International Gloster Breeders Association

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International Gloster
Breeders Association

Featured Member – Pete Bull

Featured Member – Pete Bull

After some 33 years of breeding foreign birds, starting with Zebra’s and Bengalese, then Australian (Gouldians, Diamonds, Stars, Hecks and Parsons) with some really good show results across the UK in all species, the highlight being the Best in Show at the 2007 Australian Finch Society with a CYB Hecks and also winning third best in show with a CYB Star which produced an absolutely fantastic feeling – “I saw the light” and decided to breed my favourite canary – the Gloster, which i first fell in love with back in the 1970’s. 

So in 2010 i transformed my birdroom ready to take canaries, which i thought would be big enough, but…….a few year later extended it to its current size of 16 feet square containing 90 (Ninety) cages and an inside flight. 

Living on the Isle of Wight transport can be a problem at times – booking / cancellation of ferries, anticipating weather conditions and of course cost (current cost of day return approximately £60 – £65 depending on the season, and weekend trips are even more expensive!!)

Planning to do 8 (Eight) shows a season, that equates to a fair sum before i’ve even left Portsmouth. Thankfully there is usually two of us splitting the cost.  

Brought up on a farm, and choosing to work with dairy cows, showing them taught me that general husbandry and hygiene are very important factors in keeping livestock and this continues with keeping the birds.

I started off with 7 (Seven) pairs of Glosters in 2011. The hardest thing i had to get my head around was that the breeding season doesn’t start until the end of March beginning April and is relatively short when compared to pairing the Australians between Christmas and New Year which could go on forever if desired. 

The Foreign section of the hobby doesn’t have Champion / Novice Status, so i was going to compete in the Novice section again for the first time since the early 1980’s when i was showing Zebra’s.

My first breeding season had its ups and downs but i managed to breed 36 youngsters.

My early years showing as a Novice was very rewarding, winning several Best Novice awards at All Gloster shows. Disaster struck in 2014 when for the first time in my bird keeping career i got plagued with the dreaded mite. Foreign birds don’t seem to get this problem. I had heard people talking about mite and would treat birds with Spot-On before the breeding season but that was about all – but once bitten twice shy as the saying goes and i will do everything in my power to avoid a repeat. I believe changing mite treatments every two years or so helps prevent mite becoming resistant to treatments.

A good recovery in 2015 enabled me to have a good selection to show, with a few really nice TPD’s that i hoped would hold their own in the novice section. My first show was “The National” at Stafford, into which i entered a small team of 8 [eight] birds due to the fact that many were not yet through the moult.


On entering the show hall i was totally gobsmacked to find out that i had not only won Best Novice but also Best Gloster with an unflighted TPD corona hen, and Best Yellow with an unflighted Corona hen.



With some other good results that year, i decided to book some time off work for the following October to show at my first IGBA, as i only had two years remaining as a novice, and i wanted to put my birds out at the UK’s  biggest All Gloster. I entered a team of 13 [Thirteen] and to my amazement was awarded Best Novice Corona and Consort. This was a very special moment and highlight of my time in Glosters. 

There was a downside to this as a lot of my best birds were TPD’s, and in the flighted classes there were only one or two entries.

Several people had spoken to me suggesting that i moved up to Champion status a year early so the birds could get the recognition they deserved, but i chose to have another crack at the IGBA in 2017. I’m glad i did as winning Best Novice Consort and Best Novice Corona made it worthwhile.

Now a Champion in 2018 i felt a bit apprehensive as i would be up against “The Big Boys” and hoped that i might be in the mix in some of the classes. The Stafford National  would be my first show. Entering a team of 15 [Fifteen] birds i wasn’t expecting anything but i won Best Opposite Head with a Cinnamon Consort Hen (which would go on to win Best Cinnamon later in the season at the South Coast All Gloster).

With two fourths and a fifth in big classes at the IGBA two weeks later and then winning Best Opposite Head at the Southern All Gloster i then realised that i had birds able to compete at this level. Probably the best result of that season was at the West Midland Gloster Association event having 13 [thirteen] out of 15 [fifteen] placed in the cards showed me the consistency i had in my stud.



After Covid we were all glad to get back to exhibiting in 2021, although depleted due to Avian Flu restrictions. I entered two All Gloster shows winning my first Best Cinnamon colour award at the IGBA.

When i started as a Novice in Glosters i tried to get the best birds i could to start my stud (if only i had a few of those birds i bred in my first year of 2011 now….).

If i had to make recommendations to newcomer/ Novices they would be: Try to build a stud around the better birds, never get disheartened if things don’t go according to plan, never expect to win but certainly enjoy it if you do.

When going up to Champion status remember you will be competing against people who have been breeding and exhibiting for many years.

Luck plays a big part in this as well [my 2015 National winning hen would never have existed if my original pairing hadn’t fought like cat and dog – they were split up and another cock put to the hen and the winner was produced] 

Pete Bull June 2022

Join the International Gloster Breeders Association

Formed in 1966 the world’s largest All-Gloster Society devoted to keeping, breeding and the welfare of Gloster Canaries.

Join the International Glosters Breeders Association and become an activate member of our community

Join the International Gloster Breeders Association

Formed in 1966 the world’s largest All-Gloster Society devoted to keeping, breeding and the welfare of Gloster Canaries.

Join the International Glosters Breeders Association and become an activate member of our community

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