Victor Xerri is a great Gloster from Malta.He is a very good friend of mine and it was a big honor and pleasure to be invited to his birdroom. The thing that really impressed me in Victor, is the way and the love that he shows when he is talking about birds.His hospitality is a typical "Greek". Honestly, i feel very lucky when i have the opportunity to visit and talk with breeders like Victor.Although his country is small, there are a lot of breeders epecially gloster breeders.I hope that i will see him judging in my country!!!
I do the palstering & painitng of my birdroom once every two years but I disinfect my cages twice a year, before the breeding season and after the breeding season, that takes me nearly two weeks cause I wash the cages twice with 2 different disinfectants .
Q.15: In what age do you start the training for the young birds?
|Victor with Rob Wright|
Q.1: In what age did you start breeding canaries?
My life was always birds & feathers since I was a little child. From the age of 9 years till now never stayed a day without a bird at home. I started breeding canaries bout 25 years ago, as I started with ordinary or common canaries.
Q.2: Why did you decide to breed Gloster canaries? it was family tradition? Love at first sight or you just like this type?
In our family none of us is or was a breeder. I started breeding Gloster canaries cause I liked the bird especially the corona ones & the type of the bird it self
Q.3: How many pairs do you breed now? The past years?
At the first time I started breeding canaries I started with 4 pairs , then the number of pairs kept rising up at the moment I keep between 50 & 55 pairs each year.
Q.4: How many square meters is your bird room?
My Bird room is 17 feet x 13 feet x 14 feet. ( sorry I don’t know how to change them to square meters)
Q.5: Do you have sun lighting or lamps?
As I don’t have to much sunlight in my brid room I use 3 LED tubes of 5 foot each & 3 60 watts halogen bulbs to with a dimmer for sunrise & sunset that dims the light on & off within 30 minutes time.
Q.6: What type of cages do you use?
My breeding cages are boxes made off 9 mm ply wood with a vertical wire front .
Q.7: What are their dimensions?
They are 2 foot long x 1 feet width x 1 feet 3 inches high which they can be divided in 2 cages of 1 foot each which I use when I start training my birds.
Q.8: Do you think that a flight cage is necessary? What dimensions do you prefer
Flight cages are always necessary especially for the young birds after have been weaned until their moulting period, but I use my flight cages for my hens before the breeding and even for the cocks before the breeding cause some exercise will do them for good . About the dimensions of the flight cages all I can say is one thing , the bigger they be the better they are, I have 2 flight cages of 7 feet 6 inches long x 34 inches high x 3 feet width.
Q.9: Do you have the same mixture of seeds whole the year? What do you change per season?
I feed my birds 3 different mixture of seeds , I use Super breeding canary seed in breeding time till moulting is finished, than I change of mixture to Show canary seed and after show season I change my mixture Light canary seed. I always use the same brand of seeds.
Q.10: What type of egg food do you use?
I use 2 different kind off egg food which are Orlux eggfood dry bu Verselle Laga & Moist Amarillo Fly Pate by Raggio di Sole .
Q.11: How many times per year do you disinfect your bird room?
Q.12: Can you tell us a tip, what to do when we are choosing the birds to be pairs? benefits of cocks, benefits of hens etc.
Well, this is the most delicate part of the game. When you start choosing your birds you have to select all kind off birds not only show birds some times the worst bird in you bird room might be a big help for your breeding season. First thing I do is selecting all the hens that I think that will help me in produce competitive birds , than I start selecting the cocks now the hard work is coming , when you are selecting the cocks you have to look carefully to each hen to see with which hewn the cock will be the best and keep going till you pair all the hens one by one , sometimes happens that you cant find a perfect cock for the right hen so in that occasion you just the hen for the last and than take another look carefully maybe you can change or use a cock with 2 hens.
It is very important that you always keep the records of your breeding season from the year you have started so when you’re doing the selection (especially hens) make sure that hens are coming from good parents that they raise their young without any problem, if an unflighted hen is coming from a mother parent that doesn’t raise her young well better send her away.
The most important thing is that don’t keep any birds with faults that are heritable cause you will have a mess in your bird room.
Q.13: How many births do you have from one pair?
It depends but most prob 2 nests , there will be some expectations that I will have 3 nests and even 1 nest but in a very rare occasion..
Q.14: Do you use foster parents? what type of canaries?
I only use fostering parents when a hen abandon the eggs or die while sitting on eggs but if a hen abandon her young ones even at 1 day old I will do the rest of the job. I have a small egg incubator , put the young one in and hand raise them my self with a special crop needle with Hand Mix by the brand Orlux, Verselle Laga.
You need to have big patience and a lot of time cause the have to be fed nearly every hour just a little by little
( as I forget to tell I am retired so I have many time )
Q.15: In what age do you start the training for the young birds?
I start training my young birds as soon as I wash & disinfectant the breeding cages after the breeding season. First i start with coronas with ones from first round cause they’ll be advanced in their moulting I always keep the consorts for last but still I start training them in the early September , 3 months before our Annual Gloster Show.
Q 16: Gloster canaries are very popular in Malta can you tell us a few words for your club?
Yes, Glosters canaries are very popular in Malta as we are just a small island and our population is small but the club which I show my birds has over 80 members. We have 2 glosters clubs in Malta which are : Malta Gloster Breeders Society that it was est. 1996 so last year it was its 20 years anniversary & is the only club that I am whole member in it and show my birds & the other club is Maltese Gloster Associtation which was formed 2 years ago... There are other Bird clubs that you can show glosters too but the other clubs are clubs of all species not just glosters...