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Go Back   Talk Budgies Forums > Budgie Talk > Budgie Breeding


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  #1  
Old 01-10-2017, 12:06 AM
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Default Problem with babies

First, I'd like to say that I did not intend to breed parakeets. But, the pair that I have had for at least seven years started laying eggs within the last year. About six months ago, they hatched two eggs. I read as much as I could. I pulled them at three weeks and began to hand feed. I had a new home for them so I wanted to try to tame them. I really didn't want any more birds myself. These two birds really did not care to be hand fed. It was difficult. I was able to get some food down several times a day. After about a week, they were eating millet. It wasn't long before they were eating seed. And that was it. They were weaned.
The second clutch had only one hatchling. At four weeks, it was tame and cuddly. But, it did not like hand feeding either. Soon it was eating seed, but not as much as the first clutch. Well I came home from work and it was dead. The third clutch had four hatchlings. At three and half weeks I pulled the two oldest from the nest since one of them had already climbed out of the box. These two loved hand feeding. They were both eating seeds by four weeks. One went to a friend. I still had the other one. Since they were eating seed, we stopped the baby food. Within a couple of days, they were both dead. This was truly heart breaking. Does anyone have any idea of what I did wrong. When I stopped the feedings they were eating about 8 to 10 ml a day. Was this too abrupt? Any advice appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 01-10-2017, 12:36 AM
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Hi there and to the forums!

I'm sorry that you are having issues with your chicks. However, there are many things that could be wrong given the way that the breeding has taken place.

Did you ever research about breeding prior to letting them breed? It's important to know as much about a species as possible before attempting to breed them, and budgies are no exception. It's not as simple as "letting them" hatch eggs; this can lead to all sorts of complications.

Additionally, your pair is much too old to breed, which can cause a number of health complications in the parents and in the chicks.

It's not necessary to hand feed chicks at all; in fact it's best to let the parents do all the feedings whenever possible. As long as the chicks are handled from a young age, they can be just as tame as "hand-fed" birds and are more emotionally and physically developed.

Be sure you're doing all in your power to discourage breeding at this time. It's not in anyone's best interests that this pair be allowed to breed again.

I have flagged your post so more of the staff can weigh in shortly. They will be able to further explain this to you.

Meanwhile, be sure to read through all the forum's informative articles and "stickies" (threads "stuck" to the top of each subforum for easy reference) to ensure you're up to date on the very best of budgie care.

Here are a few to get you started:
When We Don't Want Eggs!
A heartfelt plea to forum members new and old

If you have any questions after reading though everything, be sure to ask as we'd love to help

Best wishes!
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2017, 12:59 AM
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It's not that I let them breed. I didn't expect them to breed. The mom is white, and until she layed an egg, I thought she was a male. I had another female that was bonded to the male. She laid eggs but never hatched one. She died about a year ago. That's when the white one started laying. I really didn't expect those to hatch, but they did. So what I'm hearing is that I need to get another cage and separate the only two adults that I have. I already have a lovebird that lives all alone because his mate died a couple of years ago. I only have him because someone else didn't want them anymore, so I took them in. I don't want to get another lovebird because honestly, after having birds for over 20 years, I ready to give it up. But I don't get rid of my birds, or any pet. I care for them for their whole life. I suppose that I will try to co-parent the babies. I really don't know if something was wrong with babies. They were beautiful and affectionate, active and playful. Or was it how I weaned them. I wish I knew.
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Old 01-10-2017, 07:48 AM
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I'm sorry you have run into such difficulties. Unfortunately a lot of breeding and weaning information is totally inaccurate and as a result chicks are often separated from their parents far too prematurely.
StarlingWings has given you great advice and links to further information moving forward. It really is best to discourage egg laying and mating behaviour for several health reasons.

Do you have a bird specialist / avian vet in your area that you can discuss husbandry with and have your birds health checked?
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Old 01-10-2017, 08:13 AM
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Welcome to the forums,

I'm very sorry for the whole situation with your budgie couple and the multiple clutches they had over the past year.
For overall health reasons, it's not advisable to allow budgies older than 4 years old to breed. At this point your pair (especially the female) must be quite debilitated and it's imperative that you take strict measures in order to discourage further breeding behaviour leading to more egg laying.
Your female's calcium levels must be quite depleted by now and that combined with her old age make her much more prone of becoming egg bound.
The link previously given to you should be very helpful in keeping your budgie's hormones under control.
I agree that at this time, it would be best to house your pair separately.
Be sure to not have any dark hiding areas nor anything that your female can potentially use as a nest and this includes open food bowls where she can sit on.

Regarding the weaning, it's extremely important for us to check the chicks' crops on a daily basis to see if they are filled with food.
By the end of the day (at sundown) they should have nicely filled crops
A nice and filled crop should be visible and we can also gently palpate the area by using the thumb and index finger. A full crop should feel hard to the touch when gently checking it.
Weighing the chicks on a daily basis and keeping track of their weight is also a good measure during this delicate time on the chicks' lives.
It's also our job during weaning to give an extra support to the chicks and help them out to try all the different types of food and actually encourage the chicks to eat them. This is incorporated in the bonding and socialization of the chicks when spending daily quality time with them.

Be sure to check this link for the detailed information: Planned Co-Parenting in Raising Tame Chicks

If you are ready to give up on pet birds and your heart is no longer with them, then screening potential new owners who are experienced with birds and are truly passionate about them will be the best choice. And this is done by thinking of your flock's long term welfare and happiness.
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Last edited by aluz; 01-10-2017 at 08:20 AM.
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2017, 08:13 AM
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As stated by StarlingWings and aluz, your budgies are much to old to breed.

When We Don't Want Eggs

Rearranging their cage frequently, and limiting the light they get to 8 hours a day will help tremendously.
Please be sure you never put a nest box or anything that could be used as a nesting site in their cage.

When they come into condition, limit the amount of protein in their diet at that time.

Please take the time to read through the Site Guidelines, all of the How To Guides, the FAQs, the Budgie Articles and the stickies located at the top of each section of the forum.

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Old 01-10-2017, 11:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aluz View Post
Welcome to the forums,

I'm very sorry for the whole situation with your budgie couple and the multiple clutches they had over the past year.
For overall health reasons, it's not advisable to allow budgies older than 4 years old to breed. At this point your pair (especially the female) must be quite debilitated and it's imperative that you take strict measures in order to discourage further breeding behaviour leading to more egg laying.
Your female's calcium levels must be quite depleted by now and that combined with her old age make her much more prone of becoming egg bound.
The link previously given to you should be very helpful in keeping your budgie's hormones under control.
I agree that at this time, it would be best to house your pair separately.
Be sure to not have any dark hiding areas nor anything that your female can potentially use as a nest and this includes open food bowls where she can sit on.

Regarding the weaning, it's extremely important for us to check the chicks' crops on a daily basis to see if they are filled with food.
By the end of the day (at sundown) they should have nicely filled crops
A nice and filled crop should be visible and we can also gently palpate the area by using the thumb and index finger. A full crop should feel hard to the touch when gently checking it.
Weighing the chicks on a daily basis and keeping track of their weight is also a good measure during this delicate time on the chicks' lives.
It's also our job during weaning to give an extra support to the chicks and help them out to try all the different types of food and actually encourage the chicks to eat them. This is incorporated in the bonding and socialization of the chicks when spending daily quality time with them.

Be sure to check this link for the detailed information: Planned Co-Parenting in Raising Tame Chicks

If you are ready to give up on pet birds and your heart is no longer with them, then screening potential new owners who are experienced with birds and are truly passionate about them will be the best choice. And this is done by thinking of your flock's long term welfare and happiness.
Thanks for the advice, but I would never just give my birds away. I believe that having any pet is a commitment. I admit that I do not wish to have more birds after these are gone, but that doesn't mean that I don't want to love and care for them. They have been together for eight years. All of their adult lives, in the same cage, in the same house. They are beautiful. They appear happy and healthy. I can't see how turning their whole world upside down would be good for them. I'll figure out how to save the babies. Most of them have survived and are very healthy. I'm pretty sure it is something in the weaning. They were both eating seed before they were weaned, but I think I was too quick to stop the feedings. I am going to try co-parenting next time. I know you guys want me to separate them and let them each live alone. I'd rather see them live happy and die young. Well not young since they are already geriatric. Who knows the separation could be stressful enough to kill one of them. They have been together a long time.
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Old 01-11-2017, 12:46 AM
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One issue is that as the hen's calcium levels drop, the eggs' shells can become softer and she cannot pass them. That is extremely distressing and potentially fatal for the hen. Another issue is the increased likelihood of problems with the chicks as the parents age, with the potential of the chicks surviving, but being disabled.

If you do not separate them, at least do everything else you can to discourage breeding. The steps for doing that are in a link above, "When we don't want eggs". Limiting the birds to 8 hours of daylight helps a lot.
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Last edited by lbeckman; 01-11-2017 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:05 AM
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How much dark are you talking about? Completely covering the cage for 16 hours a day? Or covering the part of the cage that faces the light?
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:13 AM
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This link will explain it in detail

When We Don't Want Eggs!
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