1) Daniel, how does the hobby started in your life?
What is your birds origen?
I started at the age of 11, so almost 30 years ago, with
the small budgies. In our village in Würenlos there
was another champion breeder, where I saw the first big
Show budgies. First I didnt like them at all, but suddenly
I got infected by the virus called "Show budgie".
The basement of my birds consists from Heinrich Ott, who
went regularly to Ormerod/Saddler in the 1970ies to purchase
really good birds.
In the following year i had birds from most Top studs in
the World like Jo Mannes, Reinhard Molkentin, Pat de Beer,
Kurt Vogt and many more. Kurt Vogt was the one i could learn
a lot from how to manage a modern stud and how to handle
2) How many and which are main families in your stud?
Its hard to answer this question because I always try to
mix the families, regardless of colours. Like this I keep
fertilty and can avoid inbreeding damages.
3) How do you mate the families?
I never breed to close. The maximum is cousin to cousin.
I am looking more after the phenotype than after the genotype.
4) What do you prefer to introduce in your stud: in-breeding,
line-breeding or outcross birds?
I practice a mixture of all those different ways. Most of
the time I let the bird choose his partner itself. Like
this most of the eggs get fertile.
5) What is the origin from the birds you use to
refresh your blood nowadays?
In the last years I used succesfully birds from Kurt Vogt
and Pat de Beer, but also from Erich Schrank, Ralph Jenne,
Andreas Conrades and Sepp Klessinger, German breeders, who
are also good friends of mine. I prefer birds, who already
have a certain amount of my bloodline to work with as outcrosses.
6) How can you keep the pattern or the homogeneousness
in your stud, once you introduce fresh blood regularly?
If I bring in a bird I usually let him breed with two different
partners and then sell the bird again. Those youngsters
will be reintroduced in the original line. Like this, I
have already 75 % of the wanted blood line.
7) In your opinion, who are the emergent breeders
in Europe today?
Hard to say, because I do not know the english budgie-scene
to well. Here in Continental Europe, its certainly still
Jo Mannes - the "Big Man". Its impressive, how
many good birds in all different colours are flying around
in this stud.
8) How to know the exact moment that it should refresh the
blood in your stud, and how to know the correct percentage
of new blood that should use?
I dont know it and honestly I dont think, I need to know
that exactly. Everything you have to know, you can see from
the feather structure. To breed budgies, means always to
work and experiment with the feather structure.
9) Have you ever used birds to moult french? What
advice would you give to those who still have this problem
in the creation?
Yes, I did use french moulters very succesfully. The grandfathers
of two main families, the Spangles and the Opalines, were
two French moulters, bred in August 1997. One of them had
almost no feathers at all after loosing them as a baby,
but produced outstanding birds, who had no problems about
French moulting at all.
But never work with birds who are having feathers problems
due to genetic problems, such as missing wings and tails
or even showing cysts!!!
10) Which advices would you give to beginning and
Find a local breeder who lives near you, who you feel comfortable
with and who supports you also with some good birds for
a start. The personal relationship becomes more and more
important, much more important than the quality of the birds
you are starting with.
Dont buy birds everywhere from different bloodlines. Rather
go for an average bird with a good solid background than
for a top-budgie from a family in lesser quality.
But everybody must make those experiences himself before
believing it, I guess. You always learn best from making
mistakes. Thats sometimes hard and can be expensive, but
helpful for a bright future.
1) Which characteristic do you consider the most important
in a budgerigar of quality?
The bird has to be powerful, but still nice to look at.
I do not like the smaller, elegant birds, but also dont
like the big birds missing the stile.
I rather work with a smaller bird with perfect proportion
than with a nonbalanced bird.
2) What is you way of thinking to develop bloodline
with high quality and consistency?
You need to have patience. Also a certain amount of luck
and of course money can help to build a good stud in less
3) As a great admirer of your work, I have been
following your stud from about 10 years. I have noticed
that since 2006, the evolution of your stud has improved.
Do you agree with this? What is the reason for it?
I dont think there was a big change in 2006. My idea is,
that there was a continuos improvement of my stud over the
last 20 years. This is resulting in the best birds also
produced in high numbers by now.
4) I read in your interview that you eventually
introduce a bird from another breeder in your bloodline
and as soon as you use this bird, you sell it. Could you
explain how you do this and why?
If the F1-offspring of that bird is outstanding, I keep
on breeding with him, of course. In all other cases I will
reintroduce the best offspring back into my original line
and see what happens in the next generation (F2).
5) Your birds have particular characteristics, for
example, facial width and directional head feathers, among
others, which easily allow us to identify the presence of
your bloodline in many breeders in the world. Is this result
a consequence of one specific bloodline or is it a result
of the development of your own bloodlines through the years?
I cant answer this question for sure, but I think that both
theories are correct. Whenever I saw somewhere a bird with
a certain feature, for example directional feathering, I
tried to buy it. Even if it was a bird in lower quality.
Most of the time the result was very disappointing, but
sometimes it helped me to get one step ahead to achieve
6) The feathers of your birds have an incredible
texture and smoothness that can be noticed even in the chicks.
Is the feeding responsible for this or was this characteristic
developed from the genetic selection?
To breed budgies is like putting a puzzle together. The
basement of every succesfull stud is of course the best
possible and natural food. As you might know, I often work
with natural stuff such as vegetables and fruits and feed
almost no artifical ingredients. Sometimes I am really surprised
to see birds in other places who dont even have fresh water.
In summer time I change the water in the flight three to
four times daily as a minimum.
Of course to take the right selection is probably the most
important thing in the hobby. Often you can see breeders,
who sell their smallest chicks, coming from their best cocks
for almost nothing. These are the birds you have to continue
and they will often bring the quality back in the next generation.
7) Do you consider the development of alternative
bloodlines important to be used in the future in crossbreed
with your own stud?
I am not sure whether I understand your question. But there
are enough studs in Europe working with my bloodline, where
I always can get a bird back from a certain line, if needed.
1) The budgies from Swiss and German have diferent
feathers, they look like “blush". In your opinion,
does this happen for the dilute factor or because of other
I dont know, because I do not know too well the budgie feathers
in other countries. What I can see in pictures, most winning
birds have lots of similar features all over the world.
And I guess, they all go back to more or less the same genetic
2) We can see different types of birds in your birdroom,
some are "Buffalos" and others are not. Do you
normally use the non "Buffalos"?
The "Buffalo factor", so called by Gerald Binks,
seems to be recessive and is hard to fix in your birds.
So I am forced to work also with birds that visually dont
show it, but might carry the factor.
3) What is the best way to breed Lutinos and Recessive
Its always the same procedure. Regardless of the variety,
always pair the very best Normals into the rare varietys
to improve them. I often work with the Spangle factor, with
4) Do you practice In-Breeding and Line-Breeding.
How do you choose Outcrosses?
As told before, I practice a combination of those different
breeding system. For outcrosses I am always looking for
a certain feature like the directional feathering, big spots
or massive neck. Sometimes I just like the special colour
on a bird, like a yellow face recessive violet pied, I bought
recently. I am now also playing with danish dominant Spangles,
also called melanistic Spangles. They are very small, but
nice to look at.