Breeding Blue Quakers

I received a phone call about five years ago from a local bird breeder, a long-time friend of mine, asking if I would be interested in viewing some Blue Quakers he had for sale.

Was I ever enthralled! That was the year’s understatement. I’d been seeking for some of the blue mutant to add to my enormous flock of regular greens for a long time. The only example I’d ever seen was a drab, tiny little bird in a cage of similarly small, sickly-looking normals at a whloesaler’s. “Right now!” I said in response to his query about a convenient time.

The owner recounted me his heartbreaking tale over coffee at my kitchen bar, with a carrier cage of four lovely Blue Quakers between us. His only son had lately died in an accident, and he had been unable to overcome his terrible sadness. He had sold all of his other birds in order to relocate to a different region of the nation. He believed that a total change of scenery would aid in his adjustment. He cherished these Blues and said that he wanted to ensure that they went to a breeder who would properly care for them and implement a sound breeding program. The birds had been brought from Holland, but no efforts had been taken to prepare them for breeding.

These Quakers had silver cheeks, necks, and upper breasts and were a delicate, powder blue. They seemed to be full and robust. Although $5000 was out of my financial range, it was a reasonable price. I soon found myself the proud and content owner of four Blue Quakers.

My veterinarian inspected the birds extensively and gave them a clean bill of health. I had two boys and two girls, according to surgical sexing. When this was found, I couldn’t believe it.

The birds looked to be doing well, but when their thirty-day isolation time came to an end, I was shocked to discover one of the females dead at the bottom of the cage one morning. Even after a necropsy, the cause of death remained unknown. The other three remained unharmed.

Starting my breeding program with two males and one female looked like a catastrophe at the time, but it turned out to be a gift in disguise. Due to the death of the one female, I was obliged to mate one of the boys with a regular green hen. The greens that split to blue as a consequence of the mating were substantially bigger and overall superior individuals than those produced by the mating of the two visual blues.

When I mated the splits to visual blues, I got 75% of big, healthy blue chicks. As a result, my breeding program was founded. Although the mutations have not been as numerous as the typical greens, I couldn’t help but notice them.

be delighted with the development of my program. Despite the fact that the blues produced an average of four eggs as opposed to the normals’ seven to eight, I had bred twenty-two blues and forty splits in three years.

I tried swapping eggs with nice normal parents multiple times, thinking that the lower hatch rate characteristic of blues may be due to the parents’ behaviors. The hatch rate of the fostered eggs remained unchanged.

The table below shows the projected outcomes of this breeding strategy. Surprises, whether good or unpleasant, are not uncommon.

100% green/blue = blue × green

50% blue + 50% green/blue = 50% blue + 50% green/blue

*green/blue X green/blue equals 25% blue, 50% green/blue, and 25% regular green.

*In the latter scenario, only the outcomes of later breeding can tell you which of the greens are divided to blue.

I’ve noticed a tiny variation in the color of the down on the new chicks. The blue mutations seem whiter than the normals, which are light yellow. Your estimate will not be validated until pin feathers sprout in around 21 days. It’s a joy to first see the small blue tail feathers and then count the amount of visual blues you’ve made.

Because I was having so much success with my regular Quakers, I reasoned that what worked for them would also work for the blues. We made no dietary adjustments. Like the rest of the flock, we give them with ordinary cockatiel nest boxes. All Quakers are excellent nest builders, and providing straw instead of shavings keeps them occupied and content. The Blue infants are equally as simple to hand feed and wean as the Red newborns.

I’ve had a lot of fun displaying my Blues in events. One of my own offspring has advanced to the top bench. They usually get remarks from the judges and a lot of attention from the many viewers who are seeing the classic green Quaker in different hues for the first time. Breeding these endearing young birds has been a thrilling and rewarding experience.

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