When you are thinking about wanting to enter your birds in national competition, it's time to first start thinking about how good your flock actually is. If you are like me, you'd love to think your birds are all top quality. Truth is, most of them wouldn't make it to the show bench. Sure, I've got some really nice birds who each have some special quality that would do well in competition. But, I don't have any at this point that would get them the much envied title of Grand Champion.
What makes a Grand Champion anyway? Here are the qualities referred to as the NCS STANDARD. This should be your goal, to produce birds which are as close to this as possible. Mind you, I don't think anyone has a "perfect" bird yet, but the breeders who produce Grand Champions on a regular basis have come very close to perfection in their birds. They didn't do it overnight though.
NCS VISUAL STANDARD NCS POINT STANDARD NCS WRITTEN STANDARD
NCS WRITTEN STANDARD
The NCS Standard envisions a long, graceful bird of good body substance and equal proportions. The cockatiel should measure 14 inches in length from the top of the crown to the tip of the tail. In addition: The crest should approach 3 inches in length.
Proportionally, the bird should measure equally in length from: the top of the crown to the vent, the top of the shoulder to the tip of wing, and from the vent to the tip of the tail.
The crest, as the cockatiel's chief physical trademark, should be full and showy, curving back gracefully, with the longer filaments graduating evenly down towards the shorter ones at the rear of the skull.
The head should be large and well-rounded without evidence of a "flat top" either behind the crest or at the back of the skull.
The eyes should be large and bright, situated at mid-point between the front and back of the skull (with good width between) and sheltered by a pronounced frontal brow-line, creating a proud, "hawk like" appearance when viewed from the front.
The bright orange cheek patches should be round, well colored, and free of "bleeding" extraneous orange feathers elsewhere on the face.
- The beak should be clean, tucked in and of normal length. The lower mandible should be only partly visible.
The yellow face of adult males should be brightly colored and without extraneous grey or orange feathers (except for young males going through the molt) and clearly contrast where it meets the main body feathers.
- The bib should be deep.
The neck, adding grace to the form, should be neither too long nor too short, and particularly evident when the bird is in and alert stance.
The cockatiel is a sleek, stream-lined bird, yet full-bodied, showing good substance.
When viewed from the front (or back), a generous width across the chest and shoulders in adults (particularly hens) should be evident.
The back should be straight, blending with the slender, tapering abdomen.
The wings should be large and wide, held tightly, hugging the body with tips close to the tail, without crossing or drooping. All flight feathers should be present.
The wing patch should approach 3/4 of an inch in width and be clear of extraneous dark feathers.
Legs and feet should be clean, strong and firmly grasp the perch. All toes and claws should be present and nails should not be overgrown.
The tail should be long, clean and straight (lacking frayed, damaged or soiled feathers) and tightly whipped together, adding to the cockatiel's elegant and graceful appearance.
NCS POINT STANDARD
The NCS Point Standard exists as a guide for both the judge and exhibitor to search out the best qualities and select the best birds. During a show however, all birds will be judged by the comparison method, using the point standard merely for reference, until the best bird emerges over all.
14" from the top of the crown to the tip of the tail, plus a crest approaching 3",
Length, density and fullness. Ideally towards 3", Lutinos will be weighed more heavily for the degree (or absence of the bald spot.)
PROPORTION & SHAPE,
Fullness of body (breadth and substance.) Proportion of head to body to wings to tail. Proper wing carriage (no crossed wings or slouched shoulders)
Immaculate and excellent feather condition, clean and tightly feathered ( tail and flight feathers all in place and un-frayed). Superb health and vigor. No pinfeathers or evidence of overgrown nails or beak.
Steadiness on the perch, good posture ( approx. 70 degrees off the horizontal) will reflect good show training by the exhibitor. Birds that refuse to perch after a reasonable amount of time will not be considered for advancement.
COLOR AND MARKINGS,
Depth of color or degree of markings,
Uniformity of color or consistency of markings,
Appropriate clean caging.
TOTAL 100 POINTS
NCS VISUAL STANDARD
Here you can make up your own way of scoring your birds (i.e. 1=poor 10=perfect and everything in between). It's up to you how you use this but, once completed you would want to pair up your birds with the best overall totals. In doing so, you will also want to take one bird with high points in say, the crest but which has a smaller body with one who's crest may not be as nice but which has the size you are looking for in the bird. Balance out the good and not as good qualities in each pair. In this manner you will be "setting" the traits you want in the offspring of each pair.
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