The English budgerigar is a small, lively bird also known as a budgie. These birds are related to and look nearly exactly like the American budgerigar (also called a parakeet). English budgerigars are often kept as pairs, and if a male/female pair is kept they often breed to produce more budgerigars. The resulting chicks may be kept as pets themselves or sold for profit. To encourage budgies to breed, you must provide proper conditions and a proper environment.
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Things you need
- Nest box
- Nesting material
- Food and water dishes
- Full-spectrum light
- High-quality seed mix
- Vitamin supplement
- Cuttlebone and mineral block
Obtain at least one true pair of English budgies, with one male and one female bird. The best way to obtain actual English budgies rather than an American budgie is to purchase the birds from a reputable English budgie breeder. Furthermore, ensure that the pair have a proven male and female. Male and female budgies look similar, with slight differences in markings and the male having bright blue skin around his nostrils. Have a breeder or veterinarian assist you in sexing your birds if necessary.
Provide an appropriately sized cage for each pair of budgies you intend to breed. Attach a nest box to the cage and provide nesting material such as unscented pine shavings. Provide at least two perches of different sizes, as well as food and water dishes.
Create an environment for breeding. Place the budgie cages in a room that is peaceful and well lit, with both natural light and a full-spectrum light bulb. Add a humidifier to the room to make the birds more comfortable and to aid in egg hatching. Keep the room at a temperature between 18.3 and 23.9 degrees Celsius. Turn out the lights and cover the budgie cages for 12 hours daily, consistently covering the cage at sunset and uncovering the cages at sunrise. Disturb the budgies as little as possible, allowing them peace and quiet in which to breed.
Feed the budgies a diet of organic greens and high-quality parakeet seed mix. Add a powdered vitamin supplement to the seeds or a liquid supplement to the water dish. Place a cuttlebone and mineral block into the cage for the budgies to nibble as this provides necessary calcium to keep the birds' bones healthy and produce strong eggshells. Provide fresh, clean water and seeds daily, changing out the seeds and water more frequently if they become soiled.
Tips and warnings
- Choosing a bonded pair of English budgies increases your chances of producing chicks. A bonded pair is a pair that has mated for life and has produced chicks already.
- Keeping more than one breeding pair of English budgies stimulates them all to breed during breeding season.
- Set up an extra, large cage for the chicks to live in once they are no longer under the care of their parents. Choose a large enough cage for several English budgie chicks and set the cage up similar to the way you set up the breeding cage for their parents.
- Do not change the birds' seed mix during breeding season. Instead, stock up on enough of the same kind of mix to last the season, as this helps avoid food-related breeding problems.
- Female budgies may experience complications in pregnancy, so watch closely for signs of problems. If she fluffs her feathers, shakes, droops her tail or appears in any way odd or out of character, speak to a veterinarian for advice on how to handle your bird's particular situation.
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