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South Hampshire - February 2018

Jim Lawrie, our acting Chairman, opened the meeting and welcomed all there and our guest Andy Thorpe, who was going to be asked questions on a one-to-one by Jim Lawrie.

Apologies were read out from Peter Merritt, John Burton, Bryon Shaw, Geoff Futcher, Brian Bailey, Heidi Patient, Jane Cooper and John Mullen. (8)

The main sub titles tonight were: The Early Days, Management, Success with a Small Stud, Showing and General Stuff / Meetings & How Has the Hobby Changed.

Q1.  How and when did you get interested in budgerigars?

A: I started in the early sixties, when I was 11 years old, with a pair of Grey Yellows. 

Q2.   What was your first aviary set-up like?

A: It was a double breeding cage with a nest box on side.  I then got a second-hand 8íX 6í shed with a small outside flight and I joined the local Gosport CBS.

Q3.   Can you remember your first major Out-Cross?

A: I bought from various breeders around in the area, also Bob Steele.

Q4.   Did you ever come out of the hobby?

A: I came out in 1980 for 10years, whilst working in Jersey.  There I saw Muir & Crossman birds at the Jersey Open show and came back into the hobby when I came back home in 1990.

Q5.   What appealed to you about budgerigars?

A: I started with a pair when I was 11 years old.  I had seen various varieties of birds, but budgies seemed to be what I liked in those days and, later on, I was helped by various champion breeders from local clubs.

Q6.   Who have been your major influences?

A: Bill Heffer was the main mentor.

Q7.   What is your current set-up like?

A: Better then the first one! I now have a 20` long by 10`wide brick built aviary, with double glazed windows, internal 4íX 8í flights at each end and 16 breeding units (only use 12), complete with a worktop, which is very handy. 

Q8.   What are your views on outside flights?

A: They are not for me, as they are a security risk as well as all the foreign bird droppings etc,.  I donít think they are needed.

Q9.  How many birds and what varieties do you keep?

A: I keep several different varieties, Blues & Greys but mainly normals and also spangles and DF spangles - about 130 is my normal stock level (said to many) but going up to after the breeding season.

Q10.   Describe your daily management routine?

A: In the morning I feed general seed and soft food with Just Supplements carrot & greens as well as Orlux egg food and fresh water (daily).

Q11.   What do you do differently during breeding, resting, showing?

A: I have the same routine all year around.

Q12.   Describe diet, supplements, softfood etc. Do you ever try new products? How influenced are you by what others are doing?

A: There are lots of new and different products now on the market to use, but I donít change my system of feeding unless I have problems. I feed lots of fruit and vegetables and millet sprays.

Q13.   What lighting times do you use? How do they vary throughout the year?

A: The lights come on at 7am until 10pm, all year round, with a break at 12am Ė 1pm. I also have a dimmer system to turn on the night lights and then turn off the fluorescents.

Q14.   What special features do you look for in a budgie?

A: Deportment / style a must, with a good back scull.  Iím careful not to use very buff untidy birds with short masks.

Q15.   What is your approach to pairing up, and how important is pedigree versus visual, colours and varieties?

A: I need both pedigree and visual when pairing up, making sure I am improving the birds and not going backwards by creating feather problems or dusters if they are in the back ground of my stock.   I seem to be line breeding now.

Q16.   How long will you leave a pair together before splitting them up?

A: 3 weeks at the most.  I have split them after a couple of hours if Iím not happy with them or they donít seem compatible with each other!  Some birds reject birds of a certain colour and wonít breed.  When changing a birdís partner to a different colour they will mate and produce chicks.

Q17.   With a limited number of breeding cages how do you manage a clear first round?

A: I pair up in November and will let them go again to see if I can catch them on the correct cycle.  I will also pair love couples I see in the flight if they are compatible. 

Q18.   What are the benefits of working with a small(ish) number of birds?

A: I find I have enough stock / breeding pairs. If you remember, Jim Hutton used to use only 12 breeding cages and many other breeders do the same and do very well in numbers and quality.

Q19.   How many times do you show each year and how many birds do you show?

A: I only do about 2 shows a year now, although it used to be many more with lots of travelling.  I take 6 birds at a time to my kitchen to prepare them with a wash with baby shampoo and I also trim them rather than pluck them, which I find gets a better result.  

I seem to be judging a lot more now, but not as many as I used to.

Q20.   How has the hobby changed?

A: It has changed in lots of ways, some for good and some for bad.  With the judges training course now it has produced some good judges for the hobby, but others are still in the old days with regard to the modern budgie. I believe judges that are judging specialist varieties and donít keep them should go around to different aviaries to see and understand the variety content of the birds.

Q21.   My time as a BS Judge:

A: I thoroughly enjoyed myself judging here and abroad: it is a real eye opener.  

After the interview there was lots of interaction between all the members whilst they were having a cuppa.  It was a great evening, with all the members creating a friendly atmosphere and most people contributing in some way. Some of the questions asked took up a lot of time, e.g.:

Showing bought birds

Should Judgesí judge the variety that they keep? And many more!

We all (24) had a lovely evening listening to Andyís answers to our questions on various subjects, and on breeding & problems and how to overcome some of them in this great hobby of ours.

After the raffle Jim Lawrie thanked everybody.  He then closed the meeting and wished everyone a safe journey home. Our thanks to Andy for not taking any expensesí!

South Hampshire - January 2018

Jim Lawrie, our Acting Chairman, opened the meeting and welcomed all there. Apologies were read out from John Burton, Bryon Shaw, Geoff Futcher, Steve Bailey, Brian Bailey, Peter Church, John Mullen, Martin Terry and Steve Cox.

14 birds were benched and ready to be judged later, in the order that they would be used for breeding with.

Jim Lawrie then explained the format for the evening, which was talking about our breeding problems and medications / vitamins in the first session, then looking and talking about the birds that David Rice was going to judge during the first part of the evening.


With lots of discussion on day old chicks dying/ dead in shell /addled, which was the problem Neil Cawley was having, and the various ways to eradicate this we went on to talk about all sorts of problems, as well as feeding methods etc.  Jim Lawrie said he was having a poor start to the breeding season again this year, with others having a great start.  Peter Merritt said he was off on a flyer this year in his new cages and explained what he thought were the reasons for that.


We discussed the various additives we were all using, with a lot of similar products being used by many.

One of the products renamed was ďCarrís AD-Herbs Original for pigeonsĒ.  Sizes come in: 250ml, 500ml, 1000ml and 2500ml (Peter was put on to this by Brian Sweeting some time ago).

Ingredients: Helianthus annuus oil, essential oil of origanum (Without menthol).
Directions: Blend 5ml thoroughly into 2kg of feed.

Use everyday to maintain good condition. Use feed within 5 months. Shake well before use.

Also, a product that Peter Merritt uses as well as others is Zooserine, which comes from Portugal.  Peter said that the price has gone up from £6.00 to £11.00 for 40 tablets.  He explained what he uses it for and said he would try and acquire some for the members (10).

(Zooserine is indicated for the treatment of mixed infections of the respiratory tract and digestive tract. Chronic respiratory infections, traqueobronquites, pneumonia, and tuberculosis and mycoplasmosis gastroenteritis caused by salmonella and e. coli, as well as the clamidiose, are among the main indications.)

This then brought up a discussion on all types of diseases and the medicines to treat them.  Below are some of the medicines mentioned that are used by, or required by, the members.

Treatments/ Medicines Mentioned:

  • Terramycin - As directed
  • Ronivet-s - 2Grams to 2 Litres or as Harry says:
  • Triple C - As directed
  • Orego-Stim -100% Natural Supplement in drinking water:
  • Baytril Oral - As directed
  • Harkers 3 in 1 (Trichomoniasis /Canker /Coccidiosis)
  • Mega ĖS  (Waga Waga in Australia)

After this we asked several members to express their views on the birds and most agreed that the positions that David Rice had placed them in were the correct order.

We then discussed an Aviary visit, with over night stay out, possibly to Harry Hockaday and Alan and Gina Adams and maybe a third visit, which the club would subsidise with the cost of the mini buses.  Most of the members there put up their hands (14) as being interested in going, possibly around May time.  We will investigate and come back to you.

We all had a lovely evening talking about our breeding and problems and how to overcome some of them in this great hobby of ours.  Many thanks to all that brought birds for the meeting.

After the raffle Jim Lawrie thanked everybody.  He then closed the meeting and wished everyone a safe journey home.

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