Methods – budgies weaning guide
Weaning budgies – When you decide to handfeed a budgie it is important to understand what is involved in weaning the chicks, and what most breeders do to accomplish this.
There are 2 basic options in trying to help your chicks to wean: Force weaning, and abundance weaning. What are the differences?
Force Weaning: This method involves removing hand feedings from the chicks whether they are feeding themselves completely or not. The idea behind this method is that if the chicks are hungry they will start feeding themselves faster, speeding up the weaning process.
Abundance Weaning: With this method you do not remove a feeding from their schedule unless they are feeding themselves and they decide they do not want a feeding. The idea behind this method is to offer the chicks as much of a variety of food as possible, encouraging the chicks to try new things by keeping an abundance of food within beaks reach at all times.
We personally only believe in using the abundance method of weaning budgies at our aviary. In our experience if you try to force a baby to wean you actually move them in reverse of weaning and can cause all sorts of emotional and physical problems. Not only does the baby feel abandoned and unprepared to care for itself, but they have a very high metabolism and can not afford to be hungry for long. A hungry baby is not going to be curious and try new foods, but instead is going to keep begging for food from the breeder and make little to no progress in weaning themselves. On the other hand a full and content baby is one that will want to explore and try new things, and this is what we need for them to wean and what abundance weaning is all about.
It is if course your choice what method you choose to use, but please consider the expectations and consequences of both carefully when trying to decide what is best for the chicks.
Preparing The Chicks To Wean – budgies weaning guide
At 2-3 weeks of age the chicks will start becoming more active, exploring their limited enviornment as much as they can. It is during this time that you can start introducing things for the chicks to experement with progressivly, depending on their age and whether they are in the nursery boxes or weaning cages.
Be very careful when putting any food source in a nestbox or nursery box. Keeping the box
clean and any food fresh and dropping free is very important to keep the chicks from eating spoiled food.
As they get older and are able to move into a weaning cage, the key is to give them a great variety of different foods to try and abundance wean them. Generally speaking the more variety you give them the faster they wean, and always remember that a hungry baby will not want to try new food. Make sure they are full and content, especially right before you give them new fresh food to try!
It amazes me that when I feed my babies and you think they must be as full as they can be after a hand feeding they go right to the pellet or other food bowl to try anything they can get their beaks on. Just keep giving them lots of different food such as pellets, veggies, hard boiled eggs, fruits and millet sprays and keep working with them! They catch on very fast and soon they will be refusing to eat the hand feeding formula all together. They are very smart and learn fast especially with other siblings to explore and try new things with
Average Weaning Age And Late Weaning – budgies weaning guide
Most babies usually will wean around the 6 weeks of age, but each baby is an
individual and it is important not to be unrealistic in weaning expectations.There will always be those few ornery little ones that have not read the “average budgie weaning” guide, and follow it as we might expect. These little ones have their own idea of what they would like to do, and are content to keep having us feed them 3 times a day longer than
average despite our best efforts to encourage them to wean. Some babies just take longer than others, there is nothing that is done different with them than their siblings they just move at a slower pace.
With these babies it is important to be patient and continue a good feeding routine until they are ready to take care of themselves. It is natural for a chick to want to be independent, and all it takes is a little extra help and patience and these little ones will soon be weaned too!
When They Are Ready For New Homes – budgies weaning guide
After weaning it is important that they have at least a couple of weeks after this to spend time with their siblings.
It is during this time that is also important to continue working on basic training like stepping up and how to be gentle with hands to make things easier for their new owners. During these few additional weeks it is essential to to continue working on bonding and trust so as to not loose some of the advantage of hand feeding.
It is only after this when they are 8-10 weeks old depending on when they wean that they are ready to go to their new homes.