Breeding my Budgies/ Questions I need answered before I start.

Bluberrytheparakeet

Active member
Mar 21, 2022
122
217
Panama City, Florida
Parrots
Bluberry - Female Parakeet
Mr. Squiggles - Male Parakeet
Hello, I have their Nest box shipping to my house within this week.

I will attach a photo of my pair, The male and female have recently (within the last 6 months) become sexually mature, both been vet checked and have gotten a thumbs up to proceed!

I was thinking for their first clutch, I Don't know if they will make good parents (lol) so i bought some dummy eggs and was thinking to replace all eggs but two so that i don't hatch out 8 and them abandon them. I don't want to be stuck hand-feeding 8 babies. I have prior hand-feeding experience with finches but it is SO hard! Is this a smart idea or just let nature take it's course if they abandon them?

Any other breeding tips? Bedding to use? What do i do if my female won't stop laying after she has her clutch? What foods are calcium enriched? How to encourage breeding? take the eggs out to candle or not (asking since it will be her first clutch)? is candling budgie eggs not good in general? Ways to control aggressive behaviour if changing food and water becomes an issue? How to encourage successful mating? dietary supplements to use (powder or liquid form) to enhance crop milk? When should babies fledge, and if they don't what to do? After raising her clutch, if she doesn't stop laying, what can I do to prevent egg laying and sexual behavior?

Any other things that I need to know before I breed and may make me change my mind (other than the fact that it is a big responsibility, and takes time, money, and effort).

sorry for so many questions, I am trying to be the best prepared I can.

You don't have to have answers to them all to answer!
 

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DonnaBudgie

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,965
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Hello, I have their Nest box shipping to my house within this week.

I will attach a photo of my pair, The male and female have recently (within the last 6 months) become sexually mature, both been vet checked and have gotten a thumbs up to proceed!

I was thinking for their first clutch, I Don't know if they will make good parents (lol) so i bought some dummy eggs and was thinking to replace all eggs but two so that i don't hatch out 8 and them abandon them. I don't want to be stuck hand-feeding 8 babies. I have prior hand-feeding experience with finches but it is SO hard! Is this a smart idea or just let nature take it's course if they abandon them?

Any other breeding tips? Bedding to use? What do i do if my female won't stop laying after she has her clutch? What foods are calcium enriched? How to encourage breeding? take the eggs out to candle or not (asking since it will be her first clutch)? is candling budgie eggs not good in general? Ways to control aggressive behaviour if changing food and water becomes an issue? How to encourage successful mating? dietary supplements to use (powder or liquid form) to enhance crop milk? When should babies fledge, and if they don't what to do? After raising her clutch, if she doesn't stop laying, what can I do to prevent egg laying and sexual behavior?

Any other things that I need to know before I breed and may make me change my mind (other than the fact that it is a big responsibility, and takes time, money, and effort).

sorry for so many questions, I am trying to be the best prepared I can.

You don't have to have answers to them all to answer!
What beautiful budgies you have! I can't wait to see their kids!
My budgie Mama removes any bedding I put in her box. She wants it bare and I've read that's pretty typical. However, some hens like bedding and heard that organic wood pellet type kitty litter is great.
When she's ready to start laying eggs you will notice that her droppings get HUGE and very wet. She won't poop in her box so she saves it up and discharges a huge load when she leaves the box.
As for equipment you should have on hand in event you need to hand feed any babies, I recommend you purchase a small thermostatically controlled egg incubator that automatically turns the eggs. If Mama fails to incubate the eggs or chicks consistently or abandons her eggs or chicks and you need to take over for her an incubator is critical. I bought one on Amazon a few years ago for about $100 and used it to incubate Rocky when he was still in the egg and after he hatched and he would not have hatched and thrived without it. A few degrees too warm or cold kills the embryo and new hatchlings.
I think the dummy eggs ate a great idea to limit the size of the clutch. Add one dummy egg after each real egg is laid and Mama will probably stop laying when she thinks she has a full clutch of about six.
Candling the eggs one at a time after about five days of incubation will reveal whether the eggs are fertile. Easy to do using a cell phone flashlight.
Calcivet liquid calcium vitamin D3 supplement is excellent and should be added to their drinking water. It can also be administered to the hen directly (drops in her beak) if she becomes egg bound.
The better the parents' diet the healthier the chicks will be. Feed lots of greens and pellets and a quality seed mixture. Egg food should be given while Mama is laying, incubating, and feeding chicks.
I don't like the idea of letting fertile, developing eggs die if the parents don't give them proper care. I also don't like the idea of allowing hatchlings to die if Mama fails to take care of her chicks. That's why I have an incubator. Hand feeding even newly hatched baby budgies is not that difficult if you are able to feed the babies every 2-3 hours especially the first two weeks after hatching. My Rocky had a very strong feeding response and ate until he was satisfied then went to sleep for a couple hours. I did NOT use a syringe to feed him because I was afraid I would force too much formula into his beak and he would choke or aspirate so I used a tiny spoon and it worked great.
As for weaning and fledging, I was worried that I would have to hand feed Rocky forever (that's how much he loved the formula) but at about 6.5 weeks he rejected hand feeding and I was off the hook. Same with flying- how was I going to teach Rocky to fly? Well, no worries there either. He learned by himself at about six weeks.
I wish you luck. Raising Rocky was an amazing experience and he's now almost three months old. A happy, healthy, well adjusted, beautiful, big boy baby budgie (see my avatar).
 

Terry57

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You came here asking for advice before breeding, and that's a fantastic thing!
@DonnaBudgie had lots of wonderful info in her post and I'm sure that someone else will come along and add to that.

@𝕾𝖙𝖔𝖗𝖒𝖞𝕻𝖎𝖈𝖆 is knowledgeable about budgies and may have some advice even though she doesn't breed hers.
 
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DonnaBudgie

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,965
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Hello, I have their Nest box shipping to my house within this week.

I will attach a photo of my pair, The male and female have recently (within the last 6 months) become sexually mature, both been vet checked and have gotten a thumbs up to proceed!

I was thinking for their first clutch, I Don't know if they will make good parents (lol) so i bought some dummy eggs and was thinking to replace all eggs but two so that i don't hatch out 8 and them abandon them. I don't want to be stuck hand-feeding 8 babies. I have prior hand-feeding experience with finches but it is SO hard! Is this a smart idea or just let nature take it's course if they abandon them?

Any other breeding tips? Bedding to use? What do i do if my female won't stop laying after she has her clutch? What foods are calcium enriched? How to encourage breeding? take the eggs out to candle or not (asking since it will be her first clutch)? is candling budgie eggs not good in general? Ways to control aggressive behaviour if changing food and water becomes an issue? How to encourage successful mating? dietary supplements to use (powder or liquid form) to enhance crop milk? When should babies fledge, and if they don't what to do? After raising her clutch, if she doesn't stop laying, what can I do to prevent egg laying and sexual behavior?

Any other things that I need to know before I breed and may make me change my mind (other than the fact that it is a big responsibility, and takes time, money, and effort).

sorry for so many questions, I am trying to be the best prepared I can.

You don't have to have answers to them all to answer!
 

DonnaBudgie

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,965
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
I'm happy to help you in any way I can! I don't know everything but I learned a lot hand raising Rocky and want to share with others so they too will be successful. My motto is Birds' Lives Matter, including birds still in their eggs!
 

ravvlet

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,349
7,085
Seattle WA
Parrots
Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Broccoli - Dusky Conure - 3?mo old (July 2023 -)
~~~
(Rehomed) Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-2023)
(RIP) Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
I have successfully used a Kebonnixs incubator with auto turning & a humidity gauge for quail eggs. As budgie eggs however are as small or smaller than button quail eggs, you’d need a modified rail to use the auto turner. I tried taping mine to modify it with mixed results. If you have access to a 3D printer some quail groups have helpfully put files online to print one. Otherwise, and since you’re mostly going to want to have it just in case mom doesn’t sit properly, you can probably do what I did and tape additional dividers to fit more snugly around the eggs.

I also used a mat in the bottom of mine (I cut a rubbery cabinet liner down to size) to give the eggs traction so they weren’t sliding around and were actually turning. The bottom of the incubator is rather slick otherwise. This also helps when they’re freshly hatched and need something to provide resistance to push themselves around a bit - probably more of a concern for quail chicks who come out ready to run than budgies.

The incubator has settings for poultry but I believe you can manually set the incubation duration, and it will instruct you to remove the auto turning rails before hatch time, as the eggs need to settle so the little guys can work themselves out.

Best of luck, I’ve never raised parrots but I’ve hand raised mice and hatched out several different species of poultry and it was a rewarding experience.
 

Terry57

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Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada
Parrots
Hawkhead(Darwin),YCA(Dexter),VE (Ekko),OWA(Slater),BHP(Talli),DYH(Calypso),RLA(Kimera),Alex(Xander)CBC(Phoe),IRN (Kodee,Luna,Stevie),WCP (Pisces),CAG(Justice)GCC (Jax), GSC2(Charley)
Hello, I have their Nest box shipping to my house within this week.

I will attach a photo of my pair, The male and female have recently (within the last 6 months) become sexually mature, both been vet checked and have gotten a thumbs up to proceed!

Excellent decision to have them both vet checked and het his approval on their health!

I was thinking for their first clutch, I Don't know if they will make good parents (lol) so i bought some dummy eggs and was thinking to replace all eggs but two so that i don't hatch out 8 and them abandon them. I don't want to be stuck hand-feeding 8 babies. I have prior hand-feeding experience with finches but it is SO hard! Is this a smart idea or just let nature take it's course if they abandon them?
I feel like it's our responsibility to do what we think is best. I personally couldn't pick just 2 out of 8, I'd have to make myself ready for the fact that I may have to feed all 8. You may not even end up with 8 babies, some may well not be viable. You'll be able to find out using a flashlight on the eggs. (I won't put instructions here for that).
If you can handfeed a finch, you can definitely handfeed a budgie. A friend of mine ended up with a clutch of budgies, and she had 5 babies out of 7 eggs that hatched. She fed them pretty fast, those little guys love their food!

In the end though, it's a decision only you can make. Follow your heart and gut and it won't steer you wrong.

What do i do if my female won't stop laying after she has her clutch?

Do you mean after she raises this clutch? Make sure to remove the nest box and anything else she could look at as somewhere to lay her eggs as soon as you can. You can extend her sleeping hours - if she sleeps 10 hours, try 12.
What foods are calcium enriched?
Green foods are good for calcium. My budgies went crazy over a freshly washed leaf of kale, and that's really good for them. I also give access to either a cuttle bone or a small dish of oyster shells. Freshly boiled eggs shell is also a great choice. She'd appreciate a little of the egg as well:)
How to encourage breeding? take the eggs out to candle or not (asking since it will be her first clutch)? is candling budgie eggs not good in general?
I know a few budgie breeders and they always candle.
Ways to control aggressive behaviour if changing food and water becomes an issue?

I've worn a jacket and gloves before if any of my wilder birds were feeling aggressive because of their hormones.
How to encourage successful mating? dietary supplements to use (powder or liquid form) to enhance crop milk?
I know no way to encourage mating other than adding a nest box and waiting to see what happens.
I don't advise adding any supplements without a vet's approval.
When should babies fledge, and if they don't what to do?

The babies will naturally fledge, and will be so cute flying around when they start to get the hang of it:) Please don't clip them until they're fully fledged, it can cause issues for them that last a lifetime.(That is if you're planning to clip their wings)
After raising her clutch, if she doesn't stop laying, what can I do to prevent egg laying and sexual behavior?

I think that removing the nest box will make a big change for her once the babies are out of it.
There really isn't a way to prevent egg laying and sexual behaviour, it's hard wired into them. We can do everything we can to stop it from happening, and some people have had luck with an implant that helps control hormones. I'm not sure if a budgie is too small for that, though.
Any other things that I need to know before I breed and may make me change my mind (other than the fact that it is a big responsibility, and takes time, money, and effort).

Just that it can break your heart. It's so easy to fall in love with the babies, and if something happens to one it hurts. The pair will also grieve, which is somehow harder.
sorry for so many questions, I am trying to be the best prepared I can.

You've come to the right place to ask questions, I'm glad you did:)
You don't have to have answers to them all to answer!
I didn't have many answers but decided to answer what I know and I know others will come along and give their opinions as well.
 

ravvlet

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,349
7,085
Seattle WA
Parrots
Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Broccoli - Dusky Conure - 3?mo old (July 2023 -)
~~~
(Rehomed) Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-2023)
(RIP) Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
Oh - that’s a good point about fledging. Make sure you have blinds in the windows of the room they’re fledging in, or put a decal up on the window so the window doesn’t look clear. There have been several folks here who have lost fledglings to blunt force trauma from flying into windows. :(
 

Terry57

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Staff member
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Nov 6, 2013
47,729
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Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada
Parrots
Hawkhead(Darwin),YCA(Dexter),VE (Ekko),OWA(Slater),BHP(Talli),DYH(Calypso),RLA(Kimera),Alex(Xander)CBC(Phoe),IRN (Kodee,Luna,Stevie),WCP (Pisces),CAG(Justice)GCC (Jax), GSC2(Charley)
Oh - that’s a good point about fledging. Make sure you have blinds in the windows of the room they’re fledging in, or put a decal up on the window so the window doesn’t look clear. There have been several folks here who have lost fledglings to blunt force trauma from flying into windows. :(
Excellent point! I never even thought to say that, thank you!
 

DonnaBudgie

Well-known member
Jan 24, 2023
3,213
3,965
Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
I have successfully used a Kebonnixs incubator with auto turning & a humidity gauge for quail eggs. As budgie eggs however are as small or smaller than button quail eggs, you’d need a modified rail to use the auto turner. I tried taping mine to modify it with mixed results. If you have access to a 3D printer some quail groups have helpfully put files online to print one. Otherwise, and since you’re mostly going to want to have it just in case mom doesn’t sit properly, you can probably do what I did and tape additional dividers to fit more snugly around the eggs.

I also used a mat in the bottom of mine (I cut a rubbery cabinet liner down to size) to give the eggs traction so they weren’t sliding around and were actually turning. The bottom of the incubator is rather slick otherwise. This also helps when they’re freshly hatched and need something to provide resistance to push themselves around a bit - probably more of a concern for quail chicks who come out ready to run than budgies.

The incubator has settings for poultry but I believe you can manually set the incubation duration, and it will instruct you to remove the auto turning rails before hatch time, as the eggs need to settle so the little guys can work themselves out.

Best of luck, I’ve never raised parrots but I’ve hand raised mice and hatched out several different species of poultry and it was a rewarding experience.
The incubator I have is a Janoel 12. The adjustable turning mechanism works great with eggs as small as a Budgie's. It also has a chamber below the eggs to add water to increase the humidity. The eggs rest on a small grade plastic grid so the chicks won't slip around after hatching. I disengaged the turning mechanism the day before hatching when the egg began to make peeping sounds. After hatching I removed the plastic grids and lined the bottom with paper towels and used the incubator as a brooder. I'm convinced that using this incubator was critical to my success in hatching and hand raising little Rocky.
 

ravvlet

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,349
7,085
Seattle WA
Parrots
Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Broccoli - Dusky Conure - 3?mo old (July 2023 -)
~~~
(Rehomed) Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-2023)
(RIP) Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
The incubator I have is a Janoel 12. The adjustable turning mechanism works great with eggs as small as a Budgie's. It also has a chamber below the eggs to add water to increase the humidity. The eggs rest on a small grade plastic grid so the chicks won't slip around after hatching. I disengaged the turning mechanism the day before hatching when the egg began to make peeping sounds. After hatching I removed the plastic grids and lined the bottom with paper towels and used the incubator as a brooder. I'm convinced that using this incubator was critical to my success in hatching and hand raising little Rocky.
Oh, I like that one; it handily solves the egg turner problem I was having. Was Rocky impacted negatively by lifting the lid for the incubator? I know the one I had took a couple minutes to get back up to temp when I opened the top, and they need to be fed so often! I mean, it clearly worked out for you - does it heat up faster?

I want to say the Kebonnix also has the water reservoir beneath it but I’m not too sure anymore.

Haha, this is making me want to hatch out budgie eggs. I remember syringe feeding pinkie mice though and not getting to sleep for more than an hour and a half at a time was so brutal!
 

DonnaBudgie

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Jan 24, 2023
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Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
Oh, I like that one; it handily solves the egg turner problem I was having. Was Rocky impacted negatively by lifting the lid for the incubator? I know the one I had took a couple minutes to get back up to temp when I opened the top, and they need to be fed so often! I mean, it clearly worked out for you - does it heat up faster?

I want to say the Kebonnix also has the water reservoir beneath it but I’m not too sure anymore.

Haha, this is making me want to hatch out budgie eggs. I remember syringe feeding pinkie mice though and not getting to sleep for more than an hour and a half at a time was so brutal!
When Rocky first hatched I kept his incubator in the bathroom because it has a really good overhead heater and I could warm the bathroom up for ten minutes before I opened up the incubator and took him out to feed him. He was, of course, blind and helpless for the first week and all he knew was that he was hungry and wanted to be fed! I held him in my hands to feed him. I put him in the palm of my hand and held his tiny head between my thumb and forefinger and tapped his little beak with the edge of a baby spoon full of fresh, warm formula (102-107 degrees) and he opened his beak and began to eat until satisfied. Then I wiped his little face and neck with a warm baby wipe and put him back. I put a little stuffed bird in the incubator with him so he had something to cuddle up to and he would fall right asleep until his next feeding two hours later. I also wiped his little bum so his poops wouldn't dry on his delicate skin. I would talk to him softly when feeding him. During his feedings I put the lid back on the incubator so it did not get cold and it heated back up to the 100 degrees I set it for very quickly. Rocky had an amazing appetite and raising him was an unforgettable experience!
 

ravvlet

Well-known member
Jun 25, 2019
2,349
7,085
Seattle WA
Parrots
Kirby - OWA, 33yrs old (2019-)
Broccoli - Dusky Conure - 3?mo old (July 2023 -)
~~~
(Rehomed) Sammy - YNA, 45 yrs old (2022-2023)
(RIP) Cricket - Cockatiel (2019-2022)
When Rocky first hatched I kept his incubator in the bathroom because it has a really good overhead heater and I could warm the bathroom up for ten minutes before I opened up the incubator and took him out to feed him. He was, of course, blind and helpless for the first week and all he knew was that he was hungry and wanted to be fed! I held him in my hands to feed him. I put him in the palm of my hand and held his tiny head between my thumb and forefinger and tapped his little beak with the edge of a baby spoon full of fresh, warm formula (102-107 degrees) and he opened his beak and began to eat until satisfied. Then I wiped his little face and neck with a warm baby wipe and put him back. I put a little stuffed bird in the incubator with him so he had something to cuddle up to and he would fall right asleep until his next feeding two hours later. I also wiped his little bum so his poops wouldn't dry on his delicate skin. I would talk to him softly when feeding him. During his feedings I put the lid back on the incubator so it did not get cold and it heated back up to the 100 degrees I set it for very quickly. Rocky had an amazing appetite and raising him was an unforgettable experience!
That does sound incredible. You are such a great bird parent! Fortunately for me I have no way of getting budgie eggs, so I will not be losing sleep anytime soon, but I am certain this information will be incredibly helpful to others!
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I’ve heard that setting single hatchlings in a “donut” supports the upper body and helps prevent splay leg. But I haven’t tried it.
 
OP
Bluberrytheparakeet

Bluberrytheparakeet

Active member
Mar 21, 2022
122
217
Panama City, Florida
Parrots
Bluberry - Female Parakeet
Mr. Squiggles - Male Parakeet
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I would also mention to ya'll that I keep my female clipped because I found her in my backyard. She has SUCH strong flight power that even with the clip she has now (I clip the tail too on her) she can still go for a good 45 seconds of controlled flight time. She is SUCH a strong flyer that I assume she escaped. (yes, i still constantly look for her past home but nobody has turned up). I have no intention on clipping the babies AT ALL, and people that I give them to will be required to sign paperwork requiring certain care and a no-clip policy (unless it is in the birds better interest, which it normally isn't).
 

DonnaBudgie

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Jan 24, 2023
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Windham, Maine
Parrots
Budgies. Lotsa Budgies.
That sounds like a good idea. I worried about splayed legs (and everything else) because Rocky ate so much and got so big so quickly (2 grams to 45iî grams in three weeks!) I wasn't sure his legs could support his body weight, but he had no problems. One benefit of being hand fed exclusively was that I know Rocky received the most nutritious diet possible. His parents ate broccoli but much preferred seeds over pellets. He also did not have to compete with any nestmates for food. My husband and I were amazed at how much just one baby budgie could eat and we couldn't imagine how hard it would be for parent budgies to feed a nest full of babies! He would joke "Now I know why tigers eat their own young"!
I would also mention to ya'll that I keep my female clipped because I found her in my backyard. She has SUCH strong flight power that even with the clip she has now (I clip the tail too on her) she can still go for a good 45 seconds of controlled flight time. She is SUCH a strong flyer that I assume she escaped. (yes, i still constantly look for her past home but nobody has turned up). I have no intention on clipping the babies AT ALL, and people that I give them to will be required to sign paperwork requiring certain care and a no-clip policy (unless it is in the birds better interest, which it normally isn't).
It will be impossible and unreasonable to enforce a no clip policy. What are you going to do? Spy on them and sue them? I'm a retired litigation attorney (hated it) and you would not have a viable case for breach of the agreement. No lawyer would take it and without monetary damages you wouldn't have a small claims court case. I don't understand why you would take such a position when losing a budgie from flying away or flying indoors so fast he hits something and gets seriously injured are such tragic outcomes. Especially since you clip your female that was an escapee! Imagine if one of your babies flew away. They cannot take care of themselves in the wild and it would die an awful death by starvation, exposure, or a predator! And why are you trimming her tail? I've never heard of anyone doing that! Rocky learned to fly in about two days and proved to be such as strong flyer untrimmed that I had to lightly trim his wings two days later. He still flies freely all around the living room- he just can't fly long distances or get more than five feet of lift. He still has great coordination and can get himself out of any situation. If ANYTHING happened to Rocky I would be devastated!
 
OP
Bluberrytheparakeet

Bluberrytheparakeet

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Mar 21, 2022
122
217
Panama City, Florida
Parrots
Bluberry - Female Parakeet
Mr. Squiggles - Male Parakeet
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #20
I clip the tail feathers because my avian vet recommended it to slow down the flying so she doesn't fly into walls, and it's proven to work ever since we tried it. I never lost a bird, I found a bird, (my female). She still is technically fully flighted, just she doesn't fly SOO fast to the point where she runs into walls.

I guess that may make sense to not enforce a no-clip policy. I just want the best for the birdies, and for my baby girl, being clipped is literally her best option.
 

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