I was mailing with Peter van Amelsvoort recently and the
question feather problems came up again. To my opinion its
one of the hardest things to eliminate from the hobby. The
reason is that complete birds can give you birds with feather
problems and birds that show it might not give it , this
makes it very hard to eliminate through selection. A way
to avoid part of the feather problems (FP) is to house the
birds in small flight or cages all year so they don t have
to do much effort to fly and get to their food. In my opinion
this would make the birds very weak eventualy. The other
way of selection is by having the birds in a big flight
with the food up high , this would be a selection of the
strongest birds that can fly and they will eventually develop
strong and flexible wing feathers and a good muscular chest,
that will build up the body, this selection will only work
in the first 8 to 12 months of the birds life after that
they will spend 6 months or more in a convined breedin cage.
On top of that our best birds or the birds with the best
features cannot fly and it will be very hard to step away
from using them.
There could be another way by selecting different feather
growth on different parts of the body ie. long and wide
feathers on the head and neck area and shorter feathers
on the body so also wings and tails. This would make the
feathers on the body stronger.
My question: Do you think its possible to grow different
feathers on different parts of the one bird? I did not visit
any shows this year but I thought I saw some evidence on
pictures of some birds!
do agree, that feather problems became maybe the biggest
problem in the budgie hobby. i don't know, whether canary
or pigeons breeders are strungelling with the same problem
or not, but as far as i know, i don't think so.
if you're seriously breeding with dogs, cats, cows or many
other animals too, all the adult "fathers and mothers"
have to be checked before starting them to use. if the have
any kind of problem - visually or even maybe geneticly in
the pedigree - they are not allowed for reproduction!!!
and those rules are quit strict! i think that might be the
only way to get ride of that problem. i also know, that
most breeders do not want to hear this and think that's
silly. but that might be the hard way we have to take in
the future... well, we'll see. selection is anyway the only
possibility how you can influence your stud. i think many
breeders do not know, which birds they absolutly have to
keep and which ones to better would sell. or try to bring
in outcross blood, carrying the feathers you're looking
for, what's also not to easy, because where can you find
those birds and who can afford to let them go...?i think
most studs are bred much to close and then we are suprised
if fp are coming! we also do not have kids with our sisters
or parents, do we???
it's not a secret that i personally try to bring in every
year about 10 bird with some new blood. mainly i try to
get birds that comes already from my own blood and are just
a little bit different. like this, i get good results usually
and also do not know any problems with fertility at all.anyway
i personally also work with birds that are not complete,
like missing tails or wind feathers. but for many years,
i do not work with birds showing a zyst!!! when i have 12
chicks from a couple without any problem at all and only
the 2 very best ones are not complete,i often go on and
breed with them too. so normally none of their offspring
shows any kind of f p.but if i have a super cock -i my stud,
they are maily cocks showing that problem- that is not complet
and his youngsters are also having f p, i usually stop breeding
with that bird and also with his youngsters or even with
the whole line. that's how you can handle it, but of course
you still breed some birds with f p.something else is to
breed with birds that were (or still are) french moulter.
the very best ones, i even put together and bred some outstandig
super birds in the past. so was the grandfather of my super
spangles i used to have in the late 90ies, a darkgreen cock
without any wings or tail feathers at all, but showing super
head quality. he only bred 3 chicks before dying, but none
of them showed any signs of f p and produced my many super
birds later.if a beginners is asking me how to start in
the hobby, i always tell them not to buy the top birds showing
f p , because the risk is too big that it comes back. then
they are complaining, that most of the better birds that
they can get with good head quality, are having f p ...!
but i still think it's better to take a complete bird from
a top couple and to go on with him, even if it's certainly
to longer way.i'm happy to say that none of my best birds
(except one...) is showing any kind of f p so far, but that
might arrive in the second or third year.i don't think,
that feeding them upstairs or downstairs makes a difference.
of corse food is very important and the fundament of a winner
stud.i absolutly dont like studs with just small flights
like 2m x 1m x 1m !!! their owners are always saying, that
their birds do not want to fly, what's 100%ly not true!
all birds want to fly, but probably they simply can't anymore!!!
never forget how beautiful it's to see them in nature and
how perfect they are flying their. i just saw hundreds of
wild ones flying around last autom in barcelona. something
went wrong if most of the budgies are just sitting on the
floor. we are breeding budgies, not chicken...!somehow we
have to find to balance between long feathers in the head
and shorter and stronger feathers on the body and on the
wings too. that will be, in my opinion, the bird that will
win in the future. and to get there, is the big challence
jos, i hope i could explain my opinion a little bit and
that might help you, even if my english is not good enough.