Monday, July 6, 2009

Preschool - Off Season Early Show Training

Learning When to Eat and When to Show Their Stuff - First Principle

Now that I have turned off all artificial lights, it is time to begin preparing my birds for the Oct/Nov/Dec show season. Perhaps it seems a little early to you but there are real benefits to making show behavior as natural for the birds as possible.

The first show training principle is to always feed in dim lighting. It is so tempting to want to come in the aviary turn on all the bright lights and feed our birds. But what are you teaching the birds to expect? That when the lights come on bright, it is time to eat!

Certainly, moving to the show bench, whether type, color or song involves going from dimmer light to brighter lighting and when that happens we expect the birds to show their stuff or even sing! No points, in any category are awarded for eating seed off the floor or looking for seed in empty cups!!

It is fine to give the birds short mini doses of bright light under similar bright show lighting but do it after they have eaten their fill in dim lighting! For all my birds, whether Rollers, Borders, Staffords, or Colorbred, I use 10 minutes maximum of bright lighting at different times of day once daily now and up to three times when we reach a month before show season starts.

Regardless of the type of bird that I am judging, whether it is type, color or song, it is surprising how many show birds have been trained to expect to be fed when they are set before me! Sorry birds, it's my husband and not me who is the phenomenal cook!

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