The Chapmans

Nancy Vigran

Abstract


Coming inland from the foggy coastline of Ventura County, California the sun glows on the peaceful valley of Ojai. It is here that Mr. and Mrs. Jack Chapman have found their retirement home and here they have built a haven for their Budgerigars.

Jack Chapman, a retired school teacher, has been breeding show budgies since 195 3 and is an American Budgerigar Society licensed judge. He has spent years developing a genetic lineage that produces some of the best show stock in the country, as proven by the trophy and ribbon display in the Chapman's living room.

The budgerigar house was designed and built by Jack with help from some friends. Flights were built along the southern wall of the building, and measure 12' long x 4' wide x 8 1/2' sloping down to 6 1/2' high in the back. Each flight comfortably houses 35 budgies (either young or off-season breeding stock). The south wall is lined with 3' wire windows and left open to light and air. In the winter, Chapman covers this area half of the way down. Natural light is supplemented with ceiling lights which are left on the same timer year round and go off at approximately 9:00 p.m. The lights do not alter daybreak in the morning.

On the north end of the building, 30 breeding cages are arranged, each measuring 24" x 18" x 18". Nest boxes are 10" deep, 6 3/4" wide and 9" high and are painted with white gloss which makes them easy to clean. Ventilation holes on the sides help to keep the boxes dry. There are reversible trays in the bottom of the boxes to make for easy cleaning with minimal disturbance in between clutches. Each cage has a wire shelf placed a couple of inches off the floor, which have a dual purpose; offering a place for the seed jars to sit with hulls falling below and providing protection for fledglings if and when their parents start to become aggressive (especially the father) when going back to nest.

The floor of the budgie house is cement with a 2" slope to the back of the flights which allows complete hosing out. Twice a year the birds are removed from their flights and all of the flights are completely scrubbed and hosed out.



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