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Should I Add a Nest Box for my Budgies?

Nest boxes are frequently offered at almost all pet supply stores in the bird toy section but should you buy them for your budgies? In this article we will go over the basics of nest box presentation and whether or not your budgie needs them.

What is a nest box?

Budgies are cavity nesters so rather than building nests from sticks and other debris, they find existing tree hollows which they scrape out to nest in. In captivity, nest boxes are wood or plastic boxes with a small hole that resembles a nesting cavity and is used for breeding budgies. Remember, budgies are highly nomadic seasonal breeders, meaning that they are constantly on the move in search of food and only settle down to breed during the short period when rain is abundant and food is plentiful. This is typically a short window of a few weeks and once the food and water is gone, the budgies move on. 

two budgies at the opening of a tree cavity

Do Budgies Need a Nestbox?

Generally, no.

Do you need to add a nest box for your budgies? In general, the answer is no. This rule also applies to all enclosed spaces like snuggle huts, fuzzy tents, coconut huts, and any toys that can be hollowed out to form a nest-like cavity. Budgies only use nest boxes during the breeding season and sleep out on perches at all other times. In fact, improperly adding nest boxes can actually lead health dangers for your female budgies. 

Nest Boxes Can Hurt Your Budgies!

Several different factors determine whether or not a female budgie decides to be receptive to mating with a male partner or to lay eggs. Length of daylight, presence of a mate, stable availability of food and water, vocalization by neighboring mating pairs, presence of “rain” and availability of a nesting site all play major roles.

Because of this, a typical pet budgie should not have a nest box or any other enclosed space (snuggle huts, fuzzy tents, coconut huts) installed in their cage year round because it can trigger the unwanted activation of their reproduction pathways and hormonal behaviors. In female budgies, this means it could trigger their bodies to start producing and laying eggs which have many health implications. Females can also fight over these nesting sites vigorously if there is only one and multiple individuals are interested in the box. 

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When should I add a nest box?

There are only two reasons to add a nest box for budgies–(1) Breeding by professionals or (2) intentional reproductive management (allowing females to sit on infertile eggs/dummy eggs to stop her further laying). In both cases, boxes are added strategically for only a few weeks at specific times of the year and withdrawn outside of breeding season.

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  1. Pingback: When Do Budgies Breed? - The Budgie Academy

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