I know it’s entitled Chasey’s budgies, however, I do enjoy writing, so my stories are not necessarily about them directly, but I do like to write about my experiences with these wonderful birds.
I write with a smile, nothing I write is too serious …………. but I will get onto my soapbox now and then.
This just to give you all a “heads-up” on the website. I’m continuously updating the site so keep you eyes on the update page to see what I’ve added or altered. I’ll change my mind on some issues, but I reckon that’s OK, as I don’t regard myself as one of these sort of people that do something and stick to it, regardless. It’s healthy to embrace change where necessary.
Also, a quick note about using the site. Each of the headings will contain some pictures and text, including those which have a drop-down menu – thought I’d let you know how I’ve set it out so that you don’t miss any of my boring chatter !
Just so that you don’t run away with the idea that I live in the idyllic place on the front page photo. I used to though, it’s a view over the valley where I lived with Diane for about 5 years. It is a very small village called Pla de Corralls.
I will just tell you politely, that I have purposely edited out any security arrangements I have installed inside and outside the Shed.
This is Me !
And it’s put you off already, I realise ……. but bite the bullet and continue ……. if you dare.
Where it all began …….. and where it’s led to
My first encounter with breeding budgies was in the early 1960’s when I was about 12 or 13 years old and lived in Basildon, Essex. My next-door neighbour started to breed budgies, so I joined in.
We belonged to the Basildon & District Cage and Aviary Society. I was colony breeding then in a very small, steel framed flight with a roosting area for the birds set into the roof. The whole thing only measured about 4ft x 3ft x 6ft high, as you can see in the old photo of me and it ! My first success in showing was Best Junior Young bird, it was a Normal Lt Green Cock, unfortunately, I didn’t breed it! I bought it from another Junior breeder just because I liked the look of it, the show came up and I entered it, just that one bird. When I went into the packed scout hut, I remember feeling quite embarrassed because the boy I bought it from came second place to me. I’m sure that one incident early on was to change my attitude towards showing. I believe very strongly that you should only show your own-bred birds, not ones that are purchased and put onto the showbench; I know some people do it and I can never understand why. Is it because they want or need a quick win to boost their ego, probably. I can’t think of another reason, can you? I only kept the budgies for about another year or so, I got side tracked, you see, other things came into my life – the female sex & football. My team is Tottenham Hotspur and I went over to White Hart Lane whenever I could afford to with my mates. Then played for Basildon Boys etc,etc.
My next dabble with these beautiful birds was in 1980, I lived in Tiptree, Essex. I remember that someone I knew had an aviary to give away, I thought this was a good enough excuse to start again, so I did, colony style again. As the months passed I gradually progressed and got rid of the colony style aviary. My new aviary was an outside flight about 8ft x 6ft bolted onto a 6 x 4 shed, fitted crudely inside with breeding cages. I didn’t bother to join any clubs in the area, can’t quite remember why. What I do remember is going to see Ken Gray, he was living in Tiptree at that time. What a great set-up he had then, and his birds were stunning. I also remember that he wouldn’t let me into one part of the aviary complex, it was obviously very secret! Nevertheless I couldn’t blame him, as he didn’t know me very well. I bought my birds from a guy in Heybridge, Maldon, his name escapes me at the moment, he was a friend of Geoff Murrells ( Colchester ).
Here’s an update …… After my article in The Budgerigar, Geoff phoned and reminded me that the guy was the lovely Alec Webb. Thanks to Simon Roberts who formed the beginner and Novice Exhibition Budgerigar Group o Facebook, who also contact me with the same info …. here’s a link to the group;
This all came to a sticky end when my aviary became infested with mice, and loosing birds left, right and centre. Not surprising really, because just over the back of my garden was a large production chicken shed which took 2 day old chicks and fed them up for the table. Oh well, there you go, kids were growing up fast so I spent even more time with them, so that was nice.
This passage is a bit heavy with text, the reason is that any photo’s that I have of these years are in boxes in the loft of our house – therefore when I make the effort to get up there and go through no-end of boxes and find these photo’s, you’ll just have to live with this as it is – sorry ……………. read on.
We moved to Costessey, Norwich, I needed to do something outside my of my work, I was becoming very intense, working, driving thousands of miles every month, meetings, budgets, targets. Work, work and more work, evenings and into the weekends. Good recipe for hospital, don’t you think?
The sales director asked me what I did in my spare time, I couldn’t give him an answer. He gave me the best piece of advice that I had come across for years;
“Get yourself a hobby and make time for yourself”.
I had a 7ft x 5ft shed that wasn’t being used for anything, so I insulated and converted the inside with a small 3ft x 5ft flight and 2 breeding cages along one side.There wasn’t enough space in there to swing my cat, Baldrick, around, I know ‘cause I tried it!, no, not really – I used next doors’ cat instead. I bolted on an outside flight 7ft x 6ft and put a roof on it, I was ready for the birds. No heat or lights in the shed, so it was quite cold for me to care for the birds, but they seemed to be OK though.
I didn’t know of anybody that bred birds in Norwich, even with the large cross section and volume of people that I was contacting through my job in sales, I thought this was rather strange as the hobby I left some 10 years previous looked in good shape.
I eventually got hold of some telephone numbers and started ringing some well-known budgie breeders in the area. Well, I was absolutely staggered at the negative response I received from the first 2 calls that I made, I will not go into details and will not name these people, it was extremely disheartening. I then rang Bert Parnell, what a lovely man, he invited me round to see his birds and would help me out to get started, brilliant, just what I wanted. We talked a lot about breeding and all of that sort of stuff, I came away with 10 birds; 6 youngsters and 2 breeding pairs. He let me have them for about £30 the lot. I set a pair down to breed, and they seemed happy enough without the luxury of heat or extended lighting and although I only managed to breed 4 chicks that October/ November, but I didn’t mind, all I wanted to do was to make sure I was doing the right thing, and I was, I got the budgie bug back.
That was back in 1995,I went back to Bert on many occasions for advice and more birds.
I could trace all of my successful lines back to the 2 cinnamon opaline sky blue cocks that were bred from PC719 birds.
I joined a local club, but was persuaded to join another soon after that.
I’m afraid to say that I did not feel completely comfortable at either club, both had some super people and were a pleasure to be with and chat to. Unfortunately I did not continue going to meetings because I believed that the support for Beginners was not there. Again, I do not think this is the right medium to criticize and go into too much detail. However, my belief was that unless beginners had deep pockets at those clubs, and I didn’t at the time, they were not truly encouraged to go forward. Since I’ve been back in the UK I’ve taken a look at various breeders websites and by the look of it things have changed for the better. Although the birds have changed beyond all recognition, but that’s another subject close to my heart and is for another page.