September 8, 2020

Book Review: A Vision of the Perfect Yorkshire

 It has been a few years since the publication of a new canary book for serious canary breeders.  2020 will be The Year, with one valuable book already released, and a second coming this fall.

A Vision of the Perfect Yorkshire, by Stephen R Dominey & Robert Pepper, is for sale NOW and I have read my copy three times!

First:  this book is not for a pet canary owner looking for soft food recipes.
Second:  the book is specifically concerned with the Yorkshire canary.  However, anyone with a standard model for their type/breed will find the Yorkie Supreme BREEDING PLAN helpful.  For someone seriously beginning breeding work, the section on FOUNDATION provides guidance for selecting and purchasing the birds which will become the basis of your future birds.

Although I had read the basics of their plan from Steve's website, and have researched similar opinions, somehow, in some way, after I closed the back cover of this book.... I UNDERSTOOD. 
Instead of  "methods of pairing, pedigree charts and genetic inheritance tendencies" floating around my head, I had a clear picture of MY breeding plan for MY goals!  (More on my personal goals in a future blog post.)

The book begins with an introduction, stating the authors' purpose for writing the book:

     "... Our intention is to cover our breeding methods through the creation of a stud, together with our selection process which we trust will be of interest to both the newcomer and the experienced breeder of Yorkshire canaries and indeed we consider that our words can be carried to cover all varieties of type canaries.
     We are also pleased to touch upon some of our personal experiences within the fancy and give respect to some of those who have influenced our thinking over past decades. ...
     The production of top quality Yorkshires is a challenge but a challenge that is worthy of your best attention.  You will need a degree of patience and you will need to develop an eye for the breed.  The remainder we trust we can provide within these chapters. ..."

The book's dedication is to three breeders.  Their biographies explain how they earned their place at the beginning of this book.  The authors also include 'Memoirs':  of The Great Men, which they thank for their friendships, and The Great Birds, which they thank for the memories.  I appreciated these respectful tributes, as PROOF that excellent stock can be obtained, and MOTIVATION that hard, proper work with our birds has benefit.

I must admit that I felt sadness as I closed the book and looked at it sitting in my hands.  The book contained wisdom of the men gone from the hobby, and of men currently at the top within the Yorkie world.  As I saw it, a great deal of their purpose for the book was to prod those in the hobby to 'strive for greatness'.  The biographies of their mentors painted pictures of kindness, patience and generosity toward newcomers.  The book also points out common courtesies and gracious behavior toward other exhibitors/breeders at shows and contests.  In this social media age when 'Joining An Online Bird Group' has replaced 'Going to a Club Meeting', there are many things celebrated in this book I will never experience.  May this be a reminder for everyone reading, that the canary itself is the proper goal, not rosettes, monetary awards, or how many comments can be made to Facebook posts!

The book may be purchased directly from the authors:  🕮  Book Sales  🕮 
Steve's website also contains information about the Yorkie Supreme partnership and the enduring friendship of these two 'stockmen'.

I am looking forward to re-reading the advice of other successful breeders, with my new-found understanding!
There are many good, accurate and respected articles available online... on various topics that serious canary breeders may find useful.  The authors of these articles are knowledgeable and respected breeders, exhibitors, or judges of all types of canaries. I have listed the articles I found most interesting on the Canary Seeds List of Links page.  I have listed some of my favorite Canary Books, here.

Matt Eld, of The Canary Room, is also working on a book, with plans for publication later this year.  I can not wait for it's release!