Are you thinking about breeding your own parakeets?
If so, get ready to embark on an exciting adventure.
If you love parakeets then it is a natural next step to consider parakeet mating.
Anyone considering breeding birds will have many questions, including what to expect from the breeding timeline and egg laying process.
I have compiled all the information you will need answer your questions about parakeet egg laying.
Let’s explore the most common question I receive, how often do parakeets lay eggs?
Parakeets can have up to 5 clutches per breeding season in captivity, though in the wild they lay 2-3 clutches in a season. Each clutch will have an average of 4-8 eggs. Parakeets may lay one egg every day or every other day until the full clutch is in the nest. Once laid, incubation will take 17-20 days.
Incubation will begin when the hen starts to sit on the eggs.
If the hen sits on her first egg, then it is possible that the eggs will hatch over several days, generally in the order that they were laid.
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Is it healthy for my parakeet to lay more clutches per season?
Parakeets can lay up to five clutches per year when kept in captivity.
Keep in mind that their breeding time can last all year but will come in cycles.
In the wild these are connected to climate and rain.
It is vital to keep our bird’s health in mind.
In the wild they will lay an average of two and adding clutches will physically and emotionally exhaust your bird.
Many experts recommend that you stop your parakeets from breeding at two clutches per season, perhaps three at maximum.
The constant cycle of breeding, egg laying, incubation, and raising chicks could cause your hen significant health challenges, and even death.
If you need to prevent your parakeets from continuing to breed and lay clutches there are a few techniques, you can use.
First, you can limit daylight to signal that the season is changing.
Secondly, you can remove the nest box, and of course if need be you can separate the pair entirely.
Why are my parakeet eggs not hatching?
Any egg laid after 23 days is unlikely to hatch.
This could be caused by a number of factors.
It may be that the egg itself was not fertile.
This is not a problem and does not indicate any health problems.
It simply means that her hormones have gone through their natural cycle.
Other problems could include neglect, an infertile male, or development problems in the egg.
Young mothers in particular commonly neglect their eggs.
Eggs could also be crowded and become damaged.
Health problems could also contribute to unhatched eggs.
Your hen could be too stressed to properly care for the eggs.
This is why it is so important to create a safe space for your bird.
Poor nutrition could also be a contributing factor.
If your hen does not get enough calcium, then the eggshells may be too weak for proper development.
How do I care for a mated pair of parakeets?
The first step is to make sure that you have a healthy, mated pair of birds.
Of course, always make sure that they are not related to avoid health problems.
They should be at least one year old and bonded.
It may take time for your budgies to bond closely.
Create a healthy and safe environment for your mating parakeets.
This will encourage mating and give the pair separation from other birds.
Ensure the cage is big enough to accommodate a nesting box and still give them space to move around.
When putting together a nesting box ensure that you provide them with the right materials.
This could include shredded newspaper or aspen shavings.
Be sure to avoid cedar shavings which can be toxic.
Try to find a box that opens on top so you can keep an eye on the eggs.
In addition to the cage, you should pay close attention to lighting and moisture levels.
Parakeets need about 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness.
Adequate sleep is very important for a breeding pair.
Because budgies tend to breed during the rainy season you can also replicate this by frequently spraying the cage (gently) to mimic rain.
Breeding parakeets will need a good healthy diet.
Make sure that both birds are getting enough food and that their diet is varied.
It should include lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, high quality protein and seeds, and pellet mix.
They also must have access to a cuddle bone for calcium.
This will help the eggs to develop strong shells.
Should I hand-raise parakeet chicks?
The main choice you will face once the eggs have hatched is whether to hand raise them or allow the parents to raise the fledglings.
There are pros and cons to each choice.
The parent parakeets will be likely be better at feeding newly hatched fledglings.
Hand feeding is quite challenging at that age, so it is very common for breeders to at least allow parents to raise the chicks until they are around 14-21 days old.
Then they can more safely be transitioned to hand feeding.
If you decide to hand raise chicks then you will wean them from their mother at around 21 days old.
Then you can put them into an incubator and feed them formula.
Feeding is required about once every 3-4 hours, so this is an intensive option.
You can allow the parents to raise the babies for longer.
This could range from 6 weeks to 6 months old.
The biggest pro here is that your parakeets may become better socialized among their own kind.
On the other hand, they could be harder to train and may not bond as easily with humans.
If well socialized, then in the long run it won’t make a huge difference if they are hand raised or not.
Choose the path that best fits your lifestyle and the health of your birds.
If you focus on ensuring that your mating pair is happy and healthy then you are well on the way to successful parakeet breeding!