Gideon van Zyl


Gideon Van Zyl


Introduction to birds
As far back as I can remember I always had a fascination for our feathered friends. I recall when I was growing up; our neighbours at some stage had racing pigeons and tumblers. These tumblers would start tumbling and hit either the telephone wires or the ground and in doing so, they would knock themselves out. I used to run across the street, in an attempt to rescue these dead pigeons, hold them beneath a tap of running cold water, and miraculously some would come alive again! I would then secretly house these pigeons in my cage, which was constructed of a wooden crate and covered with a wire front.  THIS is how it all started. Thereafter I always owned birds, whether it was budgies, fowls, quails or whatever I could, lay my hands on. I still consider myself a novice when it comes to larger birds or larger quantities of birds. About 3 years ago, I again built myself an aviary for keeping lovebirds and diamond pigeon it was after I attended one of the local bird auctions that I became truly addicted.  I did not actually buy anything, as I had no aviaries, but I then started adding a section to my aviaries every year. These sections consisted of up to seven lots. For me, going to auctions is a real highlight during the year. There you are able to see birds that you have never had the privilege to see before. I recall on one of the first auctions I attended, that I decided I would bid on a pair of lovebirds. This was a real revelation because those lovebirds sold for over R1000-00!  At first, I thought the auctioneer was joking, until the bidding started. Well, I certainly did not put my finger in the air to bid on those birds!

Preferences in breeding birds
At the moment my preferences lies with the Fishers, Lovebirds, Cockatiels and the smaller  species of Conures. The Fishers, Lovebirds and Cockatiels are the birds that keep me busy, involved and interested, because there are always eggs and chicks in the nests.  Selling these provide an income to purchase all the necessary foodstuffs, as well as adding new birds. Since living in town I would not like to cause friction with the neighbours, I am reluctant to start breeding the larger, noisier birds. 


Current breeding facility
At the moment I have 44 conventional aviaries, which I would like to double over the next two or 3 years, if I am permitted to utilize more space in the garden.


 Species that are bred or kept:
Conures: Green Cheeks, Yellow Sided Green Cheeks, Pearly, Painted, St Thomas, Maroon bellies, Patagonians, Waglers.


Parakeets: Plum Heads, Rosa Bourke, Turquoizines.


Fishers and lovebirds: Entry-level mutations.


Parrots: Meyers, Rupples, Red-bellied.


Ring necks: A few pairs of entry level mutations.


 Species that I would like to own in the near future:
Lineolateds: Some Conures mutations: Crimson Bellies, Blue and Cinnamon Green Cheeks. Lovebirds: Some of the more expensive mutations. (The ones I could not afford to buy on THAT auction!)


Species that I would like to own later in life, as it seems unlikely now: 
A range of Grass Finches. Conures: Pineapple, Opaline Green Cheeks. Birds of Africa.


 Contribution to the bird fancy in South Africa:
Not much at this stage as I am still a novice to the big game and still learning. Member of the Verrewes bird club as well as the Lovebird Society of South Africa.

 Trust in the bird fancy in South Africa: 
I am very excited to be part of this game, having the opportunity to meet new people and seeing more of God beautiful creatures. I also feel that there are unlimited opportunities for expansion in this field, and particularly in our country. I am keen to see an interest and love for our beautiful feathered friends cultivated within our youth.

Lessons that I have learned.  

Make sure that you get what you paid for.


Know your hybrids, a big NO-NO.


Cell 082 326 2990

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