer fresh vegetables and pellets. Keep a very shallow dish of water near the entrance of the nest site for the parents (and the baby once it begins venturing out on its own)
If the hen begins to get aggressive toward the chick or starts getting broody (when the chick reaches about 3 1/2 weeks), you'll need to remove the hen into a separate cage and allow the Dad to continue to care for the chick until it is fully weaned.
As soon as the chick is weaned, make sure you do everything possible to discourage any breeding of your budgies in the future.
Are you ensuring the Mom gets plenty of calcium (cuttlebone and calci-boost supplement) to replenish what her body lost by producing the eggs?
Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.
Truly, the very BEST advice anyone can offer you is to take the time to read ALL of the stickies throughout the various Talk Budgie forums as well as the Budgie Articles we have posted.
These are great resources for Talk Budgie members and have a wealth of reliable information which will assist you to learn the best practices in caring for your budgies for their optimal health and well-being.