Ask Lafeber


January 2, 2023

Parakeet breeding

I have two parakeets and I found an egg at the bottom of their cage yesterday. My husband went to the pet store and they told him all he needed was a small nest and a straw like material. He was told to fill the nest 3/4 full with the straw . I put egg into nest and placed it in a corner of the cage . I don’t know if I need a breeding box or what else I should do . Thank you



There is probably nothing that can be done for this clutch. She may lay up to 6, every other day. It sounds like the pet shop sold you a nest and materials for a finch or canary. Parakeets need a very large wooden nest box that would attach to the outside of the cage. It has to be large enough to accommodate 6-8 parakeets because the chicks are nearly full size before they leave it. A 1 inch layer of Aspen shavings can be added, but most likely the pair will kick these out. The floor of the box should have a concave area and this keeps the eggs together. The parents might use some of their feathers as nesting material. Generally a pair needs to get used to the nest box and arrange it to their liking before they will nest in it. They will rarely follow their eggs into it when the eggs are laid elsewhere. Of course just because she laid eggs doesn’t mean you need to get her a nest. You can discard the eggs, or if the cage floor has a metal grate, leave them there because they won’t develop on wire since air keeps them from staying warm. Also just because she laid eggs does not mean they are fertile. If you haven’t observed them mating, they probably haven’t. If you do want to let them breed, get the proper box and put the eggs in it. If the pair ignores the eggs, remove the box and discard the eggs. Wait for 6 months before returning the box. It is very hard on the hen to lay each egg, so she needs rest in between every clutch whether they hatch or not. If you do not remove the box each time, they will breed over and over until the hen dies from laying too many eggs. I know this is a lot to think about. Breeding is a lot more complicated than you would think! It’s also important that they are on a nutritionally balanced diet, and not a loose seed mix.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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