“Today’s pet budgerigar owner could be tomorrow’s breeder and exhibitor”, says Barrie Shutt.

Often we don’t need to speak another word that is after making the first short prompt. How can we promote our hobby was all I said. I then sat back and listened to the comments.

No doubt the hobby in general is sadly lacking promotion – even national societies are not taking advantage of all the free advertising available on the Internet… or listing in pet publications to find the pet breeders who may upgrade if they knew something else was available.

There is so much out there that is FREE there is no excuse for clubs and national societies not to get involved… assuming they are not living in the dark distant past and know how to turn on a computer.

There is a way to promote this hobby. Go to a Park on a sunny Sunday, carry two cages with you, relax on your chair, one cage on each side, First children gather to see the birds, bringing elders as well.

You are then promoting the hobby while relaxing.

Don’t let folks living in the dark ages pour water on your great ideas. If the club doesn’t go for it do it on your own with a few young buddies.”

The Scavenger Hunt

I am self employed and if I don’t advertise constantly work slows down. In addition to word of mouth, we need to advertise constantly; from everyone within the Budgerigar Society or if you’re someone bringing the exhibition budgerigar forwards. Remember advertising your stud is the way forwards, and any advertisements are a way of bringing the hobby forewords.

The problem is many clubs are not really progressive and don’t understand the need to constantly promote. Most small businesses assign between 2% and 5% of revenue to marketing and advertising. How many clubs and societies do that?

In today’s world I think the handwritten cardboard sign on a lamppost is a good way of saying, “This Bird Show is part of a scavenger hunt run by a totally unprofessional organisation. Do not follow this arrow.” You can get large professional signs made for a few pounds that will create the right impression and draw the crowds in. And you can reuse them year after year.

My Thoughts

What do Budgerigar Society members think about the practice, once common at open shows across the country, of including a prize for birds entered in the “Pet Bird” class, a practice that now seems to have virtually died out?

It is my belief that its reinstatement would provide benefits for all concerned as it would lead to greater turnouts at often sparsely attended shows, which would immediately provide an increase in revenue on the door.

The world of the exhibition budgerigar is getting smaller; it is short-sighted to isolate ourselves by remaining exclusive, a view apparently shared by the BS, since it invited the breeders of Australian finches to join us at the World Show. Reaching out to and including the wider community is good practice and effectively raises the profile of the hobby. In one week I have visited veterinary surgery’s and pet shop in a 25 mile radius, asking them to display flyers promoting the world of budgerigars generally and the BS societies in particular.

Getting the pet owners through the doors offers the wider public the opportunity to see show birds, visit trade stands, talk to breeders, see how it’s done and gain the confidence to go into breeding and showing for themselves, thereby swelling our diminishing ranks and increasing club membership. I remember the days when Cage and Aviary Birds carried a column dedicated to pet breeders. (I regularly cite the magazine as a source of reliable information.) On the Budgerigar Society website,GeoffCapesoffers advice and encouragement to the owners of pet budgies. A directory of pet owners can also be found on that same website. Is the content of the Society’s own website not an indicator of its attitude to pet budgies and their owners, and is there a better way to promote and advance interest than by inviting them to and including them at Budgerigar Open Shows?

As an analogy, I point to the highly successful and hugely well attended County and Agricultural Shows where it is still common to see, among the rare cattle breeds, working dogs and Heavy Horse categories, young people proudly parading their pooches to compete for the Best Pet prize. Are we so self-satisfied and aloof that we have nothing to learn from their example?

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About the Author: Barrie began in the hobby in 1960 after becoming desperate to own a pet as a young boy who was totally interested in animal life. His first purchase was a pair of red eared waxbills. These did not withstand the Cumbrian weather, so his next foray into birds began by reading every bird book he could lay his hands on - before coming across the weekly publication, "Cage and Aviary Birds". This began his life's interest in our hobby which he regarded as a continual learning process year by year. Barrie is a great supporter of the internet and as well as www.budgerigarworld.com, he also finds www.budgerigars.co.uk to be a good source of information. However, he stresses that there is good information and poor information out there in magazines as well, but you have to think carefully and sift out the purely anecdotal from the downright bad material.

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  1. Yes, i agree Barrie.

    Act rather then Plan!

    I did not blame to think tanks anywhere because probably they are thinking under ‘cage’

    We have to work beyond boundaries and limits but must be in order principally.

    Today’s internet is power of one billion user and several searching for help or finding or willing to know all about budgerigar, but we are asking are you breeding exhibition budgerigar?

    Is that we are not looking other budgerigar keeper/breeder?

    We are lacking in understanding and not willing to see pet breeder on parallel or might be we have no time for small miniature?

    I know few expert like Stephen ( Tintin ) of Canada one who have powerful knowledge in budgerigar but how many knows?

    We have to make few decision on top priority like to acknowledge all budgerigar breeder on equality basis.

    Please check it out what we have done yet for budgerigar community.

    No doubt everybody trying to help but where are missing actually.

    Habib Ur Rehman,Pakistan

  2. collin dailey says:

    well said barrie an excellant written artical well done

  3. v robins says:

    hi i would just like to reply to this as i am a new breeder this year and have looked into joining the society and have read lots of articles but to be honest we have not joined because the rules are frightning and after going to two meetings i felt that if you werent prepared to show your birds then the society is not interested in you as a breeder, and you must have all b s rung birds to be successful if you did want to show birds i was told that i would have to cull all of my birds and start a fresh with a new blood line so wheres the compasion in that , i have 110 budgies and have breed 59 babies since march this year and i couldnt think of anything worse than having to cull birds to fit into a society , i hope you can understand why i have not joined and need to say that i was very dissapointed with this outcome that showing seems to be more important than a hobby

  4. nwise says:

    this hobby is fantastic you can be sure of that.It is true you will have to cull some of your birds to aim for a standard,but a couple of things need considering,culling birds does not mean killing birds.culling can be as simple as selling some birds on ie the local pet shop–to friends etc. this you are going to have to do anyhow as you progres.—-And you cull at your own pace its a hobby not a race.there is plenty of advice out there just ask,bearing in mind both good advice and bad advice run parrallel,but part of the fun is discecting the good from the bad.Just enjoy it for what it is,a hobby,a pastime,whatever,and try and keep a smile on your face and you know what —-you just may entice others to join this great living activity.lol

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