A Plan For Beginners In The Fancy – Part II By Pat Norris

One Step up the Ladder

Part one of “Plan for Beginners in the Fancy” provided a quick overview of selecting the appropriate stock birds for the novice and beginner budgerigar breeder to begin their lengthy journey up the ladder to success. After you’ve acquired the greatest quality birds your money will allow, it’s time to maximize your original investment.
At this point, you should set aside your color preferences and focus on the qualities of your purchases.

Line up your birds from your favourite studs and choose your pairings to complement each partner, for example, if you have a cock with superb facial traits but lacks size, attempt to mate him with a long wide shouldered hen. When pairing, keep the parents of the bird in mind (which you should have seen when acquiring your stock), since this may be a big role when contemplating a mating. Remember that your bird will inherit its parents’ characteristics, so if it came from a very buff bird but does not have that feather, it will be split for that parents feather quality and, if paired with an intermediate feathered mate, will produce a greater number of the desired youngsters with an intermediate feather as well as buffs. Choose each pairing carefully, keeping birds from the same stud together during this stage.

Hopefully, at the conclusion of your first breeding season, you will have chicks from each of your pairings. You may then re-evaluate your birds to determine whether they have improved over the course of your first year.

Arrange the chicks and parents from each coupling and ask yourself some honest questions.

  • Are the bred chicks better than their parents?
  • Have they inherited any hidden flaws, such as bad backlines, poor posture, short masks, and so on?
  • Are they of worse quality than their parents?

If all of the chicks from a pair are of poor quality, or if they have inherited severe flaws, then all of the chicks from that pairing should be rejected, and the couple should not be permitted additional rounds. Choose chicks from the pairings that have produced decent offspring, and eliminate any adults who have produced poor offspring. Adults with undesirable characteristics, such as feather plucking, egg devouring, assaulting young, and so on, should be eliminated unless they are of exceptional quality.

By the conclusion of your first season, you should have a number of good-quality chickens from your original investment. Any excellent cocks will be a bonus on the show bench, but the hens, in my view, are the backbone of any stud since quality hens are tough to find.

After determining which stallion or studs your best birds were born from, you will need to return to that stud for one or two somewhat higher quality cock birds this time. When making these purchases, keep in mind that if a feature has to be improved, the cock bird chosen must have that enhancement. Remember that creating a good stud is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle piece by piece, and it will take time to accomplish it well. Examine the siblings as well as the parents of your prospective buy. You won’t be able to purchase the display bird, but you may be able to get a nestmate for a fair price. These are capable of producing young of the same caliber as their “Best in Show” siblings. You might expect to pay a higher price for higher-quality secondhand items, but if you’ve already sold your undesirable stock, this should help offset the cost.

In the third installment. I’ll show you how to couple these cocks to start a line of potentially victorious birds.

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