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.
First off, I am not trying to breed my budgies. I periodly weigh all 3 budgies because one of my other budgies is underweight. Lily however, has always been the biggest of the 3. She was around 48-49g 2 weeks ago, but I don't weigh her very often. She eats a quality homemade seed mix and also eats a bit of the Harrison's High Potency pellets. Periodically I offer fruits and veggies and she likes to nibble on these a bit, but sometimes ignores them. She has been looking a little big the past few days and today she was 55g. Originally I thought I was feeding her too much, but the male budgie has stayed around 30g.
She normally doesn't care to be handled much, but since she is so big she let me hold her long enough and I believe I felt a lump in her lower abdomen.
My first question is, as I am fairly new to budgies, if she lays the egg, is it okay to dispose of it? Does this tend to cause any stress to the female budgie when an egg is taken away? I don't want to take away her egg, but I would feel horrible if the baby did not survive just because I don't know what I'm doing.
Secondly, how long does it typically take for a budgie to lay an egg? At what point should I be concerned that she might be egg bound? As of right now she seems very happy and active in the cage and is flying around the house with no problem. On the perch it seems like she is feeling a little weighed down.
Is there anything I can do to prepare the cage so she has a comfy spot to lay the egg?
Last edited by PlumpyParakeet; 07-07-2018 at 05:26 AM.
A hen getting close to laying will get a swollen look around her vent and start doing big wet droppings. If she becomes egg bound she will look like she is pushing/straining at regular intervals, and become unwell looking. It is unlikely that will happen but do watch out for it.
Now, if she in starting to lay you don't want to make a comfy place for her or she will be encouraged to continue. You want her a bit uncomfortable so she decides producing any more eggs is not a good idea. Move the perches etc around, reduce her protein and if possible day light hours for a while. You may consider removing her from the others for a while if she is showing any courting type behaviour also.
If she does lay, just remove the egg and dispose of it. She won't mind at all, the urge to incubate doesn't kick in until a few eggs are laid anyway.
If she doesn't lay you may want to have her checked out by a vet to make sure she is just gaining excessive weight rather than having something wrong.
Thank you for the advice! I definitely see a bump on her lower abdomen, not right at the vent but just above it. Vent itself does not appear red or swollen. She is still actively hopping about, chirping, eating etc. When it's sleepy time, she sometimes goes from one foot to the other or sits with her belly close to the perch presumably because of her weight.
What does a straining budgie look like?
If an egg is laid would it help to put the male in the cage with my other female budgie in terms of discouraging Lily to lay more eggs?
How long should I wait before having her checked out by the vet?
We have a huge amount of resources here at Talk Budgies. We ask that all members take advantage of it. It’s fine to ask questions if you can’t find all answers you’re looking for, or would like additional feedback, but there are many answers we provide in the material that address common questions and concerns. At this time, it would be beneficial to read the Stickies in the Breeding section. You’ll find info that goes into detail. Good luck with Lily .
Thank you. I've already developed my plan to try to stop the egg laying. I guess I'm wondering if it's worth it to separate her from the male (this would also stress the male out going into a new cage) or if others have had success with stopping the egg laying cycle with the other ways (limiting light, etc). I am certainly doing all the reading I can on the issue! A few sources have said it takes ~30 hours to lay an egg, so that's why I'm wondering after how long I should be concerned?
I’ve had success with this method. I have a mature male and female together in a large flight cage, and have never once had them wanting to breed. I’ve also had a different male with my female before with no problem by following guidelines to discourage laying and breeding urges, regardless of my female being in breeding condition with a brown cere. If you want to separate your male, don’t let it hold you back because of stress. Birds are very resilient and will adjust to new situations quickly.
Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think my other bird (Plumpy) wouldn't mind having a friend so maybe I will put the male with her. It is my ultimate goal anyway to get all 3 birds together. As long as having the male there won't prompt Plumpy to want to make eggs... Will institute all guidelines for her as well!
I was just reading about the brown cere and am noticing Lily does have a brown cere. I guess I never looked to see what color it was? I think it was whitish. Seems like the brown cere is a sign to look for.
I am wondering now once the female gets the brown cere does that mean that it's too late and she is already producing an egg or just in the mood to breed?