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**KAZ**

Interview With Darryl Wells

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**KAZ**    0

Q1. AT WHICH POINT IN TIME DID YOU FIRST DEVELOP AN INTEREST IN BUDGERIGARS ?

 

 

It was at a young age of 12. (1976) A friend was building an aviary to keep finches so I decided to do the same. When it cam time to get the birds, I found that Budgerigars were cheaper than the finches.

 

 

 

Q2. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST AVIARY/BREEDING ROOM LIKE ?

 

 

 

My first aviary was 8 foot x 6 foot x 6 foot. It had a ¾ roof and an encloses back. It had an earthen floor where the dropped seed germinated into small clumps of grass. King Quail ran about the floor and nested in the grasses.

 

The nest box was one long item divided into10 compartments with a common lid.

 

 

Q3. WHERE DID YOUR FIRST BIRDS COME FROM AND OVER WHAT PERIOD OF TIME DID YOU CONTINUE WITH THESE LINES ?

 

My Father bought me the first pair from a local pet store. The same year I got a part time job delivering newspapers so saved up for my second pair.

 

The Chicks were sold back to the store for exchange for additional breeding birds. By the end of the season I have up to 50 birds. Then tragedy struck, a local boy of the same age, jealous of what I have broke into the aviary early one morning and put his dog in. By the time I heard the noise and got down there nearly all the birds had been killed.. those that hadn't, died shortly after. Devastated I pulled down the aviary.

 

 

 

I recommenced in 2005 with a few pet birds.

 

 

 

Q4. ARE YOUR PRESENT BIRDS FROM THESE SAME BLOODLINES, IF NOT WHAT BLOODLINES HAVE IMPACTED MOST WITHIN YOUR STUD?

 

 

I joined the Pine Rivers Budgerigar Society at the end of 2005 looking for rings and were introduced to the show variety. I slowly replace the pet birds with birds from Henry George, David Ganzer, Dave Frampton, Greg and Jean Horrobin, Brian Hollingsworth and Gary Armstrong. I also have back ground lines of Blair and Polole, and Holme and Howard.

 

 

 

 

Q5. HOW DO YOU PREPARE YOUR BIRDS FOR THE BREEDING SEASON?

 

 

I have over the past few years, changed how I prepare. This year I will do my annual cull, then place the remaining birds on Doxycycline. A few weeks before pairing, I introduce Gum Leaves to the flights.

 

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The weeks before breeding and during the breeding season, I feed fresh vegetables to the birds on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

 

 

Q6. DO YOU SET YOUR BREEDING SEASON BY THE CALENDER OR BY SIGNS OF THE BIRDS BEING READY ?

 

 

I breed partially by the calendar but mostly by the condition of the birds. I don't like breeding through the hot part of the year and so usually start in May or June and finish the last pair in Late December or early January.

 

 

 

Q7. WHEN PAIRING UP DO YOU GO BY PEDIGREE OR VISUAL APPEARANCES OR BOTH?

 

 

 

When I pair up, I look for the Best hen in condition. I take her out and place her in one of my 6 train cages. I then call up her pedigree (I use "The Budgerigar Program") and select the closest related cock bird.

 

If there is no close related bird suitable I will then pick the best Cock from the flight.

 

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Q8. HOW CLOSELY DO YOU MATE YOUR BIRDS AND WHAT RELATED MATINGS HAVE BEEN

THE MOST SUCCESSFUL?

 

 

I pair Uncle to Niece, Aunt to Nephew, Cousins', Grand father to Grand Daughter and some times half brother to half sister. For me, these seem to work well.

 

 

 

Q9. WHAT VARIETY MIXES DO YOU USE FOR IMPROVEMENT IF ANY OR IS IT BEST TO BEST?

 

 

I always try best to best. With my Spangles I pair Double Factor to Single Factor, Double Factor to Normals, Single Factor to Normals but the normals I try to make sure that they are from a spangle pairing.

 

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I always try to pair my best Recesive Pied Cock to the best normal Split Hen.

 

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Q10. HOW MANY CHICKS AND ROUNDS DO YOU ALLOW YOUR BIRDS TO HAVE?

 

 

 

I like to have 4 to 5 chicks in a nest and allow the birds to have two rounds to raise but might let them have a third if I foster. I am big support of fostering and have taken over 20 chicks from a pair in three rounds.

 

 

 

Q11. WHAT FEATURES ARE THE HARDEST TO PUT ON A BIRD AND HOW DOES ONE GO ABOUT ESTABLISHING THAT FEATURE AND RETAINING IT, THE DIRECTIONAL FEATHER, STRAIGHT BACKLINE, SHOULDER & LENGTH?

 

 

 

At my stage, all features are difficult. I have just attained Intermediate Breeder and aware that I am very much in learning stage.

 

 

Q12. WHAT IS YOUR FEEDING PROGRAMME DURING THE BREEDING SEASON AND DOES THIS DIFFER DURING THE NON BREEDING SEASON?

 

 

During the breeding season I feed soft food every day. This is made up of Hulled oats, chopped carrot, beetroot, spinach, and parsley.

 

I also add to it supplements from Dr Marshal.

 

 

 

This is feed in the morning to all the breeding pairs and what is left over goes into the flight.

 

As I said above, I also feed fresh vegetables. Corn, Carrots, Apples, celery, mung beans, snow pea sprouts. These are feed in the afternoon on a Saturday and Sunday. What is not eaten by night fall is taken out.

 

 

 

I use Dr marshal Additives in the water on recommended days.

 

 

 

Q13a. PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT AVIARY DESIGN, SIZE, FLIGHTS, BREEDING CAGE DESIGN AND NUMBER OF CAGES ETC?

 

 

My Aviary is a Titon shed, 4.5m x 3 m. The walls are insulated with 75mm of insulation and lined with white board.

 

The roof has Isolation and is also lined. I have two windows on the short wall with a ceiling extraction fan located under a whirly bird.

 

There is a double door at one end of the long side.

 

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There is three flights, approx 1 m wide and 2.25m long.

 

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I have 20 breeding cabinets made of 16mm melamine with wire dividers that can be removed to extend the breeding cabinets to holding cages.

 

The cages have metal trays for easy cleaning.

 

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The set up also has a holding area for 100kgs of seed, 6 Training cages made also of Melamine and a small holding cage 600mm x 400mm x 300mm.

 

 

 

I have perminant underground power, enough to run a small house. 2 twin 4 foot fluorescent fittings with two night lights.

 

 

 

The aviary has it's own 1000lt water tank which is filtered for the birds.

 

 

Q13b. WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR SETUP IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO DO SO ?

 

 

Slightly longer would have been good but I have to use what I can ( or what the wife will allow me).

 

The only thing would be a sink and a change to the electrical system.

 

 

 

Q14. DO YOU USE PREVENTATIVE MEDICATION DURING AND PRE BREEDING SEASON AND IF SO WHAT AND WHY.

 

 

I use Doxycycline and Worming Gel before the breeding season to clean out the birds. But I will only use other medication when needed.

Ivermec is used for Lice and Feather Mite.

 

 

 

Q15. WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE GREATEST ASSET OF BEING IN THE HOBBY AND WHERE DO YOU SEE THE HOBBY HEADING WITH SO MANY BREEDERS LEAVING TODAY?

 

 

The best asset to the Fancy is the help and consideration given to novice or beginning breeders from those more experience. In my experience, there are many great breeders out there that are more than happy to lend a hand with a starting bird or advice. There are also those that don't. that is a pitty.

 

 

 

With out the new comers to the fancy, it will not have a strong future. With any organisation, new blood not only brings new ideas but also a security for the future.

 

 

 

Q16. WHAT WOULD YOU CONSIDER TO BE THE MOST IMPORTANT VALUE ABOUT FRIENDSHIPS FORMED AND FELLOWSHIP WITHIN THE BUDGIE BREEDING FRATERNITY ?

 

 

This is an interesting question and one I have had to think about. I suppose the assistance in so many areas not only with the acquisition of the birds or the assistance of breeding and animal management but the support we give each other in our private lives. Many of us rely on each other in times of need. Even if it is to look after each other's aviary while we spend time on holidays or in time of sickness. This brings us closer together.

 

 

 

Q17. DO YOU HAVE ANY THOUGHTS ON HOW TO PROMOTE THE HOBBY TO GET MORE PEOPLE INTERESTED IN JOINING OUR CLUBS ?

 

 

The biggest way to get people interested in anything is word of mouth. Discuss the fancy and what you get out of it with your friends, family and associates.. They have friends, family and associated that they talk to and so on.

 

 

 

Q18. WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF HAVING A NATIONAL SHOW?

 

 

The Nationals bring people of all levels together to see what the fancy as a whole is breeding. It is also a place where friends discuss the finer parts of what they are doing in there aviaries and the changes they have done during the year.

 

It is also a place where beginners can get to see the top breeders and talk about what they should be doing in their aviaries.

 

 

 

Q19. HOW WOULD YOU GO ABOUT POINTING A NOVICE BREEDER IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO ENABLE THEM TO REACH THE TOP BENCH IN AROUND EIGHT YEARS?

 

 

The first thing is to join a good club where they will get assistance. They need to be visiting top breeders and shows even before they get their first birds.

 

They need to understand the varieties only enough to know what they like and which ones they want to breed and who they can go to acquire a good starting stock.

 

 

 

With a good foundation stock and the assistance of a good club, there is always a positive start.

 

 

Q20. WHAT DO YOU DO WITH BIRDS WITH FEATHER DISORDERS?

 

 

 

They are separated from the main stock and if there is no improvement they are culled.

 

 

Q21. WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU THE MOST IN THE FANCY?

 

 

David Ganzer, Brian Hollingsworth, Henry George, Gary Armstrong, Greg and Jean Horrobin, Derick Poole and Roy Blair, Gerald Binks, just to name a few …

 

 

Q22. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR LOWEST AND HIGHEST POINTS IN THE HOBBY ?

 

 

 

The lowest would be when I over feed the birds on Cod liver oil (not knowing it) and started to lost 1/3 of my flight. I spent nearly $800 on vet bills to find that out and also to be told the birds had no know avian illness'. So in a way I did get some good news.

 

 

 

I have won Champion of Show but the high point would have been sitting around a table at my first nationals, which was in Busselton 2008, discussing budgerigars with the likes of Alistair Holmes, Derick Poole, Roy Blair, people that I had read about. As a Novice breeder it was a time that I won't forget.

 

 

 

Q23. WHAT IN YOUR MIND WAS THE BEST BIRD YOU EVER BOUGHT THAT MADE THE DIFFERENCE IN YOUR STUD AND WHAT APPROXIMATELY WAS ITS COST ?

 

 

It first bird was an Opaline Grey Green Cock that was bred by Kathy Krang. I bought him in Auction for $80. He bred the Champion of Show at the Sunshine Coast BA Show in March 2007. Sadly I lost him and some of his progeny. Since then there have been many birds that have help advance my Stock but that bird will always stand out.

 

 

 

Q24. IF YOU WERE JUST STARTING OUT ALL OVER AGAIN AS A NOVICE IN TODAYS WORLD, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU DISPENSE BASED ON WHAT YOU HAVE LEARNT ?

 

 

Don't buy any birds or build any aviaries until you go to shows and visit other Breeders of high esteem. Get all the ideas on the aviary layout, management and what the variety of bird that you want to be involved with should look on the bench.

 

 

 

Then approach a breed that you are happy with. Buy a few pair of related birds and then support his help by returning in the future to buy a few more.

 

 

 

Q25. WOULD YOU HAVE A PHILOSPHY TO SHARE THAT HAS HELPED YOU IN DAILY LIFE WITH YOUR BUDGERIGARS ?

 

 

 

Give the birds the attention that they deserve but always be aware of your family's needs as well.

 

If you can involve them, the family, in the fancy, it helps more.

 

 

 

Winners are not feed on seed and water only……

 

 

 

 

 

Q26. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE MUTATION OR VARIETY THAT REALLY INSPIRES YOU ? AND WHAT VARIETIES ARE YOU SPECIALISING IN AT THE MOMENT ?

 

 

I love the power of the Spangle, Dominant pied and Normal but believe that I can put this trait into the Recessive Pied as well.

 

I also love the challenge of the Dark Eyed Clears.

 

 

 

Q27. GIVEN ALL OF THE ABOVE, DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER TIPS OR HINTS ON HOW TO IMPROVE AND SUSTAIN AN EXHIBITION BUDGERIGAR STUD?

 

 

Never be afraid to learn and listen to new ideas. There are many great breeders that are happy to help and as you go through the fancy, be like them and assist those starting off.

 

 

 

Q28. IF THERE WAS ONE MAIN THING YOU HAVE WANTED TO SAY THAT ENCOMPASSES YOUR FEELINGS ABOUT BEING INVOLVED IN BUDGERIGARS AND CLUBS WHAT WOULD IT BE ?

 

 

It is better to give of one's self to help others.... the rewards over time are definitely worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

***notes****

 

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My name Is Darryl Wells.. Daz to my friends.

 

I am 46, married with two teenage children.

 

 

 

I have a high stress job at times and enjoy the relaxation I get with the birds and the excitement of showing them.

 

 

 

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Edited by Daz

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Daz    0

Interesting looking back. For those that don't know, iv'e sold all the birds and changed the Aviary into a storage shed.

 

Breeding the birds and showing them was great. But they do need attention that at the moment in my life I can't give them. Maybe in the future I'll return.

 

Thanks all for the support and I hope you do well with your birds.

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