Parakeets are one of the most common birds kept as pets. In their natural habitat, parakeets live in large flocks, therefore they often do better as pets if two or more are kept together, as they are not meant to be solitary birds. If males and females are kept together, there’s a chance they will mate and you will become the owner of breeding parakeets. Proper care of breeding parakeets is important for the health of the adult birds as well as any babies they have. With the right supplies and a little dedication of your time, you can have healthy, happy, breeding parakeets.
Proper sized cage. Make sure that you have a cage that is large enough for your birds along with the nesting box, perches, toys and food and water dishes. There should be enough room in the cage (after everything has been put in it) for the birds to be able to stretch out and flap their wings without hitting anything. The cage should be thoroughly cleaned once a week with the paper at the bottom of the cage being changed more often if needed.
Multiple perches. During “courting” the male will often chase the female around the cage until she becomes receptive. Place multiple perches in the cage for her to move around on as she’s being chased. A good size cage for two parakeets should be able to fit at least four perches in it. A couple of the perches should be natural tree branch perches that you can purchase at your local pet store. These ensure the proper health of the parakeets feet as well as giving them different places to go. There should also be a perch placed close to the nesting box opening so the parakeets can easily get in and out.
Plenty of food. Parakeets will consume more food when breeding and will consume a much greater amount once babies have hatched. Providing two dishes of food will make sure they do not run out of food. Fresh water also needs to be provided. Make sure the food and water dishes are clean and filled every day. Once babies have hatched, you should feed and water your parakeets twice a day.
Good diet. Proper nutrition is very important during breeding to ensure the health of the parents and the babies. Feeding a high quality bird food that is a mix of pellets and seeds is best. Millet sprays should also be attached to the inside of the cage. If your birds will eat fruits and vegetables, you should give them some fresh ones every day. Be sure to throw out any leftovers from the day before.
Vitamins. Parakeets that mainly eat a seed-fed diet often lack certain nutrients. If your birds will not eat fruits and vegetables, a vitamin supplement should be added to their diet. These can be bought in liquid form and will have instructions as to how many drops to add to the food and/or water each day. Even if your birds do eat fruits and vegetables, you can still add vitamin drops to ensure they are getting everything they need to be healthy enough for breeding and raising babies.
Toys. Even breeding parakeets need to have toys to play with so they don’t get bored. Have at least three or four different toys in their cage. You can also have extra toys so you are able to switch them out once in a while. Toys will get dirty and should be cleaned once a week or when you notice that they are dirty.
Nesting box. In order for your parakeets to successfully have babies, they need a nesting box. The nesting box needs to be big enough, approximately 9″L x 6″W x 6″H. You can purchase a wooden nesting box or you can make one out of a small cardboard box. The opening for your birds should be toward the top and have an approximate diameter of 1 1/2″. You should be able to open the top of the box so you can check on the mother and babies. You do not need to provide nesting material. Parakeets lay their eggs in an empty box and sit on them. The nesting box should be attached toward the top of the cage. Parakeets normally nest in tree hollows in the wild and won’t like a nesting box on the cage floor.
Tips and Warnings. Once the female parakeet starts to check out the nesting box, leave it alone or you may scare her out of claiming and taking over the box. Do not clean the nesting box as this can cause the female to abandon the box.
By following these tips, you are on a good start to taking proper care of your breeding parakeets. I would suggest that you also get some books with more in depth information about what to expect when parakeets are breeding and how to best care for them and their babies. The more you know, the better your chances are of having parakeets that will live long, healthy, happy lives.