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Interview with Luigi Montini

 

 

Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini
Interview Luigi Montini

We would like to present the Italian breeder Luigi Montini who will share with us his experience about breding birds. We would like to thank him for the time he spent with us.

 

GouldianFinch.gr: Tell us a bit about yourself (where you are from, how old you are, what your profession, etc.).

Luigi Montini: Hi, I am Luigi Montini, I am a landscape designer and live in Abruzzo in the middle of Italy close the Adriatic sea. I an 53 years old.

 

GouldianFinch.gr: How long have you been involved in the breeding birds?

 

Luigi Montini: I breed birds from a lot of years ago, I remember, I started with two owls and I was 8 years old, howevwer living in a farm I was always interested in breeding animals not birds alone. I only stopped during the years of the university.

 

GouldianFinch.gr: How do you start breeding and what was your first bird species?

 

Luigi Montini: Historically was, like a just told, the owls but of course they was with me for a little time because just they was indipendent I gave them the freedom. The first specie of domestic birds I breed was the Zebra-finch. 


GouldianFinch.gr: Describe your breeding facilities.

 
Luigi Montini: My breeding facilities consists in 7 rooms where I control all the climatic parameters, specially the temperature. The first room I always show is the quarantine, a small room where I always put the birds I buy, normally I keep the birds in the quarantine for 40 days or even more till I am sure there are no health problems. Close to the quarantine there is the “competition room” where I keep all the birds for the shows, it's another quarantine because the shows are actually dangerous and is an enormous error to bring back from the shows the birds in the breeding rooms. The Hearth of my facilities are the two rooms where I keep my breeding pairs, they are two rooms for a total of 80 square meters, here I have 100 cages and 15 aviaries, in each cages I keep a pair and I use the aviaries for to keep the males and females that I keep like e reserve. 

 
The cages are different because different are the species I breed, twenty of them are 60 cm long x 35 cm deep x 35 cm high, twenty are 60 cm long x 40 cm deep and 40cm high, sixteen are 45 cm long x 35 cm deep x 35 cm high and forty four are 90 cm long x 35 cm deep x 35 cm high. Last summer I built a new room 70 square meters big where I keep the pairs of bengalese. There are 220 cages 45 cm long x 35 cm deep x 35 cm high. There are even 12 volieres and 16 big cages for young birds. After of this there is a room 20 square meters big specially made for the young birds, there I keep the temperature more high (27/28 degrees) because this make the moult more easy and quicker. Last facility is a big room divided in 32 aviaries 2 meters deep x 1 meter large x 2 meters high, there I keep all the birds the whole summer because I can open the walls and the air is more fresh there. Inside of all the room I control the light (16 hours a day), the temperature (24/25 degrees), the humidity (40 %) and I change the whole air every 3 hours. The last room I built have a special machine that change the air continuously keeping the heat inside. Next years I will put the same machine in every room because it allow me to save a lot of energy.

GouldianFinch.gr: How many species are breeding now? How many birds you have in your farm?

 
Luigi Montini: In this moment there are almost 2000 bids in my aviaries, but in this moment I already sold all the young birds that are more than 1200 every year. I breed plenty species some from Australia and Oceania and some from Africa, Every year I change some species because I love to study and learn about new difficult species so every year my breeder team is different. next breeding season I will have in my cages:
 

  • Emblema picta normal red and yellow mutation

  • Lonchura leucosticta

  • Loncura griseicapilla

  • Lonchura grandis

  • Lonchura grandis “Arnaldii”

  • Melba afra

  • Estrilda caerulescens

  • Estrilda nonnula

  • Estrilda erythronotus

  • Uraeginthus granatina

  • Uraeginthus jantinogaster

  • Uraeginthus cyanocephalus

  • Uraeginthus bengalus normal and two unknown mutations 

  • Euschistospiza dybowskii

  • Hipargos niveoguttatus

  • Cloebia gouldiae

  • Cryptospiza reichenovii 

  • Lagonostica rara

  • Neochmia phaeton 

  • Erythrura prasina red and yellow bellied

  • Erythrura psittacea lutino and seagreen mutation

  • Erythrura coloria

  • Erythrura tricolor normal and opal mutation

  • Erythrura Pealii

  • Amadina fasciata albino and opal mutation

  • Amadina erythrocephala

  • Euschistospiza dybowskii normal color and yellow color

  • Taeniopygia bichenovii

  • Aidemosyne modesta

  • Poephila acuticauda

  • Neochmia ruficauda

  • Neochmia temporalis

  • Pyrenestes ostrinus

  • Clytospiza monteiri

  • Pytilia melba



GouldianFinch.gr: Your favorite species? Why?

 
Luigi Montini: My favorite specie is... actually7 don't know, I love them all.


However there are species that I always breed like neochmia phaethon or emblema picta and of course the gouldian finch that is the most difficult to breed if you want high quality birds.

 
GouldianFinch.gr: How do you choose new birds for your breeding? What are your sources to buy new birds?

 
Luigi Montini: Every year I take some new species, this year I took Lagonostica rara and Pyrenestes ostrinus, usually I choose the most difficult and the most …. colorful.


GouldianFinch.gr: Have parents’ selection procedures to improve the quality of the birds?

 
Luigi Montini: Depend about what specie we are talking about. Of course I mate healthy birds only. There are some specie where there is no selection because too difficult to breed, there is not the standard and too little birds bred every year so the selection is impossible. Other species like gouldian finch are bred in enormous numbers and the selection gave very important results, for them I apply a strong selection on the standard basis. 

 
GouldianFinch.gr: How many clutches allow for each pair?

 
Luigi Montini: I allow maximum six clutches , only because I use bengalese like fosters.

 
GouldianFinch.gr: Do you use personal pair cage or large aviary cage for breeding? Any advice about cage type for success breeding.

 
Luigi Montini: I always use personal pair cages because I see that the birds breed better, the most important think is to put a small artificial plant close to the corner of the nest so the birds can have a little of privacy, this reduce a lot the stress and the birds breed better.
 

GouldianFinch.gr: What are you doing if one of your pairs, for some reason, leave the nest or don’t feed chicks? 

  
Luigi Montini: This can't happen because I always use the fosters.
 

GouldianFinch.gr: Do you use foster parents (societies) and if so in which circumstances?

  
Luigi Montini: Yeah I use always use the fosters because I breed difficult birds and nervous species, I already tried to work without fosters but the results was always a disaster.

  
GouldianFinch.gr: What is your opinion about hybrids?

  
Luigi Montini:  like to watch hybrids but I don't agree about to produce them they are not able to breed and this I don't like.
 
GouldianFinch.gr: What is your goal in Finch breeding? What birds you would like to produce? What is your plans for your aviary in future?

 
Luigi Montini: Oh.. there are plenty birds that I would like to breed, the most challenging, for me, is Clytospiza monteiri I already tried last year without any results, next year I will try harder...


In this moment my aviary is big enough in relation with the time I have but I can choose more special birds to breed, for example I am building a special room where I will try to breed genus Passerina.
 

GouldianFinch.gr: Do you like rare mutation or you prefer wild type color birds? Do you think mutation in birds make it fragile?

 
Luigi Montini: I love a lot the rare mutations and I love to study about them, absolutely I don't think that the new mutations can make the birds fragile, because mutations happens every day even in nature and the mutations are the engine of the evolution, in relation of our birds, we are talking about monogenic mutations affecting only one gene on hundreds of thousands so , the influence of that gene concern one feature but don't touch the other features.

  
GouldianFinch.gr: Do you use any kind of Breeding Management System for your Aviary? Would you like to use?

 
Luigi Montini: No I don't and I don't feel the need because it needs of a lot of time to work properly so I use a system of colored rings to manage the blood lines.
 

GouldianFinch.gr: What it means for you the term quality in breeding?
 

Luigi Montini: Quality in breeding for me is to give best condition possible to the birds regarding the environment, the air the food, the light, the absence of stress and the psychological issues.
Another important issue about quality in breeding is the control of the parasites using the fallowing. I use and every one of my room during the year is emptied and sterilized.
  

GouldianFinch.gr: Do you systematically follow a specific diet program per year? Can you tell us about it?

 
Luigi Montini: Yes, of course I do. My diet program is made from two different diets, one for the breeding season and another for the not breeding season. During the breeding season I give a rich diet with high level of protein and carotenoids, frozen insect and frozen half ripe seeds I do this because our birds are not sensitive about the length of the day and they understand when is the moment to start the breeding season using the richness of the food, this is because the diet start to be rich when the season of the rain start, and they can find rich food for the youngsters. The diet for the not breeding season is only dry seeds made, no insect, no half ripe seeds, no eggfood. This diet causes the reduction of the size of the gonads and the reduction of the secretion of the sex hormones generating a situation similar to that wich occours in the process of dry season. 
 
GouldianFinch.gr: How about supplements? Do you prefer Vitamins & minerals from natural food or from Pet store? Do you follow any supplement program?
 
Luigi Montini: No, I don' follow any supplements programs. I think that if you use a good, fresh and rich diet you don't need of any supplement program.

  
The softfood I use has enough vitamins inside, all the rest I give with a rich diet containing even frozen insects and ozen half ripe seed.
 
GouldianFinch.gr: Do you observe systematically hygiene. Can you describe the procedures you follow?
  
Luigi Montini: The Hygiene is one the most important things in my breeding techniques. The most important thing I do is to empty every room at least once a year, dismantle everything an to disinfect deeply using two different molecules and two different insecticide and after to leave the rooms empty for not less than a month.

 
Another important thing is to keep the new birds in a separate room for the quarantine and the birds for the show in a special room completely separated from the other. 
At last, every time I even only touch a sick bird I wash perfectly my hands and I take the death birds out from the cages with gloves and disinfect the cages where there was a death birds suddenly.
I even always keep the sick birds in separated cages because so they can't infect other birds and being alone are less stressed and there are a little more probability they survive.
 
GouldianFinch.gr: How you diagnostic Illness in birds. Do you use your own knowledge or you take consult of your Vet doctor. 
  
Luigi Montini: During the years I consulted all the best specialists we have in Italy, some times with good results and some times with no results. What I learned is that we have not enough time with our birds because they are too little and they are programmed to not show the illness till they can, so being only a little grams heavy and showing the illness at end you have no time to call the vet. The things are different with big parrots that are more resistant even because they have a bigger body. If you want to breed a lot of birds for long time you must to learn to read the very little signs that the birds give you like the different way to stay on the perch and the different way to move inside the cage. Of course once I understand that a bird is sick I call my vet for the right medicine but I have to be the first to know what is happening because if I have to wait the vet visit and after the analysis the birds are already death. I learned what I know about disease in birds talking with vets and reading a lot and sadly loosing birds.
 
GouldianFinch.gr: Do you use preventive therapy in your flock or use therapy only then it is realy need? Do you follow some program?

  
Luigi Montini: I do both things, I use preventive prophylaxis not therapy, there are no preventive therapy. Some one use antibiotics before the breeding season but this is not good. I always use the prophylaxis against protozoa, coccidiosis and worms and give them products to improve the immune system. 
During the breeding season, when I see that there are sick birds I use antibiotics or other medicines I need but only for the sick birds.
 
GouldianFinch.gr: Do you participate in exhibitions? How many awards you have won?

 
Luigi Montini: I participate to the most important shows in Italy and to the world championship. I don't know how much awards I won but they are a lot.
  
GouldianFinch.gr: How you choose birds for Show. How you follow Exhibition Standards?

 
Luigi Montini: I choose my birds for the show after I choose the birds for the breeding. I never bring to the show my best birds, They never leave my aviary. I never sell and never bring them to the shows because they are too important. However even the second row of birds are usually very good for shows. When there is the standard I study it very well and try to get the most close to the standard birds. In some cases there is no standard and I cure to have more big and colored birds possible keeping the ancestral design.
 
GouldianFinch.gr: What preparation do so birds get the best score possible?

 
Luigi Montini: I don't do anything special only I keep the birds in special cages and give them clean water every day for the bath. 
 
GouldianFinch.gr: Do you visit large world wide bird events?

 
Luigi Montini: Yes, I visit all the most important birds events in Europe specially big markets like Zwolle in Netherland and Reggio emilia in Italy. Lately I am even invited to make some speech in international birds conventions like the one in Brisbane, Australia, Next year.
 
GouldianFinch.gr: What species would you suggest to a novice breeder? How do you think you should start a novice breeder his/her breeding?

  
Luigi Montini: Of course the zebra finches and the bengalese, they are very good to learn the principles of breeding and just a little after the gouldian finches because they are only a little more difficult and they are so colorful and nice that are perfect to make the love for bird grow up.

 

GouldianFinch.gr: Luigi, GF's team would like to warm thank you for this interesting interview and for the valuable information you shared with our audience. Thank you very much. Be always well!

 

 

 

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