The first recording of slate was in the early 1930s. The late Cyril Rogers detailed them in his book The World of Budgerigars. The mutation was not so popular perhaps through his colour and so they slipped into obscurity .
In 1950's and 1960's some breeders took interest in them and tried to revive them but for one reason or another they slipped into obscurity once again. People said they only occurred as Opalines .
In 1970 Cyril Rogers exported a pair to the Netherlands and the mutation was kept going for a few years. It was in 1992 that Cyril Rogers imported two slates back into the UK .
In the same year Mr.Rogers became ill and his friend Ken Gray assumed responsibility for the Slates and he started a breeding programme to re-establish the mutation in the UK once again .
In the Netherlands the pair that Mr.Roger exported produced well but the breeder was killed in a road crash in 1974 and the mans sister took the breeding stock over. Later on she passed the only living slate to Inte Onsman (MUTAVI) .
It is thanks to Cyril Rogers and Inte Onsman that the mutation is re-established .
My first slate came from a breeder in the Netherlands who stopped breeding Slates because of the small interest of the breeders in the mutation. I have had slates in my aviary for about 20 years - and only Normals .
Slate is a sex-linked variety, if anyone should want to start with slates it would be better to start with a visual cock or hen, just to be sure you have the mutation. Later on in your breeding programme you can use split birds.
To improve the mutation I have never paired Slate to Slate and prefer to put a blue split cock to a Slate hen .
It is also possible to breed green series slates but in my opinion it is better to stay in blue series birds .
What you can do is put in the dark factor and produce cobalt and mauve slates. Always avoid the grey factor as it masks the slate.
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© Didier Mervilde
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