Slaughter Advice from Experience

TasmaniaChristopher Slaughter recently had to delay a season’s breeding arising from his stud being poisoned – but that is another story.

Christopher hails from Tasmania but is what one would prefer to call a “Thinking Fancier”, full of ideas and suggestions for others to think about for the benefit of all breeders around the world.

The poisoning accident occurred two years ago, so, as a result, many of the hens in particular were aged from 18 months to two years. That said, he has had far better results with these more mature birds – which begs the question about using hens at 7 months of age.

Budgerigars need time to develop and as a hobby we are promoting the breeding ages more and more.

Certainly we know that the Northern Hemisphere breeders are at a disadvantage compared to their southern counterparts. Reinhard Molkentin stated in the past, that having started in his home country of Germany and later moving to South Africa, breeding is far easier in the latter.

Hence younger hens can be risked more easily within the warmer climates.

Christopher Slaughter has now recovered well after his setback, but has employed some new ideas into what has recently become a very good season:

  • Install an extra perch, two inches from the floor, so the emerging chicks can perch without threatening the “superiority” of the adult cock or hen feeling their sexual territory has been invaded by “newcomers” on the floor. Not a single chick has been attacked in a complete season, as a result.
  • When preparing the nest boxes with, say, sawdust, add a small piece of cuttlefish bone before the pair are introduced to the breeding cage. The hens attack that until it is reduced to dust within a day or so. The result – not one single case of soft shells or egg binding throughout the season!
  • Use only the standard water founts sited on the front of the cages for water only. Use a separate container to hold any vitamin supplements dissolved in the water so the birds are not force “fed” so overdosing does not occur.
  • Use “prepared suet” in the soft food mixture. It is a first class source of animal protein and fat which are vital to growth (e.g. meats, eggs & fish are all animal protein sources). He also uses semolina, fine ground porridge oats and malt. The last is for the yeast content, vitamin B group and of course a source of energy. The malt in question is supplied in powder form that one makes hot drinks with.
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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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