News

Man's bid to create perfect budgie, one sperm at a time

Mackay man Michael Pace has won the opaline class of the Australian National Budgerigar Championships with a bird that took four years of tireless effort to produce.
Mackay man Michael Pace has won the opaline class of the Australian National Budgerigar Championships with a bird that took four years of tireless effort to produce. Peter Holt

THE quest to "build the ultimate budgie" can be long and tedious, but a Mackay man has recently shown he's ahead of the flock.

While Michael Pace might live a relatively normal life as a school teacher by day, by night he can be found in his garage-cum-breeding room, piecing together the "jigsaw puzzle" of budgerigar genetics.

A self-described "budgie fancier" since age 14, the father of four recently had his tireless efforts recognised, winning the opaline class of the Australian National Budgerigar Championships, held in Toowoomba.

"I was looking for something I could do at home with four kids, so it's a good hobby," Mr Pace said.

"They (the kids) tell me which ones they like and which ones they don't - it can be quite time consuming.

But Mr Pace isn't content to let nature take its course while creating his feathered masterpiece.

"I do artificial insemination," he said.

"If I really want it to happen, I'll make it happen."

Mr Pace said he used a capillary tube to extract sperm from the male budgie and then inserted it into the hen.

But the window of opportunity is small. "Once the hen starts laying she'll lay every second day, between 4-10 eggs," he said. "You've got to get the cock bird, extract the sperm, and get it into the hen within six hours of her laying that previous egg. Otherwise the next egg will be formed in her ovaries and that egg will be infertile."

Mr Pace said it had taken four years for him to breed his winning budgie - a grey opaline mutation.

While he doesn't name his birds, he said he found a lot of satisfaction in his hobby.

"I love the competitiveness of shows and you learn about genetics," he said.

Two other members of the Mackay City Budgerigar Society, Bob Robinson and Matt Grant, also scored places in their respective competition categories.

The society meets on the first Thursday of every month at 7pm at Mackay showgrounds' bird pavilion. New members are encouraged.

Budgies find homes worldwide

WHILE many of us may have had a pet budgie in our youth, wild budgerigars are a common sight across much of inland Australia.

Domestic birds can be much bigger than their wild counterparts, and can come in a variety of colours, whereas wild budgies are mostly green.

A number of different theories exist on how the bird got its name, including a mispronunciation of the Gamilaraay word "gidjirrigaa".

Budgerigars have been captive-bred since the 1850s, and can be found as pets in countries all over the world.

Topics:  bird, budgies, editors picks, mackay




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

'My mate spiked my Maccas with meth' man claims

Rocky man fined for drug driving

Teen's attempt to hide drugs down pants didn't fool police

Jack Nasser.

He was found with cannabis, ice and related utensils.

Opinion: Share some random acts of CQ kindness

Comedian Akmal Saleh explains his mockery of Rockhampton and speaks about Mayor Brad Carter forgiving him.

Share some random acts of CQ kindness: Opinion of Sharyn O'Neill

Latest deals and offers

New ICI at Rockhampton Hospital

Brittany Lauga, Karen Smith and David Austin at the new ICU in Rockhampton Hospital. Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

Director of Intensive Care Services for Central Queensland David Austin. It began...

Bill Byrne on Tim Nicholls

NO BULL: Police minister Bill Byrne has defended his performance in the agriculture portfolio.

Bill Byrne speaks about Tim Nicholls defeated Lawrence Springborg.

Federal Police Defuse Dance Bomb

Australian Federal Police respond to "threat" in Canberra.

Australian Federal Police respond to "threat" in Canberra.

Real estate agent says new developments push area forward

ON THE UPSIDE: Shae O’Reilly says the Capricorn Coast and the wider region has plenty of projects going on while we wait for an outcome on Great Keppel Island.

"sentiment can’t hang its hat on one setback for one project"

Real estate reveals Rocky's rising suburbs

Pat O'Driscoll Real Estate sales consultant Talitha Dodson Photo: Contributed

Talitha Dodson says it’s not all doom and gloom

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.