Blue-capped Waxbills seem more willing to breed in flights than large cages - (my flights - 9' x 2' x 6' high).

Domestic reared adults seem to be more tolerant of large cages (4' plus) than wild-caught used to be.

Only 1 breeding pair of Cordon-bleu Waxbills per enclosure.

Pair-bond is quite strong.   It can take 3 months to form a new bond.
A previous mate MUST be out of ear shot.   Allopreening is sign of success.

Cock singing and throwing head back while holding straw, shows things are starting to happen.   Nest building to first eggs is very quick (ie 1 week).

Inducing Blue-capped Waxbills to breed
Enclosure to themselves or if with other non-Cordon-bleu Waxbills, no bullying (often they are the bullies!).

Don't mix the Cordon-bleu Waxbills - Blue capped/ Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu/ Blue Breasted.   Hybrids will occur or fighting.

Light - 14 hours a day when breeding.

Full spectrum fluorescent tubes.   Link to Arcadia for benefits of their Bird Lamps/ tubes.   These tubes also show all 'Blue' Waxbills to perfection but need to be replaced annually.
Slow delivery, good prices - UK mail order - Fish, Fur & Feather.

Ideally electronic ballast flicker-free battens (~ 20,000cps).   Good, inexpensive mail order UK supplier - Alert Electical  (codes D120, D121, D122 & D123 fit the bill).

Temperature - no lower than 15°C (60°F) - especially when breeding.

Ensure calcium is available, (mine no longer supplied separately now is in the eggfood).   Also grated cuttlefish/ crushed baked egg shells.   I also use Calcivet™.

If physical conditions are right - it's the feeding
Greenfood, grit, vitamins etc, as per normal.   A seed mix is outlined on page on feeding.   The Paul de Nil-derived conditioning mix is also decribed there.

Frozen (thawed) buffalo worms usually help stimulate.   Some prefer 'pinkies' (frozen fly maggots).   5 - 10 worms per pair - several days a week.

If overdo livefood or PdN birds will go into 'battery hen syndrome'. Numerous eggs are laid but not properly incubated.  Even if these eggs are given to fosters, fertility tends to be low.

A few weeks of seed-only diet will sort the adult pair,  (sometimes they have to be moved to a cage as well).

Calcium supplementation advisable in such hens while on seed-only.

Nest inspection
Is not recommended unless domestic reared Cordon-bleus.

How know whether have eggs if can't inspect?
If nest receptacle is positioned strategically will see a bird in the nest. Easy!   Not quite.   Will sit lightly during day (so easily disturbed), and not at night until clutch is complete.  Inspect 1/4 of an hour before 'light's out.   ' If only one bird is visible proper incubation has started.

If in a densely planted aviary will only see 1 Cordon-bleu then 3 days after brooding - the cock in particular will have a very laterally curved tail.

They are quite steady 'sitters'.   The cock might commence sitting but the hen usually does most of the work with a full clutch.  The clutch is usually 4 - 6 eggs ( occasionally 7).

Fertility is usually very high in a fit pair (usually 1 clear egg per clutch).

Nest receptacles and siting
Photos show they will use half fronted boxes (wooden or plastic), wicker baskets, and are also happy to build their own.

The nest site is preferably high up.

Will just use coconut fibre.   They are not fussy re materials.

Who needs a nest?
A young hen decided it was time.   Without a nest or material she scooped a small hollow in the cage floor sawdust and sat for five days totally exposed.



Pre-school!
I clearly forgot to tell these 8-month old youngsters the rule is to nest high up'!

Privacy - not - that is the main walkway to the left.

Even though this pair was flying with 14 other BCs, 3 eggs were fertile and were successfully transferred to fosters.

The next page has photographs showing sequential - chick development
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