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Budgerigar Seasonal Care

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Budgerigar Seasonal Care

– Spring –

Spring is a good time to start breeding. In Australia, breeding usually starts in August or September and continues until January. This five month period provides enough time to breed sufficient budgerigars. If budgerigars are bred during the hottest months (January and February), French moult and breeding failures are a likely outcome. For this reason, it is not advisable to breed during January or February.

Spring Breeding Programme

Day of Week Water Supplements Food Supplements Additional Instructions
Monday Fresh water On seed when no soft food given Daily Turbobooster and an energy supplement with Fvite in finger drawer. On soft food Daily soft food enriched with Turbobooster, an energy supplement and Fvite. INSECT CONTROL Ivermectin for 2 consecutive days each month. Coopex aviary at the same time. WORM CONTROL A wormer for 2 consecutive days each month. COCCIDIOSIS CONTROL Coccidiosis prevention for 3 days each 5 weeks.
Tuesday Fresh water
Wednesday Fresh water
Thursday Fresh water
Friday Water Cleanser
Saturday Dufoplus/Ioford
Sunday Dufoplus/Ioford

 

– Summer –

The heat of summer has a negative effect on breeding budgerigars and breeding is therefore not recommended during this time. The Moult Programme should commence during summer in preparation for the show season. The importance of a good, healthy moult cannot be overstated and the quicker the moult is completed, the more successful the breeding season. The Moult Programme provides the budgerigar with the nutrition required to accelerate the moult, whilst still producing the best quality feathers.

Moult Programme

Day of Week Water Supplements Food Supplements Additional Instructions
Monday Fresh water On seed when no soft food given Daily Turbobooster and Fvite on the seed. On soft food Turbobooster and an energy supplement enriched soft food on Saturday and Sunday. INSECT CONTROLIvermectin for 2 consecutive days each 3 weeks. Coopex aviary at the same time. WORM CONTROL A wormer for 2 consecutive days each month. COCCIDIOSIS CONTROL Coccidiosis prevention for 3 days each 5 weeks.
Tuesday Fresh water
Wednesday Fresh water
Thursday Fresh water
Friday Water Cleanser
Saturday Dufoplus/Ioford
Sunday Dufoplus/Ioford

Young birds undergoing their first moult are particularly prone to illness during summer. The pressure of the moult and summer rains make this a very critical time for young budgerigars. A Young Bird Programme should be implemented to guide the young birds through their first moult and into peak condition for the show season. The best results should be anticipated when young birds are free to fly in a large aviary.

Young Bird Programme

Day of Week Water Supplements Food Supplements Additional Instructions
Monday Megamix On seed when no soft food given Daily Turbobooster and Fvite on the seed. On soft food Daily soft food enriched with Turbobooster, an energy supplement and Fvite. INSECT CONTROLIvermectin for 2 consecutive days each 3 weeks. Coopex aviary at the same time. WORM CONTROL A wormer for 2 consecutive days each month. COCCIDIOSIS CONTROL Coccidiosis prevention for 3 days each month.
Tuesday Fresh water
Wednesday Fresh water
Thursday Fresh water
Friday Water Cleanser
Saturday Dufoplus/Ioford
Sunday Dufoplus/Ioford

Protection against coccidiosis during wet weather in summer is extremely important. Canker prevention may also be necessary in some flocks.

– Autumn –

Autumn is the ideal time to breed budgerigars in the northern states of Australia and in regions that experience mild winters with temperatures remaining above 10°C. This is also the time when wild budgerigars breed best. However, in the southern states of Australia and regions where winter temperatures drop below 10°C, it is too cold for the breeding season to be sufficiently long. Therefore, spring breeding for these regions is preferred.

Autumn Breeding Programme

Day of Week Water Supplements Food Supplements Additional Instructions
Monday Fresh water On seed when no soft food given Daily Turbobooster and Fvite on the seed. On soft food Daily soft food enriched with Turbobooster, an energy supplement and Fvite. INSECT CONTROLIvermectin for 2 consecutive days each month. Coopex aviary at the same time. WORM CONTROL A wormer for 2 consecutive days each month. COCCIDIOSIS CONTROL Coccidiosis prevention for 3 days each 5 weeks.
Tuesday Fresh water
Wednesday Fresh water
Thursday Fresh water
Friday Water Cleanser
Saturday Dufoplus/Ioford
Sunday Dufoplus/Ioford

– Winter –

Do not start to breed during winter in any location (Northern or Southern Hemisphere)! Hen loss and breeding failures are a likely outcome if breeding is attempted during this time. In the warmer northern states of Australia and in regions that have mild winters remaining above 10°C, successful winter breeding is only achieved when it commences after July 1. For all other states, this is the time to commence a Pre-breeding Programme. This will help strengthen the birds and prepare them for the stresses of breeding during the warmer months.

Pre-Breeding Programme

Day of Week Water Supplements Food Supplements Additional Instructions
Monday Fresh water Soft Food Recipes with Turbobooster and E-powder on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. See Budgerigar Medicine Book for recipes. INSECT CONTROLIvermectin for 2 consecutive days each month. Coopex aviary at the same time. WORM CONTROL A wormer for 2 consecutive days each month. COCCIDIOSIS CONTROL Coccidiosis prevention for 3 days each 5 weeks.
Tuesday Fresh water
Wednesday Fresh water
Thursday Fresh water
Friday Water Cleanser
Saturday Dufoplus/Ioford
Sunday Dufoplus/Ioford

Pre-Breeding Cleansing Programme

Doxycycline hydrochloride treatment in flocks with Psittacosis is very effective in improving breeding performance. “Self diagnosis” of a Psittacosis problem is possible by treating with doxycycline hydrochloride and then monitoring the response of the flock to the medicine. If the birds brighten up noticeably within two days, then a Psittacosis problem exists. When there is no Psittacosis problem, the medicine will depress your birds within two days and the droppings will become large, watery and turn green.

Pre-Breeding Treatment for Aviaries with Psittacosis

Continue with a doxycycline hydrochloride treatment until the droppings enlarge, become watery and turn green. In aviaries with a severe infection, this may be as long as 45 days. To maintain a high fitness level during the treatment, give high energy food, enriched with vitamins and minerals (Turbobooster, an energy supplement and Fvite) daily. Minerals can only be added when Megamix is mixed with the doxycycline hydrochloride. Scrape and disinfect the aviary once a week during the treatment. Check the dropping health visually and look at the vitality, feather colour and sheen, vent cleanliness, cere colour and eyes of the aviary birds. Following the doxycycline hydrochloride, use a water cleanser in the water for two days.

Ongoing Care

Lice and Mite ProtectionLice and mites are an underestimated cause of ill health in budgerigars. They cause intense irritation preventing the birds, especially feeding parents, from the rest they require to remain healthy. Sick breeding birds and dead babies are common complaints associated with lice and mite infestations.

Red mite is another serious and deadly disease that must be controlled during summer when budgerigars moult.

  Feather Mites - Bob Marshall

The monthly administration of ivermectin into the drinking water for two consecutive days concurrently with the application of Coopex spray into the nest and around the aviary is recommended. Regular eucalypt baths are extremely helpful in controlling lice and mites that worry budgerigars.

Worm Protection Internal parasites are a common cause of poor development and illness in juveniles and adult birds. For budgerigars, medicines that kill roundworms should be given each month during the summer months. Use a wormer that is suited for treating roundworms, a most dangerous worm for budgerigars. Continue using ivermectin for lice and mites as well as roundworms. This combined treatment is by far the best approach for controlling lice, mite and worms.

Summer Rains: Wet Weather Programme Coccidiosis becomes a real danger to all budgerigars with the increasing humidity of summer. From early summer until late autumn we recommend a coccidiosis treatment be given for three days every five weeks. For Coccidiosis outbreaks a sulfa antibiotic may be required to halt deaths. Please refer to the exact treatment for outbreaks in the Budgerigar Medicine Book. Budgerigars, especially juveniles, succumb to illness most commonly after wet weather. Coccidiosis, E.Coli, thrush and mould infections are the most common “wet weather” diseases. Megamix has been developed specifically for wet weather problems and should be administered to the drinking water for the duration of the downfall. A five day course using a coccidiosis treatment should be introduced when it continues to rain for more than three days.

Mould and bacterial infections are controlled in most aviaries with a one day a week administration of a water cleanser. A water cleanser may be required for two days each week in susceptible aviaries.

Overcrowding of Young Birds Outbreaks of disease (especially canker and coccidiosis) should be anticipated with overcrowded young birds. The breeding programme should protect strong juveniles from the effects of overcrowding, however, overcrowding does not provide the most favourable environment for the enduring health of young birds.

Copyright © 2004 Rob Marshall, All Rights Reserved.

 

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