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FEATURE


This is a big mistake. Over the years we have learnt a great deal from articles about other branches of the hobby. In an article about budgerigars, Terry Pilkington related how he and his wife’s birds had benefitted from being given filtered water rather than water straight from the tap. We immediately began giving filtered water to our Zebras, still do and we are convinced that they are the better for it. Before setting up an aviary or


birdroom it is best to visit an experienced Zebra finch fancier to get some idea about suitable layouts. Joining your local cage bird society will put you in touch with other bird keepers, but if you find difficulty making your own contacts, you can take advantage of the Zebra Finch Society’s area representative scheme. This puts you in touch with someone who not only knows a lot about Zebra finches, but also has local knowledge.


When starting up in a hobby, people tend to worry about apparent problems that, to the experienced person, are really not important. Being able to get good advice, quickly, can make all the difference. Even if the birdroom you first visit is


large and impressive, we advise starting with a fairly modest set up and to build up from that. It is a mistake to spend lots of money at the outset, just in case


you change your mind. Laying out a fortune and then breeding nothing in your first year can be so disheartening as to cause anyone to give up. As individual breeders, our progress, as


far as the birdroom size is concerned, was similar. The first birdroom was a 6ft x 4ft shed. The next step was to 6ft x 10ft and then when that was outgrown to 12ft x 8ft. We now both have fairly large establishments, each measuring 12ft x 30ft.


If you have no interest in pedigree and


do not intend to show your birds, an aviary in which the birds fly freely is ideal – but take advice on how many pairs can be comfortably accommodated in the space available. If your intension is to exhibit, you need to breed your Zebra finches under controlled conditions and that means having cages, preferably within a birdroom. Once you have your birdroom erected (we will assume it is a timber


Even if the birdroom you first visit is large and impressive, we advise starting with a fairly modest set up and to build up from that. It is a mistake to spend lots of money at the outset, just in case you change your mind. Laying out a fortune and then breeding nothing in your first year can be so disheartening as to cause anyone to give up.


BIRD SCENE 17


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