Schweizer Schauwellensittiche - Daniel Lütolf

Daniel Lütolf
Industriestrasse 1
CH-5436 Würenlos
+41(0)56 424 24 27
+41(0)79 705 49 08

Designerkleider Elfe 11


Interview with Jos Reynders from Irland:

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!

I 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 for everybody.

jos, i hope i could explain my opinion a little bit and that might help you, even if my english is not good enough.





© Daniel Lütolf, Industriestrasse 1, CH-5436 Würenlos, Tel ++41 (0)56 424 24 27, Mob Tel ++41 (0)79 705 49 08,