Combining clutches

by Jan McCarn
(Matthews, NC)

I currently have two clutches. One clutch is 80 days old. The second have just fledged the nest. Can I at some point combine to two clutches? If so, when and how do I go about putting them all in one large cage?

Thank you,


Hi Jan,

I apologize for the delay in answering.

Yes, you can combine the juveniles from different clutches into a flight cage. That is really what they need. They should be removed from the breeding cage about two weeks after fledging. Be sure to observe that they are no longer being fed by their parents and are eating seeds well on their own, then move them. I use a little 5" net to catch them up because it fits most small cage door openings and is easy to manage once inside the cage. I prefer the net to just grabbing them up with my hands because they seem to surrender to the net and don't usually thrash around in it or try to get out of my grip. Either way you are comfortable with is OK. Putting a forefinger over the top of the bird's head will also reduce the struggling. I keep a larger net nearby for cage escapees too.

Removing the juveniles before the parents start another clutch will prevent parent aggression should the juveniles want to keep returning to the nest box. I think the juveniles are happier in a flight with their peers. They seem to understand what is happening once one or two have been moved and the last ones are less resistant to being moved. When I am able to tell the sexes, I will separate them again into male and female flights until I am ready to set them up in pairs. Sometimes the red head males get aggressive when it comes to the females and I just like to avoid clashes. Best of luck, Jeanie

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