The Heywoodss were kind to allow us to view their aviary after a last minuet cancellation in our aviary tour. Some of our visits had been confirmed up to 2 years in advance so visiting this aviary was truly out of the ordinary. When I think of what it takes to be a champion I think of Tony and Sandra Haywood. They have been breeding budgies for a very long time. I was so impressed to see the excitement and enthusiasm of the Haywoods.
You can't help but think of the many hours full of successes and failures and the hard work was now being revealed in their excitement. When we arrived we were warmly invited into their lovely home where we sat down and were served lunch with tea. Sandra began showing us her photo albums filled with pictures of their high points in the hobby. It was such a joy to share in the successes of their journey. I hope I'm correct but I believe in 2010 they had 8 best in show awards quite an accomplishment and may be a record. They also had the best young bird at the Budgerigar Society World show.
After lunch we walked out to a wonderful aviary which fit naturally into the surroundings of their gardens. There is a long outside flight of which I'd say is 40 or more feet long. I've never seen anything like it before. I could only dream of a flight of this magnitude in my back yard.
We entered between the 2 outside flights and stepped into double doors and right into a bright aviary. I noticed these bright red balls and Sandra explained that they are night fright lights but I believe they stay on all of the time. Pictures hung on the wall of and numerous ribbon awards. One such feature we saw was a judging stick which had a budgie carved into the end and neatly painted, a cute idea and something a friend had made.
I was very impressed with the layout of the aviary. It was long with 2 separate rooms. The flights filled the outside of the rooms from floor to ceiling. I noticed that branches adorned the flights which is a natural chewing element that you don't often see in aviarys. The rooms were painted white which enhanced the brightness. All of the breeding cages were on the opposite side of the room and were box type breeding cages.
I'm very impressed with the consistency of the quality in their stud. As we began to pull birds from flights and put them into the show cages it was apparent of the buff feather quality we all so eagerly strive for. I have been focusing on feather direction and under-feather so as I view birds this is something I have been focusing on.
Tony took a great deal of time to explain his breeding tactics and we also discussed some of the ideas we have been mulling through on our tour. Its wise to pick up experienced advice from those who have advanced to the next level. We discussed Tonys soft food mix and practices in that area.
|Soft food soaked and strained|
|Soft food served|