Keeping Budgies: From an egg to a fledgling
This is a simple little story of how a budgie egg is laid and goes on to become a fledgling ready to leave the nest.
It all starts, of course, with the male and female both being in breeding condition and mating.
The first egg is usually laid around 10 days after a successful mating and then every other day until the
clutch is laid. The mother sits in the nestbox most of the time and the father feeds her. At between 18-23 days after the first egg is laid, the chick hatches.
The chick then grows rapidly as you can see by the following pictures. These pictures show the eldest chick on days 3, 7, 10 and 12 respectively.
By the time the chick is 2 weeks old he is starting to feather up nicely.
He looks kind of prickly and weird to begin with, but soon starts to look like a 'real' budgerigar. He looks a lot different to his younger siblings and is very curious about everything that goes on around him. You can see him in the following photos at 13, 14, 16 and 22 days old.
At the age of 23 days, the chick has most of his feathers and only some small bits of down left. at 26 days you can barely notice any down at all on him. By the time he's 29 days old the down really doesn't show much at all and he is ready to start exploring the world outside the nest box.
At 31 days he pretty much looks just like the older budgies you would see in a pet shop.
The chick is now old enough to start thinking about leaving the nestbox for good. A chick will normally do that somewhere between 28-35 days of age. He will then get fed by the male budgerigar until he's about 38-42 days, at which time you will be able to see that he's becoming very independent and managing to eat and drink on his own. When the budgie chick is around 6-8 weeks, you can start thinking about getting him a cage of his own, letting him join the gang in the aviary if you have one, or sell him if that's what you choose to do. Never ever sell or give away a baby budgerigar before you know for definite that he can feed and drink without his parents help.
Anna-Marie Stewart keeps and breeds pet budgerigars.
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