Welcome to Chasey’s budgies
BS Ring Nos. C 5328 & MIKE 5
Welcome to my website, please enjoy the wonderful hobby of keeping Budgerigars. You can contact me via my contact page or email
BREAKING NEWS FROM CHASEY
BREAKING NEWS FROM CHASEY
Well people, the time has come for me to shut the door on Exhibition Budgerigars, my love for these beautiful birds has diminished in their current form. I can appreciate the birds but, as I have said many times on forums and media pages, that I don’t actually like the modern budgerigar, so why should I breed, keep and spend many hours of the week on something that I don’t like?
Please don’t run away with the idea that this article is going to be full of moans and groans, it’s not meant to read like that – I am a very positive person by the way. I want it to be read as a constructive look at a few of my views on my reasoning behind my decision …. I can’t list all of my reckonings because it might get too boring for the reader and slowly decline into a feeling that I have an axe to grind. Well I suppose I have in many ways, I’ll leave that up to you to decide eh ?
I have many friends that are Champion breeders, Intermediate, Novice showmen and I like to see their birds, but now, that’s where my idea of an exhibition budgerigar has been brought to a halt and I can see no further or prospect for me with this type of bird.
Many hobbyists will have seen that I have been very outspoken regarding many aspects of the budgerigar features over the past 10 years, so this will come as no surprise to some … especially my good mate, Jon Ashby – bad luck in the elections mate, I know it was a toughie for you.
I have always written what I consider to be constructively about budgerigars and maybe I say what many breeders are thinking but never put their heads above the proverbial parapet. I’ve had a few knocks for that, also one or two heated words and we decided to agree to disagree on some aspects. Maybe I have gone in with the sledgehammer when a feather-duster touch might have been the way, but that me and it’s probably a pent-up attitude that has festered in my mind for some 10 years or so. I don’t like beating around the bush and if a subject is there to be shot at, I will give it both barrels – at least people know where I stand and there is no hidden agenda from me.
Just a bit of history and background about me and my love of the hobby;
Me and my wife retired and I left the hobby, that I had been very active for most of my life, in 2002 to move abroad to sunny Spain, the budgerigar was beginning to change features for the better then I have to say, but by the time I returned to the UK and rekindled my love of the budgerigar in 2012 it had changed beyond all recognition. The head features had become massive and less defined, along with feathers, and with colourings as well. Yellow feather type budgies were almost regarded as pets, but I went along with it and spent a lot of my pensionable money on building an aviary and breeding room.
I am a progressive individual on most things, but this was one where I couldn’t get my head around it. Even the thinking of breeders had changed and I was, and still am, baffled by well known exhibitors publishing photos on facebook sites etc, of heavily fleck headed birds which cause adoring comments of how other breeders would love to own that bird ….. perplexed with these comments I knew if I added my distain for the bird I would have been cut to pieces, so I stayed quiet – I wouldn’t have that bird in my aviary and I certainly wouldn’t breed with it.
My thought process being that flecking is one of many scourges within breeding our beautiful bird, all you do is mask the problem by pairing it to an Ino or similar, or a clean opposite sex. The chicks might be fine but what about further down the line? It must reappear at some point and the major fault shows its head, as it were – before we know it, every generation of that pairing will be carrying that flecking and it becomes a part of the birds DNA (possibly) and we see flecked birds all over the aviary and control is definitely lost in my book. So bottom line is that I did not keep any bird with flecking in recent years.
Similarly, I love to see a good Opaline, the feather markings are crucial to this mutation and especially for me, the saddle or mantle on the back. It has to be defined, unfortunately over the years it has disappeared to hardly anything and the resulting feathering is almost that of a Normal. Yes of course there are exceptions and my good friend Andy Edden has bred some very nicely marked, in fact he has a knack of breeding well marked Opalines which I always admired. (Commiserations on not being voted onto the BSGC mate, you put in a lot of hours to put your case.)
Even so-called top breeders and exhibitors, admire award winning Opalines that they show photos of, lack that vital ingredient, but seem to ignore it and accept that it is the way the exhibition bird has progressed – utter rubbish opinions in my view.
A part of the BS specification describes the back of an Opaline as follows;
“ an even depth of colour throughout including V area (saddle or mantle) where undulations at the back of the head should cease thus leaving a clear V effect between the top of the wings.”
I rest my case!
I used to love showing back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s, in spite of this, my enthusiasm for showing over the last 5 years or so has also petered out. The type of budgerigar that I am breeding does not cut the mustard on the show bench, I know this, so what’s the point of the hours of preparation on the birds just to come home with minimal winning dots or certificates?
I have been complimented many times on my style of budgerigar, usually quite tight, intermediate feathers, nice stance, no flecking, spots are well defined but not oversized. The head is not extreme but looks comfortable on the bird, if that makes any sense?, and most of all it can see and fly, my birds no not waddle around on the floor looking like a comedy sketch. I encourage my birds to fly by having the feeding station on a table so the birds have to fly in order to feed and drink.
I have a comparatively large covered outside flight where the birds get plenty of fresh air – we back onto a farmer’s field – and plenty of rain as well to help with the feather quality.
I have been recently watching my beautiful birds when I’ve been in the garden and there is no doubt that they are gorgeous to observe, in spite of this, the disappointment of pairings failing to breed, producing clear or addled eggs and seeing what appear to be healthy chicks of all ages are found that they have met their maker for no apparent reason – that is the tough thing for me if I were to be completely frank about it. I realise that it is all a part of the hobby and indeed any livestock, nevertheless, the disappointment over the many decades have added to my verdict. Many will say that my plan is a weak one, and you could be right, but what we have to realise is that it is a hobby after all and nothing greater than that. The great Bill Shankly said once; football is not about life or death, it’s more important than that. Well my idea of a hobby is that it’s not worth losing sleep over.
I think that the final nail in the coffin for me was the result of the recent elections held by the Budgerigar Society. There were many candidates that have the progression of the hobby as a paramount importance if it were to survive in coming decades, unfortunately, the blinkered BS members voted for the status quo, and not one progressive candidate received a place on the Council – a retrograde step for the hobby in all honesty and it has been put back by a decade when it was out of date then anyway. I do not want to be a part of a dead duck.
I do not regard myself as an armchair critic, I can clarify this by reminding you that I decided before the previous BS elections to put myself forward as a candidate – the negative comments flooded in, and I won’t go into too much detail, just to say that when I introduced myself to a prominent exhibitor/showman, I got the immediate response; “Ah, you’re the trouble maker” – that hurt. What I have always wanted, is a hobby that is progressive and of which I can be proud to belonging to. I don’t believe in a candidate that can show that they belong to this committee, that committee, is an ideal candidate, it doesn’t wash with me. Look what has happened to the hobby over recent years, it has been steered by these types of Councillors. I believe in life skills are the order of the day. Anyway I decided to throw in the towel because of many reasons … and even got shot at for that decision !
Anyway, I said that this wasn’t going to be a negative piece and I’ve gone wrong again.
So, where to now?
I haven’t made my mind up just yet ….. but I’ll pop up somewhere no doubt.