Budgie breeding can be very enjoyable! However there are many things to consider before allowing your birds to fill the nestbox with adorable baby birds. Here is a summary of the key items that are involved in breeding budgerigars. These items will help you prepare for breeding and get the process started. We encourage you to do a good bit of research beyond what is on this page to get a complete idea of everything that is involved in budgie breeding, including management of things once you have eggs and baby birds. Although it often goes very smoothly, there are complications that can arise, so the more you know, the better!!!
One of the most important things needed for breeding is a pair of budgies. The pair should be a male and female who have bonded and who are old enough to breed (a year or older). A bonded pair will engage in mutual preening (cleaning each other) and the male will attempt to feed the female. The male will also actively hop around the female, moving around near her or close to her on perches. Not sure if you have a male and female bird? Check out our blog post here to help you determine the sex of your bird(s).
You should definitely have a large enough cage for two budgies and one that is equipped with a nestbox. We recommend the Prevue Hendryx parakeet flight cage as a great cage for multiple birds. The dimensions for the cage are 26″ long x 14″ wide x 20″ high, and you can add a nestbox to the outside of it with some modification. We show you how in our video on YouTube, which you can watch here. Any cage you use should have a food and water dish readily available and you may consider adding another feeder or two so that the birds have access to more and convenient food once breeding activity starts. Always keep food fresh for your birds. Other basic things, like multiple perches, a few toys, and chew items should be in place as well. Chew items are very important, because the female, in particular, can become very motivated to chew on things when in breeding condition.
It is, of course, necessary to have a nestbox for your birds when breeding them. We recommend having one which will attach to the outside of the cage and which has a concave area on the inside, so that the eggs won’t roll about as much.
Here is our video which shows you exactly how to install a nestbox! The box we used is depicted in the photos following the video.
In order to breed, budgies should have an adequate amount of light daily. Twelve hours of light is the typical recommendation. Some breeders also recommend full spectrum lighting (an avian full spectrum light), in order to aid in vitamin production.
It is always important to supply calcium and minerals for your bird(s), but if you are breeding them, it becomes even more necessary. A calcium chew, like a cuttlebone, and a mineral block will help supply needed nutrients for your budgies.
To offer extra nutrition to your bird(s) during breeding season, you can offer egg food, a varied mixture of proteins, vegetables, and grains that gives yours birds lots of added nutrients during the time they breed and raise young. Here is a great recipe for eggfood you can make at home. You can also purchase some through Windy City Parrot or other bird supply retailers.
You should always have access to an avian veterinarian, in case complications arise. One of the most common problems that birds can experience during breeding is becoming eggbound. This happens when the female can’t pass an egg and it becomes stuck, causing her distress. This is an emergency situation and needs to be managed quickly, so it’s best to have a resource already on hand to help you. The Association of Avian Veterinarians maintains a list of avian veterinarians online, so be sure to search for one in your area!