Glue Story Sees Fancier Stick at It

We have been informed by a very keen budgerigar fancier from Tasmania, of two tragedies that hit him badly, but who still has the courage to “attack” and carry on with his interest.

His name? That will appear later! It makes a change from the alleged “gluing in of tails” incident a few years ago.

Automated Watering SystemOur story starts in 1984. An aviary fire at the rear of the fancier’s property killed all but 3 birds out of 300! He left the hobby for a while to deal with the damage – both to his home and his hobby – and only three years ago, returned to building his new aviary with determination, and in his own words, “to do it properly”. Only this time he decided to install an automatic watering system.

The construction of this piped watering system required PVC pipes which had to be primed and glued – the former being a red priming fluid that apparently is highly toxic and required the pipes, after jointing, to be thoroughly flushed.

However, our unlucky fancier did not flush them thoroughly enough!

After full installation, in the following morning, he found 60 dead budgerigars on the cage floors and another 12 died in the days following.

Luckily, the rest survived, but it took another 6 months of dedicated care before breeding resumed. The outcome and success – or otherwise – of these breeding birds will be interesting to know at a later stage.

Our fancier has now returned to manual watering, although he has installed a one inch poly pipe that has compression fittings in one area – that, of course, does not use glue of any description!

This fancier has been kind enough to tell the hobby worldwide of the hazards associated with such piped watering systems. He and his family live in Roger River in the North of Tasmania. He wishes to pay tribute to his fellow fanciers and club members who have been totally supportive throughout. That has to be great and commendable or another good fancier would have been lost.

Comment from Gerald Binks

I have regrettably been around long enough to recall when these piped systems first arrived on the scene internationally. My personal opinion is unchanged on their use for the following reasons:

  1. They are real dust traps and make maintaining cleanliness a nightmare
  2. They have to be flushed ,but you cannot be sure that bacteria are still living in the system
  3. It is easy to get lazy, or forgetting when you last flushed out the system
  4. In a warm climate, bacteria will multiply rapidly, unseen of course by the fancier
  5. You cannot administer vitamins in solution, particularly a vitamin that has syrup base within which bacteria can grow alarmingly without you realising it

In my opinion the disadvantages far outweigh any advantages and the risks to our sensitive birds makes the piping system an absolute non starter.

The name of our kind fancier who still “attacks” his hobby so admirably is somewhat bizarre.

His name is Christopher Slaughter and I admire his tenacity tremendously.

Thank you for telling the hobby at large Chris. Well done and every good wish for the future. Nevertheless, I am still concerned about the one inch compression system for the reasons just explained. My advice is to remove it immediately.

It just might avoid “third” time unlucky!

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About the Author: Gerald Binks began breeding budgerigars when he was 12 years old and is now arguably the most knowledgeable budgerigar fancier in the world. He has bred his fair share of Best in Show birds, judged in no less than 20 countries, founded the World Budgerigar Association, and has published two of the three classic books on the hobby. His stud in the UK attracts fanciers from near and far and is always high on the list for those wishing to purchase BA23 quality budgerigars.

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  1. John Miles says:

    Gerald,

    I have used and market an automatic water system for over 25 years.

    My birds have no problem and being a traveler it makes things very convenient for me.

    One has to be aware when using glue on pipe for birds that the glue is very toxic.

    When gluing pipe, let it stand for 24 hours and then flush it well for several hours.

    I have never had a problem.

    John Miles
    California, USA

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