Tuesday, January 19, 2016


It has been with great interest that I have read through the columns of Cage and Aviary Bird, the various opinions of Gloster Contributors of recent weeks.
There seem to be some views that quality of feather has gone out of fashion.
If I may, I would like to submit one or two opinions of my own. Firstly, the Gloster Canary should be a small diminutive bird, jaunty in action, bright and alert. So how do we achieve this? All successful strains of livestock are produced on pedigree and blood lines, not indiscriminate pairings by which I believe many of our Show Canaries are produced.
If beginners and new-comers to the Fancy had the eyes and experience of long time fanciers, far more of them would produce successful studs of birds.
They would understand the required type and hopefully what exactly quality of feather is, and be able to combine the difficult merger of type and the so often, in the Gloster Fancy, neglected quality of feather.
I feel that many breeders both Champion and Novice, carry out the procedure of double buffing to create cobbiness, desired in the laid down standard of excellence.
However, the offspring of these “double buff” birds go on to be again “double buffed”, so often without the knowledge of the back breeding OR parentage. What has been achieved -a canary with long and very often course feather, and in many cases feather lumps. Poor ground color, the green and blues appearing to be brown: with the buff birds giving an appearance of being almost white. Excessive feather along the flanks, will certainly cause these birds to carry their wings down, bad tails are also common place.
So often the mealy yellow Gloster is seen at the shows, this bird is undoubtedly bred from years of “double buffing” finishing with a touch of yellow!
With my own birds I have not purchased an outcross since 1969. deciding at that time I could produce the desired type to be successful. This type with the correct use of yellows, should create the kind of Gloster.
In my own room I would use approximately 30% visual yellows or yellow bred birds from a pairing which included a yellow parent.
In conclusion, Gloster Fanciers learn from yesteryear– remember the Norwich Crests and Norwich Plainheads, before correction. Did you ever see lumps on a Lizard Canary? Remember what the old Borderman said - “Type without quality is worthless”!
So often it has been seen that when a Gloster goes up for Best Canary in Show, it has been rejected by the judges with the words “No polish - No quality”.
Thank goodness we have some judges who combine type with quality. These Fanciers will ensure the continued success story of the Gloster Fancy in the Future.

N.J. Barrett
17th June 1987
Cage and Aviary Magazine

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