Although I have only been a breeder since 2015, I am seeing a trend in Budgies that seems to go hand in hand with today’s society. The concept of instant gratification.
Daily I receive emails from people wanting to get started in budgies. I try to give help whenever I can. I believe our responsibility as breeders in this hobby is to encourage others and help them along the way. It is one of the reasons I am working on building a reference library. It is one way of giving back to the hobby.
Going back to where I started and the daily emails that I receive. Nine out of ten of those read; I am looking for a pair or pairs of budgies, I want (pick a color) these birds must be your best, and I only want the best show birds. I want big big birds with showy heads like you see on Facebook or the internet, I want the biggest hens you have … or I want violets to breed, big ones like yours. Just a note to all, I do not breed violet to violet. To keep the size, vitality and quality of these birds, I use greens, skys and cobalts. Normals.
Without sounding like I am not going to help you get started. Breeding budgies is more than buying show birds from another breeder. I am more than happy to help out , give advice or send you to someone that can help.
First of all, there is not a breeder out there that is going to sell you his/her best birds. We keep our best birds for breeding. That is how we improve our flock.
Secondly, every breeder I have talked to pretty much agrees. Hens that look like cock birds, generally don’t produce. It is the smaller hens of same lines that produce. My best producers are not my prettiest hens. A number of my big pretty hens are aviary ornaments- meaning they have either never produced and egg or never produced a fertile egg.
I try to explain that to anyone who asks, however, it does not always work.
When I started, I was schooled on the idea of part of the challenge of the hobby is to create your own line of birds. Something that takes time to do, patience required. Learn about budgies, find out what works, see what birds you like, take time to develop that. Breed normals until you have the size and bird that you want, keep track of what you are doing and learn from it. When you get where you are pleased with the normals, then branch out into colors or rares.
Looking at breeders out there an excellent example would be Dewayne Weldon, located in Texas. He has been in the hobby for 52 years. He has been working developing the Fallow variety into a bird that is competitive as a rare with normals birds. He has been working on them since 1995. Patience and perseverance. He has done an amazing job with the birds.
Another example would be my own mentor, Mick McCown here in Arizona. He started out a number of years ago colony breeding budgies. After he got started he started breeding and tracking his lines. He was the Novice Exhibitor of the Year in 2011, then Intermediate Exhibitor of the Year in 2012. He moved up to Champion and all along he has been developing his own line of birds, adding certain bloodlines along the way to improve his flock to achieve his goals. I would say his babies of 2019 are the best he has ever raised, his plan and patience are now paying off.
New breeders want to have perfect birds right away. I believe you need the time to learn what the standard is and how to recognize it, there is more to a bird than a bunch of
I would recommend finding a good mentor, studying, learning, and working at it. No one learns everything overnight. Do not get frustrated with setbacks, they happen. Figure out what caused them, or ask for help.
There is nothing wrong with buying good birds, don’t misunderstand. Look and build for the future. It is something I am trying to do and I feel like I have a long way to go. Patience, planning, goal setting are key elements toward your long term success.