Although the weather was bad (it was snowing all the time), last February my father, my brother and I made a trip to Augsburg to visit my old friend Florian Böck and his birds. After having a quick look at his webpage www.standardwellensittiche.de I was well informed and up to date about his stud. But I have to admit that I was really surprised that in reality his birds are even better than the pictures on the internet might indicate.
We arrived at Florian´s place on Saturday morning around 11 am. After drinking a coffee and having a nice chat with him he showed us his stud, which is situated in a separate building next to his house. We had a look at the breeding boxes and breeding pairs and I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised by the number of above-average birds in each of the boxes. In the extra boxes I saw a lot of very good baby birds. All in all, I have to say that Florian’s stud exceeded my expectations. There were amazing birds in the colours Normal, Cinnamon, Opaline und Cinnamonopalines, but also Australian Pieds and Spangles in all colour varieties. In addition, I saw some gorgeous Texas-Clearbodies. Florian told me that most of his birds originate from the Büttner bloodline. According to Florian, the stand-out features of the Büttnervogel are the good playing with the head feathering and the extremely high heads. which Florian has reinforced in his stock as he thinks these features get more and more lost in the recent showbirds. The quality of his birds shows that Florian has had frequent contact to other outstanding breeders. During the last years Florian interbred his birds with high-quality birds from the Büttner stud and added lots of birds from other famous studs to his bloodline. According to Florian, during the last seven years, he constantly improved his stud with birds from Daniel Lütolf, Jo Mannes, Ralph Jenne, Hermann Fried, Georg Helm, Richard Kuhr, Bernd Stegemann, Gerhard Payr, Jac Cuyten, André Vermeir, Reinhard Molkentin and Felix Gorgosilich. Most of the birds in Florian´s stud are related to each other and some key birds play a major role in line breeding practise. Florian told me that he keeps adding birds from the Büttnerzucht and also very good birds of the Mannes stud to his stud and for some time now has cooperated with Franz-Josef Stenglein from Ebersberg near Munich to further improve the quality of his stud. With a smile on his face Florian added that a pleasant side effect of his hobby is that he has become friends with Franz-Josef Stenglein.
Since Florian thinks that a good hygiene provides the basis for a successful stud, he attaches great importance to cleanliness. The past months Florian installed an automatic drinking facility for the birds. Hoses are used to transport the water from a water tank above the breeding boxes to each individual box and flight. The birds drink from a brazen nipple by pressing down a metallic rod (see pictures). Florian told me that what he likes most about the new system is that it is very time-saving for him and that the risk from impurity is very low.
Conclusion: I was very impressed by the quality of Florian´s stud. The type of budgie which I saw there has an extraordinary head and the direction of the feathering in the head is outstanding. Also the constitution of the skeleton is very massive. I think that Florian´s stud has great potential for the future. It basically combines all the great studs of our time. The linebreeding which Florian uses allows a combination which most bloodlines in the budgie hobby. - An insider tip for everyone who is interested in bird-breeding. The quality of the birds is impressing an. I can only pay Florian a compliment and wish him the very best for his Top-stud and good look for his plans the in the near future.
Ende Februar machte ich mich bei bedenklich schlechtem Wetter (es hatte sehr viel Schnee) zusammen mit meinem Vater und meinem Bruder auf den Weg nach Augsburg um nach relativ langer Zeit einmal wieder Florian und seine Vögel zu besuchen. Über seine aktuellen Zuchtergebnisse war ich ohnehin durch seine Internetseite www.standardwellensittiche.de informiert, wobei ich bemerken muss, dass die Vögel in Realität noch ein wenig besser einzustufen sind.
Wir kamen an einem Samstagvormittag gegen 11 Uhr bei Florian an. Zuallererst haben wir einen Kaffee getrunken ehe es dann in die Vogelzucht ging. Die Zucht ist in einem Nebengebäude unweit des Wohnhauses untergebracht. Wir besichtigten alle Zuchtboxen mit den Zuchtpaaren und ich muss sagen, dass ich in jeder Box ein Paar von überdurchschnittlich guten Vögeln sehen konnte. In der Absetzbox war zudem eine große Anzahl sehr guter Babyvögel. Meine Erwartungen wurden übertroffen. So habe ich beeindruckende Vögel in den Farbschlägen Normal, Zimt, Opalin und Zimtopalinen, aber auch bei Australischen Schecken und Spangles in allen Farbspielarten gesehen. Zusätzlich sah ich einige wunderschöne Texas-Clearbodies. Florian sagte mir, dass der größte Teil seines Stammes auf Büttnervögel zurückgeht. Den typischen Büttnervogel zeichnet laut Florian unter anderem die Eigenschaft eines starken Kopfspiels in Verbindung mit einem sehr hohen Stirngefieder aus. Diese Eigenschaft wollte Florian unbedingt verstärkt in seinen Stamm einbringen, da sie immer seltener wird. Dass Florian sich auf seinen Besuchen bei Spitzenzüchtern das ein oder andere abgeschaut hat, spiegelt sich heute in der Qualität der Vögel wieder. Im Laufe der Zeit wurden immer weitere erstklassige Vögel aus der Büttnerzucht eingekreuzt, außerdem verpaarte Florian Vögel aus vielen Spitzenzuchten mit seinem vorhandenen Stamm. So erwähnte er Vögel aus den Zuchten von Daniel Lütolf, Jo Mannes, Ralph Jenne, Hermann Fried, Georg Helm, Richard Kuhr, Bernd Stegemann, Gerhard Payr, Jac Cuyten, André Vermeir, Reinhard Molkentin und Felix Gorgosilich, die er im Laufe der letzten 7 Jahre mit mehr oder weiniger großem Erfolg in seine Zucht eingebracht hat. Die Vögel in Florians Zucht sind größtenteils miteinander verwandt, wobei einzelne Schlüsselvögel in der Weiterverpaarung der Nachkommen immer wieder Beachtung finden. Hinsichtlich der momentanen Einkreuzungspraxis erwähnte Florian, dass er nach wie vor Vögel aus der Büttnerzucht und seit geraumer Zeit auch von Franz-Josef Stenglein aus Ebersberg bei München in seine Zucht einbringt. Die Freundschaft mit Herrn Stenglein bezeichnete Florian als einen der erfreulichen Nebeneffekte die das Hobby so mit sich bringt.
Florian legt in seiner Zucht großen Wert auf Sauberkeit, da er in einer guten Hygiene die Basis für eine erfolgreiche Zucht sieht. Eine Neuerung, welche Florian seit dieser Zuchtperiode einsetzt ist eine automatische Trinkanlage. Hierbei wird durch ein Schlauchsystem das Wasser an die jeweiligen Zuchtboxen und Volieren geleitet. Die Vögel trinken aus einem Messingnippel indem sie ein Metallstäbchen nach untern drücken (siehe auch Fotos). Das ganze System wird über einen Kanister, welcher über den Zuchtboxen angebracht ist gespeist. Florian äußerte sich zu dieser Form der Wasserverabreichung sehr positiv und hob vor allem die enorme Zeitersparnis und das nicht vorhandene Verunreinigungsrisiko hervor.
Fazit: Die Qualität der Böck-Zucht, sowohl in der Breite aber auch in der Spitze war für mich sehr beeindruckend. Der von Florian gezüchtete Wellensittich verfügt über herausragende Kopfeigenschaften in Breite, Höhe und Wuchsrichtung der Federn und ist zudem ein harmonischer Vogel mit breiten Schultern. Ich sehe in der Böck-Zucht für die Zukunft unheimliches Potenzial. Sie vereint im Wesentlichen die besten Zuchten unserer Zeit. Die praktizierte Linienführung ermöglicht aufgrund ihres Hintergrunds eine Kombination mit den meisten gängigen Linien und ist dennoch in sich gefestigt. Ich kann Florian an dieser Stelle nur mein Kompliment aussprechen und ihm für die Zukunft weiterhin viel Freude und Erfolg in der Schauwellensittichzucht wünschen.
1. Tell us about your background in the hobby. When and how you started, what your first set-up was like. Take us from those early days through the various stages through to today and then describe your current birdroom and birds. Do you have any special gadgets?
Florian Böck: In 1993, at the age of 14, I bought my first budgerigar from a breeder in my neighbourhood, not knowing that it would be the beginning of a wonderful hobby. Some more birds followed, mainly in nice colours. I paired them to get beautiful coloured chicks. I had a lot of pleasure with these birds and my first breeding success convinced me to continue. Soon I recognised, at the breeder Hans Schmidtmeister, that there were also show budgerigars. I liked these big birds, the first moment I saw them and bought some pairs. Today I am breeding with 20 pairs. I breed all normals, opalines, cinnamons, australian pieds, spangles, yellowfaces and texas clearbodies. I was able to improve the quality of the clearbody every year and stabilized this variety on a relatively high level. Since 1998 I have worked as a permanent author and translator for the German Budgerigar magazine (called Wellensittichmagazin) which is published by Schaper-Verlag once a month. This job offered the possibility to get in contact with a lot of top-breeders in Europe. Furthermore I was able to acquire more knowledge because of a number of interviews for the magazine with these breeders. Today my breeding bases on birds of the following breeders: Fritz Büttner, Daniel Lütolf and Ralph Jenne. Moreover I purchased individual birds of Hans Schmidtmeister, Georg Helm and Hermann Fried. Last but not least, I was lucky to get some Top-birds of Felix Gorgosilich in Vienna who quitted breeding some weeks after. Every bird I have taken into my breeding has its own qualities and the combination of all these birds allows a very optimistic point of view concerning the future.
2. How do you think the hobby has changed in those years - good and bad, and what fanciers have had the greatest influence on you through the years?
Florian Böck: First of all, there are some things that never change. On the one hand there is envy, breeders which know everything better, bad judges, lacks in keeping conditions, lack of discussion and profound argumentation towards public opinion and so on. On the other hand there are good friends, pleasure of watching nice birds, exhibition success, also envy (because if there isn't any envy you are not good) and relaxing moments in your stud. Furthermore when I started breeding I was the youngest breeder in my club and even one of the youngest in Germany. That didn't change either and I would feel better if there were some more breeders of my age. I received a lot of help from several breeders at the beginning. First of all there was Fritz Büttner who gave me a lot of very good birds. Today this beginner bonus got lost. One fact to worry about is that every year the number of exhibited birds on shows decreases and I wonder or hope that there will be a stagnation or even an increase in future. Not to forget- Today I have my own homepage www.standardwellensittiche.de, which gives further information about my stud in several languages.
1. Please describe your daily routine outside of the breeding season. What is your non-breeding diet? Tell us about any supplements you may use.
Florian Böck: There isn't a big difference between non-breeding and breeding diet. The most relevant is that there is less supplement and no egg food in the non-breeding diet. Concerning supplements I use Vitacombex and Murphys Minerals.
2. How are your birds flighted - mixed sexes or separate and what ratio of cocks and hens do you keep?
Florian Böck: The only separation is between youngsters and adults until the young ones are not older than about 12 months.
3. How important do you think outside flights are?
Florian Böck: Outside flights are important because the feathering is better when the birds have natural sun and air conditions. You can perhaps compensate a lack of outside flights if you have big windows, but don't forget to open them from time to time.
The Breeding Season
1. Describe your breeding cages and nest boxes. Have you ever tried other types of box or cage?
Florian Böck: My breeding cages are self made and 80*40*50cm large. All day breeding proofed that this size is the most comfortable one for me, because if the cages are smaller you cannot handle the cleaning that well, and if cages are very large the birds get lost and there is no good stimulation. My nest-boxes are completely made of plastic. I use the original plastic "Champion nest hollows"(see photo) because they are easy to clean and you can save some birds because the egg rolls back if the hen plays football.
2. Please describe your daily routine through the breeding season? What is your breeding season diet? Provide full details of any supplements you feed.
Florian Böck: Usually I arrive back at home from university at about five o'clock. After a short break I soon start my daily routine. First of all I switch on the radio in my stud. After having a brief look into the flights I start preparing the soft food. It consists of boiled eggs, oats (watered over night), and Witte Molen egg food and carrots. I add a spoon of olive oil because of the vitamins A, D, E (in the carrots) which are only soluble if you give some oil. Furthermore one spoon of Vitacombex and of a Calcium supplement is mixed to the soft food. I give fresh water to my birds(without any supplement) every day. After that, I begin controlling the nest-boxes, I ring birds if necessary, clean their feet or change eggs and chicks from one pair to a suitable other pair. After work, if there is any time left I enjoy watching nice youngbirds or perhaps candidates for a successful coming breeding season.
3. What influences the atmosphere of a birdroom the most and what have you done about it? How do you know the birds are in breeding condition?
Florian Böck: In my opinion, the most important point is hygiene. I don't mean sterile cages, but a constant level of proper cleaning. Fresh air is also very important. During winter, I open the windows for at least half an hour a day, during summer I close them only in the evening.
4. How much does pedigree and visual attributes influence your pairing decisions? How do you actually pair up?
Florian Böck: The nearest pairing I practise is uncle and niece or two cousins together. I do not go closer because I do not see any sense for a long perspective. Visual attributes are more important if you pair outcross birds from another stood because you aren't too much into the detail of their genetics. I prefer pairing different birds together for example long and short, smal and big, head vertical feathering with head horizontal feathering and so on. Moreover I try not to pair birds which have the same colour. I prefer pairing grey-factored birds with non grey factored birds, Normals to Opalines, Normals to Cinnamons. I never pair dark factored birds because the chicks you get tend to be smaller than dark factored out of dark and non dark.
5. Do you handle or mark eggs or use fosters, and if a complete clutch of clear eggs is laid what do you do?
Florian Böck: Every egg is marked with a soft pencil. I don' t pair any special foster pairs because there are always some pairs with a complete clear clutch of eggs which could be replaced. It would be nice to have that much fertile eggs that you have to pair special foster-pairs.
6. Do you handle the chicks in the nest very much, if so how? Also, do you grade your chicks while they are still in the nest and how do you spot a promising youngster? How do you wean your chicks? Do you make any diet changes?
Florian Böck: I handle the birds every day because I think that a budgie has to get used to contact with people. It is more stress for them to get used to it as a adult bird. No matter if it is a cage bird or a show bird. Yes, I grade my chicks even in the nest boxes because it is nice to dream about a superbird at this stage. I do not change the diet to wean the birds but I put an old non aggressive cock into the youngbirds' cage.
7. Tell us about your record keeping.
Florian Böck: I have a computer programme but I am too lazy to update it that often, usually once a week. I am still able to keep all ring numbers, colours and pedigrees in mind and if I need further information I have a small booklet with a lot of unreadable notes.
1. How and when do you choose what to keep and what to sell?
Florian Böck: It depends on the birds. Some birds are so bad that you can sell them after they have left the box. Some birds are so good that you won't sell them even for a one months' salary. But there are also a lot of birds of an average quality which I sell according to good or less good quality. I prefer to sell a good youngbird from two average parents to selling a middle quality bird out of my best pair.
2. What is the best tip that you have ever been given?
Florian Böck: At the age of 18 I visited Fritz Büttner the first time. I was very enthusiastic and couldn't wait to reach my aims. He told me that patience is the most important attitude towards the hobby and everything that happens to you in the hobby and in life as a whole. He told me to ask everything and not to be shy. Today I think, that first of all you have to educate your eye and that you have to be able to distinguish a good from a bad bird. To get a good eye you have to visit as many studs as possible not only the good ones even the bad ones, because if you know what a bad bird looks like you will also know what a good one looks like. Listen to everybody, but do not copy anything before having reflected upon it. Be aware that education and knowledge never ends. You have to be open minded towards the new but you shouldn't forget about the old. And of course there is the factor of being lucky.
Vorbeugende Wirkung gegen Kropfprobleme und für gute Futterverwertung.
Hilft den Vögeln eine gute Kondition zu erhalten. Zur Beimischung in das Weichfutter
A preventive herbs-mixture against crop problems. For good food absorbtion.
Helps birds to maintain a good condition. Mixed with soft food.
Inhalt: Basilikum, Oregano, Thymian, Salbei (basil, oregano, thyme, sage)
Ein Naturprodukt in Lebensmittelqualität
A natual product in food-grade
1 gehäufter Eßlöffel auf 1/2 kg Weichfutter
1 heaped tablespoon for 1/2 kg soft food
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2% Negersaat, 2% Hanf
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