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Interview With Andy Hind


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INTERVIEW BY ANDY HIND...............budgerigar breeder Northwich, United Kingdom

 

WEBSITE http://hindstudbudgerigars.webs.com/

 

 

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

 

I first started keeping budgerigars 6 years ago after keeping finches and canarys and parakeets for years.

 

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

 

My first aviary was 25 years ago at my parents house, a purpose built 6 foot x 4 foot with a 6 foot x 4 foot outside flight.

 

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

 

My first birds came from a good friend colin meachin, I bought 11 birds for a very fair price they got me on the road to breeding my own birds and 1 bird from the 11, a 03 cinnamon yellowface spangle skyblue cock produced some very good youngsters and some of my spangles go back to this bird.

 

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

 

Todays birds are mainly mannes,lutolf,huxley and marchant, hockaday bloodlines. I aquired birds from various sources and i find these bloodlines have blended well to make my own bloodline.

 

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

 

I don't really prep my birds for the breeding season as i breed all year round, so i have to provide a well balanced diet all year around using the best seed and softfoods i can get.

 

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

 

I always pair birds when they are ready, i always try to use a proven bird with a maiden bird.

 

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

 

I always pair birds visually first then i go to my record books to study the pedigrees of each bird.

 

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

THE MOST SUCCESSFUL?

 

Over the years i have tried all related pairings and i would never pair siblings together or parents to children, i have had good results using cousin to cousin pairings and uncle to niece and vica versa. I try to outcross every other year and pair related birds together the next and it does work. I sometimes pair grandfather to granddaughter or grandmother to grandson, but both birds have to be visually superb, and i always outcross the youngters from this pairing when they are ready.

 

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

 

I have simple rules for my pairings, firstly i only breed for quality not quantity. i always pair spangles to normals and normal cinnamons, i pair pieds with normals,cinnamons and opalines. Any opaline greys,greygreens and greens are used with the lutinos and albinos.

 

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

 

I always treat each bird as an individual, some hens are tired after only 1 round and some just love breeding and rearing youngsters, i have just sold a hen that reared 14 rounds for 67 youngsters, i tried to stop her once as i thought she must be tired out, but she went ill in the flight, so i paired her back to her original cock and she happily reared 6 youngsters straight away. so it pays to study each bird closely when they are in the breeding cage. They tend to let you know when they have had enough. when results start to worsen.

 

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?

 

I have found that width and directional feather on the head is hard to put on a bird, but we also must remember that lesser birds will carry these traits in the blood, this is where stockmanship comes in, knowing the backgrounds of all the lesser birds to use with the best visual related birds.

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

 

My feeding programme is the same all year round, i use johnston and jeff mixed millet,plain canary and scottish type 88 tonic seed. I sometimes give them a small dish of parakeet seed in the flights for a treat. I make fresh softffod everyday using fresh chopped carrot,brocolli,corn on the cob,fennel,beetroot and celery. there is always at least 3 of these ingriedients, along with optimal start 25 eggfood, rolled human grade oats, hormoform and a small amount of insectivorous food is also added. I use murphys minerals, trilcot grit and iodine nibble blocks. As treats i use apples,oranges,corn on the cob and pomegranates.

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

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

My current birdroom measures 24 foot x 9 foot, i have 28 breeding cages and 2 flights, each flight measures 8 foot x 3 foot and breeding cages measure 24 x 15 x 12 inches, i have never been a fan of large cages or flights as i find it makes the birds too scatty, wild and scared of people, i feel to be exhibition birds they must be steady and not afraid of people. I find my set up is perfect for me and i never try to manage more than i can keep.

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

 

I use versele-laga oropharma tricho-plus at 1 teaspoon per 2 litres of water for 7 days, this is the only safe preventative medicine i use and is an excellent product with a high safety margin, and can be used wether the birds are breeding or not.

 

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 greatest asset of the hobby is the birds themselves, but i feel for beginners and novices because they get ripped off by there idols with birds they are led to believe are stunners and will breed stunners, todays prices are crazy, the people who charge these prices don't realise they are killing the hobby. My pet hate are the people who advertise birds for beginners to champions, does this mean a beginner is not worthy of buying a good bird and he can only buy the rubbish? We must treat all fanciers the same irespective of there status, this is why i tend to let the better sales birds go to beginners for sensible prices.

 

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

 

I feel there is a great social side to the hobby with lots of very genuine helpful fanciers and these are the people that help you through the rough patches. We must encourage beginners and youngsters into the hobby as i fear it may die out before long.

 

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

 

I think clubs and societys should push there clubs more in the way of advertising and reaching out to schools,colleges to get the youngsters involved in the hobby more.

 

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

 

The benefits of a national show are to meet up with old friends and see what sort of birds the nation is producing from allover, plus making new friends.

 

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?

 

I have a number of beginners and novices that come to me on a regular basis, i help them all with birds and advice to the best of my ability, but i draw the line at going to there birdrooms to pair there birds up for them as i think its unfair and unjust. Sometimes its better to make your own mistakes and learn from them. Theres an old saying STOCKMEN ARE BORN, NOT MADE!

 

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

 

It depends how bad the feather problem is and how good the bird is, if i decide to keep a tailess wonder i always use them with a bird with a full set of feathers, and i make sure i do the same with the youngsters. most of the others are given away to whoever wants them.

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

 

A number of people have inspired me, mannes, lutolf and a few others, i have gathered information from so many sources and used them all to form my own method, which is a culmination of many great fanciers methods.

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

My highs are when a super youngster appears in the nestbox and the lows are when they die for no apparent reason.

 

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 ?

 

I have bought a number of birds over the years, but 1 bird that gave me some superb youngsters was a 04 skyblue cock with no tail from my good friend trevor wilcox for £30, bargain. Most of my best birds now go back to this bird.

 

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 ?

 

I would not change anything really, you have to make mistakes to move forward. thats life.

 

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

 

When things go well and your winning, enjoy it and when things go wrong and your losing, sort it out. This is what true fanciers do.

 

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

 

I am very fond of spangles and dominant pieds, but i have normals,cinnamons and opalines also. I have started to build a lutino and albino family this season with pleasing results.

 

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

 

I would say try to enjoy building up your stud, spend time at shows and at peoples birdrooms. Try to work on 1 or 2 features a year and make your own mistakes and decisions.

 

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 ?

 

Enjoy your birds and good luck to everybody.

 

Edited by KAZ
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