Ask Lafeber

Question:

September 14, 2020

Taking Care of Baby Budgies (pt 2)


Hi again,

Our two budgies laid seven eggs, to hatch anytime soon.
I read online that the parents will most likely keep mating over and over again, but if we don’t want that, can we separate them? Also, will the baby budgies mate with each other when mature? I read online that they might, but it can cause deformities. If we don’t want them to mate with each other, how do we separate the kids? We are thinking of bringing home mates of the opposite gender for each of the kids? Is that a good idea? What do you recommend we do about this? We have a 16×15×28 inch cage from petco, for cockatiels, how many budgies can that hold, and how many more cages (of what size) do we need considering we have two budgies and up to seven baby budgies coming.

Thank you so much!


Answer:

Hi Hiver,

I covered the breeding issues in my previous reply. Basically the best way to prevent breeding is to not give them a nest box. If they try to use something in the cage as a nest, such as a food dish, then remove it and give them several smaller cups for food. If they lay eggs on the metal cage grate, then the eggs will not hatch. If your cage doesn’t have a metal grate on the floor, then you need to remove any eggs when she lays them. You can actually buy fake eggs to replace them if needed. Generally you can reduce or stop breeding by limiting their daylight hours to 8-10 per day, covering the cage each evening to insure this. Move the cage to another place in the room every week or so, rearrange toys and perches, and basically disrupt any breeding attempts. Birds need privacy, stability, extra foods and longer days to be triggered to breed, so if you do the opposite, this generally discourages breeding.

For the chicks, as I said, you can’t keep them with the parents once they are weaned and you can’t keep opposite sexes together since related birds should not be bred. The cage you described is good for no more than 2 birds, and ideally only if you are getting them out to handle them every day. It’s really best to find each chick a home. If you plan for them to remain tame, then you really need one bird per cage. Even if you house same sex birds together, they tend to bond to each other and not remain tame.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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