Gloster Corona Article

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Post  FinchG on Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:05 pm

A Start with Glosters

By Kevin Wirick

The Gloster canary is a very short and cobby bird that was first introduced in England in 1925. Mrs. Rogerson of Cheltenham (Gloucestershire, England) entered these birds as miniature crests and was awarded a first and second for the two birds she entered. The first birds to appear were a cross between a Roller and a very small Border canary.

Another breeder whose name is well known in Britain, A.E. Widdows, took up her work. Most birds in this country have come from his stock. John McLay, a Scottish judge also owned crested Borders, worked on the same and named the variety about that time for the county in which Mrs. Rogerson lived, Gloucestershire.

The Gloster canary comes in two different forms the Corona in which the birds have a crest and the Consort, also known as the plainhead. The Corona's crest should be circular and come just above the eye. The Consort should have a well-rounded head and its neck should be short but full.

The Gloster is normally paired Corona to Consort. You can expect to obtain approximately 50 percent Coronas and 50 percent Consorts. It is very important to choose your birds wisely, as the Consort is just as important as the Corona. A Consort must have a broad head to carry the crest correctly. The breeding of Corona (crest or crown) to another Corona is not an accepted practice by most Gloster breeders. There are two reasons; the fist being that the Corona is a dominate gene and with the breeding of two dominate genes you can produce a 25 percent lethal gene, i.e., one in four will die in the shell or shortly after hatching. The second is that some breeders have reported bald headed birds or birds with very poor crests.

The Glosters come in white and yellow grounds colors and are rejected in shows if they show any red coloring on their bodies. I remember when Harold Sodamonn judged a show at Westland Shopping Center when my Glosters were thrown off the bench for red color. It seems that the song food I was using at the time contained Safflower petals. This is used in cooking for a coloring agent and is very expensive in the stores. After that you can bet I started making my own song food without any coloring agents. Even marigold petals can cause problems with color in your moulting birds.

The majority of the Glosters around today are the frosts (buff) as they are the ones that show the cobbiness that win at the show. The hard feather (yellow) should be used in your breeding program to help retain good ground color and feather quality. Most breeders will introduce a hard feather into their stock once every four years. You should then take a buff from a yellow parent and breed back to a buff again.

While breeding Glosters I feel that line breeding is the best way to breed consistently good birds. Pedigrees are a must if you intend to keep adequate records. I realize that many people say that they don't need records because they know where they came from. But after a few years and a few hundred birds, lots-a-luck!

Feather lumps are unfortunate problems that sometimes creep into a Gloster or a Norwich stud. A feather lump is an ingrown feather. The feather starts to grow and cannot break the skin and will grow backwards, thus causing a lump. These areas become infected and fill with a hard white substance. Double buffing (buff x buff) for many generations causes a feather lump. These lumps can easily be removed. Take a razor blade or sharp knife (like one used to cut wallpaper) and cut into the center of the lump and remove the hard puss with a pair of tweezers. It may bleeds, so I have a silver nitrate stick (or similar product) to stop the bleeding. This will stop the bleeding and stop another lump from forming at this one site. The breeding of birds that have a problem with feather lumps is very dangerous. Many a breeder has had to put down an entire line of birds because this is an inherited problem. You must become a responsible breeder regardless of the cost. This will save everyone a lot of heartache in the years to come. I attended a national show and talked with Gloster expert G.R. Wolfendale from England. He recommends that you not use these birds for breeding and this problem can occur in anyone's birds. He also stressed the importance of introducing a yellow bird every four years and this problem can all but be avoided.

Since most of the Glosters today are buff, their feathers are long and tick. I find it most advantageous to cut the feathers around the vent to allow contact between the birds during the breeding season. I use a pair of scissors and cut behind the legs to the vent. DO NOT cut the fine guide feathers on the vent, as this is the only way a male is sure of contact. I don't pull feathers around the vent as I think this will irritate the birds as new feathers grow.

Breeding the Gloster is no different that breeding colorbred or any other variety of canary. The Corona (crest) is probably the most popular and most new breeders to the hobby are surprised to find the Coronas are not only confined to one sex. I band the birds at seven to ten days or when their eyes open. I band with IGBA band that assures other breeders that these birds are of Gloster blood at any time.

The International Gloster Breeders Association, which was organized in England by G. R. Wolfendale, is alive and well in the United States. The national secretary is Barbara Rosario, 715 Avocado Court, Del Mar, CA 92014-391. Dues are $20 single and $25 for a double with a newsletter published quarterly. The club patronizes the local show with IGBA rosettes for best Consort and Corona as well as best novice breeder for consort or corona just for the asking.

Show the birds can bring about a lot of enjoyment for the fancier. Attending a bird show can bring much satisfaction and help your breeding by seeing other bird breeders and comparing the good and pad points of each bird. Many people work years to achieve national recognition for their birds but you must first start at home and climb the ladder.

The Gloster Fancy canary offers a challenge to the breeder. Glosters have great personalities and great look too. The birds in general are very calm and quite.

For more information on the exact pairing, breeding setups, show and other matters concerning the breed, a good book is available form the Audubon Publishing Company called The Gloster Fancy Canary by John Cross and the Gloster Fancy Canary by Barret and Blackwell. This is a list of two good books on the subject and certainly worth reading or adding to your library. The local bird club may even have these books available for check out.

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