International Gloster Breeders Association

Affiliated to

International-Ornithological-Association
National-Council-for-Aviculture-NCA

International Gloster Breeders Association

Affiliated to

International-Ornithological-Association
National-Council-for-Aviculture-NCA

International Gloster
Breeders Association

Gloster Colour Debate – Gloster Q & A Rene Alssema

Gloster Colour Debate – Gloster Q & A Rene Alssema

In my recent letter to Cage and Aviary Birds, among the points I tried to make was not making assumptions based on blind assumption! It may well be that I have been as guilty of this as the next man. For all of my twenty-five years with Glosters, when the subject of “new colours” is concerned two things were accepted as given. One, that these birds originated in Europe and are being imported from there, and two, all these birds only existed as a result of cross breeding Glosters with coloured canaries.

Having interviewed Rene Alssema, it would appear that this is not the case. I leave, you the reader, to make up your own minds.Rene Alssema, has bred top quality Gloster canaries for many years. Consistently winning at top shows across Europe and judging internationally also at the highest level on regular basis year in year out. 

Rene Alssema
Agate Consort Cock

 

Rene is also one of the most prominent leading breeders working with “new colours” for many years to establish them to a very high standard. Having got his first Agate Gloster in 1978, there are few better to ask than him regarding these birds. Which as you will see from the attached, he has bred some superb examples.

Question One Rene, When did you start with Glosters and where did you get your initial stock from?

Answer.

I started breeding canaries at ten years of age. After three years I bought my first Glosters and became a member of the local canary club. Many members of the club bred type canaries such as Norwich, Yorkshire’s and Glosters. Every year these older, fellow fanciers would visit the English National Show. First at Crystal Palace and then, later, Birmingham. Because I was the youngest, and unable to travel, they would bring me back a few Glosters from the sales sections. I never knew the names of the original breeders. That was the start of my bloodline. From the beginning I had to build my bloodline from these birds. After only a few years I was lucky enough to breed a few winning birds. Even though it is now many years ago. These birds are the very foundations on which my present stud of birds has been built.

Question Two. What do you look for in a quality Gloster?

Answer.

Firstly, all Glosters, regardless of colour, should be judged to the same standard. To be considered a top-quality Gloster it must have a short round body with neat, short wings and tail. However, it is all about the finished overall bird being balanced. It must also have good feather quality and good natural colour. You are aiming to get all these features, together, on the bird. That is what makes the Gloster such a wonderful challenge. I often see birds on Facebook with these qualities and they are a joy to see. However, I also see “winning” birds on Facebook that do not conform to these ideals. Looking, in some instances, as though they haven’t progressed from forty years ago! You have to have a progressive attitude in your aim to move your birds forward. The quality of Glosters at the top level is getting better and better across the fancy as a whole. This has to be a positive.

Question Three  How did you start with “non-standard / new colours” ?

Answer. 

 

My first example was an Agate consort acquired from England in 1978. It was a Gloster, without doubt. At that time some were popping up. The first time that I was asked to judge the Kent All Gloster. I judged a cinnamon class with two wonderful Isobel’s in it. So, they were being produced, accidentally or not, at that time in England.

Agate Consort Cock

In Holland, at the time, there were classes for these birds but in England they were not allowed, as they were not included on the standard class classification for Gloster shows.

Because of this, it may be the case that as and when a UK breeder bred one they either did not recognise what they had produced, or because they could not be shown felt that there was no point in keeping them so they were offloaded.

Isobel Consort Hen.

 

 

Both the Agate and Isobel mutation have occurred in other canaries for over a hundred years. There are tens of thousands of Glosters bred just in recent years, so eventually new mutations will occur.

My very first Satinette was bred in my own shed by chance.

 

Around ten years ago, on a visit to the U.K., I visited a breeder of note in the Midlands. I was fortunate enough to get a four-year-old variegated buff corona cock that had bred some super youngsters for its owner. The following year I paired it to a three parts dark consort hen and got three youngsters. As one of the youngsters started feathering up I noticed that it had red eyes. I thought at first that I had bred a clear cinnamon maybe! After three weeks I could see stripes running through the feathers on the back. The soft under feather was grey, with all other areas being clear, other than the light stripes on the back. I sent the picture to a top Italian breeder and judge who is a friend and he confirmed that it was a Satinette. So this Satinette appears to have been a random mutation out of two normal Glosters. I contacted the breeder of the corona cock. Who confirmed that he had never had “new colours” and that the cock bird, paired three years running in his shed, had only produced “normal” youngsters. So that first Satinette appears to have been the result of a mutation out of pure Glosters!

Satinette Corona Hen
White Agate Consort Cock
Satinette Consort Hen

I am a Gloster breeder, whose only aim is to breed quality Glosters. As all shows in Europe have classes for such birds it is relatively simple to gauge the quality of your own birds when compared to others of the same colour. Within two years I was producing Agates that were winning and with the Satinette, it was winning during its first year and for a few years after, such was its quality. This is only possible because they are Glosters bred out of good Glosters that are pure Gloster. That is why, when I see comments on Facebook stating that they are as a result of cross breeding with coloured canaries, it disappoints me. Mine are NOT bred that way but I can only speak for myself.

As these birds are scarce, obviously, they command a higher price than usual. There are, without doubt, breeders that have crossed them with coloured canaries. In an effort to make money. I do not agree with this practise. If it comes out of pure Gloster stock then it is 100% Gloster. If it comes out a cross between Glosters and coloured canaries. Then you create a mix of genetics that may destroy the fixed genetics of the pure Gloster for many years, if not for good.

Question Four.  So where do you see “new colours” going in the future,  

Answer.

I think that in the future you will see more and more “new colours”. While judging in Spain and Portugal I have seen Pheaos and Pastles of a very high quality, these will emerge to the wider fancy in time. You cannot stop progress and as well as looking very nice, they can only add to the attraction of Gloster canaries.

 
 

Paul Burnett – B139 Portsmouth – Champion Breeder Exhibitor, International. Judge.

Interview published in Cage & Aviary Birds Issue 6309 March 27th 2024 

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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