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Thread: Mirrors and breeding?

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    Mirrors and breeding?

    Hey all,
    It's been a while since I'v been on! Life got pretty busy, but it's settled down again.
    Anyhow, I wanted to see if anyone had any input on budgie breeding and having mirrors in the cage. The last time I tried to breed my budgies, probably around June/July last year, my female, Lucy, laid eggs, but none of them were fertile. At that point, I was just putting the box on the cage and she would lay. This time, i'm trying to avoid that and wait for signs that she's ready to lay. But i'm wondering if my male is too distracted by himself to breed with her.
    Should I take out the toys with mirrors and replace them with something else so he's more interested in her? They really like each other, and have been together for maybe a year. I originally adopted Ricky in early 2012, so he's maybe 3 or 4 years old? I'm not sure how old they REALLY are at pet stores when you adopt them. Lucy is probably 1 to 2 years old. I'd have to dig out their adoption papers to see when they came home.
    Anyhow, any input is greatly appreciated!

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    Re: Mirrors and breeding?

    I just wanted to make another point, I do have my parakeets on a lighting schedule, as I breed canaries too. They're all in the same room, so they're all on the same schedule and I'm beginning my breeding season for my canaries.
    Just wanted to throw that out there

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    Re: Mirrors and breeding?

    Hi Kristina

    This is not an area I can help much with.
    But yes I would think about taking the mirror out, but in this case it may not make any difference.
    It sounds to me they are just friends and not a bonded pair.
    How you get them to bond? They may or they may not, no matter what you try or do for them.
    R.I.P my little ones.

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    Re: Mirrors and breeding?

    I honestly do not know anything about breeding but I thought I would give my thoughts on mirrors. I know when my lovebird was alive he was in love with his mirror friend. I would think you're male budgie could actually also love his mirror friend and it could make him less interested in Lucy. I would take out the toys and hopefully he will fall madly in love with Lucy and give you some babies.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Mirrors and breeding?

    Welcome back to the community! In all of the years I've homed budgies, I've found that mirrors and toys do not affect them like they do some of the bigger parrots. Generally, budgies can play with toys and mirrors and neither will encourage them to become hormonal. So, if it were me, I would not take the toys and mirrors out of the cage.

    In my view, you are being wise when you are not introducing the nest box back into the cage as yet. Before you try the nest box again, I would be getting the pair conditioned for breeding. Feeding fresh veggies, adding some additional calcium (cuttlebone), which you can also crush and put in the seed cup along with the seeds as well as hanging the cuttlebone in the cage, and perhaps even some fresh crushed boiled hen egg shells. You also could feed some of the finely shopped hard boiled egg to them. Do you feed seeds only, or pellets and/or seeds? If you do not feed pellets, then you can add a couple of drops of "birdy vitamins" to the seed cup about once every 10 days. You can get them at your local pet shop. You also can feed whole wheat bread pieces to them. I would not recommend feeding any fresh veggies of the cabbage family such as parsley, or kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, because of a phyto chemical that is in these veggies which can cause esophagus tumors in "some" budgies. I write this info because I lost a little budgie a few years ago that had been eating parsley every day. You can feed fresh red and green lettuce, cilantro (which does agree with my budgie, have been feeding it for 3 years), fresh carrots chopped up, corn, peas, etc. You can make a birdy mash of fresh veggies that are chopped finely and serve on a plate on the cage bottom, or in a food cup, or even mixed with the seeds. Fresh veggies can go rancid, so you would need to throw any of the contents of the seed cup with seed and veggies away each day after feeding them.

    You also might consider googling "foods to feed budgies when they are breeding", and you will find some great info about breeding as well as foods they should be eating.

    Do Ricky and Lucy mate on a regular basis now? Did they mate last summer when Lucy laid the eggs? It always is possible that a hen will lay infertile eggs because she has not mated with the male. And when a budgie hen first starts laying eggs, the bird is not used to the breeding process, nor laying eggs, so sometimes the eggs may not be fertile.

    I would suggest that you get them conditioned and read all about breeding tips. And in a few weeks introduce the nest box to them once again. See what happens. If you see them mating she should soon enter the nest box and start laying eggs. And further, she might get into the nest box and lay eggs without them mating. Unlike some of the other parrot species, the male will never go into the nest box with the female until the eggs have hatched. He will stay out of the box. She will come out of the box during the day and eat, drink, and do her poops and then get right back into the box. If you have a box with a lid that can be lifted, you can watch for the eggs. If she does begin to lay after about 7 days you can take one egg out and look inside with a pen flash light and see if the eggs are fertile. I would not disturb the nest if at all possible, and further, I would not put any nesting material in the nest. The budgie hen perches (chips off with her beak) the wood off the bottom of the nest box, and uses these wood shavings as her nesting material.

    I hope this information is helpful to you. And as I always post, my thought and suggestions are just my own. It is entirely up to you, the caregiver, how to proceed with the care of your little budgies. Good Luck! I hope to see some pics of Ricky and Lucy sometime soon!
    Last edited by maxollie; 01-14-2015 at 11:05 AM.

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    Re: Mirrors and breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by clawnz View Post
    Hi Kristina

    This is not an area I can help much with.
    But yes I would think about taking the mirror out, but in this case it may not make any difference.
    It sounds to me they are just friends and not a bonded pair.
    How you get them to bond? They may or they may not, no matter what you try or do for them.
    When I first bought Lucy, I had an extra cage at the time, and I set the cages next to each other so they could get used to each other. After a week or so, I put them in the same cage. I've seen them preen each other in the past, and they have always gotten along very well. I work a day job, so I don't get to watch them for long periods of time. And even though I've had Ricky for almost 3 years and Lucy a year, they are still very timid around me. It takes them sometime to adjust to my presence.

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    Re: Mirrors and breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by boomer girl View Post
    I honestly do not know anything about breeding but I thought I would give my thoughts on mirrors. I know when my lovebird was alive he was in love with his mirror friend. I would think you're male budgie could actually also love his mirror friend and it could make him less interested in Lucy. I would take out the toys and hopefully he will fall madly in love with Lucy and give you some babies.
    I did take them out, just to see what happens. I put some of their other toys in the cage, to replace the mirrors. I'll have some time to spend with them this weekend, so I will see how they act.

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    Re: Mirrors and breeding?

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    Welcome back to the community! In all of the years I've homed budgies, I've found that mirrors and toys do not affect them like they do some of the bigger parrots. Generally, budgies can play with toys and mirrors and neither will encourage them to become hormonal. So, if it were me, I would not take the toys and mirrors out of the cage.

    In my view, you are being wise when you are not introducing the nest box back into the cage as yet. Before you try the nest box again, I would be getting the pair conditioned for breeding. Feeding fresh veggies, adding some additional calcium (cuttlebone), which you can also crush and put in the seed cup along with the seeds as well as hanging the cuttlebone in the cage, and perhaps even some fresh crushed boiled hen egg shells. You also could feed some of the finely shopped hard boiled egg to them. Do you feed seeds only, or pellets and/or seeds? If you do not feed pellets, then you can add a couple of drops of "birdy vitamins" to the seed cup about once every 10 days. You can get them at your local pet shop. You also can feed whole wheat bread pieces to them. I would not recommend feeding any fresh veggies of the cabbage family such as parsley, or kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, because of a phyto chemical that is in these veggies which can cause esophagus tumors in "some" budgies. I write this info because I lost a little budgie a few years ago that had been eating parsley every day. You can feed fresh red and green lettuce, cilantro (which does agree with my budgie, have been feeding it for 3 years), fresh carrots chopped up, corn, peas, etc. You can make a birdy mash of fresh veggies that are chopped finely and serve on a plate on the cage bottom, or in a food cup, or even mixed with the seeds. Fresh veggies can go rancid, so you would need to throw any of the contents of the seed cup with seed and veggies away each day after feeding them.

    You also might consider googling "foods to feed budgies when they are breeding", and you will find some great info about breeding as well as foods they should be eating.

    Do Ricky and Lucy mate on a regular basis now? Did they mate last summer when Lucy laid the eggs? It always is possible that a hen will lay infertile eggs because she has not mated with the male. And when a budgie hen first starts laying eggs, the bird is not used to the breeding process, nor laying eggs, so sometimes the eggs may not be fertile.

    I would suggest that you get them conditioned and read all about breeding tips. And in a few weeks introduce the nest box to them once again. See what happens. If you see them mating she should soon enter the nest box and start laying eggs. And further, she might get into the nest box and lay eggs without them mating. Unlike some of the other parrot species, the male will never go into the nest box with the female until the eggs have hatched. He will stay out of the box. She will come out of the box during the day and eat, drink, and do her poops and then get right back into the box. If you have a box with a lid that can be lifted, you can watch for the eggs. If she does begin to lay after about 7 days you can take one egg out and look inside with a pen flash light and see if the eggs are fertile. I would not disturb the nest if at all possible, and further, I would not put any nesting material in the nest. The budgie hen perches (chips off with her beak) the wood off the bottom of the nest box, and uses these wood shavings as her nesting material.

    I hope this information is helpful to you. And as I always post, my thought and suggestions are just my own. It is entirely up to you, the caregiver, how to proceed with the care of your little budgies. Good Luck! I hope to see some pics of Ricky and Lucy sometime soon!
    I defiantly left some of the toys in the cage, but I took out the big mirror for a bit.
    I have noticed some of their wood toys have some chew marks on them and some pieces broken off, so I’m not sure if Lucy has been chewing on them some or not. I’ve heard of people putting pieces of wood or certain toys in the cage for the females to chew on as they come into condition.

    The seed mix I give them does have some vitamin pellets in it, but I’m not sure if they eat them or not. I always keep a cuttlebone in the cage for them, along with a mineral block. I’ll keep those things in mind about the veggies. I actually have some frozen mixed veggies that I may make them. I do have a hard time getting them to eat new things, I’ve tried since I got them. I’ll put stuff, like veggies or egg, in the cage for extended periods of time (changing it out every day), with little luck.

    Like I said in a comment above, I work a day job, and so I don’t get to see them a lot in the morning. I breed canaries as well, and I’ve noticed they tend to breed in the morning. Parakeets may be different, but just an observation. I never saw them mate last year at all.

    I did notice last year when Lucy was laying eggs, that she would be in the box and Ricky would come down to it and hang out on the perch for it, and kind of look in on her from time to time. I believe they have bonded somewhat, but I’m not sure on what level.

    Thank you for all the information though! It's very helpful.

  9. #9
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    Re: Mirrors and breeding?

    Well, do not lose heart. This Spring just might be the time for them to decide to give mating a try. From my breeding experience with budgies, they breed different times during the day. But as far as I know not during the night. Budgies are good sleepers at night, so I doubt they would be mating.

    Hopefully the eggs will be fertile if she lays. Since you are working part of the day, you will not be there to see if they are mating. Generally, it is about 3-5 days before the hen will lay the egg. Hopefully, she will lay the egg in the nest box when you put it back in the box.

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