Since baby budgies are featherless creatures.
Therefore, they are exceptionally prone to colds.
And so, mother budgies tend to keep their chicks under their wings to keep them warm.
Meanwhile, father budgies feed their whole familiy.
Bird parents must often artificially warm an abandoned budgie chicks to adulthood.
Here’s what you’re going to discover in this article
- Do baby budgies need heat?
- What temperature should a baby budgie be kept at?
- How do you warm a baby budgie?
- Tips on keeping a budgie warm at night
So if you’re interested in making sure baby budgies are warm during this winter then you’re going to love this article
Let’s get started!
Do Baby Budgies Need Heat?
They do, but this heat is more like the traditional warmth given to any baby.
You see, adult budgies are extremely small parrots, typically weighing about 30-40g.
So even with a fully-grown plumage, maintaining body temperature is quite difficult for these tiny birds.
Compared to adult budgies, hatchlings are featherless parrots weighing about 2-3g.
So maintaining heat for such small stature is far more challenging.
Which is why
Baby budgies need outside warmth as they cannot retain their body heat.
That aside, budgie hatchlings are not only fragile but also blind.
Therefore, they are completely dependent on their parents for their survival.
Parent budgies build cozy and thick nesting sites to reduce heat loss.
Furthermore, parent budgies keep their babies warm by covering them with their feathers.
When the budgies fledge, they grow feathers as well as gain weight, (as in table 1).
A baby budgie can attain up to 15% of its body weight in a single day.
As the budgies gain weight and wings, they become more resistant to cold drafts.
So they no longer need as much heat.
|Budgie Age (days)||Weight (grams)||Size (cm)||Remarks|
|1day||2g||2cm||The hatchling is blind, featherless, and smaller than a human fingernail.|
|10-12 days||8-9g||6-7cm||The budgie develops eyes; has growing feathers; and walks a bit.|
|13-15 days||10-12g||8-10cm||The budgie flaps its wings.|
|16-19 days||12-15g||10-12cm||The budgie weans and learns to fly.|
|24-28 days||19-22g||14-17cm||The budgie lives independently of its parents.|
|40 days||30-40g||18-21cm||The budgie is a mature bird.|
Table 1: Budgie growth in terms of weight and size with respect to age.
Like other babies, budgies must be kept at specific temperatures for their appropriate development.
Which leads me to my next point..
What Temperature Should a Baby Budgie Be Kept At?
Depending on the age of a baby budgie, it should be kept between 80-101°F (26-38°C).
Since budgies are native to Australian scrublands.
Therefore, they prefer moderately warm and humid surroundings.
Whereas adult budgies thrive at 95°F (35°C).
Hatchlings must be heated enough to avoid excessive heat loss or to develop hypothermia.
The mother budgies roll the eggs every now and then, to ensure that none of the embryos get attached to a single side of the egg.
Therefore, artificial egg incubators have in-built rotators.
Humidity is also crucial for budgie development, especially for the first few days.
You see, a hatchling coming out of egg, they experience air with atmospheric pressure for the very first time.
Therefore, I recommend a relatively high temperature at this stage, say 99.5°F (37.5°C).
The budgies maintain this temperature by huddling closer to their babies.
For the next week, the temperature is about 97°F (36°C).
But, at this stage humidity must be within 40-70%.
Otherwise, the budgie may develop skin issues or randomly die off.
Once a budgie fledges, it does not need to be warmed as much, as represented by figure 1.
Figure 1: Budgie humidity and temperature requirements with respect to age.
How Do You Warm a Baby Budgie?
Honestly, the best way is to let parent budgies handle this job.
Well, baby budgies are so tiny and delicate that even a slight human touch can crush them.
Also, they need to be fed every 40-50 minutes.
So it makes sense for a parent budgie to this most laborious job.
It is most suited for the parent.
One must never try to hand rear baby budgies younger than one week, out of mere curiosity.
But you can aid your budgies in the process.
- Giving a variety of foods, especially rich in proteins and fats.
- Adding mineral blocks or supplements to replenish mother budgie of her lost calcium.
- Providing nesting materials such as wood shavings, sticks, grasses, leaves, and an enclosed cozy home within the cage.
- Not disturbing the nest while cleaning.
But sometimes, parents abandon their hatchings.
In such a case, you must intervene.
However, a bird can still do a better job than a human.
So, I suggest:
Find foster bird parents, and simply leave your baby budgies in their nest.
These foster parents will take care of these baby budgies while caring for their own offspring.
But if your baby budgies were not abandoned, rather orphaned.
Then, perhaps your baby budgies carry some disease.
In such a scenario, you may have to feed the budgie using some syringe or spoon.
I suggest you seek professional advice for that transition.
But if your only concern is temperature regulation, then you can use the following:
1. Commercial Brooder
It’s just a glass or plastic-made box with warmth-producing pads or lamps.
So, you can easily monitor any changes.
The additional screws and clamps allow you to control your required temperature.
Brooders can be used to raise various animals, from reptiles to bird chicks.
2. Baby Wipe Warmer
Compared to brooders, baby wipe warmers are small and economical.
All you have to do is line the warmer with nesting materials and set the temperature.
You can even take your chicks to your workplace in these baby wipe warmers.
However, if closed all the time, these can become extremely moist from within.
So, you may have to manually set the humidity and temperature for your budgie chicks, by opening the lids to a certain extent.
3. Heating Pads
If you are keeping baby budgies in a shoebox or a carton, then you can warm them by simply sliding a heating pad under the box.
Alternatively, you can use microwaveable gel-based heating pads.
4. Raw Rice Packs
Simply, put uncooked rice in some cotton cover and microwave it for 30 seconds.
Now, put this pack in your budgie’s cage after covering it with more cotton layers.
This will warm your baby budgies without giving them any burns.
5. Warm Mist Humidifiers
Since budgies prefer a hot and humid environment.
Therefore, setting up warm mist humidifiers will help your baby budgie survive better.
Additionally, it is a safe way to warm your budgies up.
6. Warming Lamps
The light warmers provide uniform and safe heat through infrared radiation.
However, do not use warming lamps for budgies younger than two weeks.
Because budgies are born blind.
And excessive light may cause damage to their eyes.
But perhaps, you are more concerned about the temperature drop that can happen overnight
So, I present to you:
Tips To Keeping a Baby Budgie Warm at Night In Winter
In addition to a cozy warm space, you can help warm your baby budgie by:
1. Sealing Off Air Drafts
This can be done by:
- Closing windows.
- Ensuring there are no door cracks.
- Keeping the budgie nest away from the outdoors.
2. Covering The Cage
I recommend using a thick fleece blanket, big enough to cover the entire cage.
- Reduce heat from leaving the cage.
- Provide darkness to sleep better.
- Hinder any air drafts.
- Make your budgies feel secure and cozy.
- Allow you to use warming lamps even during the night.
3. Setting Up Thermostat
These help in:
- Maintaining constant temperatures.
- De-icing the drinking and bathing water.
4. Installing Thermal Perches
If your budgie is about two weeks old, then you can use a thermal perch.
These will help your budgies warm up through their feet.
I advise against the following:
- Do not try to handle baby budgies, unless necessary.
- Feed the budgies food formula every hour according to the product manual.
- Don’t hand feed the budgies at home unless you have done so before.
- Cleanse the budgies with cotton buds dipped in warm water or use moist towels.
- Detox the nest at least once every week. However, once the budgies fledge make sure to cleanse the nest every day.
- Do not keep your budgie in the dark all the time as baby budgies need some light to develop their eyes. Otherwise, you will cause irreversible damage to your budgies’ eyes.
- Do not try to use heaters or fires to warm your baby budgies, as they may catch fire.
Baby budgies are extremely small featherless birds.
Therefore, they cannot regulate their body temperatures.
They are dependent on their parents for body heat.
However, if for some reason parents cannot warm their babies, then humans can intervene.
The best way is to find foster bird parents.
Otherwise, you can warm your budgies through incubators or professional warmers as mentioned in this article
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