My Flock

My Flock

WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY CVETANCO GLIGOROVSKI

Introduction

I currently have over 100 birds ranging in size from the little Orange-breasted Waxbill to the largest Sulphur-crested Cockatoo. I was introduced to birds at the tender age of six when my grandfather bought me a pair of ordinary Budgerigars back in my homeland of Macedonia. Together my grandfather and I quickly established a business breeding Budgerigars and selling them to all the pet shops in the city. I was having so much fun breeding and learning about these birds, but sadly it all came to an end when my family and I moved to Adelaide, Australia in 2004. Two years later my father and I built an aviary complex in which to breed and house a large variety of birds.

My aviaries today

Breeding

Some of the birds I have successfully bred include Painted Firetail Finches Zebra Finches, Orange-breasted Waxbills, Double-barred Finches, Star Finches, Society Finches, Gouldian Finches, Blue-faced Parrot Finches, Budgerigars, Cockatiels, Bourke’s Parrots, Elegant Parrots, Princess Parrots, lovebirds, kakarikis, King Quail, Japanese Quail, Crested Canaries, and Red and Yellow factor canaries.
Spring is always an exciting time because I know my birds are preparing to breed. Nests are set up in all the aviaries, ranging from small to large boxes and even logs.  I use wood shavings for all my nests and supply swamp grass for my finches.
Three years ago I bought a six-month-old pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos. This being their third year, my fully matured hen has now laid an egg in her log and is currently sitting on it. I would like to start handraising birds beginning with the young of this Sulphur-crested Cockatoo.

My pair of Sulphur-crested Cockatoos (cock on right)

I have also recently built breeding cages for some of my finches, mainly for selective breeding purposes.

My breeding cages


Some of my Gouldian Finces


Various finch species

Feeding

My birds’ diet consists of a large variety of foods. I have three different mixes—small/large/canary mix, and my birds are offered additional fruit and vegetables such as salads, carrots, broccoli, watermelon and corn. During the breeding season I supply my finches with softfood, mealworms and soaked seed which seem to increase my breeding success rate.
Recent Acquisitions
I recently acquired a handraised Eclectus Parrot hen. She is currently 11 months of age and she talks. This is a first for me as I have never kept exotic parrots, let alone parrots that talk! In the future I would like to find her a good quality cock and begin breeding them.

My Eclectus Parrot hen

Conclusion

In conclusion, working with birds is exciting and rewarding—I learn new things about them almost everyday. I recommend that beginner aviculturists learn as much as possible about a particular species of bird that you want to get before buying it. Consulting with private breeders is also very helpful.
In the near future I would like to start my own business as a professional bird breeder.
I would like to thank my father for his contribution to building the aviaries and starting me off with birds. 

Highly Commended was awarded to Cvetanco for this entry into the 2009 Syd Smith Memorial Young BirdKeeper Writing Competition—congratulations from ABK Publications!
 

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