2012 Diary Page 

Click on the month below that you want to read about

January February March April May June July August September October November December

January 

A total of fourteen fanciers visited my Birdroom in the month of January including Pat Doyle from County Louth Rep of Ireland. Pat has now got a nice family of my Fifes since his first visit in 2010. This last year 2011 his birds bred from my stock have won Best Novice and Best Fife over in the Rep of Ireland. This last visit saw him take back a lovely Yellow Green Hen out of "Hawkeye"

 

Pat Doyle Co Louth, Rep of Ireland holding "Hawkeye" one of my top breeding birds, when visiting my Birdroom in January.

Gary & Andy Hughes from Rhos, Wrexham also took a few more to strengthen their family of Fife, which are all from my stud, this partnership will be hitting the show scene for the first time this year. Up and coming novice Dan Stevens from down the Conwy Valley, in North Wales came for a Blue Hen to pair to his good Yellow Green Cock, that won Best Novice and Best Fife twice in 2011. My birds have now been transferred into my second birdroom, the Hens totaling thirty six are all in an indoor flight, until the end of the month, the cocks totaling twenty two are in single cages.

The temperature is a constant 50 degrees F, the lights have been extended and the birds get 12 hours light every day. The cocks are really bouncing, the Hens are also coming nicely into condition. Old "Hawkeye" looks good again, having sired thirty one youngsters in 2011. I'm looking for a few more out of him again this year. The " Golden Pair" H.V.Blue Cock and Vari Yellow Hen from Gerald Spencer are also looking good, hoping to produce some more like the good White Hen of last Year.

My IOA rings have arrived, and having not competed in Europe since 2008 if my health keeps ok, I will be sending birds to compete abroad this time round. Finally to all those fanciers who have kept in touch re my health, a big thank you, I've been told to slow up, so its up to me. See you in the month of February with another update. Dave.

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February

A quiet month, with not many visitors but plenty of enquiries for birds. The birds are getting near to complete fitness in time for pairing up second week of March. The main birdroom is ready for breeding, all boxes been painted and sprayed to eliminate any form of mite.  

This is the nest bowl system I use, don't have any dirty rear wall from youngsters fouling. Photograph Hens relaxing in second birdroom Launch of my latest book, now available

"Hawkeye" itching to get with the Hens. Last year he sired over thirty youngsters with a 96% fertility rate. He is now four year old and will be paired to four or five Hens again this year 100% Gerald Spencer .Bred by my good friends Jim & Marlene Gibson.

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March

My first youngsters hatched out on 28th March from a "Abbas" and a "Atira", three youngsters. followed by five youngsters from a "Gaia" x "Agathe" I have had a number of clear eggs. the weather here in North Wales is so changeable. Its early days, although their are youngsters about, even some on perches. I went to the Fife Federation AGM in Blackpool on Sunday 1st April, only six clubs represented out of over twenty who are affiliated. Main topic was a proposal that the distance between perches on the show cages be reduced by one wire, to make it a four spaces between perches as opposed to the current five spaces. This was defeated, the new pictorial model as drawn up by Andy McEwan was excepted. Other issues raised were concerning the Canary Council.  

First chicks of 2012 out of "Atira" feeding her chicks. "Agathe" covering her five chicks.

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April

As I pen these notes on the 30th April, I have thirty youngsters to date. Had a few mishaps but I'm confident that I will breed one hundred plus this season. I've been asked more than once when do I put my youngsters on hard seed. Firstly I wean off between 22 - 24 days old, the youngsters are put on a bed of "Easybed" , they have plenty of broccoli, soft food "Gold Label Feast" and soak seed in front of them. They also have pin head oat meal and a mixture of Haith Kraker Tonic, Haith Condition Seed and wild Bird seed, I find this mixture a good introduction before going on to Country Wide seed in one month time.   Paid a visit to young up and coming Fife fanciers down the Conwy Valley, Dan Stevens and Greg Spencer the other day, both are very keen, and have done well on the CBS front. Both had youngsters and two nice bird rooms. 

 

Dan Stevens with his good 2011 Yellow Green Cock winner of numerous prizes in 2011. Greg Spencer with his Terry Kelly Cock John Roberts of Conwy looking over his breeding pairs.

I'm glad to here that Jim Gibson is better after not being to well lately, it was from Jim that I had my good stock cock "Hawkeye". This cock bred thirty plus youngsters in 2011, I was wondering if he was going to do the business again this year, well I'm pleased to say I have four youngsters to date from him, including two with his daughter "Adele". and he has just put three more hens down, so the old fellow has it still him. See you next month.

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May

Everything going to plan in my Birdroom with a total of 83 chicks to date towards my target of 120. I'm very pleased with what I have bred to date, the crossing of the "Hawkeye" lines into the birds bred out of the "Golden Pair" which is 100% Gerald Spencer bloodlines are looking very good. I'm looking forward to having a good show season in the UK and Europe this year.   Had a visit from North Wales FFCC President Richard Owen during this Month, Richard very kindly gave me a bird table, which he had made, see photo, this now takes pride of place in my garden, and is much admired by visitors to my birdroom.   Another visitor during May was Peter Lewis and his wife Jane, who farm in the Welsh village of Cerrigrudidion, Conwy. Peter has probably the biggest and best Stud of the late Harry Stanways birds to be found. Like Richard, Peter is a big supporter of the North Wales FFCC, they have and still donate cash specials, which is much appreciated.  

Richard Owen North Wales FFCC President with the bird table he made for me. Peter Lewis in my Birdroom with "Plato" son of the "Golden Pair"

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June

Homing in on my required number of youngsters for this year. To date 33 pairs have been ordered, I have got most of the colours as well this year. I will be looking to get my birds through the moult quickly by using the darkness system. I nearly lost my good White Hen "Aurora" during this month, after weaning a cracking youngster from her when paired to "Hawkeye" at 24 days old, the following day she went into some form of fit throwing herself against the cage front and side walls. After she slumped into a corner, I took her out and administered "Carrs" spray formula for cuts, bruises, wounds etc, because by now she was like a coloured canary, blood everywhere. By using a syringe I gave her some "Guardian Angel" and left some Gold Label feast in front of her. Not expecting her to be there in the morning, she pulled through, after 48 hours I hand washed her, but even now, she still has blood stains in her feathers. A week on and she is now with a few youngsters, making a recovery, will she breed again next year, time will tell.

Photo of a young 2012 Blue Cock out of a Yellow Green Cock  son of "Hawkeye" when paired the Blue Hen a daughter of the "Golden Pair".

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Having lost my Andy McEwan Cock "Rambo" earlier in the season, I have now been able to buy back a direct son. Clear Yellow Cock, bred 2011 he will become the new "Rambo"

 

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July

Had a visit from Graham Holdsworth and his wife Joanne during July, Graham keeps a small but successful team of Fifes in Lancashire. Another visitor was Jim Sherwood from Chester. Jim doesn't show birds, but likes a few Fifes for pleasure. The month of July has been a month of ups and downs, on the upside, I became a grandfather, my daughter Jane having a baby girl in Sweden. On the down side, a problem with  computer, caused a headache whilst a number of my youngsters died at six to seven weeks old. I hope that I have rectified the problems with my PC and youngsters.   The Trophies, Rosettes etc have arrived for our Show in November, the first Specialist Show at the West of Scotland will soon be upon us in 12 weeks time.   Everyone that I have spoken to have the best Fifes that they have ever bred, so the competition out there this year will be stronger than ever. Myself I'm keeping a low profile and see what happens.     Jim Sherwood became visitor 218 to visit my birdroom, mostly from the UK, but also from Sweden, Canada, Portugal, Norway, Austria and Ireland,   The weather here in North Wales has been a mixture of Sun, Rain, Wind, temps have been up and down, not what you want at this time of year, as your birds go through their moulting period.

 

Graham Holdsworth with "Abbas" a son of "Hawkeye" Jim Sherwood also with "Abbas"

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August

Another month has gone, had young Pheobe Evans and her father Steve visit me this month. Pheobe has already started winning with her Fifes, and will be looking forward to competing at our show in North Wales. Last year saw four juniors competing, this year the competition looks like been bigger and better. Pheobe has a very nice set up at home in Shropshire and even has a few Borders as well.   The demand for my birds this year has outgrown the number that I will have available, my biggest problem is having more young cocks than Hens.   Having been over to Sweden to visit my daughter and first grandchild, on my return I have now got my young fifes in semi darkness, to quicken the moult. Not only does this work, but it keeps the birds calmer as they progress through the moult.  

Photograph - Pheobe Evans in my birdroom with "Hawkeye"

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September

September was a busy month, firstly I gave a talk to thirty business ladies at Venue Cymru in Llandudno about my Fife Canaries, it went down well, a lot of interest. Andy Hughes of Rhos, Wrexham visited my bird room with his father Garry, then have a stud of my Fifes, and are happy with what they have bred this year for the show bench. Werner Kolter and his wife from Germany also paid me a visit, and took two flighted cocks back with them, which included "Mt T" Variegated Buff Cock of the Spencer lines. Finally I had the opportunity to visit Phil Warne, not that I am going in for Borders, but the set up, the birds and the man himself were all a class act. My first show of the 2012 season will be the Fife National at Stafford followed by the West of Scotland, then it will be most weekends as I put my birds up against the best in the UK and Europe in December when I go to the Golden Ring show in Belgium.  

Two members of the Ormeside Ladies Probus Club with my birds. Andy Hughes with a young Blue Cock a grandson of Hawkeye
Werner Kolter with Abbas a son of Hawkeye Myself with Phil Warne

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October

The month of October was another busy month, with Fred Grimmer and his son in law from North Yorks, Jeff Hamlett and a fancier from abroad calling. My birds started the season well with a H.V.Yell Green Hen taking second at the Fife National in Stafford and then winning Best Champion, Best Fife and Best Canary against 230 at the "Pride of the Isle" Show. Another bird doing well is a Clear Buff Hen who Best Clear at the "Pride of the Isle" Show, 1st in the Clear Buff Hen Class at the North Wales FFCC Show and 2nd Best Clear out of 72 birds, and a class winner at Denbigh CBS. The Variegated Cinnamon Hen has 2 x Firsts and a third to her name at present. This Hen was spooked on Bonfire night and just wasn't right for the North Wales Show, although judge Charlie Adams, liked her very much.

 

H.Vari Yell Green Hen

Clear Buff Hen   

Variegated Cinnamon Hen

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November

A few more shows, a few more wins, in fact I reached 280 firsts in this month since I started 15 years ago. The highlight of this month was winning a gold and silver at the Golden Ring Show in Roeselare Belgium. My Vari Yell Cinnamon Hen took Gold with 93 pts and one of my Blue Hen took silver with 91pts, my other three birds took 90 pts and 2 x 89 pts. This was my first attempt at this Show. The Cinnamon Hen had won two firsts and a third in the UK before going there. This was the Hen that was spooked on Bonfire Night prior to the North Wales FFCC Show, I worked on her, and she really looked the part over there, having many admirers. Must thank Richard Lumley President of the IOA for convoying my birds safely there and back. Whilst collecting my birds from Richard after the Show, called in on my good friends Fred Grimmer and his son in law Shaun in Pickering. They have a number of my birds, ready to breed from in 2013. I'm confident that Fred & Shaun will do well on the show bench next year. Fred is a very successful Racing Pigeon fancier so his breeding knowledge will be a big plus, Shaun is very keen, has a lovely birdroom, and wants to be successful.

Not many shows left now, May do the Welsh National in January.

Variegated Cinnamon Hen Gold Winner in Belgium

 

Myself with Blue Hen Silver winner and Vari Cinnamon Hen

Gold Winner Golden Ring Show 2012

Shaun Hornby & Fred Grimmer in my Birdroom in November

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December

Another season coming to an end. I'm pleased with what I bred, and the results on the show bench. I had many visitors from across the UK and Europe I hope those who had birds from me will breed some nice fifes in 2013.
 

My four Best Birds of 2013 :

 

Vari Cinnamon Hen winner of 4 x Firsts 1 x Third including Gold Medal winner at Golden Ring show Belgium

Blue Hen winner of 2 x First 1 x Second and Silver Medal Winner at Golden Ring Show

 

Heavy Vari Yell Green Hen 1 x First 1 x Second 1 x Third including Best Champion, Best Fife, Best Canary, Best Unflighted at the Pride of the Isle Show over 230 entries.

 

Vari Yell Cinnamon Cock winner of 3 x Firsts 1 x Second

1 x Third and Best Cinnamon at the Pride of the Isle Show,

 

 

 

 

 

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