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nubbly5

Fertility and Medication

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It's funny isn't it......... as a show breeder I will accept poor fertility and keep that single baby from a beautiful pair in the hope that it'll be a winner and breed some more winners. What we really do is select (quite strongly when you think about it) for poor fertility. Not that I'm doing anything really to change that either. I will still keep that single "special" baby and try and breed from it and give difficult breeders a couple of chances to produce something - anything.

 

I'm of the opinion that show breeding and selecting for fertility are somewhat mutually exclusive. Same with health status as, if one of our special birds get sick we try hard to save it. Stick it in the heat box pump antibiotics into it etc etc. When they breed on, they often breed families of birds that are not as hardy.

 

No critism of anyone here, I do exactly the same thing, but I'm really not surprised at the way it's going when you sit down and look at what the selection criteria are for our birds - feather and size is it generally. Fertility and a robust immune system can go to buggery. The ethical side of this is a completely different story and I'm not sure aboutall of that so I'll make no comment :P

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Over the last couple of years, some of us have debated this. Norm was one on here who always argued that we shoudl not dose our birds up with meds as it will lead to the very bad line of immune deficinet birds.

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Over the last couple of years, some of us have debated this. Norm was one on here who always argued that we shoudl not dose our birds up with meds as it will lead to the very bad line of immune deficinet birds.

 

 

I swing between believing that we should not medicate v's the fact that we keep birds who normally range over many kilometers in a totally unnatural semi-intensive situation. Intensively held livestock ALWAYS have more health issues just purely due to the pressure of many bacteria/proazoa etc excreted into a small confined area. Sometimes no matter HOW robust an immune system is, it just can't cope with the overload. So I'm left thinking (my theory at the moment anyways), that if we intend creating such an unnatural envirnment to hold animals in then we sometimes need to help support the health of these animals in ways natural free roaming birds don't need.

 

Still the issue of selecting for poor fertility and health remain though...... I think this is the biggest problem we face and a hard one to combat if our main aim is to produce big fluffy show winners.

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These posts have been split out of the breeding topic they began in so they can be discussed on their own merits.

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OOOOOOOOHHHH we got editted out of your breeding journal - how uncharitable!!!!! :D

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OOOOOOOOHHHH we got editted out of your breeding journal - how uncharitable!!!!! :D

You guys were kinda going off on a tangent and offtopic :D

 

To add to the discussion on fertility................

 

I find that birds new to your stud ( bought in or transported birds ) rarely do well first rounds. Second round usually much better once settled in some more.

 

All my Gary Armstrong birds have super fertility.

 

Re medicating. I do not as a rule cyclic dose my birds. if they show symptoms of something they get treated. My birds are in a happy place right now with regard to their immunity levels....fingers crossed.

Edited by KAZ

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The trouble is a lot of fertility problems (according to vets like Rob Marshall) are due to underlying problems like psitacosis. When he came here he did pooh screenings and bird checks and found chlamydia in quite a few birds where fertility was an issue. So even though my birds are not dying in droves with an obvious outbreak of "something" then the assumption I make is that there is an underlying level of different things in the aviary be it cocci, psitacosis, megabacteria etc etc etc - IF they in fact do affect fertility (and don't forget they are our doing to a big degree due to intensive housing conditions) then a routine treatment to reduce populations of organisms is not an unrealistic thing to do. The only issue I personally see with this in not a reduction in immunity levels as such but a high selection pressure placed on the organisms themselves which leads to resistance issues.

 

If you routinely remove those organisms susceptable to a treatment, quite naturally what is left behind is often resistant to the treatment. After several goes at this the ONLY type of that organism left is resistant so the whole population of those organisms can no longer be affected by the treatment being used and you have to find something else to use. So IF we are dependant on using medication to boost fertility we are also affecting the balance of the population of the organisms we are treating for and eventually the system breaks down.

 

I haven't found a realistic answer other than to stop breeding budgies full stop, either for show or pet purposes, because when we do we are completely changing the heath challenges we place a normally nomadic creature under and therefore affecting it's health and well being - not going to do this at the moment not matter how ethically correct it would be to do so. I'd have to go and join PETA and give up all my pets and go vegan then!!!!! :D

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OOOOOOOOHHHH we got editted out of your breeding journal - how uncharitable!!!!! :D

You guys were kinda going off on a tangent and offtopic :D

 

To add to the discussion on fertility................

 

I find that birds new to your stud ( bought in or transported birds ) rarely do well first rounds. Second round usually much better once settled in some more.

 

All my Gary Armstrong birds have super fertility.

 

Re medicating. I do not as a rule cyclic dose my birds. if they show symptoms of something they get treated. My birds are in a happy place right now with regard to their immunity levels....fingers crossed.

 

can i say something ....... :P

 

 

i think in regards to medicating that birds should only be medicated if required due to illness or symptoms if your birds are given the right amount of vitamins and other essentials for their survival

then the don't show signs of listlessness so long as the base things have been covered worming ivomectom every 3 months and in my case as i have dirt floor baycox every 6 months to stop birds from getting cossidia

bird rooms with heating is my main concern so many breeders do this

not only does it mean that the birds have to adjust if sold to possibly a cooler environment and alas never usually make it but the heat encourages bacteria and fungus fungi ect breathing becomes affected and earlier death is usually the out come birds living 6 to 7 years rather than their 16 to 18 years of age

i am certainly breeding for showing but im not going to try get the ball of feathers and light built frame most breeders go for im breeding for long lean big chested birds with a nice proportion about them

out in the good old natural settings with good old natural foods suplyed

only extra my birds get is pvm in breeding cage when chicks hatch along with dry egg n biskit

they get freash grass dayly and gum leaves in breeding cabnit as well as aviry along with many other goodys all my birds get same things exept the breeders get the pvm powder thats the only diffrents not added calcium to water no nothing and they been thriving

infact i had the vet come out and test all bird and they got a clear report for everything

and i got complamented on my set up which i actually thought was dodgie :D

so basiclly i belive in dont try fix if it isnt broke B)

Edited by GenericBlue

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oooooooohhhh we got editted out of your breeding journal - how uncharitable!!!!! :D
you guys were kinda going off on a tangent and offtopic :D to add to the discussion on fertility................I find that birds new to your stud ( bought in or transported birds ) rarely do well first rounds. Second round usually much better once settled in some more.All my gary armstrong birds have super fertility.Re medicating. I do not as a rule cyclic dose my birds. If they show symptoms of something they get treated. My birds are in a happy place right now with regard to their immunity levels....Fingers crossed.
can i say something ....... :P i think in regards to medicating that birds should only be medicated if required due to illness or symptoms if your birds are given the right amount of vitamins and other essentials for their survivalthen the don't show signs of listlessness so long as the base things have been covered worming ivomectom every 3 months and in my case as i have dirt floor baycox every 6 months to stop birds from getting cossidia bird rooms with heating is my main concern so many breeders do this not only does it mean that the birds have to adjust if sold to possibly a cooler environment and alas never usually make it but the heat encourages bacteria and fungus fungi ect breathing becomes affected and earlier death is usually the out come birds living 6 to 7 years rather than their 16 to 18 years of age i am certainly breeding for showing but im not going to try get the ball of feathers and light built frame most breeders go for im breeding for long lean big chested birds with a nice proportion about them out in the good old natural settings with good old natural foods suplyed only extra my birds get is pvm in breeding cage when chicks hatch along with dry egg n biskit they get freash grass dayly and gum leaves in breeding cabnit as well as aviry along with many other goodys all my birds get same things exept the breeders get the pvm powder thats the only diffrents not added calcium to water no nothing and they been thriving infact i had the vet come out and test all bird and they got a clear report for everything and i got complamented on my set up which i actually thought was dodgie :D so basiclly i belive in dont try fix if it isnt broke B)
i agree with everything gb says.I have always had the philosophy with regards to myself that i dont take medications unless i absolutely have to ! I try to apply the same principles to my birds. In the same way as i belive antibiotics prescribed to humans interferes with their own immunity and stops future antibiotics being effective, I am the same way with my birds.I treat as I find. Thats is upon symptoms or microscope slides prove their is something to treat. My birds right now are very healthy and have pretty darned good immunity even to incoming birds.I believe too much medication makes for soft birds heavily reliant on the props to stay alive and cope with their day.
so basiclly i belive in dont try fix if it isnt broke :D
me too :D

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wow i thought i was the only one out their B) that believed this its true though my fertility is and has always been great unless i put birds that are not in condition up out of excitement lol :P eg my albino pairing mmmmmmmmmmm :D:D

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Good luck to you both. Nothing nasty intended here but I would say there is a VAST difference between the birds you have now and the birds that are flying free regardless of what YOU personally do to them. 6-7 years is what you will get out of your show birds (with the exceptions though) and it's been that way for a long time. Pet budgies unhampered by the close contact living conditions can live a very long time without the pressures of breeding and intensive livestock illnesses.

 

Also remember that you both have bought birds from people who have bought birds from people who have bought birds from people who have selected for size and feather for a long long time. YOU haven't created what you have got as far as the inherited immune problems etc. You might be able to DEVELOP a group of birds that have better health and fertility than the norm by heavily selecting for fertility and health at the cost of feather and size (maybe at the same time but I would think not). To do this you would have to be pretty strong about never breeding from chicks that come from parents only producing small clutches say of one or two and removing any birds from your flock that have come from a parent that has died of an illness or have ever shown any signs of illness (and therefore shown a poorer immune system than the rest). In the natural environment birds are placed under enormous selction pressure - anything unfit dies early or is eaten by a waiting predator. There is no room for an unhealthy bird but WE have made room for them.

 

We all say we don't do this and don't do that and that we breed only from fertile hens & cocks blah blah blah - then we go and buy a bird for a few hundred dollars that breeds one chick and dies. But we'll use that chick anyway because it is fantastic and we spend lots of money on the parent - in the end we probably don't have a real handle on why it died anyway - maybe it was that crappy immune system (who knows). And how precious would those handful of imported English budgies have been????? Bet you anything that, even if they had have bred just one baby in their entire lifetime, that baby would have been used if possible. And so we go on - selecting ourselves a bunch of birds often unable to breed more than one or 2 chicks before they cark or dwindle off with some chronic illness.

 

And you have both totally ignored the fact that we've taken free ranging birds out of the bush - ones that cover hundreds of kilometers in their natural nomadic lifestyle and stuffed them into an area that is a few meters squared - if that's not completely unnatural and in my opinion BOUND to affect their health outcomes in the long run then I'll go he for chasey!!! The case has been proven for many other types of animals too - pigs, chickens, cattle, sheep all suffer health issues when confined (and I don't mean crammed in just confined to a smaller range area where they come into contact with more pathogens). These animals no matter how robust an immune system often need medication assistance to combat the problems associated with intensive housing (cocci being a classic problem).

 

But mind you maybe over those hundred or so years we humans have been foofing around with the budgerigar we are slowly breeding into them the ability to put up with an incredible overload of organisms caused by living on top of each other..........

Edited by nubbly5

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okay i know where your comming from but myself

i dont breed with unwell or sick looking birds i have only a small stud and belive in keeping it that way for a while as for birds that are unhealthy i dont have a problem with that

i clean my cages dayly apart from when chicks start to leave nest when i start to allow deep litter

all my birds are treated for the basic things and quarantine not as stricked as some of you but if i even think a bird is not well i actually take it and get tested regardless of how much out lay i am going to spend in future to come or already have

as i said i just had a vet out to test all my birds as i have brought a few resently he sampled each bird and tested crops he was very impresed with the colour as in strength and their feather quality (im not talking as in what show people look at )my birds dont ever just sit in one corner and i dont have my birds caged for months breeding i breed one clutch then fly then i rotate my pairs i clean my bird room dayly and water and feed also

i had a nest with a french molt today my first one ever in 3 years of getting back into breeding and that whole clutch is going so are the mum and dad

i dont tolarate flightless or listless birds if a bird is looking not its norm its straight out of the aviry for a week if it does not pick up its to the vets and even then if its not the vet it stays seperate for 2 months time i would not pay hundreds for a bird as i belive your just asking for troubble breeding massive hens and overly large cocks

i am very selective of my birds brought and dont go on who has best feather i go on marks and quality in stance and proportion in the bird length of mask and spots is important to me as i need to make up for the lack of mass but id rather have slimmer taller birds than big fluffy ones who sit fluffed all day long my bird room is not dusty and is warmed by the sun naturally and cooled by the large tree that shades it

im learnning how to tell what micronisems are what so i can reconize things in my birds myself all birds will be tested before entering my flock as they are now only it wont cost me 16.50 a bird as i will be able to test myself

if and when my birds get sick i will treat them but only then

my aviry is covered fully and totally rodent proof and i clean it weekly and change pertches often cleaning any existing structures down with vinegar

why treat for something when you dont need to it brings their amunity down even more

and fertility with it

 

 

we are all diffrent and we all do things as we see is best myself i breed for enjoyment over a ribbon or a trophy and my birds will always come first before any prospective good chicks i may get if i buy mr big bird from the top blood line thats been stuffed chocers with vitermins doxy and calciam ect ect

not all the well establish breeders use the metod you talk about and their the ones i will be buying my supper birds from when the time comes but for now i guess im just a novist so.... if im wrong i guess i will learn the hard way as for my birds they are very happy and healthy and get all the nurishment they require with in my feeding plan

 

you have a wonderful set up and some great birds you treat them yearly and belive this is best i dont tell you it is wrong or neglectful and i do take afence to your post my way is practiced by many it is ia wifes tail that all the good breeders medicate as the dont

Edited by GenericBlue

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I do medicate my birds but I dont usually medicate on a calender or cyclic basis. If I have made purchases not only do those birds get treated ( if not already by the seller ) but the aviary may get a dose of doxy once they are all together.

I treat for the usual ordinary things. I dont treat the aviary for canker or mega unless I see symptoms and then I treat only those showing signs.

I have lost birds this year....mostly my old ones with the cold snaps we had. Some hens with issues. Some young who I put in the aviary too soon at the wrong time of year ( too cold ). BUT overall they are mostly doing pretty well with minimum medical interferance.

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Some good points on both sides. I am leaning more to Nubbly's view in a way, but on the other hand, i do not want to over medicate either. Balance...it all comes down to balance.

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yes balance dave we are all right their is no wrong

and only reason i havent doxyed yet is that the vets advised me not to

he said my birds are very well and so long as i treat all incoming birds in the responsible manner

i shouldnt need to doxy

like kaz i have all the treatments just unless they have sighns they are left

of course if one bird has something im going to treat the whole flock as most likely they all going to get it

prevention is okay if in measure and as dave said balance :P

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As you may all know last year I had a spate of regular deaths .... every 4-6 weeks a bird would die. So come year's end I did a really comprehensive medication program that lasted a few months and by about February I was pretty confident that I had solved it, in fact the last birds to die in my aviary passed away at the end of December.

 

This is not to say I haven't lost birds since. I did lose a few that had just been purchased, I think 3-4 in total that died within the week.

 

And recently I lost a cock bird and a hen from different nest boxes about 10 days apart. No sign of illness, just your 'dropped off the perch' scenario. It really annoys me that this happened and it's the first time that I can remember .....

 

As for medicating, well I don't really do anything any more. My birds get fresh water now - changed every 2 days and if they go mopey on me I pop a bit of Triple C in the water for 3-5 days.

 

I'm a bit over the whole meds regime and hospital cage set up. In August I had a bird that just wouldn't get well no matter what I tried, so I took it to Libby's. I know, what a cop out! But I had reached the stage I was ready to wring it's neck in frustration.

 

So at the moment if a bird is looking fluffed up more often than not I will put it into a holding cage so it's got easy access to food and just wait and see.

 

BUT I do give all my fledged chickies doxy, fresh every day until they go into the Young Birds aviary. I am a convert of doxy, I have been told it boosts the immune system of birds and so I use it liberally.

 

In a couple of months when all my adult birds are in my main aviary I will be giving them an extended course of doxy.

 

:P

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Nubbly,

 

I've read your thoughts with a sense of deja vu. I believe you've made a lot of valid points with concerns regarding the welfare of your birds and I sense you going through exactly what I did about 10 years ago. Let me explain. And grab a cuppa, I'm about to embark on a post of novel proportions! (which I hope some may find interesting and informative).

 

I bred my first bird on 5th Oct 1973, a pet type green. It came from a nest of 4 eggs, 2 of which hatched. My other pair of blues had 5 eggs, 3 of which hatched (I still have the journal with my thoughts at the time on this, very amusing seeing it through the eyes of a young kid). I acquired my first show stock early the following year. Of 3 pairs, one had 2 chicks, 1 a nest of infertile eggs (the cock was four years old, not that I knew at the time) and the other 3 chicks. So, my early experiences were that my show stock bred around the same number of chicks as my pet stock. I didn't get a lot of large nests and there were clear nests from time to time. Babies were feather plucked, French Moult visited and splayed legs occasionally appeared. I did not routinely medicate for anything (except canker but I didn't really understand why). I used baby vitamins in the water following the dosage rates that someone else had guessed seemed right. My birds lived in a conventional outdoor aviary with concrete floor and bred in very small wooden cabinets that my Dad made for me. The stud size varied from 70 to 150 birds. Only sick birds were medicated, generally not very successfully, and usually birds lived a longish life with the show stock living to around 7-8 years. Medications were not as we know them now, (specifically developed for budgies or other caged birds), but were generally borrowed from the poultry or pig industry and the dosages adjusted to suit. I believe a few of them are still used today! I continued showing and breeding for 9 more years with moderate success before I sold up all my birds when I began work and moved interstate.

 

Fast forward to 1992 and the budgie bug which had remained dormant in me for so long once again re-ignited when I spotted a couple of English birds at a show that I "accidentally" found myself in. I immediately set about getting myself a conventional aviary and large wooden breeding cages. Birds containing the sought after English blood were purchased for the cost of a small castle and I was away again. I eventually purchased a much larger, but portable enclosed conventional aviary. My job required me to move interstate every few years (which stuffed up the breeding cycle no end) so I used an assortment of paving blocks for the aviary base so I could move it with me. My stud size varied between 100 and 150 birds. During this period I bred some okay birds, nothing startling, but generally the breeding results were about the same as I'd experienced 20 years earlier. However, I learnt the hard way that new birds required a period of quarantine and that birds seemed to get sick for no apparent reason way to frequently for my liking. I learnt that Megabacteria (now called Avian Gastric Yeast) seemed almost as common as the sniffles, although affecting different birds to varying degrees. And no matter what medications I threw at my birds it seemed something was always sick or dying.

 

Gradually I began to question my motives for breeding and, for the first time, whether I had ability to act in the birds' best interests. I questioned that had we, in our quest to develop the modern bird, overlooked the fundamental traits of fertility and vitality. I became disillusioned with the quest for type first and variety second given that there was (and still is) so much scope for variety improvement. I wondered if this had contributed to the apparent demise of breeding success. Finally I decided that, if by breeding the birds I was breeding was causing me, and them, so much grief, then I'd be best off not doing it at all. In March 2000 I sold all of my budgies for the second time.

 

Over the next few years I took up breeding Gouldian finches. In a few short years I'd bred all the mutations (it's easy when you've learnt genetics thru budgies!), my birds were healthy but I was bored. There was no challenge. So I sold those and bred Eastern Rosellas in most of the mutations. Absolutely beautiful colours but way too flighty. Birds were healthy but I was bored again. Still no challenge.

 

So, at the end of 2006 I decided once again to have another crack at my true passion and the one challenge I am still to master: breeding healthy, quality exhibition budgerigars. I'd learnt a few things about diet and housing from breeding the finches and rosellas. My setup had consisted of suspended aviaries. These are very common in most parrot breeders but not so in budgerigar breeders. I have kept and expanded upon the suspended aviaries for 2 reasons. Firstly, I now don't have anywhere near the problems with accumulations of droppings which is, in my opinion, a big cause of disease. Even all my breeding cages are a combination of suspended aviaries. No messy bottoms of the cage and also the birds live in an open air communal setting when breeding (in individual cages of course, which each measure 90 X 70 X 90cm giving them room to fly if desired). The birds seem to love it as you often find up to 4 cocks all in their respective adjoining corner of the cage talking to each other. The second reason was for my health. When I had the conventional aviary with concrete or paved floor I would get a massive reaction to the dropping and seed dust, with runny nose and eyes and sometimes even coughing up blood! All while wearing a dust mask. Nowadays, feeding the birds doesn't even cause a sniffle. Now this can't have been too good for the birds either. There is one down side of an outdoor setup and that is keeping cats away. But our local council now requires that they're locked up so they don't cause problems much.

 

The next change I've made is lots of uncrowded space. I don't have a large setup but neither do I keep a lot of birds. At the moment there are about 60 and a few of them will disappear shortly. Let's face it, how many top notch birds do we really have? I can count mine on one hand. So I believe it's cheaper and healthier for the birds and me if I have less of them. Plus they get more attention that way. Nest boxes full of older chicks are cleaned daily and new shavings are added. I've had no French Moult for 2 years and have not had a plucker in the 3 years since I restarted breeding. Had a couple of splayed legs though.

 

Now, onto medications. Mine get NO routine meds at all. Nothing. Only sick birds get treated if I deem they require it (with 1 exception, read on) or I would treat the flock if I perceived a threat. New birds go through a quarantine period and, when I'm satisfied that they appear safe, they are then placed in a cage with 1 other bird. Most of my birds are subject to wind, rain and sun. But the only bird I've lost in 12 months was due to an accident which was my fault. The one exception with medications I make is that in times of summer rain here in QLD cocci goes nuts. Even with my suspended cages I still think they need a bit of Coccivet to control the threat of rampant cocci. Winter rain (when we get it) doesn't bother me.

 

One of the most important changes I've made is to avoid buying in, or using, birds with known problems. I've seen birds at auctions with lumps and birds at auctions where you can almost see the keel bone sticking out. And of course the ones with multiple flights and tails missing. Basically if the bird is not so healthy that it's jumping thru the wires to come home with me then it's not coming back to my place. I mentioned in another thread some baby Spangles (and siblings) I have just bred and that they have come from large nests. I bought the father from Henry George because not only is the line said to be fertile, but the mother of my bird is 6 years old and still breeding at Henry's! These are exactly the sort of features we need to be aware of when acquiring stock to establish a stud of birds. Hopefully I can retain these "hidden features" and that this approach stands me in good stead in the following seasons.

 

Another thing I've done this time is checked my water. I measured the pH and it was alkaline. You can sometimes even smell the chlorine in our drinking water. In the wild budgies drink a water that is slightly acidic and lack of acid is thought to be a catalyst for AGY. For the past few months I've had mine on my tank water (which I measured to be slightly acidic) and it's made a huge difference to the couple that were a bit thin (along with a sprouted seed diet). This is not meant to be advice not to see a vet or medicate a sick bird, but just that there are sometimes other ways to help certain non-critically ill birds through diet. A member of our club who only passed away a few years ago bred for 50 years and the only "medicine" his birds got was green tea! True. His aviaries were a huge outdoor setup with full exposure to all the elements. And to this day his birds were by far the healthiest and strongest I have ever seen.

 

Anyway, back on topic. Fertility in my birds is not really any worse than what it was all those years ago when I began. I used to get clear nests then and I still do now for varied reasons. In fact I think fertility may be better now for me than then going on the pairs that have bred for me this year. However, where clear nests were just one of those things that happened long ago, now I can usually work out what happened and act to rectify it. I remember reading an article published in the Victorian publication Budgie News in the late 70's titled "Are our budgies sexier than the British?" Strange title, but the jist of the article was that whilst those breeders in the UK were reportedly getting a routine 1 to 2 chicks per nest, the Aussie breeders were getting 4 or more every time. My own results of that time don't fully support that, but I've included it to make the point that I believe the situation we find ourselves in today is not all that different from the early 90's (with English imports) or the 70's (pre-English imports). Like Billy Joel said, "We didn't start the fire". I think a lot of it comes down to fully understanding and recognising what breeding condition is all about and after all these years I'm still learning about it each year. And the challenge of breeding that good bird is still burning away inside. Maybe it's even in one of the nest boxes I will check tomorrow morning. One can only hope.

 

Daryl

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GB and all - no offence taken and none intended either. It's just obvious I spend a lot of time thinking about this sort of stuff.......... really just prompting thought and discussion.

 

Wow Darryl

 

That was a great post with some fantastic information!

 

The 2 big factors that WE can influence immediately are the accumulated poo and the crowded conditons and it sounds like you've done that - this is what affects all livestock adversely. Never having seen suspended aviaries - how do they work - as in how do you get in there to do the things you need to do?

 

I still find it interesting that we (and I mean this as a collective "we") assume that overmedicating birds is the reason for all our woes (don't get me wrong I don't think it's great either - balance as Dave siad) but will still use birds for breeding that probably should be culled for poor health, if they are good enough to maybe breed a winner. As I said in the previous post I'd imagine it'd be pretty hard for me, after spending a substantial amount of $ on a bird, to just get rid of it due to health issues if i thought I could save them with a holiday in the heat box and a short course of antibiotics. There will obviously be exceptions and in some repects our stud undergoes self culling as I travel away a lot and aside from feeding, watering and ringing babies my darling husband is no stockman and completely misses any fluffies so no medication, no heat box usually - self culling. So consequently we have a reasonably healthy flock.

 

The worst things about buying birds at auction are not the lumps and bumps but the chronic disease that might not show up in the bird for some time - AGV being a classic. Although it's considered a secondary disease I have found certain families WAY more susceptable to it than others but by the time it really shows up, I've often bred 2 or 3 rounds from the bird - perpertuating that family of susceptability. But I'd definitely not cull them if they were good and I probably should (and cull that family).

 

I think that is the real problem here - we breed for things so completely removed from good health that over the years we have not placed any selection pressure on birds showing ill health (in fact quite the opposite). In my mind breeding show budgies and breeding healthy show budgies are 2 very different things as you really need to change your selection focus. Also we all tend to get used to the way things are and accept what happens as part of everyday. Those slow but intrinsic changes in the whole budgie population go a bit unnoticed except for the older generation who have seen those small sleek healthy little fellow who used to breed like flies change to the big fluffy freaks who breed if you are very lucky.

 

The very same thing has happened in the dog world. The freaks we now see in breed like the french bulldog, pug and the like who cannot breath, have their eyes fall out and cannot breed without surgical assistance is pretty much the same. Dog breeders have selected purely on cosmetic things, just like us, and lost things like health and breedability, just like us.

 

But also like I said before I'm still chasing those nats winners so I also am very much perpetuating the problem........

Edited by nubbly5

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..... Never having seen suspended aviaries - how do they work - as in how do you get in there to do the things you need to do?

........

 

Here is a link to the manufacturer of my aviaries showing pictures.

 

D & S Aviaries

 

Some of mine are like the one at the bottom right. My breeding ones are a custom design I came up with. I don't "get in" to them, I can generally reach through one of the entrances to do whatever I need to. The wire floor prevents birds from rumaging through dust and droppings in a concentration they would never encounter in the wild.

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..... Never having seen suspended aviaries - how do they work - as in how do you get in there to do the things you need to do?

........

 

Here is a link to the manufacturer of my aviaries showing pictures.

 

D & S Aviaries

 

Some of mine are like the one at the bottom right. My breeding ones are a custom design I came up with. I don't "get in" to them, I can generally reach through one of the entrances to do whatever I need to. The wire floor prevents birds from rumaging through dust and droppings in a concentration they would never encounter in the wild.

 

 

How do you catch the little suckers?

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How do you catch the little suckers?

 

Haha. Stick a net in the door and start chasing. The smarter ones soon work out where I can't reach and that's when I recruit one of the kids to help with sending the birds down to my end. It's not a job they look forward to but a little bribery always helps ;) . Mostly I can do it alone though.

 

Have had one escape past me in 3 years and luckily enough caught him again. This will always be a risk unless I fit some sort of safety net over the door while catching them. I'd hate to have Red Faced Parrot Finches in these cages. I had a few of them when I had the Gouldians and lost 3 in 6 months due to them rushing by my arm unseen. Budgies are pedestrian compared to those little buggers.

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I am not saying its all about medication at all. Its just one of the first things I am addressing to try and establish better immunity within my own flock.Secondly is the newer larger flights to relieve any stresses from overcrowding. Before that is the big cull to reduce numbers as well. Thirdly is the open end for sunshine and rainfall.Its obviously a variety of things that cause health issues in our birds. Health issues must therefore go on to create fertility issues as does hereditary conditions.

How do you catch the little suckers?
Haha. Stick a net in the door and start chasing. The smarter ones soon work out where I can't reach and that's when I recruit one of the kids to help with sending the birds down to my end. It's not a job they look forward to but a little bribery always helps ;) . Mostly I can do it alone though.Have had one escape past me in 3 years and luckily enough caught him again. This will always be a risk unless I fit some sort of safety net over the door while catching them. I'd hate to have Red Faced Parrot Finches in these cages. I had a few of them when I had the Gouldians and lost 3 in 6 months due to them rushing by my arm unseen. Budgies are pedestrian compared to those little buggers.
When there is no safety door...try this.Get one of those nets that hang from a hoop on the ceilings of bedrooms ....often used over little girls beds for decor item. Hook it over your door of cage...step into it and spread it around the back of you. open your aviary door. Any escapes will be caught in the netting around you. When not in use throw it back on top of the aviary. Edited by KAZ

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