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Asstd. Budgies.sml.jpg (51358 bytes) Budgies.3.sml.jpg (52613 bytes) Budgies.sml.jpg (46838 bytes) Budgiesx4.sml.jpg (43322 bytes) 4 lutinos+R'bows dtr+blue.sml.jpg (57738 bytes)

Albino Cock, Blue Pied, Lutino, Normal Blue
+ Green Spangles

Albino (behind branch) Dbl Factor white, Lutino
+ 2 Blues.

2 Green Spangles, Green Opaline, Lutino + Blue

Double Factor White Cock next to Lutino Hen

4 Lutinos + Rainbow + Dominant Blue Pied

Lutino Hen with 8 eggs

Chicks approx 3 weeks old - the eldest is a Pied

The pictures are "Thumbnails" - click on pictures inc. the one at the top of the page and you will
see a bigger picture.      Press the "Back" button to return to this page 

Pet Birds


  • Budgies originate from Australia, as do most of the small Parakeets we English tend to breed.

  • In the outback of Australia the wild Budgie is always a "Normal Green" colour and much smaller than the budgies we breed in captivity.

  • It's only in captivity that we manage to produce such diversity of shapes and sizes and the many variations of colours.

  • All the above pictures are of "Pet" Budgies, as opposed to the specialist "Show" quality Budgies that some Breeders produce and show up and down the Country.

  • The main difference is the size - those of "Show" quality being much larger, esp. the head and the "Necklace" - the black spots around the birds' throat.

  • The Show Breeders tend to titivate and tart these spots even to the point of plucking out any
    feathers that may detract from a true-shaped big spot!

  • Pet Budgies can be an ideal bird for the beginner to start out with.



  • They can thrive just on a Budgie mix seed.

  • They originate from the Desert areas of Australia where succulent foods are pretty much non-existent.

  • They love Millet Sprays (Panicum millet) but these are quite fattening (so, should be given sparingly), 

    • as are all the bigger, shinier Pearl Millet seeds you find in your average Budgie mixed seed,

    • which tends to have more millets than any other seeds.

  • However, if you mix a Budgie Tonic Seed  (which has a better mix of seeds a bit like mixed
    canary seed + a budgie seed) with Plain Canary seed you will get a much better selection of seeds
    to help keep your birds healthy.

  • TRILL Budgie seed is supposed to be ideal, as it contains Iodine, which Budgies must have in their Diet.

    • (Could prove expensive if you only have more than one Pet Budgie - as comes in very small box)!

  • The seed husks must be blown off the top of the seed dishes everyday before replenishing with
    new seeds, otherwise you could end up with a full dish of husks and rubbish and no seed for your
    birds to eat, if you just keep adding rather than de-husking first.

  • An electric seed "Winnower" is ideal to sort the husks from the good seed, thus not wasting seed and therefore saving money!

  • Budgies love most green foods esp. chunks of carrots, apples and celery which you can stab onto panel pins which you can nail onto branches or shelves in the Aviary.

  • They thrive on clean wild foods too inc. dandelion leaves, chickweed, dock seeds, shepherds purse, seeding grasses at hay time.

  • When breeding they appreciate EMP/Witte Mollen (or similar) Egg food slightly dampened either
    with/without Sweetcorn added.

    • (Frozen sweet corn covered in boiling water and put in Microwave for 3 mins then the water
      strained off before mixing with the egg food).

  • No bird likes sloppy food - just slightly moist and crumbly.

  • You can overdose budgies on Calcium - esp. at Breeding time

    • - so it's best NOT to add supplements which include extra Calcium to any soft foods or water.

    • You are much safer just making sure your Budgies have free access to Cuttlefish and Grit (mineralised/oystershell). 

    • This will provide sufficient calcium for your budgies needs, even at Breeding time.

    • then they take what they need, when they need it.Petra.prolapse.jpg (9964 bytes)

  • I once saw a budgie hen, that had been supplemented with extra calcium at breeding time, try to lay an egg and end up with a bad prolapse as it struggled to lay the egg - the poor thing had to be put to sleep.                                                                                                                                     Click  4

  • Budgies DO need IODINE in their diets, so make sure you provide them with iodised mineral nibbles block (the small square pink blocks you can buy from your Pet shop).

  • They must have fresh clean water every day. 

  •  In the summer make sure you clean your water dishes and drinkers regularly, as they tend to turn green & slimy, when the sun's on them.

  • They do enjoy a bath - so make sure you provide a dish or hanging bath of a size your budgie can easily get into
    to splash about.


  • They can get what they need from Cuttlefish and Grit

  • As long as this is clean and in sufficient quantity and quality.

    • - they take what they need, when they need it.

    • - they also know how much to take.

    • - they can't overdose on cuttlefish and grit, as they instinctively know how much to take on board and
      self-regulate their intake.

    • At breeding times a hen budgie can devour a lot of cuttlefish bone -which shows she does need extra calcium

    • But this is her choice and she will take what her body dictates it needs to form the eggs inside her.

    • Therefore this is the safest way to ensure Budgies get enough calcium in their diets.

  • They do not need the extra Calcium supplementation you can buy in powder or liquid form - added to their water or soft foods - where they have no option but to take it on board if they have a drink or eat the soft foods.

  • I have seen one or 2 Discussion Forums on the Internet, recently querying my statement, that Budgies Do Not need Extra Calcium supplementation.

  • These people are saying that budgies DO need extra calcium when breeding otherwise
    they take it from their own skeletal system (bones)

  • This I agree with : what I am saying is that if you put extra calcium supplements in their water or on their soft food, they have no option but take it into their system, often with disastrous effects, as often it is more than they need.

  • It is very easy to over-calcify Budgies.

  • However, you must always give the birds free access to Cuttlefish bone, mineralised grit + oyster-shell grit and iodine blocks.

    • The Hen then can take what she needs when she needs it and not have it forced on her by putting it into her food and water.

  • There is sufficient calcium available in Cuttlefish bone, mineralised grit + oystershell grit for the average breeding budgies' needs - unless she has a specific problem with soft-shelled eggs and then I would question whether she should be breeding in the first place
    as she obviously is not in full health and would poss need a visit to an Avian vet for tests etc.

  • I hope this clarifies what I was saying.



  • In the normal colours of Budgie telling the sexes apart is quite easy once they are a few weeks old.

  • The Cockbird has a BLUE CERE (the fleshy bit above the beak).

  • The Hen has a BROWN CERE.

  • In the younger hen immature hen i.e. under 4 months old - the Cere tends to be a fawny-brown.

  • That doesn't mean to say you can breed them after 4 months - they should be at least 8 months - 1 year old
    but ideally older, BEFORE they are allowed to breed.

    • Even tho. they probably would go to nest a lot younger - if you let them - but you wouldn't be doing the bird any favours!!

  • As the Hen comes into Breeding condition it's Cere darkens until it is a deep chocolate-brown colour.

  • With experience, you can actually sex chicks while still in the Nest, as a Hen chick will nearly
    always bite you and make threatening noises

    • (which is what it will do when it becomes an adult, and is protecting it's own Nest box).

  • The cock chick is a lot milder mannered - it may give you a nip if you handle it but nothing like the "bite" the Hen chick will give you!!

  • The "Ino's"  i.e. Lutino (yellow) and Albino (white)  (the red-eyed varieties) are a little more  difficult to sex:

    • The "Ino" cockbird's Cere is a pale "Baby-Blue" colour, even when Adult.

    • The Hen bird stays more fawny but does turn a much darker brown when Adult and in Breeding condition.

    • "Double Factor" Birds (dominant colouration).

      • The "White" ones are white all over and  look like an Albino but have a strong blue underlying
        tinge to the feathers. They have dark eyes not the Red eye the Albino has

      • - the cock birds have a normal deep blue Cere.    (See pictures at top of page).

      • The "Yellow Double Factors" are similar to Lutinos but their colour is a stronger, deeper yellow. 

        • They also have dark eyes rather than red ones and the Cock bird also has a normal deep blue Cere - not the pale "Baby blue" of the Lutino.



  • When breeding Budgies everybody has their own ideas and techniques which work for them.

  • Some Breeders start breeding before Xmas, so that their birds have gone thru the moult ready for
    the Showing Season.

  • These Breeders usually have their Birds housed indoors and use light dimmers etc., to simulate Spring conditions.

  • Other, non-competitive Breeders wait until Spring-time which is when the birds will naturally come
    into Breeding condition. (Feb/March)

  • The cock and hen should be fully fit and in Breeding condition. i.e. their Ceres should be bright blue
    in the cock bird and a chocolate brown in the Hen.

  • The Cock bird will start feeding the hen.

  • They tend to bond and mate for life but that doesn't mean that the cock doesn't try it on with other spare,
    available hens when his mate is in the nest box!

  • Depending on whether you breed in cages with one pair to a cage or en-colony with lots of Budgies together
    in an Aviary. 

  • You get better results if a few budgies are within sight and sound of each other.

  • They seem to like noise.  

  • A Radio can be appreciated.

  • Don't get misled, as budgies are very sociable birds and you often see cock budgies feeding another cock budgie - it usually means nothing other than they are being sociable - it happens all the time.

  • If you are breeding one pair to a cage - you need a decent sized cage - min: 2ft 6" - 3ft long,

    • as budgies are prone to getting fat, if they are housed in too small an area. 

    • they need to be able to fly!


  • The Nest box can be added either onto the front or side of the cage, depending on your set-up.

  • In an Aviary it is ESSENTIAL to make sure you have quite a few more Nest boxes than actual pairs
    of birds, otherwise you will end up with major fighting, which could be nasty.

  • The theory is to have twice as many Nest boxes as pairs of birds but if you had 10 pairs then 14 - 16 boxes
    should  be o.k

  • Some Hens spend more time chasing other hens out of each and every Nest box instead of concentrating on claiming one for themselves and getting it prepared to lay in!


  • This is why they should all be as near identical size and design to each other as possible

    • and all fixed at the same height, with the pop holes at the same height and level.

  • They will all try and claim the highest

  • There can be a lot of friction (and sometimes injuries - even fatalities at times, if you aren't very vigilant)

    • between the hens when deciding which Nest boxes are the best and they would like to lay claim to.

  • They can be quite cannibalistic when it comes to territory!

  • If Breeding en-colony - once the pairs have claimed their Nest boxes and started to lay, you must NEVER EVER introduce any new birds - this is asking for big trouble.

  • SEE Important Notes on NESTBOXES (Approx. 12" high x 6" square)

  • Budgies don't actually need any bedding in the bottom of the Nest box but they must have a
    wooden concave (like a saucer) so that the eggs don't roll around and get chilled.

    • I tend to put a sprinkle of "Easibed" wood chip in the bottom of the concave.

  • Also, so that chicks can get a purchase when they push with their legs trying to move around.

  • If you don't have a concave with shallow sides or a sprinkle  (no deeper) of bedding if the
    nest box bottom is flat, you may end up with chicks with
    Splayed Legs.

  • A loose Rule of Thumb, is that it's usually approx. 2 weeks from putting birds together and
    seeing them feed/mate to the first egg being laid.


  • They lay their eggs every other day

  • They lay between 4 - 8 eggs

  • Hens usually start to incubate after the 2nd egg is laid.

  • The chicks will then hatch every other day.  

  • This is so that in the wild they stand the chance of at least some of the chicks surviving, if they are all of different ages, if there is a draught or predator problems.

  • They can lay up to 3+ clutches every year. 

  • Any more than that, esp. if she brings them all up, would deplete the Hen's calcium reserves and
    not do her any favours health-wise! 

  • Over-breeding is a big No-No!

  • The Cock bird keeps guard of the nest and feeds the hen while she is incubating.

  • He also helps to feed the chicks once they hatch.

  • If anything did happen to the Hen, the cock bird has been known to take over the feeding and rearing of the chicks

  • If the cock bird did not take over the feeding and rearing then the only other options are adding the chicks to another hen's nest if she has chicks of a similar age (so long as she hasn't too many to start with).

  • or HAND-REAR - not an option to be taken on lightly if you haven't done it before. (See page on Hand-rearing)

  • On another note: If anything happened to the cockbird i.e. it dies/escapes - so long as it has mated at least once with the hen, the sperm stays viable in the hen long enough to fertilise a full clutch of eggs.

  • INCUBATION:  approx. 18 days

  • CLOSED RING:  10 - 12 days - usually when eyes are about 1/2 open.

  • RING SIZE:   L

  • FLEDGE:   approx. 28 - 35 days

  • SEXING:  Hen chicks WILL BITE - cock Birds just give you a friendly warning nip.

  •                Hens ceres are pinkish/fawn  Cockbirds are baby-blue / Blue.

  • Once out of the nest the Father bird tends to feed the chick up until it's fully independent.


  • Budgies don't need a special diet when Breeding. 

  • Just a good quality seed and everything I've already mentioned above.

  • They appreciate slightly dampened or "Moist" egg food (+ cooked sweetcorn, if you wish) when feeding their chicks but they don't actually need anything other than their usual seed diet + greenfoods, some fruit + veg (if u wish) etc.

  • Cuttlefish, GRIT (Oysershell + mineralised) iodine Blocks.

  • Obviously, fresh water.



  • Budgies are one of the "original companion Pet Birds" kept in homes, going back centuries.

  • Most people prefer the Cock Budgie, as it can learn to talk, do Tricks and is much gentler, quieter and easier
    to tame than the Hen Budgie.

  • Adult HEN  birds, esp out of an Aviary do not make the best pets really.
  • They will tend to nip (quite hard often) as this is what they do to protect their nests when they breed.
  • Also, they more often than not - do not talk - nothing like the cock-birds anyway. 
    •  I can always sex my young chicks in the nest, even before they develop their feathers  - 
    • When u pick them up : the Hen chicks bite and the cocks don't - unless upset and then it's nowhere near as hard as a hen will.
    • Hens mean it - Cock birds just warn you
  • If you are buying a bird as a Pet - you are best trying to get the bird just after it's weaned off it's parents and eating for itself.
    • 8 - 10 weeks would be an ideal age
    • Much older than this and they are that bit more difficult to tame as they are more imprinted on their parents and siblings.

    You can always tell a young budgie

    • a) by it's eyes : a Young bird has all dark eyes and an adult has the white area around the iris
    • Unless it is an "ino" (Lutino/Albino) - a red-eye - then it's more difficult.
    • b) by the "Bars" on it's head - a Baby Budgie is called a "Barhead" because these dark coloured "Bars" or lines on the top of the head extend down to the forehead just above the eyes and completely cover the top of the head.
    • As they get older the bars at the front of the head start to fade
    • In an Adult they have receded back - just like a "Bald Man's hairline"!!
    • So they have some at the back of the head and down the back of the neck but the top is usually a clear yellow or white depending if the bird is green or blue.
  • All Pet Birds should be able and allowed to take plenty of flying exercise.

  • You are much better spending time getting your bird used to you and accepting you BEFORE you
    let it out to fly Free.

  • If they are finger-tame all the better, then you can get the bird back into it's cage safely with
    as little stress as possible.

  • If you can't get the bird back in it's cage

    • - NEVER chase it or try to catch it by trapping it against a wall or try to throw a towel over it.  

  • You will give the bird major stress if you do this and it could have a heart attack and even die of
    fright or you could badly injure it.

  • Be very aware the first time you let your new pet out, as they always fly straight at and into the window, as this looks like an open space to them.

  • Many Pets have ended up either concussed or with broken necks after their first foray out, for just such a reason, esp. the baby birds.

  • Always have something up at the window - like net curtains or blinds etc. 

  • On the reverse side of the coin - always make sure ALL WINDOWS, Doors etc. are closed when
    your pet is free, as they are like grease-lightening and will be thru. a gap before you know it!

  • Just be aware that all "Parrot-like" birds will chew anything wooden or fabric, so watch it at
    all times while it is out of it's cage.

  • Make sure you don't have any Poisonous Plants in your house that your bird could nibble.

    • Most Plants that grow from bulbs fall into this category i.e. Daffodils, Tulips etc.

  • Also, be VERY AWARE that PLUG-IN "GLADE-TYPE" of Air Fresheners are very TOXIC to your birds and can
    make them very ill and ultimately have been known to kill your Pet esp. if New and the fumes are very strong
    and close to where you keep your Pet Bird!

  • You should NEVER leave any Pet Bird alone in the house for extended periods of time
    - that's paramount to mental cruelty! 

    • Like a Prisoner in solitary confinement - they need company and stimulation.

  • Budgies love mirrors and will "chatter" away to their reflections.

  • Also, they love "stimulating" Toys and swings - but don't clutter their free space - they need to
    be able to move freely about, within their cages.

  • You are better only giving one or 2 toys at any one time then changing them, say weekly, to help
    keep your bird stimulated.


  • Make sure that at least 2 sides of the cage the Bars are Horizontal.

  • Budgies can't climb up Vertical Bars and they need to be able to climb all round their cage.  

  • Square or rectangular Cages are acceptable but...

  • Round cages, esp. those with vertical bars are a big No! No!

  • Another consideration is the height and width of the cage.  

    • There is no point in having a tall narrow cage, as your bird cannot fly vertically only horizontally then upwards.

  • Some cages, esp. those for the bigger bird, have the top of the cage in 2 halves which open separately. 

  • The top opens out, so that you can put a perch across the gap, then the bird can perch above it's own cage and hopefully save your furnishings - it also will do it's droppings into it's cage and not on
    your floor!

  • All these things must be taken into consideration when buying your Pet Bird's cage as it has to live
    in it and it must feel like a spacious home and not a prison!

  • Another thought is the cage door.  It's much better if it opens downwards and doubles-up as a platform for the bird to sit on as it comes out of it's cage.  

  • If the door opens sideways there is only the thin metal door frame for the bird to perch on to get in and out of it's cage.

  • Natural branches are best as perches - smooth dowel rods or ridged plastic perches are not good for their feet.  (See Bumblefoot)

  • Sandpaper perch covers are just cruelty!! 

  • Would you like to stand with your bare feet on a perch covered in sandpaper??

  • They need different widths of perch to exercise their feet and their perches should be wide enough so that the foot just sits on the top half of the perch and isn't so narrow that the foot wraps all the way round it.

  • When you go out it's a good idea to leave either a radio or television on for your Bird.

  • Better still, have another sociable, non-threatening, Pet Bird in a separate cage in the same room.

  • Never have your bird in a South Facing window, where the sun can beat mercilessly on them, trapped in their cages, during the summer months. 

  • Your Pet can and will overheat.

  • During the heat of the day in the wild, birds seek shade in cool areas of bushes and trees.

  • You never see a Bird outside "Sunbathing" by choice!!

  • You may love the Sun but your bird prefers shade and cool.

  • NEVER leave another Pet alone in the room with your Pet Bird.  Esp. a dog or cat!!

  • They do like to be covered over at night and some will even let you know when they are ready to
     "go to Bed".

This section to be expanded and  added to . . . . .

         Baby "Double-factor White"      Lutino > Sky Blue > Double Factor Pied > Lutino     Albino > x2 Dominant pieds > Lutino Chicks - Nestmates

      Link to the Budgerigar Society Webpage:
 Double Factor Pied         
A good Budgie site


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