How Do Parakeets Mate?

Everything about parakeet mating and gestation can be a little confusing if one is not knowledgeable and/or experienced. Here is a guide to parakeet mating and gestation which will make it easier for you to understand the process and dos and donts of parakeet mating.

It is important to realize that any two pair of parakeets will bond with one another if there are no other birds presents. Though, if you want specific colors to bred from certain parakeets then you will want to select the female and male yourself.

If her cere is brown, and crusty-looking then that is a sure sign that she is ready to start the breeding process. The following listed below are things you should have set up in order to begin the breeding process/ Breeding Cage The measurements should be 24 L x 12 W x 16 H It should include a separate door to attach the nest box outside of (for your birds to have easy access to getting in and out) More than one perch should be inside the cage Youll need to hand a mineral block and cuttlebone on the side of the cage (its purpose is to provide the female with calcium for making eggs) A dish for food and water

Choose something that is rectangular with an opening at the end, and a circular indent in the floor for the eggs to rest in. Another thing, dont be too surprised if your Parakeet pair is pushing the nesting material out of the box. At times when the days are longer and they are in the breeding conditions, it can be helpful to extend the amount of daylight they are exposed to for a few hours.

Diet As a breeder, two things you always need to live by when it comes to feeding your parakeets is variety and abundance . The amount of healthy, fresh food your pairs have to eat makes all the difference when it comes to nesting. Feeding your parakeets these foods will ensure that they will continue to eat it once their chicks hatch.

(Or whenever you notice that it is dirty) Organic, fresh leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits: Some excellent choices to feed your pair of Parakeets are broccoli, carrots, peas, corn, apples, Swiss chard, kale, bananas, cooked sweet potatoes, and bell peppers! Another use for softer food is that it is easier for your male parakeet to feed the female. An overall tip to consider is to throw away any old or soft food that has been sitting out for two or three hours and replace it with a fresher option.

When the female is ready to breed, she will lean forward on the perch and then raise her tail slightly. The male will then position himself over the female, and rub his vent against hers to be able to deposit his sperm. Over time, the eggs will become opaque which will make it harder to see the outline of the chicks inside.

While checking for the fertility of these eggs are important, it is best to keep in mind not to bother the nest since the mother might abandon it if you disturb it often. Once hatched, parakeet chicks are quite tiny and that can be difficult for anyone to be able to handle and hand feed. It is common for breeders to simply let the parents raise the chicks up until weaning.

Male parakeets are known to feed the female because she only comes out of the nest to produce waste or drink from the water dish. They will then have to be placed into a commercial incubator or a homemade one that can keep the chicks warm till they have a full set of feathers. Once the chicks have reached the age of 21 days old they will then need to be fed formula through a small syringe about every 3 to 4 hours till the crop empties.

Most formulas have instructions built into their packaging, and it also comes with information on how often you should feed your chicks as they grow more and more. You will want to insert the tip of the syringe, gently, into the right side of the chicks beak. Feeding them will become easier over time, just make sure you dont flood their mouth with formula.

Limit the Amount of Daylight Cover your birds cage around 6 pm to fool her body into thinking that it isnt breeding season. Limiting Type of Food- Something that stimulates breeding is providing a variety of high nutrient foods. In the wild, during non-breeding months the options for food are very limited, so try to implement that into your home.

How long does it take for parakeets to mate?

Parakeets are physically able to breed at around 6 months old, but they should not be allowed to do so before at least 10 months old. A younger bird won’t be able to be a good parent. There is no hurry — once they’ve matured, females will be able to breed for four years and males for six.

Will parakeets mate without a nesting box?

As we said before, budgies (parakeets) do not need a nesting box to mate. They will ‘buddy-up’ as long as a male and female are living together and the settings are ideal for reproduction. … This will ensure your birds remain healthy and reproduce more readily, and also give the eggs the right environment to hatch.

How do parakeets get pregnant?

Female parakeets lay their eggs relatively soon after mating. Like many other types of birds, it’s not uncommon for parakeets to lay one egg every other day until they have all been laid. Each clutch usually contains between four and eight eggs, although this can vary.

How does parakeet mating work?

The male will position himself over the female and begin rubbing his vent against hers in order to deposit his sperm. He may breed her several times a day, and the female will begin laying an egg every other day. The average clutch is usually about four to five eggs.

Parakeet breeding isn’t very difficult, but there are things you should know before setting up a male and female pair. Get tips on the best diet to feed, choosing the right cage and parakeet nesting box, and caring for the parakeet babies until they’re weaned.

Albino and lutino hens may also start out with lavender-colored ceres, but they will also turn brown and rough at maturity. When the hen develops a brown, crusty-looking cere, that’s the best time to set up the nesting boxes for your parakeets.

While colony breeding may provide some convenience, such as having one area to clean and ensuring your pairs get enough exercise, it also has some drawbacks. It’s much easier to control the situation if you give a single pair of parakeets their own space for breeding. You’ll need to hang a mineral block and cuttlebone from the side of the cage to provide the female with extra calcium for making egg shells.

If possible, choose a rectangular box with the opening at one end, and a circular recess in the floor on the other side for the eggs. They tend to come into breeding condition when the days are longer, so it can be beneficial to extend their daylight by a couple of hours using full-spectrum lighting. The light is also necessary to help females synthesize vitamin D so they can produce strong egg shells and bones.

Feeding these foods before breeding helps ensure your pair will eat them readily once the chicks hatch. Fresh, organic leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits: Especially good choices include kale, Swiss chard, broccoli, carrots, peas, corn, apples, bananas, cooked sweet potatoes, and bell peppers. Choose a mix that has a variety of seeds and grains, or go with a hulled product like Lafeber Nutri-Berries which provides omega-3 as well.

Stop all training if you’ve been working with them previously, but still provide them with basic care such as fresh food and water and empty their bottom tray to get rid of their droppings. When the female is ready to be bred, she will lean forward on the perch and raise her tail slightly. The male will position himself over the female and begin rubbing his vent against hers in order to deposit his sperm.

Many breeders opt to let the parents raise the chicks through weaning and just handle them daily once they are 14 days old in order to hand tame them. They’ll need to be placed in either a commercial incubator or a homemade one in order to keep the chicks warm until they have a complete set of feathers. At 21 days old, the chicks will need to be fed a special formula via a pipette or small syringe approximately every three to four hours as their crops empty.

Gently insert the tip of the feeder into the right side of the beak, aiming it toward the back left of the chick’s mouth. When the chick is finished eating, gently wipe away any formula from its face and chest with a warm, damp paper towel. Weaning typically begins around five to six weeks of age while the chicks are either still being fed by the parents or you’re still hand feeding them.

You’ll need to begin offering a variety of foods so the chicks learn to accept a healthy diet instead of just becoming seed eaters. Once the chicks eat millet and pellet crumbles, begin offering small amounts of finely diced/processed greens, vegetables, and fruits from the list above. Since breeding activity is stimulated by longer days, limit their daylight hours for several weeks.

At the same time, remove the pair’s nest box and any hanging toys such as coconut houses and similar items.

When spring is in the air, it’s also the time for parakeets to start mating. While your birds might exhibit breeding behavior at other times of the year, spring is generally when hormones are at their peak and mating is most likely to result in healthy chicks. To encourage breeding, place nest boxes in the parakeet pair’s cage.

If you have a male and female parakeet and don’t want them to breed, taking some simple steps can eliminate the chances of them mating. If your pet spits up food, lifts her tail or rubs her vent on you, put her back in the cage so she knows “playtime” is over.

Cover your bird’s cage by 6 p.m., so artificial light doesn’t fool her body into believing it’s breeding season.

When budgies mate the male will do a dance that consists of jumping from perch to perch, chirping, and bobbing his head. He will then move side to side on the perch the female is on while bobbing his head and tapping his beak against the females beak.

How Do Parakeets Mate?

Always select completely healthy birds with no deformities. Beyond that, there are several basic steps to pairing parakeets for breeding.

Parakeets Must Bond to Breed

Almost any two parakeets will bond if they have no alternative, so what may appear to be a breeding pair may just be two females or two males. Luckily, these birds are sexually dimorphic, which means you can determine the sex of each bird by its appearance.

Colony Parakeet Breeding Versus Breeding Single Pairs

According to South Coast Pet Hospital, there are two main practices for breeding parakeets: colony breeding and breeding individual pairs.

Breeding Individual Pairs

Colony breeding involves setting up several pairs in a large flight. The flight should be about 6′ L x 3′ W x 4′ H, with wire spacing of no more than one-half inch. You should provide a nest box for each pair, plus one extra nest box to prevent fighting, and all the nest boxes should be hung at the same height near the top of the enclosure.While colony breeding may provide some convenience, such as having one area to clean and ensuring your pairs get enough exercise, it also has some drawbacks.

Breeding Set Up

Having the correct kind of set up will encourage your birds to breed. Make sure you have the following items.

Breeding Cage

According to the Hamilton & District Budgerigar Society (HDBS). the cage you select for a single pair should measure approximately 24″ L x 12″ W x 16″ H, and it should have a separate door where you will attach the nest box to the outside of the cage so the birds can enter it from the inside of their cage. The cage should have several perches, and one should be placed close to the nest box opening so the chicks can reach it easily when they are old enough to leave the box.You’ll need to hang a mineral block and cuttlebone from the side of the cage to provide the female with extra calcium for making egg shells. There should be dishes for food and water, as well as an extra dish for fresh and soft foods.

Parakeet Nesting Box

Nest boxes come in many sizes and designs, and they’re usually designated for specific breeds so you should select one marked for parakeets. HDBS recommends a nest box with 1 1/2-inch hole for the birds to use as a doorway. If possible, choose a rectangular box with the opening at one end, and a circular recess in the floor on the other side for the eggs. The box will either have a lid on top or on one of the sides so you can check for eggs or hatchlings.

Nesting Material

There are different types of nesting material available, so you may have to try a few before you find the type your pair likes best. Safe choices include aspen shavings and recycled newspaper. Even shredded newspaper is acceptable, but do not use cedar shavings because their fumes are toxic to birds.Don’t be surprised if your pair pushes all the nesting material out of the box.. Parakeets are notorious for liking a bare box.

Lighting

Parakeets need about 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness and rest under normal conditions. They tend to come into breeding condition when the days are longer, so it can be beneficial to extend their daylight by a couple of hours using full-spectrum lighting. The light is also necessary to help females synthesize vitamin D so they can produce strong egg shells and bones.

Parakeet Mating

The two keys to a breeder diet are variety and abundance. If your pair has an abundance of healthy food, they are more likely to go to nest. Soft foods are especially helpful for bringing a pair into breeding condition, and the pair needs soft food to feed the chicks as well. Feeding these foods before breeding helps ensure your pair will eat them readily once the chicks hatch.This diet should include:Throw away old soft and fresh foods after two to three hours and replace it with fresh so the birds don’t eat anything that’s spoiled.

Fertilization and Parakeet Egg Production

When the female is ready to be bred, she will lean forward on the perch and raise her tail slightly. The male will position himself over the female and begin rubbing his vent against hers in order to deposit his sperm. He may breed her several times a day, and the female will begin laying an egg every other day. The average clutch is usually about four to five eggs. The video below shows courtship behavior prior to an actual breeding.

Incubation

Incubation begins once the female begins sitting tightly on the eggs. She may not sit on them until she has laid two or three eggs, but this isn’t a problem. Each egg will hatch in approximately 18 days, If the female begins sitting immediately after she lays the first egg, one egg will hatch about every other day.

Checking for Fertility

Eggs aren’t always fertile, but you can attempt to check them by “candling” them about a week after the female begins sitting. Gently pick up each egg and hold it in front of a strong flashlight. If you can see a yellow glow with red squiggly lines inside, the egg is fertile. If you only see the yellow glow, the egg is most likely infertile. You may see faint outlines as the chicks develop, but the eggs will become rather opaque with a clear air space on one end as the chicks get closer to hatching.Note that even though you can check for fertility, it’s usually best not to disturb the expectant mom too much or she might abandon the nest.

Caring for the Baby Parakeets

You have two choices for raising parakeets after they hatch. Either let the parents raise them, or hand feed them yourself. However, they will make tamer pet birds if they get used to being handled.

Parent Raised

Parakeet chicks are quite small and can be difficult for anyone but the most experienced breeder to hand feed. Many breeders opt to let the parents raise the chicks through weaning and just handle them daily once they are 14 days old in order to hand tame them.The male usually feeds the female because she will only come out of the nest to relieve herself and get a drink. She will then feed the chicks although some males will also help with feeding.

Weaning the Chicks

Hand feeding involves pulling the chicks from the nest box at 21 days old. They’ll need to be placed in either a commercial incubator or a homemade one in order to keep the chicks warm until they have a complete set of feathers.At 21 days old, the chicks will need to be fed a special formula via a pipette or small syringe approximately every three to four hours as their crops empty. Commercial formulas like Lafeber Instant Nutri-Start or Kaytee exact have complete directions for mixing their formulas, as well as how often to feed the chicks as they grow. The food is typically fed at a temperature of 105 degrees Fahrenheit. This temperature ensures you won’t burn the chicks’ crops, but it’s still warm enough for proper digestion.To hand feed:As the chicks grow, they will eventually go longer between feedings and require fewer feedings per day, especially when they begin eating on their own.

Tips to End Breeding Activity

Some pairs don’t know when to quit and will continue producing one clutch after another. All this egg laying and feeding chicks will exhaust the hen and could lead to her death. Allow the pair to produce two clutches at the most and then encourage them to stop. You can use these methods for single pairs or adapt them for a colony breeding situation.

Limit Daylight

Since breeding activity is stimulated by longer days, limit their daylight hours for several weeks. This is easily done by draping the cage with a dark cover after they’ve had eight hours of daylight. Remove the cover first thing in the morning and repeat the process daily.

Remove the Nest Box

At the same time, remove the pair’s nest box and any hanging toys such as coconut houses and similar items. The hen is less likely to lay if she doesn’t have an ideal place to nest.

Separate the Pair

If needed, move the hen to a separate cage. Lack of access to her mate and the distraction of new surroundings should help her move out of breeding mode.

Sexual Maturity

The age at which parakeets reach sexual maturity depends upon the species. The average parakeet, or budgerigar, reaches sexual maturity between the ages of 3 to 5 months, but that’s really too young for breeding. Wait until your bird turns at least 10 months old if you’re planning to breed budgies. If you’re not sure whether your parakeet is male or female, look at the ceres, the skin above the beak that includes the nostrils. In males, the ceres is blue or purple, while in females it is some shade of brown. The same holds true for the feet — bluish or males, brown — or pink — for females.

Mating Behavior

Provide your breeding pair with the largest cage possible. Leave them alone as much as possible. The actual mating lasts a very short time, but you can watch the behavior leading up to it. The birds perch close to each other, with some “billing and cooing” going on. The hen might lift her tail or regurgitate food on the male — a parakeet’s way of showing affection. The male might start feeding the hen.

Egg Laying and Chicks

Not long after mating, hens usually lay between four and six eggs, laying a new one every other day for a week or more. Female budgies sit on the eggs for 18 days before the chicks hatch. Totally helpless, naked and blind when they emerge, both parents care for the chicks during their first three weeks of life. After about 24 days, chicks leave the nest and can eat on their own. They can be removed from the family cage when approximately 1 month old.