A NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
By Mick Freakley (Freakley & Ainley)
So what is it?
It's a grey, it's a blue, it's a half-sider, its French Moulter, and it's a Feather duster!!!
This very different cock bird was bred by Ian on the 5th July 2008, and started life as a French Moulter. Its Father is the Sky-blue BS club show winner, and its Mother is an outstanding grey from the Freakley & Ainley very successful spangle line.
A half sider is where the colour gene becomes split and so does the feathers on the bird, as you can see from the photo's he is split right down the middle, grey and skyblue. As stated, he was also a French Moulter which is quite common, caused by a virus, but not usually a problem as the feathers lost due to the F/M soon grow back.
The real issue is that he is also a Feather Duster on the blue side, usually, feather dusters only live for around 3 months maximum, due to the rate they grow, and cannot sustain themselves and usually starve to death, but this guy is only a quarter duster in as much it is only the breast part of the blue side that is affected. The cere is also slightly different in colour on either side.
He is currently housed in a large flight cage with a number of other birds, he can certainly hold his own.
He is growing into a very good quality bird and if he shows sign's in that direction I will have no hesitation in trying to breed from him.
Since the article was written, he has been paired up to a grey hen and is now the proud Father of two healthy chicks, with one egg still to hatch, I believe this is the first time in budgie history that a feather duster has been able to breed, it will certainly be interesting to see what he produces. Updates soon so keep posted.
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