Here is the first guest post on Welli@Home from BudGie about living room breeding.
Should budgies have offspring?
If you think it’s easy to let your budgies breed, you should read thisbeforehand .
One often reads these and other sentences:
- “Can’t be hard, it’s natural, after all, they know what they’re doing.”
- “It’s only supposed to be once.”
- “My kids can learn something from this.”
- “Eggs are here anyway, now I can’t stop it.”
- If they want to breed I have to let them do it”.
What actually happens before, during and after breeding?
Hen & Rooster
If she has favourable conditions like in nature, the hen becomes broody and searches for dark corners to find a brood cavity where she can lay her eggs and raise the chicks.
In order for the hen and the rooster to survive the whole procedure of having children well, they eat up reserves in the wild. But this is not possible in the living room if the owner has no idea.
But the couple does not take this into consideration because their instinct tells them that it is time to breed.
If the eggs are formed in the hen’s body, she must also form the shell. To do this, she needs calcium, but if this has not been taken in beforehand and is therefore not available during brooding, the hen withdraws the calcium from her own body and has no chance to replenish her own reserves. Everyone is welcome to google for themselves what the consequences of calcium deficiency in the bones are.
Once the chicks have hatched, the real effort begins. The rooster brings in food to feed the hen, and later also the chicks. Without a correspondingly abundant food supply, the cock draws on its own reserves.
The same happens with the hen, who has the additional task of distributing the food to the chicks in an age-appropriate manner during the first period. A just-hatched chick gets a finer feed mash from its mum than its 8-day-old sibling.
Some hens are so eager to breed that they want to start a second clutch of eggs even though the current brood has not yet fledged. They then drive the chicks away with beak force, which can not only injure the chicks but possibly kill them.
Also, inexperienced hens in brood stress can pluck or even kill their offspring. This is another reason why breeders never, ever let only one pair breed, in case chicks need to be placed with a second pair.
If a pair has had a brood under unfavourable conditions, it can be assumed that it has cost them a lifetime. Literally, they live 1 to several years less than they should.
If one parent dies during brooding, the remaining part has twice as much work and in the worst case the chicks are still too young to be fed by the father, for example. Because young chicks cannot digest the whole grains given by the father at all and would die as a result.
Then the only option is hand rearing, which is associated with further risks.
If mum and dad do not manage to supply their young with all the vitamins and minerals, the chicks can develop malformations or deformities.
Splay legs are common and can only be straightened at an early stage by an avian veterinarian.
In addition, the chicks can get serious diseases such as rickets, which also shortens their lifespan.
If they were plucked by the hen, this can mean permanent plumage damage and, in the worst case, lifelong flight incapacity.
The parents cannot get the nutrients that the chicks need from normal grain feed, which means that the problems described are pre-programmed.
Apart from the problems with breeding and rearing the young, there are also the following things to consider.
If your own budgies are breeding, you should also be able to keep 1 – 10 additional budgies.
In other words, not only space but also financial means are needed to pay for food etc. and veterinary costs.
Each additional bird means a higher probability that one of them will fall ill and have to go to the vet (for whatever reason).
If you consider all these reasons why you should NOT let your budgies breed, I think every responsible keeper will agree that it is simply not advisable.
This “small” text is certainly incomplete and is only an outline.
Please do not make the mistake of letting your budgies breed without thinking if you cannot deal with the consequences or do not have the necessary expertise.