THE main differences between colony and control breeding Budgerigars is that the breeder chooses the pairings and that cages are used so that there can be certainty about the parentage of chicks. With electric lighting and heating available, you can breed Budgerigars at any time of the year. You need only limited facilities perhaps a small garden shed containing a few cages.
A breeding cage for a single pair of Budgerigars needs to be at least 24 inches long, 18 inches high and 15 inches deep. Larger cages are better as they give chicks more room when they leave the nest-box. Budgerigar breeders are very fortunate because their birds are not at all fussy about the boxes they breed in ??throwback to the Wild, where they nest in hollow trees and among their roots.
Over the years, almost everything, from coconut husks to cardboard boxes have been used successfully as nest-boxes though, today, it is more usual to use a plywood box (minimum 8in x 5in x 5in) with a 2 inch diameter entrance hole and an inspection door.
Control, or selective, breeding is used to produce either chosen colours or to improve upon exhibition points and is responsible for the exhibition Budgerigars we have today being so different from their wild cousins. Attempts to control colour are often unsuccessful as the colour make-up of Budgerigars involves hidden factors that can come out in the chicks. It is certainly not unusual to breed Blue chicks from Green parents and it is even possible to produce pure white Albinos from two Greens.
AN aviary containing Budgerigars provides an attractive focal point for any garden, large or small ??d the requirements are few. A flight (consisting of a wooden frame covered with wire mesh) and a small waterproof, draught proof shelter where the birds can go in the coldest nights of Winter are all that are needed.
There is no reason why an aviary should ONLY be a decorative feature of your garden. It could be producing young Budgerigars that could be used to replenish your stock of birds or sold as pets to pay for seed ??d the changes needed to make the difference between having Budgerigars just to admire or rearing young are very few.
The basic requirements are to balance your stock to avoid overcrowding, have equal numbers of cocks and hens and introducing nest-boxes when Spring has really arrived. A flight measuring 6 feet by 4 feet will comfortable house four pairs ??d leave room for their youngsters when they leave the boxes. To avoid squabbling among the hens it is best to put up twice as many nest-boxes as there are breeding pairs. Budgie hens often prefer the highest nest-box so problems can be avoided by fixing all of them at the same height, near the roof of the flight.
After that, it is mainly a matter of standing back and waiting for Nature to take its course. And, remember, if you are a member of the Budgerigar Society there will always be someone there to offer expert advice.
We construct our boxes to the following dimensions - Cage 18"x12"x12" with the nest box being 12"x6"x6". The Entry to the nest box is a 2" diameter hole, the front hole is for air circulation. The nest box floor is covered with saw dust hence the two doors. A removable slide out tray is fitted to the bottom of the cage for easy cleaning.