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Thread: breeding english and american?

  1. #16
    Hormonal
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    Re: breeding english and american?

    i asked the same question of the breeder who sold me two english budgies...he said that its ok but the birds would be smaller
    i think its a shame to do so ...but if it happened i guess u just hope for healthy lovely birds
    the breeders are doing so much to keep up size and standards..id leave it to them
    accidents do happen ...so im not one to judge really

  2. #17
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    Re: breeding english and american?

    thanks for your help. a breeder told me that the male wouldnt be able to mate with an english budgie but i can now clearly see that its not true crystal is so cute

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    Re: breeding english and american?

    Were did the term "american budgie" come from? if so is this a true sub species if budgie?
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    Re: breeding english and american?

    As was said a bit earlier there is ONLY one species of Budgerigar. They go by different names...American, Wild Type, Bush budgies, English or Exhibition budgies. All of these birds come from the wild budgies of Australia.

    The English budgie/Exhibition Budgie has been bred in captivity for over 200 years. Through controlled breeding they have achieved a different look and larger size to their wild cousins. Everything that makes an English budgie/Exhibition budgie is a recessive trait, size being the #1 factor. For this very reason exhibition budgies can NOT be colony bred AND be expected to maintain the larger size generation after generation. This again is the reason there are fewer English/Exhibition budgies on the pet market.

    Just before WWI started when bird breeders in England knew war was eminent they contacted people in the U.S. and begged them to take much of the English budgie stock. "Parakeets" were not popular pets back then and the offer was refused. A few bird breeders started stock piling grain in different areas so if one area got bombed they would still have a stock pile of more seed. At the same time a hand full of the best breeders of exhibition birds got together and decided grain shortages would become a huge problem. The decided that only 100 bird would be slated to survive this war and the others would be released. They had the hard decision to go through the best aviaries and picking the best 100 birds for this project. One mutation that was lost to us was the solid black budgie. This is not the Anthracite we have today, but it was a pure black bird. The 100 birds were broken up into small groups and redistributed to different aviaries across England in hops that if one or two got bombed the others would survive. Grain shortages became so bad that the birds were put into small cages and the seeds were counted out for what each bird was allowed to eat. Son's of these breeders who were on the fighting lines when they came across any grain they would packaged it up in 1 or 2 pound bags and send it back home with who ever was going on leave.

    The English budgies we have today all go back to those 100 birds.

    A new trend of budgie breeding has really taken off in the last 15- 20 years, bird mill breeding. It functions along the same lines as puppy mill breeding. The #1 goal is to product as many animals with the least cost possible and sell in bulk usually around $2/a bird. Feed wise we are talking about a white millet and water diet. These birds are bred year round with no down time - bred to death. Exhausted birds produce inferior offspring - smaller chicks with more health problems. These facilities will restock from within their own breeding program. Now they using the smaller young birds to bred to exhaustion. Those results are the same making even smaller offspring. The "American" pet type budgie in many areas now rivals the size of finches.

    So you ask how does one correct for this problem. It's simple you add English/Exhibition stock to the dinky American/pet stock. The term breeding up / breeding down depends upon what side of the hobby fence you are looking in at the situation. If you breeding for exhibition and you mix "American"/pet bird stock into the line - then you would be breeding down, your chicks will be smaller. However if you are trying to correct the damage done by bird mill breeding and are in the pet market industry mixing English/exhibition stock into your breeding programs would be breeding up.

    It is recommended put English/exhibition cocks to American/pet type hens. Why?

    #1 Good cocks are more plentiful. There is a saying in the exhibition world...you must produce your own GOOD hens, because no one will sell theirs.

    #2 American/pet stock hens retain fertility MUCH longer than English hens.

    What about health issues? In today's market I think both the pets and the exhibition birds are in the same boat. All you can do is KNOW your breeding stock and those you use for outcrosses. There are blood lines on both sides of this fence that are more likely to produce tumors as well as ingrown feathers.

    When you purchase English stock ASK for the pedigree on the birds. Most exhibition breeder keep these records, but only provide them when asked. From the pedigrees you will know what colors and mutations these birds carry. The band information will give you the breeder's code so you can look up what aviaries the historical birds came from.

    Where do you find English budgies. Go through the exhibition societies, not through a pet store. Pet stores are notoriously cheep at what they will pay for livestock. Many times bottom rung birds are sold at this venue. The price you would pay at a pet store you could pay that same amount and get 2 or 3x better quality bird if you went though a breeder.

    Where do you go to try and locate breeders? In the U.S. there are 2 national societies. Contact the membership secretaries for help.

    Budgerigar Association of America (the BAA) http://www.budgeirgarassociation.com

    American Budgerigar Society (ABS) www.abs1.org

    For other countries I would follow the links on Budgerigar World's web site. http://www.budgerigarworld.com

  5. #20
    Think before typing Tailfeather
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    Re: breeding english and american?

    Wow, that's a really cool article... Really crazy to think that ALL English Budgies are from only 100 birds... do they seem to have some health problems because of this?

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    Re: breeding english and american?

    Wow thankyou for all the information! great read.
    QUAKER
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    Re: breeding english and american?

    Quote Originally Posted by mighty mouse View Post
    Wow, that's a really cool article... Really crazy to think that ALL English Budgies are from only 100 birds... do they seem to have some health problems because of this?
    I would imagine that's why they don't live as long.

  8. #23
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    Re: breeding english and american?

    Why do Exhibition budgies seem to have problems and a shorter life.

    I think a lot has to do with the birds all coming from a small family pool of 100.
    Also some breeders tend to do a lot of line breeding especially when trying to encourage what might be a new mutation. Long time line breeding encodes traits one is looking for as well as the bad ones. Also have you ever looked at dogs and how long they live? The larger breeds like Great Danes, Rotties etc. only have a life span of about 8 years where the small dogs can live well into their teens or a bit longer. Before bird mill breeding the American/pet budgie could live 12 to 15 yrs. An old English budgie today is 8 yrs old and the bird mill bred birds I think are living about the same time line as well. Pet stores are delighted by this because that means customers will be back sooner to replace the family budgie. I had a pet store owner tell me that to my face as I was trying to sell him my well bred, healthier, larger, $5 American budgies. That was when I quite breeding these birds and started to switch over to English. I did have customers call and request chicks and only at that time did I let these smaller birds produce. In the mean time they went to work as foster parents raising my English.

  9. #24
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    Re: breeding english and american?

    I have to say english are my favourite. I have two male budgies Bluie (English Violet spangle) and Azzie (Green and yellow American). Im planing on getting two females. Dont know yet wether ill get english or american or 1 of both.

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