The principal of cage breeding budgerigars is that a single pair of birds are bred in a cage. The breeder gets to select which cocks and hens go together which gives control over colour, variety and pedigree. As in colony breeding single pairs seldom breed and so you need at least four breeding cages plus room for spare cocks and hens.
While the newcomer to breeding budgerigars will not have an extensive set-up, there are some basic requirements. These are:
- Somewhere to breed the birds, perhaps a garden shed, 6′ x 4′ would do, or a brick out-house, which is weather-proof. It would make sense to try and utilise something which you may already own, so you can make your own mind up, in the future, to the extent in which you wish to pursue the hobby.
- The intention to breed in cages rather than colony breed in an open aviary.
Cages for Breeding
By Trevor Terheege
There are three main types of breeding cage – wooden, plastic and all-wire. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
Wooden cages have been very popular for many years, especially as you can make your own if you have some basic DIY skills. They can be made from plywood or melamine coated boards. The problem with plywood is that they require regular painting whereas melamine can be wiped down. However, the melamine boards are often made from chipboard, which can swell if it gets wet.
The cage fronts, which can range from punch bar to plastic, can be easily purchased with 24 inches x 12 inches being the most common size.
Plastic cages are now becoming more popular than wooden ones as they are light and are easy to clean and maintain. Plastic cages are manufactured by several companies and are ready to use. They can be made to suit a customer’s requirement as single units or in blocks with removable slides to enable them to be extended into flight cages when not being used for breeding. They usually come with a removable slide in/out bottom tray to make cleaning easy – the tray can be slid out and the build-up of seed husks and droppings can be removed without too much disturbance to the breeding pair. In addition, the cage fronts can be easily removed which makes it simple to wash the inside of the cage.
All wire cages
Some breeders like to use this type of cage as they can be hung on a wall with the use of hooks and then easily removed and stored elsewhere when not in use, thus giving more space in the bird room. They usually fold flat for storage. Wire cages come with a removable plastic tray in the base of the cage. One advantage with these cages is that the pairs can easily see other pairs in the adjoining cages, which stimulates their breeding activities. They are easy to clean and maintain and also reduce the areas that mite can live. A major disadvantage is that much of the mess generated in the cage, tends to come out onto the floor of the birdroom.
The choice of cage comes down to personal choice as each works successfully for their primary objective of breeding budgerigars. However, when making your choice you need to consider cleaning, maintenance and the space you have available. The other consideration is cost – wire cages are the cheapest option, with plastic cages being the most expensive, but you do need to shop around as prices can vary. And of course, you could choose to use more than one option.