Above: The British Fallow Breeders group are discussing breeding plans to ensure that the right mutations, if any, are introduced into the fallows ‘to maintain their beauty and keep them to the existing BS Colour Standards. Once that is achieved, the next step of progressively improving them to exhibition standard collectively can begin,’ said vet Kevin Eatwell. Photo: Kevin Eatwell

 

A FRESH APPROACH to boost the UK’s low number of fallow budgerigars comes in the form of a dedicated social media group.

“British Fallow Breeders” is a new private group on Facebook to encourage UK fanciers to take on the challenge of breeding and showing this rare budgerigar variety. The group was created – and is currently managed – by veterinarian Kevin Eatwell.

“All three fallows are in very low numbers in the UK,” Mr Eatwell told Cage & Aviary Birds. “The Scottish fallow has possibly died out and the numbers of both English and German fallows are incredibly low, having come from similar original breeding stock. Because of this it’s critical that fanciers come together to help each other breed these varieties.”

The online page provides encouragement to fanciers and is a place to share ideas, as well as enabling the exchange of fallows that are available to minimise the risk of inbreeding.

Mr Eatwell explained: “The aim is for the small group of enthusiastic fallow breeders to work together to get these varieties to breed in numbers and get sufficient fresh blood into them to make a viable breeding population.”

Donald Bruton, a member of the group and promoter of the fallow, said: “While this rare variety is supported by the Association of Specialist Budgerigars, this Facebook group seems a new approach to attracting interest in keeping, breeding and showing the fallow.

“There are perhaps only some 20 fanciers left in the UK who keep fallow budgerigars, not all of whom exhibit their birds, so Kevin Eatwell’s efforts in setting up a dedicated Facebook page can only help in encouraging more breeders of this variety and hopefully take it off the ‘endangered list’!”

The Scottish fallow was known to exist in Nairn, Scotland, in the 1920s. In 1929 fallows appeared in America and were imported to the UK by Mrs A.R. Hood but died out. In 1934 some German fallows were imported into the UK and English fallows were known to exist in the UK in 1937.

ANYONE who resides in the UK and who currently keeps and breeds fallow varieties is encouraged to get in touch with Mr Eatwell and request to join the group. Email: kevineatwell71@gmail.com or search “British Fallow Breeders” on Facebook.

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