I had a bad time with the budgies last year; dead-in-shell, babies dying before and after leaving the nest, most of the survivors had french moult. I rang over 100, but have only about 30 - and I've not sold any. Continuing to breed to try and get numbers up was probably a poor idea, I should have paused for a month and considered what might have been causing such problems.

I did stop in November and restarted in mid-February. It's the 22nd of March now and I put a ring on the first youngster this year, there's been no dead-in-shell or babies dying, though it's early yet. Fertility is OK, I'm going to average 2-3 birds per cage for the twelve cages I initially set up in February.

What have I've changed? The seed mixture, I've gone back to my original supplier - I don't think there's anything wrong with the original supplier which is a well-known company, but the distributor may not have been the best and not looked after the seed well. I've also returned to Birdcare Co. products, I did use them my first time around with exhibition birds but didn't this time. I'm using their Feast softfood together BioPlus and Proboost SuperMax, but I'm hearing good things about their EasyBird which I think is the same as these additives, but easier to use.