When I first started with Budgies, I started making a list of things that other breeders told me that were important as part of having a successful breeding program. Trying to remember everything everyone is telling you, can get confusing, I went back to my dad’s old saying “put it in writing.” There is no particular order to this list. I am not saying it is a proven thing; these are just things I learned I am sharing for those out there that are interested.
- You need to have cinnamons in your breeding program; cinnamons have a softer quality feather.
- You need opalines in your program, opalines have bigger and more spots because they have a wider shorter feather. They will take over your aviary if you are not careful.
- You should breed nothing but normals when you start, normal grays, grey greens, skys, etc. Focus on nothing but quality and size in your aviary. If you start breeding for color, you will never get the quality and size on your birds you need. Once you have big quality birds you can branch off into whatever color you choose.
- Same as above, don’t breed rare birds when first starting, all your focus will be on those birds, Breeding rares takes up a huge amount of resources as far as breeding time and space.
- Do not buy birds randomly, find what you like, and keep the number of breeders you buy from down to a couple of breeders. Most people when they get started buy from everyone, and you get a mix. Find a good program, find what they cross on, and repeat what they are doing.
- Cull ruthlessly; keeping a bird because it’s cute or you just like it but it has major flaws will not help you move up through the show ranks.
- Do not sell your birds until they are a year old, they grow until they are eighteen months but by a year you can see what potential the bird has.
- Keep your hens, hens are the key to a good program, do not cut yourself short on hens.
- Smaller hens are generally better breeders than your big show hens, the big hens do not breed well.
- Find a good mentor, having a good mentor can make a huge difference. A mentor is not someone you use to get birds from cheaper, nor are you a dumping spot for their mediocre birds. A mentor is there for help and advice.
- Learn everything you can about the birds, ask questions, find out about others feeding programs, breeding programs.
- Learn your varieties, that means do not ask to see the “Purple Budgie”
- Visit aviaries of local breeders, just to see how they are set up, what they feed and how they keep their birds.
- A good feeding program will make all the difference in the world for raising birds; do not cheat on the feed quality and quantity. Good quality seed, vitamins, soft food, supplements are necessary.
- Hens will pass on dropped wings, keep that in mind when you breed a hen like that it is likely that all the babies will have dropped wings.
- Choose hens that stand up on the perch, Hens that lay all over the perch, their babies do the same thing.
- Cocks with flecking will pass it on more so than hens. Be careful of the flecking on all birds, you can wind up with an aviary full of flecked headed birds.
April Bird-Stieglitz ©09/19/2018