Today I received details of a new breed of exhibition budgerigar that has some very exagerated . Coincidentally before I received this post this morning I was thinking about breeding pet budgies and what breed of budgie would I create if I started breeding pet budgerigars again, with view that by far the greatest demand is for pet budgies and that the great majority of discarded and culled budgies from exhibition budgie breeders at present are progressively devaluing the characteristics that I envisage for high quality pet budgies.
I will briefly list some of these potential selection criteria for your consideration in case you also could be interested in breeding pet budgies as a hobby or commercially.
1. Vitality and robustness and adaptability to a wide range of climates and diets
2. longetivity.. many exhibition budgies have a quality of life expectency of 3-5 yrs, some are even shorter. The oldest budgies I have cared for have been late teens and early twenties so we have an idea of what is possible.
3. free from zoonotic infections especially chlamydia
4. Free from immunosuppressive and cancer inducing viral infections and other infectious diseases (long list)
5. friendly, confident, playful, interactive, curious
6. easy to tame
7. prolonged easy taming period (currently before 10 weeks of age, and in Australia it is illegal to sell birds before they can self feed, so for budgies this is usually around 5.5-6.5 weeks of age. Let’s extend that to 12 to 14 to 16 weeks of age.
8.Good talkers and easy to teach to talk, wanting to interact with people and listen, intelligent
9. Physically robust and free from genetic modifications that interfer with ability to fly, to perch, to see (without obscuring feathers in any direction!), to keep their face clean, to preen, to keep their vent clean.
11. Easy to breed without being chronic egg layers (cf poultry producing eggs for human consumption)
Dr Ross Perry is a man of many interests, many talents, many adventures, and much more, yet he is perhaps best known as The Bird Vet, the first bird specialist to be registered by the state Governments of Australia after examination by an international panel of judges in the subject of Caged and Aviary Bird Health. He is also internationally known among other bird vets for discovering desribing and naming Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease (PBFD) and Psittacine Pruritic Pollyfolliculosis (PPPF) etc. He has been described as the Grandfather of bird vets in Australia.