Light Greens and Skyblues

Light GreenSkyblueA large number of breeders get hooked on Light Greens from the time they take up the hobby.

Many think that because the wild budgerigar is green, breeding top-quality Light Greens is easy. It is not. Many have tried to produce studs containing nothing but pure Normal Light Greens and have failed. Pairing Light Green Light Green may seem to be the ideal mating, and it can result in excellent offspring, but it is not the ultimate answer.

Have a complete stud of Light greens – to the exclusion of all other colours – and over the course of several years, breeders can lose size and head quality.

Breeders are advised to use their best Light Greens with good Dark Greens, Skyblues, Cobalts, Greys and Grey greens – and not just other Light Greens. Top Skyblues – those with first-rate size and good heads – can be excellent mates for Light Greens, especially if they have good, deep, colour. The same applies to Grey Greens and Greys, both of which can be mated to Light Greens, although it is said that the Grey factor can deaden the colour of both Greens and Blues.

Fanciers who have good-quality dark factor stock – particularly Dark Greens and Cobalts – can use these birds to advantage with Light Greens because they will enhance the Light Greens’ colour, a feature which can spoil an otherwise good exhibit.

Opalines can also be used to advantage with Light Greens, although care must be taken to avoid the opalescent markings on the side of the neck that can result when Opalines are mated to Normals. No Normals with opalescent markings should be included in a good stud of Normals. The fault can spread rapidly and give the owner little chance of winning against Normals which are free of this scourge. If there is this disadvantage to mating Opalines to Normals, there is also a lot to be said in its favour, in as much that quality Opaline hens provide chicks with good width of head and large spots – which can often be lacking when Normal hens are used.

Skyblues, like Light Greens, are best not paired to mates of the same colour, except in special circumstances. All too often, such matings can result in disappointment unless there is good size in both, and excellent head qualities, which tend to be lacking in all but top Blues. Size can be lost, and colour, and as a result, can become shallow and patchy. Greys are often excellent partners for good Skyblues because they frequently have better head qualities and more size than run-of-the-mill Skyblues.

However, to produce Skyblues, the Grey must be a single factor bird. Skyblue Grey Green pairings can result in excellent Skyblues, but again, the Grey Green must be split Blue.

However, the make-up of the Grey Greens used for this purpose must be taken further into account. Certainly fanciers who wish to breed Skyblues should not use double factor Grey Greens which will mean producing nothing but Grey Greens.

Original text: Copyright 1997, Brian Byles

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