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Interview With Bilal Erdem - Turkey


Bilal.. You are a Budgerigar Referee or Judge in your country. How do you qualify to become a Judge in Turkey?

Yes, I am an A Level Budgerigar and Parrot Judge and subject to the Turkish Canary and Cage Bird Federation. In order to be a judge in Turkey, you have to attend seminars given by the Turkish Canary and Cage Bird Federation (T.K.K.K.F) and pass the judge examinations.

TKKKF logo

  Judging Judge Training

Tell us a little about the hobby in Turkey today.

This hobby is becoming common in my country. There are many breeders and it continues to develop in many ways. I believe in that my country will also take its deserved place on world lists in the very near future. The developments are really promising.

Are there many breeders and shows?

Yes, the number of breeders and therefore the number of shows and participators have reached a very good level in recent years. There have been many nice developments on budgerigar breeding due to the works made by our federation. Many shows are organized each year.

When did you get started with budgies?

I was acquainted with budgies when I was 8 years old. I started with a gift bird and fed him for many years. Then I bought my first pair at 11 and when I started to have babies, I couldn’t quit this thing.

Who did you get your initial stock from?

I bought my aviary’s initial stock from an importer company. Their birds from Germany and Netherlander breeders.

In Birdroom

Do you still have any of that “start-up” blood in your aviary today?

Yes. The start-up blood that I acquired when I started to breed the show budgies still exists in my aviary. I have taken really nice babies from a grey green cock and a grey hen both having a birth date of 2006 especially.

Which mentors have influenced you the most over the years?

The mentors who have influenced me were the foreigners in the beginning. Especially from Germany and Australia.

Is it possible to import budgerigars to Turkey from top English and European studs?

Yes, we can have budgies from various countries.

How did imports used in Turkey aviaries change the birds.

These have positively affected my aviary’s quality in such way that it was a sign of a continuously improving quality.

Judges with Ghalib with judges

Bilal with judges (Left) Marie Claire Tarnus – France & Dino Pocecco – Italy.. (Center) Ghalib Al-Nasser.. and (Right) Judge from Greece on left and Italian judge Gabriele Pedretti.

Were there problems introduced by the import birds? Flecking, feather problems, cysts,

Yes, there are some problems on imported birds. The most common ones are unsuccessful breeding, various feather problems and some diseases.

What birds have you bought in that have had a major impact on your stud?
..Did you buy any birds that helped your stock in your avairy improve (get better)

One of the most important aspects of my stud is to bring in purebred or nearly purebred birds from certain bloodlines.

Any other bloodlines in the background of your birds?

Yes, there are different bloodlines in the background of my birds which is a crucial thing for me.

Tell us a little about your aviary/birdrooms..

My aviary is 75 meter square and consists of 80 pairs of show budgies and 80 pairs of Netherlander budgies in total. Nearly everything works automatically. It was designed to provide a space having regular sterilization, air-conditioning with ozone generator and special lighting, having cages with the dimensions of 80x40x40 cm with 25x21x20 cm nests for each pair and having all the requirements for birds to be fed in a comfortable and healthy way.



How much time do you spend with your birds?

I spend 3 hours of time in the morning and 2 hours in the evening, being 5 hours on average daily.

 What are you looking for when you introduce new outcrosses?

I think that outcrossing is a very important issue and it contains many surprises. This is the main method to attain a better quality and diversity according to me but the most important points that I emphasize are the feather quality and skeleton structure.

Sky  Another Sky

What type of pairings have produced your best youngsters? Do you pair within family/bloodline? Or go more on visual pairings?

I have always obtained my best youngsters from green and its shades and visuality is not so important on these pairings.

What feature or features are you focusing on right now?

In order to attain a good level in the future and improve my judgement, I have focused on the production of nearly all mutations. I concentrate on the feather and bone structure on pairings. I make very different crossings and various studies to obtain the best results. For example, I know the path going to the Fallow 'Fallow' very well as I know for the other varieties.

Have you ever had any problems with feathers in the past? What have you done to correct it?

Yes, I have lived some feather-related problems in the past unfortunately. I have to say that B vitamins are really important in these animals and then the other crucial points are cleaning and disinfection.

Do you get any feather dusters?

Not so much.

What was, or is, the hardest thing you found to “fix” or change in your birds over the years?

French Moult. And some other feather illnesses.

It sounds like your birds are quite fertile. What have you done to maintain fertility in your stud? And, what advice would you give others who have challenges getting chicks from their better pairs?

Thank you. The fertility in my stud is mostly due to appropriate pairings and a regular care. My most important suggestion to the other breeders is to have green, grey and blue stud in their aviary in all times. Showing particular attention to their birds’ nutritional diets is also very important.


With the climate in Turkey when is the best time to pair up your birds?

There is not a special season when the suitable conditions are met. Yet the best times are fall and spring months throughout Turkey.

What do you feed your birds?

I feed my birds with millet, safflower and sprouted wheat etc. seeds occasionally. Moreover, I add various baby foods and some natural mixes such as brewer’s yeast, probiotics and some vitamins in order to obtain better results especially in breeding seasons and have high quality youngsters.

Do make any changes or give anything extra approaching and during the breeding season?

Yes. I feed them with natural products. I provide baby food regularly. I never use products containing antibiotics in my aviary and I use preventive products rather than treatment products. For example, I use probiotic brewer’s yeast regularly.

Do you give any supplements in the drinking water?

Yes. I add parasite removers, probiotics and b vitamins periodically.

What are your favorite varieties and colors?

My favorite varieties are dominant parted ones and spangles and colors are purple and yellow faced blue budgies.

What is the best stud of birds you have seen in your travels?

I travel very frequently. I have seen the best stud of birds in one of the competitors in my country. We really have very successful breeders.

What is your favorite aspect of the hobby? Why?

My favorite aspect of this hobby is being full of surprises. Therefore we can have really different birds that do not exist normally until you have them…


How many shows to you exhibit at each year? How far do you travel to them?

I attend 10 shows each year and travel to to all the contests organized by our federation whenever possible..

Show Hall

What do you consider the biggest challenge facing the hobby today, both in Turkey and Worldwide?

I think that the biggest challenge facing the hobby today both in Turkey and worldwide is obtaining top quality birds and their great expense. Also not sharing information information is another challenge in front of us.

Templates in Time