Inbreeding And Knowing When To Cull – Malcolm Freemantle UK

Inbreeding for many fanciers is often viewed as pairing Mother to Son or Father to Daughter, where in fact this is only one part of the equation. All pairings of closely related cocks and hens are in the arena of Inbreeding; Line breeding is the same thing.

I was most surprised to hear an eminent fancier quote from a famous breeder’s book – one that is recognised as a standard work on the subject – that inbreeding is a double-edged sword. Defects and recessive qualities, which otherwise lie dormant and only slowly come to the surface – as they do with outcrossing – are highlighted much more quickly. This is the argument in favour that is used by experienced in-breeders who know what they are talking about. The added advantage is the good characteristics that this close pairing brings out. The breeder is able to select, preserve and continue to breed with the best of the offspring and eliminate poor mediocre progeny.

To gain maximum advantage from inbreeding the newcomer must learn to cull (eliminate). This is probably the most important point if the fancier is to succeed in building up a first class strain of their chosen variety. In fact there is only one better thing than culling and that is more culling. There is no room for mediocre or average budgerigars in a planned progress of inbreeding. Include such birds as this and the whole purpose of inbreeding is defeated.

Inbreeding provides the small fancier with the necessary tools with which – when properly used – will put them on a par with larger and more comprehensive studs. One of the best systems to follow is the mating of the best cock in the birdroom to the best three or four hens. Obtain two nests from each and then mate the sire back to the best of the daughters the following year.

He can be mated to more than one daughter and foster pairs should be put up to transfer the eggs to. Don’t forget to continue culling and retain the characteristics, which indicate the qualities of the chosen foundation cock.

Make sure that your foundation cock has good, all round quality; he must have depth of body colour whether that is in Light Green or Skyblue or one of the dark factor birds. Size and shape is just not enough to lay a firm foundation.

Amongst other forms of livestock there are examples where successful inbreeding has brought about the desired results i.e. it has helped to increase the production of beef and eggs as well as improving the uniformity of Pigeons, Rabbits, Cavies and Mice. Take your time and select your initial foundations pairs carefully and cull ruthlessly, it has worked for others, so why not follow a successful way of breeding top budgerigars.

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About the Author:

Malcolm and Pam Freemantle’s introduction to budgerigars came in 1955 when Malcolm went to pick up Pam after work outside the Reading Pet Shop. Malc was late one day and Pam had her eye on a small monkey in the shop window. The compromise was a pair of budgerigars.


Malcolm joined the BS in 1959 and has been a full panel judge since the 1970s and is an Honorary Life Member of the Budgerigar Society.


During his time in the hobby Malcolm has always been involved with administration and was a founder member of the Clearwing Budgerigar Breeders Association and their Secretary / Treasurer for 30 years.


Although Pam had been more in the background in those early days, Clearwing fanciers around the country recognised Pam more easily than Malcolm although he was CBBA secretary. Pam manned the stand at the BS Club Show and took the subscriptions for the whole of the 30 years he was in office.


Over the years many different varieties have been kept starting off with Lutinos before moving on to Clearwings. Challenge Certificates have been won with Skyblues, Opalines and Pam’s favourite Yellowfaces, but, the main colour has always been Whitewings and Yellow-wings.


It would be true to say that they have been one of the top three Clearwing studs in the country since the early 1970’s.


Since their retirement Malc has had time to publish a book on Clearwings, “The Art of Breeding Clearwings”.

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  1. Beautiful article “Inbreeding And Knowing When To Cull – Malcolm Freemantle UK” and hope many breeder will learn from your experience.

    Habib Ur Rehman,Pakistan

  2. dr zia says:

    simple with perfection. hope this article gone help in long run…

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