At What Age Do Parakeet Lay Eggs? Everything You Need To Know
As a pet lover, you might be curious to know about the age at which parakeet lay eggs. To answer, depending on the breeds of parakeets, the age at which they lay eggs also varies. In most cases, female parakeets will be ready for laying eggs when they reach the age of four months. Having said that, it purely depends on the breed of the bird. However, do not attempt to breed your female parakeet until she turns one year old. The reason is that by that age, the chances of egg problems will diminish.
A healthy female parakeet will continue to lay eggs even in their late age. You might be surprised to know that there are cases of female parakeets laying at least one egg in a year, even at the ripe old age of 16. However, after a female parakeet crosses a certain age, its reproductive system begins to slow down.
How Often Do Parakeet Lay Eggs?
Planning to breed your own parakeets? Then, you might be thinking about how often they lay eggs. In the case of parakeets, there can be up to 5 clutches in a single breeding season in captivity. However, in the wild, parakeets lay only 2 to 3 clutches in a season.
On average, in each clutch, there will be around 4 to 8 eggs. The count of eggs may be 1 daily or every other day till the time the full clutch is in the nest. After your parakeets lay the eggs, incubation will take around 17 to 20 days.
To add on, when your parakeets are kept in captivity, they can lay up to 5 clutches in a year. Please note that though their breeding time can last for the entire year, it will come in cycles. It is also quite important to take care of your bird’s health. When in the wild, the parakeets will be exposed to climate and rain.
In the wild, they will lay an average of two, and adding more clutches will exhaust your bird, both physically as well as emotionally. As per experts, it is suggested to stop your parakeets from breeding for two clutches in a season and to a maximum of three.
What Are The Signs Of A Pregnant Parakeet?
Now, let’s check how you can find out when your parakeet is pregnant.
- Slight weight gain – A little weight gain is the first sign that your parakeet is pregnant. It may even be a few grams. Having said that, in many cases, there will not be any noticeable signs of gravidity, weight gain, or anything abnormal.
- The difference in appearance – Generally, the time gap between a parakeet creating an egg and when it emerges is very short i.e. around 30 to 48 hours. However, when your parakeet is pregnant, it may or may not appear to be a little rounder in its abdomen, but don’t mistake the appearance to be swollen.
- Changes in behavior – Look for subtle behavior changes in your parakeet. Before laying the egg, your parakeet may spend the majority of the time in its nest box. In some cases, they may often clean the nesting area, scattering and arranging the nesting material repeatedly in the box. If you do not provide your parakeet with a nesting box, they will look for a place inside the cage such as a corner, food bowl, or somewhere on the floor of the cage for laying its eggs. There may also be signs of being more protective and trying to protect the nesting spot in case there is any disturbance.
- Increased molting – Before it’s time to lay the egg, your parakeet may start molting more than before. The bird will also start to use its feathers as nesting material.
- Larger sizes of droppings – As the date of laying eggs gets closer, there will be less room for your parakeet to pass droppings. The frequency of passing droppings will reduce and whenever it happens, the size of the droppings will be bigger than usual. If you notice that the bird is straining and continues to pass huge droppings for days, then it is a sign that she is egg-bound. Then you must take her to a veterinary doctor at the earliest.
Read More: Do Parakeets Like Music?
Are Parakeets Easy To Breed?
Parakeet breeding is not really tough. While choosing parakeets for mating, make sure that they are absolutely healthy and devoid of deformities. You may choose two males or two females as breeding pairs. However, proper bonding is necessary before a true pair breeds. Though the birds will pair up on their own, if you are choosy about specific colors and patterns, you have to select the male and female.
Now let’s check out the various aspects of breeding parakeets.
1. Breeding season
Generally parakeets in the wild breed during the wet spring and summer seasons. Also, note that in order to stimulate the mating instinct parakeets require long daylight hours. This stimulation can be provided with artificial light as well. During this period, they require at least 12 hours of light in a day. Make sure that enough sunlight enters through the windows to fulfill their Vitamin D requirements. Also, check out for fluorescent lights at a nearby specialist pet store that best fits the requirement.
2. Breeding age
Once your parakeets attain maturity, females will continue to breed till they are four years old and males till they turn six. However, as discussed before there is no specific age for breeding and it can continue up to 16 years.
3. Breeding food
A varied and nutritious diet should always be included in your parakeet’s diet. During breeding, you don’t have to change the standard feed. However, you can add a side dish rich in proteins, such as egg food.
4. Breeding cages
If you have a lot of birds, build the cage in the form of compartments, in an aviary. One more option is to put the pair in a breeding cage measuring at least 60 x 40 x 40 cm. Make sure that you arrange the standard accessories including a minimum of two perches, a cuttlefish bone, one mineral block, lots of seeds, fresh food, water, and a nesting box. There should be two doors for the cage, one for access (to insert your hand) and the second one to make way for the passage to and from the nesting box. Once the chicks turn 6 weeks old, shift them to a bigger cage, or a separate section of the aviary.
5. Budgie Breeding Box or Nesting Box
For mating and nesting, it is necessary to arrange cavities for your parakeets, just like the tree holes found in the wild. A wooden nest box makes a perfect substitute. Let the floor be lined with a nesting material that is soft. Some of the options you can select are untreated wood shavings or shredded paper. Make sure that there is a concave section on the floor of the box. This is done to avoid the condition termed splayed feet, which happens as a result of chicks standing on a hard, flat floor.
Let the pair of birds of your preference remain in a roomy cage. Give them enough time to live together. Once the bonding develops, you can see them sitting beside each other on the same perch and one following the other. In the due course, the male will start feeding the female. When you see that it is an indication that there is true bonding between them. As discussed earlier, for breeding wait till your parakeet turns 1 year. The sign of your hen is ready for breeding is when it develops a brown, crusty-looking cere.
How Many Eggs Do Parakeets Lay At A Time?
On average, female parakeets lay somewhere between 4 to 6 eggs. However, it is not a rarity if the number falls below 4 or even if it crosses 8. The size of the eggs will be small and they will be white, off-white, or slightly gray in color. Generally, they will be oval in shape and sometimes circular. The average size ranges from 1 to 2 cm in width and 2 to 3 cm in length.
Hope the blog provides extensive information about how parakeet lay eggs. As discussed above, from case to case, the age at which parakeets lay eggs may also differ. However, please note that the prime years of parakeets laying eggs will be between 1 to 3 years. The reason is that at this age, their reproductive system will be at its peak. Also, keep in mind that the production of eggs may come down after a female has been bred for two years back to back.
Going by expert opinion, it is better that you wait for a minimum of 1 year before breeding a female again so that there is ample time for her reproductive system to recover. It is not always easy to infer the signs of breeding readiness. Hence, if there is any uncertainty regarding your parakeet’s physical condition or any other issues, get in touch with a veterinary doctor at the earliest.