“Don’t change in midstream just because of what somebody else has said”, says Bill Bancroft UK

Lyn & Bill Bancroft

I started breeding Budgerigars in 1936 using a colony system and have been exhibiting since 1947. Most fanciers do everything against nature, pair birds up in cages, give them mates they think are suitable and do not allow them to choose their own companions. This is where we all go wrong. Most of today’s problems are man-made.

It is my view that after a bird has had its first moult it is physically fit and mature enough to breed and as such, have used six month old hens with good results. However, there are those people who say they don’t believe in it or will disagree. They are entitled to their views just as I am and what I believe may not please everyone. However, some people may disagree just because they have never done it and consequently they don’t think anyone else should either. Myself, I am a great believer in trusting to nature and pairing birds up when they are fit.

I don’t foresee any problems in breeding with young cocks or hens because you still get quality birds from them. Just look at the wild birds, nobody says to them it is time to pair up; they make up their own minds. It is not uncommon to see young first round Sparrows pairing up after their first moult. So why should we think it a problem? Birds should always be in condition before they are bred. A lot of today’s problems are due to people pairing birds up, irrespective of their condition, consequently they get poor results and this is ultimately due to bad management.

Breed Your Own Hens

It has always been my policy to breed my own hens if possible, because they are brought up in the same environment in which they are to breed. However, most of the problems experienced with hens that are purchased and brought into a stud can be overcome if they are obtained in the early part of the year, well before the breeding season starts and given several months to settle in. Nevertheless, I have always found that hens that have lived all their lives in one environment settle and breed much quicker. We do sometimes have problems with them, but on the whole it works out very well and is a point worth remembering. I always maintain hens are the most important birds in your breeding team and repeat, don’t be afraid of using six month old birds.

Over the years I have been breeding exhibition birds, people have continually complained of problems. This is nothing new. Whichever system anyone discovers, we still get problems. Some people think that if they have not bred 100 birds, they have had a bad breeding season. The whole object of breeding exhibition birds is quality, no quantity. My ultimate aim when I pair up birds is to produce something better than I have previously done. The way to be successful is to improve on features each year; you can’t do everything over night. Finally, if your system is working, don’t change it. Regardless of what I say, stick to it – that is the golden rule. If you are successful with your method, carry on using it; don’t change in midstream just because of what somebody else has said.

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Terry Tuxford About the Author:

Terry Tuxford first began breeding budgerigars in 1979 and joined the BS in 1980. He was elevated to Champion in 1985 when he went into partnership with Brian Poole. This partnership is probably one of the longest existing partnerships in the UK hobby today having lasted some 27 years so far and is still going strong. Terry and Brian are also partnered by Yvonne Tuxford who joined the BS in 1990.


Terry demonstrated his penmanship early in his budgerigar career and wrote in the second edition of Budgerigar World. Little did he realise then that in just over 8 year’s time he would become editor following a 20 month apprenticeship with founding editor, Gerald Binks. Terry went on to edit a total of 245 editions up to May 2011.


In 1993 Terry took his Budgerigar Society Judges final examination and was awarded Subsidiary Judge of the Year and has gone on to judge the Budgerigar Society World Show on three occasions as well as many top shows at home and abroad. He is also an accomplished speaker and has been a guest at societies throughout the UK as well as Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and many other European countries.

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  1. Lovely notes Terry Tuxford thank you.

    Habib Ur Rehman,Pakistan

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