Having budgie babies

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newborn chick

One of the greatest things with budgies is breeding and having chicks. It's amazing how small they are when they are newly hatched. In only 5-6 weeks they are almost the same size as their parents. Mind you that the photos below are not from the same clutch, nor the same pairs. I've chosen the best pictures that I have from different breeding seasons and pairs.

NickeDuring the courtship the cock tries to get the hen's attention. My cock Nicke was tossing around with the bells in the cage, picking on the hen and showed her his good flying skills. During his show the hen seemed totally unconcerned about his efforts. When the nest box is on place, then usually both the cock and the hen will investigate it. My cocks were always the first ones there, trying to lure the hens to the nest box, to see if she would approve it.

Putte investigating the nest box
The cock investigates the nest box first.

Vicky outside the nest box Vicky on her way into the nest box Vicky inside the nest boz
It didn't take that long time before the hen did the same thing. My hens always used to scream into the nest box as if they wanted to scare something away before entering the nest box the first time.
Pippi broodingThe hen lays her eggs every other day, and usually a clutch contains 4-6 eggs. One of my hens had 8 eggs and all of them where fertile! This is unusual though. It is only the hen who will incubate the eggs, the cock will feed her during that time and later on also the older chicks. She will only come out from the nest box when she need to poop and to stretch her legs.
Trixie with her adopted chick KiwiAfter about 18 days of brooding the eggs will hatch, one egg every other day. Now a tough time begins for the parents, the babies need food 24 hours a day. The hen is still in the nest box most of the time, because the babies are too small to keep warm by them selves.
Clutch of chicksThere will be a huge difference in the size of the babies in the clutch, since they've hatched on different days. On the photo above the oldest one (up in the left corner) is almost one week old and the youngest (down in the left corner) is borne the same day I took the photo. The hen feeds different consistence on the food depending upon the chick's age. The younger ones get a more fluent consistence and the older ones get more seeds in their food. How she can manage to do this is a mystery.
Newly hatched chick
Newly hatched chick.
When they hatch they are both naked and blind.
nine-day-old chickA nine-day-old chick, its eyes have started to open just a few days ago. At first very little and then more and more every day. If you band the chicks, it is a good time to do it when their eyes start to open. If the foot is too small and the ring fells off, then try again the next day. I have banded all my chicks since 1992.

chick covered in down
Fifteen days old and covered with down.

17-day-old chick
A seventeen day old chick.

Three weeks old, it's soon time to leave the nest.

Youngsters exploring on TVThese youngsters are exploring around. They are 5-6 weeks old. When young chicks are out flying the first times they don't know how to use their wings yet, so it's not unusual for them to crashland or fly into walls or other things, but they don't fly that fast so they don't use to hurt themselves. They will however quickly learn how to use their wings.

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