Cinnamons by Brian Byles

There was a time when Cinnamons were fine-feathered birds, shunned by all but a few top breeders because they did not wishing to see the size of their Normals dragged down by them. Times have changed. Since those early days, the make-up of this variety seems to have changed markedly and many of the best Cinnamons are now as good, if not better, than their Normal counterparts, winning major best in show awards.

Because of these changes, the advice which might have been given, say 50 years ago, no longer applies. These days, the best Cinnamons can be, and are, mated to the top Normals with excellent results. If there is a drawback to breeding Cinnamons, it is the fact that, because it is a sex-linked variety, once it is included in a stud, the variety can (if allowed to do so) take on a prominence which some breeders abhor. The answer is, of course, be strict when selecting the birds to be retained each year and keep only the very best. But the same advice can be given for all colours so the problem, as far as Cinnamons are concerned, is not easy to solve and, probably the best thing to do is change direction and build up the family of Cinnamons, rather than try to be too selective as a result of a whim.

Good Cinnamons can, of course, be used with Normals and Opaline Cinnamons and give breeders added choice, knowing that any youngsters produced from such matings can prove their worth in both in the breeding pen and on the show bench. If there is a drawback to having Cinnamons in a stud, it complicates the situation when Normal/Cinnamons are mated to other Dilutes. In fact, the cinnamon factor should not be allowed to mix with Greywings, and many Clearwing studs have been wrecked when Normals have been paired to Whitewings and Yellow-wings, in an effort to improve size and head qualities – not realizing that the Normals concerned were split Cinnamon.

If there is a problem when attempting to breed top-quality Cinnamons it is that of maintaining good body colour and getting the wings just right. All too often breeders tend to concentrate on overall size, type, mask and size of spots, neglecting to give due consideration to colour and markings. Poorly-coloured Cinnamons – whether too light or too dark – should be discarded, bearing in mind that the Budgerigar Society standard stipulates that body colour of Cinnamons should be 50% that of Normals. Cinnamons displaying opalescent markings on the side of the head should also be penalized and or discarded.

Original text Copyright 1997, Brian Byles

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