So I got her a nestbox....

fiddlejen

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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
Calliope my little white beauty has been chewing holes in the windowframes, and trying to use the gathered curtaintops for nesting anyway. I definitely found one egg in the cage papers, and a splat below a window which I think started off as an egg...

I had decided sometime back that it would be okay if Calliope and Jefferson were to make some babies. I am still work-from-home, but I do hope and plan for any chicks to be parent-raised as far as possible.

So, I got her a nestbox. As resistant as the budgies are to anything new, I was certain it would take 6 months or so before she would even consider peeking inside, much less using it. I was wrong!!

So, here is where we are as of right now:

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fiddlejen

fiddlejen

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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
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Put some nesting material in the bottom of the box, like some wood shavings. Helps with better insulation during incubation and stops any splayed leg cases

Thank you. I did get shavings. But I read elsewhere that some mama parakeets will throw shavings out of box, with risk/likelihood of Discarding an Egg(s) while doing so.

Calliope has always Tossed everything from food dishes larger than a millet seed, so I think she is at very high risk for this behavior. (She climbs IN to the food bowls as if they are nests and then removes anything larger than a tiny seed. There were some foods I thought the budgies did not like, such as nutriberries, until I found non-tossable spots to locate them, and now they delight in them.)

Because of this risk, I had concluded it might be best to wait for actual hatchlings before adding shavings. Alternatively perhaps I could start by just adding a tiny bit shavings around the edges of box. To maybe - maybe?? - start to get her used to the idea. Although I worry this could backfire... Do you have any thoughts about this?

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Oh, and Now there are Six:

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I have ordered dummy eggs, but they have yet to arrive. I think she might be stopping now. Although, I understand pet budgies can go as high as eight at a time. Would it even make sense to add dummy eggs at this point, to stop her adding more to clutch, or should I just wait & use them to (hopefully!) help prevent a second batch?


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Kitekeeper

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Would it even make sense to add dummy eggs at this point, to stop her adding more to clutch, or should I just wait & use them to (hopefully!) help prevent a second batch?

Indeed they can reach up to seven or eight eggs. Of course if the last egg is more than 3 days old then that?s it, you are up to six.

I believe you already know that but it may be worth to others reading this thread. Budgies lay out eggs every other day, so the babies will hatch every other day too. Usually all eggs will hatch at the same clock hour too. So keep in mind when your sixth baby hatch, the oldest one will be a 12 days old chick and that is a huge size/development difference. Some people will help the parents hand feeding the babies to allow the little ones to be attended by their parents. This could be done feeding the older ones to make them less hungry ans less competitive or removing them to let the parents with only the small ones. Unless you know how to hand raise a baby bird, do not try to hand raise them without professional advice.

Regarding the dummy eggs, they are great for two purposes:
1- Stopping the parents to break or eat their own eggs
2- To provide support to lone survivors chicks and avoid spreaded legs.

As you are not in those situations I recommend to not put the dummy egg in the nest. It is always a very good idea to have them around neverthless.
 

Noahs_Birds

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Put some nesting material in the bottom of the box, like some wood shavings. Helps with better insulation during incubation and stops any splayed leg cases

Because of this risk, I had concluded it might be best to wait for actual hatchlings before adding shavings. Alternatively perhaps I could start by just adding a tiny bit shavings around the edges of box. To maybe - maybe?? - start to get her used to the idea. Although I worry this could backfire... Do you have any thoughts about this?

Personally I would put nesting material in as soon as possible while theres only eggs, as otherwise the chicks might get too disturbed and parents abandon them. Just put a layer all through the box (keeping the eggs in the similar position as before) and the hen will do as she pleases.
 
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fiddlejen

fiddlejen

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I was awoken this morning by the sound of domestic budgerigar dispute. Screaming fighting tangled together on cage floor. I got over there & put my hand between beaks, but could not separate them, until They finally decided to be done fighting and let go.

This was the result:

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Well that gash on Jefferson's leg was quite alarming, and I was very surprised to realize that blood was Not dropletting everywhere. However he was not putting any weight on it.

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The avian vet was able to see him. However I missed the first time slot they assigned due to not being able to catch him. Obviously, he was more resistant than usual... AND... his worried Lady Calliope-budgie kept following him around as soon as he seemed a tiny bit calm. She would get a few inches away from him (as she normally likes to do), and then would look & notice "OH something is WRONG with him... I'd better try to Attack him again!"

Well eventually I managed to get him a little bit calm and into Sunny's bird carrier. (Sunny was Very Confused, why I was not offering HER to go for a ride!) Calliope was Quite Unhappy that Her Jefferson was being taken away from her, and kept calling out for him.

We are back home now, about $125 poorer. Turns out there's a similar, though more superficial, scratch on the other leg too. The vet offered oral antibiotics, but I declined because there is just No way. Sunny would be a yes, and Calliope a maybe, but there is 100% no chance of me successfully delivering any oral meds to Jefferson. They did apply an antibiotic ointment, and provided me with a container thereof. I believe I can probably apply his tiny dab at nighttime, as he is slightly more cooperative when sleepy.

I have his separation cage right up against their main cage. Calliope was quite unhappy about this. After I adjusted so top perch was nearer a platform in the larger cage, she finally decided Jefferson Might be close enough, and went back to her nestbox.

By the time we got to the vet, Jefferson was doing a great imitation of "nothing wrong, I am perfectly fine!" Back home, at first I was even questioning whether the separation cage was really a necessity. But on my most recent double-check, he definitely looks tired and need of recovery-time; definitely not his usual "I AM JEFFERSON" little self.
 

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fiddlejen

fiddlejen

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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
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Oh, I did add the shavings into the box. And as of this evening, the egg count is up to SEVEN.
 
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Kitekeeper

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Wow!! Things have got quite ugly there!!

Glad to know Jefferson is fine! Budgies can reach high levels of aggressiveness toward each other during the egg laying phase. It ?s not frequent, but not that uncomon either.

Are Calliope and Jefferson the only birds in their cage?
 
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fiddlejen

fiddlejen

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Wow!! Things have got quite ugly there!!

Glad to know Jefferson is fine! Budgies can reach high levels of aggressiveness toward each other during the egg laying phase. It ?s not frequent, but not that uncomon either.

Are Calliope and Jefferson the only birds in their cage?

Yes, it is just them. They share a nice big cage with platforms and ladders.

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The cage dimension is appx 30"x20"x40" inches (the height of the attached stand brings the actual top about 60 inches from the floor). I attached the nestbox outside the top-right-hand food-door opening, so she can get in & out easily but not take up space in the cage.

My sun conure has her own cage, which is even much larger, and is right next to the budgies'. In the past they've always all been happy to visit together in each other's cages. However being far more careful about that, of course, from the moment I added the nestbox.

Jefferson keeps pretending he is fine, but he hasn't complained at all about being in separation cage, so I know he's not feeling great.
 

Kitekeeper

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Their cage looks perfect!!

You are doing just fine. Keeping Jefferson in another cage, but close to Calliope will be better for both.

Female budgies can cover the eggs and raise the youngs all by themselves, in fact it is my experience that the males did virtually nothing after females started to lay eggs. At best they kept them fed, but females also left the nest several times to eat by themselves. Surelly it will demand a lot from her, but she can do it.

Considering a clutch of seven, unless you help her to feed the babies, losses are to be expected, but it would not be too much different if Jefferson returns to her cage.
 
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fiddlejen

fiddlejen

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Now there are 8. Eight! I do hope she stops now.

Jefferson has figured out I am catching him to apply antibiotic cream at night and he is very Not Happy about this.

He also realizes he is not being allowed in his regular cage. And, I can only capture him when he's inside a cage.

I let him out to fly around today, and opened the main cage for him too. Eventually he went inside their big cage. Sometime later, getting close to birdie-bedtimes, I removed him thence, applied ointment, and placed him in small cage. Unfortunately, while working on the pre-bedtime routine thereafter, I foolishly opened the small cage partially, and he got out again.

Well at this point he went to a high spot I could not reach, and Sunny decided to stay awake on my shoulder. Most likely to supervise, or possibly just because the budgies normally get covered before her. (She likes to supervise the cage-covering procedures always.)

So we all sat up another hour or so, until Jefferson got tired again.

At which point he made it quite clear that he knows he is no longer allowed in the big cage. He went and landed on the open door. Then he crept-slid down the open cagedoor, and slowly made his way to the door-opening, peeking inside then creeping away again. (This is Jefferson. My bold, managerial Jefferson does Not creep!) Several times he did this before sneakily -- yes! sneakily! -- hopping up to the doorway perch. And again looked around again before finally puffing his chest in a very subdued, "i aM jeFFerson," version of his usual posture.

Well once he was finally in cage, Sunny was willing to go sleep. I let Jefferson sit-up in his big cage for another hour before removing him to the separation cage, and covering the big cage + separation cage together.

My poor Jefferson! The love of his life scratched open his leg and in consequence HE is the one banished from their home.
 
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fiddlejen

fiddlejen

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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
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Put some nesting material in the bottom of the box, like some wood shavings. Helps with better insulation during incubation and stops any splayed leg cases

Because of this risk, I had concluded it might be best to wait for actual hatchlings before adding shavings. Alternatively perhaps I could start by just adding a tiny bit shavings around the edges of box. To maybe - maybe?? - start to get her used to the idea. Although I worry this could backfire... Do you have any thoughts about this?

Personally I would put nesting material in as soon as possible while theres only eggs, as otherwise the chicks might get too disturbed and parents abandon them. Just put a layer all through the box (keeping the eggs in the similar position as before) and the hen will do as she pleases.

Is this about the right amount?

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Well keeping in mind, the eggs are Not resting on shavings, that is just the bottom of the box. This is what it looks like after Calliope has rearranged the shavings I put in there. Does this seem like the right amount? Or should it be more, or less?

Those eggs are SO tiny. The dummy eggs for budgies arrived and they seem nearly twice the size of hers!
 

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Kitekeeper

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Looks perfect!

You know you can examine the eggs to observe if they have an embryo. Some call it "candling eggs".

It is NOT necessary to do, but it might be intersting for you as Calliope has 8 eggs! Chances are that some of them are just "empty".

Take a look here to see how to candle eggs https://alenaxp.com/budgie-egg-candling-budgie-chick-development-stages/
 
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fiddlejen

fiddlejen

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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
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fiddlejen

fiddlejen

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Sunny the Sun Conure (sept '18, gotcha 3/'19). Mr Jefferson Budgie & Mrs Calliope Budgie (albino) (nov'18 & jan'19). Summer 2021 Baby Budgies: Riker (Green); Patchouli, Keye, & Tiny (blue greywings).
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Today we have Baby Budgie Number One!!!!!!!


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Soooo tiny!
 

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