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The Budgerigar is the most popular cage bird and also one of the most interesting to breed due to the large range of colour varieties. They are also a relatively easy species to breed and in most cases excellent parents.

Cocks should be 10 months old before breeding and during the breeding season the cere (fleshy part above the beak) will be a bright blue. With the hen, the cere should be a rich chocolate brown. Hens should be a year old before breeding and preferably no more than 4 years old.

During the breeding season an unrelated hen and cock bird should be placed in a breeding cage with a nesting box. Eggs will usually be laid in 10 to 2 0 days and are laid 2 days apart, the average clutch being about 5 eggs. Incubation will start once the second egg is laid.

The first egg will hatch after 19 days, the others after 17. This means the first two chicks will hatch together, with the others coming at 2 day intervals.

The chicks will develop down feathers in a week, and permanent feathers will begin to grow in three weeks. At this stage you will be able to see the colour of the chicks.

Young birds will leave the nest at four to five weeks old. Any chicks that leave the nest before this should be returned to the box.

Once the young are able to eat seed they should be removed from the parents and placed in another cage. The parents may savage the chicks if they are left too long in a breeding cage.

The young birds' cage should contain plenty of perches and be located near to human activity to allow the chicks to get used to people and they should remain in the smaller cage until they they have developed the strength to fly properly.

Petcare Information and Advisory Service Australia

Last Update: 06/02/07 22:31 Views: 1980

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