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Breeding Budgerigars in Earthquake City

All hell broke loose as we leapt out of bed. The noise of breaking glass and falling crockery was horrendous.

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Avian Malaria – Protecting Your Stud

Budgerigar breeders should adopt the same rigorous regimes to protect their birds as were used when H5N1 avian flu threatened.

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Pairing Up Techniques

Techniques that experienced fanciers associate with the introduction of the individual partners to one another

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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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Solutions to Difficult Hens – Part 1

In my opinion, it is a matter of caring for your hens really well if you want success in the nest boxes. It takes a lot out of a bird being out of its normal “home” and this is one reason that one-day shows in the UK have become more popular.

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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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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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Budgerigar Health Part 5 of 5 – Problem Solving

A systematic physical examination of the sick or dead budgerigar helps reveal more subtle symptoms and improves the accuracy of self-diagnosis, but when in doubt contact your avian veterinarian. Individuals that display distant signs of failing health or disease should be caught and examined more closely in order to identify the exact nature of the health problem.

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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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Ignore the Ring Issue Date if your Stud is Ready to Breed

Is the Ring Issue date more important than grabbing that moment to begin your personal season? Personally, I grab the moment these days and get a round in from perhaps a third of the stud and get results on the perch early with whatever rings I have to hand.

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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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Budgerigar Health Part 2 of 5 – Medicine Selection

Sick birds are given their best chance of being saved by adding an appropriate medicine into the ER/Quik Gel formula and administering it directly by crop needle.

At the same time, whilst waiting for the final outcome of veterinary tests, adding Quik Gel to the drinking water may temporarily protect healthy in-contact birds.

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Quik Gel

Quik Gel provides an immediate and sustained source of energy to sick birds and is also used during critical times such as breeding. The disinfecting qualities of Quik Gel help protect against the spread of infection.

Quik Gel is a high energy emergency gel also containing vitamins and disinfecting agents. It is used to accelerate recovery from illness and temporarily prevent an infection from worsening while waiting for the results of culture tests. Very sick birds may need crop needle feeding.

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Breeding Pairs – Go or Stay – Artificial Lighting

Remove any eggs that you do not want to transfer, but leave the box open for a day. After a day close off the nest box entrance. Allow the pair to adjust to the new scene for another 2 days. Then remove them to a stock cage along with others similarly affected, but make sure the pair are close together.

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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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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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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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Basic Terminology

When a beginner first attends a Club Meeting or an Exhibition, he/she, sees or hears references to all manner of features, colours and descriptions applicable to the budgerigar which appear totally confusing. What are buffs? What are runners and for that matter what are splits?

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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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French Moult and Why You Get It

I am one of those breeders who believe in the old fashioned tried and tested methods of feeding. When it comes to feeding, it is THE vital factor to success. If it (the feeding) is out of balance by the smallest amount and by that I mean it is changed frequently and has an absence of essential vitamins to support the seed input, then failure will result in the number of chicks bred and FM will arise easily because YOU have allowed to do so!!

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The Frustrations of Losing Birds

Any new purchase from an aviary that exhibits poor management with uncovered outside flights, can be supplying birds that are, even unknowingly, “carriers” of disease.

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