Our special thank to Mrs Frieda Johns from the Adelaide New Colour Canary Club Inc. for the permission to providing. 14th May 2011.

Newsletter New Colour Canary Club May 2011

How to breed better Phaeo’s

By Alan Woodward and Brian Swan courtesy of the Red Letter.

If you were starting a new study of Phaeo’s what birds would you obtain as your initial stock?

If you were starting a completely new stud, I would try to obtain 3 pairs of suitable birds. Pair (1) would be Phaeo x Phaeo Pair (2) would be a full Phaeo cock x carrier hen. Pair (3) carrier cock x full Phaeo hen. I would ensure that all birds were from Brown series and if it was going to be a colour fed stud, I would ensure that there was a mixture of both Red and Rose ground birds.

Do you prefer a Phaeo to Phaeo pairing, or Phaeo to carrier pairing?

I have no particular preference to either of the two pairings, my only comment being with Phaeo to Phaeo pairing is that you may lose a bit of size in the resultant chicks. Turning to the second pairing of full Phaeo to carrier, I would always try to ensure that the cock bird is the full Phaeo, and the hen the carrier. It is my experience over the years that this pairing seems to produce more Phaeo chicks in the nest than if the ten was full Phaeo. I must say there is no logical explanation for this fad, but it is borne out be my breeding records over the years.

Have you experienced any difficulties in breeding Phaeos?

I have never experienced any difficulty in the management or breeding of Phaeos. My only experience is that I can never breed enough of them to satisfy the demand from breeders who wish to purchase Phaeos from me. I have found that Phaeos are as a free breeding as any other mutation, and in fact this year my own Phaeos have bred better than some of my other birds.

Most of the Phaeos on the show bench are primarily examples of the Brown series because this series express the best markings. What are your views on the use of Green series in the breeding stock?

The most important aspect about producing show quality Phaeos is that you must aim to produce a bird where the melanin markings are as deep a brown colour as possible. Now if that means using a Green series bird, it should be a cock split for brown and Phaeo, then my advice is to do it. You must keep the Phaeos markings as deep a brown as possible, and if a Green series bird helps you in that direction then well and good.

What bird would you use to improve the markings on an existing Phaeo stud?

I have found that the Green series carry more melanin markings than their Brown counterparts. For example, a White Blue, a Yellow Green, Red Black or a Rose Black always seems to have more markings across the chest than the White Brown, Yellow Brown, Red Brown or the Rose Brown. That being the case, you must use Green series birds to introduce more melanin markings.

It is a well-known fact that there is insufficient Intensive Phaeo stock available, which only leaves a fancier the alternative a double buffing. What are your views on this practice?

Years ago, the great majority of fanciers were of the opinion that “Double buffing” introduced more melanin markings in birds. The theory was widely held and practiced, and this is why there are insufficient intensive birds available today. This theory has been proved wrong over the years, and the frosting on the double buffed birds spread to an unacceptable level. My advice now is always try and pair intensive to non-intensive, as this will increase the markings without increasing the frosting.

Rose Phaeos seem to be more popular than Red Phaeos. Do you however still introduce Res stock to maintain the colour in the Rose birds?

I can see no detriment in running red/Rose stud together and it is immaterial the way you pair them. After a while, nearly all your Red ground cocks will bei split anyway, so it makes no difference.

Some breeders are of the opinion that the hen influences the type, and the cock influences the colour. What is your view on that?

I would agree with waht you have said nine times out of ten, that the hen influences the type and the cock influences the colour. However there is always the exception to this. This year I paired a medium size cock to three really massive hens in an effort to breed larger youngsters. The result of this was that all the young are smaller than their father. So you can say, the above rule does not always apply.

Do you give Phaeos any different treatment grom the other mutations in your bird room?

No, none whatsoever. May Phaeos are Red and Rose ground and are all colour fed, and treatet exactly the same as the rest of my other birds.

Whare are your views on the fact that some breeders say that Phaeos have poor eyesight and how do you deal with this problem?

I have never seen evidence to back up the theory that Phaeos have poor eyesight. My young Phaeos are weaned off at exactly the same time as my other birds and they never have trouble in finding the food pots.

Dealing with Yellow and White Phaeos for the moment: have you andy advice to give regarding the pairing of Yellow and White?

I would always pair Yellow to White as a matter of course as my standard pairing and would use Intensive to Non Intensive. If however, I had an excess of White birds in the stud, I would use Yellow to Yellow pairing to try and balance the stud. I would never pair White to White because of the fatal factor in the Dominant White series. Some people say pair Dominant White to a Recessive White therefore avoid doubling the factors, but remember that not all Dominant White are easlily identified. For example not all Dominant Whites show the flash of yellow on the flights that would normally indentify them as Dominant Whites. I personally feel that nest deaths will arise if you pair White ground birds to White ground birds.

Certain breeders talk about different types of Phaeos, i.e. certain birds show different types of markings. Can you elaborate this?

In my opinion all Phaeos carry similar markings. No two Phaeos have exactly the same markings laid out in exactly the same way, but when you look at the melanin markings on any mutation there are

sligth differences grom bird to bird. To me, a bird is either a Phaeo or a non Phaeo. I don’t go along with the theory of intermediate Phaeos that some people tend to hold.

The judging standard states that the markings should be as densse as possible. Does this mean that you would discard any Isabel stock?

I would definetely not use Isabel blood in any breeding program and if one popped up I would immediately get rid of it to the pet shop. If you wish to be successful with Phaeos you must aim to produce birds with the darkest and densest melanin possible. Isabel blood will obviosly dilute the intensity of the melanin so logically they are of no use to the serious breeder.

Do you find that Phaeos need any special vitamins?

The only supplement I use is with the Recessive White Phaeo when I would occasionally give them Abidec or Carophyll or some other type of vitamin concentrate. Yellow, Red an Rose require no extra vitamin supplements whatsoever.

If a foul feathered bird suddenly popped up in a nest of youngsters, would you discard it or retain it for a future breeding program?

No matter how good that foul feathered bird was I would definetely not use that bird in a breeding program. foul feathered birds must always be discarded or else they will run through the entire stud if given the opportunity

The Ivoory mutation (i.e Rose) also the Cinnamon mutation (i.e. Brown) are will known modifiers of the feather structure in so far as they tend to soften, and make the feather more silky. Do you therefore introduce harder feathered stock (i.e. Green series birds) to prevent the modifiers from making the feathers too soft and fluffy?

I have never found that the combination of the Ivory mutation and the Brown mutation making the feathers too soft and fluffy providing that intensive to non-intensive pairing is used and maintained. What I have noticed however, is that the Green series birds have much broader feathers than the Brown series. Therefore if for example you have a Rose Brown where feathers are too narrow, then the introduction of a Green series bird will broaden the feather structure.

Do you have any observations on the use of the Green series in a sud of Phaeos?

The only Green series bird I would usse would have to be 100 % split Brown and therefore be a cock. I would only use the introduction of Green split Brown cocks in order to get the Brown out of them.

Is there any further advice you could give the Novice breeder who is contemplating starting a stud of Phaeos?

Now go to the website below and feast your eyes on lots of beautiful Phaeos!


The website is in German but if your computer will, click translate. If not click on „Bildergalerie“ and there you are 250 beautiful Phaeos.