Are you wondering if budgies destroy their eggs or their babies? Why would this happen and can you do anything about it? In this article, we’ll focus on the sad case of budgies killing their babies.
Do Budgies Kill Their Babies? Unfortunately yes. Inexperienced or stressed budgie mothers may kill their babies to make room for the rest or when a new laying cycle approaches. The instinct to prevent malnourishment, overcrowding or starvation for the rest of her babies may cause some to die during infancy.
Why Do Budgies Kill their Babies?
What may seem atrocious could actually be altruistic. A budgie mother might kill some of her babies to give the others a chance at survival. There are many other reasons that fit this model of survival over everything. Here are a few:
- Lack of space
- Not enough food
- Protection from illness
- New laying cycle
A budgie mother may decide that the space is too cramped to raise multiple babies at once. She may determine that there isn’t enough room for a larger nest or areas to stretch out in between brooding. This is a stressful time where her nutrients are being depleting fast. She could make a rash decision based on the space around her.
2. Food Scarcity
Budgies may feel that there isn’t enough food because of the established routines in the way it’s delivered to the cage. If we are giving exact doses of pellets and not replenishing the dishes frequently, the adult budgies may determine that there isn’t enough food to feed all these babies. It’s best to keep filling up the dishes more than ever when a mother is brooding.
A budgie mother may feel or know that one of her babies is sick. She becomes worried that this infection could get passed on to the rest of the babies. She may kill the sick one to protect the others.
Budgies shouldn’t mate until they reach 10 months of age. Some are able to within 3 months, but usually the eggs will be infertile or unviable. A young or first time mother may have seen the act of raising babies and has no clue what to do. The stress causes her to kill the babies. She will not do this after a year or two.
5. Laying Cycle
A female budgie may rush into the next laying cycle before her young have reached the point where they can leave her side. She may push them out or kill them to make room for the new eggs.
Why Do Budgies Attack their Babies?
Some budgies are aggressive with their babies. They do not exercise the patience to deal with their disturbing behaviours and choose to attack them or possibly kill them. The irritation leaves the mother with a strong desire to stop them from bothering her or disrupting the nest.
Other time, budgies could resume mating and the babies could get in the way. When the babies are old enough to leave the nest, but continue to cling to their mother who is mating once again, the bonded pair may attack the babies to give them more privacy. This is a good time to remove the young chicks and rehome them.
Why Do My Baby Budgies Keep Dying?
Usually a young mother that has no experience may not know how to feed her babies properly. She may neglect them, leaving them starving or lonely with enough nourishment.
These neglected babies can become disease ridden rather quickly. We may not see or know this is happening before it’s too late. Babies can also die from:
- Heat stroke
- Cold gusts of air
- Too much sunlight
- Fumes from the kitchen or other chemicals
- Unclean drinking water
Hot or cold spaces are potentially deadly for young and sensitive budgies. Fumes from cooking, chemicals or paint may affect these babies without us noticing. Their water can get dirty very quickly with droppings or other debris falling in. Change it more often during this time.
Why Do Budgies Abandon their Babies?
A mother budgie may leave one of more of her babies unattended. There are a few reasons this could happen, surely leading to the death of a baby budgie. Here are some examples:
- A baby falls out of the nest.
- A stressed mother leaves the nest.
- A new cycle of eggs takes priority.
Return a baby budgie if it accidentally falls out of the nesting box. Sometimes the lack of experience or stress from outside factors makes a young mother give up too soon. She needs more time to learn and mature. If she lays more eggs, she may abandon her babies too soon.
How Long Do Baby Budgies Stay With Their Mother?
Baby budgies stay in the nest for 3-4 weeks. At this point, they may begin to venture out, but their eyes are still on their mother almost all the time. They are not ready to be removed unless the mother is starting a new laying cycle. If not, keep them together.
It’s best for baby budgies to stay with their mother until they’re 8-12 weeks old to make sure they have developed fully. You’re waiting for the little stubs to turn into bright feathers. It may take up to 8-12 months for these babies to become mature budgies.
Budgies do kill their babies sometimes. It happens out of stress, overcrowding, a new laying cycle or inexperience. A male budgie could even get jealous of the babies taking up all of his mate’s time and decide to do the unthinkable. Although the latter case is rare, there are multiple examples for budgies killing their babies in cages and in the wild.
Thanks for stopping at BudgieRealm.com and we hope you’ll visit us again soon for another informational article with tips and advice on taking care of these wonderful little birds. Bye for now!