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Budgies Today

By Don Langell

First there are three areas which are very important. They are work, attention and patience.

Work:

Keep the birdroom and cages clean. The nestboxes and concaves should be immersed in a solution of ¼ bleach and ¾ water after each round. Yes, this requires work, but I believe you will eliminate the curse of French moult by employing this method.

Do not use cedar shavings in the box. Can you imagine the fumes the young chicks would have to breath if we used cedar in the box?

Attention:

When you enter the birdroom, first just sit down and observe the birds. Is everything all right? Are any birds sick or have a less than healthy appearance? A bird "off color" must be isolated from the rest of the flock and treated immediately. This is most important. Inspecting the nestboxes early in the morning and again late in the evening has been one of my greatest pleasures.

Make certain the eggs are clean especially if there are chicks in there also. The eggs may look clean but they will be covered with a substance from the hen when she is feeding.

Check the beaks of the chicks. Also check the vents to ensure that they can pass waste freely. Inspect for chicks which are being bothered by one or both of the parents. If you discover that a chick is being bothered, place a millet spray in the box. This generally corrects the problem. When the chicks leave the nest, it is then that you have to be most observant that all is going well. It is most disturbing to have a nice chick attacked.

The feeding program is an area of constant attention. The birds must have a varied diet. My feeding program consists of 75% canary, 20% white and red millet, 5% racehorse oats or hulled oats. In addition I feed three different pigeon seeds called "candy" which is fed separately.

The drinking water must be changed and the containers washed daily. I use diluted Vanadine for this purpose. Cuttlebone, grit, iodine blocks and mineral blocks are always available to the birds. I feed greens every other day plus carrots and oranges. Remember, whatever the budgies receive, you must furnish it to them. ·

Patience:

 This area is not doubt where the control of fertility is decided. Are the birds ready to breed? I mean, both have to be ready to go. Study and listen to them. They will let you know if they are ready.

The budgies of today must have their vent areas trimmed. Do not pluck the vents as the feathers will grow back by the second round and may affect fertility. Many times you hear of the first round being fertile and the second round clear. I feel that feathers around the vent are the cause of this problem.

Watch the young to make certain they are eating sufficiently to remain healthy once they have left the nest. It seems that the best babies are the slowest to catch on to how to feed themselves. It also applies that some babies are "unhappy" in the large flights and must be kept in smaller flights or they will
suffer.

After all of the above is done, I think the effort will be justly rewarded when a "good one" is produced and hopefully gains the "top bench" .

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