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image07 (2) clear buff hen.jpg
Clear Yellow Hen.jpg

What are meant by the terms Buff and Yellow?

The terms Buff and Yellow in relation to Border canaries refers to feather type.

Feathering is loosely divided into two types which are known as Buff and Yellow. The major difference in the two types is in the way that the colour is carried and the width of the feather.

Buff Feathering is much broader than yellow feathering and consequently much softer. The colour does not extend to the outer tip of the feather leaving a whiter edge. When the feathers are overlaid on the bird this produces a paler coloured bird due to the limited amount of colour present and a white mealiness is seen. Buff feathering does not lay as flat on the bird often resulting in a visibly larger bird than a yellow feathered bird. 

Yellow Feathering is proportionately longer than it is broad and the colour extends to the outer edge of the feather when these feathers are overlaid a deep colour shows through without any hint of white or mealiness being seen giving a more intensely coloured bird.


Buff may also be referred to as Mealy, Non-intensive, Frosted or Soft feather

Yellow may be referred to as Jonque, Intensive, Non Frosted or Hard feather.

Pairing Birds for Breeding

When pairing birds for breeding it is normal to pair a Buff to a Yellow, this theoretically will produce equal numbers  of offspring of each feather type.

It does not matter which of the partners is the Yellow or the Buff.














                                                  Clear Buff Hen                                                                         Clear Yellow Hen                                   






What is the difference between Line breeding and inbreeding?

According to the18th-century English agriculturalist Robert Bakewell.
“Line breeding involves mating more-distantly related animals, although there is a conventional wisdom that says line breeding is whatever works and inbreeding is whatever doesn’t.” 

Line Breeding

This is a system of pairing together birds which are descended from related bloodlines.
That is pairing together cousins, nephew to aunt, uncle to niece, grandfather to granddaughter, grandson to grandmother
There are two major concerns when forming a line. 
1.    Only use healthy, vigorous stock birds.
2.    Never use birds with inferior qualities these will spread through the line as fast as the good qualities.


This is a concentrated form of Line breeding using Father  X Daughter, followed by further Father X Daughter (Grand Daughter) Father X Daughter (Great Granddaughter)
1st Generation     50% Cock’s Genes      
2nd Generation     75% Cock’s Genes      
3rd Generation     87%  Cock’s Genes     
4th Generation      93% Cock’s Genes     



I am new to breeding birds have you any tips on entering my birds in a Show?

For new entrants taking your birds to a show for the first time is a daunting experience and inevitably mistakes will occur. However, there are some simple steps you can take to improve your chances of getting it right for yourself (and the show secretary).

  1. Choose Your Show

As the Year progresses a list of shows for the Border Convention Clubs are printed on the convention website by date order and with the names of the judges to adjudicate. By early September Schedules for the first shows will be published.

 2. Apply for A Schedule

Three weeks before the show apply to the Club secretary for a schedule preferably including a SAE this will save the show secretary time. Alternatively download and print off a schedule from the B.C. website not forgetting to download the entry form.


3. Study the Schedule

On receiving the Schedule, the very first thing to look at is the closing date for entries, this is usually a week to ten days before the show, and mark it on your calendar or in your diary.

Late entries may be refused

The reason for an early closing date is so the show secretary can type and print the Catalogue before the Show.

Secondly check the classes.

At most shows the first half of the class numbers will be for the Champion Exhibitors the second half for Novice Exhibitors.

As a first-time exhibitor you will be a Novice


This is Doncaster B.F.C.C. Schedule


You will notice most colour classes are divide into 4

2 for cocks Yellow and Buff and 2 for hens yellow and buff

(See question above for the difference between Yellow and Buff)



4. Classification


Champion                                                        Novice

     1    Clear or Ticked Yellow Cock Flighted     42

     2    Clear or Ticked Yellow Hen Flighted       43

     3    Clear or Ticked Buff Cock  Flighted        44

     4     Clear or Ticked Buff Hen  Flighted         45  


Flighted = Adult birds over 1 year old

Unflighted = Young birds under 1year old

Any Age = Adult or young bird

See the Show Definition Page for colour of the Birds

5. Completing the entry Form

Before completing your entry form run your birds into your show cages and ask an experienced fancier to check your decisions.

It is good training for your birds to box them and take them to him for confirmation.

Once your decision is made write your entries on the entry sheet in numerical order. This makes life a lot easier for the Show secretary. If entering more than one bird in a class put each one on a separate line on the entry form.

Keep a copy of your entries before sending it off!

Enclose a SAE for return of your labels and a cheque for your entry fee.


6. Receipt of Labels

On receiving your cage labels, check these against your retained copy, notify the Show secretary immediately of any abnormalities so these can be rectified prior to the show day.


7. Preparing your Show Cages

Show cage perches to be 16mm spiral perches, 16spirals to the inch. Spirals to run either clockwise or anti clockwise.

Fixed in the show cage 7 wires from the door and with 6 clear wires in between perches.

Floor covering to be Oat husks

Seed to be plain or mixed (feed the same as in the stock cages)

Cage labels these should be fixed on the show cage, the centre of the label being under the perch nearest the seed tray


Make sure your cages are clean and in pristine condition. Dirty or damaged cages may not be judged, this is at the Judges or Show Managers discretion.

Remember the show cage is designed to show off your bird at is best.



8. Caging the Birds

If setting off to the show early in the morning cage your birds the evening before and put them in the boxes overnight this will avoid a last-minute rush and possible mistakes.


9. Setting off for the show

Pre-plan your journey and aim to arrive at the show one hour before the close of entries.

Make a check list of items you may need e.g.

No of boxes​

Show secretary’s telephone number.

Map and postcode of Show Hall

Mobile to ring the show secretary if you have problems

Show schedule



Enjoy your day!

If you are not sure of anything, ask ! Bird keepers may look a surly bunch but they do love talking about their birds.

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