Ladislav Groda: You need to have a good strategy to be a successful breeder of exhibition budgies PART II

February 9th, 2015 | by LubosTomiska
Ladislav Groda: You need to have a good strategy to be a successful breeder of exhibition budgies PART II

Read also the first part of this interview:

Ladislav Groda: Every exhibition budgie has some defects. You just need to reveal them. PART I


How many youngers do you sell and how many do you keep at home?

When the season is good then I breed about 1100 youngers. I keep at least 600, something die and I sell the rest. Those birds which I keep for myself don’t have to be perfect visually but they have good genes. Some lineages are valuable so I can keep even weak females. Anyway, you will never set up a good breeding pair from two visually perfect birds. The weaker bird is often better breeder than the champ.

So how many youngers do you bring on the show?

I choose 100-150 birds from that 600. Every breeder takes one fifth of his offspring.

1100 budgies…that’s a lot. But you don’t have them all at one place, right?

At home I have 165 breeding cages, at my work next 33 and in another facility in Opava 40 more. Together I have 240 cages only for breeding pairs. When anybody has 20 or 24 cages then he can breed in 10 years as many youngers as I do within the only year.




How do you care for so many birds at three places?

I care only for birds at home but anyway, sometimes it’s crazy. I spend every day 5-8 hours with them.

You split your breeding to more locations because of the risk of diseases or something else?

I have always had all exhibition budgies at one place. However, now I’m afraid of buying bad food. It happened to me one time and most of birds died then. Unfortunately, when you are successful people want to get you down. They don’t hesitate to manipulate with the shows. The breeder Lütolf had in 2000 on one european show perfect budgies. But they disqualified him because he reputedly broke some rules. In the last year he brought perfect show budgies again and somebody took them and pick their flight and tail feathers so birds were eliminated again.

Is there any chance how to prevent this? You would probably have to stay close to your budgies at the exhitibition all the day long.

You can’t prevent this. You give your birds to organizers and leave. That’s why manipulations can happen easily. A lot of money lie there as every breeder will buy budgies from the winner of the exhibition. The price of such budgie is 500 euro and more. Organizers control the competition. They let you win for a few times but when you are too successful … In 2002 something like that happened to me. They disqualified my 20 best birds because they had different colored leg rings. Now I expect something similar. It’s cruel and many breeders are disgusted so they stop breeding of show budgies. However, that’s not my case. I fight back.

Budgies take a lot of your free time. Can you go on holiday sometimes?

Holiday? Are you kidding me? I have spent my whole life with budgies and anything can’t disturb that. However, you wouldn’t make it without your wife. There has to be somebody who will feed your birds when you are sick or when you get to the hospital. You can have the best birds but you will lose them all when you collapse.




Why are exhibition budgies so sensitive and die at the earlier age than normal budgies?

The exhibition budgie is a domesticate animal. The normal budgie is 16 to 17 cm long with perfect flying abilities and a head big like my thumb. It’s a vivid bird. The exhibition budgie is three times heavier, 5-10 cm longer, it has different structure of feathers, mighty figure. It can’t fly well because its metabolism is set to different size and weight. That’s why they die earlier. Sometimes chrysanthemum budgies can hatch. Those birds can’t live for a long time because their feathers still grow and they don’t have enough energy to maintain it. They survive while parents care about them in the nestbox but die soon after. My oldest chrysanthemum budgie lived for 6 months.

Can we see such birds at shows?

No, we can’t. It’s just a bunch of feathers. These defects stay behind the domestication. In breeding of exhibition budgies you stay on the edge. You want to get something which is against the evolution, against the biology of these animals.

When you check birds at european exhibition then you found out that more than 80% of birds have some defects. Breeders are happy when these „chickens“ which can’t fly produce 20 youngers. They are visually perfect but live for 6-12 months. Then cysts and tumors appear. And that’s what the breeding of exhibition budgies is about.

How do you feed your budgies? Do you buy seed mixtures or you mix it by yourself?

I have been used to buy Jo Manes from Versele Laga. I brought also other special mixtures from abroad. However, in 2006 I got poisoned seeds and lost everything. I had to start again.




So you prefer your own mixtures today?

Yes I do. One guy mixes it for me.

What they consist of?

Several types of millet – green, yellow and red (3:2:1), I add also a little of japanese and white millet. Then there is oat and in 30% canary seeds.

You give your birds soaked seeds as well, right?

Yes, it’s prepared mixture Rusk which I soak. Then I add to that egg food Witte Mollen, Orlux or Quiko , carrot and some vitamins.

When the breeding season starts at your place?

We got special leg rings at exhibition in Prague at the end of October. I start with breeding season a month in advance. I can’t prepare all 250 pairs for breeding at one time so I go step by step.

How many chicks has one pair of exhibition budgies in the nest?

It depends, they can have 2 or 10.




So you foster some chicks?

Yes. Three chicks always stay at one pair and I found fosters for the others.

What about the fertility of exhibition budgies? You said that champs don’t breed well. Is there anything you can do to stimule them for breeding?

I’m happy when I breed one chick from absolutely perfect birds. Those males are useless breeders.

And females?

Females are different. They need to be at proper age, have good food, nestbox, … They need to be stimuled from other birds as well. I breed budgies for 48 years and I bred from the solitare pair only once. Stimulation of other budgies is necessary.




We have noticed that there are little nestboxes on the bottom of cages. Why?

When youngers leave the nestbox, the female will start breeding again. When any baby is on the bottom of the cage, she will consider it as an intruder and will kill it. When babies can hide in this nestbox then they are safe.

How do you pair a champ which doesn’t want to breed?

I put the male to the breeding cage a week before the female. The female wants to copulate and tries to reach the male. However, when he doesn’t respond then she attacks him. That’s what I try to prevent as such males will never breed then as they are afraid of females. If I let them together, the female can kill the male. So I take the male and put him to another cage where he is still in visual contact with the female. Then I chose some vivid male from the group aviary and put him to the cage together with the female. Such male is dominant and will calm the female down. That’s the moment when I exchange the males again, female is calmer and won’t hurt the first male now. Anyway, when doing this method you have to prevent copulation of the female with the vivid male.

There are special categories for babies at the show. How old are such youngers?

I brought them there are soon as they leave the nest so they are 30-35 days old.















Such young birds? Do they eat already?

They are independent already. You can’t bring any younger on show which starts molting.

What’s your advice for anybody who wants to start with breeding of exhibition budgies?

Firstly, he should find some good breeder.

Do you cooperate with young breeders who want to start?

Three years ago a young breeder came at my place and wanted some exhibition budgies. He started visiting me and didn’t buy any expensive birds. I told him how to pair those birds. In the last year he brought his youngers at one Czech exhibition and he won the C category. That birds were perfect.

So it’s not just about the money. You need to have some strategy…

Exactly, you have to learn from more experienced breeders. I give advice anybody who is interested in.



  1. Pingback: Ladislav Groda: Every exhibition budgie has some defects. You just need to reveal them. PART I | Parrots Daily News

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