Photo: As a beginner fancier, Ady set himself realistic goals each year. He is pictured here (right) holding his winning bird with Paul Redford at a Teesside Budgerigar Society show in 2013

 

Following on from his article last week, Ady Lovack discusses changes to his set-up, nest-box troubles and why there is no substitute for pitting his birds against the best

 

AFTER such a good result from Alan Marchant’s stock, I went back to him and we have developed a great working relationship. Then, in the summer of 2015, I decided I needed a larger birdroom, so I made some changes to the length and extended it to 8.5m x 2.5m (28ft x 9ft). I added 24 breeding cages and four young stock cages from Ostringer in Germany. Flights were built: a full height 2.5m x 1.8m (8ft x 6ft) and two half flights, 1.8m x 1.2m (6ft x 4ft) and 0.7m (2ft 6in) deep. I also included a kitchen area, two oil-filled radiators, and good ventilation and lighting.

At this time, I also bought 24 nest-boxes from Ostringer with the new cages, as they are very easy to keep clean. However, after two full seasons, I found that the style of box was not working in my birdroom. I just couldn’t get the humidity right in the box and I was getting a lot of addled eggs and dead in shell, so I changed back to a wooden box with a cardboard inner that I bought from Richard Scott in Yorkshire. The new box also has a space underneath the inner box for a small bowl of water to help with the humidity and the hatchability of the eggs. The early signs are good and I managed to hatch 120 after changing the boxes.

Shows and showing goals

The best part of the hobby for me is the show season. I really like to get the birds out onto the bench alongside other people’s birds, as I think this is the only true way of assessing if I am making progress in quality. As a beginner, I set myself some goals to achieve over a three-year period. Year one’s goal was just to go out and show at all of my local shows in the Northern Budgerigar Society (BS) area to see what the level of quality was in the beginner section and try to pick up a class win or two if possible. In year two, my goal was to get a beginner section win and, in year three, to compete in the top end of the beginner section at all the shows where I was exhibiting.

Early successes 

In my first year as a beginner, I managed to get a few class wins, so my goal was achieved. In my second year back in 2012, I won best beginner young bird with a cobalt hen at the first show of the season. This hen then went on to win best opposite sex young bird in show at the same show.
To say I was on cloud nine is an understatement. I have continued to set myself goals each year throughout my short time in the hobby.

Wins at championship shows

To date, I have been extremely lucky with my birds on the show bench. I won best beginner breeder of the year at the Northern BS area show in 2012 and 2013. I also took best novice breeder of the year in 2014, 2015 and 2016. I won best intermediate breeder of the year in 2017, both in the Northern BS area and countrywide.

I have bred more than 20 Challenge-Certificate-winning birds. I have also had 11 best-in-show wins, three best young bird in show, four best opposite sex any age in show and three best opposite sex young birds in show at silver, gold and area championship shows, along with around 20 best young bird section wins.

 

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