At the end of each year, Bella and I reflect on what we have experienced, learnt and enjoy about our passion for budgies. This is “where we are at” at the end of 2016:
- Interests us most: observing feather direction on chicks in the nest and the joy of fellowship with a few close cherished mentors and friends.
- Key insight: Only breed with your best cock birds over multiple hens. Whilst there is luck in breeding, you get luckier if you breed with your best.
- Best experience: Nationals in Hobart meeting new people (such as Mark Hawke) and just having fun as father/daughter.
- Progress: we have just been progressed to Intermediate Status and have got some directional feather in a number of birds now that is exciting.
- Best Win: Reserve Beginner Young bird at the Victorian Shield with a Spangle AOSV Hen…we were very proud.
- Best Breeder: a little double factor spangle from Barry McVilly with Gearing blood that produced most of our best hens for next season…4 rounds with 16 fantastic chicks.
- Biggest Setback: Butcher birds killing many hens just before pairing up, closely followed by dashed high hopes for bought birds. Breed your own hens still the best advice!
- One bird we love to look at right now: Dom pied cobalt UBC bred from our winning sky blue pied….he oozes confidence.
- Big Dreams for 2017; to breed an almost white Opaline grey or buttercup yellow Clearbody that places in the top 5 of a Shield show…why not dream big!
I have just commenced a new job responsible for 180,000 head of beef cattle, requiring frequent travel to NT and QLD. This has forced me to make decisions. Reluctantly, we decided to sell most of the lacewings to focus on Clearbody given the plan to breed only 12-14 pairs next year. In many ways, my travel has created a space for Bella to step up and play her role in our Partnership. I am confident we will continue to progress with fewer birds.
We reiterate our last year’s message… we want to define our involvement in this wonderful hobby by what we give, not just what we win or have in the aviary. Thank you to all those that have been a part of our exciting journey.
Best, Bella and Stephen