The Old Variety Canary Association Presents “Perfectly Parisian”, the first of an annual educational seminar presented at the National Cage Bird Show.
Parisian Frill - The Master of Beauty and Feather by Dr. Mac Saedi
The Parisian Frill, one of the largest canaries with an abundance of frill, goes back into the 18th century in a small town around Paris France. A small group of French breeders met and established a club which after much hard work and more than five decades later resulted in the first Parisian Frill Standard in early 1900. The current C.O.M. standard was adopted in 1978. Even though the breed was created in France, today the popularity and production of high quality Parisian Frill is far superior in Italy.
Parisian Frill Standard
In general the morphology of the bird is a set of three fundamental parts, head, trunk and tail. All three parts need to match one another and be proportionate and symmetric. For example, a large head on a bird with a modest tail, or vice-versa, makes it not proportional. Similarly a very large bulky body with a short tail is not proportional and does not look proper.
This color drawing model is useful in distinguishing the separation, pattern, and location of each particular curl.
Breast of Jabot or Craw: On Parisians the abdomen ought to appear as one large curl, as if the breast covers the entire ventral area, naturally, the feathers covering the chest are always tighter than that covering the abdomen with no opening or separation. Also, the feathers should be symmetrical and full. In a bulky Jabot a level furrow ought to be visible to correspond to the sternal section which gives the clean ideal of a “double” breast. Such a furrow is considered to be an excellent characteristic.
Side or Flank: Side feathers must be bulky and long, very symmetrical, also curled toward the higher position of the back as far as the shoulder, and curved toward the back. So in birds with a heavy plumage it is noticed that the anterior part has a tendency to open. There should not be any separation between fin and trunk. They should give the illusion of feathers connected together as one piece.
Head and Neck: The feathers should adhere together, which gives the bird a very bulky head. It is important that there not be any separation between the head and neck feathers. The feathers of the head, neck and cheeks make different shapes.
Calotte or Helmet: It is composed of plumage that arises from the central area of the top of the head, and then falls down toward the sides as far as to cover the eye forming a skull cap. There should not be any separations on the helmet. If there is too much soft feather it could cause a separation on the helmet. Also, feathers on the head might form a different shape. More likely if all the feathers fall on one side, called a simple head top, double or symmetrical. This feather is divided to both sides of the head.
Wings: Should be close to the body, not crossing each other, and end at the top of the tail with no drooping.
Feet and Legs: The thighs should be completely covered with feathers so that no skin is visible. The feet should have a long curled nail. This is a sign of strength as it is necessary for the toe to be very strong for good standing and balance on the perch. A weaker toe will result in problems standing tall. The young bird nail needs to show clear sign of curvature.
Tail: The tail must be complete, straight, and with cock feathers. The cock feathers are a set of long feathers which hang on both sides of the tail. Very long cock feathers unbalance the bird. Strong tail feathers are another sign of strength. End of the tail should be square and tight, also in line with the trunk, no angulations between tail and trunk.
Mantle: The feathers of the back are called the Mantle. The mantle should fall symmetrically from the central parting over each shoulder, the feathers being long and broad, giving the appearance of extra width across the shoulders. The mantle should extend well down the back and end above the rump. At the end is a bouquet or rosette of feathers. The bouquet is another sign of a superior bird as it is always difficult to produce a bouquet on Parisian Frill. This is easy to achieve on a Northern Frill where it is a fault.
General Condition: The bird should be level, clean and in good health. To improve feather quality, bath water should be supplied as often as possible and contain one teaspoon Listerine per gallon of water. Healthy birds are achieved through controlling parasites, mites, lice and other pests which may be present in a bird room. This is especially important during the hot, muggy months of summer.
Defects: The size of Parisians should be not less than eight inches long or nineteen centimeters. It is very important that the bird stand erect, fierce, lively and mostly the head, trunk and tail must be in line approximately 50 degree angle while standing.
There are two common defects. First, A - visible horizontal angulation less than 50 degrees and B – tail not lying in line with the trunk, mostly hanging down, (Robin Tail). The first mentioned defect is known by the expression “frog like appearance”. This is more common in giant size birds. The problem could depend on the weakness of the claws or from the rigidness of the posterior claw, (The English Slip Claw). It is recommended to pay close attention to this problem because it would be automatic disqualification. This problem occurs when the bird remains in horizontal position and has the inferior claws so flexible and weak, that the stomach leans on the perch. The problem is frequently common in birds raised individually in a nest or raised in cold climates. This problem also contributes to automatic disqualification because it does not represent the typical characteristic of the Parisian Frill as it is safe to say that this problem is not a genetic defect. By using small diameter perches, the English Slip Claw could be corrected. Some fanciers prefer to tape the claw up to the leg. These methods most of the time will correct the problem.
The second defect is also common in the large bird and is noticeable because of the angulations between the trunk and tail therefore, the trunk is insufficiently erect. This is in part due to the heavy tail and lack of strength of the tail muscle. This problem is hard to cure. Using a flight cage for a period of time may improve the problem somewhat, but will not cure it because it is a genetic problem.
Diet: This is the most important for a bird in captivity. Sufficient diet for different times of year should be provided. Diet must contain and be balanced with proteins, fats, minerals, carbohydrates, vitamins, trace elements and water. The breeder must avoid protein toxicity which causes infertility.
Breeding: Pairing the birds, the breeder must: 1) know the origin of both male and female, 2) know if any fault exists with any one of them, 3) study them carefully before pairing them in order to assure that one is not repeating and reproducing the same fault again.
Another factor is the type of feather. Choosing the right feather is essential to produce good curls. There are three types of different feather in existence: A – soft or non-intensive, B – medium soft feather (which is intermediate between yellow and buff), C – intensive or hard feather. The best match is pairing soft feather to hard feather. It is a mistake to repeatedly pair soft feather to soft feather as this will cause the feather to become loose. The curly frill becomes indistinct and the fins will slope excessively and mingle with the breast curls. Also it is a mistake to pair clear hard feather to clear hard feather as the young will lose size, feather quality and texture.
Additional Tips: Use a minimum of 15 hours for breeding. Wean chicks at 30 days. Introduce show cages when youngsters are 2 or 3 months old.
1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
2 cups baby cereal (rice or mixed)
4 Tablespoon wheat germ
2 cups plain bread crumbs
1 teaspoon iodized salt
1/4 cup fructose
Mix all of the above well and keep in refrigerator.
Mix one grated hardboiled egg to two tablespoons of the baby food mix.
Thank you Dr. Saedi for a very informative seminar and for permission to post a summary of your lecture on this blog.