Thursday, October 29, 2009
Learning and Sharing - Brian Johansen
A highlight of the Cascade Canary & Finch Show was a Sunday seminar given by Brian Johansen on his trip to England for the International Gloster Breeders Association Show which benched over 1200 glosters. Brian stewarded at the show and was accompanied by Dustin Browne, also from BC Canada, who was one of the five judges.
To combat structural feather problems that have developed over the years, an emphasis has been placed on feather texture which comes from proper feather pairing of the breeding pair. Often we hear the term buff and assume that simply is referring to a lighter colored bird than the one called yellow. But in reality there are four characteristics of buff that include short or long and fine or coarse (broad) which need to be considered in selecting pairs so that offspring are the result of a balance between two parents of opposite feather types. Offspring produced with too long and broad feathering may develop lumps.
In addition to feather type, pencilling, although not part of the standard, is considered as when it is expressed throughout the bird to make the bird really stand out.
The second consideration is body size. A gloster is considered too long if its tail extended over the second show cage perch. Most birds exhibited were not judged to be too long. If your birds are too long, you can back up this problem by breeding in a shorter yellow feather bird into the line.
The winning gloster is likely to be a corona over a consort, with all of the above positive attributes plus it must have an excellent circular well-placed corona.
Often the winning show birds are for sale as the experienced winning breeders have all the ingredients to make a show bird from their stock birds which they expertly pair using their knowledge of using opposite feather traits to produce the show bird! For this reason, any breeder needs several pair to select the breeding pairs from so that they do not double up on one feather characteristic.
Brian appreciated the show organization which requires all birds to be preregistered and allows for the show manager to plan and divide the judging task among the judges. Any bird that is misclassified by the exhibitor is immediately disqualified but and experienced breeder will personal explain and educate the exhibitor after the judging is over on their classification mistake. When the show is over, all exhibitors help with the tear down and in addition, no birds are released to leave until all 50-70 exhibitors have their birds!
Brian also spent four days with notated breeder and judge, Robert Wright. Brian was amazed that his aviary had no feather dust! Robert mists his birds daily using a paint gun sprayer containing a quart of warm water with a squirt of a mixture containing Bay Rum - Hair Tonic (40%) and glycerin (60%). No bird is wet but all begin to preen making hand bathing for show unnecessary!
On Thursday before a show, he waters his birds with water with organic apple cider ( 5 ml to a quart). He also uses the poultry disinfectant, Vikron 1/2 tsp to a quart of water as a disinfectant for all cages.
Roberts aviary was clean and orderly as he uses a shed to store any equipment etc currently not in use. He also used a specially designed vertical perch that had a triangular peak beneath each bird that protected it from being hit by the above bird's dropping and caught the droppings for easy cleaning. This also prevented birds from picking on the one next to them on a regular perch.
Robert feeds canary, rape, and oat groat with niger and hemp finger drawer feedings 2 or 3 times a week. He does use vitamin E and feeds peas, carrot, apple, and egg food as a condition food two times a week.
I hope you know or will have the opportunity to get to know Brian! He is a totally dedicated fancier and is willing to readily share his knowledge! He actually got back from England the day before the Cascade show and came to help and even stewarded the type birds and shared this information with us even though physically he was suffering considerably with jet lag! Thanks so much Brian!!