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  #1  
Old 07-30-2016, 06:46 AM
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Default Exhibition Budgies And Showing Them

I was wondering if anyone had any experience of showing exhibition budgies and what to expect at a show and how to prepare for one.
Some time ago I joined the Budgerigar Society of Ireland and I was thinking perhaps it might be fun to prepare and enter Popeye and Olive in the show in Feb 2017. My entry class would be beginner...I think you spend 3 years at the beginner level before progressing to the next level.
Any iformation on show prep and what to expect and anything else you want to include would be welcome.
Thanks in advance for your replies.

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Old 07-30-2016, 09:14 AM
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Hi Mary. I can't speak for the Budgerigar Society of Ireland and what their rules are for showing. In Australia to show birds as a beginner or novice they must be owner bred with a closed ring with the current year ring. You cannot show birds that you have purchased. You also need to show them in a regulation show cage and this rule applies worldwide for budgerigar societies, even though the regulation cage are different in different countries.

It would be best if you could attend a meeting of the Society or one of its branches. The other members are usually more than happy to help beginners and will give you good advice. If the club has a table show at the meeting you can see how that is run, usually very similar to a large show but a little more relaxed. Even if you could get to an all bird show it will give you an idea of what goes on.

I hope that helps a bit.
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Old 07-30-2016, 11:42 AM
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Hi Mary. I can't speak for the Budgerigar Society of Ireland and what their rules are for showing. In Australia to show birds as a beginner or novice they must be owner bred with a closed ring with the current year ring. You cannot show birds that you have purchased. You also need to show them in a regulation show cage and this rule applies worldwide for budgerigar societies, even though the regulation cage are different in different countries.

It would be best if you could attend a meeting of the Society or one of its branches. The other members are usually more than happy to help beginners and will give you good advice. If the club has a table show at the meeting you can see how that is run, usually very similar to a large show but a little more relaxed. Even if you could get to an all bird show it will give you an idea of what goes on.

I hope that helps a bit.
Hi Kate C. I cant attend a show as there are none to go to except the championship show in September which due to there not being transport available I cant now get to it but until yesterday I was hoping I could go. There is only one other member near me here and both of us are beginners...to travel to club meetings is out of the question as they are over 4 hours car drive away...I know about the show cage and the secretary of the club is very helpful and is helping me locate a suitable one and as he knows that I do not breed but would like to show my budgies I am presuming the breeding rule must not apply here otherwise he would have told me that I couldnt show rather than help me get a show cage and I have yet to ask him about them being currant year birds so thank you for that info especially as it gives me a question to ask...the more questions you inspire me to ask the better but what I really wanted to know about is the prep of the bird training etc and your or others experience of bird shows...there are no bird shows anywhere near me so I have never experienced one and the beginners show in Feb will be my very first experience. I know that they are not expecting me to get everything right in my prep but it would be nice to have a general idea of whats expected. At the moment I have no idea and up until a couple of days ago when I got Popeye and Olive I thought Id have to wait until the year after next before entering a competition as the first exhibition budgies that I enquired about purchasing wont be available until next year. Even if Popeye and Olive are too old to show it is an oppertunity for me to learn and treat them as if I were preparing to show them. Winning isnt so much the aim its the enjoyment of it and learning to do something new with my birds but I would like to learn.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:18 PM
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Shame that you can't get to any meetings or shows and there is no one around you that can help. I may be wrong but the next show could be in Dublin and yes that is quite a drive from Mayo. Even though I have never been to Ireland I know a little of the layout as my GG Grandparents on my father's side came from Cashel in Tipperary.

If you can ask the Secretary of the society what the rules are for showing birds as a beginner and the criteria on age and rings that will start you off there. As for training, that is where the show cage comes in. Your birds need to feel comfortable in the cage so that they will display themselves properly for the judges. The judge will use a judging stick to get the birds to move from perch to perch so that he can see both sides of the bird and how it looks confirmation wise. If you can get a copy of the showing standard this will tell you what the judge looks for and what is a fault. Here the standard also tells you what points are allocated or taken off for faults in each area like head blow, spots, size etc.

So to train your bird you put them in the show cage preferably in a high traffic area of the house so that there are people walking past often so they get used to having people moving around them. When we train our new birds and don't have a judging stick we just use a chopstick instead, it is nearly the same size and shape as the judging stick. This is placed gently in the cage and used to make the bird jump from perch to perch by giving a little tap around the under part of the tail. It can also be used to get the bird from the floor of the cage up to the perch. Judges can't judge a bird that is hiding on the floor so the bird needs to be comfortable sitting on the perch with lots of activity going on around it.

To prepare the bird itself regular spraying prior to the show with a misting spray to encourage them to bath and preen so that their feathers are in top condition, this is just as important as a good diet to help keep them in peek condition. More experienced breeders will make sure that the birds have the required number of spots on each side, this is not so important for beginners as it is very easy to pluck the wrong spot out and leave the bird with uneven or not enough spots on one side. Don't worry this really doesn't hurt the bird, it is a bit like a woman plucking her eyebrows.

Have a good look at the pictures and videos on the Eire Budgerigar Society web site, that will give you some ideas too. And try to get a copy of the show schedule which will also have very good information as to the classes and ages of the birds. One of the biggest mistakes a beginner makes is putting their bird into the wrong class.

That gives you quite a bit to go on with and digest. Feel free to contact me for more when you have gotten through all that.
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Old 07-30-2016, 06:35 PM
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Shame that you can't get to any meetings or shows and there is no one around you that can help. I may be wrong but the next show could be in Dublin and yes that is quite a drive from Mayo. Even though I have never been to Ireland I know a little of the layout as my GG Grandparents on my father's side came from Cashel in Tipperary.

If you can ask the Secretary of the society what the rules are for showing birds as a beginner and the criteria on age and rings that will start you off there. As for training, that is where the show cage comes in. Your birds need to feel comfortable in the cage so that they will display themselves properly for the judges. The judge will use a judging stick to get the birds to move from perch to perch so that he can see both sides of the bird and how it looks confirmation wise. If you can get a copy of the showing standard this will tell you what the judge looks for and what is a fault. Here the standard also tells you what points are allocated or taken off for faults in each area like head blow, spots, size etc.

So to train your bird you put them in the show cage preferably in a high traffic area of the house so that there are people walking past often so they get used to having people moving around them. When we train our new birds and don't have a judging stick we just use a chopstick instead, it is nearly the same size and shape as the judging stick. This is placed gently in the cage and used to make the bird jump from perch to perch by giving a little tap around the under part of the tail. It can also be used to get the bird from the floor of the cage up to the perch. Judges can't judge a bird that is hiding on the floor so the bird needs to be comfortable sitting on the perch with lots of activity going on around it.

To prepare the bird itself regular spraying prior to the show with a misting spray to encourage them to bath and preen so that their feathers are in top condition, this is just as important as a good diet to help keep them in peek condition. More experienced breeders will make sure that the birds have the required number of spots on each side, this is not so important for beginners as it is very easy to pluck the wrong spot out and leave the bird with uneven or not enough spots on one side. Don't worry this really doesn't hurt the bird, it is a bit like a woman plucking her eyebrows.

Have a good look at the pictures and videos on the Eire Budgerigar Society web site, that will give you some ideas too. And try to get a copy of the show schedule which will also have very good information as to the classes and ages of the birds. One of the biggest mistakes a beginner makes is putting their bird into the wrong class.

That gives you quite a bit to go on with and digest. Feel free to contact me for more when you have gotten through all that.
Thank you so much. This is exactly the kind of info I need and you have given me a list of questions to ask to. Yes indeed this will keep me going for a bit.Im familiar with the tail trick as Im already doing that with Houdini to get him to jump in his agility type tricks only I use my finger so it will be the same idea just using a chopstick. Thanks a mill
And you are correct the shows are all held in Dublin as indeed are all the club meetings also. Again many Thanks this has been a great help
  #6  
Old 07-30-2016, 08:12 PM
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Smile Exhibition Budgies

Kate has given you excellent guidance and info.You seem to have a lot of blocks/ challenges to your goal to show your budgies. The way I got started I made a prayer or a goal that I visualized in my mind and kept it first in mind. This will help you find a mentor and friends to help you along. Most Organizations require that even novices breed their birds not buy them in order to show them. They must also have a sealed metal or plastic I D leg band.
You can practice with the two birds you have. As Kate said get your birds used to the show cage. You should be able to find a used cage that fits the rules in your area. You can get your birds used to your hands and the stick as well as running your hands across the wire bars which judges do often to get the bird to pay attention and get into proper form on the perches. Your birds should sit tall on the perch and not hang low like they are tired. Keeping wings laid properly on the back, having all the wing and tail flight feathers . They should have mask and blow groomed which an experienced show participant must show you and you can practice on your Birds. They will not like having feathers pulled from mask and pinnies brushed out with a soft baby tooth brush or velcro -one side to loosen pinnies and the other to smooth feathers. The spray you use to help make feathers tight and shiny should have a small amount of human grade glycerine. This will make the feathers shine and look in proper condition. U you can find some one to drive with and share gas and lodging charges. My mentor and I traveled hundreds of miles across the US and back home with show cages and budgies.

This is a two sided sword in that the stress of travel and show cages can cause your birds to die early. The budgies simply do not take this exposure
very well . It is always a chance that your beloved birds will die on you.
Before they can produce off spring that are good enough to Win at a show. I would suggest visiting a show and watch before the show starts there is a lot of activity getting birds groomed properely and in the show cage and tagged properly in the proper class and turned into the people who will set the cages in order for the judges. The rest of the day will be a lot of down time between the final judging for each type of budgie and then final best in show brings a lot of interest and then there are usually times for members to interact and learn from each other.I said not a word for 2 years, but did listen and ask a lot of questions privately. The other champion breeders will watch and listen to determine if you meet the qualities expected for a good breeder. When you pass muster, Breeders will surprise you and give you a good bird to help your flock meet the expected quality. Winning your first
Best ribbons is a real rush, but it takes a lot of work to get there and move up to champion. The experience will teach you a lot about what a high quality budgie looks like and what you need to do to breed in or out of the birds you have. Genetics is an important area for you to master. There are books published in your area. Years ago I was blessed to get copies brought in by U S Organizations for their members.It takes funds, time, and commitment to make it to the Top Bench.Spend your best effort in your breeding room and with your Budgies to learn from them. Many of the goals of TB are not primary with many breeders. Above all keep your thought and actions to the highest level you can possibly attain no matter what you see others doing.We are all here to answer more questions as you get them. Kate C is an excellent resource as she has experience in several avian species. Blessings, Jo Ann
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Old 07-31-2016, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jo Ann View Post
Kate has given you excellent guidance and info.You seem to have a lot of blocks/ challenges to your goal to show your budgies. The way I got started I made a prayer or a goal that I visualized in my mind and kept it first in mind. This will help you find a mentor and friends to help you along. Most Organizations require that even novices breed their birds not buy them in order to show them. They must also have a sealed metal or plastic I D leg band.
You can practice with the two birds you have. As Kate said get your birds used to the show cage. You should be able to find a used cage that fits the rules in your area. You can get your birds used to your hands and the stick as well as running your hands across the wire bars which judges do often to get the bird to pay attention and get into proper form on the perches. Your birds should sit tall on the perch and not hang low like they are tired. Keeping wings laid properly on the back, having all the wing and tail flight feathers . They should have mask and blow groomed which an experienced show participant must show you and you can practice on your Birds. They will not like having feathers pulled from mask and pinnies brushed out with a soft baby tooth brush or velcro -one side to loosen pinnies and the other to smooth feathers. The spray you use to help make feathers tight and shiny should have a small amount of human grade glycerine. This will make the feathers shine and look in proper condition. U you can find some one to drive with and share gas and lodging charges. My mentor and I traveled hundreds of miles across the US and back home with show cages and budgies.

This is a two sided sword in that the stress of travel and show cages can cause your birds to die early. The budgies simply do not take this exposure
very well . It is always a chance that your beloved birds will die on you.
Before they can produce off spring that are good enough to Win at a show. I would suggest visiting a show and watch before the show starts there is a lot of activity getting birds groomed properely and in the show cage and tagged properly in the proper class and turned into the people who will set the cages in order for the judges. The rest of the day will be a lot of down time between the final judging for each type of budgie and then final best in show brings a lot of interest and then there are usually times for members to interact and learn from each other.I said not a word for 2 years, but did listen and ask a lot of questions privately. The other champion breeders will watch and listen to determine if you meet the qualities expected for a good breeder. When you pass muster, Breeders will surprise you and give you a good bird to help your flock meet the expected quality. Winning your first
Best ribbons is a real rush, but it takes a lot of work to get there and move up to champion. The experience will teach you a lot about what a high quality budgie looks like and what you need to do to breed in or out of the birds you have. Genetics is an important area for you to master. There are books published in your area. Years ago I was blessed to get copies brought in by U S Organizations for their members.It takes funds, time, and commitment to make it to the Top Bench.Spend your best effort in your breeding room and with your Budgies to learn from them. Many of the goals of TB are not primary with many breeders. Above all keep your thought and actions to the highest level you can possibly attain no matter what you see others doing.We are all here to answer more questions as you get them. Kate C is an excellent resource as she has experience in several avian species. Blessings, Jo Ann
Thank you so much Jo Ann for all this wonderful information. I doubt if I will ever see the championship bench as to get that far takes years of going from beginner to novice to intermediate etc and Im 59 next birthday so Ive left it too late to get to championship level. Im not likely to get that far as time is not on my side but it would be nice to learn as much as I can...breeding is not something I had planned to get into if I could avoid it. I bred the pet quality budgies years ago and hand raised the babies who all went to great homes but I only bred a few clutches and its been years since I bred and I was lucky that all went well and parents and babies were healthy but now that Ive read more and am more aware of all the things that could go wrong breeding baby budgies scares the daylights out of me plus I have never ringed a baby bird either...it seems from what you say that breeding is part and parcel of showing...maybe Im biting off more than I can chew....the club are getting a book on genetics and the various colour mutations and I have my name down to purchase one of those as soon as they receive them in for sale. I have also enquired about a cage and the secretary has promised to let me know when one becomes available saying he would look in to finding one for me. He reccommends pvc that doesnt need to be painted...so far I am under the impression that I can show a purchased budgie (closed ringed) but I will re-ask that question again but the secretary does know I am not a breeder. I made that very clear when I joined them some time back asking if I had to be a breeder to participate at show level and he said; " no"
All the shows are held at the ssme venue in Dublin and I would have transport to some of them at least...just cant make the September one sadly ...it is the championship show and it would have been lovely to see all the top show budgies but perhaps I will get to see pics of them.
You have certainly given me a whole lot to think about Jo Ann and the pros and cons and joys and heart breaks of it all. Thank you for sharing all this knowledge with me I really appreciate you taking the time to post.
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:31 PM
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Smile Exhibition Budgies

I was in my mid fifties when I started. I do have college science experience like embryology. Similar texts can be purchased on Amazon in Vet tech and full vet experience Look for avian texts or avian and exotics. This is a speciality that focuses on exotic bird as opposed to dogs and cats. Years ago Vets learned by experience and I learned from experience like volunteering in a bird sanctuary. And working for a vet doing research on rehab of brown pelicans that were dying out like eagles in the Us. because of exposure to DDT which caused egg shells to be too soft and cracked too easily. I needed to learn the nuts and blots of running an aviary and my spouse has the skills needed to build the flights. Which saved a lot of funds. You will need guidance on choosing the birds with good head, neck, blow and mask, good condition of feathers etc.The way to get this experience is see a lot of birds. My mentor would sit me in a flight and let me look and pick out birds I thought were good. Then she would tell me how much I missed with my inexperienced choices. After a while it starts to sink in and you will ask more questions. I started out looking for a violet budgie and expanded from there. I suggest you purchase The Challenge by Binks and The Budgerigar we get this me by vendor here in US Lady Guildian finch. Lady G ships international, You may have a local vendor and Mr Binks is in the UK. Google him and ask to purchase. They are both over a hundred dollars, but a must for a serious breeder in my opinion.
It is important that you are a bit scared and intimdated. That tells me you have good ethics. Novice and Intermediate are possible but champion takes some effort. Champion breeders will watch you and ask question. When they approve of your ethics They may offer you a bird from their flock that they feel will help you. This will be a complete surprise. When this happens you have made it into the inner breeders circle. There will be a lot of tough challenges along the way. When you meet and surpass the challenge you are one step closer. You will acurier a lot of knowledge and experience that will make you a top notch Budgie owner, from whom I would love to purchase a baby budgie from. Take a good look but do not sell yourself short. it is good that you are concerned. Any one who acts and talks like it is a breeze, would raise many concerns from me and other good breeders. It is like being an apprentice carpenter. Blessings, J A
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Old 08-01-2016, 02:47 PM
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Thank you Jo Ann. The books are certainly something I would enjoy studying. I have located The Challenge on Amazon.co.uk but its very expensive so I will see if I can get it somewhere else cheaper...its 149 english pounds on its own second hand...thats well over 150 bucks even with the depreciation of sterling due to Brexit and then I couldnt be sure of the quality as to purchase it new is nearly 2000 bucks ...and no I didnt make a mistake about a zero its almost two thousand english pounds to buy it on the listing Im looking at on Amazon.co.uk I have no idea why the book would be that expensive unless perhaps its some sort of collectors item. Whats the title of the other book as I tried the "Budgerigar" and the "The budgerigar I get this" but nothing showed up in my search that seemed to be about anything other than information on pet budgie type books...who wrote it ? The fact that I would have to breed is a major stumbling block for me though to exhibition but I gave it some thought last night after reading your post and then I did some research on the web and came accross this :
Breeding Room Thoughts : Gerald S Binks
Here it slso mentions that book called the Challenge which is the book you mentioned also by Binks but if you scroll down the article it speaks about crop milk for the babies and claims that the first clutch of the year especislly hatched by inexperienced young hens do not get the richness of crop milk that the subsequent clutches get and that it is this rich crop milk that the 2nd and subsequent clutches get that usually produces the larger show budgie...thats a whole lot of breeding to get a show chick and that much breeding would bother me big time too and much and all as I would love to show it wouldnt be the way I would breed. Too many clutches wear out the cock bird and the hen. The breeder who taught me about breeding budgies (the little I do know) told me never more than a second clutch from a pair and all I ever took was one clutch when I bred mine but I wasnt really a serious breeder and just had more two pairs. She used to say (breeder) the more often you breed your pair in a season the more you wear them out and that opens your aviary to disease because their immune systemd are not as strong. I presume what she told me holds merrit and it certainly was something when she explained it made sense to me. Plus I would never cope with all that many birds and offspring and be able to give all of them a good life or spend quality time with the parent birds either like I do at present with all my birds. While I would very much like to learn about it I dont think Id be able to cope with all thats involved in breeding and the more research I do into it the more offputting the breeding side of exhibition budgies becomes.
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Old 08-01-2016, 03:09 PM
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I just emailed Binks for information about where to get the book and its cost etc as I figure thats the best way to get information about where I might get it at a reasonable price here but I think it will cost in the region of 250 to 300 bucks and around 250 GB pounds.
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