A Beginner’s Guide to Parakeet Breeding
The parakeet is a small, beautiful, and even comical bird that is a joy to own but if you have interest in using your birds for parakeet breeding and have never done this before, the information in this article will help. For breeding any type of bird, there is a right and wrong way of doing things. Regardless of your goal, breeding for a hobby or to earn income, it would be beneficial to learn everything you can to achieve success.
Before you get involved with parakeet breeding, we recommend you consider the amount of time you will need to invest while the birds are still young, followed by advertising to sell when the birds are ready. If you are up for the task, chances are you will enjoy the experience, watching these adorable birds create new life. The following tips will provide insight as to steps involved.
Health – After making the decision to start parakeet breeding, you need to make sure the male and female are in peak health. These two birds should not be from the same family, have no birth defects, be free of disease, and a minimum of one year of age.
Nesting – Next, parakeet breeding requires an appropriate state, one measuring no less than 20x20x20 inches. This would provide ample room for the male and female to romp around. Inside the cage, add a wooden nesting box, which should be a minimum of 12x12 inches. Depending on the type of cage you go with, it may or may not have a special insert in the bottom for a nesting box. Within the box, place soft shavings, such as pine or aspen.
Diet – Parakeet breeding also requires proper diet. After all, you want to make sure your birds are getting the right amount and balance of nutrients, keeping them healthy during and after the breeding phase. Diet would consist of high quality pellets made specifically for parakeets, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, such as cut up grapes, apples, carrots, etc. The process of making and laying eggs takes energy so along with proper diet the parakeets would need to be provided a calcium supplement and cuttlebone.
Egg Laying Process – After mating, the female will be ready to lay her eggs not long after. The laying process is quite intriguing in that some parakeets will lay a single egg each day until all eggs are laid whereas other females will lay them in one day. Typically, the female parakeet will lay up to eight eggs in all, although four to six is considered average.
Incubation – The result of parakeet breeding is the eggs, which would then need to be incubated. This process will take between 18 and 20 days, a time when the birds will sit on the eggs to keep them warm.
Hatching– If you are going into parakeet breeding as a seller, you will need to help tame the babies so they can be handled. Every breeder has a personal preference. For example, some breeders allow the parakeet parents to do everything until the babies are fully weaned while other breeders will start handling the babies much earlier. No matter your choice, you will need to handle the baby birds to some degree, helping them feel comfortable and safe in human hands.
Weaning – Baby parakeets are usually completely weaned from the mother by six weeks of age. At that point, you can take the babies out of the cage they shared with mom and dad and place them in their own cage. Once separated, you can begin handling the birds even more, actually playing with them so your parakeet breeding efforts pay off.