The Principals of Feeding WAXBILLS
  which applies to most  'Aviary - kept'  Birds

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Lavender Waxbill

St Helena Waxbill

Black-cheeked waxbill

orange bishop pair

(Feed to keep Fit and healthy thru Winter months but don't up the Protein levels until ready to Breed)

Feeding is paramount to successful Breeding

  • Wrong feeding = dead in shell/nest/chicks thrown out of nest etc.,


  • Feeding high protein “Casein”  – (this is used by human Weight Lifters to build muscle mass).
    • CASEIN :  Is a purified protein and is water insoluble. 
    • It is commonly used by bodybuilders as a slow-digesting source of amino acids.
  • Higher Protein levels at correct time, improves breeding.
  • Casein is found in "Birdcare’s"  Pro-boost + super Max = High protein diet.
  • Using EMP Eggfood(15% protein) add Pro-boost = 25+% this is used to substitute the high volume
    of insects the waxbills would normally catch in the wild to feed the young in the Nest and continue
    feeding the young until they fledge.

  • After the moult reduce protein levels by 50% 
    [from 25% to 10 – 12 ½%] then phase out altogether.
  • They don’t need a rise in protein levels again until the following Spring and the new breeding season.
  • Birds are much fitter and better for breeding if they don’t carry too much weight prior to mating. 
    DO NOT OVERFEED – fat hens difficult to breed from.
  • Higher Protein levels not needed until chicks due to hatch.
  • During winter use wild seeds etc., to bring into Breeding fitness.
  • They are paired up again for the new season at the back-end of Feb.


  • Verselle Laga Waxbill Mix - which is made up as follows:
  • 60% yellow panicum millet
  • 30% Jack Mix Millet
  • 8% Canary Seed
  • 2% Red panicum
  • Also offer Charcoal/Oyster Grit/ Cuttle Fish
  • Wild seed x1 per week
  • Mini mealworms x1 per week (while rearing – if they will eat them – not all will).
  • Some will eat Frozen worms (pinkies & Buffalo Worms) – put into egg food when frozen but NOT if fresh ones - makes food soggy!
  • Tony Joliffe from Foxton Tours brings the frozen worms in small boxes from Holland when he’s over there on his Trips
  • Approx £7 per box (price 2007 - poss more now) – 20 boxes will last one Breeding Season. 


  • "Pro-Bird" - an African Finch mix
  • Wild and Weed Seed, Fonio Paddy and Pagima Green once per week
  • Mini-mealworms, Ants Eggs and Eggfood x1 per week when Breeding
  • Calcium supplement (as instructed) 
  • Grated cuttlefish + baked eggshell and oystershell grit available at all times


  • Not all birds like it or will eat it. 
  • Wash well and soak in water mixed with Aviclens – then soak.


  • Potent Brew in the water used to mix Egg Food. 
  • Use EMP or any good quality Egg-food.
  • Once per week use Bogena Universal Soft Food in a separate dish.
  • Avi-clens mixed in the Drinking water and in the water he used for “Soak Seed” – ½ tspoon to 2 litres.
  • Daily Essentials 2 in Water for Vitamin content. 
    • See amounts etc., on side of tub.

(secret to successful Rearing) – Can be made in Batches

  • 5kg EMP Egg Food
  • 500 gms Pro-boost
  • Pro-bird Herb Mix (Nettles etc.,)
  • 10 gms Breed Max (Steve Squires)
  • All mixed tog. and kept dry in an airtight tub.


  • Waxbills can be housed in sheds
  • Heat to 60 deg F
  • Lights are on from 6am – 10pm and fade in and out in Breeding Season. 
    • Use ordinary bulbs, as the specialized bulbs have a limited life-span of usefulness.
  • During non-breeding Season lights fade out at 8pm
  • Use double Breeders 4ft long x 16”deep x 18” high.
    • Narrow bars to prevent escape.
  • Allow them into an Aviary to Fly them in the summer for exercise but then you can’t control the environment and they do need humidity.  Esp. during hot weather.


  • Use Nest boxes which are the standard ½ open fronts 3” x 5” or sometimes the round, metal “Salad feeders”
    • you can get from Pet stalls.
  • Provides coconut fibre or a Sisal mix. 
    • They seem to like the lighter colours.
  • Use Anti-mite “Blast-off” from Bird Care Co. in bottom of nest boxes.


  • To breed 30 Orange Cheeked Waxbills
  • You need approx. 6 pairs of each variety of Waxbill to create a Genepool.
  • Minimum necessary is 2 pairs per each variety kept.
  • Bengalese are used for Fostering.
    • Use PAIRS  1yr old +.  6 eggs max.  3 – 4 better.
  • All chicks should be close rung.  


  • Was formed to share info re: Breeding/keeping/feeding/locating Waxbills etc.,
  • Waxbill Society Co-ordinator:  John Dodwell    Tel: 01275  852 657
  • Also a Magazine : Estrildian  
  • Java Sparrow Society U.K. - JSSuk 
  • Website:


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