Before you start, decide what you want from your birds and out of the hobby itself. If like myself birds are in your blood and you’re coming into it from a different aspect of bird keeping there should be no problems, but if you’re coming into it with no knowledge of bird keeping, a different approach is required. Over the years I’ve seen fanciers come and go.You’ve got to be dedicated and nothing less than 100% commitment will do.There’s lots of people come into it spending hundreds of pounds on state of the art birdrooms, pay high prices for birds, win nothing on the bench or have poor breeding results, get disillusioned and then they’re gone, whereas true fanciers keep going through their ups and downs of the hobby, learning as they go.
I only keep a 12 pair stud but spend at least 3 hours every day attending their needs.
THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU START.
HAVE YOU GOT THE TIME THAT’S REQUIRED ?
If you’re just starting up with birds, read as much as possible about their needs and digest all the information, then plan your own methods. Visit as many shows as you can to get the feel of things and you will meet some genuine fanciers who will get you on your way.
Start off with the best stock possible and develop your own strain, you can continue to buy birds for ever but you can’t buy the knowledge of the breeder.
Lets take (Gerald Spencer) as an example, top man of the breed and must have sold hundreds of birds over the years, but these birds have not come back to haunt him yet, he’s still in front of his own bloodlines. Now that’s what I call a good stocks man. He certainly knows how to match his own retained pairs to remain on top.
Proof that you can buy good birds from a top breeder but he’ll always be one step ahead.(You have to develop a strain of your own) to try and get an edge. If you purchase birds from just one source you are only extending that bloodline and it will be difficult to ever head the fancier you purchased the birds from on the show bench as he retained the very best for himself to keep his stud up to a high standard. So in theory you will always be runner up at best. If you obtain birds from several different breeders you end up with a collection of birds and it becomes more difficult to develop a family of your own because the gene pool is too large.
Just to put it in simple terms, I purchased birds from two sources and would not expect to beat either of them on the show bench with their own blood, so the Idea is to cross the two lines and try to develop one that is better than both of the two originals.
May I suggest you start with only ( TWO ) different winning bloodlines to create your own family.
In December 2004 I purchased 7 pairs of birds off the (Green & Stillie) partnership from Scotland.and a further 2 pairs off ( David Button ) from Durham. After further assessment I retained 3 cocks + 4 hens from the Green & Stillie bloodline and a trio of the David Button blood.These 10 birds are the foundation for my own strain. For the first two breeding seasons I kept the two bloodlines separate winning best in shows at CBS level and class wins at all Fife shows with both of them. In 2007 I retained only the hens from the Button blood after finding out that the cock was a cinnamon carrier and crossed these into the Scottish blood. To date, all of my present birds are the result of the cross between the two bloodlines.