Author Archives for Chelsea @ TWFA

About Chelsea @ TWFA

TWFA was established in 2008 in order to provide the public with healthy & happy finch pets. Since it's opening, hundreds of quality pairs have been raised & adopted out. Visit the aviary's website for pictures, pricing, products, care & contact information as well as aviary updates.

We have moved to a dot-com & changed species!!

As you may have noticed, this website is no longer being updated. The reason being the new dot com domain has picked up where this site has left off. It’s been an intense year to say the least, so it’s taken me a while to finish it. But now that everyone else’s projects are done I have been able to get started on mine. And I’m happy to say it’s totally finished! The last thing left to do is to post photos of my new breeding pairs when they arrive.

To find out what rare species I’ll be breeding this year, visit the new website at: thewhitefinchaviary.com

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Merry Christmas from Quigley & TWFA!!

IMG_0273by Kristy

It’s Christmas time in Kansas City and the Plaza Lights are shining brightly. Quigley loves playing in his snow and can’t wait to open his presents. Santa knows he’s been a good bird and knows exactly what to bring.

Even the finches love the freshly fallen snow and playing in the trees and garland. They even fell asleep in the branches. This is the first year of free flight and I was concerned that they would end up in the Christmas tree, but they stay close to home and Im sure it’s because I’ve provided them there own personal trees. Continue reading

TWFA Is Moving To TheWhiteFinchAviary.com

I’m working on a really big aviary update, filled with stories of babies and brand new breeders. I promise! But for now, all I will reveal is that the TWFA website is MOVING! Yes finally. I’ve been talking about a website I’ve been developing with help for about a year now (shhh we will call it a year), it’s time to put that thang into practice.

For the time being I’ll be using graphics I created, but I’m excited to see what the designers will come up with based on these new birds of mine.

Don’t be surprised if you see me soliciting for new pairs in various places – I’ve been adding newbies to the fold but I’m also not finished yet, which is why the “My Finches” page hasn’t been finished yet. Always very exciting to add new birds to the flock and I haven’t done it since the Gouldian flock almost a year ago.

$5 Off LG Supplies for All TWFA Fans!!

lgLaraine just informed me that she started a nice new referral option for checkout in her store. Up until this point I’ve been sending her a “buttload” of business solely because she’s an incredibly helpful woman and her store items are a MUST. This has been the case for about 6 or so years. But now I’ll be getting a nice little discount for it!! That’s so exciting!! For every referral from me/TWFA, the customer receives $5 off their first order, and I get a $10 off coupon for my next order. When you pay anywhere from $250-$450 every other month depending on where we are in the seasons as I do, every little discount helps! As I always tell people, I give away my offspring most of the time or sell them for only $30 per pair for the rarer mutations. So selling my babies doesn’t even pay for their food costs most of the time. But they bring me so much joy I’d happily never make a dime off of their babies, it’s just such a fun hobby to have.

So please remember next time you shop at LG (LadyGouldian.com) to mention Chelsea @ TWFA sent you for your $5 discount!! Woot!! And keep an eye out for an upcoming update with baby photos.

Updated the Links Page!

A minor announcement for the site features – I’ve updated the links section! It sounds like a minimal feat but truly it is a large one. I removed some breeder websites that aren’t working any more, and I added all of the NFSS member aviaries in existence. I didn’t check every single link so if you find something that is broken please let me know. I also changed up the organization on that page which was seriously lacking, no clue what I was thinking when I last put it together!

There are a LOT of great breeders out there!! Please share their websites and keep them in mind if anyone asks you for contact information for another breeder.

I’m also working on a list of breeders which will be comprehensive and organized by species. It will take some time for me to build and it will be a private document that I give out only by request – containing phone numbers and emails as well as websites. So YES to all of the people who have asked me for Java breeders, I DO know of multiple!

My First Finch Show & Conference ~ WCZS & AFA

A CFW male being goofy as I sweet talk him. He is a GORGEOUS bird and just a sample of what you can find at the WCZS show! efinch.com/show for more details.

A CFW male being goofy as I sweet talk him. He is a GORGEOUS bird and just a sample of what you can find at the WCZS show! Visit efinch.com/show for more details.

As the Journal starts to make its way out to our NFSS members this week, I thought I’d share my experience which I touched on in my recent article. As I described in that issue, I was very opulent-eyed and excited just to be attending my first big bird events. I’ve been to tiny “fairs” or shows here and there on the East Coast that had NGs and CFWs for sale and no other mutations, but I worked EVERY single time the annual Baltimore Bird Fancier’s Fair came round. Literally every year I would ask off and every year I’d have to work that weekend! I started calling it the BBF curse.

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An OB CFW! Don’t they just make ya drool?? As seen at the WCZS show in Sacramento. (TWFA 2014)

I attended these events soon after visiting home if some of my followers may remember – where I spent way too much money on new dresses & shoes. So much so that I didn’t have any room for my clothes when it came time to leave!! All of my jeans and winter clothes stayed behind. I still haven’t gotten around to getting them back either. So what did I have to wear to these prestigious events? Yoga pants and a beach dress. Oh yeah, I did that. Luckily the amazing NFSS members who attended the events with me didn’t hold my lack of fashion choices against me. They were so kind! Where else would you get a hug as soon as you walk through the door than the “friendliest show in the West?” Nowhere! My “boss” John Wilson (NFSS VP) even took the time to allow me to chew his ear off, giving me my very own NFSS pin (probably to stop me from yapping!). I took that with me to the AFA and wore it every day on my lapel! He is definitely one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. Continue reading

Members of ANY Avicultural Organization ~ Get Your TWFA Offspring for FREE!

free aviculture

When I tell people that I give most of my offspring away for free, they tend to look at me with a cocked head and a furrowed brow. I then explain to them that if/when I do charge people, the profits only go right back into the care of my flock. I spend on average $250-$350 every other month or so not including the medications I keep fresh on hand. When it comes down to it I could really care less if someone is willing to pay $75 for a rarer mutation. The reason I have prices in the first place is to dictate rarity and difficulty to breed. Otherwise I’d have 50 people waiting for Penguins alone at any given time! Can you imagine! They breed only 1-2 times a year, I’d have people waiting for decades. The prices also help deter people who request 100 pairs at a time so they can flip them for a profit.

That being said, in an attempt to help bolster the numbers of our various avian organizations and local clubs I will be giving away any of my offspring for free to any hobbyists who have joined. This can be a national organization devoted to aviculture (breeding birds) like the AFA or ASA, a local hobbyist club like the CCBA, or the NFSS which I always highly recommend. It MUST be an organization that supports aviculture specifically. If you’re a member in good standing (meaning you haven’t been kicked out and have paid all of your dues) then you’re welcome to whatever I have available or will have available soon. Please keep in mind that I do keep a regular waiting list in between clutches and this means those people on that list do have first pick. But other than that I don’t care about the rarity of the mutation or if it’s a specific marking I only see in 3 offspring per year (like my BF males), you can have it if you’re supporting an avicultural organization of any kind.

This is a small bit of help, but I do hope it makes even a tiny difference in the avian community! I know there are some of you out there who have “thought about” joining but haven’t gotten around to it – I used to be the same way! I personally didn’t want to join until I had some experience under my belt so I didn’t sound like an idiot. That was a waste of my time and I should have joined the day I bought my first pair of finches. There are so many helpful and wonderful people in these organizations who are EAGER to help us newbies and set us in the right direction. They have been raising finches for decades and nothing phases them. They don’t judge either, so if you’ve lost a bird or two due to some kind of accident, don’t feel as if that will outcast you. Once you’ve lost dozens over the span of decades something like that doesn’t phase them. So JOIN your local club! It’s probably only something like $20 a year as it is with the CCBA, and you can even attend an event or meeting to join and get started. And don’t forget the AFA is only $40 for one year, the NFSS is $30 per year. NO EXCUSES! Get out there and join now and I’ll send you free TWFA offspring!

New House, New Bird Room, New Finches!

Casper (right) ~ A handsome new addition to the aviary. He is a BH YB PB Gouldian Finch. (TWFA 2014)

Well after a hellacious time with our previous landlord, I’m finally free in a bigger, more beautiful new house! Everything happens for a reason, and after an incredibly negative experience my main goal for the new house was to find a better landlord (and house) altogether which I definitely accomplished. If you’d like to see photos of the new house, visit my Facebook page or add my personal profile here. I won’t be posting specific bird room photos on my public site any more for security reasons. I just couldn’t help myself last time!

I’m absolutely in love with this new house! With very kind landlords to boot, it just makes the whole ordeal perfect. There’s also lots of space and windows, much more so than in the last house. This also means that my Zebra Finch pairs are getting back into their breeding groove, some immediately and some are still getting used to the change. The Gouldians will have to wait until I build them their nest boxes in the next week or two. Continue reading

2 Conferences & a Move, Oh My!

If everything bad happens in threes, it seems only fair that the opposite is true. After a hellacious early Summer here in spite of some positives, I’m excited to move into a bigger house & attend a couple of huge West Coast bird/Finch events!

First up this weekend is the West Coast Zebra & Society Finch show in Sacramento. For those of you like me who have never been, or if you’re just arriving here and wondering what in the world it is, it’s an annual show that has some of the most prestigious & knowledgeable showers/breeders in the country (world imho). This is the place where you can find all of those obscure color combinations and rare mutations (even rare species). And the answer is yeah, I’m taking my travel cage with me!

Next week there’s the AFA 2014 Convention in Portland. This is the end-all event of the year, probably the biggest it’s ever going to be but without any actual bird sales oddly enough. This convention is something I’ve sadly missed since it was established on the East Coast (NC), and now they’re thankfully bringing it closer. Next year they’ll be hosting it in the midwest so this is definitely something you don’t want to miss on this coast!

Once those two whirl wind extravaganzas are over, I’ll be getting home on a Sunday night from the airport. The next day will be a Monday I’m not looking forward to moreso than usual – it’s our moving day! We’ll be moving into our new house on the 3rd of August with some help from my fiance’s family (thank God). I’ll be setting the bird room & aviaries up very early in the day, transferring the cages to the new place, then setting everyone up back to where they should be. I cannot wait for this day because being in transition really sucks! It sucks for the flock and for the humans, too. I’m excited to start decorating the new house and finally feel totally settled in. Continue reading

Big Breeder Businesses ~ Paradise Earth is Setting a Standard

A video still of Paradise Earth's planted aviaries complete with bird baths inside. (Credit Paradise Earth/Click for more info)

A video still of Paradise Earth’s planted aviaries complete with bird baths inside. (Credit Paradise Earth/Click for more info)

If you’ve been following my posts on the Finch Forum, then you know I’ve been asking around about big breeder businesses you see online with a constant supply of Finches & just about every species imaginable. Ever since I learned their true nature earlier this year, that they use brokers and actually don’t do 95% of their own breeding, I had to know how this was done to a high standard of care. Much like when I first heard about USPS shipping, I was extremely skeptical at first but after some great advice from other experienced hobbyists I saw how it could be streamlined & successfully done safely.

My overall opinion of big breeder businesses was changed instantly while working with Paradise Earth owner David Calvin for an article I’m writing for the NFSS Journal. It’s pretty plain for anyone to see, they’re doing it right. They’ve got quarantine procedures for incoming Finches and quarantine cages that actually are nicer & more spacious than a lot of the hobbyist setups I’ve seen. After quarantine, their birds are transferred to large planted aviaries which is pretty much every Finch or any other bird’s dream. They do let them breed in the group aviaries and pick their own mates which they claim is the best system for them. This type of natural selection is used by many breeders successfully, and on a small scale it has minimal chance to go wrong. In a large mixed aviary where most if not all of the Finches are breeding however, it would be a recipe for disaster so be wary when deciding to use this method. Paradise Earth has decades of collective knowledge and avian vets so their system was not created on a whim!

A video still of Paradise Earth's planted aviaries complete with bird baths inside. (Credit Paradise Earth/Click for more info)

A video still of Paradise Earth’s planted aviaries complete with bird baths inside. (Credit Paradise Earth/Click for more info)

I was also really impressed to learn they hand raise!! In fact, David has philosophies for care that are exactly the same as those of us hobbyists who go “above and beyond.” He believes we should provide the best level of care, the most natural environments, and we should support each other as a community. Incredible. I literally had to fist pump in excitement when I heard that. His website even includes a section for free listings from other hobbyists like we do here @ TWFA!

Paradise Earth is clearly way ahead of the curve compared to the horror stories you hear about other large-scale businesses. They’re also the only large-scale bird business to step up to the plate and under the spotlight for an interview (I contacted all of them!). I challenge all bird businesses and hobbyist breeders to stand up to their high standards! If you can’t talk about your processes or put your business under the spotlight, you might want to re-think what you’re doing. Personally I will definitely be recommending Paradise Earth in the future! If/when I do decide to add more exotic species I’ll definitely have them in mind.

Keep an eye out for the article I mentioned regarding large-scale breeders in a future issue of the NFSS Journal. We’ve got a lot planned for Sept/Oct & Nov/Dec so it may be Jan/Feb but I’ll let everyone know when it’s out.

Also look out for some moving updates & the new bird room soon! 🙂

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