January - AGM February - Ken Fagan March - Malcolm Freemantle Quiz & 1 on 1 with Tony Cash April - Gerald Binks
May - Young Stock Show June - Ron Payne July - Judging Competition August - Barbeque
Maurice Roberts Members Show 2008 November Social  

Social Evening

Our social evening went very well and you all helped to make a total of 290.00 on the evening (225 bring & buy, 50 raffle, 15 donation). Well done to everyone, as we made enough funds to cover the cost of the hall for 2009.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and thanks to Ricky Watts our auctioneer.

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday 30th January at 7.45pm for our AGM.  Please ring me if you cannot make it and I will offer your apologies to the meeting.

I need you all to support the AGM, as it’s your chance to have a say and make a difference!

Also, please give some thought to Northdowns BS holding an open show again as this is one question that I am being continually asked by our members and others in the hobby! I will endeavour to do some budget costs regarding running a show, ready for the AGM.

Congratulations to Will & Helena Bien on winning the Northdowns award for best intermediate bird at the Southern Classic on Sunday 31st August.

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year.

Members Show October 2008

The Show was well supported and with 69 birds exhibited and everybody helping it made an enjoyable day for all.
Thank you to all who took the time to bring birds to our members show; it was nice to see so many of you. One new member signed up on the day, Alec Whitman from Twyford, and it was also nice to see Geoff Dell and his proposed new partner, Jeff Plumber, who will be rejoining us in the New Year.

After being booked in the birds were placed on the staging by all of our helpers under the guidance of our show manager John Gorrell (It was great). 
Our judge for the day was Gerald Binks, who gave a running evaluation whilst judging and also asked a beginner to step up and judge a class and explain the reasons for his choices. Gerald explained the problems with the birds that were just ‘that bit out’ of condition and also with some that had ticking on the crown, which was why they were penalised as a fault. That aside, the best bird won on the day and it was in lovely condition. We thank Gerald very much for his consideration to all the attendant new members and for the way he explained the faults and positioning of birds.

We had a ploughman’s lunch after the section judging.

The Major Awards were made after lunch - see award sheet.

Best in Show & Best Young Bird John Harvey

Best Any Age In Show
John Harvey

Best Novice Any Age
Brian Mansell

Best Champion
Gorrell & Cash

All in all we had a very good day, with everyone helping at some stage for which I would like to thank you all again.

Thanks to our Chairperson for providing & donating all refreshments and to Gerald for not charging any expenses.


BEST BUDGERIGAR IN SHOW - Presidents Salva & Rosette John Harvey BEST ANY AGE IN SHOW - The Bristol Shield & Rosette John Harvey
BEST YOUNG BIRD IN SHOW - The America Shield & Rosette John Harvey BEST OPPOSITE SEX ANY AGE - The Marchbank Trophy & Rosette John Harvey
BEST OPPOSITE SEX YOUNG BIRD - The G.Dell Cup & Rosette  Jackie Fox BEST CHAMPION BIRD - The Willow Trophy Gorrell & Cash
BEST BEGINNER BIRD                                             The Lynam Trophy Clive Mayers BEST BEGINNER ANY AGE Clive Mayers
BEST BEGINNER YOUNG BIRD Clive Mayers BEST RED EYE- George Choules Trophy Jackie Fox
BEST LUTINO    Plate & Rosette Jackie Fox Show Points Winner - The Wishing Well Trophy John Harvey

Maurice Roberts - September 2008

With Rodney Harris having to call off at the last minute for personal reasons we were very fortunate to get Maurice Roberts from Redruth in Cornwall to step in and entertain us for the evening.

Before he was introduced I informed the meeting about the members show & paper work in hall and the responsibility’s / duties of members on the day that they agreed to at the A.G.M.

Chris Angus-Smith then gave the apologies and introduced our speaker Maurice Roberts.

Maurice gave a bit of background about himself and said as a youngster he applied for the police force but put on his medical questionnaire that he had a bad back so was consequentially turned down.

He met Geoff Attwood, who was in the fire service and suggested that he apply for that instead, which he did with no mention of his bad back! He has been there ever since and has built up a very responsible and rewarding career, which he loves.

Maurice went on to say that when he started out he knew very little about birds and, even after 40 years, he is still learning.

He said he was very fortunate to be involved with Geoff Attwood and Mrs Moss in his early days and was often called upon to drive her to shows. Listening to and talking to them both gave him great insight into keeping birds.

Maurice then asked the beginners in the audience for items to be discussed and the subjects that people put forward were French moult, going light and basic genetics, which were discussed throughout the evening.

Maurice went on to talk about his birds, especially the pied that he had won with at the Truro show (which benched over 900 birds and is the second largest show in the country now), beating some of the top names. He talked about foundation stock and the fact that people do not need to pay a fortune for birds when they can get the brothers and sisters of a good bloodline to produce quality birds. He cited a case of Hale and Davis from Wales, who won the BS Club Show with a sky blue that had been bred from lesser birds but all related to those of Jo Mannes.

He said he has a variety of different mixtures of soft food and said not to be frightened to give the birds a change, i.e. carrot, beetroot, buckwheat and mung beans, mixed in with egg food (Witte Molen). Maurice said he prefers to use Versa Laga seeds and grit in preference to others. He uses traditional wooden breeding units but with plastic nest boxes with wooden concaves and not wire cages like he used to use. When he eventually retires he will revamp his birdroom completely and make it easier and less stressful to maintain.

Maurice has judged bird shows all around the world and is a life member of all area societies, which is a rarity. In three weeks time he will be going to Pakistan to judge.

Maurice ended the evening by talking about diseases and the fact that he believes French moult is a virus, which can be eradicated with good disinfectation of the bird room and by individually dipping each bird in a solution of Vircon ‘S’ and repeating it six weeks later. This was originally done by a breeder in Ireland who had suffered from French moult for five years and has not had any sign of it since.

The evening ended with a questions and answers session, which all enjoyed.

August 2008 - Barbeque

There was no meeting in August, but an aviary visit & BBQ was held at Tony & Barbara’s in Fareham (34) present. Luckily, the weather held out for us all; it came over a bit cloudy a couple of hours prior to the barbecue starting and then the sun ‘put his hat on’.

There was plenty of food, drink and ‘budgie’ talk. Chris Angus Smith presented Barbara with a beautiful bouquet of flowers on behalf of the Northdowns BS and both she and Gerald Binks, our President, thanked Tony and Barbara for hosting the event. The last guests left at about seven o’clock.

Barbara and Tony would like to thank everyone for traveling down on Saturday; they had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and sincerely hope that everyone else did

July 2008 - Judging Competition

The meeting was called to order and our Chairperson welcomed everyone. Tony then asked for names for the aviary visit and BBQ in August at his house. (Please let me know if coming?)


Apologies were received from John & Stella Harvey and Mick Freeborn. Mick was going to judge this evening but was not feeling to good. Tony told the meeting that Ricky Watts had been taken back into hospital again with same infection and he would keep all updated on situation                      


With the birds benched it was the task of the chairperson, Chris Angus-Smith, to judge the pairings assisted by Julie Hutchins. Whilst the members watched you could hear light conversation in the background about all sorts of topics and who did this and that etc. Once the judging had finished the rest of us had to try and place them in order as best pairings to breed from and were marked to see who came closest to the judges order /selection.


The winner of the competition was Tony Cash with Ken Sackley 2nd and Stephen Pearce 3rd (New member with his Dad Adrian)


A general discussion on various birds continued, as there were all sorts there, from buffs to yellow feathered and flecked birds.

(Bio security was maintained, although the turnout was disappointing) 

Our thanks to all that helped with the evening (You know who I mean)

June 2008 - Ron Payne

The meeting was opened with apologies from Julia & Richard Hutchins and (by email) Gerald Binks and Ted Fitzjohn and his wife (Ted is still very ill with a chest infection). Our Chairperson then welcomed Terry Mulley, a new member, and then our speaker for the evening, Ron Payne.

Ron started with a tribute to a very good friend, Marion Wixon, who sadly passed away last Friday, 20th June. He said she would be sadly missed by everyone, as she was one of the great ‘workers’ in the hobby. He then gave a brief history of how and where he started keeping budgerigars about 32 years ago in Lowestoft. He said he was fortunate to be left 20% of a stud of birds on the death of a breeder from Norfolk, who he had known well and swapped birds with. However, when he got the birds and started working with the bloodlines they did not ‘click’ with his own bloodlines and, consequently, he wasted two years of breeding.

Ron said with the unfortunate death of Jim Moffat and all his birds coming down from Scotland to Gerald Binks, he was able to purchase two pairs, which only produced three chicks. However, from them he produced a very good quality green cock, which he showed at Swindon and won second best champion breeder. That bloodline seemed to click with his and he has gone on to produce good quality birds. He was also lucky enough to be given some good birds from the Faulkner and Read partnership, which again worked in well with his stock. He said a bit of luck is always needed to compensate for the problems that we all have in breeding budgerigars.

Ron mentioned some of the mistakes he has made over the years (which we all do), which has helped to make him a better stockman and understand more about the breeding and pairing of his stock.

He (like so many of us) has had several bird rooms of all sizes, etc., and has now been well settled in Swindon for some 21years.

He has plans to replace his existing 16x12 birdroom with a 17x14, designed for ease of management i.e. no high or low stretching or bending down on knees etc.

With regards to buying in stock, he will buy from anywhere that has the requirement he is looking for, and will introduce it into his own families, which he says is important to maintain.

Ron went on to talk about his feeding procedures and his own preferences. He said he uses a water supplement from Country Wide Farmers, which is called Multi-Vitamin Extra and costs 2.99 for 150g. He said he applies a 2.5ml spoonful to 2.5 litres of water and this can last for a week but he changes it every 2nd day. He adds this twice a week in the run up to the breeding season and one day a week he adds Cytacon.


He used to use Carrs products but has now switched to Orego-Stim, which is a natural antibiotic and keeps the birds gut clean. Seed is a combination of Johnson and Jeff Expert seed and Bucktons own 50/50 (Not the BS mixture) all the year round. Ron said he felt the budgerigar tonic seed should be called ‘conditioning seed’, as it does help to bring the birds into condition.

Ron said he was a great believer in using anything from the fridge, such as cabbage, corn on the cob, spinach, etc. He said he did not feed cuttlefish as he felt it was a waste of time but uses Murphys minerals in place of it, and also he did not use iodine blocks, as it’s easier to administer a few drops in the drinking water every four weeks if required. He said grit was very important and his preference is the Versele-Laga grit, which contains oyster shell, brick, and salt.

We then went on to have a general discussion, in which it was said from the floor that giving salt would help stop feather plucking. We also discussed the dreaded French moult, which unfortunately Ron is inundated with at the moment. He believes he brought this in by buying an out-cross bird, but it seems that many others in the room and elsewhere are suffering the same this year.   

Ron finished off by talking about his birds in general and giving an insight into what he does and how he does it. 

Once again, we all showed our appreciation to the speaker for a very entertaining evening.


The evening then concluded and all were wished a safe journey home.

May 2008 - Young Stock Show

The meeting was called to order with apologies from Ted Fitzjohn and his wife (Ted has a chest infection).  Our Chairperson then welcomed our judge for the evening, Bob Allen.

Bob started judging the birds (33) at 8.10pm.   Because it was a young stock show the classes were grouped together ‘cock and hen’ to simplify the judging. 
Whilst judging Bob was explaining all the time what features he was actually looking for in the birds and said that when there were two very similar birds it was difficult to place them first and second and you needed to take into account all of their features / faults.

As the judging went on Bob kept up the commentary and ensured that everyone could see what he was doing.

Bob also talked about flecked headed birds and said he tried not to have any in his birdroom as, if you bred with them, it came out in all of your birds and always in the best ones, which was difficult to eradicate.

At the end of the judging Bob asked for any comments from the floor with regard to the judging and the birds on the benches.

Our thanks to Malcolm Freemantle for assisting as Chief Steward & label fixer.

Our congratulations to the main winners of the evening:

  • John Harvey: Best bird in show – Light Green Cock (Barhead).
  • Cash & Gorrell:  Best champion – Grey Green Cock
  • John Harvey:  Best intermediate - Light Green Cock (Barhead).
  • Brian Mansell:  Best Novice – Grey Cock
  • John Harvey: Best barhead  - Light Green Cock

Whilst having refreshments after the judging everyone was looking at the birds and making their own comparisons (as you do!).

We would also like to thank all of those that helped with the setting up and removal of the staging, plus other jobs, which makes life a lot easier.

Also, C. Ives from Gosport rejoined the club last night and brought along his good lady who enjoyed the evening

Once again, we all showed our appreciation to the Judge  / speaker for a very entertaining evening.

The evening then concluded, earlier then normal, to allow everyone to get their birds back into their bird rooms before lights out. After the raffle and the birds were lifted all were wished a safe journey home.

Gerald Binks - Questions & Answers On The Breeding Season

Before the introductions I said a thank you to the members for responding and sending in good quality questions, which I passed on to Gerald before the meeting in case he needed to look up anything regarding some of the technical aspects of the questions.

Also, I mentioned the Southern Classic Show, which our area society the L&SC BS has stepped in to support, to avoid another show in the south disbanding. They are looking for sponsorship in the form of advertising, etc. Chris, our chairperson, is donating 40 for a full-page advert on behalf of Northdowns BS, which we all appreciate. (Thanks Chris)

With the introductions and apologies given, the floor was then handed over to our guest for the evening, Gerald Binks, who started with a bit of history of himself and his father in his youthful days and how he eventually came into this wonderful hobby of breeding budgies.

Below is a list of the questions that were put to Gerald as well as questions from the floor, on which he answered in great detail apart from the going light syndrome. He wished he and everyone else knew the answer!

1.Do you think that climate change will effect our breeding in the future, as you know the droughts in Australia have been really hard on some bird varieties?

2. Do you think it is right to try and breed a pair when only one bird is totally fit in the hope of bringing the other into condition, or is a complete waste of time or has it worked for you?

3.What causes a pair to start rearing dark red coloured  / old looking chicks which, even when moved to other boxes, stay the same and don’t improve and the parents were ok the round before.

4. Many breeders have French moult of one kind or other? I don’t at the moment and its not because of any special thing I do etc. When a box is full /dirty all I do is empty and scrape it out, give a good spray of Avisafe and rest it on the window sill in the sunlight for a week then reuse it?

5. What about ring issue dates now, as the club show has moved to Sept and looks like staying there?

6. Do you miss being a BS panel judge and the various engagements?

7. Your views on sponsorship and the type of companies to target.

8. Where do you go to buy / exchange an outcross & what are you looking for.

9. Rats & mice??

10.Need to know all about “Going Light” and how to treat them or prevent getting it in the aviary.

11. How old do cocks /hens need to be before breeding with them? And how do you know if they are ready, you hear all sorts of age’s 4mths?

14.What made you start breeding exhibition budgiegars and why?

13. What do you use for eye infections/bubbles in budgies and where can we get it, does it work and how often should it be treated and is it bred in as a heredity factor?

14.What is the best way of controlling and managing FM;

15. Would FM be reinforced/perpetuated in the stud by future breeding with FM affected birds? 

16. A number of breeders have noticed that the hen's cere seems to go off colour in the second round, although many still raise a second brood, is it due to the soft food and vitamins we are now pumping into them?

17. Also the chicks in the nest appear more hostile than before and are not happy being handled, they bite your hand from a very early age. Can this also be put down to diet??

18.Most problems are covered in "Challenge" but could Gerald explain planned fostering of chicks to help feeding etc. 

19. The old problem of clear eggs and only one egg fertile in a round?

20.There is much talk in the fancy about additives and soft foods, what is the ultimate diet for showing, resting and breeding.

21.Also young bird diet after they have left their parents and are released into the flights.

22. When purchasing a "must have" bird from an unseen aviary we should always quarantine the bird but can we disinfect it and what with and how?

23. Feather condition - birds go from one moult into almost another - is this caused by feeding too much millet spray and millet seed?

24. Can eggs be collected when laid, stored and still be fertile and hatch when incubated? If so how long can the eggs be stored?

25. Your view on plastic breeding cages & nest boxes

26. Trimming vents / guide feathers theory or leave alone.

27.    Why, when you are still so passionate about your birds and the hobby in general do you not show your birds more often?

28.    Hundreds, possibly thousands of hobbyists have purchased birds from Jo Mannes over the past 15 years and yet no one has replicated his birds on the same scale. Do you think this is due to the fact that he only allows a certain amount of birds to go to each breeder at any one time or is it that he is smart in the type of birds he lets go from his stud?

The very last part of the evening Gerald was asked what are the most important features you must have in a budgerigar:

a)      Back skull

b)      Frame of bird /deportment

c)      Depth of mask

d)      Head / feather direction

Asked about pairing up from records or visual

a)      Used to pair up a poorer looking bird off a super parent to a very good partner as in line breeding. (Wasted 8 years doing this)

b)      Pair your very best to best, remembering not to put together birds with common faults to attain the best results.

On that note Gerald was thanked in the usual way and the raffle was drawn and all were wished a safe journey home.

Malcolm Freemantle Quiz & 1 on 1 with Tony Cash

With introductions and 12 apologies given the floor was handed over to our guest for the evening, Malcolm Freemantle. Malcolm explained about the picture quiz we were about to do and the way it would be scored, which was the first part of the evening. The second part would be him questioning Tony Cash.

The picture quiz was a lot of fun and, after checking scores, it was Jacky Fox with 15 points who was the winner and presented with a bottle of wine.

Various Questions by Malcolm to Tony Cash – Summary of answers

TC said it was 38 years since he joined the L&SCBS 1969  (C972) and Budgerigar Society in 1984 (C4504 now C972 as well), but his involvement with Budgerigars stretched before that when he was living in Tongham in 1957.  Like many fanciers, he started with the colourful pet variety, which he bred in a garden coal shed along side albino rats and mice.  This didn’t work out so the rats and mice had to go! When the chicks were old enough they were brought inside in the evening and trained to talk before being sold on. Then, with moving house and growing up it meant birds were forgotten, or so he thought, as he had a chance meeting with Stan Eveleigh  (Departed) who lived around the corner in Aldershot from his flat. Stan kept budgerigars and this rekindled Tony’s interest and took him into the world of exhibition birds.

TC was given two pairs by Stan and started to breed them in the coal shed at the rear of the block of flats. (After being cleaned and white washed out) Then TC started visiting various aviaries in the local area that Stan knew of, including the aviary of Mr and Mrs Harry Linfield in Pepper Harrow (School).   He purchased two pairs of birds, which included an Opaline light green cock for 50 (which was 2 weeks wages in those days but well worth it as it bred some super birds) and it was shown at the L&SCBS show at Alexandra Palace in 1966 and won best beginner AA, along with the Collier cup. TC sought advice from a variety of breeders, including Joe Collier who was selling up his stud in Leatherhead.

TC then erected a new shed in the garden, 6 X 8 foot, which was ill equipped as his lack of knowledge and his keenness to get up and running made for a slow start to breeding.

This shed was subsequently moved to his mum’s house in Ash when he moved to Ash himself (No aviaries allowed).  He then added another 6 X 4 foot shed for stock birds, and the original shed became the breeding room.

After a while TC lost interest and only looked in some times on the birds when visiting his mum.   She looked after them as her own, as TC was involved in raising a family & building up a heating business.

When he moved to Mychett, Farnborough he rekindled his interest and altered the pool/sports room at the bottom of the garden into an aviary after seeing an advert of a successful beginner selling up in Surbiton.  He met up with Stan again and they went to visit which ended up with TC buying 16 birds and 6 breeding cages from him and starting up again.

After a while TC contacted Brian Venning from Reading and he contracted to build a new bird room: 40X 15 X 10 high with 15 X 9 foot flights at each end.  Inside were 44 breeding units and internal flights at each end of 6 X 15 foot, in which TC was able to separate cocks & hens or young / adults when required to do so.

Through club meetings at Northdowns, West Surrey, Camberley CBS and others TC met a lot of interesting breeders including Geoff Cook (Departed) with whom he kept in close touch with and helped him when he was sorting out his stock.  This in turn helped TC as Geoff often allowed him the choice of stock to go, as well as a couple of freebies!

When TC decided to move the family to Bracknell during the recession in 1989, he sold out his reasonably successful (In those days I showed) stud to Geoff Cook with the verbal agreement that he could buy back stock from him if he started up again.

TC soon missed not having birds and brought a 15 X 7 shed and, at his leisure started to turn it into an aviary minus any mistakes he had made in the past (He didn’t succeed)!

Geoff was true to his word and TC was able to obtain some of his bloodlines back in the 8 birds he purchased from him in 1991.  He also meet the Alan Deamer & John Gorrell partnership who lived in Bracknell and acquired stock from them (blood lines of Rodney Harris & Mick Joines). 

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TC stayed 3 years in Bracknell and then moved to Hayling Island where he had a brick double garage built, with the rear turned into his new aviary (16 X 8 and moved his block of 20 cages which were made by Andy Newman from Fleet). He was able to do this as he still owned the other property at the time and he moved his birds to suit him and the progress of the refurbishment in1995.

TC then separated from his wife and John Gorrell took some of his stock in April 2002 (Deamer & Gorrell partnership dissolved) with the rest being sold or given away (thanks to Nigel Darley who came down after TC was gone and cleared the rest etc).

When TC moved in with Barbara in Fareham in November 2003 they brought a 16 X 7 garden shed and, again, TC started to convert it to an aviary with all the usual jobs etc. He brought all of Jackie Fox’s breeding cages & various dishes etc. that he still has today (Pat Bowles built).

With the Deamer & Gorrell partnership dissolved a while ago John Gorrell & TC formed a partnership. They were having and sharing each other’s birds with out payment for some time, which is what they do with other breeders and it works well, as you have many studs to get birds back if you have problems. TC bred for two seasons there and then, of course, moved on again.

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The new house he and Barbara brought in October 2005 was also in Fareham.  It was empty and owned by a builder, so they negotiated with him on a part exchange with permission to work on the new house before completion.

Nigel Darley built the new bird room to TC’s specification, with his advice ref: base and style and also to accommodate existing breeding cages etc. This time TC had the correct power cable installed to take all loadings required with a percentage over the top in case.   It was lined with fire resistant plasterboard and fully insulated, incorporating two louvered windows with an extract fan.

The walls were tiled from floor to ceiling with ceramic tiles on the floor, hence making it hygienic and easy to keep clean.  (Almost Perfect)


Clinicide (F10) Fred Wright
Vircon “S”
Barrier V1
Ardap spray for all types of pests (From Quicko)

Ken Fagan

With introductions & apologies done, the floor was handed over to our guest speaker for the evening Ken Fagan, who started with a brief introduction to how he came into the hobby of exhibition budgerigars and the book that he bought for which he paid 5 extra because it was signed on the inside cover. (G.Binks “Best in Show”)

He then started his power point presentation called: “Moving Forward, Breeding, Winning” from bullet points and explained each item clearly with follow up of photos and illustrations, which were self explanatory and very interesting.

He talked about the original blood lines he brought in as a beginner / novice and the breeders that he formed good friendships with so they could help each other with swapping birds  (What the hobby is about).

Main bloodlines: Mannes, Tupin, Heylen, Huxley&Marchant and Clarkson and Ball, not bad??

Ken visits Joe Mannes each year to keep adding fresh blood and features into his stock, as he believes Joe’s birds are the best and if he works with them he will have a solid quality stud like Joes.

He explained about where he lives with the forest & woods around and all the fresh air. He said he thought that environment together with a well ventilated bird room may explain why he breeds aprox 70% hens & 30% cocks, which is what we all would like to do as it’s always the hens we have problems with!

He also doesn’t suffer from French moult and never has and puts that down to good ventilation and hygiene of the bird room. During the shut down year of the virus he re-paired and bred another 500 youngsters, which gave him a lift in the amount of stock to assess and keep and to be able to sell to the increasing number of breeders requiring birds from him. This then allowed him to go out and buy in stock & features he required from other breeders.

The evening ended with Gerald handing back to Ken the extra 5 that Ken originally paid for his book!  (Ken gave it to me afterwards for club funds) - Thanks.

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday 28th March when Malcolm Freemantle entertains us at 7.45pm.  Please ring me if you cannot make it and I will offer your apologies to the meeting.

Northdowns BS AGM

Just a short note ref our AGM and to thank you for all your support.

As mentioned at the AGM, we are currently looking at packages for away aviary trips to Europe with various costings and types of travel!

Also, from the names given to me at the meeting we are looking into over night aviary trips in the UK to top winning breeders.

I look forward to seeing you all on Friday 29th February when Ken Fagan entertains us at 7.45pm.  Please ring me if you cannot make it and I will offer your apologies to the meeting.