Parrots are cheerful flocking birds that people love to keep at home. Budgerigars with bright colors are popular. If you decide to buy birds for yourself, then it is advisable to take several individuals at once, because parrots in nature live in large flocks, they will be quite bored alone, and this can affect not only the mood of a feathered friend, but also his he alth.
If you have been keeping these birds for a long time, then sooner or later you will have to think about how to breed budgerigars. In the article, we will answer all the questions that a bird owner may have, starting with creating comfortable conditions for the reproduction of offspring and ending with proper nutrition during the breeding season. This question is not easy, so you need to prepare in advance.
How to determine the sex of a parrot
Before you start breeding budgerigars, you need to pick up individuals of different sexes. Difference between male and femaleclearly visible on the wax. This is the skin located at the base of the beak. In males, the wax has a bright blue color, while in females it can be either white or brown. From the young, it is impossible to understand the gender, since the skin on their beak is not yet pigmented, you can make a mistake when buying. This is important to know, as unscrupulous sellers are trying to sell the goods, so they can slip two males to an inexperienced breeder. However, the sex of birds cannot be determined before 3-4 months.
It is very important when breeding budgerigars at home to select a pair that is not related. The offspring of such birds is unlikely to be viable, they usually have congenital defects and soon die. It is better to buy birds for breeding from experienced sellers or in different places. Pet stores often employ dilettantes who do not know where the live goods come from, so they have no idea about family ties.
How to match a parrot with a pair
If you have one parrot, and you decide to buy a pair for him, then it is not recommended to put them in one cage right away. About a month you need to hold them in different cages, but placed close to one another. The birds will get to know each other better, but will not have the opportunity to fight. After uniting the couple, you need to observe whether they liked each other or not. It is very important. Relations in a couple are visible to the naked eye. If a good relationship has developed, then the birds will sit side by side, clean each other's feathers, the male will treat the female with food. It's interesting to watch the birds caressbeaks, as if kissing, the female closes her eyes in pleasure. Aggressive behavior or complete indifference will also be immediately clear to the observer. In this case, you are unlikely to wait for offspring.
Another important thing to know before breeding budgerigars is that the male must either be the same age as the girlfriend or be older than her. To the young, the female may show aggression and not accept his courtship. Unlike other birds, it is very important for budgerigars to have mutual sympathy between male and female. Then the established couple spends many years together, jointly caring for offspring.
Budgerigar breeding age
Birds of this species become sexually mature already from 5-7 months, but this does not mean that at home at this age one can hope for offspring. Birds are ready for breeding by 12-15 months. At an earlier age, the female may die when laying eggs. The best period for fertilization is 2-4 years of life. Only he althy birds can be bred. This is evident in their behavior. The male should be active, mobile, well-fed, but in moderation. If the parrot is sick and weak, then the female lays either completely empty, unfertilized eggs, or the chick dies while still inside the shell.
If the parrot is exhausted, then the eggs hatch poorly, and they do not feed the hatched chicks, which often leads to the death of the young. If the birds are he althy, mating takes place on time, then the abilityreproduction persists up to 8-9 years. It is advisable not to overload the female, giving her a break. It is enough if birds breed 1 or 2 times a year.
Creating an enabling environment
Before you breed budgerigars, you need to strengthen their diet. Approximately 2 weeks before the mating process, they give a mixture of eggs, semolina, carrots, add more vegetables and fruits to the diet. Be sure to first saturate the parrot's body with calcium, which is necessary for the formation of eggshells. To do this, a container with chalk is placed in the cage or a chalk is bought for hanging on the cage. It is good to give crushed eggshells in a bowl. Some experienced breeders, when creating conditions for breeding budgerigars, add a couple of drops of fish oil, for example, pouring them with millet.
The best time for the first mating is summer or early autumn. Firstly, during this period there are a lot of seasonal vegetables and fruits, parrots receive a complete fortified food. Secondly, the average favorable air temperature in the room with the cage should be from 20 to 30 degrees. Thirdly, reproduction requires a long daylight hours, at least 16 hours.
The budgerigar cage is not suitable. In order for the female to accept the courtship of the male, it is necessary to put up a house like a birdhouse. There are plastic products on sale, but it is best if the nest fits in a wooden house. It may be plywood. Its location does not matter, it canbe vertical or horizontal. The only thing the breeder needs to remember is that the birdhouse should be hung on the opposite side from the door, otherwise the female may not want to equip the masonry site due to anxiety, deciding that the place is unsafe. Sometimes the owners adapt rounded clay pots as a house. They are made of natural material, so birds also nest there with pleasure. If the bird laid eggs directly on the floor of the cage, then this must be stopped by transferring the masonry and the parrot to the house. Other females may break the eggs of others.
Another stage of preparing the house is to lay the floor with dry fine sawdust with a layer 3-4 cm thick. You can mix them with the flowers of the pharmacy dry chamomile. This will help to avoid colonization by parasites. Be sure to make a recess in the masonry house. Its depth should be at least 2 cm, and its diameter should be 10 cm. The female will be able to lay eggs there, and they will not roll on the floor. Also pay attention before purchasing a house that the cover on top of it is removable, otherwise it will be impossible to clean it.
If in an aviary breeding budgerigars occurs with several pairs at once, then a separate house must be prepared for each, otherwise the females will begin to quarrel with each other, and sometimes such skirmishes end in death. After each nesting, you need to remove the box and thoroughly disinfect it by dousing it with boiling water, rinse it with an antiparasitic agent. This will kill all the insects that are in the nest.
Do-it-yourself nest box
Before you start breeding budgerigars at home, you can design a house for parrots yourself. The horizontal box is considered the most convenient, it has more space for growing chicks, the female calmly enters and exits, not being afraid to crush the unhatched offspring. Product dimensions are shown below.
The bottom is rectangular with sides - 15 cm and 25 cm. They make it from a thick board so that it is possible to make a small rounded depression in the center with a depth of 1 or 2 cm
- Height - 15 cm. For a round inlet, the so-called notch, the diameter is 4.5 cm.
- The perch is necessary for the male to sit down while feeding the female. A round stick should peek out 10 cm from the box, and a wide step 10 cm wide and 3 cm high is attached inside. The female stands on it before entering the masonry territory.
Be sure to remove the top cover to inspect the nest, clean it or, if necessary, disinfect it. Masters recommend making nests from dried boards, they last much longer than plywood, do not dry out, forming cracks.
How to tell when a courtship has begun
In the male, the cere turns dazzling blue, outwardly it becomes mobile, quickly flies from place to place, however, like the female. A loud lekking of the male is heard, which calls the female to mate. Flying up to the chosen friend, the male touches her beak, brings her food. If she accepts his advances, then thisthe first sign of consent. Another clear sign that nesting begins when the female flies into the house and takes out sawdust in her beak.
Mating occurs as follows: the female crouches low, and the male sits on her back, pressing his wings against her body. At this point fertilization occurs.
How to breed budgerigars at home? This question worries many bird owners. The main work has already been done. The time was chosen correctly, the birds got to know each other and liked each other, the food was chosen rationally, with calcium supplements and fortified food. The house is installed, and the female begins to settle down in a new place. First, she will climb into the building, look around. And in the event that she likes the nesting place, she begins to accept the courtship of the male.
When the time comes, the female lays her eggs inside the house. You can understand the moment of laying the clutch by the movements of the tail in the rhythm of the female's breathing, the litter before the clutch itself becomes more frequent and is located, as if in a transparent bag. The process of laying occurs gradually, one egg every two days. Clutch can last two weeks, more than eight eggs are not found in budgerigars.
When the last one is demolished, hatching begins. Only the female sits on the eggs, and the male carefully brings her food in his beak, burping what he has eaten. During this period, future parents should not be disturbed, do not look into the cage without the need.
After the start of hatching, the chicks are born after 16 or 19 days, in the same order in which the eggs appeared, that is, one chick hatches every two days. They hatch completely helpless, there are no feathers, the body is covered with pink skin, the eyes are blind. The female feeds them herself, the food is processed with enzymes from a special gland so that it is easy for the chicks to swallow it.
Chicks grow quickly, you can see by size who was born earlier than others. If you are familiar with the rules of how to breed budgerigars at home, then do not forget, after all the chicks have hatched, and this is immediately clear from the quiet squeak from the house, pour more food on the bottom of the cage. Chicks also need cleanliness, so inspect the house, remove debris and waste from it. If a chick has died, then it must be immediately removed from the nest.
You already know how to properly breed budgerigars. Let's see how the chicks look and develop after birth. On the first day they are naked and blind, dark spots are visible instead of eyes. The body is covered with a yellowish fluff in some places. The head and legs are large, the neck is long. A week later, the eyes begin to open. And already on the 8-10th day, short rudiments of feathers appear, first on the head and back. From day 11, the body is completely covered with down, at the same time, sprouts of flight and tail feathers begin to appear. By downy feathers, you can already determine the future color of the baby. If they're grey, then it's a budgerigar.has the usual color, if white, then the young growth turned out to be light or with an opal pattern.
The next stage of development is the growth of upper cover feathers on the wings and tail feathers. When the chicks are 3 weeks old, the feathers are freed from the covers, and the birds already look almost like adults.
Keeping and breeding budgerigars is an exciting, but also responsible business. If you want to have he althy chicks and not overwork the female, then nesting can be arranged no more than 2 times a year. Even if the female has already laid new eggs before the departure of the chicks, they must be removed along with the house. You cannot prevent fertilization, but in the future the female will be able to rest. Happy breeding!