INTRODUCTION Gladstone Budgerigar Cage Bird Society Inc by mikesanye


									                            NEW MEMBERS BOOKLET—Rev.0—31/5/05


The Gladstone Budgerigar and Cage Bird Society Inc. has compiled the following information to help all
new members understand what is involved in breeding and exhibiting birds and to help you to understand
what your club can do for you and more importantly what you can do for your club. In the following
pages it is our aim to cover most aspects pertaining to the breeding of exhibition budgerigars, some of the
information is also relevant to other bird varieties not in the greatest detail but enough to get the fancier
started, hopefully on the right foot, and to help not only show your birds but enjoy the friendship and
enjoyment this hobby can bring.

The Club is called “The Gladstone Budgerigar and Cage Bird Society Inc”. The object of the Club is to
promote in the Port Curtis Area, an organisation through which individuals may improve their knowledge
on the care of various birds. To cater for the welfare of the fancier, and at all times to encourage those
interested in keeping, breeding, exhibiting and showing Budgerigars, Finches, Canaries, Parrots,
Lovebirds etc. To adopt, make, establish, revise and maintain uniform standards for the fancy. To
combine with other clubs and societies for that purpose, and to protect the interests of members at all
times, and in particular, shows held under the rules of the Club. To be actively involved in the promotion
and support of conservation, captive and natural populations, of all bird species.
To suppress fraudulent and dishonourable conduct in matters of breeding, exhibiting and judging.
Membership shall be open to those who are interested in the improvement of Aviculture, the conservation
of bird species and the welfare of the birds and bird owners.

A complete copy, or parts thereof, of the Constitution and By-Laws is available from the Secretary.

The Club’s newsletter outlines Meeting dates, times and locations.

The newsletter gives details of who is on the Management Committee, the positions they hold, plus the
names of club members and their contact details.

When making contact with the relevant people within the Club ask them their best times [due to their
work commitments] for you to contact them.

The club has a library of books, magazines and videos/CD’s available to help you learn about your birds.
Contact the Services Section for further details.

Remember membership fees for the next year have to be paid before the end of the current calendar year.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 1 of 20
                                      BEGINNING IN THE FANCY

In your quest to breed the perfect bird, as a newcomer to the fancy, try to avoid the early pitfalls we all
know about, but unfortunately some of us choose to ignore. Before you buy anything, join a club,
preferably this one, of course. Find out what kind of breeding rooms and cages, what kind of aviary, what
kind of seed & what else you will need to give yourself a chance of becoming successful. Learn and
observe from other members, ask if you can visit their aviaries, (but don't become a nuisance,) attend club
meetings whenever you can and get to know the better breeders, the ones who have had most success on
the show bench with their own birds.

Such enthusiasts are to be found in the higher ranks of the breeders in your own club or other societies.
Even in the Intermediate ranks you will encounter breeders of integrity and experience with very good
birds. Do not be in a hurry to purchase your first birds, try and find out as much as you can before you
buy any stock at all, eg such things as feeding and medication regime, how to handle the chicks and
ringing chicks you will never learn all the tricks or pitfalls as any breeder of many years will tell you. Try
to gather as much information as you can, we have books and magazines here in the club for you to
borrow, enjoy them and learn from them. If you already have some birds (most people have some birds
when they join the club), gain as much experience as you can from them (before you go to the expense of
buying top breeders birds.)

Before you begin to build an aviary, buy birds or even bred any (if you already have some) take time to
think about the cost involved. Make sure you know whether it is affordable, as birds may cost from $50
or $100 each upwards. Seed is a major item to consider and the cost of this will contribute to the number
of birds being housed. Other items which cost money besides an aviary are show cages and rings (both
are available from the Club). Also medication for worms etc will have to be purchased.

Another consideration is time. All birds will require some time spent with them each day to check and
change seed and water and also to make sure the birds are in good health. The sooner a sick bird is
discovered the bigger the chance of saving it. Another daily chore is nest box inspection, check the boxes
daily to see if the hen has laid or a chick has hatched then to make sure all is well(ie no dead or sick birds,
feather plucked chicks etc)
At least once a week the aviary will have to be swept and cleaned thoroughly and cages, nest boxes and
feeding equipment need washing and cleaning.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 2 of 20
                               THE AVIARY AND BREEDING ROOM

Before you begin building an aviary there are a few points to consider.
       Check with your local council on the by-laws governing building an aviary i.e. distance from
       house, distance from neighbours and fence line.
       Talk to your neighbours about noise from the birds so they don't complain to council.

The facilities in which you are about to house your birds are of the utmost importance, as mistakes can be
very costly in terms of loss, and the consequent need for alterations. Aviaries and breeding rooms are not
cheap to set up in the first place so you will want to get it right first time. A good aviary and a well-
ventilated breeding room are essential making sure the birds will not be affected by draughts birds catch
cold very easily.

If you are using a metal structure such as a colour bond shed as a bird room and aviary, make sure that
you face the building so that the aviary and bird room gets plenty of fresh air, as these types of structures
will get very hot in the summer. They should also be sheltered from the westerly winds that occur in the
winter. If this is not possible, you can fix up some shade cloth to keep out the cold winds.

Do not build your aviary close to the fence line as you will want to be able to walk all around the
perimeter, and another strong point is that you want to build your set-up as far away from the neighbours
as possible as the constant chatter of your birds may not be enjoyed by all around you at five o'clock in
the morning.
The floor of your aviary should have a concrete base as the droppings can be scraped off the floor better
thus preventing the birds from eating droppings that may be contaminated. Also to stop water getting in
and making your aviary damp. The aviary needs to be mouse proof as mice carry diseases which will
quickly kill your birds.
You may also want to consider the suspended type aviaries with wire floors or placing wire frames under
the perches, thus preventing birds from eating their droppings.

If you are using new wire or weldmesh to build your flights and other cages etc, that the birds may come
in to contact with - wipe all these surfaces down with vinegar as the protective coating on the mesh is
harmful to the birds. Then give the wire a good hose down.

Electricity is a necessity and it is not expensive to have it installed in your bird room. You will need
lights at night to extend daylight hours. Most breeders have some sort of night light so the hens can find
their way back to the nest box if they are disturbed or frightened during the night. Special daylight lights
are now available to compensate for the birds not being in direct sunlight. A power point is always handy
if you want to vacuum up the dust and feathers. A sink and tap are always welcome in a bird room as it
saves having to carry water for refiling drinkers and washing equipment.

An aviary, three meters by one and a half meters, will house about thirty to forty budgerigars quite
comfortably if you give them four perches to roost on. Also, a tree branch can be used for variation and
for them to chew. If you can make the perches different widths, this helps the bird's toes to exercise. If
you are only having two perches in your aviary, make them about seven feet apart, as this will give the
birds exercise flying from one to the other. Do not place your seed and water dishes in direct sunlight as
the water will stagnate quicker and turn green, and the oil in the seed will tend to dry out, and of course
do not place them under the perches for obvious reasons.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 3 of 20
                                EQUIPPING YOUR BREEDING ROOM

Now we will try to help you the newcomer to the fancy, with setting up the breeding room and aviary,
and if you are an established member and read this, you can help the newcomer with further advice. To
breed exhibition budgerigars you will need separate breeding compartments.

Your breeding compartments should be in the region of at least sixty cm wide, forty five cm deep, and
forty five cm high. Wire breeding cages are available from cage manufacturers or if you are lucky some
other breeder may be selling some of theirs. Cage fronts are also available from produce stores so that
you can build your own. You will of course require a nest box for each breeding compartment, you can
buy good nest boxes fairly cheaply from your local pet or produce store, as until such times as you
discover for yourself what kind of nest box suits your needs best, as there are many different kinds. Some
breeders favour boxes with a concave cut out in the bottom to stop the eggs rolling around, The nest box
should be deep enough, so the chicks can't get out before their time, which should be around five weeks.
Some breeders have the nest box inside the breeding compartment, and others like them fastened outside,
so as not to put their hands inside the compartment, and it is also easier to lift the lid and check the chicks
if the box is outside. This depends on the amount of space in your breeding room as outside nest boxes
can get knocked and the eggs damaged.
You will also need in your breeding room vermin proof seed bins and a work bench. Old non-working
chest freezers make ideal seed storage bins as well as a bench top.

                                     MAKING YOUR PURCHASES

Most enthusiasts have a preference for certain varieties, but as a newcomer to the fancy it is not too
important that you specialize in the early stages of your new hobby, but when you do, you will find plenty
of varieties and colours to choose from, some are very popular, like light greens, normals or opalines, or
the sky blues of the same types. The easiest varieties for the beginner are those already mentioned and
also lutinos.

Buying your stock is one of the exciting parts of your new hobby, but before you do, make sure you know
what a good bird looks like. This can only be gained by studying the standard of excellence, and going to
shows and studying what is winning on the bench. Once you have established all this, seek out the
breeder of your choice and attempt to purchase some of the breeders stock. It is highly unlikely that they
will sell their best birds, but budgerigars, like people have brothers and sisters, and as the saying goes,
"The breeder can't keep them all". If you can convince the breeder that you sincerely wish to breed top
show birds, it is likely that he or she will sell you some of their top stock birds. However, do not expect
to buy them at pet shop prices; it is an infallible rule that you are far better paying top dollar for one good
bird, than the same amount for a number of mediocre birds. Unless you are buying a current year rung
bird, seek a bird that has a good breeding record and has won, or produced young that have won on the
show bench, and if this is the case, it is likely to be a good investment, and you should be prepared to
spend a fair amount of your budget on this bird.

For the first buy aim at a top cock, you will find that you can breed more good chicks in a season from a
good cock, than you will from a good hen. You will also find that there is less likelihood of losing a cock
through ill health, and breeding complications, than there is from losing a hen. Another reason for
purchasing a high quality cock bird is that they are usually more readily available than hens as breeders
are reluctant to part with even a fair hen, never mind a good one. Cock birds should be no older that 1-3
years and hens 1-2 years old. If possible find out the date the bird was hatched plus details of its parents
and grandparents and if the bird is split, say cinnamon. When you bring your new bird home make sure
that you keep it away from your other birds for at least four (4) weeks. If you have a bird that you can
spare from your breeding program put it in with your purchased bird this will help the new bird get used
to your set up.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 4 of 20
                                        THE BREEDING SEASON

Once you have your aviary and breeding room complete, it will be time to make your breeding choices
and this is the time when, if you make the right choice of partners you could go far in the exhibition side
of the hobby. If your choices are wrong then you have wasted a lot of valuable breeding time. The
cardinal sin in breeding is to pair two birds together that have the same faults, as by doing this you will
only succeed in amplifying the fault, thus rendering the offspring as pet shop material

Once you have set-up your breeding compartments, six is probably enough to start with; you can
introduce your birds to them. Some breeders put the hen in first for a few days, some breeders put the
nest box in after a week, but if the birds are in good breeding condition then it won't make much
difference how you introduce them to each other. Some breeders remove some of the feathers from
around each birds vent area. How do you know when the pair is in good breeding condition?
The cock bird will chat up the hen quite vigorously and if she has a nice light brown cere beginning to
darken she should take a liking to the cock, and they will both get interested in the nest box.
After mating has taken place, it takes five to ten days for the first egg to appear, and then every second
day until the clutch has been laid. A normal size clutch would be six eggs. After eighteen days of
incubation, the first chick should appear, and every other day a chick should hatch, until all the eggs are
hatched, assuming they are all fertile. The hen does not always incubate straight away; she may lay up to
three eggs before she settles down. (See egg hatching calendar) Young hens sometimes lay their first egg
on the floor and if it is not broken, pick it up and transfer it to the box, it may be ok. and may also help the
hen to settle down. Placing a plastic egg or marble in the box may also help to get the hen to lay in the

When the chicks are due to hatch, it is time to introduce soft food in a small quantity every day. Some
breeders use soaked seed, and some breeders use brown bread and milk. Egg and biscuit mix can be
sprinkled on the bread or soaked seed plus some vitamin powder if necessary. Some birds eat more of it
than others, if you serve it in a finger drawer just an, inch square of bread is probably enough to get you
started. Also available is a budgie starter mix which contains most of the vitamins and minerals needed
by growing chicks. Ask a committee member about buying this mix.

Some of the leading breeders prefer to let three chicks be raised per nest, and if the breeding pair is a
good pair the rest are fostered out as they arrive. [In some circumstances pairs may have to rear say 5
chicks] Fostering can be done with the eggs, providing the hen you are fostering them to, has eggs already
due to hatch about the same time, mark your fostered eggs lightly with a felt marker so that you will know
which are the fostered eggs and place them in the foster mothers box. If you can very lightly dust them
with the sawdust from the fostered box and the foster mother will treat the eggs as her own. The same
procedure can be carried out if you are fostering chicks but try and leave the chicks where they are until
you have rung them After thirty two days, the chicks will start to leave the nest, and the hen will at the
same time start laying her second round. Vigilance is necessary at this time as the hen may attack the
chicks as they are leaving the nest. A small platform can be put into the breeding cage for them to hide
under. Once you are sure they are able to crack seed and are feeding themselves, it is safe to take them
away from the parents, put them in a holding cage until they look ready to go into the aviary Some
breeders keep them in a separate cage for a minimum of 14 days or others wait until they are through the
first moult. Most breeders will take two rounds per pair. What you do not want to do is to stress the
parents, or even kill them by over breeding them. A common breeding hazard to watch out for is feather
plucking, where the hen (usually) removes the down from the chicks and then progresses to the feather
stubs which she will rip out and sometimes take the skin as well. If evident and a foster pair is
unavailable try to determine which parent is a fault and remove the parent bird from the cage. The
remaining parent should feed the chicks with no problem. Some chicks do not re-grow their feathers if
severely plucked so cannot be shown, but may be useful in your breeding program.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 5 of 20
                                        WHAT TO FEED THEM

The food requirements of the birds are quite simple, a good quality budgerigar mix from your produce
store. As an extra now and again you can give them a little sunflower seed, hulled oats, and give a little
green food every other day. This can consist of chickweed, silverbeet, a little grated carrot, or a bit of
corn on the cob or celery, birds also like some herbs like fennel and endive, but they do not take to

If you check with your pet shop or local produce store, you will find that the larger stores carry some
supplements which contain amino acids; these are very good during the breeding season. Also in the
breeding cages and the aviary you should always have a supply of cuttlefish and grit for the birds to eat.

Make sure the cuttlefish are washed in hot salty water and dried in the sun.

Another green food that the birds like is lucerne, or even some chaff will be taken, it is a matter of
preference, some like one thing and some another you will no doubt try a few different combinations.

Calcium supplements in the form of liquid added to the water or processed blocks or bells are a necessity
to make sure the hens lay healthy eggs with firm shells and the chicks do not suffer from deformities.

                                         BREEDING RECORDS

You will want to keep breeding records of your birds so that you can build your own line or stud. There
are many different types of ways of doing this, check with the club on the availability of breeding record
cards or books and there are also computer programs available. Most breeding cards etc. let you record
the information on the pair, the dates the eggs are laid, hatched and the ring number and details of the
chick. You can also record comments on the birds' appearance and behaviour, eg the colour, variety and
ring numbers of the breeding pair and whether the dam is a feather plucker or any other such relevant
information that may help in your future breeding with these birds.

Information recorded in your breeding records is helpful when it is time to cull your birds. It is necessary
to cull your stock from year to year so that you can have room to house the next years breeding. Also you
need to get rid of the inferior birds so that overall your birds will improve. When it is time to cull, ask an
experienced breeder to help by looking over your stud and help sort the culls from the ones you need to
keep. You can sell off your culls, by contacting the local pet shops or advertise them in the paper.

It is a good idea to cull birds which have bad habits in the breeding cage as a lot of these can be passed on
to their young.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 6 of 20
                                                RING ISSUE
The ring issue date starts from the first of January for budgies and first of June for Canaries, find out who
the ring steward is and he or she will tell you all about rings, you can have your initials on them at a small
extra cost, but these rings have to be ordered when the club is ordering for the year, you can of course buy
the standard rings from the club. The ring steward likes to have your budgie ring orders by the last Friday
in September and Canaries by the last Friday in April. Ring orders for “other” birds can be submitted at
either of the two dates previously mentioned.


A lot of people today whether they are in a club which requires the ringing of birds with the persons own
code number or not, like to ring their birds. It is easier to keep records if each bird has a personalised
A bird can usually be rung between 5 to 10 days old. It is best to check after about 5 days because some
chicks are larger and have a much greater growth rate than others and may need ringing a little earlier.

There are two ways of ringing a chick.

1. Firstly, gently remove the chick from the nest and hold between your fingers and thumb on whichever
   hand is most comfortable. Move the chick so that the leg you want the ring on is held between your
   index finger and thumb. Place the three main claws forward and put the ring over these. Adjust the
   position of the chick in your hand so that you are now able to slide the ring over the foot. Once this is
   done, you will see that the last claw is now trapped under the ring. At this stage you will need a
   toothpick or something similar. Taking care not to damage the foot, gently ease the last claw from
   under the ring. The ring is now in place.

2. The second way is very much like the first. Sometimes the ring can not be placed on the foot because
   the chick has grown rapidly or the joint in the claw is too big. Sometimes if you follow the procedure
   above but put two claws forward and two claws back. This sometimes works. If you are unable to
   place the ring on the chick, it is best not to force it on as the end result will be the skinning of the
   chick's leg, this is not pleasant to see and when placed back into the nest, the chick is open to
   infections, which will most likely result in you loosing it. After ringing the chick keep a close eye on
   it for a day or two. Sometimes the ring can come of if the foot was slightly too small If this happens,
   then check the nest box for the ring and follow the procedure again.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 7 of 20
                                     RECOGNISING A SICK BIRD

It is vital to detect a sick bird as early as possible. There are several symptoms which indicate illness in a
bird, some of these are:
Loose feathering and the bird is inactive
      birds not responding to mate's call
      birds whose eyes have a tendency to close and do not open to full round eye
      the head movements are slow
      unusual posture is displayed
      both feet are gripping the perch when asleep and the bird is fluffed up
      bird frequents the ground in the aviary
      unusual breathing and bobbing of the tail
      the vent is soiled
      any discharge from the nostrils at all
      a bird not eating, droppings are abnormal
      excessive stretching of the wings or legs (shivering)
      inflamed iris ring (pinkish to red not white as is normal)
      obvious loss of body weight
      bird eating ravenously but losing body weight
A sleeping bird may display some of these signs, however, when awakened it should fly off and assume a
sleek appearance.
                                             COMMON AILMENTS
Budgerigars, like any living thing can get sick and die. The question now is when do you know when a
bird is sick? One of the hard things about detecting sick birds is that they are very good at disguising it
until it is too late. When you see a bird sitting on two feet with the head tucked under the wing, and the
feathers fluffed up, it will most likely be sick but when a bird is sitting on one leg with its head tucked
under its wing, it is probably just having a sleep.
A budgerigar has a temperature of around forty degrees, so when it is ill the feathers are made to fluff up
trying to keep the bird warm. You will read about hospital cages, but you have to be careful of them, that
you do not make the bird dehydrate if the heat is too dry. An ideal hospital cage can be an old show cage
and a small reading lamp with a 25 watt bulb placed at one end so the bird can move away if it gets too
hot. Put your hand in the cage for a couple of minutes to see how hot it can get, before putting in your
sick bird. Place the drinker away from the heat so the bird may drink in comfortably.
When a sick bird is detected, the initial action is separation from other birds to contain the illness. The
best treatment is to avoid stress to the sick bird and rest it from competing for its food and drink. Keep
the sick bird warm and out of draughts. Seek advice on further treatment from either other experienced
breeders or your vet.
Here are some of the illnesses that your birds can be subject to:
*         WORMS - Birds kept in a confined space can get worms no matter how clean you keep your
aviary so buy some worm treatment and follow the instructions on the bottle.
* FEATHER LICE - These lice commonly affect birds and the birds should be sprayed with bird spray
      at least twice a year. Ivomec will control these pests (see Scaly face treatment)
* SCALY FACE - Scaly face or feet is caused by a mite that lives on the skin and cere. It is very
      easily cured by putting Ivomec in the drinking water, or dab some on the back of the bird's neck
      with a cotton bud, or you can buy some oil from the pet shop to apply to the affected parts Vaseline
      or liquid paraffin will also do the trick
* CANKER, (Trichomoniasis) - An internal parasite that affects the crop. A symptom of this is the
      bird vomits a sticky substance over its head. The best treatment is to seek advice from your local vet
      or avian specialist.
* COCCIDIOSIS - An intestinal parasite that cause the bird to have very loose dark droppings. As this
      disease has a high mortality rate, seek veterinary advice immediately as it can spread quickly through
      your whole flock.
G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 8 of 20
Learning about bird illnesses may save an expensive bird. Preventative measures are recommended so
you should treat your birds regularly. Check with the club or vet on the latest preventative’s available.


Showing or exhibiting is structured so that newcomers to the fancy compete with other inexperienced
breeders, while still giving them a chance to beat the open or more experienced breeders. There are three
levels of Budgerigar exhibitors - Beginner, Intermediate and Open. Juniors can be in any of these levels.
Progress from one level to another is governed by both time and showing success.

Attending a show can be very rewarding - watching the birds being judged and the procedures leading up
to the choice of the champion birds of the show. Another benefit to newcomers is stewarding for the
judges - that is writing down the cage numbers of the place getters on the judging slips and collecting the
birds in the different classes ready for the judge to pick the place getters. A lot can be learned by helping
the judge, as most judges will explain the good and bad points of the birds they are judging.

The time will soon come when you will want to enter your birds in your first show, and you will be
quietly filled with excitement if one of your birds picks up a place card. You will be well and truly
hooked. Before all this can happen, you must prepare your birds for the show, assuming that the birds
you wish to exhibit are in show condition.

There is more to showing your birds than plucking them out of the aviary on the day of the show and
placing them in a show cage and putting it on the show bench. If you do that you may find that the bird
will not perch, it will run up and down the cage and will be unable to be judged. You must try to train
them in the show cage, get them used to it. Taking them to table shows is good training for your birds, as
well as giving you the chance to find out how your breeding program is progressing by have them
assessed by a judge or an experienced breeder.

The birds should also be sprayed with hot water at least a few weeks before the show, and you should do
it every other day. It helps to tighten up the feathers. Broken or loose feathers should be removed weeks
before the show to give them a chance to regrow, tail feathers take six to eight weeks to grow, so you
should start preparing your birds early. You will also learn to de-spot a bird, straighten bent tail feathers
with boiling water, being careful not to burn the bird. You should not feed greens, carrot, or corn, as they
will stain the bib, and the bird will lose points. The last thing you must do is to make sure that your show
cages are in tip top condition. They could be the difference in winning or losing.

Now you have your birds ready for showing, make sure you have a copy of the schedule for the show that
you wish to attend, so that you know what date and time the entries have to be in the hands of the show
manager. Show entries must be received by the show manager. Some managers require the nominations.7
or 5 or 3 days before the show. So you need to check the timing out. All the colour classes are numbered,
(cocks are odd numbers, hens are even numbers) in the age sections of old or any age, young and nest
feather birds. To entry the bird decide what variety it is and pick that class number from the attached
schedule, eg a light green cock is entered in class 1. If it is a bird older than the current year's ring after
the 1st. August it will be an old bird or any age bird. If it is last year's rung bird before the 31 st. July of
the current year it will be a young bird, eg birds rung with the current year's ring that display adult
characteristics are young birds after the 1st August this year until the 31st July next year. Nest feathers
are birds six to around twelve weeks of age who do not have broken caps or pin feathers - do not have iris
rings or adult colouring on the cere.

A couple of days after entering your birds you will receive your confirmed entry form and stickers. On
the morning of the show when you have placed your birds in clean show cages, place the correct cage
sticker on the bottom right hand corner of the front of the show cage. (Check the class number on the
sticker corresponds with the variety of the bird you have in the cage, so your bird will not be disqualified
for being in the wrong class at the show) Make sure the show cage has the correct drinker placed between
G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 9 of 20
the fourth and fifth bars from the left when looking at the front of the cage. Check your show schedule
for staging times.

                                         LOCAL TABLE SHOW
Birds can be brought to the club meetings any time for appraisal. Table shows are held on club nights.

Refer to your club newsletter for Table Show dates and for types & classes of birds to be tabled .eg

Budgerigars-- Old, Young, Nest Feather.—Canaries-Finches---Love Birds---Parrots etc.

For Table Shows only do not put seed in the show cage.

January      No table show
February            Table show –
March               Table show -
April Table show -
May                 Table show -
June                Table show –
July                Table show -
August              No table show - Annual General meeting
September,          Table show
October             Table show
November            Table show
December            Table show- all birds- no meeting held - A Christmas BBQ is generally held on a
                    date advised in your newsletter.

                                      Points Awarded at Table Shows
Because Nest feathers can sometimes be hard to sex as the cere colour is not always easily defined, only
at table shows nest feathers are not shown in different sex classes but all are put in the same class, and the
points are awarded thus, six points for first, down to one point for sixth place. Young birds and Old birds
are placed in separate sections according to their sex. Three points for first to one point for third. Each
exhibitor at a Table Show gets a point for each class of bird that they exhibit.
The points gained at the Table show go towards a trophy which is presented at the Christmas break-up.

Major Shows

April/March [Sunday before Easter]---Annual Show
May - Preselection - ANBC National Championship Show - Young Birds, rung the year before.
Three Birds of each variety are selected at the Club for entry into the Zone selection. Birds selected go on
to the National Championship. Birds should be in good condition but do not despot them.
Refer to your newsletter for dates of other Club’s shows.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 10 of 20
                                   DESCRIPTION OF PERFECTION

The bird should be clean and sleek, complete in feather, showing vitality and good health with no sign of
injury or disease.

The bird is to taper gracefully and be well proportioned according to the pictorial of the time, standing
well off the perch, at an angle of approximately 30 degrees from vertical, with beak tucked deep into
mask, backline sweeping gently, in a slight concave from the back skull to the tip of the tail. Body line to
curve out from the beak through the mask to the chest, and then taper back to the lower tail coverts of the

The ideal length is 240mm measured from the crown of the head to the tip of the tail.

Firmly braced close to the body, neat and not showing too much back. The tips of the primary flights to
meet at or just above the cushion of tail. Seven or eight visual primary flights on each wing are

Straight and tight with two primary feathers in proportion to the size of the bird. The ideal tail length is
35% of the length of the bird.

The head is to be large, rounded and wide when viewed from any angle; curvature of the head is to
commence at the cere and lift outward and upward, continuing over the top in one graceful sweep and
merge into the backfire and shoulders.

Bright, set deep in the head, well down from the crown and slightly nearer to the beak than to the back of
the head.

Neat and shapely, of a solid and even colour.

To be smooth and clean.
Mask and Spots: -
The mask is to be clear, wide and deep, (not cleft) extending beyond two large cheek patches. Where
required by variety standards, the mask is to be ornamented by six evenly spaced, large, round throat
spots, the outer two being partially covered by the base of the cheek patches.

Legs and Feet:
To be clean, with two front and two rear toes and claws gripping the perch.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 11 of 20
                                   DESCRIPTION OF PERFECTION

Where required by the variety standards are to be well defined.

     Colour is in all cases to be pure and uniform in tone except where otherwise allowed in variety



     TYPE-----60 points

      COLOUR-----25 points

      MARKINGS----15 points

     For further information refer ANBC Standard

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 12 of 20

It is hard to find a pure bird which is not carrying another colour in a split or recessive form. In
the wild, the budgerigar is green in colour and this is a dominant colour. The alternative is a
recessive, and all other colours in budgerigars are recessive to green. The original bird is called
a Normal variety, green coloured bird. Each baby bird receives one chromosome form each
parent (a chromosome is a group genes linked together like a strand of beads) Each gene is a
package of coded information which tell the new baby how it must develop, so if the
controlling colour is the same from each parent, the baby will be the same colour as they are. If
a dominant gene comes from one parent and a recessive gene comes from the other, the baby
will be the dominant colour but will carry the recessive gene in its make up. A bird will not be
a recessive colour visually unless it receives a recessive colour gene from each parent, or a
"double dose of the recessive colour".

When describing colours in the written form the visual appearance is written first, followed by
the non visual or recessive colour. For example, if a green bird is mated with a blue bird, the
resultant offspring would be written as green/blue (green split for blue) if two green/blue birds
are mated together the offspring could be pure green, pure blue or green/blue (note blue birds
cannot be split for green as blue is the recessive colour to green)
While green is a dominant colour there are also dominant varieties, eg. dominant pied, spangle
and yellowface.


Understanding the inheritance of sex linked characteristics can be quite difficult. After a while
with some experience you will find it easier to work out. So to get started here are some basics
points. The sex of a bird is determined at conception by two chromosomes, X and Y. Males or
cock birds have two X chromosomes and are shown as XX. Hens or females have one X and
one Y chromosome and are shown as XY. There are some varieties which are only transmitted
on the X chromosome. They are Cinnamonwings, Lacewing, Lutino, Albino, Opaline and
Clearbody. They are commonly called sex linked varieties.

The characteristics of these varieties of birds can be transmitted in a visible or invisible or split
form. See breeding expectations sheet attached. In cock birds to be a visible Lutino, the Lutino
must be present on both X chromosomes. For example a dark green normal cock bird split for
Lutino would look like a normal dark green but can produce Lutino chicks both cocks and hens
if paired with a Lutino hen. This pairing could also produce normal hens (hens cannot be split)
and normal cocks which could split for Lutino.

A visible sex linked cock and hen will only produce chicks of their particular variety. Cock
birds can be split for more than one sex- linked variety eg a normal sky blue can be split for
both Cinnamonwing and Opaline. No hen can be split for sex linked varieties. So when you
have two visually normal birds paired together and some Opalines or Cinnamons appear in the
nest you will know that they must hens and the father is split for which ever variety they are.
Hopefully this has taken some of the confusion out of sex linkage, but always ask one of the
more experienced breeders or club members to explain more fully to help you understand how
all these strange coloured birds can turn up in your nest boxes

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 13 of 20
                        How To Trim a Birds Flight Feathers

                   What To Expect From Your Vet ...
                      And what your vet expects from you.
            By Laurie Hess, DVM, Diplomate ABVP (Avian Practice)
               Originally published in Birds USA January, 2007

One of the most frustrating situations I encounter as an avian veterinarian
is seeing a bird suffer from a preventable disease. This is especially
frustrating if the bird is young or just recently acquired. Too often, bird
owners invest a great deal of time and money purchasing a new bird but then
never take it to the vet to ensure its health.
Birds, perhaps even more so than cats and dogs, need regular veterinary
examinations. Unlike cats and dogs, which are petted and handled on a
regular basis, many birds are not directly handled by their owners, and they
often conceal disease until they are very sick. An experienced veterinarian
should teach owners preventative health care, starting at the very first
veterinary visit.

One topic an experienced avian vet should spend a significant amount of time
discussing is diet. The vet and owner should talk about not only what the
bird eats and but how often it is fed.
In general, I recommend feeding most healthy parrots one of the
commercially available pellet diets along with a small amount of vegetables

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 14 of 20
and fruits, particularly the orange. Red and yellow produce, which is high in
beta-carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, is essential to a bird’s diet.
If the bird is eating predominantly seed, the vet may want to start vitamin
supplementation directly on moist table food, to which the vitamins will stick
(rather than in the water, where vitamins can degrade, or on the seeds, from
which birds remove the outer hull).
Vitamin supplementation might be discontinued once the bird begins
consuming large amounts of pellets. If a bird is to be gradually transitioned
to eating pellets, the vet should spend some time advising the owner how to
accomplish this.
After discussing diet and environment, the vet should observe the bird in its
cage before handling it, noting its activity level, body language and droppings.
By looking at the bird in the cage, the vet might be able to tell whether it is
eating (from the presence of chewed up food and droppings), how the bird
feels (whether it is active and vocalizing or fluffed up and quiet), and how
well socialized it is (if it screams and attacks when the cage is approached or
if it vocalizes calmly and appears curious).

The vet should confidently attempt to pick up the bird for examination.
Some vets prefer to have the bird come out of the cage first and “step up”
on to a hand, before they gently try to restrain it, while other vets try to
“catch” the bird in its cage. To a great extent, the method of restraint a vet
employs depends on the bird’s temperament and degree to which it is used to
being handled.
Some birds are handled often by their owners and are not bothered by being
gently wrapped in a towel. Other birds are never handled and become
aggressive and upset by toweling. In either case, an experienced avian vet
should approach the bird slowly and patiently, speaking gently and quietly.
Sometimes, owners can help the vet in trying to calm their pet as it is
wrapped slowly in a towel. Other times, birds are more upset when their
owners are involved in restraint and, as such, the vet might ask the owner to
step away from the bird as the vet towels it. If this is the case, the owner
should not be offended. Most of the time, unless a bird is trained to accept
physical examination, some degree of gentle restraint is necessary for the
vet to fully examine the bird and to ensure that neither the bird nor the vet
gets hurt in the process.

                                      The Exam
During physical examination, a vet comfortable with birds should examine
the bird systematically, just as he or she might examine a dog or cat. Many
vets are trained to examine all animals according to a body systems
approach. This involves looking step by step at each body system, including:
eyes, ears, nose, throat
heart, lungs, air sacs
muscles/skeletal system
urinary/genital tract

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 15 of 20
 neurological    system
Other vets begin at the bird’s head and work their way down the bird, as
they look at each body part. Regardless of what method is used, an
experienced avian vet typically does the following:
Weigh the bird in a small scale, with the bird sitting in a basket on the
scale or on a perch. Measurement is often made in grams and should
be recorded in the bird’s medical record
 Look at the eyes, nose, mouth and ears for discharge, swelling,
 Feel the crop (out pouching of the esophagus located under the skin in
the neck area) for lumps, fullness
 Feel the pectoral muscles and keel (breast bone) to assess its weight
 Listen to the heart and respiratory tract with a stethoscope to assess
heart rate, rhythm, and breathing
 Palpate the abdomen, below the keel, for distension, fullness
 Extend and feel both wings to ensure they are symmetrical
 Check the vent (opening from which fecal droppings come) for
growths, swelling, bleeding, retained fecal material
 Examine the uropygial (preen) gland at the base of the tail for
symmetry, abnormal discharge, swelling
 Inspect the skin/feathers for color changes, loss, evidence of
barbering (chewing) or other damage (from parasites, fungal or
bacterial infection, trauma)
 Look at and feel both feet to ensure that all toes are working properly
and that the skin on the feet and legs looks normal
The vet will also assess neurological function by determining:
 both feet grasp and pull away with equal strength?
 both wings extend and fold up symmetrically?
 the blink response normal in both eyes, and do both pupils respond
to light?
 Does the vent sphincter (the muscles and nerves that open and close
the vent) work properly?
If the vet performs each of these steps, the bird will have received a
complete physical examination.

                                  Diagnostic Tests
After finishing the physical examination, an experienced avian vet will likely
recommend performing a series of diagnostic tests to help assure the bird’s
health. These might include:
Complete blood count (CBC) to measure red and white blood cells
Chemistry profile to check liver, kidney, and muscle enzymes; total
protein and globulin levels; electrolytes (such as sodium and potassium)
levels; blood sugar; calcium and phosphorus concentrations; and
sometimes, cholesterol level
Protein electrophoresis to look at antibody concentrations in the blood
as a general screening test for infection or inflammation
Psittacosis (or Chlamydiophila) testing to check for parrot fever, a
disease commonly carried by parrots, often without clinical signs.
There are many tests for this disease, and none are 100 percent
perfect in diagnosing this condition.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 16 of 20
 Tests  for specific infections, such as psittacine beak and feather
disease virus, polyoma virus, etc. Which of these tests a vet
recommends depends on what species the bird is, whether the bird
has signs of illness, the bird’s age, and other bird-specific factors.
Bile acid testing to assess liver function
Sexing test performed on DNA in the blood. It is useful to know the
bird’s gender so that owners can be educated in signs of egg
laying/binding if the bird is female.
Fecal examination under the microscope to look for parasites, yeast,
or abnormal bacteria. Often, fecal examination is performed right in
the vet’s office.
An experienced avian veterinarian should explain to the owner why he or she
is recommending each of the tests and why these tests are valuable. Blood
testing generally should be performed even in healthy new birds so that the
vet has baseline results for an individual bird should it get sick in the future.

                                      Blood Draw
An experienced avian vet is comfortable drawing blood, even from small
birds, and will be able to calculate the amount of blood he or she can safely
take from the bird’s body weight. Many avian vets draw blood from the bird
in the examination room in front of the owner. The most common site from
which blood is drawn is from the jugular vein, on the right side of the neck.
The bird is commonly restrained in a towel and held so that it is lying on its
side. Then, either the vet alone or the vet and an assistant grasp the bird’s
head, locate the vein by putting alcohol on the neck, and then gently draw a
small amount of blood into a syringe.
After taking blood, the vet puts gentle pressure on the neck for a minute or
two to ensure there is no further bleeding before releasing the bird. Other
than to check a red blood cell count or a blood sugar level, or if the bird is
too ill to be restrained for blood sampling from the neck, taking blood from a
toenail clip is not recommended, because any debris on a toenail can
interfere with blood test results.
Once the vet is assured that the bird has recovered safely from the blood
draw and the physical examination is complete, the veterinarian should
return the pet to its owner and offer to help the owner get the bird back
into its travel carrier. The vet should ask the owner whether he or she has
any questions and should offer the owner some idea as to when tests results
will be back.
An experienced avian vet will then follow up with the owner on the telephone,
after the visit, to report test results and to see how the bird is doing at

                               A Lifelong Commitment
Choosing a bird, often a lifelong companion, can be a complicated process.
Choosing a vet for that lifelong companion should not be a complicated
process. An experienced avian vet should be patient, confident, and
knowledgeable. An owner should feel at ease with the vet, as the vet-ownerpatient
relationship is essential to ensuring a bird’s health. A solid vetowner-
patient relationship begins at the first veterinary visit, and I hope

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 17 of 20
that this thumbnail sketch of the first trip to the avian vet will give bird
                           owners an idea of what to expect.

                                     IN CONCLUSION

The birds may change, and the medicine may change, but if you keep your birds well fed, well
watered, and clean they will give you lots of pleasure over the years. Not everyone derives
their pleasure from showing their birds; some people just enjoy having them at home.

For further information there are books, videos and CDs available in the club library. Also do
not be afraid to ask any club member or other breeder for help and information.

The Gladstone Budgerigar and Cage Bird Society Inc. would like to state that it's objective in
reporting various articles and veterinary advice in our literature and communication, both
verbal and written, is merely to disseminate information and not to make recommendations or

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc would also like to state that the views expressed therein are not necessarily
those of G.B.&C.B.S.Inc


CURRENT REVISION   ---Ro. Dated / /05




Changes to this document. Refer to Rule #
The management committee may make, amend or repeal by-laws, not inconsistent with these
rules, for the internal management of G.B. & C.B.S.Inc. a by-law may be set aside by a vote of
members at a general meeting of G.B. & C.B.S.Inc.

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 18 of 20
G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 19 of 20
G.B.&C.B.S.Inc.—Revision 0—30/6/05

             Variety                           Any Age   Any Age   Yg.Bird   Yg.Bird    Nest
                                                 Cock      Hen       Cock       Hen    Feather
               Normal Green Series                 1        101       201       301      401
Includes,Light Green,Dark Green,
Olive Green
               Normal Grey Green                  2        102        202       302     402
               Normal Blue Series                 3        103        203       303     403
Includes,Sky,Cobalt,Mauve or Violet
               Normal Grey                        4        104        204       304     404
               Black Eyed Self Coloured           5        105        205       305     405
               Red Eye Self Lutino                6        106        206       306     406
               Red Eye Self Albino                7        107        207       307     407
               Clearwing A.S.C.                   8        108        208       308     408
               Greywing A.S.C                     9        109        209       309     409
               Cinnamonwing A.S.C                 10       110        210       310     410
               Spangle Double Factor A.S.C        11       111        211       311     411
               Includes Yellow Face Blue
               Opaline A.S.C                      12       112        212       312     412
               Opaline A.O.S.V. A.S.C             13       113        213       313     413
includes Blackeye,Clearwing,
               Clearbody A.S.V., A.S.C.           14       114        214       314     414
Includes Opaline Class12 only
               Lacewing A.S.V., A.S.C.            15       115        215       315     415
               Includes Opaline
               Fallow A.S.V., A.S.C.              16       116        216       316     416
Includes Clearwing,Greywing,Opaline
               Yellow Face Blue A.S.V.,           17       117        217       317     417
Includes Blackeye,Albino,Clearwing,
               Spangle A.S.V., A.S.C.             18       118        218       318     418
Includes Greywing,Cinnamonwing,
               Dominate Pied A.S.V.,              19       119        219       319     419
               Danish Recessive Pied A.S.V.,      20       120        220       320     420
Includes Greywing,Cinnamonwing,
Opaline,Fallow,Yellow Face,Spangle
               Crested A.S.V., A.S.C.             21       121        221       321     421
Includes the above Varieties
All varieties are ASV / ASC

G.B.&C.B.S.Inc. New Member Book 30/06/05 Page 20 of 20

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