Improving A Stud Of Exhibition Budgerigars – Brian Poole UK

After a few years in the hobby most people will have reached the position when they have been able to dispose of their initial purchases and offspring and will want to be selective in their breeding requirements in order to compete against the top breeders. The aim will also probably be to work with several mainstream varieties. Success depends on several things and finance is one of these. Hopefully the breeder will have saved enough from the sale of birds or by other means, to buy when necessary and to buy birds that will upgrade his stock.

Pedigree plays a great part in breeding but when buying it should be the visual properties that decide your choice of bird. Good looking specimens more often produce their like than do those with a good pedigree but lacking that high quality appearance.

In terms of numbers, I think that 12 to 20 pairs plus up to a dozen good spare hens are the minimum necessary to be able to breed sufficient numbers in quality to be competitive on the show bench. If one specialises, with the exception of red-eyes, these numbers are probably not necessary but most specialists gradually branch out into the more mainstream varieties.

Hens Are The Dominating Factor

Particular attention should be paid to your hens as they are the dominating factor in the breeding cage and without good hens you area wasting your time. So many times a good cock bird is mated to an indifferent hen and the young produced are inferior. When it comes to hens the Opaline is essential for any stud and should play a substantial part in your plans. In all Opaline colours the broad heads, bold spots and substance make them a good choice and if you can get them with a clear mantle, so much the better. An excellent mating for the production of opalines is a split opaline cock with a deep mask paired to equally good opaline hen. The mating usually produces more hens than cocks but if they are good ones they can be kept as spare hens.

Another variety dear to my heart is the Cinnamon, having specialised in them for a number of years in the 1990’s. Their pastel shades and fine feathering make them very pleasing to the eye and they are still one of my favourites. With Cinnamon I think it is easy to lose spot size and the necessary steps should be taken to prevent this, and here the Opaline and Opaline Cinnamon can be useful. Just like Opalines, the Cinnamons and Opaline Cinnamon can soon spread through your stock.

A Real Asset To A Stud

Grey and Grey Greens have done consistently well over the years must form part of a stud. A good Grey is a very attractive bird, but more often than not, has to give way to a Grey Green with the better top end that many have. Greys and Grey Greens can be successfully paired to all other colours and are a real asset to a stud.

A quality Light Green is one of the finest Budgerigars to look at and this colour is worth all the effort to get some good ones. Only a very few of our top breeders claim to be Light Green specialists and they produce some very good ones and I hopefully they will gradually come back into more prominence. As regards birds of Normal Blues, a stud is not complete without them being represented.

Having worked exclusively with Lutinos for a number of years I think it is difficult to progress with them without specialising or in a position to have a number of pairs in addition to the other varieties that can be inter-bred with them. With Lutinos it is not easy to keep colour, head and size up to standard when you are pairing Lutino to Lutino.


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About the Author: Brian has been keeping Budgerigar since the 1960’s and is a Life Member of the London and Southern Counties Budgerigar Society in the UK. He is also a retired Full Panel BS Judge, having judged many top shows at both home and abroad. For a number of years Brian focused on breeding red-eye varieties of budgerigar and also has a passion for normal cinnamons.

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  1. SAARTJIE says:

    If possible, can I get incontact whith Brian please.

    My home is in South Africa. I want and need to learn more about breeding top quality Show Budgies.



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