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Tag: Breeding


Once a budgerigar is a few weeks old, you will be able to tell the sex of the bird by looking at its cere (the nostril area). For most varieties, a hen’s is brown, and a cock’s is blue.


Weaning is a natural event that occurs when baby budgies are around 5 or 6 weeks old and can feed themselves and become self-sufficient. At this time, they can be removed from the breeding cage and placed in a nursery cage with other similar aged babies.

Stock Cages

Stock cages are usually large cages – often breeding cages with the dividing slides removed – that are used to house a group of budgerigars.

Stock Birds

If you keep exhibition budgerigars there are show birds and stock birds. The stock birds are those individuals that possess the ability to pass desirable features to their offspring but do not pass muster on their own for showing.


There was a time when breeders used to keep their cock birds segregated from their hens. This was claimed to stop pair bonding, which we now know is easily broken. It is much better and more natural to allow cocks and hens to live together. It also has the added advantage that hens tend to gain weight if left as a group, but cock birds will chase hens in the flight which will help reduce the weight gain.

Record Keeping

In a colony system record keeping is neither practical or warranted. For those wishing to track parentage and pedigree information cage breeding is the only option.

When cage breeding budgerigars, record keeping is essential for several reasons. The first is to keep track of birds bred, so you can follow the lines back if for example a feature is lost. It also provides a check to ensure you do not breed too closely. It provides details about outcrosses you may have introduced in the past and most importantly it means you do not have to rely on your memory.

Breeders use many ways to keep track of their bird’s pedigrees; from nest box cards to an index system and even commercially bought computer programmes.


If you are colony breeding your budgerigars, they pretty much choose their own partners. Cage breeding is a different matter as you choose the two birds that are to breed together. Breeders use several variations when it comes to introducing the pair to the breeding cage. Cock bird first, hen bird first, both together. The time between introducing the birds to each other also varies from a few minutes to a few days. In practice, this seems to make little difference and a pair of budgerigars in breeding condition just want to get on with the job in hand.

Pair Bonding

A pair bond is the strong affinity that develops in some species between a mating pair. In some animals and birds this may be for life but in the case of a budgerigar it is not. For budgerigars, a pair bond may form in the flight but almost as soon as they are separated the bond is broken.


Outcrossing is breeding from unrelated individuals. It is usually carried out to bring in a certain variety, colour or trait that is desired.

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