The Passion – Part 2 – Father Time

“Passion” is what you need as a beginner to succeed with budgerigars – if only this were true and life was so simple!

Let’s look at three other elements that play their part in successful budgerigar breeding.

2 – Father Time

Big Ben Clockface

Don’t kid yourself that you can buy time. You will need a lot of it.

The problem for the majority of new fanciers (or those coming back to the hobby around retirement) is that it is running out. Don’t believe that you can succeed without spending a lot of time with your birds.

If you have a partner and they can’t be persuaded that it is better than spending time elsewhere, then you had better not get started. At least with budgerigars, they will know where you are!

Getting Started

On getting started, don’t hang about. Knock up something modest in a shed or what ever. Get some birds and see if they are really what you want to do and you are prepared to give them the commitment.

My recommendation, if you can find a breeder who has decent birds, is to buy two or three pairs of his “rubbish” as long as they are young and healthy, and, importantly, are colours that you like.

Start breeding them. Colours are important. Remember pet shops don’t like the drabs, the Cinnamon Grey Greens and their like so you won’t be able to get rid of the surplus. Remember to get breeding records and chart where every bird comes from.

Breed them and keep all the hens. Go to shows and get an idea of what you like and what seems to be the type that wins. If you have hens you think are decent and you know their ancestry you can identify other sources of related birds, if you can’t get birds you like from your original source at a price you can afford. Once you have reasonable hens you can always buy decent cocks.

Remember, the more time you can spend with your birds, and indeed in other aviaries, the better you will know their habits and needs and the better will be your understanding and feel for the type of birds that you like and want to breed. Following your instinct for your birds is essential and only kept active by constant exposure to the source of your passion.

Planning Your Birdroom

Use your initial time in planning your birdroom.

The only tips that I can offer are:

  1. Don’t make it too big but consider how you might be able to expand it
  2. Make sure that you have easy access to all areas, so that your cages are not too high or too low, your access doors wide enough
  3. Identify easy clean surfaces. Try to avoid paint. Use hard coated plastic surfaces they will save you hours of cleaning time
  4. Ensure that you can get electricity to the birdroom. The only way to get rid of feather dust, a major problem with modern birds, is by electric fans.
  5. Make provision for washing facilities in the birdroom. It will save you a vast amount of time. I write from bitter experience
  6. Seriously consider an outside flight. This is a personal must for me as I feel my birds are healthier for it and enjoy flying as a small flock. It also helps to counter misguided criticism that we give them an unnatural life
  7. Get a decent computer program for your records

Part three of this article can be read here.


Filed Under: Beginners



About the Author: David Turner started breeding budgies in 1951. He gave up in 1960 when he went abroad to work. On retirement in 2001 he returned to the hobby and through his mentor, Bob Crisp from Bishops Stortford, got to know Gerald Binks. In 2010, David became an applicant to the Budgerigar Society Council.

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