How to Hand Rear Budgies

Written by monika weise
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How to Hand Rear Budgies
Hand rearing budgies produces tame birds. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Getting a tame budgie means acquiring a hand-reared budgie. Breeders can increase the value of their baby birds by hand rearing their budgies.

Hand rearing gets the budgie accustomed to humans from the day of hatching. After the father feeds the budgies for the first time -- an event that takes place soon after birth -- you can take over raising the budgies yourself. Be certain that you have the time and the resources to hand raise your budgie, but rest assured that your efforts will result in budgies that are in high demand.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Feeding syringe
  • Incubator
  • Hand-rearing food

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  1. 1

    Locate a nearby avian veterinarian in case of emergency. Not all vets have experience with birds, so don't assume that any vet can take care of your budgie. Check with local bird groups for recommendations and interview a few avian vets before your budgies hatch in case one becomes ill during hand rearing.

  2. 2

    Purchase the supplies that you will need. Hand rearing budgies is not cheap -- make certain you can afford it before starting. You will need to purchase an incubator or brooder and special food to feed the budgies. Price the equipment you need online and at your local pet stores and buy it before the budgie eggs hatch.

  3. 3

    Set up all equipment in a quiet area of your house. Clean and assemble everything that you will be using to hand rear the budgies. Finish this before the budgie eggs start to hatch.

  4. 4

    Arrange your schedule. Hand-reared budgies need to be feed five times a day for the first four weeks. Cut the feedings to twice a day (morning and evening) around the fourth or fifth week after hatching.

  5. 5

    Remove budgies and put them in the incubator. Once you start hand rearing the budgies the parents may reject them and even harm them. The incubator will keep the budgies warm. Start with high temperatures of 33.9 to 35.6 degrees Celsius for the first week. Go down to 86 to 91 degrees Fahrenheit for the second week and down to 82 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit for the third. For the fourth week, keep the temperature at 80 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit and reduce further the fifth week to 78 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Take it down to the range of 77 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the sixth week, then 73 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit until the budgie reaches eight weeks. The budgies can safely be removed from the incubator to a cage at eight weeks.

  6. 6

    Feed the budgies. There are numerous commercial formulas of hand-rearing food available -- choose the one that meets your budget. Prepare the hand-rearing food according to the directions. Put the food into the syringe (about 2ml at a time) and place the tip of the syringe into the budgie's beak. Press down on the plunger slowly. Repeat until the budgie stops eating. Weigh the budgies often to make certain they are gaining weight.

  7. 7

    Wean the budgies. At four or five weeks, offer the budgies a commercial seed mix. Also provide chopped up fresh fruits and vegetables -- do not use canned because of the high salt and sugar content. As the birds begin to eat the seed and fresh foods, reduce and finally eliminate the hand feedings. To keep the budgies tame, continue to handle them until they are ready to go to their new homes.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not let children handle the budgies -- they are delicate and could be hurt.

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