SEXING YOUR BENGALESE
 
How do I discover the sex of my Bengalese?
This is probably the most frequently asked question by new keepers of Bengalese, and the answer is observation. Cocks sing hens usually don’t.
Most keepers can tell you about singing hens, I have a chestnut grey hen at present that sings, but these are few and far between.
If you only have two birds the best method is separation for a few days were you should observe behaviour, it's a rare bird that won't attempt to sing if it is a cock.
The outcome of pairing two cocks is no eggs, two hens is plenty of eggs, two cocks or two hens if fit will build a nest and behave as a true pair, but to no productive end.
I have in the past taken advantage of this when I have been short of one sex or the other by pairing cocks or hens and fostering eggs to these pairs, they do a good job.
There are very few reasons two Bengalese won't successfully go to nest, two cocks, two hens or to young are perhaps the main ones.
When it comes to sexing your youngsters its observation, observation and observation.
I cage them about 10 or 12 to a flight cage as soon as I observe one singing I remove him and split ring him and transfer him to the cage I intend to moult him in.
There seems to be a hierarchy in any group of birds, the famous "pecking order" and I have seen this many times in Bengalese and other species. Once you remove a singing male from a group of birds another will invariably begin to sing shortly afterwards, I can 99.9% sex my youngsters by 3 months old by this method.
I had problems identifying individual birds in a cage of a dozen of the same colour, the answer was a small water pistol. When I saw a bird singing I would give him a squirt of water, it was then easy to remove the wet one.
Albert says "I use treacle and remove the one stuck to the side of the cage".
 

Where did that colour come from"? is amongst the questions I get asked a lot, so if your wondering a possible explanation is HERE

"I breed a youngster from my Self birds that had White patches, what happened " ? Speculations on this are HERE

How do I fit closed and split rings to my youngsters ? Information on this HERE

 Sexing Bengalese Finches

by John Ward

ONE OF the biggest problems in the Bengalese finch fancy is that there are no visible differences between cocks and hens. As you can imagine, this provides a formidable hurdle that needs to be overcome before breeding pairs can be selected.

You will hear all sorts of theories about how to sex your Bengalese; among them the position of the eyes in relation to the beak if the centre line of the beak is in line with the eye then that indicates a hen, but if the eye is above the centre line of the beak then a cock is indicated. and the difference in stance between cocks and hens.Hens are supposed to lay more horizontal on the perch whereas the cocks stand up straighter

Some fanciers will suggest a hen has a narrower head than a cock, when you look at it from above. Then, of course, there is the old trick of putting a needle on the end of a piece of cotton and suspending it over the bird. The way the needle moves is said to indicate a bird’s sex.

After keeping Bengalese finches since 1980, my view is that you will always have a 50:50 chance of being correct. Which is another way of saying, I think that with some of these methods, you could toss a coin and be just as accurate.

One thing is for sure – it is not easy to sex Bengalese finches. I have heard fanciers saying that sexing these birds is frequently more difficult than breeding with them!

My view is that there are two ways that are most likely to identify the sexes correctly:

It is not only when selecting breeding pairs that knowing the sexes of your birds is important. It is also essential to sex your birds accurately when sorting out which birds to dispose of and which to retain for the following breeding season. It is no good just deciding to keep the best and banking on the law of averages to balance the sexes.

In my experience, young cocks mature more quickly than young hens. As a result, I have known fanciers who have sorted out their birds on the basis of keeping the ones they think are the best to end up keeping all cocks. Sexing Bengalese is not a job to be carried out in a rush. The outcome is too important. So take your time.

When you have finished sexing your birds, it is advisable to mark them for future reference by putting plastic split rings on their legs; one colour for cocks and a different colour for hens. Coloured split rings can also be used to identify family groups.

Most Bengalese NBFA breeders put official closed rings on their birds. These are bought from the National Bengalese Fanciers’ Association. Each year’s rings are of a different colour so that you can identify the age of a bird at a glance. Each ring is colour coded for the year and is stamped with a unique number that identifies both the breeder and the bird.

If you take breeding Bengalese finches seriously, particularly for exhibition, these official closed rings are essential to ensure accurate record keeping.