Tuesday, April 22, 2014

2014 season

This year's breeding season is proving to be very interesting.  Below is a video of Firefly that was recorded after his first molt.

In February this year, I bred him for the first time with a female that was also being mated for the first time, so the quality of their offspring was unknown.  The initial results have exceeded expectations.  Here are photos of one of his sons at 32 days of age.

The taimong's tails will be fully grown at about 65 days of age for long tailed birds.  It takes fewer days to reach full growth for shorter tailed birds.

If a taimong seems to have the potential to have long tails, I cannot resist measuring the tails when the taimong is 32 days of age.  I will again measure the tails when they have achieved their full length.

Taking measurements at 32 days of age will give some indication of the eventual length of the taimong's tails when they are fully grown.  I have found that if a taimong's tails exceed 3" at 32 days, there is a good chance that its tails will exceed 6" when fully grown.

Taimong tails exceeding 6" for my line-bred birds will almost invariably result in tails of 11.5" to 13.5" after the first molt.

Firefly's taimong tails at 32 days was 3.25".  If I recall correctly, they grew to a length in excess of 6.5" and his first molt tails were 13.5".  His son's tails at 32 days is 3.4" and if they continue growing at this rate, they should also exceed 6.5". An indication that the taimong tails will likely be long is the fact that the white tails are presently the same length as the black tails and look like they still have some way to go.

Early rapid tail growth may not necessarily result in full grown taimong tails of 6.5".  For example, Boy Wonder's taimong tails at 32 days was 3" but they stopped growing at 5".  Nevertheless, as a breeder, early assessments of tail length, conformation and potential development make matters interesting.

Firefly's son has made me excited not only in the length of his taimong tails so far but also in his conformation.  Both the sons are likely to be larger than Firefly and with better overall conformation although it must be said that there is nothing wrong with Firefly's conformation. 

Another thing that excites me is that the taimong's brother from the same nest has similarly long tails and looks like his twin.  Not only are the tails long but they are also piped, being close together instead of spreading out.  As Jeffrey has noted, a bird's feathers are a window to its health and the taimong's piped tail feathers and shine reflect its good health.  The piped tail feathers also suggest that the birds are not likely to have tail faults, such as scissors tails, after the first molt.

The uniformity of the tails and physique of Firefly's sons suggest that he is prepotent, at least when mated with the female that is the mother of these chicks. This also is something to be grateful for.


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