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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The purpose of Talk Budgies is to promote the best practices for the care, health and well-being of budgies and we welcome those who truly want to learn.

Learning must always begin with a strong foundation on which additional knowledge and experience is then added.

Ideally, our learning should never end as new information becomes available and best practices change over time.

I'm posting this thread because I find myself saddened and quite concerned as I read many threads in the Breeding Section of the forum.

I find it hard to understand why anyone with little or no knowledge of basic budgie care and limited experience in interacting with budgies thinks it is OK to jump right into breeding.

Whenever I see threads by such individuals who join the forum, indicate they just bought a pair of budgies and then proceed to ask multiple questions about breeding, my heart sinks.

The health and well-being of the budgies should always come first.

Budgies are living creatures and thus are valuable and precious. When we bring budgies into our lives, we are taking responsibility for them. It then becomes our duty to provide the very best in their daily care, housing, diet and love in addition to any Avian Vet care necessary to give those budgies healthy, happy and long lives.

Too many people seem to think it's OK to get a male and female - put them in a tiny cage, stick in a nestbox and hope the pair will breed because it would be fun to see all the tiny babies.
This is neither a mature nor responsible way to approach something which should be taken seriously.

Budgies are not toys, they are not playthings and they are not "disposable pets".

In my opinion, if a person does not have a good strong foundation in budgie knowledge (how to identify gender, what signs indicate the health of a bird, what size cages are recommended, essentials for diet, optimum heath, how to help prevent bumblefoot, how to introduce new foods, signs of budgie illnesses, etc.) the individual should not even be thinking about breeding. Acquiring the basic foundation of knowledge regarding budgies and their care is the first step. Only after that knowledge is acquired should one begin to build on the foundation by engaging in extensive personal research to learn the best practices in budgie breeding.

Anyone considering breeding birds that are too young or too old, are related, have health problems, or are aggressive is not putting the health and well-being of the adult birds nor the potential offspring first nor are they observing responsible breeding practices.

My plea is that ALL members of this forum take the time to seriously consider the health and well-being of their budgies.
Doing so should always be our primary concern.

If you think you want to breed budgies, then learn the basics. Take the time to read the stickies and learn about budgies, their health and their care.

Don't expect staff and other members to spoon-feed you the information.
Be responsible and take the initiative to the read and learn from the information already available on the forum.
Use the links provided and read the Budgie Articles and Stickies at the top of every section of the forum.
You'll be amazed at what you can learn.

Take the time to get to know your birds, their personalities, temperaments and health for a minimum of six months before considering whether or not to make the decision to accept the responsibility and commitment necessary to breed following the best practices.

When you've reached that point, then begin your research by reviewing stickies at the top of the breeding section of the forum again.
Take the time to really study and learn the information; read the breeding journals of others and become aware of the problems others have encountered.
Recognize that unexpected challenges can and do arise.
Have an Avian Vet or an experienced breeder you can depend on for help.
Assemble everything necessary for hand-feeding should something unforeseen happen where you need to step in to assist the parents with the clutch.

Please take the steps to learn the basics, do the necessary reading and research on your own and make a mature commitment to breeding responsibly before posting
questions on the topic.

Recognize the goals of the forum and respect them.
Always put the health and well being of your budgies first.
 

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Member of the Month June 2014
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This is wonderful information Deb for those who breed birds... I hope those members take notice of this information on breeding there is a lot of work in it...

As Deb said budgies are not toys they need to be cared for so they don't get any diseases.... If you don't know a lot about breeding before you go Into it you should do research on it....

It also takes a lot of money to care for breeding budgies... If people aren't going to care for there loved birds they shouldn't have them....

I hope everyone reads this well researched information that Deb has provided....
 

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I also feel very strongly on this subject. Any responsible pet owner and in this case a true bird lover should always have their beloved birds' best interests at heart.
The primary goal should be to give a loving and safe home for their birds to thrive, to promote a happy, healthy and stress free environment for the pet birds to truly flourish and to actually enjoy all the advantages that come with pet bird ownership. To get to know their personalities, to watch them play and interact with us and their mates, to teach our birdies to trust on us and to see the bond and friendship develop between pet bird and owner.
This is the true joy of pet ownership, to have the friendship, comfort and unconditional love from a much beloved pet.

All of my birds, breeding pairs included are first and foremost my much treasured pets and integral part of my family, just like they accept me in their flock.
We all share a connection of mutual trust and love. This also facilitates the breeding process for obvious reasons.
While I have been breeding budgies for over 20 years, I still consider myself primarily a true bird lover/enthusiast and will always feel this way in my heart.

The heart has to be in the right place when it comes to being a good pet owner and responsible breeder.
 

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Member of the Month November 2014
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Very well put, Deb. As many of you know, I want so badly to breed my birds. I am ready, and know what I should know, and have an avian vet on staff so to speak. I am ready. That doesn't mean my girls are. You all know how badly I want little pinkies in my house, but I would NEVER put them through the exhausting stress that breeding brings when they are not ready.
 

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Long Term Active Member Award April 2015
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I wholeheartedly agree with this. While I do not breed my budgies I do breed my pair of tiels. My pair (all my birds) are fed a good diet, not just when breeding, but thruout the year. They have big flight cages and plenty of free flight time in the bird room. They are handled daily and are my pets, not my breeders. I allow 1- 2 clutches a year and have a long rest period between clutches. I do not allow them to double clutch. I pull my babies when they are around 3 weeks, however I allow my pair access to the babies when I feed and they actually feed alongside of me... It is funny to see the parents come and eat the formula off of my spoon and then go feed a baby. Handfeeding is not really what I would call fun, although I do very much enjoy it. It is messy and time consuming, and that is when everything goes well... When things go bad it can be heartbreaking. I spend at least 4 hours a day feeding and interacting with my babies when they are smaller, and that does not include cleaning brooders and or cages, dishes or looking after the parents.
 

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No truer word's can be spoken, or firmer fact's given on this very important topic. Thank you Deborah, and thank you for putting
it at the top of the breeding forum so it can be easily found for future use...:)
 

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Member of the Year 2016//Exceptional Service Award
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A Heartfelt Plea

What a profound Christmas Message. Thank you Deborah.

When after several years of being budgie parents, you decide to "try" breeding: STOP! please. Take a deep breath and make a list of all that is needed to start a breeding program.

Anyone considering this process should at a minimum, have a full year as an assistant working under the guidance of a Champion breeder with a minimum of five years experience or more would be great. Learn to :muck out the flights and all of the not so glorious parts of the program. What happens when you feel under the weather? Who will be your back up team in the future? Purchase a book on avian embryology and pretend that you need to make an A in a college course on the subject. Really great preparation Would be a college degree in Biological Sciences or perhaps training as a Vet tech. with experience working under a vet that is certified in avian care. Maybe work in a avian rescue as a volunteer. The point is to see how you function in a hands on situation. Can you give CPR to a bird? Do you have and can you use a basic first aid kit for birds? Do you have the necessary funds for supplies and vet care. You can not wake up one morning hearing the clutch in the breeding cage calling for food and you have nothing to feed the parents. You have to be ready to think out of the box when facing an emergency that you have never experienced before. Be able to apply your intelligence in new ways and stick to the process till the birds in question are safe. These are just some of the impossible to predict issues a good breeder must face and find solutions for. I was blessed to see a bird die during an AI procedure and watch as it received CPR and Lazarus lived another 5 years and fathered several regular healthy clutches, If you do not know what AI is you need to do a bit more study before you decide to be a breeder.
What Deborah, And Ana have indicated above are absolutely critical. Have you read and committed to memory the text of the Challenge and The Budgerigar? Can you face stumbling blocks and keep moving toward your goal?
Any Good breeder faces these emotional doubts and challenges. Can you pass the test of emotional maturity which is an intrinsic part of becoming a good breeder. This is serious and no one on the Staff of TB is laughing!!
Some times we cry and our hearts ache. Please heed Deborah's concerns.
Blessings, Jo Ann:p
 

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Thank you,Deb!:hug: I think a lot of people who want to breed budgies are not aware that breeding also can cause problems. What if the hen doesn't feed her chicks? What if one of the chicks has a splayed leg? That are some problems the most people who want to breed budgies don't think about.:(
 

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I think a lot of people who want to breed their budgies do so because they like babies. But much like with kittens, no one plans what the heck they are going to DO with said babies once they grow up. Babies don't stay babies forever, and unlike kittens you can't just get a budgie spayed/neutered. I don't breed my two because I don't have a solid proper plan for the chicks; goodness knows I'm crazy when it comes to the care of my animals and I wouldn't be able to part with any animal of mine without knowing they were going into a home that wouldn't have the same level or higher of care, and no one I know personally can/would do that.
It's as great a responsibility as having a human child in my opinion. Greater as human children at least grow up and can take care of themselves.
 

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I'm so glad you made this post.

I hope new members here see this and take note of it. I do feel like a lot of owners get budgies as they are a cheap pet and they think they're going to have a cute little bird talking and sitting on their shoulder in a few weeks and that having babies will mean more tame loveable, squeezable little critters!

It's a shame more people don't research first. I'm so grateful to have found this forum and have used the vast knowledge on here to make sure my budgies have the best care.
 

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Member of the Month November 2014
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Brenda, you aren't kidding. It actually upsets me that people don't think before they do when it comes to topics like this. And the only reason I don't say something, is because I don't want to rock the boat, so to speak.

Deb, you did a great thing by creating this thread. I hope people not only see and read this, but listen to it and put it into practice!!! Reading and understanding is unfortunately only half the battle. Free will in humans or anything really, is something that we obviously cannot control.

Excellent thread, and I do hope that EVERYBIRDIE reads, understands, and put into practice everything here,

for the health and well being of the BUDGIE, not their own satisfaction.

The minute you decide to bring an animal into your home is the same minute you give your life to said animal. Your decisions from there on out should revolve at least somewhat if not completely around, "how will this effect my '___'?" I do this every single time I do anything. Especially with the birds, as fragile as they are.
 

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One thing that has not been mentioned and that I think is very important is that every bird owner should learn how to use a crop needle regardless of whether they are going to breed or not. This is the most accurate way of medicating any bird as you know for sure they are getting the right dose of medication and not hit or miss with putting medication in water. If you have a bird that is weak and in need of sustenance then you can crop feed them or at the very least give them fluids with electrolytes. Dehydration often kills a bird quicker than the illness they are suffering. I can't count the amount of threads I have read with people having difficulty medicating birds with just a syringe when the bird ends up getting more on its face and not down into its crop.

If you do breed and you have problems sometimes a baby is too weak to be able to eat from a spoon or a syringe, the crop needle will get the food directly into the crop without any effort from the baby and not all over the baby and you and also when used correctly food will not get into the lung and make the problem worse, with the spoon or syringe food can accidentally be aspirated.

A crop needle is nothing to be frightened of. I have done demonstrations at a number of bird clubs and am amazed at the experienced breeders that have no idea of how to use one and are terrified of using a crop needle. They end up relying on someone like me to save their birds or lose their birds because they can't use one. After a few feeds the babies know what it is all about and will take the crop needle down into their crops nearly by themselves.

While I prefer to use a spoon to hand raise babies as I can get the food slightly thicker and don't have to feed as often because the thicker food digests more slowly (enabling more nutrition to be absorbed) I have also found that the crop stretches differently with the spoon over the crop needle. Where with the crop needle the crop stretches more vertically and the spoon it stretches more horizontally and is a more natural way of feeding for the baby. But some babies actually prefer the crop needle for feeding and don't like the spoon at all and do far better when crop fed.

I had to learn how to use a crop needle when I first started hand raising as I had been given a bird that had to have radical trimming of an overgrown bottom mandible of his beak. The beak had to be cauterized and using a spoon or syringe would have damaged the scab that had formed on the beak and the baby would have bled to death because of it. I am so glad that I learned how to use the crop needle, this ability has saved many birds over the 20 odd years that I have been using one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you for providing that excellent information, Kate.

For those looking to properly use a crop needle, please discuss the matter with your Avian Vet or a trusted experienced breeder.
Ensure you are taught the proper procedure so as not to injure your budgies during the process.
 

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This is a wonderful post and very well put, besides.

It makes me nervous and upset, like it does all of you, that people would consider breeding as some sort of art project and not the months-long commitment of love, care, the need to be on call 24/7 for these chicks and their parents, even, as mentioned, after the chicks are grown.

Oftentimes, sadly, I feel that many individuals think that the value in a budgie is that they are "easy" to breed and inexpensive compared to larger birds.

Of course, this is entirely untrue. Yes, it is harder to breed Amazons and Macaws and Quakers--but does that mean budgies need any less care because of it?

No. Certainly not.

Any animal deserves to have the correct and experienced care during their lives. When you bring a budgie into your home, they become your responsibility. Yours, and yours alone, and your bird deserves for you to tend to it's every need and do your part in researching.

It doesn't matter how "easy" something is to breed. These are not guppies--you can't just put them in a tank and vóila! A few weeks later, babies!

That is not how it works and I would add my voice to the anxious pleading of all of us on behalf of all budgies and their owners out there. Please, please understand that you can't just "breed budgies".

First you must understand them, trust them, care for them, research them, and love them, for the well-being of everyone involved.
 

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Actually it is not really any harder to breed Amazons etc. it is just that it takes a lot longer for them to reach breeding maturity and then they only usually have one clutch per year, where the smaller birds can breed much more regularly and reach breeding maturity at a younger age, but then their lifespan is a lot smaller than a Macaw. With a Macaw it can take up to 15 years for them to reach breeding maturity. Even my Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are not at breeding age until they are at least 4 to 5 years old for the male and 5 to 6 for the female, they only breed once a year with a clutch size of 2 to 3 chicks. And they can feasibly live to be 100. I knew one that was 94 and had been through 3 generations of the same family.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thank you to all who have posted about the importance of learning as much as possible about budgies, their health, care and well-being before considering if accepting the responsibility and commitment necessary for breeding.

You guys are great! :grouphug:

I truly hope all who read this thread will carefully consider the importance of every life brought under their care.

My sincere wish is for everybudgie to be given a safe and loving home with an owner who provides everything possible to offer them a long and happy life!
 

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Member of the Month August 2015
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I totally agree with the message here. I wanted to add that, being rather naive when I first acquired my budgies, I ended up with eggs and raised 2 healthy chicks with the help and support of this forum. It was an eye opener for me, that's for sure. The result are two wonderful adult babies and..... I have a hen with chronic egg laying issues. It breaks my heart to think of people subjecting birds or any pet to breeding for 'fun'. If I had pursued breeding my hen, I believe she would be dead by now.
And (I'm on a roll here), what do people do with the offspring? It's not like there is an unlimited market for chicks from uneducated breeders. The whole idea is highly unethical to me. OK... I'm climbing down from that soapbox. Long story short... I'm really glad Deborah posted this and so many knowledgeable and caring owners have added to the conversation.
Done. :)
 
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