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Creating & Maintaining a Winning Stud – Pierre Swart, South Africa

South African champions Pierre & Mija Swart share some breeding tips.

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Slaughter Advice from Experience

Younger hens can be risked more easily within warmer climates.

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Breeding Room Thoughts

In 99 per cent of cases it is your husbandry and lack of attention that is at fault. You are the provider and in full charge of your livestock. I have personally made many mistakes over the years and have tried to learn in the process, but when I make the same error twice, I really get angry with myself!

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Tails You Lose! – Part 3

As readers may already be aware, I am trying to establish if the loss of tail feathers can be attributed to nutrition, feather mite infestation, lice or another unknown cause.

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Solutions to Difficult Hens – Part 2

I remember the late Harry Bryan telling me to use hens as young as 5 months of age when they were fit and in condition. He said at the time that they breed well at that age, but might not do so later if left after the conventional age of 9-10 months minimum.

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Sheppard & Flanagan – Part 2 of 2

Feeding of quality budgerigars is a science according to Bruce and Colin, they both have a strong ethic in this area which has been developed over decades, and they expect that their programs will continue to develop as more is understood.

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New Readers Poll

A new poll is up and running. It asks the question: Which 3 of these breeding problems would you like discussed? The results from this new poll will help Budgerigar.co.uk to publish more of what YOU want – so please make sure your voice is heard – vote now!

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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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Hatching Assistance Guide

As we know, opening too early can reveal the chick which still has not absorbed the yolk into its body and it is pale and weak. The outcome is death! Opening too late and the chick for various reasons also dies, unless helped a fraction earlier. Close observation and timing are therefore vital assets to your husbandry.

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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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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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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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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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