Chicks sometimes wait 24 hours until chirping for food. This is because the nutrients from the egg yolk are keeping them satisfied post-egg. If, however, there is no sign of feeding after the first day, you will have to transfer the chick to another chick-rearing hen, or begin the delicate process of hand-rearing (see Feeding Budgie Chicks, below).
The cock will feed the hen while she’s sitting, and the feeding of the chicks is down to her, until they leave the nest at five to six weeks old. The cock may then join in the chick-feeding, but often the hen will do the weaning single-handedly.
Once the chicks have all hatched, droppings will start to accumulate rapidly. You need to clean out the nest box at least once a week, with clean hands. Remove as much of the soiled wood shavings as you can, but don’t shove the chicks around too much as you endeavour to clean their nest. If older chicks develop dirty feet, clean them as described in Cleaning Budgie Feet, above.
The chicks should not be handled before they are two weeks old. After this, however, you can gently lift them from the nest when you're cleaning it. They will still need handling with care, as all baby birds are very fragile. Don't worry about the parent bird panicking and abandoning their chick after handling - this very rarely happens with captive budgerigars.
If you start handling the budgies at two weeks old, they will be relatively hand-tame by the time they fledge. This will make it easy to finger-train them in later life.
A two-day-old budgie chick
Budgie second clutch
After the chicks have been weaned, the budgie pair will usually go for a second round of mating and egg-laying. This second clutch should be fine - as long as you have room for it. However, the birds often have an urge for yet another clutch of eggs after that. This is not a good idea, as the female will be exhausted by then, and may die on the nest. Remove the nestbox and other mating stimulations, and separate the pair for a few weeks.
A five-week-old budgie
If your budgies have had two clutches during the season, you should also keep them egg-free for a whole year if you want them to be fully fit for breeding again.