Interview with our Judge Alain Nottet

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Article Published by Alain Nottet 2014

 Plumage in tizzy - March 2, 2014 Conference

The conference takes place in two parts:

1.  presentation of some notions of base and care to the birds in order to provide good feathers (Roger SMITZ);

2.  practical and technical aspect in breeding (Alain NOTTET). 1st part:

Without feathers, a bird could not fly. The feathers are formations horny in the same way as nails and the spout.

They are located in the skin which produced (left drawing) and most important take same sup- port

on some os. Muscles allow raise them and direct them according to the needs of the bird.

The right picture and understood better when a pen is broken or cut, the bleeding that can occur While more top, Horn n ' is more supplied with blood.

 

 Each pen includes the rachis (stem from the pen) and beards (analogy to a plant = junior rod and) leaves in the plant) (left drawing)

Two broad categories of feathers: the Penne flattened blade-shaped and composed of small feathers down

often bushy (right drawing).

 

Beards are arranged in parallel and are based on each other by thin blades called barbules

that are equipped with hooks and other gutter-shaped. The hooks are based on gutters where a hooks at once simple and effective and which offers the advantage of being easily back in place.

See drawings

next page = this is thanks to the barbules that pen can rely on the air without him being completely waterproof. It is the bird

reducing pressure in removing feathers or vice versa or still rotating.

 

  The following drawing left, simplifies the view of barbes and barbules that support each other.

And on the right is the reality seen in the microscope, magnification 100 x and 400 x of a re feather. 

 

With the scanning electron microscope, this is what we can see of a feather. It recognizes the barbules and hooks. 

 

What is the difference between a plant that is watered and a young Chick that it nourishes...? No! Whether the young Canary in the hand of the farmer or the young plant in its pot. Both need to be fed and watered.

We have seen that the feathers of a bird are implanted in the body after the manner of plants that grow in the land.

And value, the appearance and the beauty of these feathers are like the most beautiful plants. It depends on the ingredients that they

can find in the land for the plant, in the body for feathers. As a farmer, the breeder must intervene on food, supplements, on the variety, the quality of what he will offer to get a good result.

In a previous article devoted to molt, we saw a good feather passes first through a key trio:

-sulfur amino acids (methionine, cystine and cysteine);

-zinc;

-Vitamin B6.

All binds to keratin - protein which forms feathers - to work wisely.

In addition to vitamin B6 as some scientists call "adermine" to remind the important role it plays

the strengthening of the DermIS and the epidermis of the skin and its relation to sulphur, all the vitamins of the Group

'B' are important to the plumage: B1, B2, B3 (or PP), B5, B6, B8 (or H or biotin), B9 and B12.

 

Vitamines
B1 B2 B3 B5 B6 B8 B9 B12
Oat X X   X X X X  
Carot X X X X X X X  
Cabbage X X X X X X X  
Cucumber X X       X    
Cresson     X            
Leaves Green X X X X X X X  
Fig       X X      
Germ wheat X X X X X X X  
Yeast of beer X X X X X X X  
Honey     X   X      
Millet X X X X X X X  
Egg X X X X X X   X
Wholemeal bread X   X X        
Pomme de terre X   X   X X X  
Radis   X         X  
Soja X   X X X   X  

 

One last word about this gland which has importance for the plumage and located at the tail of the bird: the uropygial gland.If we put aside the few exceptions as the cormorant (present along the Meuse River) which must be able to dive as quickly as possible, all birds have.For useful good plumage vitamins, can remember this table what is indicated is good and especially:In alphabetical order, carrot, cabbage (broccoli, Brussels), vegetables with green leaves (spinach,Bette,...), wheat germ, Brewer's yeast, millet and egg which provides the valuable vitamin B12. Milk powders (for baby) also provide vitamin B12. Recall, however, that the Canaries are not mammals.The importance of the brewer's yeast and wheat germ, emerges once more in this study. Many farmers the use in the composition of their dog food.Vitamin A is important also as well as vitamin E that is not only vitamin of reproduction, its role principal is to be antioxidant, it protects all other vitamins.On the side of the minerals, we have seen that the sulphur and zinc are important without forget magnesium, silica, the manganese, iodine and copper.These essential minerals found in: garlic, oats, watercress, Dano (but who gives?), fig, wheat germ,These essential minerals found in: garlic, oats, watercress, Dano (but who gives?), fig, wheat germ,. leafy vegetables green, yeast of beer, lin, young or sprouted corn, millet, nuts, egg, onion, bread (often used by modern farmers because the bread machines are sold for a pittance of... bread), dandelion, peas, potato, quinoa, radish, rice full (but who gives?), buckwheat, sesame, soybean (it's true soy - restaurant) Chinese, not the katjang (mung bean) of green colour found in the merchant of seeds), sunflower.

One last word about this gland which has importance for the plumage and located at the tail of the bird: the uropygial gland.If we put aside the few exceptions as the cormorant (present along the Meuse River) which must be able to dive as quickly as possible, all birds have.For useful good plumage vitamins, can remember this table what is indicated is good and especially:In alphabetical order, carrot, cabbage (broccoli, Brussels), vegetables with green leaves (spinach,Bette,...), wheat germ, Brewer's yeast, millet and egg which provides the valuable vitamin B12. Milk powders(for baby) also provide vitamin B12.Recall, however, that the Canaries are not mammals.

The importance of the brewer's yeast and wheat germ, emerges once more in this study. Many farmers the use in the composition of their dog food.Vitamin A is important also as well as vitamin E that is not only vitamin of reproduction, its role principal is to be antioxidant, it protects all other vitamins.On the side of the minerals, we have seen that the sulphur and zinc are important without forget magnesium, silica, the manganese, iodine and copper.These essential minerals found in: garlic, oats, watercress, Dano (but who gives?), fig, wheat germ,. leafy vegetables green, yeast of beer, lin, young or sprouted corn, millet, nuts, egg, onion, bread (often used by modern farmers because the bread machines are sold for a pittance of... bread), dandelion, peas, potato, quinoa, radish, rice full (but who gives?), buckwheat, sesame, soybean (it's true soy - restaurant) Chinese, not the katjang (mung bean) of green colour found in the merchant of seeds), sunflower.

 Roger SMITZ 2nd part:

Breeder since 1990, Alain NOTTET estimated 2,000 different youth passed in the hands.Very often, it has never hesitated to pull a feather into the flank of the bird and the judge. Over the years, he has understand the reasons why we are sometimes faced with a wall.in the plumage of birds presented at the exhi- bitions, there are major problems. And the Exhibitor does not include always well the reasons for which the judge withdrew points. We will see this more closely.The situation is even more serious than our national race: the Belgian hunchback, figure among the races most affected by these bad plumage.in many races, not only birds have holes, the feathers are too long, or the bird has more no shine. There's also this lack of color which is not normal.Another negative aspect of too many subjects is to present a shapeless mass of feathers. You take the bird in hand, thinking to meet a tough subject. Eh, well, no, the bird is light, has no form, or skeleton, feathers don't go with the body, you have nothing in hand, looks like a sponge! This is not normal...The main principle of a coupling is to take an intensive bird and cross with a bird schimmel. If it was so simple, we would have all of beautiful birds and it would be very difficult to designate champions. Where does the problem? The length of the plumage! An intensive may present a plumage long as plumage short. A schimmel bird also shows plumage long or plumage short and obviously there are all both intensive and schimmel intermediaries. Here you are already with multiple choices. Often, we do not all mating opportunities in our breeding, it mates even with what we have and it is the catastrophe. An intensive bird with long plumage will always be a dangerous to use bird.

Don't lose sight than the plumage long leads to long wings that can interbreed but also the length of the tail in breeds that must be short: Gloster and Fife, for example. The concept of intensive and schimmel, it is one thing but there are other parameters to be monitored at the same time: color or more accurately, the depth of color. And yet, we are not fans of Canary of color. And I return to the hunchback. The first alarm signal has been this bland yellow colour which appeared in subjects in the exhibitions. And it is later that bad plumage appeared. When you see the magnificent color that presents a champion Border, a Yorkshire champion or champion Fife, why other breeds do could not arrive at the same result? This is the farmer who must shape the body of the bird.This famous color must always be made by the intensive subject of your torque and short plumage. Don't count never on a Canary schimmel to provide what you need in the couple formed. We are talking about plumage, not the standard of the bird.

 

Attention also to inbreeding. To maintain quality, it must be inbred but with a half-SIB and half-sisters but very rarely father daughter, mother son x x, I do not at home. Because you are so lucky to reproduce the qualities as to reproduce defects. As much as possible, avoid mate "pure yellow" with "pure yellow". Try to find not even a Lightweight cooler, the presence of a green stain, it is already. The best of couples will be always cooler x. We always talk well of plumage and not the standard. A work of recovery of the plumage and the culture of good bird with bright plumage may take two to three years. Do not be afraid to work your birds and champions are not forged in a single generation.  

A color that is not to overlook is white. Breeders yet noses with this color. I work many with white and blue and it's no problem. The structure of the pen to win. Yellow schimmels which come from a couple in which a white is present, are often very beautiful. Instead of the cinnamon carrier to long feathers which causes much damage.With the Crest we have also at home, I do not hide that we are continuously in equilibrium on a thread. The intensive as such does not yet exist in Crest. You can imagine the difficulties to form couples.

Lastly, returning again on Belgian hunchback. It is not possible to continue like this with our National breed.More and more, I see topics curly, who stand at the bar of the cage of exposure, short which show their crossing with a Gibber or a Giboso! Many intensive invaded the shelves but if you look good, this are these famous intensive to long plumage which are to eliminate! And often, the plumage is dull. Of course, should take precautions when shopping and do not go to anyone. Take Reggio, in Italy, I know that this is a great show. This material, exposed birds, it is beautiful. But then, this immense scholarship, what 'misery '! Well you say that it is the biggest dump in the world birds Since the fans come here to get rid of what they no longer want at home! And it is you who purchase them!

Take A sellers.G.I. and friezes Parisians, where is the difference? The Italians have mixed everything.

Alain presents some examples of feathers to make us understand the observations that we have fair with our birds. You take a pen from the side of the Canary to be observed. The three main principles to remember

 

 

IT'S TIME TO PAIR YOUR BIRDS:
Now is the time to begin pairing your birds for the next breeding season. It is never too early. Your birds by now are far enough through the moult to know their potential.
Bring together in a cage (or cages) the parents and all offspring from last year’s pairing. Select from this group the young birds that you think will have the best potential. Now attempt to determine the sex of these birds.
Having picked your birds, they now require special attention for the next 8 months. Each bird should be watched regularly to make sure it is a cock or hen as you first determined. This bird should also have the best care that you can give (not that the others should miss out) avoiding anything that could cause the bird not to be in the peak of condition when the breeding season arrives. You cannot get a bird into peak condition one month before the breed- ing season.
 

 

 

 

Interview with our Judge Alain Nottet

Alain Nottet' s reputation as one of the top Norwich breeders in Europe is weIl known. Having the opportunity to exhibit our Norwich under him, and learn from his personal experience is a first for fanciers in the U .S. I sent a list of “interview" questions to Alain, and he sent back wonderfully detailed answers in record time! Enjoy!

 Tell us about the area where you live.

Herstal is a French-speaking town in the Walloon part [essentially the southern half] of Belgium, in the Province of Liège. There are 37,319 residents in 9 square miles, a density of 4,147 people per square mile. The manufacturing industry is the largest economic activity in the town. Since the 19th century , the Liège region is known for mechanical manufacturing, particularly firearms.

 How long have you raised Norwich?

I have raised birds for 30 years, but I started raising Norwich in 1980.

 Was the Norwich the first canary that you raised?

I started out raising Glosters. Even then, my attention was drawn to the Norwich, which I always considered a true work of art. In recent years, the quality of the Norwich has improved enormously in Belgium. We now have some very knowledgeable specialists in our little country.

Do you raise other canaries now?

I have brought home several World Champion titles with my Norwich, so my wife Fabienne and l decided to start breeding Crests. It' s a new challenge for me! But we can talk about that in the future.

When did you decide to show your birds?

After my first season. l decided right away to participate in a Belgian Norwich show in order to compare my birds to those of other more experienced breeders. At that time l had raised 35 babies and l brought home my first Champion Novice Class title.

How many pairs of Norwich do you set up each year?

I breed each year with 30 fernales and l choose my 10 best males. When I'rn lucky enough to have a very good male, he is mated with 2 or 3 fernales. l like to mate between half­brother and half-sister, at least as long as plumage textures allow it.

Do you use fosters?

Yes! l use fosters for raising my Norwich. In general, l have around 40 couples, which allows me to pass on all the young of my first clutch. I don't have any special preference for one breed, but it' s very important to me that these birds corne frorn my breeding. The crossing of a small male Norwich with Fife Fancy hens gives me the great satisfaction of having good fosters raised in my own bird room.

Please describe your bird room for us.

I have two places for my birds. They occupy the entire ground floor of my house. The first area is taken by my Norwich, and the second is only for the fosters. The construction is 20m long by 5m wide. I have a total of 120 breeding cages and 4 flight cages. My house has gas central heating.

On the average, how many Norwich do you raise each year?

On average I raise 150 young Norwich each year.

How do you feed your birds throughout the year to bring them into breeding condition?

The pedigree passes by the beak. A Norwich is " made" from the food he eats. I like to use sprouted seeds during the breeding period; they have great nutritional value due to exceptional vitamin content. Wild seeds are important- they are part of the secret of success, which consists of varying as much as possible the birds' menu. The "healthy seeds" [sorry, Phill was not sure how to translate this term from French-might be song food?] mix, another measure of success, can be offered to alI Norwich 2 or 3 times a week.

What is your eggfood recipe?

As for eggfood, I can say that I have used alI types. Recently, I have used the Orlux pâté, mixed with equal amounts of Rusk. As an additive, I use pollen, germalyne, and spirulina. I avoid greens, because it causes intestinal troubles.

What products do you use to color feed your birds?

Color feeding is something that scares many Norwich breeders. It isn't a problem, because with the aid of modern colorants, color-feeding has become very simple. It' s clear that non-colored birds can also show their qualities. It's up to the breeder to make the choice. If you choose to color feed, be careful. Getting the coloring of the birds too dark can be disastrous. You have to be aware of the necessity of giving the same dose of color food every day. If you go on vacation, the caretaker will face that additional problem. During the show season, you have to continue giving color food. A bird can go through a soft molt, and without color feeding, these feathers will corne in yellow, and your bird may become bicolor .I start coloring my young Norwich at six weeks. I find I obtain the best results using a combination of dark [intense] Bogena and orange Carophyl. Recipe: 6 grams dark Bogena + 3 grams orange Carophyl mixed in a liter of boiled water. Put the cooled water in the fridge. Mix one part pâté, one part Rusk, and one part coloring agent. Make sure the proportions stay constant to avoid irregular coloring.

How do you prepare your birds for shows? Are there any special "grooming" tips that you could share?

I train my young Norwich by placing a show cage at the front of the cage, so they can enter at will. I handle them as often as possible before and after the molt; that calms them down. Presentation is very important; nothing is more annoying for a judge than dealing with nervous or wild birds. Special attention will be given to stability of perches so that the bird doesn't feel out of balance. Young birds gain confidence by being placed on high shelves while in training cages. Baths: I offer a bath once a week, by placing a bath at the cage door. I wash my show birds, by hand, the weekend before the show, then they are sprayed with bottled water each day until 48 hours before the show. Spraying a light "blast" encourages the birds to puff up their feathers, giving them a finishing touch. In the water I use Johnson's plume spray.

How large are the Norwich entries at the shows that you attend? Are there many Norwich breeders in your area?

In general, the number of Norwich in our specialized shows varies from 150 to 200. In my region and the surrounding 10km, there are 4 Norwich breeders. Yes, Belgium is a small country, but rich in bird fanciers. It' s not for nothing that at the World Championships, we are always first in number of medals won in alI bird categories.

What do you see as the biggest challenge to raising good Norwich today?

For many long years, much has been written about Norwich, often this information has been critical. But today, the Norwich is far from having disappeared! Esthetically, one can say that the Norwich has made great strides in recent years. Judging by the number of entries at specialty shows, one can say without a doubt, that the Norwich's popularity is rising. By using good-natured, gentler females, your birds will recapture the instinct to be good, nurturing mothers. The dream of alI of us is to be able to do away with foster parents. The Norwich is, above alI, a bird raised for its form. Never the less, the color and texture of the plumage are very important. Without a doubt, the most beautiful results I have obtained with my birds, I owe to my variegated Norwich! The green blood is clearly beneficial to the vigor and color of the Norwich. The est, most richly colored birds I have bred were always those descended from heavily variegated birds.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?

If you are certain which breed of canary is for you, and you are to fancy, keep in mind that raising Norwich can be a big challenge!

The interview was in the American Norwich Society

Visit Alain’ s website www.norwich.be

I wish to thank Phil Watts, a co-worker of my husband, for translating Alain’s responses for me. Phil is not a bird breeder, so he encountered a fews challenges!