Feb - Terry Sayers March - Steve Bailey April - Ian Fordham May - Young Stock Show
June - Andrew Luke July - Ron Pearce August - Barbeque September - Open Evening
October - Members Show November - Bring & Buy    

November - Bring & Buy

Our chairperson opened the meeting and read out apologies from John Mullen, Jim Lawrie, George Sutticliff, Andrew McKendrick, Ricky Watts, Ron Pearce, Nigel Darley, David Rice and Richard & Julia Hutchins. She also gave a warm welcome to a guest, John Shaw, who came along with his two children.

Everyone was advised of the forthcoming AGM and told that they had been emailed the paper work etc. Also, hard copies were present for members to take if they wished.

With that Malcolm Freemantle, our outgoing President, said that after the first session of the auction he hoped everyone would enjoy the food that he and Pam had provided as their President’s buffet. A big ‘thank you’ to Pam for preparing and donating the food and drinks.

As Ricky was not present, Malcolm stepped in and acted as our auctioneer for the evening.

We raised, with your help, a total of 147.48 on the evening (107.79 bring & buy including donations, 6.69 refreshments and 33 raffle). Well done to everyone there; although the proceeds were well down on last year it all helps to keep the club going in the right direction for 2011.

Everyone there seemed to enjoy the evening and many thanks go to Malcolm for his auctioneering as it was a very hard sell!

At the end of the sale Malcolm awarded the trophies to the main winners of our members show in October.

Chris then presented a bouquet of flowers to Pam Freemantle with our thanks for all she has done for the club.

Members Show

The Members Show was very well supported with 117 birds exhibited.  It was nice to have the company of Doug Sadler for the day and also visits from Gerald Binks and Colin Callaway in the afternoon. So ‘thank you’ to all who took the time to bring birds to the show; it was good to see so many of you and with everybody helping it made a very enjoyable day for all.

Two new members signed up on the day - David Rice from Fareham and George Sutticliff from Guildford in Surrey.

 

After being booked in, the birds were placed on the staging by all of our helpers under the guidance of our show manager Brian Duncombe. 

Our judge for the day was Beverley Hutt, who gave a running evaluation whilst judging, explaining the reasons for her choices and also explaining to the beginners the differences on cinnamon markings on birds, as some had wrong classed them (at members show we reclassify them). Beverley explained the problems with the birds that were just ‘that bit out’ of condition and also with some that had ticking on the crown, which was why they were penalised as a fault. That aside, the best bird won on the day and it was in lovely condition. We thank Beverley very much for her consideration to new members / beginners and for the way she explained the faults and positioning of birds.

We had a full ploughman’s lunch, after which the judging was completed, generating lots of interest as we neared the main awards.

The Major Awards were made as follows:

NORTHDOWNS AWARD SHEET 2010

AWARD AMOUNT WINNER CAGE
BEST BUDGERIGAR IN  SHOW                                                        The Presidents Salve & Rosette 10.00 Jim Lawrie 209-2                           Cin Green Cock
BEST YOUNG BIRD IN SHOW                             The America Shield & Rosette 10.00 Alex Whitman 710.1                            Cin Sky Hen
BEST ANY AGE IN SHOW                                    The Bristol Shield & Rosette 10.00 Jim Lawrie 209-2
BEST OPPOSITE SEX ANY AGE                          The Marchbank Trophy & Rosette 10.00 Jim Lawrie 206-1                              Grey Green Hen
BEST OPPOSITE SEX YOUNG BIRD                     The G.Dell Cup & Rosette  10.00 Jim Lawrie 305-3                           Grey Cock
  BEST CHAMPION BIRD                                       The Willow Trophy Ricky Watts 5-2
BEST CHAMPION ANY AGE         Rosette 3.00 Ricky Watts 5-2
BEST CHAMPION YOUNG BIRD   Rosette 5.00 Cash & Gorrell 118-1
BEST INTERMEDIATE BIRD                                  The Nichols Trophy Jim Lawrie 209-2
BEST INTERMEDIATE ANY AGE   Rosette 3.00 Jim Lawrie 209-2
BEST INTERMEDIATE YOUNG BIRD                   Rosette 5.00 Jim Lawrie 305.3
BEST NOVICE BIRD                                                   The Merle Trophy Delia Smith 421-1
BEST NOVICE ANY AGE            Rosette 3.00 Delia Smith 421-1
BEST NOVICE YOUNG BIRD      Rosette 5.00 N/E
BEST BEGINNER BIRD                                             The Lynam Trophy  Alex Whitman 710-1
BEST BEGINNER ANY AGE           Rosette 3.00 Alex Whitman 606-1
BEST BEGINNER YOUNG BIRD    Rosette 5.00 Alex Whitman 710-1
BEST JUNIOR Bird                                                       The Parcel Link Shield N/E
BEST JUNIOR YOUNG BIRD 3.00 N/E
BEST JUNIOR YOUNG BIRD 5.00 N/E
BEST RED EYE                                                              George Choules Trophy Ricky Watts 13-1
BEST LUTINO    Plate & Rosette Ricky Watts 13-1
BEST ALBINO   Plate & Rosette Ricky Watts 114-1
Most Birds Benched                                                     The David Angus-Smith Memorial Trophy Ricky Watts
Show Points Winner                                                    The Wishing Well Trophy Ricky Watts

Best OS AA

Best AA

Best OS YB

Best YB

All in all we had a very good day, with everyone helping at some stage for which I would like to thank you all again.


Jim Lawrie

Don’t forget that the next meeting is the ‘Bring and Buy’, so please come, bring plenty and buy plenty, as it is our only fundraiser of the year.

Our President Malcolm Freemantle is providing a buffet on the evening, so come and enjoy yourselves.

Thanks to our Chairperson Chris Angus Smith for providing & donating all refreshments. (Again)!

Open Evening / Workshop

The meeting started at 8.00pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith.   Apologies were received from Harry & Sue Wadley, Andrew McKendrick and Terry Smith.

There being no guest speaker tonight, Tony Cash headed the meeting / workshop on a question and answer type meeting dealing with all types of problems associated with the breeding of birds. Every one gave an input to help with the questions and it became a very interesting evening, with ideas for all sorts of ways to overcome some of the most common problems we encounter.

The most interesting discussion was on the feeding and nutrition that we give to the birds and it highlighted what a wealth of information the members have and it would seem we all do it very differently but achieve almost the same results and problems.

One problem mentioned was that chicks were leaving the nest box too early because they were hungry.   One of the reasons given was that we were over feeding our vitamins, which should be cut back a bit once the eggs were full otherwise the cock bird was only interested in mating with the hen and not being attentive to feeding his chicks.

If you crop needle your chicks to substitute and help save them, you can make up a solution at a fraction of the cost with maltodextrin powder and baby electrolyte solution and add powdered whey to thicken and feed straight away.  This idea was given to me by a member of our club and it really does work well.

Water was high on the list, with lots of different ideas on the best way to give it to our birds from the tap, bottle and fixed filter systems, but the most common was to use a filter type jug, which was proven to be more beneficial with very technical reasons not to use bottled water.

With the breeding season upon us the subject of perches came up, with the problem of getting good hard wood perches and not ‘feeding’ them with soft wood perches and replacing them all the time. Types of wood suggested were ash, maple, beech and sycamore, but to buy from where?

French moult had to come up (by me) as I had it this year for the first time in 15 years and it had a devastating effect on me.  Others have used Vircon “S”, spraying it directly onto the birds, which bought chicks completely through from no feathers to complete plumage.

With many other topics being discussed as well, it was a worthwhile evening with the usual controversial chat about ring issue dates, with all sorts of views and also when the show date season should be.  With that we ended our evening with a well supported raffle and all were wished a safe journey home.

Members show schedules and entry forms were given out, but I will also email to all members as well.

Summer Barbeque

As we don’t have an August meeting we try to have an aviary visit or BBQ as a get together and birdie chat. This year we joined together with Bucks & Berks Budgerigar Association at Nigel & Sheila Darley’s in Tadley and here are a few pictures which tell the story of how we all enjoyed ourselves and how those who were unable to come missed a great afternoon!

Ron Pearce

 

The meeting started at 8.00pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith.  Apologies were received from Gerald Binks, Mick Freeborn, Alex Whitman, Andrew McKendrick and Jacky Fox. We welcomed a new member, Lee Benton, who joined tonight!

With the birds benched (14 pairs) Ron started by giving a brief of the format for the evening and by asking us to pair up at least seven pairs, which were to include the Lutino cock and yellow hen so he could comment on them later regarding improvements to those varieties. 

Once we had all paired up what we thought to be the best pairings to breed from, Ron gave various comments regarding the quality of the birds benched and the faults and good features that were in front of him.

With that out of the way Ron started by collecting the pairing sheets from each person, one at a time, to discuss their choice of pairings.   He gave advice to each individual on their pairings and suggested another bird as an alternative to help breed better youngsters or to balance the faults in the pair.   We had new beginners to very experienced champions, all with different views and, perhaps, sometimes predicable on their choice of pairings with an eye for a good balanced bird.


A general discussion on various birds continued with Ron giving explanations on his view of pairings and why, assuming that this was his stud and all he had to work with! There were all sorts of birds there, from buffs to yellow feathered and flecked and, of course, those without tails.

 

Ron went on to talk in general about the modern birds of today and asked if we were going too far with the quest to cover the face with feather. That is not to say that some feathering around the face is desirable and makes the bird look neat and not beaky.  The other problem with trying to increase the feather is the tailless wonders and the cysts that occur on the wing butts and tails, which come with trying to improve the feather.  A balance has to be maintained for your stud to survive.

With that we all thanked Ron in the usual way for his professional commentary and the advice given to us all. We then had the raffle and all were wished a safe journey home.

Andrew Luke

The meeting was called to order at 8.00pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith.  Apologies were received from Gerald Binks, Mick Freeborn and Mike Horner. Before the introduction of our speaker I said a few words regarding sponsorship and the need for all to try and gather sponsors for our 2011 Open Show. So far I have promises of approx 1,100.00 for adverts and general sponership, but more is needed to run a successful show without affecting the general accounts / balance sheet as part of targets set at the AGM! I went on to thank Rob Harvey (near Bird World) for his donation of a tub of Quicko for the evening’s meeting.  Chris then introduced our speaker for the evening, Andrew Luke, who started with a brief of the evening’s presentation. 

        The bloodlines that our birds are based on

        The varieties we keep

        Our birdroom and management

        Feeding

        Our birds from 2001-2007

        The Molkentin stud (setup plus birds)

        Our birds 2008 - today

Andrew said he and his dad, Tom, were helped to get back into the hobby in 1991 by Ken and Derrick Whaites, with some good birds which started them on the road to their current successes.

In 2005 a new brick built bird room with 44 breeding units was up and running, the bird room measuring 30ft x 18ft with a flat roof; the four windows and door are all double glazed as are the two roof lights which all allow plenty of natural light into the bird room.

 

The ceiling and walls are covered in white plastic coated ply wood, the floor is tiled so all of this is very easy to clean. The two large inside flights measuring 13.5ft x 7ft are separated by a corridor leading to the door. The flights are constructed of stainless steel and green melamine panels. The stainless steel panels help prevent feather damage caused by the usual climbing up wire mesh, they also make viewing the birds easier.

A box in a box nest box is used and all are identical. The inner box is replaced between rounds for hygiene reasons, preventing the build up of bacteria and fungi.

He said that the preparation area is complete with a sink and work top and hot and cold water.  They use a purifier for the drinker water which they then boil and leave over night for the following day’s drinkers.

A two tiered trolley cage made from stainless steel was made to house youngsters prior to going into the main flights and adults after coming out of the breeding cages. On one side wall there are 12 training cages with front opening doors. A large seed bin underneath the cages provides a clean place for a large quantity of seed.

They also have lots of storage built in, which allows them to buy their seed in bulk, which is very cost beneficial. They keep the bird room at 75% humidity by using electrical gadgets as a De-humidifier and a Germ-o-kill air cleaner (UV Light) also includes 6 x 6ft fluorescent lights with daylight bulbs wired up to a dimmer/time clock system, night lights, 4 x 5ft tubular heaters wired to a thermostat set at a minimum of 10c. An extractor fan on one wall as well as a ceiling mounted cooker hood to remove air from the bird room so the bird room is a healthy environment to be in.

An alarm system with CCTV was also installed after much debate but deemed necessary today

In the feeding they use a lot of vegetables, which they saw and subsequently ‘learnt from’ when they were at the ‘Molkentin’ set up to bring in their outcrosses.  It has proved to be very beneficial to their birds.  They also put Eucalyptus branches in the flights as well as swings to occupy the birds and keep them active. Their soft food is a mixture of EMP & CD together, which works very well for them.

The same basic seed mix is given to every cage all year round, this is 1 part mixed millet, two parts white millet, two parts plain canary and one part tonic seed. The three seed types are mixed together and then grated organic vegetables are then added and mixed in. A mixture of at least five of the following given daily Carrots + leaves, Broccoli + stalk, Beetroot + leaves, Chicory, Chard, Parsley, Sweet corn, Celery, Spinach, Peppers Red/green/yellow, Pakchoey, Parsnip, Fennel, Cauliflower (white only), Brussels Sprouts, Asparagus, Cabbage (green/red), Cucumber, Peas (tinned in water or fresh), Courgette, Radish, Kale, Turnips, Green beans, Chinese bean sprouts. The vegetable content is around 20% of the mixture. Variety is very important to gain the most goodness for the birds. A cup of sprouted seed added to the seed/veg mix daily. A mixture of sunflower seed, oats, safflower, paddy rice, melon seed, chick peas, mung beans, yellow peas and green peas, two cups of sprouted oats are also added to the mix

The presentation showed birds from the early days of winning in 2001 up to the current day young of 2010, with complete commentary regarding how they progressed with using various outcrosses from some very top names and the way they worked them into their quality Opaline Cinnamons (including the very good lacewings he showed us).

As far as the pairing-up goes, Andrew said he goes up for approx a week with Tom and they jointly pair and discuss the merits of the various lines / pairs. One of their main concerns is not to breed or have a stud of massive buff birds that won’t breed, so a balance of feather and style and deportment is required in their thoughts when pairing up the various lines they have.

Once again, many thanks for a very professional and interesting power point presentation, with lots of useful commentary which was enjoyed by all.

The evening then concluded with the raffle and auction, after which all were wished a safe journey home.

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday 30th July, when Ron Pearce is our Judge / Speaker for our Pairing up competition. Please ring me if you cannot make it and I will offer your apologies to the meeting.

Young Stock Show

The meeting was called to order at 8.00pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith.  Apologies were received from Richard Hutchins, Ricky Watts, Ron Pearce and Andrew McKendrick. Chris then introduced our Judge for the evening, Ron Payne.

Ron started judging the birds (54) at 8.15pm, after telling us a couple of amusing stories (as he does!).  Because it was a young stock show the classes were grouped together ‘cock and hen’ to simplify the judging and Ron said that condition was not paramount, as it was a members young bird show. Also, reclassification would happen if required as no one would be wrong classed. 

Whilst judging Ron explained what features he was actually looking for in the birds and said that when there were two very similar birds it was difficult to place them first and second, as you needed to take into account all of their features / faults. He also stressed that birds entered deserved the time to allow them to perch.

As the judging went on Ron kept up a running commentary and ensured that everyone could see what he was doing. He asked for questions and comments as he was judging.

Whilst having refreshments before the main awards were judged everyone was looking at the birds and making their own comparisons and comments regarding them.

At the end of the judging Ron asked for any comments from the floor with regard to the judging and then proceeded to walk round with various breeders explaining about the birds and the faults and the reasons why they were placed where they were on the benches.

Our thanks to Brian Duncombe our show manager who did a great job!

Our congratulations to the main winners of the evening:


Cash & Gorrell: Best champion &   Best bird in show – Cobalt Cock


N&S Darley: Best intermediate Barhead &  Best Barhead in Show  - Grey Green Hen

Dell & Plumber: Best champion Barhead Opl Y/F Sky Hen

Jim Lawrie:  Best intermediate – Grey Green Cock

A. Whitman: Best Beginner – Sky Dominant Pied Cock

Neale & Son: Best Beginner Barhead – Cin Grey Hen

We would also like to thank all of those that helped with the setting up and removal of the trestles, plus other jobs, which makes life a lot easier.

Once again, we all showed our appreciation to the Judge / Speaker for a very entertaining evening (who donated his expenses to our open show fund).

The evening then concluded with the raffle, after which the birds were lifted and all were wished a safe journey home.

Ian Fordham

The meeting was called to order at 8.00pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith.  Apologies were received from Jacky Fox and John Mullen.  Chris then introduced our speaker for the evening, Ian Fordham

After a light hearted chat regarding his retirement and all the jobs around the house he doesn’t do (not really), he went on to talk about breeding Lutinos and the problems that come with that ref: the three shades of color, light, medium and dark factors used to enhance the variety, stating that the dark factors such as olive and dark green give you the buttercup yellow, which is described in the BS colour standards booklet as the desired features required in this variety.

He also explained about how he uses buff feathered out crosses to enhance the size of his birds, which takes a three year period to see the benefits, being careful not to get sheen of green in the wing /body or to lose the buttercup yellow that he has in his stud.

He said when bringing in any new stock / outcrosses you should plan to use them straight away, as they are a long time dead.  Some breeders state that they flight them so they can settle in better, but are often disappointed if they die before they have tried them.

Because Lutino /Inos have weak eyes he finds it better to breed them in the darker areas of the bird room as he has some birds going blind, he feels from being too close to bright lighting in the top breeding cages. A vet recently stated that it may be because he has been breeding red eye to red eye for some years, which has caused a weakness in them.

“Ian’s Opinion only”

He went on to talk about the difficulties faced by him recently regarding his lighting system as, when one of his fluorescent lights went some time ago, he decided to install new full spectrum UV lighting (additional Vitamin D3).

He didn’t notice any difference in last year’s breeding but started to find more of his show team going blind (kept in top cages nearer the lighting). After reading an article by Dr John Pilkington who said that the lack of Melanin in their eyes means they shouldn’t be out in the sunshine or under UV lighting systems it made him change his lighting back to a normal system and he is now monitoring the situation.

During the evening he also recounted many other stories, which were very interesting and amusing and he also brought along some of his ideas and innovations regarding protecting your timber flights. 

Our thanks to Ian for a very interesting talk and we showed that in the usual way.

Steve Bailey

The meeting was called to order at 8.00pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith.  Apologies were received from Will Bein and Richard & Julie Hutchins.

 

Chris then introduced our speaker for the evening, Steve Bailey, who was accompanied by Mick Freeborn to pose the questions.

 

Mick started off by introducing Steve and giving a short profile of his history in the hobby.  He spoke about Steve’s successes in the late 80s and early 90s and how he packed up in 1991 when affected badly by FM.

 

Mick then started the questions by asking Steve what differences he noticed in the birds of today.  Steve said that in the good old days we had the likes of Harry Bryan, Mrs Moss, Maurice Finey and Gerald Binks (still here), plus very strong breeders in the West Country to go to for feather /style etc.   Nowadays we were going to Europe for these features.

 

Steve said his present stud, which he started up in 2005, was based mainly on birds from Brian Sweeting, Harry Hockaday and Gerald Binks and was currently giving him a lot of success.  He said that he always put his thoughts down on paper for when pairing up and decided on them as he went along during the year. March was the best time for him as that was when he had all of his best birds with full eggs, but this didn’t suit all because of the ring issue date.

 

He said he put the hen in first with a slight trim up and always marked the eggs as laid and cross coded them when moving to a different nest box. He used seed by Haiths (expensive but good) and he also added Kilpatrick’s minerals, cod liver oil and some sun flower seeds.

 

Steve said he entered birds in all of his local shows, as he felt that if they were not supported they would be lost.  This would mean travelling further to exhibit birds and, therefore, enhance the decline we already have in the hobby.   He said he was looking forward to putting in a strong entry at the BS show this year as this was his last year as an intermediate.

 

After the break there was a question and answer session, which proved to be very lively. There were comments from the floor with reference to some of the birds / types being bred and shown today, which made a very interesting evening with lots of knowledgeable details to learn and absorb regarding heating, humidity, ventilation and general hygiene.  (We also digressed to talking about Koi Carp, which Steve used to keep and show in his break from keeping birds, which, again, was very interesting for everyone).

One other comment which was noted was the fact that the BS needs to advertise our hobby more such as the G. Binks internet magazine!

Terry Sayers

The meeting was called to order at 8.00pm and everyone was welcomed by our Chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith.  No apologies were received.

Chris then introduced our speaker for the evening, Terry Sayers, who traveled over from the Isle of Wight.  Terry started by showing slides of his and other breeders birds from past shows etc., and explaining about the birds that were winning at various shows at that time.  He also talked about the types of nest boxes required and nesting material to provide for them.

As the evening went on he commented on the difficultly of breeding some of the species and spoke about some that he never got to breed.

After the break he carried on with the slide show and, with comments from the floor reference some of the birds, it made a very interesting and different evening from the normal.

Our thanks to Terry for a well presented slide show and his donation of two super trophies for Best Novice and Beginner in show.

It was also nice to see Andrew Luke (T&A Luke partnership in Preston) as a guest who came along with Ricky Watts & Ron Pearce. As you can see from your program, Andrew is our speaker in June in place of Ghalib Al-Nasser.