Almost all parrots nest in captivity. But their different species need different conditions. Large ones - Jaco, cockatoo, macaw - rarely breed chicks in captivity. Rosella, ringed and other medium-sized parrots breed well in the aviary, especially if it is installed outdoors. For small birds - lovebirds, azure, budgies, a spacious cage is suitable.
Breeding decorative birds is not legally established, and this type of activity is not licensed. If a novice breeder plans to conduct his business in compliance with legal norms, he draws up individual entrepreneurship and is registered with the tax service. A separate condition is the entry into the society of bird lovers in their region. In this organization, you can get advice at any stage of breeding parrots at home.
It is very difficult to open a parrot breeding business if there is no experience in keeping them. Before you grow and sell parrots, you need to thoroughly study the specifics of hatching.
Beginners are advised to start with budgies, as these little birds willingly breed in captivity. Profit from the sale of wavy chicks will be insignificant, but stable. Demand for exotic birds is high, so there will be no problems with the implementation.
The formation of a marriage union
Before you start breeding parrots, you need to remember that these are flocking birds. The breeder combines in one room several heterosexual parrots, giving them the right to choose an object of affection. The budgerigar entering the reproductive season must go through all stages of courtship, starting from meeting a partner.
Rules for pairing:
- A healthy, strong offspring is possible only from parents without blood ties. Inbreeding results in weakened chicks with congenital anomalies. Sick birds with poor heredity do not live long.
- You can’t force a budgie on a partner. Forced marriage can be fruitless. It is better if the newlyweds choose each other themselves, then the offspring of the couple in love will appear soon.
- Suitable age for mating in females is one and a half years, in males - one year. Parasites of high fecundity of budgies reach the age of two to four years. They do not lose their ability to reproduce until they are eight to nine years old. Older birds are not suitable for breeding.
- Females usually choose their own “spouse" and then dominate. Experts advise planting a young female with an experienced male, already held as a dad. Then, as she grows up, the girl will not become absurd, but will learn to obey her partner.
The best period for breeding
In wild budgerigars living in Australia, the instinct for procreation is manifested in winter (in the southern hemisphere it is June - August, the rainy season). Domesticated birds are not so attached to a certain time of the year, the period for breeding is chosen by breeders.
It is better to stimulate the reproductive instinct in budgies in the summer months. Heat and long daylight hours contribute to the production of sex hormones. Our winter and spring are not suitable for pandering, as the organisms of the birds are weakened. The chances of healthy offspring are small.
Preparation of birds includes a set of actions aimed at improving and improving conditions:
- an increase in the duration of daylight hours to 16 hours (adding gradually, 1 to 2 hours per day), the inclusion of additional lighting,
- maintenance of air temperature not less than 22 degrees,
- the addition of mineral elements (calcium, phosphorus) and vitamins to the diet.
An intermediate stage of preparatory measures is the hanging of the nesting house. Seeing the future "maternity hospital", the female begins to settle in it intensely - to nest.
What should be the cell
Budgerigars are small birds, so the cage for the family is not very large. One pair will comfortably fit in a structure measuring 80/60/40 cm, for two pairs the parameters are multiplied by two. Breeders with parrot breeding put on stream combine several birds in spacious enclosures. It is recommended to place each family separately so that there are no quarrels between them. During hatching, the female needs rest.
On the side wall of the cage they attach a nesting house - a small house. You can suspend the house inside the cage, but then its useful volume will be reduced. It’s easy to make a small house yourself from several planks or purchase it at a pet store. For ease of observation and cleaning, the socket cover must be removable or folding. The female does not build a cozy nest from the branches, but sheathes and drags the branches into the house. You can alleviate her task by placing sawdust mixed with dried chamomile in a cage.
What to feed
Parrots that have entered the breeding phase are of great interest to mineral nutrition. Make sure that the cell always has sepia, a mineral mixture, a stone. Chalk is a good source of calcium. You can simply grind calcium gluconate tablets and add to the grain mixture, previously slightly moistened. Minerals, getting into the body of a future mother, are absorbed and help to avoid shell fragility.
The health of the breeding parrots directly depends on the correctness of the content and good food. Future parents deserve enhanced nutrition:
- The awakening of the sexual instinct is facilitated by the consumption of germinated grain,
- For the normal formation of eggs in the usual menu of budgies add fresh cereals, kefir, vegetables,
- Breeders are popular with such a treat for nesting birds: a salad of grated carrots, chopped eggs, cottage cheese and seedlings. This dish is not for every day, but twice a week to eat such a mixture is very useful.
As soon as the female lays eggs and begins to incubate them, stop giving her soft food, increase the daily norm of grains and seeds. The female spends a lot of energy on heating eggs, she needs high-calorie food. Water in the drinker often needs to be changed to fresh. The bird can become sick by drinking stagnant fluids.
Courts of the male
When the budgerigar is determined with the object of his love, he begins to actively care for. He strives to constantly be near the female, polishes feathers, feeds. In a fit of tenderness, she covers her lady with a wing, looks into her eyes, nods her head. The male in love cooes and dances, taps with a beak on the surrounding objects - he talks.
If the female favorably accepts the boyfriend, she participates in his dances, responds to kisses. Some females do not even take food on their own, waiting for the male to pass the treat from the beak to the beak. The most intimate process occurs quickly and invisibly to prying eyes. Mating games last for several days and even weeks, but sometimes a parrot needs only one mating to fertilize. Next comes the time of nesting: the mystery of the birth of chicks.
How many eggs in one clutch
The readiness of the female parrot to be seen can be seen on her bare tummy. For better contact and heating the eggs, the female plucks feathers, they also insulate the nest with them. In the process of childbirth, the bird freezes for several minutes, rolls its eyes. Soon the egg appears. The future father at this time sits for a long time at the house, entertains his partner with tweets. He brings food, helping the female recover strength.
A young mother lays eggs one at a time. Usually, budgies in one clutch have 3 to 5 eggs, but in exceptional cases there are more than ten. It depends on age: the older the bird, the more chicks it has.
How many days to wait for the chicks
As soon as the first eggs are laid, the female should immediately begin to hatch them. The male does not take part in this, his role is to bring food closer to the partner. The bird flips the eggs for even warming. Sometimes it leaves the nest to drink and empty the intestines. In a few minutes, the eggs do not have time to cool down, a slight drop in temperature does not harm the embryos.
The normal duration of hatching is 18 days. After the time allotted by nature, the chick breaks the shell from the inside with its beak and gets out. The female helps the cub to free itself and, sometimes, eats the shell. So that the newborn does not suck the skin to the shell, you need to maintain the humidity in the room at 60%.
After the first baby hatches, remove the soaked grain from the diet of the newly minted mother. With care, remove the empty shell from the house, but do not touch the cubs. Feeling a strange smell on the chicks, the bird can refuse them or show aggression.
Budgerigars are born so tiny and helpless! Their weight is only 1 - 2 grams. They are naked, weak and not at all like their grown brothers. Female parrots are caring and gentle mothers. At first, the chicks do not hold their heads; they constantly lie. It is in this position that the mother feeds the chicks, hanging over the baby and releasing goiter milk into the beak.
Tiny children develop and grow very quickly: in a day their weight doubles. When the last nestling from the masonry breaks through the shell and frees itself, the older brothers and sisters are much larger. There is a risk of the death of the cub, so you should check the nest more often these days.
The breeder is required to observe and without unnecessary need not to disturb the bird with the brood. Perhaps the only justified intervention could be the selection of chicks from an inexperienced mother who abandons her children. In this case, the breeder has to feed and care for the kids.
When to plant chicks from parents
Budgerigars take care of their children for at least 5 weeks. By this time, a dense fluff grows in the parrots, they get used to eating food on their own. The first flight from the hollow may be unsuccessful, but soon the wings of young growth will be strengthened. On the fourth day after a test flight, the chicks can be sent to another cage. It is safer for small birds to be separate from adult parrots.
Why are eggs barren?
At the end of the incubation period, whole eggs sometimes remain in the nest. The female continues to hatch them, but she has so much trouble with her newborn chicks. Eggs that have been lying for more than three weeks in the nest are most likely useless; they must be taken from the mother. Either the embryos stopped developing in them, or fertilization did not initially occur.
Why does it happen that chicks do not come out of eggs? Causes of defective eggs:
- inexperience of the female, inability to evenly warm the entire masonry,
- genetic diseases
- poor nutrition in preparation for the nesting period,
- female infection
- Unsuitable indoor climate.
One egg or two remaining in the nest unbroken is a normal variant. A large percentage of unfertilized eggs indicates problems in a pair of parrots. You can find out in advance about the quality of the laid eggs using an ovoscope. After checking the state of the embryos with the device, empty eggs must be removed from the masonry.
The result in breeding budgerigars depends on the level of knowledge and experience of the breeder. Preliminary preparation, good condition of birds and close monitoring are the main components for obtaining healthy offspring.
At the age of one and a half years, budgies begin the period when they are preparing for breeding. In wild conditions, birds can mate all year round and choose a couple long before that, at home the best period is the warm season of the year - summer, and the owner chooses a couple for them.
Important! Do not start cooking a couple of parrots before the specified age, otherwise the female may die when trying to lay an egg.
With proper care of birds, they can give offspring up to about 8 years.
Make sure that when breeding budgies in a pair there should not be close relations. This may cause the death of the chicks at the embryo stage or the chicks may appear with malformations.
How is the preparation for nesting going?
Summer provides birds with a long daylight hours (about 16 hours), which is the key to the successful breeding of budgerigars at home.
The temperature in the room where the birds are located should be 20-30 o. During the preparation period, the couple adjust their diet, give more fresh vegetables, fruits, greens. The same goes for feeding the chicks. This is necessary for kids to get vitamins and minerals.
In the wild, budgies are laying in the hollow of a tree, and you will need a nest at home. The nesting house is somewhat reminiscent of an ordinary birdhouse and it is located right in the cage. The best material for making the nest is natural wood. The bottom can be lined with sawdust, which will absorb liquid and unpleasant odors. The upper part is usually made of a folding type, so it will be easier to clean the nest and monitor the chicks.
Nests intended for the reproduction of budgies are of several types:
- Vertical. They take up little space, while the entrance to the nest is high, which means that the chicks will not be able to get out of the nest ahead of time. But the bottom of such nests is usually small, and if the clutch is large, then the chicks can be cramped, and the female is uncomfortable.
- Horizontal Such nests are more spacious, so the likelihood of damage to the masonry by a female is minimal. But the entrance to the nest is low, so the chicks can fall out of it.
- A compromise that combines the advantages of horizontal and vertical nesting. They are quite spacious and the entrance is high.
To prevent eggs from rolling along the bottom of the nest, it is better to make a small depression for them (2 × 10 cm).
In preparation for the reproduction of budgerigars at home, it is necessary to transfer them to good nutrition. They can be given boiled eggs, vegetables and fruits. The diet should contain a mineral mixture, stone, overgrown chalk and egg shells. In extreme cases, you can crush the preparation of calcium gluconate, so that birds always have a free source of calcium.
Where is the best place for a nesting house for breeding budgies? The best option is to place it outside the cage and above the bottom. Usually, for this, the entrance to the house is cut out in a cage, or just a few twigs are removed.
When choosing a nest for breeding budgies, study its dimensions and shape. The nest should be oblong in length (from 60 cm). If it is cramped and the female feels uncomfortable, then she can begin to peck the chicks that will be selected from the nest.
As a disinfectant, dried chamomile flowers (1-2 tsp) can be added to the bottom contents (sawdust, a layer of about 3 cm).
You have created all the necessary conditions for breeding budgies, what will happen next?
Then the female begins to show interest in the nesting house, examines it, can gnaw at the entrance, as if checking for strength, only after that she goes into the nest and prepares a place for future masonry.
Often, after arranging the nesting female can lay the first egg already at 2 or 3 days. But this does not always happen, this is just an ideal scenario.If a lot of time has passed, for example, about a month, and the birds have not become interested in the nest, then the owner needs to remove it, otherwise, they will get used to it and will simply be considered an object of ordinary interior, which can delay the breeding process of budgerigars for a long time at home.
With what it can be connected? The fact is that in nature, parrots can sit in flocks of eggs, that is, if you have several pairs in your house, then it will be easier for you to push them to multiply. If you have a large aviary with several houses, it may happen that the females will fight for a certain house, rarely, but it happens that the females even peck each other's masonry. To avoid this, it is better to arrange the nests of each pair in different cells.
If you have one pair, then in order to push budgies to breed at home, you can try to create a constant noise in the room where they are. For example, you can imitate the noise of the jungle, turn on the radio, a muffled musical background, you can play a recording of the voices of the parrots (their own or others).
After arranging the nest, it is advisable to communicate less with your birds, and provide them with privacy. It is good if the cell is located in the corner of the room, where people pass the least. The steam cannot be distracted from the masonry, so you should try not to let them fly out of the cage even. Observe that as soon as the female has completed all preparations to improve the house, she will be more supportive of the male. Mating itself can take place more than 3 times a day, but the most frequent time is the morning hours. In order to produce a positive result in breeding budgies, it may take more than one mating to fertilize the eggs; it can last until the laying of the first egg. But the owner can observe the mating of the birds until the moment when the female lays all the eggs.
How to understand that a female is ready to become a mother? She begins to pluck feathers near the cloaca, she also increases the volume and size of feces, the tail can twitch rhythmically to breathing. A female who is about to become a mother will now be cautious, she will not make sudden movements, she will not fly out of the nest.
As soon as the first egg has appeared, you need to monitor the nutrition of the female. Remove all top dressing, leave the main feed, mineral mixture and crushed shell. This is required so that the number of eggs does not increase and at the same time their quality does not decrease.
How to care for chicks
We considered how to breed budgerigars at home, now we’ll try to find out how to properly care for them so that the chicks are healthy.
Usually, the clutch contains from 4 to 12 eggs, all of them are white. At the same time, the young female has less eggs than the one that lays them not the first time. The female sits on the eggs for about 20 days, and the male during this period is preoccupied with only one thing - you need to provide the young mother with the necessary nutrition. It can also be near the entrance to the nest and hum songs. The development of the embryo begins precisely when the female begins to incubate.
Chicks appear completely blind and without feathers. They have a fairly large head, a long neck. 9-10 days after birth, they begin to see, a month later they begin to fledge, although the first stumps appear by the 9th day, and at the age of 2 weeks they are covered with a fluff. After 21 days, no eggs should remain in the nesting place, if there are any, then it is unfertilized or with a dead embryo. They need to be removed.
A week later, when the first chick hatched, you need to clean the nest. Catch the right moment when the female comes out for a short while, and at the same time shift the chick into a box. Change the litter. It is advisable to do this with gloves, since the female may not tolerate an external smell and begin to pluck the chicks. Clean quickly so that the rest of the eggs do not cool. This cleaning should be done at least weekly. If the female is not good at cleaning and begins to behave aggressively, then it is better to just sprinkle fresh sawdust, interspersed with dried chamomile.
For about 2 weeks, the female will feed the chicks with goiter milk, later it will give adult food softened in the goiter. If there are a lot of chicks, then the female feeds them according to seniority, since food for feeding in the goiter is located in a certain way - on top of the grain and food, then a softened mixture of adult food, and only then goiter milk, which is necessary for the smallest. For the formation of milk in the goiter, you need to give the bird germinated grain. As soon as the chicks fly out of the house, the male thinks about their feeding. If they can already eat themselves, then you can transplant them into another cell.
After the plumage begins, the wavy tend to leave the house and begin an independent life. Although at first they can still maintain relationships with their parents, later these relationships fade and they don’t even remember their family ties. If we consider the conditions of the wild, then there the birds live in packs in which they are all equal and friendly. Once in different flocks, birds can no longer see each other at all.
After leaving the nest with the chicks, the female may begin to prepare for the next clutch, but she should not be allowed to do this. Since this can drain the female, and the chicks will be born weak or even die. What should be done after breeding budgies? Remove the nesting place, transplant the female to another place and reduce her daylight hours to 9 hours, as well as remove feeding, give only the main mixture.
Do not forget that during the breeding of budgies, especially at home, the birds can be aggressive and even get sick, so be careful about their health, clean the nests and cages on time, and monitor their nutrition.