One of the most common questions a new parakeet owner will face is whether or not they will need to get a nest. It can be quite confusing knowing what you should and shouldn’t buy. This article today will help you to understand whether or not to get one along with some other considerations regarding nesting for your pet parakeet.
So, do parakeets need a nest? Parakeets do require a nest for three main reasons; privacy, resting and breeding. Pet parakeets will not build their own nests so you will need to provide them with nests. If you want to breed parakeets, you will need to get a specific nesting box where they can lay and protect their eggs.
Let us now explore the topic further so that you know what to expect and how to prepare for your new pet parakeet.
Parakeets and Nesting
Parakeets bring an extra element of singing and cheer into our lives. Just like with any other pet, we want to give them the absolute best life they can have.
When it comes to birds, it might not be so inherent. Birds have a few more requirements when it comes to their daily life. It might surprise you that you need to prepare things like nests, toys, and even bone.
When you think of a typical nest, you think about this little woven basket made out of twigs and branches.
In the wild, a parakeet may build a sort of nest, but it doesn’t fall in line with the traditions set for us by robins and blue jays.
You don’t need to provide your parakeets with nesting material, and it is unlikely that they will be missing their little DIY homes.
Their cages are just not big enough and it doesn’t make sense for you to gather those necessary materials.
This does not mean that they don’t want their privacy though.
Do Parakeets Need A Nest To Sleep?
Parakeets are comparatively low maintenance, and while they don’t need a nest in the traditional sense (sticks and leaves), they do require a space to get some rest.
The majority of parakeets will sleep at the same times as their owners, with intermittent naps here and there during the day.
A parakeets’ quality of sleep is very dependent on where, how and the environment.
Parskeets do not like to sleep in total darkness, so a night light is a good idea. They are also easily frightened by loud noises and dislike untidy cages.
Parakeets are particularly fond of snuggling when they go to sleep. You’ll notice that without a nest, they tend to lay flat on the softest surface within the cage that they can find.
Experts and parakeet owners will recommend that you get your little feathered friend set up with a “sleeping hut”/bed. These are a small specific space, often a little (often wooden) hut, for them to sleep in.
Getting a comfortable sleeping hut (bed) are widely enjoyed by pet parakeets.
The hut serves many different purposes. The first is that they can allow for an area where heat can be insulated. During the nighttime, temperatures tend to drop, these huts trap the warmth so that they can still stay toasty despite the colder temperatures.
Birds like their privacy, and when they live in their cages, they need somewhere to get away. It is nice to give birds the option of a tiny little sheltered off place to get away from everyone or nap. It will make it much easier for them to fall asleep as it can lower their stress levels and give them a go-to place of security.
Consider it like a bed for your cat. You can get your cat a bed or somewhere it feels special so that they can sleep – but that doesn’t mean that it will be used for the designated purpose.
Luckily, birds are less finicky than cats, but a nest has a whole other level of importance.
Can Parakeets Breed In Captivity?
Parakeets can breed in activity. It is actually pretty easy. What you need to do is simply provide them with enough space to fly around in and somewhere to have babies.
Parakeets will not build their nests, but instead will lay their eggs in a wooden nest box that you will need to provide for breeding.
Like all other birds, they need to lay eggs. And they need somewhere to lay the eggs.
Generally, if you are looking to breed you can leave your birds to it – there is not usually much intervention required.
If your parakeets do not instantly take a liking to one another, then you may need to give it time. Parakeets need time to bond.
It may take several days for them to take to one another and may appear elusive and defensive to one another in the beginning. This is normal and typically does not mean your parakeets cannot nor will not breed.
Parakeets aim to breed in the spring and summer, and you can observe this when looking at wild parakeets. This is because they need a lot of daylight hours which serves as a stimulus to mate.
Therefore, if you are looking to breed your birds you can provide them with artificial light to give them the 12 hours they will need. Sunshine through windows will not suffice here which is why you need to opt for lighting support in the form of fluorescent bulbs.
You should not attempt to breed parakeets before they are 10 months old. Otherwise you risk issues with parenting. Parakeets can breed for 4-6 years so you are not limited in terms of time.
What Do Parakeets Need For Nesting?
If you are looking for bed or place for them to sleep and retreat, you can get them a pre built sleeping hut nest/bed.
If you are looking to breed, you will need a specific type of nest also known as a nesting box. These are different, and are more secure and enclosed.
Either type can hook up to the side of the cage. While one can allow a soft surface for your birds to lay, the other provides a place for them to care for their eggs.
If you use a nesting box instead of using an artificial nest, make sure to line the nesting box with soft materials. Things such as pine chips or anything you are using for the bedding of the case is more than enough.
Sometimes, parakeets won’t even need the nest. They may even just lay the eggs on the bottom of the cage. Still, it is recommended that you give them this special area for eggs.
You can place the eggs in the box to reach your parakeet where future eggs should be laid. This is generally enough to get them to convert over to the nesting box.
Will My Parakeet Act Differently When They Lay Eggs?
Your parakeet may be perfect and sweet, but there is a pretty high chance that it will act a little different once parenthood comes along.
It has to do with hormones and a lot of things involving the parenting instincts that take over when they are protecting their eggs.
Like most other birds, and animals for that matter, they will demonstrate an enhanced level of aggression. This is because they will do everything to protect their babies.
What is surprising is that the tamer the animal, the more problems you may experience.
This might sound a little counterintuitive but it has to do with the fact that generally, wild animals have a fear of humans. It makes sense, we are bigger and very capable of hurting them. In their eyes, we are a potential predator they may be deterred from standing against.
A fully domesticated parakeet, on the other hand, are not afraid of you. They know that you aren’t going to hurt them, so they have no problems defending their nests against you. When your parakeets are watching over their eggs, it is a good idea to avoid handling them.
This behavior is due to a rush of hormones and will subside over some time. Breeding your parakeets will not permanently alter their behavior. Once the rush of hormones goes off, you can go back to handling them normal. Your parakeets may even be a little open to you handing their babies a bit.
Facts about Parakeet Breeding
- Female parakeets do not typically lay all their eggs in one go. For example, if they will have 4 eggs to lay, they may lay them all on separate days during the week.
- It takes a little less than 18 days for fertilized eggs to hatch.
- Parakeets undergo a courtship ritual. The male will tap the beak of the female and the girl will lift up with wings and tale to let them know that she is interested.
- If you breed two different colored parakeets, you can end up with chicks that have new color combinations entirely.
Types of Nest To Consider
Sleeping and Play Nests
You can get small parakeet huts that are ideal for your parakeet to lay and relax/sleep in. Due to the materials use, and being relatively small, they are very secure and comfortable for your parakeet helping to keep them warm in the process.
You can hang a hideaway from the top or side of your cage and your parakeet will soon inspect and begin to use it.
- Size: Approx.23.5*22cm(L*W)
- Color: Leopard, blue, pink, yellow, purple
- Material: Lint
- This Fuzzy Nest gives your lovely parrots or birds a warm and comfortable hut to rest.
Natural Hideaways & Playnests
Another option is to invest in a natural hideaway/playnest. This will provide mental stimulation to your bird helps to satisfy the instinctual need of your parakeet to peck and chew. This is due to the materials they are made from and accompanying toys.
Its important to go for a natural option as this is better for your birds health. The natural materials also make them aesthetically pleasing when added to your set up and cage. Be aware that these do not leave much room for eggs. If you are looking to breed your parakeets, you should look at one of the options below.
Handmade cotton breeding nests will allow you watch the journey of your parakeets eggs every step of the way. The soft rope materials are soft and cushiony, meaning that you don’t even need to add bedding. The rope is a little harder to clean, and you will need to offer them some sort of shelter out the light to give them privacy. Don’t take it personally if they chose a private space to lay their eggs over somewhere where you can watch.
- Diameter: 11.5cm/ 4.5 inches
- Application: small and medium sized parrot, bird
- Gives your lovely bird a warm and comfortable nest to rest.
- Very warm, conducive to parrot bird breeding production.
- Come with a soft washable mat,provides your birds with a nice place for sleeping or breeding
You can also get ‘closed’ boxes that offer offers all the privacy that a synthetic nest would not. This box is also easy to clean. It has a latch that allows you to peek in and clean the cage easily. Just note that you will probably not be able to get close to the eggs while your parakeet is protecting them. That, and you really shouldn’t move the nest once the eggs are laid. Once the eggs are laid, move the nest may break them. You don’t want to do that just because you’re curious, if they want their eggs out of sight there’s nothing you can do. You also need to provide nesting material for this.
- Durable bird nesting box made out of all natural wood.
- Perfect Spot for Your Parakeet To Rest and Nest.
- Top opening for easy cleaning and removal of bedding materials.
- Encourages natural breeding and nesting behaviors in birds.
- Size: S:19.5*12*12cm/7.7*4.7*4.7 inch（Export 5.5cm/2.1 inch） M:24.5*13*13cm/9.6*5.1*5.1 inch（Export 5.5cm/2.1 inch） L:29*15*15cm/11.4*5.9*5.9 inch（Export 6.5cm/2.5 inch） XL:34*17.5*19.5cm/13.4*6.9*7.7 inch（Export 6.5cm/2.5 inch）
Parakeets need nests for different purposes. They will not build them on their own, so you will need to intervene and provide them.
Remember that nests come with different purposes and uses. While some provide a place for rest and privacy, others are designed and are more suited for breeding and laying eggs.
What you should get all depends on what you are hoping to achieve. Do you just want to improve the health and happiness of your parakeet or are you looking to promote and induce breeding?
Either way, nests serve a purpose and are a useful addition to any parakeet cage.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.