Retaining Gloster Canaries for use the following and subsequent years depends on one main philosophy, “always retain the best”. By always retaining the best you are not depleting the gene pool or having to constantly look for replacements. Other aspects to be taken into account are the retention of only the very best of the cocks and a sufficient number of hens to be able to give the required options needed during the breeding programme. Cocks retained must be the best and variety is not an option to be enjoyed in small studs if exhibition is the prime concern. Options come from the hens and fancy’s and fads can be considered when retaining hens.
OPTIONS TO BE CONSIDERED:
1. Yellow feathered.
3. White ground, either variegated or self.
Other options are a variety of feather types among the retained hens. This is important if balance is to be achieved in the stock. Numbers of course depend on personal circumstances and the level of commitment the fancier gives to the fancy. To summarise this brief article the following key points have been highlighted.
1. Always retain the best of the stock.
2. Do not release too many young hens.
3. Only retain the very best of the cocks, second best is not good enough.
4. Always retain a sufficient stock of hens which includes 50% young stock.
1. The retention of a variety of feather types. (This could also be a priority.)
2. Retaining cinnamons, whites, grizzles and clearer bodied birds to run along-side the main-steam buffs and three part dark birds.
3. Retaining a percentage of yellow feathered birds to the stock balance.
1. Yellow feathered Glosters should be retained at around 10% of the total stock. If the depth and quality of the stock is allowable a higher percentage could be retained. But keep a balance.
2. Yellow bred buffs should be retained at around 25% of the total number of hens.
3. A cut-off point where insufficient numbers are bred to carry the stud forward is about 50. Under this number the amount of options available is limited.
4. A satisfactory number of young bred should be 80-100 to give the stud the balance to improve without continually sourcing new stock. A further paper on the subject by WALLACE & STOREY is available and entitled ” CREATING A STUD OF GLOSTER FANCY CANARIES. ” Previously published in ” CAGE & AVIARY BIRDS ” January 15th. 1994.