Above: Left: during a recent Zoom video chat, Jimmy Roberts, the FFF 2018 Novice Fancier
of the Year, spoke in his birdroom about his breeding setup and progress. Right: Dave Healy Junior took group members on a tour of his birdroom in Co Dublin, Ireland

 

AT A TIME when birdkeepers are told to keep their distance, the Fife Fancy Federation (FFF) is bringing its members and other fanciers closer together using online chat and video calling.

Paul Larkin, FFF secretary, has set up a chat group on WhatsApp, a messaging application where users can send text messages, voice notes and share media. To date, 37 members – not only FFF members – are involved.

“During this difficult time, fanciers of all ages and experience in the hobby need to feel connected and the WhatsApp group was set up for this purpose,” said Mr Larkin.

You have to request to join the group (details in blue box, below) and once confirmed you can share “photos of this year’s chicks, ideas on supplements, breeding, pairings and all aspects of birdkeeping,” Mr Larkin said. “Also there is the compulsory banter taking the mick out of Matt Eld and his infamous collection of check shirts!”

Details of weekly virtual birdroom tours are also posted on the FFF WhatsApp group. Members suggest a time and fanciers can log on to Zoom, a platform for video and chat. Tours in the past two weeks have been from the FFF’s 2018 Novice Fancier of the Year Jimmy Roberts from North Wales, Cain Thomas also from North Wales and Daz Fones from the Midlands.

Another birdroom tour came from Adam Kendall, of the Kendall Stud, who praised the FFF for keeping the hobby together during this unprecedented time: “The video calls have been a most welcome distraction and I thank all the contributors for their virtual walkthrough of birdrooms and evening chats, which have been an informative roundup of the breeding season.”

Matt Eld has been involved in the FFF Zoom meetings. He said: “Being able to see birdrooms in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales without leaving the house is great from a mental health perspective and developing new husbandry techniques. I’ve learned about a new supplement some of the fanciers are using and some more traditional methods too, such as Yakult in the eggfood!”

 

Any fancier can ask to join the FFF WhatsApp group by contacting Paul Larkin via email: Federationsecretary01@gmail.com or through the FFF Facebook page. Paul will then give out his mobile number or will ask for your mobile number

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