Breeders of the UK

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Buyers Guide

Before You Buy

Before you rush out and buy any birds, take some time to evaluate both what you want, be it simply a couple of birds to keep as pets in the house or do you really want to go the whole nine yards and and set up a breeding facility and possibly show your birds. Second you gota ask yourself do you have the time?

My first venture into birdkeeping was a little unprepared to see the least, given I was only 12 or something I simply put this down to experiance. Back then then was no www. so sourcing information was difficult, you had to rely on the Library, other breeders or trial and error. There is no excuse these days for being ill informed! Hopefully between us and the rest of the excellent web sites out there you guys can make a more informed decision when it comes to "Taking The Plunge"

I don't want to put anyone off the hobby of birdkeeping, far from it! I have had many hours of enjoyment from both keeping and breeding birds, I just want to help make sure you get the most from your hobby with as few bumps in the road as possible, bumps which are inevitable.

Here are a list of questions I would ask yourself before making your first purchase;

  • Do I have the cash to really set up how I want? Even a single Gouldian with cage and all the other basic requirements can cost between £100 and £150 just to set up. Then you have the feed, conditioners, medication, potential Vet bills and depending on your location, heating and lighting costs. If it's a Birdroom you want, then potentially your talking a whole lot more, even my modest 10ft x 8ft set up has cost me between £2500 and £3000. Now there are short cuts that can be made but make them wisely, with Gouldians, mistakes can often be fatal.

  • Do I have the time? After the financial commitments, time is going to be another one you must consider, even a single bird housed in a cage at home is going to require daily cleaning, changing of water, preparing and topping up of feed and a basic visual inspection of your bird. Followed by what I call a monthly deep clean where every surface is given a wash and disinfected.

  • Who will care for your birds in your absence? Holidays, work trips and simple family commitments can all mean you can't be there to give your birds the basic daily care they need, who will fill this void, family and friends are always a good starting point, then ther is the 'Buddy System' where by you return the favour for someone. Just make sure who ever you choose they have the necessary knowledge.

  • Do you have understanding Neighbours? Keeping birds, particularly outdoors can be an annoyance to some people. Gouldians aren't too loud in comparison to some birds such as Budgies, Cockatiels and even Zebra Finches but it still pays to have the discussion with your immediate Neighbours, out of courtesy if nothing else.

  • Do you or anyone in your immediate family have dust allergies? All birds create dust, again some more than others, the most common reaction that some people may experience in the presence of feathers is allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. Other possible feather allergy symptoms can include sneezing, coughing, sore throat, postnasal drip, watery and itchy eyes, and even black circles under the eyes, which are known as allergic shiners. In extreme cases, reactions can escalate to breathing difficulties, reduced lung capacity and weight loss. If your reactions are that severe, you should perhaps choose another hobby and probably avoid contact with birds all together.

Health and Well Being

Fabulous line up of healthy young Normal Gouldians, alert, bright eyed, good shape, not too broad, not too thin with a nice tight plumage.

I can't remember which breeder I got this picture from but they should be very proud of this line up and obviously breeding for show.

I think it would be fair to say that over time most, but not all breeds have gradually improved on the natural form found in the wild, for me in the case of Gouldians Finches natural is still best. If you had to design a pretty bird how could you improve on this, personal preference I know. In fairness though I have yet to see an ugly Gouldian.

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