Grey Budgie (A Dominant Budgie Mutation)

Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by Ali Shahid

The Grey Budgie, also known as the Australian Grey or simply Grey, results from the dominant Grey Budgerigar mutation. Under this dominant gray mutation, the wild-type Light Green variety becomes Grey-Green, while the Sky Blue variety becomes Light Gray.

Since the mutation is dominant, a single copy of the dominant Grey allele is sufficient for it to fully express itself. There are two types of grey Budgies:

  • Double factor: this occurs when both parents carry a dominant allele.
  • Single factor: this occurs when only one parent possesses a dominant gray allele.

There is a slight difference in appearance between these two varieties, which we will discuss in the following paragraphs. For more information about the Grey Budgie, please continue reading.

Origin and History of Grey Budgie

Dominant Grey was first observed in 1934, when S Harrison bought a Grey cock from a dealer in Victoria, Australia. It is unknown who originally bred the grey budgie.

This grey budgie was identified as a dark grey (SF) or diluted based on early breeding results. From this bird, Mrs. Harrison developed an extensive grey strain.

In 1936, Shepherd bought grey budgies from a colony breeder in Kew, Victoria. In 1935, R Hancock of Beverley, South Australia, also bred a Grey. The first dominant grey budgie came to Britain around 1937.

Appearance

A grey-green has a dull mustard green body and a slightly duller tone of yellow mask compared to light green. The Light Grey’s body color is an even, uniform grey.

Flights and long tail feathers are black in both the blue and green series birds. A jet-black pattern has been added to the wing and tail markings, but no changes have been made to the pattern.

Consequently, there is a lot of contrast between the black and yellow colors, particularly in the tail bar. Lilac-gray patches cover the cheeks. The body color of Greys and Grey-Greens budgies becomes slightly darker in the presence of the Dark mutation.

However, this effect is much smaller than that seen with dark mutations on light greens and sky blues. Because this mutation is dominant, it affects both single-factor greys (SF) and double-factor greys (DF).

There is only one difference between a DF bird and an SF bird, which is the color of its afterfeather and contour feather shafts.

The afterfeather of an SF light grey bird is white, in contrast to a DF bird’s afterfeather, which is dark gray with a black shaft.

Personality

The gray budgie is often overlooked as an easy-to-care-for pet. It is certainly an excellent pet for “watching only”, especially when kept in pairs or colonies. However, if trained correctly, it can become a loving, loyal companion to its owner.

As social birds, grey budgies are not well suited to isolation. If given enough contact, housed budgies will remain friendly with each other. However, if you are seeking a pet-quality bird, I recommend a lone parakeet.

Generally, birds are fine to be around children as long as they treat them with respect. A rowdy child can easily harm this small bird. Any pet should be under the supervision of an adult.

The bird’s beak is not as powerful as some of its larger competitors. However, it is certainly capable of injuring small, sensitive fingers.

Understanding the Genetics of Grey Budgies

As described in the Appearance section above, birds with one dominant grey allele convert from light green to grey-green. That is, one dominant grey allele is sufficient to cause the mutation to manifest fully.

Double-factor Dominant Grey, which contains two Dominant Grey alleles, shares the same appearance as single-factor Dominant Grey. However, the color of the breast of the double-factor bird seems to change from white to gray.

Genes for dominant Grey are found on autosomal chromosomes. This gene does not appear to be linked to any other mutations.

Caring for Grey Budgies

Your gray budgies should be housed in a large cage with a minimum depth of 12 inches, a height of 18 inches, and a length of 20 inches.

A larger cage is always preferable; your bird will need plenty of space to eat, sleep, play, and fly. Make sure the cage bars are spaced evenly; the distance between the bars should not exceed 1/2 inch.

Although horizontal bar cages are more difficult to locate, they are ideal for exercising your bird. Additionally, you should provide your bird with a variety of perches to maintain good foot health.

Make sure you socialize with your bird on a regular basis. Ensure that your gray budgie has ample opportunity to fly in a safe, secure environment outside of the cage.

The key to feeding your budgie is variety. As seeds are high in fat, they should not make up a large portion of your budgie’s diet.

Your budgie can be fed a pelleted diet as well as fresh foods such as broccoli, carrots, corn, beans, spinach, and fruit.

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