Ask Lafeber

Question:

June 6, 2022

Budgie breeding


My budgie laid five eggs, three of which hatched. They are now three weeks old. Both parents had been doing a wonderful job taking care of the babies. However today the female is being nasty to the male and not allowing him near the breeding box. They were literally fighting. I removed the male for his own protection. She does not appear to be hurting the babies. Not sure what to do, he is such a good dad. Also any tips for first timers about what to do when the babies actually come out of the box. Can they manage the cage ok, or should I give them some sort of solid bottom temporarily. Many, many thanks for your assistance, it is greatly appreciated.


Answer:

Hi Karyn,

It’s possible that the male was trying to mate with her and she was rejecting him. Are both birds 2 years old? This is really the minimum age to start breeding budgie. They are capable at a younger age, but still have some physical and mental development to go through. Younger males tend to be more interested in mating than caring for eggs and chicks. They often pressure the female to leave the clutch and mate instead. You can try reintroducing him and see if the break helped. Unless she draws blood, then some sparring is OK. But aggressive attacks can become deadly, so when in doubt, separate them.

The chicks should leave the box in another week or so. As soon as they have all left the box, or demonstrated they are able to leave it, take the box down. They don’t need to go in and out of the box. This prevents the hen from laying eggs again too soon. The pair should be rested without the box for at least 6 months in between every clutch. As for the chicks, unless the bars are too far apart on the floor grate, the chicks should be fine. Place food and water on the cage floor so they can reach it easily. You can offer the same as what the parents are eating. Also some cooked brown rice with mixed veggies can help tempt them to learn to eat. As soon as they are eating on their own and not being fed by the parents at all, they need to be moved to a new cage. Make sure they are still eating well before sending them to new homes. If you intend to keep them, same sex clutch mates can’t live together once they are over 6 months old and they can’t live in the same cage as the parents. You do not want related birds to breed.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

Subscribe to our newsletter