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What do i do now?!?

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Guest chickychicky

I am so relieved i found a site with a related topic, because just a few days ago, my budgies decided to mate. The hen is around 19 months, and the male is about two years old. I have decided to go along with it, because i have the space, vet, and time. What makes a good nesting box? What do you put inside it? Should i give the hen a vitamin supplement or something? How long does incubation last for? Any behaviour i should expect? Pleeaasseee be kind and give me some advice. :angel1:

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Guest Mr C

I find the best nest boxes are ones that open from the side, with door sliding up and down as well as a false floor that can slide in and out. It's easier to clean out droppings when they build up and in general easier to manage. I don't put anything in my nest boxes although it doesn't get very cold where I live. All I place is concave round groove in the false floor so the eggs don't roll around.

In terms of diet plenty of veges and good quality seed mix is essential, vitamin block won't do any harm because she needs plenty calcium to produce good eggs the best thing to use is cuttlebone.

If you can, place two nest boxes in so the hen has a choice, as it makes her feel more special if she can choose her own instead of being dictated too by us humans (Laughing out loud). Once the nests are in she probably choose one fairly quickly (couple of days) and the you won't see her come out very much at all, the male will feed her and keep her going. Make sure the nest boxes are large enough to house two adults plus the babies, some males also will go in the nest at night and to feed while others choose not to enter it at all.

 

But my best advice is get as much education as you can, which your obviously doing being on this site. Get a couple books from your local library because there is quite a bit to know. there are lot's of pifalls and unsuccessful breeding can prove to be heartbreaking for both you and your budgies. Things such as the hen being egg bound, or eating eggs, or throwing eggs out, or plucking feathers from young ready to fledge and killing them are some of the hazrds to be aware of, so it pays to read as much as you can about budgie breeding so if you notice anything not quite right you'll be in a better postion to handle it. Feel free to ask as many questions as you wan't and please keep us posted on how things are going.

 

Goodluck

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I agree with Mr C..

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Is there any way that Mr C's post could be pinned? It is a very good piece of advice and gives necessary information in a calm and gentle way. It would certainly save a lot of heated discusions whenever new breeders or potential breeders join. :)

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Guest monsoon

It is very irresponsible to breed with no knowledge of it, how can you offer the best support to breeding part if you haven?t read up on diets, behaviour and make sure they have been to the vets for a check up?

 

Go to a library and borrow a few books if you can't afford to buy one.

 

I suggest you don?t let them raise chicks until you have done the proper research.

 

Claire

xXx

Edited by monsoon

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It is very irresponsible to breed with no knowledge of it, how can you offer the best support to breeding part if you haven?t read up on diets, behaviour and make sure they have been to the vets for a check up?

 

Go to a library and borrow a few books if you can't afford to buy one.

 

I suggest you don?t let them raise chicks until you have done the proper research.

 

Claire

xXx

 

I disagree. Do we tell our kids they can't "breed" or are irresponsible until they've read a few books or looked into babies' diets, behaviour etc? Maybe, but we don't criticise them for it we offer support & advice.

Everything in life is learnt from trial and error including budgie breeding. Knowledge is gained along the way from various sources, more experienced people is an invaluable source of information.

I would suggest you offer our young novice some helpful advice and encouragement instead of criticism & negativity.

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Guest Mr C

It's all a matter of balance. You are not a bad person or irresponsible if you don't know every single little thing about breeding lovely budgies and when you first start it can be quite daunting. You can read as much as you like and I reccommend you do, but you don't really start learning until you put it into practice. The development of successful breeding skills is ongoing.

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Guest Lin

It's really hard to know what you need to find out before breeding. Mr C's previous reply was really helpful to point you in the right direction.

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Guest monsoon

at the end of the day it is irresponsible, people wouldn't just go out and breed larger animals such as dogs or horses without knowlege would they?

 

I am happy to offer as much support and advice as someone needs, but i get really angry when people do things without any research.

 

Before i breed mine i read every single bit of information i could find on the internet, bought numerous books cheap on ebay & amazon, contacted a few local breeders who where more than happy to help me and answer questions and then i had decided if i could give them the time and effort needed to help (you never know what could happen).

 

But it has kind of worked out okay, i managed to fracture my ankle :) so i'm home all day and night at the moment.

 

Claire

xXX

Edited by monsoon

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I'll pin it for awhile Bea. :P

 

I agree with what Mr C has told you so far. My nest boxes were roughly 6" W x 9" L x 6" H. I did not use anything for bedding, tried to but the male kicked it all out. The bottom of the box was flat with no concave, and my hen laid the eggs in the corner of the box furthest from the entrance hole. They did not ever roll around unless she turned them. The top opened, and both sides had sliding partitions, although I never opened the side parts. Her mate was allowed in the box with her, but not all hens will allow this.

Make sure their diet is as varied and fresh as possible. Hopefully your birds have been eating well enough already that they have a good vitamin and mineral reserve in their bodies as they will need it. A good mixture of seeds, pellets, fresh veggies (esp green ones) and some fruit will form the basis. Add egg food if they will eat it, and make sure there is a cuttlebone or calcium perches in the cage for the birds. Your hen will probably make short work of the cuttlebone. I also would clip a sprig of millet near the entrance hole to the box so my birds could stick their heads out and have a snack without leaving. :blink: I'm not sure how tame your birds are, but my male would follow me into the kitchen for spinach...they really crave green veggies at this time.

Check the nest box about twice a day (morning and evening) to make sure the hen is alright. Many people will lightly tap on the side of the box before opening the top to let the hen know you are there and are going to check inside. Sometimes she will leave, sometimes she won't. The eggs will be laid about 10 days or so after mating begins, one every other day until the hen is satisfied with the clutch size. This varies from bird to bird. Normal size averages 4-5 eggs, but you can get up to 8 or 9. It's very possible they will not all hatch, especially if this is the first time they are becoming parents. Raising baby birds is a skill they naturally have, but rarely get it perfect on the first try. Sorta like people. :) The hen will keep the inside of the box very clean and should not defacate inside it. Once the eggs are laid and she begins to sit on them in earnest (usually by the second egg) she will hold it in so that when she does leave the box to eat and poop, the feces will be very large and bulky. Instead of going every 15 or 20 minutes like usual, she may only go 4 or 5 times a day. She may act like it is hard for her to go, but that is normal. When you see the size you will know why. They will remain large until the male begins to take over the feeding duties and she gets a bit of a break and leaves the box more often. If your birds are indoors and normally get let out to fly at certain times, keep to that schedule. The hen may or may not ever leave to get exercise, but at least she has the opportunity. Keep to their same schedule, just try not to disturb the hen when she is in the box.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Keep asking questions as you come up with them. :)

Edited by Rainbow

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at the end of the day it is irresponsible, people wouldn't just go out and breed larger animals such as dogs or horses without knowlege would they?

 

 

 

Err Yes in fact a lot of folks do. Have a look at a paper at the pet section and see all the dogs and cat mixes and I can bet you that over a third of them were not planned in the lest.

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Guest chickychicky

erm...the point of this was for information, not to cause world war 3 >.< Granted, i am a novice, but i won't quit what i love doing because of it. Everyone started at the beggining, budgie breeders aren't just born naturally. Maybe i panicked a bit much. I am aware of the many hazards, i have stocked up on higher grade seed, calcium blocks, and nesting boxes. I know about gestation period, bad eggs, candling, and growth stages. My eyes are sore with the ammount of webpages i have read :blink: I just wanted to be sure i had some more knowledge from someone who has bred budgies before. Thank you for the advice, and if you criticise me, please take into account that you don't quite know my exact degree of knowhow, and i won't get any further by harsh words. Thanks all ^.^

 

:)

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:blink: Well seid there Chicky :D

 

Great to hear the wrok you have put into gaining all you can in the last little while. How are you birdies doing? Any more sign of eggs? I know I panicked over small things too when I breed my darlings.

 

I hope we hear lots more of your growing family soon.

 

oh and world wars happen here sometimes don't take it heart. I think the count here is up to world war 16. :)

Edited by nerwen

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Guest Lin

Sure does Chickychick. Breeding and wingclipping are 2 things sure to start a war here! But, everyone's just expressing their opinions, no one ever tries to make personal attacks. They're just a couple of things that people have very strong opinions on!

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Guest Mr C

Go for it! Chickychick - you have my support.

Yes I agree with Lin, try not to take on board the harsh words of others, but do take the positive side of what they may say - really they are only trying to improve the hobby/industry and mean well.

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Chicky Chick I hope you have been successful with your breeding. I would love you to bring us up to date on how you went.

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Guest eterri
Is there any way that Mr C's post could be pinned? It is a very good piece of advice and gives necessary information in a calm and gentle way. It would certainly save a lot of heated discusions whenever new breeders or potential breeders join. :D

I agree he gave good advice but I disagree that it should be pinned. I think it was budgeover who started a topic not long ago that asked what we thought should be done before breeding and I feel that would be better to pin because instead of teaching how to breed, it covers what should be done BEFORE breeding. I just worry that a beginner would read Mr. C's reply and think that there's little else they need to know.

 

To chickychicky:

 

I wish you luck in breeding and hope that the breeders here can help you. I do want to point out though, that there is NO way they can teach you everything you need to know in such little time. You'll also need to find a good breeder or vet who can *show* you how to handfeed the chicks in case that becomes necessary. You should have your two parent birds given a well bird check and discuss breeding with your avian vet before starting. Also, if you aren't sure of their backgrounds and ESPECIALLY if you aren't sure they are unrelated you should not breed this pair at all.

 

In my opinion, rather than rush into breeding them just because they've mated, I think you should use this time to get -thoroughly- educated and only allow them to breed when you know everything that you need to know.

 

In other words, NO we are not born with this knowledge but it would be VERY irresponsible to go forward with breeding until you acquire it. Not just a little of it, not just tidbits that people offer you in a message forum but also reading books, visiting breeders, etc.

 

Please don't add a nest box until you're fully prepared. I urge you to read through the breeding section and you'll see some of the things that can go wrong. We had a member here recently whose baby budgies' beaks became deformed and they were never taken to see a vet. I've seen someone who recklessly bred their budgies and ended up with a splay-legged baby who never saw a vet and eventually starved to death because she stupidly thought the parents would feed the chick forever.

 

It's great that you've come here asking questions first, you're on the right track. Just get as prepared as possible and please please please do this with the budgies' best interest in mind. Baby budgies are great but we have a responsibility to those parent birds as well. We also have a responsibility to budgies in general as careless breeding has led to so many of their problems leading to shorter life spans and lower quality of life.

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Guest pixie25

welcome to the forum!

 

i agree with eterri on this one.

 

i dont think claire was being harsh at all - its a fact that breeding any animal without all the necessary knowledge is irresponsible. yes a lot of people do breed animals without looking into it properly but then just look at the amount of strays and the animal shelters that are full to the brim.

 

birds can be difficult - there are numerous problems that could arise, for example chicks can die if handfeeding is done incorrectly so i think its a good idea to have people near to you that are on hand to help you or have taught you what to do. its one thing to read things from the net but its so much better to have someone experienced you can ask about things and can actually show you.

 

im glad you found this forum and it will definitely be an invaluable source of support and info for you - i think its just a matter of making sure you have read up on any problems that could possibly arise (deformities as such), and if you are confident that you would be able to cope with this, then i am pleased for you and only at that point would i add a nest box. :D

 

it is a very good idea and in my opinion very important to get both parents screened for aviary diseases such as polyomavirus before breeding. such diseases are fatal to unweaned chicks. your avian vet can do these tests for you if you request them. birds can act as carriers of certain viruses and not show any clinical signs of illness.

 

good luck with it all, people here will definitely be able to help you with any queries you have along the way if you do decide to breed them.

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Guest luvbudgies

The first lot of baby budgies we bred we never knew about them until the were 2 weeks old. That was in 99. We knew very little on breeding budgies we were olny starting out. we then bred a diferent pair in the end of that year and I got my missie. she and Bluey who was from the first nest are now in birdy heven Bluey died of an illness in 2004 and Missie was killed by my sisters Jack russel cross in December 2004. since 99 we stoped breeding as a virus wiped out all our budgies not including Missie and Bluey. I brought 2 new birds in 2002 followed by a cock in 2003. I mated the cock with my lutino hen which i brought in 2002 and while I was breeding them I was reading up on the incubation and time the chicks spent in the nest. the babies came out early and i found out that while breeding in seperate cages the usually do. I have bred lots of babies since. Last year my babies were dieying for no cause at all but now I have baby budgies coming out of my ears. I have to disagree and agree monsoon. Everyone starts at the begining and the begining is knowing nothing and learning as you go along.

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Guest monsoon
I have to disagree and agree monsoon. Everyone starts at the begining and the begining is knowing nothing and learning as you go along.

 

but you shouldn't start your learning curve with actuly breeding them!!

 

Go learn, read books, internet pages, ask other for advise, but never 'just' add a nest box and see whats happens!!

 

Claire

xXx

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Guest luvbudgies

Reading does not help completley I've read and some this I have read are not correct. you only read the books and take what you think is helpful in consideration. To learn you need hands on experiance not reading. Reading is only a guide.

 

I have bred Redrups and Rosellas also with not knowing much about them. I've tamed a Redrup and books say you can't tame a redrup as they are too flyty. Books say you should never put Rosellas and Budgies together in an avery. My rosella and my budgie hen are the best of friends. Books also say never to put redrups and budgies together. Again we have and they get along just fine. Books also say that budgies breed better with another pair. When we lost all of our first lot of budgies and in 2002 went out to get another pair. They were the only two inside. all the rest was in an avery and 1 in the house. they were alone and they bred quite well.

 

See when I mean that you can only take some of what you read into consideration.

 

I'm not trying to start an argument but Hands on experiance is in my opinion the best exsperiance a person can have.

 

Does a lion read a book to learn how to hunt prey. It learns by imitating, Does a turtle read a book to direct it to the sea when it hatches. No it learns by instinct. As I am trying to say. You don't always need to read books to breed animals.

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Guest eterri

Of course you don't need to read books to breed animals! If that were the case, none of the stupid people who breed carelessly would be able to accomplish it, would they?

 

But to breed responsibly, you have to research. We aren't born with the knowledge, we have to attain it. Sure, you could add a nest box and cross your fingers and hope for the best but how would that be responsible?

 

Does a lion read a book to learn how to hunt prey

Of course not! It is a combination of watching and instinct. We surely don't need to read a book to know how to reproduce but wouldn't it be better if more people did their research and gave it thought instead of bringing about children who have to grow up in horrible circumstances? We don't need to research in order to eat either. We are given food so we eat it! Too bad more people don't research and think about their actions first (especially parents who are raising children). If they did, there would be fewer people suffering from obesity and dying of heart attacks.

 

It's easy to breed budgies carelessly. It's hard to breed them right.

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Guest luvbudgies

What I'm trying to say is that by breeding them is how you learnto breed them. I only read the books to find out how to breed diferent colours and even that has been proven wrong in some cases. For example. I have bred a male normal green from a lutino and a normal green the lutino is the hen and the normal green is the cock. I have bred this normal green to a harlequin hen. all babies should have looked normal. Acording to the book. I know that Harlequin is not in the blood line of the cock but the hen is a visual Harlequin.

 

Harlequins by the way are recessive which acording to this means that it need another gene to make it visual in the bird. Therefore it is possible that the gene is not recessive or it has mutated to make a harlequin (a recessive gene visual.) I know that I should have had normal splits cocks, normal cocks, lutino hens and normal hens.

 

So back to the top sentence. Books and websites can be wrong. I read this website about candleing the eggs and the information turned out to be wrong. as I looked at my eggs and then looked at the picture and according to the information of the site they were dead in shell or rotten. Well lets just say if I threw out all my eggs I wouldn't have these 9 baby budgies I have just bred.

 

Of course you don't need to read books to breed animals! If that were the case, none of the stupid people who breed carelessly would be able to accomplish it, would they?

 

Not all people breed carelessly. I don't and I'm to tell you the truth are still learning as I go. I don't rely on expert opinion through books or otherwise. I learn as I go. I don't breed the same pairmore then 2 times in one breeding season. I breed September to November and February to May. I've hand reared babies with not knowing how and I've tamed babies with no experience on how to.

 

It's easy to breed budgies carelessly. It's hard to breed them right.

 

This I have to disagree with. Breeding budgies carelessly is not feeding the adequte food and having food supplyed as they need it. breeding them more often then they should and not being able to suply from them. Breeding them right is not the quality of the bird or the colour or how experienced you are but of the helth and wellbeing of the birds themself. To have an adequte supply of food and water to keep the temperature right so they are not to cold or hot and to breed them so they are not bred more then what they should be. Breeding budgies right is not hard. Its hard only if you make it hard.

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Guest eterri

No source of information is going to be 100% accurate but isn't it better to at least have an idea of what to do when you breed rather than just experiement? "Learning as you go" also means learning by your mistakes. When dealing with other living creatures you have to do all you can to minimize those mistakes. Reading books won't make you an expert but they can tell you FAR more than you'll learn by just throwing a box in the cage, supplying food and water and letting nature run its course.

 

It's just not that simple. Most people would NEVER have known that budgies need more than just seed and an occasional carrot if they hadn't done some research. It's impossible to properly care for a budgie without doing research, let alone breed them! If you just go by what seems to work, you'll not have done the best you could for the birds. A budgie can live in a tiny cage, sure. It can live on seeds, yeah. It can even live without toys or varied perches. But is that really the best way to keep them? Not at all.

 

Obviously, every breeder has been a first time breeder at one point. But why on earth would you want to go into something as serious as breeding without diving into as much information as you could find? And honestly, I wasn't even talking about color. While breeding for color is a really fun aspect of breeding, the emphasis should be on health, longevity, temperment, etc.

 

I have to ask, if you look through the posts from people who are thinking of breeding their budgies or who have accidentally allowed it to happen, how many of them can you honestly say are/were prepared for the responsibility? I won't even give my own guess but it's extremely low. And how many posts do we have to look at on a regular basis that come from someone who did nothing but add a nest box and then was surprised with mating and/or eggs? If you've been surprised with these happenings, you don't know enough about budgies simply as pets, let alone actually breeding them.

 

Would you agree that someone thinking of getting a budgie should get the bird first and then figure out they've done everything wrong (which is pretty much what I did so I know firsthand that it's not the ideal way to start)? If it's irresponsible to have a pet without doing the research (and it is, it really is) then how can it be responsible to allow said pets to reproduce without knowing everything you can and being prepared? Breeding budgies is a whole other world compared to just keeping them as pets.

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Guest Lin

I have to say I agree with Terri completely. We are dealing with living creatures, and knowledge is power. Information gathering is never a waste of time, just reading the posts on here alone you will learn that the most experienced and knowledgable breeders are sometimes faced with something unusual or unknown, and they ask others about it. Not one breeder on here has ever said they know it all, they are always constantly striving to learn more so they can do it better. If you think you ever have enough knowledge, that is just plain arrogant. new things are being discovered every day, and research is the best way to learn.

 

Our poor birds are kept in cages, totally reliant upon us. They cannot tell us what they want or need, and if we only guess, or wait to learn from a bad experience, then we are not doing our best by them. Apart from the fact that reading about birds, their habits, their needs, etc is extremely fascinating, reading about other people's experiences (which is what books are based on) means you can learn from their bad judgements. Why should every bird owner have to learn the same old thing by themselves? Can't we learn and share, isn't that the more intelligent and compassionate way?

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