September 8, 2020

I Learned Something Very Important .... So Exciting!

ALL my young birds look so nice!
The problem:  since I cannot keep them all,
how do I choose which ones to save for my future plans?
Last year's breeding season was a good one.
This year's season has been a GREAT one!
Last year increased the number of birds in each family line.
This year, I was able to make up pairs within and between the three families.
I PROVED the VALUE of a male which I have loved for 6 years.  He is getting older, and while I am hoping to keep him in good health for one more year, I have some great sons and daughters, plus grandsons and granddaughters. With the Important Things I recently learned, I discovered he has been my 'foundation cock', and I didn't even realize it!
(He was ASC closed banded as a chick, but I removed the band
as a precaution three years ago after losing several favorites to a faulty cage!)
In years past, I have read about genetics, buying good stock, pairing and selection of birds for the next breeding season.  I knew I had important things to learn.  I had the WORDS which 'great stock-men' had written.  What I did not have was a clear idea of the WHY behind the RULES, and only a foggy vision of HOW to use them to reach my idea of the perfect canary!
 I was paying too much attention to PEDIGREE.  I was not honestly  SELECTING, and buying too many new birds while ignoring the FOUNDATION birds that were already my favorites in my own bird room!

This fall, I purchased a new book A Vision of the Perfect Yorkshire, by Stephen R. Dominey and Robert Pepper, which make up the Yorkie Supreme team.  I have included a full book review, here.
Somehow, this book made some important things click in my head!

I had read many good articles, written by respected knowledgeable canary breeders, including American Singer breeders.  I could recite the basic guidelines for breeding and training song birds, but 'really UNDERSTANDING' how to use those guidelines to reach my specific goals was hard for me to put down on paper!
After reading this book, and looking at all my past hatch records, I am so excited!
I have a very clear idea of what to do next!  So exciting! 

I repeat:  I was paying too much attention to PEDIGREE.  I was not honestly SELECTING, and buying too many new birds while ignoring the FOUNDATION birds that were already my favorites in my own bird room!

👇 Read the end of this post;  I will list my plans/results from last year and this year. 

👉 Last winter, I studied my past hatch records, comparing the different 'families' of the American Singers and opals/agates. 

The first objective was easy:  Do not bred birds based on pedigree only.  I eliminated two hens that were poor mothers ( I do believe parenting traits are inherited from either parents!).  I also moved out several hens that did not produce chicks of the quality I am looking for.
The next step was also easy:  Newly purchased 'out-cross' birds were paired with each other and a small number of my birds.  I had a rule of not mixing in their blood to my established families until I clearly see what qualities they have.
The last step made me hesitate:  How to best pair my best birds?  I have read all the methods used by song, type and color breeders.  I decided to pair 'best to best', approximately within families.  I also decided to NOT repeat pairings that had not performed well in years past.

👉 This year, I paired within families... to 'save' the bloodlines of my best birds and to increase the number of birds in each family.
After looking over all the youngsters produced in 2019 and 2020, I gained two very important things!
1)  I am satisfied the birds I thought were the best ARE actually the best.
2)  I had thought to slowly introduce the new bloodlines... of which I am now grateful I did not mix them in too much!  The adults of the newer bloodlines gave an idea what they can produce.  One family will be eliminated from my bird room, and another family will be tested one more time next year, before I make the final decision to retain them or to let them go.

The past two years of pairing has proven I was correct in my assessment of several bloodlines in my bird room..... and I now have a very clear path to higher quality birds in the years ahead.  Oh, what a great feeling!  I am happy that the youngsters produced this year, and last year will provide the stock I need to get the results I am looking for in my forward plans!
👉 Next year,  I will follow a breeding plan following the guidelines of the Yorkie Supreme breeding plan!  I am in the process of selecting the youngsters I will soon be keeping to use for the next several years.  Their photos will be included in a new video with news of everything in my bird room --- coming this weekend!