National Specialist and Rare Variety Open Show in its 25th Year by Terry A Tuxford

Editorial – The Budgerigar – May / June 2013

The first National Specialist and Rare Variety Open Show in the UK was held on 3rd July 1988 in Luton, Bedfordshire and was a great success with an entry in excess of 1660 budgerigars.

The concept for the event stemmed originally from the six specialist societies in the U.K. that coincided with an idea originating in the USA through Budgerigar World. Incidentally, I was involved in the discussion in the USA– I remember it well as Yvonne and I were in the US on our honeymoon at the time. The idea was to have an independent show staged purely for the specialist and rare varieties (the focus may have been Rares at first) without the usual overall Best in Show and Best in Section as in normal shows but for each variety to have its own Best in Show.

The show has and continues to act as an educational basis for judges and fanciers regardless of their time in the hobby because of the particular varieties that are not usually benched at major shows. This national show, now acknowledged as the best show for the specialist and rare varieties in the world, is attended by fanciers from many other countries as well having judges engaged to judge the show from all parts of the world.

Ghalib Al-Nasser was the Show Manager for that very first event; a position he still holds today. In addition he has also been Show Organiser since the second event in 1989. Janice Al-Nasser was also on the first formation show committee back in 1988 and still is.

The 25th UK Specialist & Rare Variety Jubilee Open Show will be held on 29th and 30th June 2013. See full page advert in this edition of The Budgerigar for further details.

Feather Plucking

A number of fanciers have contacted me in recent weeks with concerns about feather plucking that has occurred in some of their nestboxes. In my opinion, this is one of the most frustrating incidents which can appear in a birdroom. Following the successful pairing, laying and subsequent hatching and the feeding of chicks there can be nothing more disappointing than inspecting a nest box and finding one or more chicks inside which have been extensively feather plucked.

In some cases, a few feathers at the back of the head may have been removed but often this early beginning leads to cases where there is not a single feather left and none are allowed to re-grow. Very often the skin of the chick is broken which brings discomfort. Assuming the chicks survive this attack, more often that not some of the removed feathers never re-grow, especially those on the wing butts. This results in a potential show bird being totally unsuitable for exhibition purposes.

Whether feather plucking is hereditary or not is a matter of opinion and although genetic inheritance may be blamed, simple imitation may also be the cause. Whichever it is I am sure that it is not always inherited but once the problem exists within a bird I have found it to be incurable.

Either sex may feather pluck but in the main it is the hen which is at fault. It is interesting to note that sometimes it does not become a problem until the hen’s second breeding season. You can be sure that if she has feather plucked once she will most certainly do it again. The easiest way to tell which of the pair is the culprit is to look for blood on the offending bird’s face and beak.

Unfortunately there is no single cure for this problem and it is therefore essential that the breeder is on the look out for initial signs of this occurring. If you have a known “feather plucker” it may be prudent to foster out her eggs as they are laid, or perhaps to allow her to rear chicks until they are 10 or 12 days old and then foster them.

If the chicks are well-feathered and the hen begins to pluck, then it is common practice to put the chicks into the corner of the breeding cage sometimes in another nest box. You will discover that the cock bird will quite happily feed them unless of course he is the offender.

Your Shop Window

One of the bi-products of our hobby is budgerigars both young and adult that do not figure into our future breeding or exhibiting plans. These may be youngsters that did not come up to standard, adults that need to be moved on, maybe you’ve bred too many of a particular variety or colour or perhaps you have too many hens (don’t I wish) or a surplus of cocks. Whatever the case, we all have birds to sell at one time or another.

The Budgerigar is the hobby’s shop window and for a small inclusive payment of £40 you can be seen in the new Breeders Directory. For this you get a 3cm single column advertisement in six edition of The Budgerigar – larger sizes are also available at a pro rata cost. To help prospective buyers, the plan is to divide the directory into the geographical locations of the Area Societies. Please send advertising requests or details to: The Budgerigar, C/O The Editor, 145 Western Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG22 6EX, United Kingdom. Tel. 07836 723082, Email bestofbreeds@gmail.com. All Advertising Must Be Pre-paid before publication and so please enclose a cheque made payable to the Budgerigar Society

Thank you for the very positive responses I received from the last edition (my first) of The Budgerigar. Many of the ideas that came with them I will be taking forward in future editions. Overwhelmingly the return of the Club News section was received with applause however, due to space constraints, this will be restricted to Area and Specialist Society news only; local society news is available on the BS Facebook pages. I would also like to thank the many article contributors and apologise if you have not been included in this edition – rest assured you will be in the future.

 

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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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