Breeding Budgie parakeets in Nigeria
By Akindele Olunloyo
Breeding Budgie parakeets is usually one of the easiest species to breed in captivity. Budgies are usually considered good starter birds, because they can stand up well to handling and besides, this gives them a better chance to be tamed. Budgies also make great “talkers” (the male budgies especially). Budgies make very interesting pets; some people actually keep them as their only pet! Budgies are very social creatures; they like the company of others of its kind not just other bird s but you should not put two male budgerigars together, though it is best to get two females. Budgies will usually bond with their owners and can be tamed very easily. Budgies do not require any special diet, just the usual fruits , vegetables , pellets and seeds . Budgies are very long-lived birds; they can live 15 to 20 years or more if properly cared for. Budgerigars are endemic to Australia but have been introduced in many other countries as pets. Budgie parakeets grow up to only about 8 inches (20cm) long, so you don’t need too much space for them…
One of several budgie parakeet color mutations Photo source Budgerigar information Budgie Parakeet Facts Budgie Parakeet Care Budgerigar or Budgie? Budgies (Budgerigars) Budgie Care Budgie Videos Budgie Breeders Budgie Accessories Budgie Feeding Budgie Diseases Budgerigar Origins Budgie Names
Breeding Budgies in Nigeria
I started breeding budgies when I began keeping birds. At the moment, I have about 30 pairs, but it’s always better to start with just two. Start by having a pair of hens and one cock bird; you can then build up your stock while still allowing your original hen to be responsible for all the eggs that she lays while you are away at work. Get them into a breeding condition before you leave home, so that they are laying eggs when you are out of the house. Budgies are incredibly easy to breed, but have a high rate of infertility so don’t be surprised if your first breeding attempt fails!
It is best to select healthy birds for breeding. Birds that have all their tail feathers intact have already gone through one moult and are usually ready to reproduce soon after their next moult. Moulting can be induced by reducing the number of daylight hours in winter , or raising the temperature over summer months; alternatively, it can be started artificially at any time by liberal feeding with fresh green food – budgerigars love grass and can often be encouraged to moult by putting them in an aviary with lots of fresh grass to eat.
If you keep your birds in cages, you will need at least two pens ; one for the cocks and one for the hens. If you only have room for one cage, then use two different perches so that they do not fight when they are put together again. Budgies will always try to move up the social ladder . Cock birds should never be kept on pet shop perches , because these tend to be too smooth and Budgies can injure themselves when they fall.
Once the hen is ready to breed, she will start to show her condition by darkening in colour , holding her wings out from her body until the flight feathers are presented, fluffing up her crest and changing perch every now and again. The female budgerigar also has a characteristic odour during breeding season which serves as an olfactory cue to the male that it is time to mate. This smell disappears once mating has taken place. When this happens, the male Budgie attracts a female to his cage and they begin to mate. Budgies, like other parrots , have ‘ cloacal kissing ‘, during which the birds put their beaks into each others’ cloacas to transfer sperm.
Budgies are known for their ability to mask themselves so well that it is almost impossible to know where they are at times! This behaviour only occurs in breeding season though, so if your budgies suddenly stop showing up when you call, something may be going on…Also, don’t discount the poor birdie in the corner of the bottom of the cage , in a cornered off box, or in a covered plant pot. Budgies also have an extremely acute hearing – they can detect frequencies up to 30 kHz!
You might think that breeding your budgies would be easy; put two birds together and wait for them to breed. The truth is that many pairs will not get it right first time and may take several attempts before fertilisation takes place ( although it should only take about 16 hours to make sure there are no sperm left in her system after mating has taken place ).
You can get your birds to breed by simply putting them together and leaving them to it, but if you want to increase the chances of fertilisation , then there are a few things you can do. Ensure adequate calcium intake over breeding season , provide suitable nesting sites and perform cloacal matings ! If fertilisation does not take place after a couple of days, then separate the pair for at least 30 hours, before trying again. Budgies have sometimes been known to mate with their own reflection in a mirror shiny surface!
In cases where mating has been unsuccessful, the hen will have a creamy brown coloured droppings . When she becomes broody , her vent area will turn a dark reddish colour and she may pull out some of her belly feathers. Budgies should not be left to breed until they are at least 18 months old . If you decide to buy a pair of budgies for breeding purposes, please ensure that your birds come from a reputable breeder!
When the female Budgie parakeets are old enough to breed, they will establish a breeding territory which is to be defended against other budgies. The male Budgie will approach the female Budgie in an upright position with his back feathers raised . He then bows to her, lowers himself into a crouching position and flicks his wings forward.
Once she has chosen him as her mate, she will present herself for copulation by stretching out her neck , raising her body slightly towards him and opening her cloaca. The female budgie will lay a clutch of 4 – 8 eggs , which are incubated by the male after she has left them. Budgies have a very short gestation period of about 14 days and their chicks will fledge from the nesting box at around 21 days . Some breeders recommend that you change the nesting material around on a daily basis to ensure that the chicks don’t imprint on it! Budgies have been known to breed as often as every 2 weeks if kept in ideal conditions.