Parakeet Eggs – From Fertilization to Hatching Guide 2018
Parakeets, or budgies as they are also called, are one of the most popular of pet birds. Their lively natures, sweet songs, and charming personalities all add up to entertaining pets that fit into almost any home. These birds make excellent first pets for kids, teaching them responsibility on a smaller scale than taking care of a dog or cat. Parakeets can be taught to sing tunes, speak a few words and do simple tricks. It is also interesting to be able to understand how these birds mate and breed. Continue reading to get a glimpse into the world of the birth process of the parakeet and the hatching of the parakeet eggs.
The way to tell male and female parakeets apart is to look at the spot above their beaks. The male will have a blue area and the female a pinkish spot. When the female is ready to start breeding, about the age of one year, the spot will turn brown. When the female is ready to accept the affection of the male, you will see them spending more time sitting next to each other. They will give each other “kisses” and the male may feed the female as a sign of affection. This means the couple has bonded, something that is necessary before they will be willing to mate.
During this time, normally early spring, it is important to make sure the pair are healthy. Feed them a variety of seeds and pellets and fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, provide a cuttlebone and a mineral block for the pair. This will provide the additional calcium that is required for healthy eggs. At this point, the female may begin to raise her tail to indicate to the male that she is receptive to his advances.
The male bird does not have a penis. He will rub the spot beneath his tail against the same spot on the female until he ejaculates. She will then use her beak to make sure the sperm reaches the right area. A female will lay eggs even if they are not fertilized, but the eggs will not hatch. This is much like when a chicken lays eggs that do not turn into chicks. However, once mating has occurred, it is highly likely that any eggs will be fertile and will result in baby parakeets.
A cage that is at least twenty inches by twenty inches by twenty inches is necessary to give a mating pair of parakeets enough room. A bigger one with more perches is even better, but a smaller one won’t be comfortable for your birds.
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The female (or hen) won’t lay eggs unless she has a place she feels they will be safe. For this purpose, wood nesting box of twelve inches by twelve inches is perfect. It is large enough for her to sit on her eggs and small enough where she feels safe. A layer of pine chips on the bottom will make it softer for her and her eggs. If you don’t have pine chips, you can use shredded newspaper.
If possible, attach the birth box where it is attached to an open door of the cage but outside. A small opening is perfect for the mother to enter. It also helps to have a perch nearby that the baby birds can reach once they are hatched and old enough. You won’t need to worry about cleaning this box while the parakeet is nesting. She will leave the box to defecate and will not mess up the box.
Shortly after mating, the female parakeet will lay her first egg. Parakeet eggs are laid every other day until the hen is finished. After her second or third egg, she will start to sit on her eggs to keep them warm. She will lay on average between four and eight eggs. The group of eggs is called a clutch.Because she lays them every other day, the first egg may end up hatching a full two weeks before the last one. This is perfectly normal.
The female will sit on her eggs almost constantly until they are completely hatched. She will leave them long enough to do her bathroom activities and drink water. The male will bring her food during this time. He will not enter the birthing box, however. He will stand at the entrance and feed her food he has brought but will respect her domain.
The eggs will begin hatching anywhere from seventeen to twenty days after being laid. This may vary by a day or two, but not much more. The male will remove any unhatched eggs from the nesting box after the young birds have been weaned. Until then, they will remain in the box unless the female decides to remove them. Do not remove any eggs from the box but wait until one of the parents brings the eggs out into the main cage. This does not happen often, however, and she will sit on all her eggs until it is well past time for them all to hatch.
Parakeet babies are completely helpless and featherless when born. The mother parakeet will feed them day and night every few hours to help them become strong.
By the age of ten days, the babies will finally open their eyes and be able to see. They will also start getting very soft feathers called down. At the age of three weeks, they get their adult feathers and you will be able to see what color they are going to be. At this point, the male will be willing to enter the nest and help care for the babies. Some females will allow this, but others won’t. If the female is protective, she will take on the care alone until the babies are ready to make it on their own.
At about five weeks of age, the mother begins to spend more time away from the nesting box. The babies will start to flap their wings, trying to make them stronger and the earliest ones will venture out of the nesting box. This is called fledgling. After another week, at the ripe old age of six weeks, the babies are ready to make it on their own. It is at this point where they can be removed to their own cages and humans can start interacting with them.
Just as with human families, it may take some babies a little longer to be ready to leave the nest. You will also see some more adventuresome ones leaving a little earlier. It is best, however, to wait until you see the parents allowing the babies freedom to eat and move around alone before removing them from the birthing cage. The parents are the best judges of when their little ones are ready.
Knowing the process of a parakeet laying eggs to finally being ready to move on to adulthood is a wonderful way to get greater insight into the world of the parakeet. In many ways, it helps deepen the bond you feel for your feathered friend. The miracle of birth is always a beautiful thing to see and following the entire process is something that doesn’t happen often. Enjoy the experience.