Posts by tony-lombard
- Tony LOMBARD, éleveur amateur de sélection
I made this glossary to illustrate in photos the existing mutations in the zebrafinch.
He can help you identify the mutation (s) of your zebra finches.
Important precision :To identify the genotype of your zebrafinch, it will be necessary to take into account that a zebra finch can carry a mutation without being mutant.
Being a carrier (/, split) of a mutation means that it is partially present (genetically speaking). From the visual point of view the partially carried mutation will not be seen or only by some clues present in the appearance of the bird.
In this case, it will be necessary to have a trained eye to determine the genotype. Sometimes check couplings will be necessary.
Your zebra finch can also have several mutations, the possible combinations are numerous.
This glossary is based solely on the phenotype (visual characteristics) and single mutations (not combined).
The gray zebrafinch is not a mutation, it is the original (wild) type.
1. Gender-related mutations
The female can never be a split, so she is either mutant or non-mutant.
The male can be a split of the mutation.
1. What are the causes ?
False moult is not a disease ! It is caused by a sudden change: Light, temperature, draft or stress.
2. The effects of a false moult
The zebrafinch enters a period of out-of-season moulting which will weaken it. To be avoided during breeding or competition period.
The bird victim of a false molt will need a supply of vitamins and minerals to help regrowth of the feathers.
3. A remedy used by breeders
To remedy this false moult, there is a method used by breeders which consists of letting a peeled and cut onion macerate in a liter of water for 3 to 4 days (protected from light).
Then, put a tablespoon of the juice obtained in a liter of water and distribute in the drinking trough for a week, renewing this mixture every day.
1. Benefits of ringing your zebrafinch
This will allow you to know their year of birth and to identify them, which will be essential for establishing a genealogy and monitoring your breeding. Each ring will be the identity card of each of your zebrafinch.
In addition, if you wish to have one of your zebra finches compete, only those who are ringed can participate. The ringed zebra finches of the current and previous year are eligible to participate in a gathering.
Then, a breeder will always prefer to buy a ringed zebrafinch on which he can be sure of the year of birth of this one and be informed of its origin.
2. How and when to ring the chicks
Video that illustrates how to handle the baby bird to ring it :
The zebrafinch gray is from the wild type.
It corresponds to the original type of Mandarin diamond. It is therefore strictly speaking not a mutation.
However, the gray zebrafinch we know to this day, is very different from its Australian ancestor. Following a selection by the breeders, the type, size and color of it have changed a lot.
Since gray is the basis of the mutations existing in the gray series (black breast gray, white breast gray, pale back gray, etc.), the rearing of this one is essential for the perennity of all these mutations.
The gray zebrafinch will thus "regenerate" all these mutations.
3. Who is gray breeding for ?
The breeding of the gray zebrafinch is recommended for beginners and can also become very exciting for the more experienced.
Indeed, despite an attraction at first glance less spectacular than a zebrafinch with orange or pastel colors, its breeding is even more interesting.
In countries with mild climatic conditions and ideal for our birds, this allows them to be reared outdoors or with sufficient light in a room thanks to the sun.
It is different in other countries and depending on the period or the breeder decides to mate his birds. Sometimes to make this period coincide with the holidays or others.
In this article, I describe solutions that I know to overcome the lack of light and give the right conditions to our birds according to the different periods of their life in our breeding rooms.
1. What lighting brings
Suitable artificial lighting can ensure the activation of vitamin D3 essential for the growth of young zebrafinch.
Vitamin D3 deficiency can result in a misshapen or limp beak or paw. Conversely, do not overdo the administration of vitamin supplements which will produce even more harmful effects.
2. What we are looking for when managing the light
This makes it possible to be able to breed in the unfavorable seasons to recreate the ideal conditions. Simulate in some ways at best which will stimulate the birds to reproduction or to rest.
In winter, prolonging the light can also give birds more time to feed in order to withstand low temperatures (I am thinking of the case of outdoor breeding).
Conversely, reducing the length of the day can help calm a bird. For example, an overly excited male who destroys the nest to start a new lay. Giving it a break in a dark place can temper it before another attempt.
The changes in brightness duration between 2 periods must be gradual. Too abrupt a change can cause false moult or unusual behavior. A change of 5 minutes per day is suitable. You will notice as changes in behavior, excitations during the increase of this duration.
3. Solutions to manage light
a) Cycle with 2 programmers and 1 night light
The most economical will be to use 2 programmers (mechanical or electronic) and a night light.
(Source: International Ornithological Congress C.O.I.)
- Order : Passeriformes
- Family : Estrildity
- Genus : Taeniopygia
- Species : Guttata
- Subspecies : Taeniopygia guttata
Zebrafinch (Taeniopygia guttata), sometimes referred to as Mandarin for short, is the most common and familiar estrildity in central Australia.
2. Subspecies and distribution
There are two distinct subspecies.
Taeniopygia guttata guttata, the Timorese zebrafinch, ranges from Lombok in the Sunda Islands or Nusa Tanggara in Indonesia to Sermata, in addition to coastal areas around mainland Australia.
The other subspecies is Taeniopygia gutatta castonatis. The latter is found over much of mainland Australia and some of these varieties are considered domestic.
The morphological differences between the two subspecies include differences in size.
Taeniopygia guttata guttata is smaller (8 cm) than Taeniopygia guttata castanotis and does not bear the same distinguishing mark on the throat and upper part of the breast.
This bird measures 8 to 10 cm (wild form) or 12 to 14 cm (domestic form) for a mass of about 15g.
This bird can live for 7 to 10 years. It is a robust bird that can withstand temperatures of -15 °C, knowing that it can survive at least + 40 °C.
Zebra finches inhabit Australia's open steppes with scattered bushes and trees, but have adapted to human disturbance, taking advantage of man-made water holes, and spaces opened up by deforestation. They go to cities and show up all over Australia.
Small practical software allowing to have the probabilities of the results of a mating according to the mutation (s) of the respective parents. It can be put on USB sticks, no need for an internet connection to use it.
Before that, we will obviously need to know the genotype of each parent. To help you determine the mutation or combination of mutations to which your zebrafinch belong, you can refer to: Illustrated glossary of mutations in zebrafinch.
That said, I would say that this application is only an aid. The best thing will always be to understand how each mutation is transmitted. For this, I also advise you to have a good basis to consult the article: Zebrafinch genetics : Instructions.
Simple to prepare, natural and without side or harmful effects ! A recipe that has proven itself among a large number of bird breeders.
This method helps prevent infestation of your zebra finches from internal parasites (flat and round worms) and is also a blood purifier.
To have an effective dewormer, you have to combine garlic, thyme and sage. Garlic is the most active in this composition.
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 sage leaves
Garlic can be mixed or cut. You can also cut the sage leaves. All mixed in a liter of water. Let macerate for 15 days to 1 month in a temperate place away from the sun.
1. Define your objectives
First, in my opinion, it is necessary to target and define its objectives: Choice of mutation (s) to be selected, studies of the characteristics of the chosen mutation (s), knowledge of the type of genetic transmission, creating a network of breeder likely to work on similar objectives to have starting subjects. The breeders will need to have confidence in your project and your insight. They will also be concerned about the fate of their surrendered birds.
Essential conditions to then start the construction of a strain and start a selection in order to tend towards your defined objectives like any project.
Finally, define your idea of the bird you want to get. Without forgetting the characteristics of the mutation or combination in which you are projecting yourself.
2. Tips for getting started
Choose the starting zebrafinch with the fewest possible flaws. Be especially careful not to start with birds of uncertain genotype.
Example: If you have a project to build a strain of gray, check if they would not carry a mutation with recessive inheritance (like black chest, black cheeks).
Ask the breeder giving you your first specimens, ask to see the parents to be better fixed. Observe the different qualities and areas for improvement of each one, keeping in mind the zebra finch you want to achieve.
Observe the harmony and the whole of the birds of the breeder, a homogeneity will make you appear a good work of the breeder.
3. What is a strain
You have to imagine the stump of a tree, its trunk and its branches, made up of ancestors, descendants, sisters, brothers, etc. Different methods exist depending on the type of genetic inheritance of the mutation or high combination to advance a strain.
If you use this type of nest this trick can be useful.
Last year, a male regularly messed up or removed nest materials. Certainly with the aim of starting another brood.
The bottom of these nests being flat, the eggs were found scattered and therefore a risk of not being incubated was very possible.
So I looked for a solution to avoid this inconvenience. By trying out several types of concave shaped nest bottom, among others those in rope and coconut fiber, by incorporating them into the plastic nest. This male continued despite everything to want to remove these funds !
Then, I tried a white felt concave background that I taped to the nest.
The aim of this article is not to establish an unstoppable rule for the recognition of a gray male split (carrying) the black breast mutation. Rather, it aims to gather the clues that will allow you to identify it.
For this, every detail of the mutation is taken over, according to what I observed during the selection of my strain of gray black chest.
Before starting to analyze each possible clue, it seems important to me to bear in mind that the black chest mutation changes the shape of the drawings. To identify a split of the black chest mutation, I also advise you to take into account all the clues described in this article.
Let’s proceed and analyze the phenotype of a gray black breast from the head to the rectrices in comparison to a gray split the black breast mutation. To identify each descriptive term used, you can use this diagram : Descriptive terms in zebrafinch.
1. Mustachial line
Black chest : The moustachial line will be pronounced and intense black.
Split (/) Black chest : The moustachial line may be more pronounced than on a gray, however this does not constitute for me a sufficient clue.
2. Tear line
Black chest : The tear line disappears (ideally according to the standard) or only a fine line remains.
Split (/) black chest : Different cases depending on the force of expression of the mutation in the split.
- The tear line is present and fine :
- Tear line is present and wide :
- In some cases, the tear line of a split black chest may also be absent. It will be necessary to rely on the other clues to know if it is a split or a black breast in its own right.
Black chest : The drawing of the cheeks will extend up and back of the head.
To take beautiful photos of your zebrafinch, here is a photo box model to make yourself.
1. Materials needed
- White PVC panel, 5 mm thick.
- PVC U-shaped slides.
- PVC angles in L.
- 1 ultra-flat neon with switch.
- Trunnion Ø 10 or 12 grooved.
- Silicone glue.
2. Cutting the PVC panel
- The PVC panel is cut to form a cube with the following dimensions: Length 38 cm, depth 32 cm, height 32 cm.
- On a wall, a hole 6 cm in diameter (to be adjusted according to the lens of your camera) is made at the height of the future perch.
- On another wall, an opening 10 cm wide by 12 high is made for the sliding door which will allow the bird to be introduced into the box.
- Cut 1 door to close the hole which will be used to photograph the bird (example of dimensions for a 6 cm hole: 10 cm x 10 cm).
- Cut 1 door of 12 cm x 14 cm for the opening that will allow the bird to be introduced into the box.
- Cut a 10 cm x 10 cm square that will serve as a base for the perch.
3. Gluing the slides
- Cut and glue 2 guides (U-shaped angles) which allow the door to slide, which can block the Ø 6 cm opening.
- Cut and glue 2 slides (U-shaped angles) which allow the door to slide, which will be able to obstruct the opening 10 cm wide by 12 cm high.