LIGHTING UP THE CAGES

By David Allen.

Lighting up the cages might be a funny title but al will be come clear.I have seen several peoples birdrooms in my time as a breeder of canaries. But the one visit I made to Gary Manns made me think about light in my breeding cages. I was very impressed by how well you could see the birds in his cages which are all wire.

So I looked at howI could achieve this and looked into it there are many companies that produce a set -up for cages and I am sure they are all very good but they did seem to work out rather expensive for me!

So I looked around many of the electrical outlet shops and online but couldn’t find anything that I thought would work. I was delivering post {I am a postman for Royal Mail] to a local Homebase store and I was having a quick look around at the lighting section to see if they had anything. When I saw a set of Christmas tree lights for £2 just in my price bracket!!!  These lights had 50 single white light bulbs, I thought they might be worth a try for £2.  I brought them an put them around my 2 blocks of wire cages, Attached them to the with cable ties. I put these lights on and was impressed how much light the gave to the cages. The were lightly attached to the cage with cable ties. I switched them each morning at 5am and off 3 hours later by the use of a timer. I had pre tested them for this time while I had been in the shed and the bulbs didn’t get hot after 3 hours you could still touch the bulbs.  My only concern was the birds might peck at them. This so far hasn’t been the case. I also observed that in this block of wire cages the pairs were starting to build nests, where as my other cages without the light were not. If fact in just over a week with the lights on these cages 5 out of the 6 pairs had started to build nests and two had laid there first egg.

Where as in the other cages which had 9 pairs only I pair had made any attempt to build. So was the use of these lights bringing the other pair on?

I was so please with the set that I decided to go back and see if they had any more left, bearing in mind these were at a clearance price. But to my great surprise they still had some left so I brought 2 further sets. These further 2 sets were fitted to my other cages in the same way as the other set. All three sets were plugged into a four way extension lead.

Many of you will say why don’t you just spend the money and have the proper lighting for the cages, well I am tight!!! that’s why!  

And within only a few days of using the lights on the rest of my cages 2 or3 pairs started to build nests. So I think it has helped bring them on but will have to wait and see if it works next year, then I could make a decision on if they help or not.

By David Allen. Lizard Canary Breeder.

MY JOURNEY WITH BLUE LIZARDS.

By David Allen BLCC founder member and secretary.

Well this has been a journey of love and joy.

It was back in 1996 when I first benched a Blue Lizard canary which was at the old national at the NEC. Where it went in to win best novice and best AOV canary.

Now nearly 20 years on from that I have won best blue lizard canary at the “new” National at the Stafford run by the Parrott Society.

So much has happened in those years in regards to the Blue Lizards, I could have never dreamed that they would have there own club and that I would be the secretary. But what is even more amazing is to see 50 plus Blues benched at a show in it own section. There popularity has even surprised me.

It was only back in 2011 that the BLCC [The Blue Lizard Canary Club of Great Britain] was formed and we now have over 40 paid up members.

I must point out that the forming of this club was lead by the BLCC president Kevin Skinner, who put a motion forward for Blue Lizard’s to be accepted by the LCA. Which was rejected and this lead to the forming of the BLCC.

The BLCC can now also say that the UK has the 2014 & 2015 World Blue Lizard champion, Stan Bolton. A person I would never have dreamed would have kept them but he has seen the challenge and the love that myself and the other founder members of the BLCC had seen for many years.

Blue Lizards are no different from any other Lizard apart from there ground colour, which is white instead of yellow. The white is dominate white so there are no carriers. It is this that worries all the traditional Lizard breeders. Because they think that a “normal” Lizard [gold/silver] bred from these birds will carry the white gene, but with Blue Lizard what you see is what you get. If it is BLUE it is, if it is silver it is and the same for gold. But you must pair Blue Lizard to a normal preferably gold, silvers can be used but it must be done carefully. Because if continual pair silver to Blue you will weaken the colour of the spangles making them paler and not so defined. So if you do use this pairing it must be done with good knowledge of your stock and any silvers bred from this pair must not be used back in your breeding program to pair to a Blue. You could pair it to a gold though, if it has some good qualities. Also any Blues bred from silver pairing must be paired to a gold the following season so good breeding records are a must. As I feel they are with breeding any type of bird.

I have bred some very nice golds from the Blue paired to a silver which I was surprised at. You have know guarantee that you will bred a Blue from a Blue lizard to a “normal” Lizard, you may get 4 “normal’s” in a nest or may get 4 Blues and if that happens you are very lucky!!!

What of a Blue to Blue pairing? Well this not to be recommended as I have tried it 2 or 3 times and I have never yet had a chick survives more than 3 or 4 days it is I believe the lethal gene. As in other breeds they never pair white to white.

The Blue Lizard does not require colour feeding but as you will need to keep gold and silvers to pair to the blues you will need to colour fed them.

But only if you intend to exhibit them.

The Blues are classified for show classes the same as Lizards but with only Blue. So the classes are

CLEAR CAP BLUE COCK

CLEAR CAP BLUE HEN

BROKEN CAP BLUE COCK

BROKEN CAP BLUE HEN

NON CAP BLUE COCK

NON CAP BLUE HEN

The BLCC has made the decision to have the champion & novice exhibitors in the same classes with the novice exhibitors still having there on awards and specials. This mirrors what is done in Europe, where there are no novice & champion they are all in the same classes.The club has also put two classes for over-year Blues which are

OVER-YEAR BLUE COCK

OVER-YEAR BLUE HEN

The Blue Lizard seems retain its quality in it’s first over-year but after that the flights do have a grizzle affect to them.

I have shown my Blue Lizards at every World Show since 2008.

In Spain in 2012 I was the first UK exhibitor to show a stam of Blue Lizards. I showed a stam [team of 4] of Clear Cap Blue Lizard cocks.

To do this you need to breed a large number of Blues because all the birds have to be identical, so clear caps are the best opposition as Broken caps tend to vary on each bird, where as a clear cap is what it says clear of dark markings. {caps of Lizards refer to article in C&A 6/11/14]

But although not success it was a good learning curve.

I feel showing at the World Show and other shows in Europe is very interesting and adds another dimension to the fancy. But in Europe they do breed In greater numbers than we do here in the UK.

This story of the Blue Lizard continues so does my journey with this lovely canary.

BY David Allen.

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BLUE LIZARD’S ARE THEY  YOUR CUP OF TEA?


This is the title of a article written by Roy Stringer some 15 years ago when  one of my Blue Lizard  took best Any Other Variety Canary at the 1995 National..

If this question was asked today I think you have a much different answer to what you got 15 years ago. I think that it would be more likely that more would say Yes, than you were back in 1995. 

Well over the last few years there seems to be more interest in Blue Lizards and in recent times I have seem them appearing more and more on the show bench being shown in the Any Other Variety Canary class. More people have been saying that they like them.

Well I have been breeding them for 16 years now and my Blue Lizards are true Lizards.

I have been very carefully in the keeping of accurate records of my breeding results of my Blue Lizards.

And I can adamantly say that Blue lizard is not a mutation just a mixing of white and green and is dominant, as you get both Blues and Normal’s in the same nest.

It is not sex linked either because you get blue lizard and normal Lizards in the same nest no matter which way round the cock is in a Blue x Normal mating. So this means that the cock birds are not split, so therefore it would not effect the pool gene and not damage a stud of Lizards.

Because a Blue either is or is not Blue. I have increasing used better quality normal Lizards with my Blue Lizards to improve the quality of them, and I now believe that they are equal to my normal Lizards some even better than my normals. Also the legs of my Blue lizard are much dark than that of my normal Lizard, I am not sure why this is.

So where do we go from here? A  question I have asked myself many times over the years breeding  Blue Lizards, but now this question seems even more important now. Blue Lizard have been around on the continent for many years and very little is made of them, it seems to only be the UK that has a problem with them, But WHY? 

We have explained that they cannot corrupt a stud of Lizards, because the Blue gene is Dominant!!

 They are now accepted by COM who have now put on classes for Blue Lizards for the first time at the 2010  World Show, which is to be held in Porto Portugal.  I have entered  two singles, so this may well put the cat amongst the pigeon as they say or should that be the canaries!  

I have always judged my own Blue’s to the LCA standard , because they are Lizards! 

There is no mention of colour in the standard. So all these points can be applied to any colour Lizard really.


World show results.

Well as I have said before Blue Lizard are recognized  in Europe. I was pleased to see a good number of Blue Lizards entered, 25 singles but only 2 stams. 

I entered two single Blue Lizards and had hoped I might get up amongst them, well I didn’t do to bad getting 90 points and 87 points with my two entries. The gold  in the single class went to Lisa Mussarutto from Italy with 93 points a Clear Cap Blue hen, this hen was full of breast work and had good dark spangles but not very straight. Silver & bronze went to Wahl Gerhard with 92 & 91 points each. The silver medal winner was a Non cap blue Cock, this bird had a lovely straight spangles on it back but very little breast work and the bird was slightly small. Wahl’s bronze medal winner was a Clear Cap blue Hen with more breast work than the silver medal winner, but the spangles on it’s back were large but didn’t seem to line up very well. 

This made my Broken Cap Blue Hen 4th with 90 points along with an exhibit from Jac Gubbell.{ we were the only two exhibits in this class with 90 points]

I felt [this is my opinion] that my Blue had a very good straight spangles on his back, but maybe not so defined as the bronze medal winner . All the legs and feet were darker than mine as well.

Just a few words on the two stams of Blue’s, Gold went to Lisa Mussarutto  3 of these were birds were very nice clear caps but the fourth was what we would class as Broken cap , they got 3 x 90 1x 91 a total of 366.

The silver medal went to Jac Gubbels  again these birds were in my opinion not very evenly matched, but still 4 nice examples of Blue Lizards gaining 2x90 2x88 total 363.

I am an LCA member and a LCA panel judge, and I know the LCA rule only recognize Gold & Silver.

But I think now the LCA need to consider the possibility of taking on Blues in the near future it cannot be done over night and it should not be rush into but discussion and debate on this subject need to be heard

And I am not the only LCA member who breeds Blues.

So are blue lizard your cup of tea!

So what is your views on this?

By David Allen. DTA LIZARD STUD