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What Are the Different Types of Parakeet Nest Boxes?

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  • Written By: Rachael Cullins
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
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  • Last Modified Date: 28 October 2016
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There are many different options when it comes to parakeet nest boxes. A parakeet's basic requirement for a nesting environment is an enclosed, dark space with a hole for entering and exiting. The simplicity of such a structure compels many bird owners to build their own parakeet nest boxes, but many varieties are available for purchase as well.

Parakeets only need a nesting box when they are ready to lay eggs. Otherwise, they can be housed in an ordinary bird cage. A parakeet that wishes to breed will exhibit certain behaviors, such as excessively shredding bedding or laying unfertilized eggs. If one plans to breed his or her parakeet, a nest box should be provided ahead of time to give the parakeet adequate time to prepare her nest and acclimate herself to the box. Parakeet nest boxes can be placed inside the bird's cage on a stable surface.

Simple parakeet nest boxes can easily be constructed at home. A box made of cardboard can be reinforced with tape and outfitted with a round hole about 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter for the bird to enter and exit the box. The hole should be cut high enough so that the bird cannot accidentally push her eggs through the hole. The box can also be constructed of plastic or wood, as long as the material is sturdy and non-toxic.

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To encourage a parakeet to enter a nest box, the bird's owner should put bedding, such as shredded paper or hay, into the box. Including a treat such as millet can help lure the bird into the structure. Once the parakeet has entered the nesting box and laid eggs, one should not open or overly handle the box, so as not to distress the bird and her chicks. The box should be kept in a place that has a sturdy foundation and a consistent temperature.

Various parakeet nest boxes are available for purchase as well. Many online retailers and pet stores sell the boxes, and most are inexpensive. Boxes often include an inside perch for the bird's enjoyment or a perch on the outside of the box. Some models have a sliding vertical door on the back of the structure so that the bird breeder can easily check the progress of the eggs or parakeet chicks. Parakeet nest boxes are designed only for parakeets and different nest box requirements for other breeds of pet parrots may be different.

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irontoenail
Post 3

@pastanaga - It depends on what you're calling a parakeet though. The word gets used for a fairly wide variety of birds, from budgies to any kind of parrot smaller than medium-sized. Some of them will be fine with any old box and minimal care, but others will need a lot more help and nurturing.

Make sure you don't just lump all birds together, because they have very different needs and those needs have to be met for them to be healthy, particularly if you want to breed them.

pastanaga
Post 2

@bythewell - The other danger is that she will become egg-bound which is usually a problem for birds that aren't getting enough calcium in their diets so the egg shell doesn't develop properly. An egg-bound parakeet can die very quickly, so if this happens (if she seems to be straining and won't eat or move from the bottom of the cage) then rush her to the vet as quickly as possible.

They are usually not much of a problem though. We kept parakeets for years in a big aviary in the back yard with a few homemade nest boxes and never had any problems. Feed them a suitable, diverse diet and keep them clean and they take care of themselves really.

bythewell
Post 1

Female parakeets will often lay eggs even if they don't have access to a nesting box, so depriving them of one isn't going to stop them. They will just lay the egg on the floor of the cage.

The problem is that laying an egg takes up a lot of energy and nutrients and a broody bird will just keep laying them, even if you take them away or if they break from having nowhere to go. If she lays too many she can lose condition quickly and might even die.

If your bird becomes like this the healthiest thing to do is to provide her with a little box and just let her sit on the eggs.

If you

have a male in with her and there's a good chance the eggs are fertile, but you don't want chicks there are a couple of options. The easiest is probably to replace the eggs with fakes of similar size and texture. You can buy these online. That way she will keep sitting without laying any more.

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