by Don Crawford
With this website, we hope to put forward ideas we have found helpful in our breeding establishment, ideas that we have shuffled around for the best part of sixty years.
In the Gouldian world we all have very different methods that we use for greater breeding success. We may even have a few secrets that work for us also. Yes it is all about being a successful breeder and improving your birds every year – for me its total self-accomplishment.
Poor Quality Mutations of the Past
As long-term breeders of Gouldians we class ourselves as “Gouldian Purists” breeding normal Gouldians but with our main focus being directed to the Gouldian Mutations. We know mutations may have their own critics, and rightfully so. Occasionally some very average mutations turn up at bird sales, with a premium price tag, creating rumours that all mutations are over priced and inferior birds. But what I see is very different and it’s quite obvious to me why these mutations are inferior, as no normal blood lines have been introduced to these Mutations for many years, poor quality birds are also the signs of inbreeding. This seems to be the way a lot of mutations are heading!!
Maintaining High Standards
We have a very different philosophy breeding our mutations. To keep your birds to a high standard you must have normals that will enforce their qualities and pass them on to your mutations. “Like Breeds Like” and our challenge has always been to breed mutations as good as normals.
With this stigma that surrounds Gouldian mutations, some even believing that most bloodlines are polluted, always pointing the finger at the blue mutation and there is no argument from me on that particular point. Most breeders in the past were reluctant to ever use normals with any of their expensive mutations, I wonder why!!!?
The First Blue Mutations
I did see the blue mutation when they first arrived in this country. These original birds that I saw were of nice size and clearly appeared healthy, so what happened in the thirty odd years of their breeding? And why is the mutation being held responsible for this disaster? Some dedicated breeders are starting to have some success with the blue but still have a long way to go.
As always the breeders should be held accountable for what they breed, and the lack of knowledge is hardly an excuse as we are talking a thirty-year program regarding the blues. This has also given the purist the opportunity to criticise all mutations, and how can you disagree with them ? It’s up to us to change this perception as there will be many more mutations to come.
Good Breeding and Good Nutrition
The use of Bengalese with a new mutation will cause you to breed inferior diseased birds and be the start of the mutations demise, the breeding of “colour to colour” will have a similar effect. How good is the Normal looking now!?
We also rely heavily on additives such as: Calcium, Vitamins and Minerals, Oils mixed in the seed and copious amounts of shell grit. Also while breeding, plenty of soaked seed – not sprouted and not soaked in any chemicals, as you have no idea of the effect on the birds fertility or their organs long term. Personally I would not swallow the chemicals, so my birds don’t either.
Whether you agree or disagree is up to you. We hope we may have promoted some debate on the future of how to breed mutations, and try and work towards all being on the same page.