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Flights, Inside and Out by Gary Hicken USA

Flights, Inside and Out by Gary Hicken USA

An article on how to best provide flights for our birds

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Trichomoniasis Threat to Common British Birds

The decline in various indigenous British wild birds – specifically Greenfinches and Chaffinches – has been blamed on our “old friend” Trichomoniasis.

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No Danger When the Chips are Down

Gold Chip sawdust is supplied to laboratories – where it has to be ultra clean and sterile when medical testing is in process. Added to that, it is great for us fanciers because it does not scatter as the birds fly – and furthermore, it goes further than many other baled varieties and is far easier to lift each bag.

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Glue Story Sees Fancier Stick at It

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.

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The Dicavalli Stud – Henry George

Henry George lives with his wife, Diane in a stunning area just north of Brisbane in Queensland. He is arguably one of Australia’s pre-eminent budgerigar breeders and his results at national level are second to none. For the record, Henry was the driving force to get 4500 birds into Australia from the UK so many years ago and the leader of the first syndicate.

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Thoughts on Nesting Boxes – Ancient and Modern

It was not long before I realised that breeders were, like myself, having many problems, particularly when trying to retrieve the box for inspection, unhooking it, then seeing the hen, or the pair, dashing around and trying not to drop the box with one hand. Needless to say, at best, the eggs were scattered all over the place and many times damaged.

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Concentrate on Quality Initially – Not Colour

As you gain experience, ask questions all the time. Many beginners feel they are being silly at a meeting of their chosen club, asking basic questions. Do not hold back – nobody minds especially any lecturers who feed off such questions and thrive on them.

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Warning – Security Lights

When on, the security light illuminates our bedroom – such that you wake up frequently! On one occasion in the dead of night, I ventured out and looked at the back of our home. When the security light came on, not only did it illuminate the back of the house, but I seriously thought about cutting the lawn while I was out there!

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T8 Fluorescent Light Tube Ban

Many of you are likely to use fluorescent tube lights in your aviary. Following the European ban of certain types of incandescent light bulbs, fluorescent tube lights have now come under the microscope. Standard T8 Halophosphor fluorescent tubes are being phased out, with production being halted and the importation of them being banned.

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The Influential Effects of Artificial Lighting

After a few weeks it became obvious that breeding was poor and the question was – Why?. The old birdroom was breeding at the same time and producing good numbers of chicks as usual. In the new room, infertility abounded and what chicks there were, were not being fed properly. Dead tiny chicks appeared regularly.

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Budgerigar Health Part 3 of 5 – Self Diagnosis

For breeders, an ability to detect the first signs of an illness is essential as many budgerigar diseases are rapidly fatal with the best quality show birds often being the first to die. Changes in the behaviour or physical appearance of an individual bird may indicate the beginning of an illness or an inherent weakness. […]

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Worming – Purchasing – Vitamin D – Showing Hens

Vitamin D that is lost in this way should be replaced artificially via multivitamin solutions and / or cod liver oil bought from your pharmacy.

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Flecking in Chicks – Ionisers – White Ceres – Cod Liver Oil

Cod liver oil is seriously valuable for its vitamin contents as these give health and great energy to the stock, as well as the iodine content for the thyroid – without which budgerigars do not reproduce easily.

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Getting The Best from Your Stud

The desire to breed super exhibition budgerigars is the ambition of every fancier in every country. I am well aware of the fact that the Australian show scene and its structure and administration is different to the UK. That aside, we all have the same aim as it is the finest birds on display that we wish to breed and own for the simple reason of pride in having achieved something that money cannot buy.

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Daniel Lütolf – A Breeder Ahead Of His Time

In my time, I have interviewed hundreds of very good breeders in their aviaries in many parts of the world – all have contributed good ideas. Occasionally I come across a few breeders who seem to think more deeply than their contemporaries. One such breeder is Daniel Lütolf in Würenlos, close to Zürich, Switzerland. Lütolf […]

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Every One Counts

There is no doubt that the start to any season is the most difficult. I can tell that the birds are ready to breed by looking at the behaviour of the hens as well as their condition. All my flights have the sexes mixed year round. This is because the current year stock learn their sexual habits very early. If you keep the big hens separate they just sit in the flights and get overweight with predictable poor results. Mix them and keep them active.

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Breeding Advice

One has to remember that today we strive to breed bigger and better birds. General feeding apart, you must always provide grits which possess granite like particles (insoluble) and shell particles (soluble). Not only should it be given but it must be changed every week to every pair.

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Avian Influenza

In 1997, the first reports of a human death from avian influenza originating in the Far East appeared in the press. By 2003 it reached a more noticeable level.

This was attributed to a specific avian flu form in poultry which also occurs periodically in wild birds. The particular strain of avian flu involved is called the H5N1 variety and is pathogenic.

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Timber Value Affects Fanciers

Forestry owners have seen their woodlands increase in value by two and a half times since 2006 owing to rising timber prices and a market that outstrips supply.

This is why anything made of wood for the hobby – be it cages, show cages, nest boxes and aviaries of all kinds – has suffered directly from these world wide increases. Manufacturers are all affected so such prices have to be passed on to even make a reasonable profit for any labour involved.

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Importing & Exporting Budgerigars

It is inadvisable to return to the UK without having conformed with the rules. To do so risks the birds being impounded / destroyed at the exit port or port of arrival by the authorities and future imports by you will be affected.

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Creating A Stud

Spots are very important. You can breed outstanding birds, but if the spots are small the impact is lost. A bird without large spots is like a man in a dress suit without a bow tie. Both are unfinished.

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A Budgerigar “Safari” Visit to Brian Sweeting

Last November, just prior to The Budgerigar Society Show in Doncaster, I decided to visit Brian Sweeting at his home in Bridgwater, Somerset. Arguably it is the best studs of pieds in the UK. I clearly remember seeing two magnificent pieds of his at the South Hampshire Show a few seasons ago; both massive birds […]

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Preparing to Breed

In the last 6 weeks I have been working to get the aviary “winterised”. A very cold one by UK standards is forecast. So, having a cedarwood exterior, it needs treating every three years without fail. That has resulted in it still being as good today as it was when I purchased it in 1971. It would be massively expensive to replace as it covers 1200 square feet (110 sq metres).

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