This is one of the articles I wrote for the West Norfolk BS Newsletter March 2002

Feeling Positive

It’s great to see some of the membership entering into the spirit of the Newsletter.
I haven’t got too much to say this time because the past few months have been a difficult time for my family and me, as some of you know.
As I mentioned in my first attempt at an article a little while ago, I am still finding it tricky to balance time with the budgies, work and homelife commitments.


However – This is a New Year and full of unknowns, so I am remaining positive to meet the challenges – and they’ve started already !


It was the day before Xmas Eve and I thought I would finally put a few pairs down for breeding as some of my Hens were munching through my aviary timbers like locusts. Quite a few Cocks were lively and acting like rabbits on a good day, with any submissive hen that stood still !
By the way, I do not separate cocks and hens in the main flight, mainly because I haven’t got the space to separate them within the current set-up. On the odd occasion a “natural” pairing will occur within the flight and I have put them into breeding cages with indifferent results . It usually works out that both the cock and the hen have similar faults, they are either flecked, small head, too closely related or whatever. The results are usually for the pet shops – nice colours but not anything I would wish to keep for breeding or the show bench. Do you find this is similar to your experiences?
Incidentally, I am going up from Beginner to Novice in 2002, I need to get some decent birds ASAP , one of my best birds died in December, Cin Sky Blue Cock, for no apparent reason.


Anyway, back to the story.
Now where was I – oh yes, rabbits!
Right, first thing is to make sure the breeding cages are clean. No, they’re not. So I get the vacuum cleaner out –  “Aahh!!”, its knackered, wont pick up a thing, tried cleaning it, quick service.
O.K. resort to using the brush and dustpan, this takes ages, I didn’t realise how much time a hoover takes out of cleaning. I dare not tell my wife about how much time it saves as it will give her a bit more ammunition when it comes to cleaning the house and all that, I don’t want to lead with my chin, now do I !
Cages are cleaned.
Nest boxes are already cleaned and stored in the garage. No problem there.
Next job, check seed dishes and drinkers, need to wash and clean them as they have probably got a bit dusty in the drawers, this is where I keep all of this sort of stuff , inside the aviary. Open the drawers.
“Aahh !! , again.
“Bloody mice dirts”, all over the dishes, drinkers and finger drawers and all over the drawer bases as well. Now, don’t panic, better check the rest of the aviary, “I wonder if is the cause of my Cinnamon SB dying so suddenly”, I’m thinking to myself.
Checked the aviary, no problem, except I’ve got water coming in one end of the shed and rotting the floorboards, I’ll think about that tomorrow ( Fiddly Dee! – did you see “Gone with the wind” over Xmas? )
So, what do I do now, I must find where the little buggers are getting in.
Found a small hole in the floorboards underneath the drawer units, fixed it and put some killer down for any mice that might be lurking around. I think to myself  “If it wasn’t the mouse droppings that killed the bird, what did?”. Still, that means the rest of the birds are safe now.
Now to clean up the mice dirts with the vacuum cleaner.
Do I ask my wife if I can use her new hoover?
I’m a brave sort of bloke.
“Diane, darling, guess what’s happened out in the aviary”
I explained the story with as much feeling that I could muster.
“So, do you think that I could use your hoover to cl”
“No,  -***/***///***”.
So you see, I still haven’t put any pairs down to breed and I wont do until I can get hold of a second-hand cleaner – probably next week, which will be the second week of January.
Happy Days.
I remain positive and look forward to 2002.
Or do I ?!
Happy New Year to you all.
Mike Chase