Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More
How Do Parakeets Mate & Reproduce?
Parakeets are wonderful animals that make great pets. Some species are easy to find at your local pet store and are a good choice for a child. However, some people can be curious about mating if they have several birds. These people are looking for signs to know if their bird will give birth, while other people might want to know more about the mating process to become a breeder. If either sounds like you and you want to know more about how these birds reproduce, keep reading while we take a look at behavior, clues, habits, and egg-laying to help you be better informed.
Male and Female
The first step to reproducing parakeets is to have at least one male and one female in the cage. The parakeets have a thick feather coat, so it can be challenging to tell the difference between the sexes. The easiest way to be sure is to have your bird tested by the vet, but there are other ways you can tell if it is more than one year old.
- Males tend to have blue legs, while females have pink or brown feet.
- Males are often slightly larger than the female.
- Males usually have brighter colors on their feathers than females.
- Male parakeets usually make more noise.
- Females are bossier than males and are usually more aggressive.
- If there are eggs in the cage, the bird standing closest to them is usually the female.
There are many parakeet species, and though they may look similar besides their colors, most will stick to breeding within their species. This fact means the cherry-headed parakeet will usually only breed with other cherry-headed parakeets, though there are exceptions to every rule. In most cases, you can discourage breeding by putting different species in the same cage. However, many of these birds have a long lifespan and might get lonely and try to mate with one of the other birds despite their differences. It won’t produce any offspring in most cases, but they could produce a hybrid on occasion.
If you have just introduced a male and a female parakeet and you want them to breed, you may need to be patient to give them time to bond with each other before the mating can begin. It can take several days or even weeks for the birds to become comfortable enough to start mating. When your birds are getting ready to reproduce, you will notice them frequently sitting next to each other. The male may also begin to feed the female, which is a sure sign that mating is about to begin.
Both the male and female parakeets need to be at least one year old before they can begin breeding. Most breeders will look for a brown cere on the female, a sign she is full-grown.
To increase the chances your birds will mate, it’s better to have the correct setup in place.
- There should be more than one place to roost in your cage. There are several commercial options available, and you can build one if you are creative. Make sure it’s comfortable. Having several in the cage will help make sure your birds will find one they like.
- You will need a dish for water and food. Change the water frequently to make sure it’s always fresh.
- A smaller cage size of 24” W x 12” L x 16” H will help encourage your birds to be near each other.
- We recommend using a commercial product for the nest box, so you are sure the dimensions are correct, but you can also build one if you are handy with woodworking.
- Adjust the lighting so it is on for 12 hours and off for 12 to help recreate their natural environment. Try to make sure as much sunlight gets in the cage as possible for stronger eggshells.
Your parakeets will need unlimited access to high-quality food and clean, fresh water during the breeding season. Good food will make your birds more likely to mate, and it will strengthen the female and prepare her physically to lay eggs. Fruits and vegetables will entice your birds to eat with their bright colors. Commercial pellet food can help make sure your birds are getting the required nutrition.
Once your birds begin mating, we recommend leaving them alone until they are finished. You can do nothing to help them besides keeping the water fresh and their bellies full of fresh fruit. The male may mate with the female several times in one day, and the female will begin laying eggs a few days later. She usually produces four or five eggs which will hatch about 18 days later.
You can use a strong flashlight in a dark room to look through the egg. If you see red veins developing, the egg is fertile. If these veins are not present after a few days, they are not fertile and won’t hatch. As the eggs get older and closer to hatching, it will be more difficult to see through them.
Ending the Breeding Process
When you have enough fertile eggs, you will need to end the breeding process, or your birds will continue to mate and produce them. The best way to end the process is to split up the birds. You will also need to cut back on the food, remove the nesting box, and allow plenty of time for rest. Once the birds bond, they will begin mating anytime they are together, so you can repeat these steps as needed.
As you can see, breeding parakeets is not difficult, and the birds do most of the work. The most challenging part for breeders is determining what sex your bird is to get one male and one female in the breeding cage. After that, all you need to do is keep changing the water and providing fresh food. Once bonded, the birds will begin mating as soon as they are together without the long bonding process.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this guide and found the answers to your questions. If we helped you understand your birds better, please share this guide to how parakeets mate and reproduce on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image Credit: Kira Hoffmann, Pixabay
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.