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Dear Parrots magazine,

Pride and prejudice

I have been a dedicated hobbyist breeder for over 45 years and wish to express my disappointment at the quality of modern-day birds and urge breeders to join a ‘new club for quality.’

There used to be a great deal of pride in breeding parrots and parrot-like birds and when I was young I remember some old school breeders who had birds, mainly parakeets, I could only dream about then – the quality was outstanding.

I recall a pair of Bourke’s parakeets so different from the birds we see today. They were larger, more colourful and more prolific. No colour mutations then either, beautiful! This trend for mutations does no favours to the long-term of a species. Bred for colour alone, the birds have become small by comparison, weedy, not as fertile, and in my view less hardy than they used to be.

I have just bought a nice looking pair of Mealy Rosellas, but they are literally half the size of the birds we had 40 years ago. Have you seen modern Australian Kings, Pennants, Ringnecks and Golden-mantles? The list goes on - they all lack size.

It is not that long ago, British breeders had the largest specimens in their collections. Continental Europeans, particularly Dutch breeders, created the finest coloured birds, but size went out of the window.

It is worth spending time looking for a good quality breeder and genuine seller of fine birds, and be prepared to pay a little more for the best. Go to the better Society or club advertisement pages, join the Parrot Society and read the pages here in Parrots magazine to seek out the species you require and always find out who you are buying from. You will cut down on the errors made, such as buying two hens, two cockbirds, incompatible pairs etc.

But most of all, I urge all breeders to take pride in the birds you keep and breed, the joy you will gain from the hobby will increase ten-fold and the value of the birds will increase too. Remember, it costs as much to feed poor quality birds as it does top quality ones, but the good ones will be better breeders and be far more rewarding, in all ways.

Show prejudice against those who breed sub-standard stock and do not want anything but profit. Don’t deal with them. Join me in boycotting all those who do not want to belong to a ‘new club for quality.’

Eddy Lines, Hants




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