Welcome to my homepage! I would like to give you some useful informations about the breeding of show budgerigars and I hope therefore that more beginners will be able to find into our wonderful hobby. I have no doubt, that there will be also some interesting news to be found for advanced and also the very experienced Budgie breeders.
About my person
First of all I would like to introduce my person and how I became a budgie breeder. I am currently working as a college teacher for students of the age between 14 and 17 years.
Show budgie breeding became a hobby for me since 1980. It is a very intense hobby that became a very important part of my life since more than 30 years now.
The rest of my free time belongs to my family: Together with my wife Daniela I have two girls (Rubina and Neve), aged between 6 and 1 years. Another hobby is soccer. I am currently active as a coach and player for the veterans of FC Würenlos. I am also enjoying some good books and like to discuss them in a literature club forum.
How it all began
At the age of 11 I started budgie breeding, which was more a coincidence than planned. A classmate showed me his budgies which caught my interest. Some months later, relatives of my mother gave me a pair of budgies as a present – against the will of my parents.
From this pair I suddenly was able to breed youngsters, in an old shoe box that I placed up the window. That early success intensified my interest even more. In the first years I mainly bred a combination of different colours such as Lutinos, Violets, Pieds etc.
And the story went on: Next I constructed four breedings boxes into my books compartment. And during long summer holiday 1984, I brought my clothes trunk to a new purpose. It took until the year of 1986, when I could buy my first real breeding box of the brand « Leuenberger » of the money I saved from sold budgie offspring.
Origin of my birds
In the year 1986 I met Heinrich Ott, which was one oft he top Swiss budgies breeders that time. From him I was able to purchase my first really good show budgies. The Ott birds had an excellent background and came from the very best english bloodlines, mainly from Ormerod and Sadler. With Heinrich Ott I run a good friendship that lasts until today, even Heinrich could not breed budgies anymore for health reasons since a long time.
In later years, I received birds from Emil Schweizer and Janos Pece – two other succesful Swiss breeders of the Nineties. Janos Pece won two times „Best in show“ at the Swiss National show, of which I was able to get siblings into my stud. Janos got his birds via Hans Ruosch from Josef Speck, and his birds again based on the famous english Studs of Sadler, Ormerod, Finney and Moffat. The combination of the very buffy Ott birds and the very fine and agile Pece birds helped me a lot to build a good basement for my stud.
Until 1996 all of my outcrosses came from Switzerland, without any exception. But after that I started to visit german Top breeders such as Ralph Jenne, Josef Mannes and Bernd Stegemann.
In 2000 I was on an educational field trip to South Africa and there I met Reinhard Molkentin. From him I was able to purchase some very good budgies for my Lutino and Recessive Bloodlines.
In 2005 I went back to South Africa: I visited Pat de Beer in Capetown and she also offered me some of her famous birds. The de Beer birds in my oppinion brought a lasting and very important influence to my stud.
Friendships with other breeders
I believe that a good friendship to other breeders is very important in our hobby. I prefer to give top birds to studs, from which I can be sure to get back some equal birds if needed any time. At this place I would like to thank (in geographic order) to Bruno Steffen (CH), Ralph Jenne, Andreas Conrades, Erich Schrank, Sepp Klessinger (all D), Willie Dokter (NL) and Mike Ball (UK). With them I maintain good friendships since many years and we became good friends and can discuss much more than only „budgie“.
A special mention and thanks goes to Kurt Vogt of Switzerland. From him I got some very good breeding material over all the years. Kurt remains for me a very good friend until now. He teached me, how to run and manage a modern budgie stud.
The actual Lütolf stud
Nowadays I breed with 70 Boxes oft he Oestringer company, which of I am very satisfied. The whole stud including new aviarys, in- and outside flights, as well as all the boxes, was newly construced in June 2011. That month we moved into a new house in Würenlos.
I am starting the breeding season with about 80 cocks and 120 hens every year. The start is usually in November and slowly goes to end in June/July. I very much like to use 4 or even 5 year old budgies. Specially a pairing of an old cock together with a young hen, or vice versa, I suggest to be very ideal.
Whenever possible, I let the birds choose their partners by themselves. There will be much more fertile eggs from such „Love couples“, I believe.
My very best birds are actually Normals, Cinnamons and Spangles, but also Opalines, Dominant Pieds and Greywings can be found in very good quality in my aviarys.
A special challenge to me is the improvement of the rare
Varietys. With the Recessive Pieds, Texas Clearbodies, Dilutes as well as Lutinos and Albinos, I was succesful already and the birds in those varietys can compete with the best. This time I put my special interest into the improvement of the clearwings, and I registered already first steps forward.
I am often asked about the „secret of success“ and why I have hight fertility, but little feather problems and no incest depressions in my stud. I guess, a main reason are the 10 to 15 Outcrossing birds which I am luckily able to bring into my stock every year. I usually sell them again after one or two good rounds. The best youngsters, I am pairing back into their original lines. Like this I can guarantee regularly fresh blood and avoid the negative side affects mentioned.
By a forward looking selection, it is possible to bring the stud into the direction, I want it to go. Very often I trust in my intuition and it definitely also takes some luck and most all patience to succeed at the end
Because it is almost impossible to purchase some young super birds, it is important to find a « breeder of trust », who will let you have some birds out of of his best pairings. Maybe you cant buy the real top ones, but probably some smaller brothers and sisters which carry the right genes too! Later from them, it is possible to breed top stock again.
I do like to show my birds on the showbench, but not too often. Normally I am attending the Baby- and Young Birds Show as well as the Swiss National Show of the Swiss Budgerigar Society (SWV) in November. I am also showing my birds at the second biggest show in Switzerland, the ZEWA show in Flums in August, which is always very well organized.
Between 1997 and 2010 I showed my birds at the Europaschau in Karlsruhe, but I decided to take a break for different reasons
I am selling budgerigars all around the year and will be assisting in putting couples together, if wished so. I am willing to give some advice for beginners and help them to find into our very beautiful hobby.
Visitors are very welcome after making an appointement by telephone or E-Mail.
I hope, I was able to give an exciting view into the fascinating world of budgie breeding on my homepage! Please enjoy.
Würenlos, September 2011