Hints For Beginners

  • When pairing up your birds, make sure you have enough seed to survive the breeding season; changing the seed mix mid-season is not a smart idea. The alteration may have an adverse influence on the development of the chicks, and in severe cases, feather loss in your chicks is likely.
  • Make sure there is always enough seed in your cages, particularly if you have chicks in the nest. Every day, I blow the husks from the seed pots, and every other day, I sift all the pots to remove any dust that has accumulated in the bottom of the pots.
  • Give as much diversity of seed as possible; you will notice that the couples seem to prefer various seeds and that a pair will consume varied seed while nursing their chicks. In a research, the partners who fed their chicks plain canary seed for the first three weeks of upbringing, followed by millet, produced the biggest chicks.
  • Vitamins and supplements are typically beneficial, particularly two months before breeding, but never offer supplements in the water while your partners are breeding. Because the hen eats a considerable quantity of water when breeding, she would ingest larger quantities of vitamins if they were given to the water. As a result, she would suffer from vitamin poisoning, and the chicks would suffer from having too many vitamins for their bodies to absorb. If you want to administer vitamins during breeding season, mix some into the soft food.
  • During the breeding season, it is not required to have the same level of cleanliness. Some fanciers believe in a deep litter system during breeding, while others believe in cleaning their cages more often. Whatever technique you employ, make sure the abundant droppings under the perches are cleaned on a regular basis since they are unattractive, stink, and transmit infections.
  • If your young chickens’ laying becomes inconsistent, move the eggs to another established pair and replace them with clear eggs. I make use of little glass marbles. You may return the eggs after the hen has settled and is laying properly. However, I just remove the false eggs; if you’re fortunate, she’ll continue producing eggs and you’ll have gotten more eggs than you previously transferred, resulting in a few additional chicks you wouldn’t have had otherwise.
  • Some hens, and sometimes cocks, are prone to shattering the eggs. When this happens, I just insert a concave with a hole drilled in the centre big enough to guarantee the egg falls through the hole, and the egg is then moved to another pair. Make a bed of sawdust underneath the hole for the egg to land on.
  • When a hen lays its first egg, breeders on the Continent put a plastic egg in the nest-box. This plastic egg is bigger than a typical budgerigar egg. It serves two functions.
  • It holds heat longer when the hen leaves the nest, keeping the eggs warm.
  • When the hen hatches, it prevents the chicks from sitting too tightly and crushing them, particularly the first ones.
  • When your eggs are close to hatching, I’ve discovered that soaking them in a small dish of warm water for a few of minutes helps them hatch.
  • If young chickens fail to feed their first chick after hatching, I’ve found that giving them an older chick, perhaps 3 or 4 days old, is enough to get them eating regularly again. If you don’t have a suitable chick, try a teaspoon of warm milk, hold the spoon level, gently hold the chick in the other hand, bring its beak to the spoon and just touch its beak to the edge, very gently tilt the spoon, you will see the crop gradually filling with milk, don’t overfeed, don’t try to force-feed it, it will flow itself. You may need to feed it many times before the hen does.
  • Feather plucking may be a curse, with no treatment and the ability to strike at any moment. If this happens, try moving the chicks to another couple. If no appropriate pair is available, there are a few of alternatives to consider.
  • If they are mature enough, install an open top box in the cage that is somewhat smaller than the nest-box; the parents will typically continue to feed them without plucking them any more.
  • Another method that has worked for me is to install a glass top on the nest-box; the hen normally stays outside and only enters to feed the chicks.
  • Don’t be too eager to take the chicks from the parents; if the parents (Cock) accept them, leave them for as long as possible; they will undoubtedly flourish better than if they are removed. Another effective approach is to sprinkle a tiny amount of millet-spray in the nest-box every evening when the chicks are around 4 weeks old; the chicks will quickly mimic the hen in picking at the spray. As a consequence, when chicks leave the nest, they know just how to shatter seed. When the chicks leave the nest, provide a tiny shallow dish of water in the bottom of the cage to keep them from dehydrating, which causes them to lose their tails and flights. This is widespread in certain aviaries and is sometimes confused with French Moult.
  • Trim the vents and flank feathers of both cocks and hens prior to pairing. Modern budgerigars, with their thick down and lengthy feathering, have a tough time effectively mating. This is the primary cause of the large number of transparent eggs that we have all experienced in recent years.
  • As a beginner, you may believe that you must couple as many pairs as possible. The old adage was that you only get one decent chick out of every ten; however, this is not true; it all relies on the quality of the original stock; just couple your finest birds; after all, there is no purpose in raising stock you cannot sell.
  • Never be too quick to couple your birds; just because Joe Bloggs down the road has paired his does not mean you have to pair yours as well. Before pairing, wait until they are in peak breeding condition. It’s never easy to tell when they’re ready. Even Champions have challenges. The simplest method to tell whether they’re ready is to hang an old nest-box in the hen flight; the chickens that show a lot of interest in the box are the ones who are ready. Cocks are different; if the hen is fit, the cocks will often follow suit.
  • Never release your young birds until they have completed their moult; we are sometimes tempted to discard a young bird because we believe it is not good enough. This is true for all fans, not just beginners. It’s interesting how some birds grow slowly and don’t reach their full capacity until after they moult. You’ll frequently discover that this tendency runs in families, so don’t be too quick to discard who may be your future winner until you’ve gained a lot more experience.

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