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Interview With Moheb Nabil - The Pharaoh of Crested Budgerigars

The magic of the Internet brought those of us in the budgerigar hobby closer together than ever before, allowing us to communicate with breeders Worldwide we had never met or heard of previously. A shining example of this in Moheb Nabil who had quietly been working with crested budgerigars in Egypt. We first met on a FaceBook budgerigar group and I was immediately intrigued with what he had accomplished.

The following is a brief interview with Moheb, now affectionately known as "The Pharaoh of Crested Budgerigars"..

Moheb

Moheb.. You have some incredible crested and frilled budgerigars from the photos you have posted online. When did you become interested in these varieties?

I started breeding budgies when I was six years old. I bred Crested and English budgies. Six years ago I managed to get three Japanese crested birds (one male and 2 females). I have extracted so many new colors out of these birds by inbreeding in some stages, mating with normal, and mating with cross bred English to increase the quality of the stud and the selective feathering in birds.

Are many budgie breeders are working with crests and frills in Egypt?

Actually there are countless numbers of breeders working with crests and back frilled budgies and we have top levels and quality feathering in the birds.
I have to be humble when we come to mention the issue of the Japanese Crested as no one except me here in Egypt acquired such fascinating quality in this variety or managed to reach the level I have achieved. Others may have some but maybe the birds they have are not pure, do not have the two flowers of feathers on each wing, or the bird itself is poor in size and feathering.

When did you get started with budgies?

I was 6 years old when my parents took me to the zoo and I saw budgies. Soon after they got me one pair and then later another pair.

Who did you get your initial crested stock from?

Six years ago I managed to buy three of these fascinating budgerigars in the local market place. I bought the birds from a normal breeder in the market and they were just having a tiny backfilled feathers (they seemed to look like the hunch back of Notre Dame). This breeder for his bad luck thought that they may be having an infection or something wrong in the feathers so he wanted to get rid of them. I took them and started to mate them by using a very complicated schedule to track their off springs.

Quills

Interesting to see the quill directions as these youngsters feather up.

Quills

Do you still have any of that “start-up” blood in your aviary today?

Yes but very limited amounts and I am working on them again.

Tell us a little about the hobby in Egypt today.

Simply, the hobby is increasing rapidly concerning the crested and back frilled. Many breeders have good quality birds nowadays but we do not have the top quality levels yet of the exhibition budgies as those in UK & Germany.

Are there any budgerigar clubs?

No, just forums.  Also there are no Shows as in UK for example. Contests are limited to forums only.

Are there many breeders?

Yes a lot of them.

Which mentors have influenced you the most over the years?

Is it possible to import budgerigars to Egypt from top studs in other countries?

Yes, and I also knew lately how to export to other countries from my very well bred pure bloodline birds. In fact, exporting birds from Egypt is quite easy nowadays, more than importing; people are very concerned and involved in breeding birds. There is a very good market for birds here, but it would be desirable to have the same facilities for import as well.

What birds have you bought in that have had a major impact on your stud?

The English Budgies have had a major impact on my stud. Mating them to normal, crested and back frilled gives incredible results in size, posture and the circular wide full crested crown on the bird’s head, but a major problem is that English hens rarely accept a crested male but I have learned with patience some eventually do…

Any other bloodlines in the background of your birds?

Mainly English Budgies, Normals & Crested (Back Frilled, Single crested, half crested & double Crested)

Tell us a little about your aviary/bird rooms..

A medium sized aviary with many cages and a medium aviary to be used as a flight area.
Small place for seeds and tools.
Vitamins and medicines kept in the refrigerator.
Medium sized cages used for selective breedings.

How much time do you spend with your birds?

At least one hour daily, but maybe four or more hours in weekends. Also I keep reading many issues about budgies to keep my mind fresh and active. I have to say I am still learning till know and very glad to learn more every day from others.

What are you looking for when you introduce new outcrosses?

What type of pairings have produced your best youngsters? Do you pair within family/bloodline? Or go more on visual pairings?

What was, or is, the hardest thing you found to “fix” or change in your birds over the years?

Crests

Crest

With the climate in Egypt when is the best time to pair up your birds?
The breeding season starts from 1st of September till the end of March, but some      breeders continue in summer, which is hard on the birds as temperature here can reach 50ºC.

What do you feed your birds?

Do you make any changes or give anything extra approaching and during the breeding season?

Do you give any supplements in the drinking water?

What are your favorite varieties and colors?

Crest

What is the best stud of birds you have seen in your travels?

For my bad luck, I have not traveled to see birds of other breeders. But I wish one day I go to UK.

What is your favorite aspect of the hobby? Why?

Patience & Wide scope of imagination, it may be slow but you reach amazing results. Furthermore, following the proverb that necessity is the mother of invention.
Reaching birds with the highest quality bloodline (full circular crest on the heads with a large back frill and feathers on both wings).

What do you consider the biggest challenge facing the hobby today, both in Egypt and Worldwide?

The biggest challenge facing the hobby today,
 In Egypt:

World wide?
Maybe Breeders shall offer more cooperation with those in the hobby here in Egypt whereby we can purchase from their studs and at the same time those breeders will become better known in Egypt.

.More interviews with top breeders in the Reference Library

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