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Breeder Profile - Hans C Ostergaard - Denmark

An Interview with Hans C Ostergaard, long time Champion Breeder and WBO Judge from Denmark. Hans is by far the most successful exhibitor in Denmark over the past 25 years.

Q: What city/town and country do you live in?

Hans: I live in Viborg, Denmark.

To those who don’t know where DK is. It´s on the top – the top of Germany.

Q: What is your exhibitor status?

Hans: I’m a Champion Breeder and Exhibitor and WBO judge for many years.

Q: How long have you been breeding exhibition budgies?

Hans: Since I was 8 years of age – 1958. In my family we have always breed animals… horses, cows, pigs, sheep, pigeons, chickens, and almost everything that can fly. It really got rolling in the start of 1970.

Q: How did you get started?

Hans: My big brother had bought a swarm of pet budgies and I just had to own some of them. I was 8 year as mentioned.

Q: Where did your start-up stock come from?

Hans: From local breeders. Back in the 70s Ole Gade was the contemporary leading breeder in Denmark, but the last 15 years, the Mannes birds and subsequent Jac Cuyten from Holland. Jac´s birds have really given my stud a big boost. Subsequently, I have swapped and bought some Daniel Lütolf birds.www.Daniellü

On this web-site you will see a Super Dilute Grey 118-11 and a Super Cinnamon Sky Blue 263-10. I used those two Cocks sons to develop my own birds with. They have those feathers I like.

Q: Do you still have this original bloodline in your aviary?

Hans: No. I lost nearly all my best birds in the start of the 90s with a disease.. The rest of them were not worth working with. So I started all up again with new birds.

Q: What outcrosses/bloodlines have you introduced in recent years?

Hans: Mannes, Cuyten and Lütolf.

Q: How many birds do you keep?

Hans: Normally too many. Since my big losses in the 90s I always keep some in reserve. But for breeding 45 cocks and around 65 hens. At the end of the breeding season around 270.

Q: What do you feed?

Hans: When start up for breeding. - A blend of 60% canary seed and the rest is different. kinds of millets, such as white, japan etc.

When not breeding, there’s only 35% canary seed. The rest various types of millet and green food from the wild fauna.

Q: Varieties kept?

Hans: Danish Recessive Pieds, Inos, Dutch Pieds, Dominant Pieds, Spangles, Cinnamon, Opaline Cinnamon, Normals Opaline Yellowface and Goldenface.

Q: What time of the year do you breed? Why?

Hans: Here in Europe, the best time a year to breed is September. Still plenty of daylight and the temperature is around 15-20 degrees C. Most of the young birds are old enough to breed. I try not to put up new pairs in December and January when it´s really dark and cold outside. It has an influence on the breeding results. It all goes on until May-June.

Q: Do you change anything in feeding before and during the breeding season?

Hans: After a long rest without the lights switched on and only the night light on. I gradually increase the light to 16 hour a day.

I treat with Tricho Plus (Ronidasola 5%) from Versele-Laga. In order to eliminate coccidian, trichomonomida and more.

Additionally, I give two times Eiwomic with ten days apart, to kill intestinal worms and to prevent mites from setting on the birds. After each treatment, I give in drinking water for three consecutive days -lactobacilli for improving intestinal flora and also their immune system. Otherwise I give it continuously one time a week and it keeps the acidity of the birds around PH6. Vinegar will also help here. All this in mid August.

I run up with soft/eggfood, different vegetables,. hard boiled egg, vitamins include D3 in Calcium powder, mineral, grit etc. The light is Repto-Gal 10,0. This is also used by people that keep exotics. (Read an article from 2009 on WBO web-site.)

Q: How do you select the breeding pairs and introduce them to the breeding cage.

Hans: Hen in first and when she has moved around the sawdust (she must have done that in the first three days. If not, out again and a new hen in) I tap on the perch like a cock would do, just to se if she reacts  to the knock. If she does- in with the cock and they have to be interested in each other. If they show no interest in five minutes I´ll try again later that day and continue until they accept. If not a new cock or hen goes in, or a completely new pair.

Later I may try pairs that have bonded in a flight cage or aviary, if they are suitable for each other. They go direct to the breeding cage and often produce much better.

I have different family lines and always try to keep the families going and sometimes cross one or two. I also pair half-siblings, cousins, nephews & aunt etc.

When I bring in new birds I try them on those different lines and foster the eggs to breed as many as possible from the new outcross. This gives me more possibilities from the new one.

Q: What type of nestbox do you use?

Hans: A plastic box in a box of plywood. Easy to clean or replace.

Q: How many chicks do you usually breed on average per year?

Hans: 160

Q: How do you select which chicks to keep, and at what age?

Hans: In the nestbox and again around 6-8 months. I look for feather-feather-Feather growing directional and lots of directions including down.

Q: What do you consider the most important ways to improve the quality of your stud?

Hans: Long broad fairly hard stiff feather. I like the main flights and tail to be slim to avoid feather problems.

Q: How many shows do you attend?

Hans: Mostly one a year – Our Club Show

Q: Any tips on preparing and training birds for shows?

Hans: Try to nearly hand tame the babies and an early introduction to the show cage, just a few minutes each day. They’ll be much easier to breed with later on too.

Q: What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing the hobby today?

Hans: This is a tough one. Getting younger people involved in this wonderful hobby.

I hope you got something out of reading this. If you have some questions? Please bring them on.

I invite you to visit my website:

Thanks to Bob Wilson for giving me the chance to join this interview.

Enjoy this wonderful hobby

Kind regards

Hans Christian Oestergaard, Denmark

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