The characteristic which causes a budgerigar to appear as an albino is also that which produces the lutino, the difference being that the lutino is the Ino form of the green series bird whilst the albino is that of the blue series. It is a sex-linked characteristic and reproduces in the same manner as that for the opaline, cinnamon, lacewing and slate.
Only one bird which carries the Ino factor is needed to start a family, but the fancier who wishes to introduce albinos into the stud by bringing in only a couple of birds, would be advised to use two albino cocks (preferably brothers or very closely-related birds) rather than a cock and hen pair. The two cocks can then be paired to grey hens, either normal or opaline and this means that all of the young hens produced will be visual albinos whilst all the young cocks will be carriers of the ino factor (called splits).
A young hen bred from each albino cock can then be paired to the other albino cock the following year, giving two pairs to produce all albino youngsters. Also, using a split cock from one pairing to another albino hen from the other can give a further two pairs which can produce both albino cocks and hens. If the original two cocks were brothers then this is now giving uncle to niece matings and also those of first cousins -two good relationship pairings.
The family of albinos should be reasonably well established after the second year, if only in terms of numbers and their relationship to each other. Provided that the original birds were of good colour then this should have been maintained; but from now on great care should be taken about the amount of grey (visual) birds which are introduced into the family. Overuse of grey will lead to a dirty, flat, white body-colour which may have a grey suffusion and which can show wing and other markings. These markings will appear greyish brown and can sometimes be mistaken for those of a lacewing, although the long tail feathers of the lacewing, even faintly marked ones, will always show a brownish quill whereas the mis-coloured albino will not.
As the colour of the albino is of prime consideration, this should always be the main factor when any pairings are made. Any bird to be used (whether albino or normal) if bred from a grey parent, should be paired to an albino bred from a pair of visual albinos. This does help to maintain a good body colour. The introduction of flecked-headed non-albinos into the family should also be done sparingly and with great care, as this can also show itself -albeit very faintly -even though wing markings may not be present.
Birds which have a blue suffusion to tend to be penalised by most judges far more severely than those showing a grey overlay. They do however, have a place in the breeding programme. The majority of blue-suffused birds tend to have little or no wing marking and so can be useful in reducing the amount of visible grey factor. Whilst I have mentioned the grey as the outcross for the albino, by far the best to use is the dilute grey which is known as the white grey. This dilute factor is also one which reduces the amount of melanin pigment visually present in a bird, thereby lessening the degree of suffusion and/or wing marking. Anyone wishing to form a family of albinos could do well to also establish a small family line of slightly related dilute greys of good quality for use as outcrosses.
|albino x albino||100% albino|
|albino cock x normal hen||normal/albino cocks
|normal/albino cock x albino hen||albino cocks
|normal cock x albino hen||normal/albino cocks
|normal/albino cock x normal hen||normal cocks
N.B: The cocks from the last-mentioned pairing can only be proved to be split for the albino factor by test mating to albino hens.
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