Keeping and Breeding Show Birds
Before starting try and visit as many aviaries as you can. Most Budgie breeders are willing to give you advice. Either go onto the link on the homepage and click onto the Budgerigar Society page, and then Breeders Directory or contact the Secretary of the Budgerigar Society or one of the ten Area Society secretaries around the country who will help you out in finding a local breeder. Breeders either use wooden breeding cages or wire breeding cages. I have used both successfully. I currently use wire cages. ( See set up on the home page). Breeding cages should be around 24 inches long by 15 inches high and 15 inches wide. Nest boxes come in all shapes and sizes. By buying from a breeder you can see which type the birds are used to. Mine are shown in "set up" on the home page.
Breeders all use different items to feed their birds. There is no right way to do it. Visit breeders and ask how they feed their birds and ask about any additives they use. Any good quality seed can be used as long as it is not dusty. Many pet outlets sell seed in 20 kg bags. The mix for Budgies is Plain Canary and mixed millets, in roughly 50 -50 proportion. Seed already mixed can also be bought. All breeders give different additives and soft food during breeding. ( See mine on set up on home page ). Clean water is essential every day.
Budgerigars should be housed one pair to a cage. A cock has a blue "Cere" ( nose) whilst a hens is brown. There are many ways of pairing up, Some put either the cock in first, some put the hen in first, some put the pair in together. Some put the nestbox on straight away, some leave it off for a few days. Some block off the nestbox, some leave it open. Seek advice from where you buy birds as you can see what they are used to. Mine go in together, nestbox is on and open. (see "set up" on home page.).
Ringing Young Budgerigars
Rings are purchased through either the Budgerigar Society or the ten Area Societies. The rings will have your personal ring number (code number ) , year and are individually numbered, 1 to how many you buy. These are necessary to keep track of your birds ancestry and for pairing so that you do not pair too closely. Birds are usually rung around 6-7 days of age. Hold the bird gently in one hand, extend the three long toes on one foot forward, slip the ring over the three toes, and then over the fourth toe. The ring is now on the bird but make sure it is on the lower leg and not on the upper leg. Check for a few days in case the ring as slipped off, if so replace it. All birds shown in the young bird classes must be rung with the current year ring. Rings can be purchased direct from ring makers but these are not recognised by the Budgerigar Society.
If you have any queries then please use the contact page on the home page to e-mail me.