Breeding budgies, can be a rewarding experience for bird enthusiasts. However, it's important to ensure that your budgies are in optimal health and condition before embarking on the breeding journey. Proper conditioning is crucial to increase the chances of successful breeding and healthy offspring. In this blog article, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to condition your budgies for breeding, covering important aspects such as diet, housing, health, and environmental factors.
Step 1: Nutrition and Diet
A healthy diet is crucial for breeding budgies. It's important to provide a balanced and nutritious diet to ensure that your budgies are in prime condition. Start by offering a high-quality budgie seed mix that includes a variety of seeds such as millets, canary grass seeds, and small amounts of sunflower seeds. Fresh fruits and vegetables should also be included in their diet, as they provide essential vitamins and minerals. Additionally, offering a calcium source, such as a cuttlebone or mineral block, is important for egg development and shell formation.
Step 2: Housing and Nesting
Providing the right housing and nesting environment is vital for budgie breeding. Ensure that your budgies have a spacious and clean cage that allows them to move around freely. Place a suitable nest box, ideally one that mimics the natural nesting sites of budgies, with a small entrance hole and enough space for the female budgie to comfortably lay her eggs. It's best to attach the box outside of the cage so it doesn't take space inside and most of all - gives you access from the outside. You'll need it when there are babies and you need to clean the nest daily. Provide nesting materials such as soft wood shavings. Oats are good too, which we personally prefer.
Step 3: Health and Wellness
Before breeding, it's crucial to ensure that your budgies are in good health. Keeping your budgies in a clean and sanitary environment, free from drafts, smoke, and other environmental toxins, is also essential for their overall health and well-being.
Step 4: Lighting and Environmental Factors
Proper lighting and environmental conditions play a significant role in budgie breeding. Budgies require a natural light cycle to regulate their hormonal levels and trigger breeding behaviors. Ensure that your budgies have access to natural sunlight for a ideally 12 hours a day, or use full-spectrum lights designed for birds to simulate natural daylight. Maintaining a consistent temperature between 65-75°F (18-24°C) is ideal for budgie breeding, and avoiding extreme temperature fluctuations is important. A cage should be placed close to the window to provide lots of natural light, however make sure it's not in a direct sunlight and there is a shade they can hide in when there is too sunny for them.
Step 5. Mimic rainy season.
In their natural habitat, budgies are the most likely to breed in a rainy season. Spray them with water few times a day every day to mimic rain. It'll help to stimulate their breeding hormones.
Step 6. Bonding and Pairing
Budgies are social birds and form strong bonds with their mates. If you're planning to breed budgies, it's crucial to pair them carefully and allow them to bond. Observe their interactions and ensure that they are compatible and getting along well. It's best to pair budgies of similar age, size, and temperament. Provide ample time for them to bond before attempting breeding, as a strong bond is essential for successful breeding. You can tell your budgies are bonded by watching their behaviour. They preen and feed each other, play together and interact, spend lots of time together. They may bicker from time to time, but that's normal. Budgies that are not bonded would spend all their time separately, not interested in each others presence, not interacting.
Step 7. Budgie cere colour
Budgie male is in breeding condition most of the time. His cere (a part above her beak, with nostrils) is solid dark blue and smooth. When not interested in breeding, his cere might be a bit lighter blue (but not pale or powder blue. If your budgie has cere of that colour, it tells you it's a female!)
As for a female - you can tell she's in breeding condition by, again, looking at her cere. When out of condition - her cere is white or pale blue and smooth. When she's coming into condition - her cere turns beige or pale brown and gradually gets darker. When in breeding condition - her cere is medium to chocolate brown, thick and crusty. When it's very crusty and very dark, it means she has reached her peak and should be coming out of condition. Breeding condition may last weeks, sometimes a couple of months.