Society News

The Chairman, Lou Dall’Est opened the September meeting of the Society at 8.19pm welcoming the 60 members in attendance.

Main Feature:
Our guest speaker this evening was Committee member and Vice President Matt Baird. Matt was introduced by Lou Dall’Est who suggested that Matt had spoken a number of times previously and was always most interesting and informative. Matt’s topic for this presentation was African Parrots.
Matt began his presentation by describing in detail the Senegal, Meyers, Red Bellies and African Grey Parrots. He has kept these species of parrots for the last 15 years and he spoke separately about each…

Species
      Senegal: There are 3 sub-species which are located in the North Western areas of Africa. Generally they lay between 3 – 5 eggs and the incubation period is 24/26 days. These parrots mature in approximately 3 years and are housed flights 2.4m x 1.2m x 0.9m. These flights are suspended.     
      Meyer’s:   This parrot is located in Central/Eastern Africa of which there are a number of sub-species. Matt discussed the differences in the 6 most common sub-species pointing out the number of differences from the photos he displayed as he spoke. They lay 3-5 eggs, incubation period 24/26 days, 3 years to maturity and are housed in flights as for the Senegal parrots.
      Red-bellied:   Located in the lowland of Africa…Tanzania and Ethiopia. These parrots are sexually dimorphic and there are 2 sub-species. They lay 3-4 eggs incubated for 24/26 days, 3 years to maturity and are housed as for the Senegal.
    African Grey:  This species is located in Central Africa. They lay 3-5 eggs, mature in 3-years, however, the most successful breeding is +or – 5 years, incubation period 26/28 days and  housed in suspended flights measuring 3m x1.2m x1.2 m. Matt discussed the environment necessary to breed this species successfully. He keeps this species in full sunlight quite successfully. There are both Red and Blue mutations of the African Grey.

Matt then displayed and discussed photos of some of the less common African parrots including Jardine’s, Cape and Ruppell’s parrots. He then moved on and discussed….

Breeding: Matt suggested that he begins the breeding program in September (around Football Finals time). He then spoke about his flights in a little more detail…14 gauge wire, Steel frames, Suspended, false roof to protect from predators, sprinkler system and nest boxes. 

Feeding:   He offers a Non Breeding Diet of Sunflower, Pigeon Mix, Millet, Plain Canary, Apples, Corn, Carrot and offers Zupreem Breeder Pellets sparingly. The Breeding Diet is similar, however, the seed is soaked for around 12 hours, more variety of fruit and they are offered Breeding pellets full time. 

Nest Boxes:  Matt utilises a variety of nest box designs and sizes. Nest in a Box, L and C shaped boxes and in some instances natural logs are used. He always tries to find the box which most suits individual pairs. Matt uses Pine shavings, Pine Woodchips and Tan Bark in his boxes. 

Incubation: Matt discussed the types of Incubators he uses successfully and why he chooses to incubate eggs. He discussed the requirements for success when incubating i.e. between 36.5 -37.8 degrees and a humidity of 20%-30%.

Hand Rearing, Weaning Cages and Carry Boxes:  Matt spoke about commercial hand rearing formulae and details of feeding newly born chicks. He feels that hand reared chicks should always be raised with other chicks if possible even if they are different species. This point indeed highlighted the necessity of excellent standards of record keeping. He then discussed the quality of his Weaning Cages and Carry Boxes /Cages suggesting that he always endeavours to display his birds at their best in the highest quality cages.

Matt then answered questions from the floor and was thanked by Chris Farrell for the presentation this evening. True to form; Once again Matt was most knowledgeable, interesting and informative this evening.

General Business:                                    
1.Competitions: The Lucky Door Prize, a Bag of Feathers, was won by Ken Wilson. The Lucky Name Badge Prize, a Nest Box donated by Joe Bolyos, was won by Jim Bennett.
       The Raffle winners were: John Bramman won a 20kg bag of Small Parrot mix donated by Dandenong Stockfeeds, Marie Delima won a pair of Java Finches donated by Charlie Mizzi and Mick Harrison won a Jar of Honey and the Zupreem Pellets donated by Matt Baird.
2.New Members: Lou welcomed the new members, in particular Bill McInnes, and thanked them for attending and commented that he hoped they enjoyed their association with the ASA.
3.Next Month’s Program: (CF) Dr Hamish Baron….”Avian Health”
4.Lost and Found: (TH) Nil  
5.Service Items:  (JP) Rings are popular at this time of year… All Items available at the back of the hall.                                                                              
Other Business:
1.Lou informed members that Committee Nomination Forms were available from the Secretary for Committee positions in 2020. Members wishing to nominate see Graeme.
2.Any Birds for Sale or on display at the back of the hall during the General Meeting are to meet the regulations /Code of Practice for Cages.
3.Discussion regarding the cost of Wildlife Licenses.
4.There have been a number of wild Birds not common to Victoria spotted lately.
Meeting closed at 9.45pm and members enjoyed a chat over supper.