Breeding occurs when budgies reach sexual maturity, but they shouldn’t have more than two broods per year. Continuous egg-laying can cause malnourishment, exhaustion, and calcium deficiency.
To prevent budgies from breeding, remove any dark, secluded areas used for nesting.
Avoid sexually stimulating activities, like hand-feeding or petting at the base of the tail. Limit daylight to 10 hours and avoid high-calorie foods. Separate hormonal budgies from other birds until they calm.
Identify the signs of budgie mating behavior early so that you can take action.
The less hormonal your budgie gets, the less likely it is to mate. If your budgie doesn’t stop mating or egg-laying, a hormone injection can halt a budgie’s mating instincts for several months.
How To Keep Budgies from Mating
If male and female budgies are housed together, there’s a high likelihood they’ll breed.
Certain factors can reduce this from happening. For example, the budgies may not like each other and refuse to pair. However, the chances of two budgies breeding can never be entirely removed.
Budgies form strong bonds with their companions. The chance of finding a suitable mate is high if you keep several budgies of different sexes or have two opposite-sex budgies.
If your male and female decide to pair-bond, mating will follow. That is, as soon as the breeding conditions are right. Budgies don’t mate year-round because they need the right:
- Light exposure
- Level of privacy
You can discourage budgies from mating if you remove these factors. By creating undesirable conditions for breeding, you’re tricking the budgies into believing that it’s a bad time to breed.
1/ Remove Hiding Places
Most budgies prefer to build nests and lay eggs in dark, enclosed corners.
To stop your budgies from developing mating behaviors, keep them away from hidden, secluded areas. For example, remove foliage within the cage so that budgies don’t have little coves to hide.
2/ No Stimulating Activities
Budgies may become sexually aroused when touched on certain body parts, triggering breeding behavior if the budgie is sexually mature.
The most sensitive body parts to avoid touching include:
- Around the base of the tail
- Along the spine
- Back of the neck
Also, budgies regurgitate to feed each other during mating season. To avoid riling your budgie up, don’t hand-feed it during this time so that it doesn’t confuse this activity as a courting gesture.
3/ Reduce Daylight Hours
Wild budgies know that spring has arrived based on the sun.
When the days get longer, and sunlight exposure becomes ample, budgies automatically release hormones for breeding. After all, food is most plentiful during the warm months of the year, and the conditions are right for hatching chicks.
To reduce the chances of breeding, create a balance between day and night-time hours. Ideally, your budgies should have 10 hours of daylight and 14 hours of darkness every night. That way, your budgies won’t feel comfortable laying eggs since the conditions will be unfavorable.
If it’s the summer or spring where you live, limit the amount of sunlight your budgie gets. This can include moving it away from the window after a few hours. Budgies should never be kept in absolute darkness, but shaving a couple of hours off the day can fool your budgie into thinking breeding season never came.
If it’s winter and your budgie is still in the mood for reproduction, it may be fooled by the artificial lighting in your home. This can give the impression of endless summer, confusing your budgie’s hormones.
You can prevent this by limiting how much artificial light your budgie gets. Put it to bed at a set time, turn off the lights, and place a cover over its cage.
4/ Separate Females from Males
Budgies have an increased urge for breeding when they’re close to other birds.
Once your budgie develops mating behaviors, you should separate it from other playmates. Once its urges pass, you can reintroduce them.
5/ Fewer Toys
During mating season, your budgie could develop the urge to breed with toys or its reflection in a mirror. This usually happens when budgies are lonely or poorly socialized. Without a suitable mate and an excess of hormones, the budgie may resort to unnatural copulation.
Remove all objects that trigger sexual stimulation. Replace them with toys that motivate the budgie to play more or become curious, as this will draw its attention away. Moreover, never provide soft toys since budgies use them as nesting materials.
Instead, provide toys made of plastic, hardwood, or metal.
6/ Cage Rearrangement
Budgies prefer raising their offspring in a safe and secure environment.
To discourage a budgie from breeding, you should:
- Change the cage lining
- Bring in unfamiliar toys
- Change feeding bowls
- Introduce new perches
Budgies are less likely to lay eggs in unfamiliar environments.
Avoid switching the budgie to a new cage or placing the cage in a different area of the home. Otherwise, the budgie may become stressed enough to avoid playing, eating, or sleeping properly.
7/ Limit Fats and High-Calorie Foods
According to the National Library of Medicine, food is an important factor that affects reproduction in birds. To reduce the urge for mating in budgies, limit fats and high-energy foods.
After all, budgies mate during the spring and summer, when the widest variety of food is available. High-calorie and fatty foods provide them with the nutrients for healthy eggs and the stamina to breed.
8/ No Nesting Spots
Even if you keep hiding spots to a minimum, your budgies may make do. You can discourage the budgies from mating by taking away their options for backup nests, including:
- Flat wood perches
- Empty food bowls
- Hammocks or broad perches
- Bedded areas
9/ Hormone Injection Therapy
Hormone injection is a fast and effective remedy against excessive breeding in budgies.
However, budgies may respond differently to hormonal injections. Some reduce the number of eggs laid, while others go for a long period without laying any eggs.
During the procedure, a veterinarian administers an injection known as lupron depot. This prevents the release of reproductive hormones, stopping all ovarian functions and shutting down your budgie’s reproductive cycle.
For effective results, a female budgie will need hormone injection therapy every 3-6 months.
Can Budgies Breed Without a Nesting Box?
Budgies prefer a nesting box and may be discouraged from breeding without it.
However, a budgie will mate, nest, and brood eggs where it can. As long as the temperature, level of privacy, light exposure, and physical stimulation are right, budgies will reproduce.
Impromptu nesting spots within a cage may include:
- Bottom of the cage in a secluded corner
- Flat perches
- Budgie beds
- Empty food bowls
- Behind decorations or toys
If you don’t want your budgies to mate, you should remove the nesting box. However, you’ll also need to limit your budgies’ access to dark, secluded areas.