Breeding Pairs – Go or Stay – Artificial Lighting

What is the safe process for breaking up a breeding pair after the last chicks have been removed ?

Budgerigar eggs in nest boxGSB: Remove any eggs that you do not want to transfer, but leave the box open for a day.

After a day close off the nest box entrance. Allow the pair to adjust to the new scene for another 2 days.

Then remove them to a stock cage along with others similarly affected, but make sure the pair are close together.

After two weeks there, both should be safe to place in the flights and the hen’s internal organs will have reduced back to normal. Treat hens very carefully at this time.

I came into budgerigars for the hobby – not politics which is depressing when it is destructive rather than constructive. Should I stay?

GSB: It is not a good answer, but it’s life everywhere especially in all forms of exhibition livestock breeding.

Successful societies are when there is a good chairperson who will not brook troublesome members who are out of order and do not know how to behave in a public meeting. A weak front table of well intentioned fanciers who form the officers of the society, is a measure for aggravation and loss of members.

The cure is obvious. You have a vote! The society is more important that an out of hand member.

Put another way, tennis was more important as a game than the irrational behaviour of John McEnroe in his heyday, which should have been stamped on immediately on the very first occasion it occurred.

Regarding artificial lighting, what extra hours does one allow for the aviary lights to be on when darkness begins to set in ?

GSB: In the northern hemisphere, as a generalistion, lights should come on in the summer months at about 17:00 hours until 22:00 hours.

In winter advance this to on at 15:00 hours and off at the same time as summertime. There’s no need for any other change unless you are about managing your stock and it is needed.

We cannot speculate about the southern hemisphere. Perhaps we can be advised please?


Filed Under: Breeding



About the Author: Gerald Binks began breeding budgerigars when he was 12 years old and is now arguably the most knowledgeable budgerigar fancier in the world. He has bred his fair share of Best in Show birds, judged in no less than 20 countries, founded the World Budgerigar Association, and has published two of the three classic books on the hobby. His stud in the UK attracts fanciers from near and far and is always high on the list for those wishing to purchase BA23 quality budgerigars.

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  1. Richard Scott says:

    Hi Gerald,

    Have you considered having a Q & A section on your website?

    What is your feeling towards using 3 year old hens?

    Richard Scott

  2. Hello Richard,

    Good question. Unfortunately I get swamped as it is for advice which takes me off the main International Website Project – and there is only me at this end! So I cannot open that particular door especially as there are lots of forums about that can cover that area.

    So many of the questions are already covered anyway in “The Challenge” and then I find the fancier asking the question already has a copy! Very frustrating and time wasting in such cases.

    On the matter of using three year old hens, if you have bred them yourself then you will find that 2 and 3 year old hens are at their peak to feed really well in most cases. Four years old is asking too much, but it can be done.

    I have a Grey Green cock BA23-168-05 that has bred magnificently year in year out since 2006 and has amassed 43 chicks in that time – on the perch. Happily, it is still fit and a high quality cock- not anything ordinary. However, were I to sell it (for next to nothing) the chances of it breeding under a different management would reduce its continued breeding rate for certain – so it will stay here and be paired again shortly after rearing 8 chicks already this season!

    Pity hens don’t do that! Thank you for your questions.


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