• 8 questions to Jan Van Looy, veteran breeder

    1. Jan, why are zebrafinch ?

    We have always had birds at home.
    My father Lucien then started with the raising of zebrafinch and I started with the Glosters. With these canaries, I always managed to sell the best ! With zebrafinch, I had an illumination.
    R. Jef has been my technical adviser, when it comes to exhibitions that have been Gust U .. Gradually the exhibition results have gone up.
    We did not need more stimulating. So I knew a bird, a little bird even, but that fascinated me.

    Money is not the least motivation. If you do for the money, you have to get rid of the good birds and the quality of your stump drops.

    "So I knew a bird, a little bird even, but that fascinated me"

    2. How is a day at home with your zebrafinch ?

    Zebrafinch are scattered all over the house. The breeding room is in the cellar with 100% neon lighting. There is lighting from 9am until 10.30pm, winter and summer. Breeding starts in mid-December until the end of June, then the nests are removed.
    If the morning at the time of the departure to the school, it is still the darkness, the integral care begin from 16h. It takes one hour a day for care. Every day fresh water acidified slightly, necessary to raise good browns! (in my opinion) The 50 show birds. are in the garage, where they are also "trained". The young go to 4 aviaries in the garden. During the exposure period, care is more intensive.

    3. What are the important characteristics to become a top breeder ?

    A breeder at the top is distinguished from others by "the eye of the master". Everyone can raise zebrafinch, everyone can achieve a good level of breeding. Why so few manage to reach the top?
    What does a breeder see and what does a top breeder see in the same bird ? On the internet forums, fans disapprove pictures of birds of other amateurs. And that you have to analyze it. And yet, if you see the birds of these lovers, they are even worse than the bird they commented on. They will exhibit well with their birds. A class farmer finds more positive points in a zebrafinch than a middle class breeder, even though he may be an exellent healer. To him, you can quietly sell the best, after 2 to 3 years he has nothing left.

    "You must have visibility : The overall image, you must be able to see the image and the details" This, you can learn a little but it must be in you at the beginning.
    Another characteristic of a class farmer is that he knows how to calculate the risk of entering into his strain a zebrafinch with a fault, a risk that another will not try.

    Many of these breeders at the top select as soon as weaning young. If these are not yet beautiful in colors and drawings, the defects of form are already present and are without forgiveness. So for years, I have practically already sold my surplus birds to traders.
    Now I enjoy this severe selection: Tails drooping (I'm sick) still barely reach my stam. As an experienced breeder can / is / is prepared to trade the best birds. A good one for a good one ! I think of several very good breeders with whom I could exchange.

    4. What are, in increasing order of importance, your selection criteria for mating ?

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  • How to create a strain according to its objectives

    1. Set your goals

    First of all, I think it is necessary to target and define its objectives : Choice of mutations to select, study of the characteristics of or mutation(s) chosen, knowledge of the type of genetic transmission, create a network of breeder succeptible to work on similar goals to have topics of departures. Breeders will have to trust your project and your insight. They will also be concerned about the future of their ceded birds.
    Conditions sinequanone to then begin the construction of a strain and begin a selection to tend towards your objects defined as any project.

    Finally, define your idea of the bird you want to get. Not to mention the characteristics of the mutation or combination in which you project yourself.

    2. Tips for getting started

    Choose the starting zebra finch with as few defects as possible. Make sure you do not start with birds with an uncertain genotype.
    Example: If you have a project to build a strain of gray, check if they would not carry a mutation to hereditary recessive (as black breast, black cheeks).

    Question the breeder giving you your first specimens, asked to see the parents to be better fixed. Observe the different qualities and points of improvement of each one with the zebra finch that you want to achieve.
    Observe the harmony and all the birds of the breeder, a homogeneity will make you appear a good job of the breeder.

    3. What is a stump

    It is necessary to represent the stump of a tree, its trunk and its branches. Composed of ancestors, descendants, sisters, brothers, etc. Different methods exist depending on the type of genetic transfer of the mutation or combination raised to advance a strain.

    4. Importance of zebra finch known as "Work"

    In a strain there will be zebra finch called "work": Intensive, most typed, short, long .. These working birds will have more often and in particular one or more strengths.
    It is they who will allow you to reach your goals, do not neglect them.

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