Second in a Three Part Series
Part Two. Developing the selection criteria for a yellow feathered Gloster.
In this the second part of the series I will look at the criteria for choosing a yellow Gloster.
Choosing a yellow feathered bird to improve your stud can be a daunting experience, it has so many pitfalls. I will list some of them as follows –
- From whom do I acquire my yellow?
- Do we use a consort or a corona?
- Do we use a cock or hen?
- Do we use a self or a variegated bird?
- Does the depth of colour matter more than type or vice versa?
Let us look at each point on its own and develop the issue.
1) When you wish to buy a yellow feathered Gloster it must be done with one thought in mind and that is to improve your stud of buff feathered birds.
Too many Glosters, and we all have the odd one or two, show too much feather and that bird can be termed “open feathered”. It will be large crested or heavy browed, broad tailed, loose around the leg area, washed out in colour, unpolished, and above all when handled, woolly.
If you have an abundance of these birds, you have a problem with your breeding programme and you should seek to redress the problem.
If the problem is too great, that is you have too high a percentage of the above, it may take drastic action to cure the problem. You might even wish to dispose of most of these birds which show the undesired quality you are looking for, and only keep two or three to lay the foundation of a stud of Gloster Canaries of the type and quality needed to do well on the show bench.
The most important rule when using your yellow is to pair it to the best of your birds, and by this I do not mean only type but also a bird with a quality in its feathering which can be improved, and not a bird which is a lost cause.
Do not think the introduction of the yellow feather can cure years of double buffing overnight it cannot, it takes time and patience. When looking from whom to buy a yellow, first look at the feather and colour of the buff feathered birds.
These should be tight feathered, of good colour and of the required type to excel on the show bench. If this exhibitor does show yellows, have a good look at his best. These yellows must be highly coloured and tight feathered with a piped tail.
The wings need to be of a neat length lying nicely side by side with secondary flights unseen. The yellow you purchase should come from a good stud of buff feathered birds depicting the above criteria. Remember at this stage your yellow is a tool for you to use within your bird room.
2) Do we use a corona or a consort? It does not really matter at this stage, it depends on your own birds and what is available. The criteria you should be looking for are colour and tightness of feather and of course the genetical background of such a bird. So remember, colour, tightness of feather and pedigree.
3) The use of a cock or hen does not play a major part in your decision at this early stage but a cock can give you more options for the future. By pairing him to two or three hens you should be able to breed your own hens for the future.
My preferences are self-yellow consort hens, closely followed by yellow corona hens; these birds by enlarge come closer to the ideal Gloster than corona or consort cocks.
4) I prefer self or foul birds rather than variegated for one simple reason, green is the natural colour and it must be used with your clear or variegated birds. In other canary breeds three parts dark and self greens are always used to keep depth of colour in the clear or lightly marked birds. We must use the self yellow green Gloster in exactly the same way.
5) In the initial stage of introducing yellow feather where such feather has been lacking for a good few generations, colour and feather type are as important as the overall Phenotype (hereditary characteristics of the individual), however what is also important is the Genotype (genetic make-up of the individual) of the bird. You must consider the lines running through your stock and acquire your yellow accordingly.
The above are just general rules to follow when selecting your yellows and the fancier must apply caution when both selecting a suitable yellow and when applying buff x buff mating’s.