Egg candling is an easy way to check Budgies or any bird eggs for fertility. You can see chick development.

As a budgie owner, you want an assurance that your budgie will give you a healthy junior. You don’t want the disappointment of putting a lot of effort and having high hopes only for your pet to provide no chicks. You want to investigate if the egg is fertile or infertile? Egg candling will help you out. Through it, you play a supervisory role in determining the chick’s safety. The beginning of life is always exciting. Budgie, being your closest buddy, deserves a supportive friend who is interested in its welfare. There is no doubt you care about your bird, and you’re in the right place. We’ll help you get what you’re looking for. The article will give explanations on egg candling and budgie chick development.

How does egg candling work?

Candling is a unique method used to monitor the development of an embryo inside the egg. It uses intense light to show all details in the eggshell. Previously, candles were used to perform the task. But not anymore. In the world where everyone is turning digitally, candles are replaced by concentrated beams. LEDs are considered the best because of their brightness and efficiency.

How do you candle the egg?

Even someone clueless about this thing can guess it right how it’s done: if they use a clue suggested by the name itself. Although you can use a candle, torch is much better because it won’t burn your fingers while you’re candling. What you have to do is place a small bright torch on it. This process is doable even when the egg is still inside the nest. Make sure you can have a clear view of the egg. With gloves on your hands, hold the egg between your finger and thumb and pay full attention to the insides. For a successful process, ensure the room is dark. If you see red veins in the egg, that’s a healthy one. There is nothing to worry about. Seeing traces of a chick-like figure shows the egg is well developed. If you don’t see any red lines, the egg is dead, and it’ll give no chick at all.

Egg candling using LED Flashlight

Is it essential to candle your budgie’s egg?

When you first heard of this term egg candling, what came to your mind? Probably you thought of how you’ll start holding a candle on top of the egg. Whatever your interpretation was, candling helps in finding out if a budgie egg is perfectly fine. Even so, it’s not must to eat up your time trying to check the interior of the egg, yet, you can go for the optimistic option-wait positively for the egg to release a healthy chick. However, candling may become a necessity in some situations. One, if the egg is pushed out of the nest by its mother. Or if your bird is young and you want to confirm that everything about the egg’s interiors is in good condition. In any other situation, it counts as a not-a-must thing. The main objective for candling is to check the egg’s fertility and take immediate action in case it’s otherwise. Rotten eggs can burst and contaminate other well-conditioned eggs. Don’t let it make you curse yourself while throwing a clutch of damaged eggs for something avoidable with a simple action like candling.

Budgie chick development stages

Egg candling can make you feel like an X-ray reader. An egg candler isn’t so far from that anyway. You can start candling after five days of incubating and continue with the trend every few days after. Ensure the candle is held at the larger end of the egg, where the air sac is located. You can gently rotate it to study the blood vessel growth and the embryo’s development. Here are the development stages:

Budgie Laying Eggs

Day 1

The egg is laid. Some hens will not sit on the first egg until there are several of them in the nest. Others start lying on them almost immediately. During this time, you should allow the budgie to spend time with its eggs. Have minimal check up on the nest, and don’t touch the eggs no matter how tempting it is.

Day 5-7

Now is the time to candle the eggs. Wash your hands before touching the delicate eggs, to prevent pathogens from penetrating through. At this stage, you’ll see a yellowish yoke or a red vein structure. The second view indicates a healthy egg, while the first proves the opposite.

Day 8-17

At this point, the egg is developing into a chick. It’s the most exciting stage, giving you hopes of new budgie juniors in your home. The hen rolls and gives proper attention to the egg. When it comes to motherhood, budgies are not different from humans. They give their all to tend to their eggs. The bigger the chick grows, the darker the egg becomes. Candling will visualize where the chick forms a circle inside the egg with its egg tooth. The egg tooth is a small pointy tool located at the end of the chick’s beak.

You can see veins and Budgie Heart

Day 18-21

Expect the fertile egg to hatch in between these four days. The hatching may take as long as two days for the chick to release itself from the eggshell completely. The process is an exciting venture. First, the chick creates a small circular hole with its egg tooth. Then it pushes the egg apart and hatches. The chick will come out looking like a pink jelly bean, with no feathers and it’s almost invisible eyes tightly closely. Once it’s out of the eggshell, it’ll ultimately depend on the mother for its food and warmth.

What happens when the chick is finally out? Let’s see

First day since Budgie hatched
First day since Budgie hatched

7 days

The chick is tiny and pink. It can’t lift its head. The hen and the cock take the responsibility of raising their weak offspring and feeding it. Although at this point they’re helpless, and no energy with them, after a few days they’d be four times their size.

14 days

The chick can open its eyes. It also starts to get some pin-like feathers, and soon the adult feathers will begin growing. Curiosity gets into the chick, and it starts moving around by itself. At this stage, the breeder can start hand-feeding the chick.

budgie baby

21 days

The chick has grown quite big. The adult feathers start to cover the wings and head. You can now tell what colour the chick will turn out to be. It can stand tall, lift its head for a longer time, but still depends on its chest for support.

28 days

Only a few patches in the neck, back and chest are featherless. The rest parts are fully feathered. The chick will start moving out of the nest but will need assistance when it’s time to get back.

Baby Budgie bird

35 days

The chick can comfortably get in and out of the nest by itself. It may even begin reaching out to its food container. The parents start to wean the chicks around this time. It would be best if you start feeding the chick seeds and ditch using chick formula. It’s also the perfect time to clip its wings and leave only the longest flight feather on each side.

42 days

At week six, the chick is beyond the ‘baby stage’. It acts and looks like an adult budgie. It becomes jumpy and climbs in and out of the nest box without any fear. It should be standing upright and comfortably perch like adults.

49 days

In week 7, the chick is already weaned, but it may try to get its parents to feed it. It can climb the cage with ease, and show off its hidden playful side. It’s determined to try new things and explore unstoppably. You can somehow tell its gender-based on its move about. It’s recommended you transfer it to an older birds’ cage to toughen it up.

budgerigar young
Young Budgie

56 days

It’s a say goodbye to being called a chick. It looks like an adult, but it still has some growing to make. The chick will retain its baby bars; the stripes on top of its cere until it moults.

Finally, an adult!

The first moult happens when the bird is three months old. It’ll regrow its feathers, lose its baby bars, leaving the forehead clear. The cere will turn between seven weeks and a year old; both genders become breed-safe after attaining six months. But don’t breed them until they are above one year old.

What should you do with the unwanted budgie egg?

You have candled the egg and realized that it’s an odd egg which cannot produce a chick, what’s next? Or probably you’re not ready for addition of budgies. The immediate thing will be to remove the eggs. If the egg is infertile, there is no need to let it stay in the nest and mess up the good catches. Get it out of the nest. If you don’t want a budgie’s egg to hatch, though it’s fertile, you’ll have to use a trick in sneaking them out of the nest. Budgies are lovely parents, and they won’t allow losing their to-come chicks. Ensure you remove one egg at a time. If you remove them all at once, the mother will notice your inhumanity. You surely don’t want to distress the mother. Take out one at a time, leaving other eggs to hide your actions.

How long does it take for a baby budgie to grow?

Breeding a chick is a somewhat so-much-hard-work process, which demands your patience and undivided attention. I’ll advise you seek an expert’s help, or watch instructional videos if you’re new in this experience. That way you’ll stone your confidence, hence have minimal mishaps in taking care of the chicks. Usually, the parent birds are prepared for the task and will give their all. But you as the owner should still know all the whats, do’s and don’ts involved. For a chick to become independent, and adjust to the environment, it takes about 20-23 days. By this time the feathers have grown, and the littles are fit to consume different types of food like seeds.

When can the baby budgie start to fly?

One of the best experiences in budgie breeding is watching the chick, which was once featherless and helpless, flying around. But when does this happen? Budgies get fully feathered and gain the flying power at approximately 4-5 weeks. At the first days, they’ll give short flights but eventually become professional.

How to prepare for the chick’s arrival

It won’t be realistic to stay excited about having new members in your home, only to realize you don’t have a place for them. To avoid such events, prepare in advance.

Build a budgie aviary

If you’re planning to keep many budgies, an outdoor aviary should be your project. It gives your birds enough space to move around, and they’ll enjoy fresh air and sunlight. You can use it as a permanent home for your budgies, or a once-in-a-while place. Probably during cold seasons to give your birds warmth.

Look for accessories

Within no time, the chick will need something to keep it busy. Go for simple toys that won’t harm the delicate chick in any way. Opt for swings, perches, organic chewable wood, balls, bell among others.

Get proper feeding programs for budgie chicks

There are various budgie chick feeds available commercially. Before purchasing any of that, ensure it contains enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals required by the chick. Instead of going for cheap purchases online, consult an expert to lead you to the right feed.

What can cause a budgie chick to die?

  • If the egg is not rotated at least five times a day
  • If the temperature is too high or low
  • If the atmosphere is too dry
  • If the egg is shaken about
  • Toxins found in air, food, or water which are released from sprays, or pesticides
  • Malnutrition

The Bottom Line

Budgie keeping is one of the best experiences for any breeder. However, it takes your effort, interest, and dedication to be successful in it. It’s not as bad as you think. You only need to learn the basics, improve your skills, and be ready to adjust to new changes that may occur. Egg candling is not necessary, but it’s a good kick if you want a healthy egg. As you pet your bird, always seek advice from an expert. Hopefully, you’re satisfied with our information and you have what you wanted!


Alen AxP is an experienced budgie owner who is passionate about sharing their knowledge and expertise on budgie care. Through their articles and resources, they provide valuable insights and practical tips on topics such as diet, housing, and health, to help other budgie owners create a happy and thriving environment for their feathered friends.


  1. Hi! I’m thankful for your insight and guidance!

    My Budgie laid 8 eggs! So far 5 have hatched!!

    The nest is very soiled….I’ve been trying to find an Avain vet to ask questions about cleaning but can’t seem to find answers.

    I cleaned it once when there were 4 unhatched eggs. But very nervous as I’ve read to not handle the eggs past 14 days.

    My question is, can I clean the nest if there are 3 eggs over 14 days?

    And what type of nest material do you use? I have nest cotton, shredded paper towels, and bamboo fibers.

    Also, can I candle the eggs that are more than 14 days?

    Thank you and please keep posting information and videos!!

    1. I clean my nestboxes once a week from one week after the youngest chick has hatched, i limit clutch size to 6 chicks.

  2. Pingback: Expectations and Actuality of Budgie Birds - PB-NEWS

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