Early in the morning at a quarter passed six a man is looking over the expansive meadows of the silent and still Dutch landscape. The horses come to meet him and enjoy their food. After that he feeds the birds. Just one more quiet peaceful moment, before the hectic working days start again.
Frank is a bird breeder who enjoys all animals surrounding him. He lives with his family in Gelderland, a Dutch provence. The goats are bleating merrily and chickens are scurrying quietly on the ground. A curious cat sneaks through the garden and looks keen to the large aviary. There you can find the greatest pride of this breeder. About eighty tropical birds are divided into two sections, where they can fly, eat and rest
Frank actively breeds gouldian finches. “I just started with birds I liked best: zebra finches, Australian finches, long tailed grass finches. On the go I noticed I liked gouldian finches best. They are beautiful, not too small and they do well. Because of breeding selection these birds are now stronger and easier to keep than twenty years ago.” Frank is M.D., but when he’s breeding he’s most interested in genetics and relationships: “If I know which grandfathers and grandmothers the birds have had, I can calculate which colours the grandchildren will have. With genetics you can predict the chance of having a bird with a black head, read head of white breast. ZooEasy makes this fun, because you can add pictures of a description. I am a bit of a control freak. Every time I buy a new bird, I ask the previous owner for data of the grandparents. I love to breed with a goal in mind.”
“I always loved animals. As a child I didn’t read books, but encyclopaedias. I’ve been to Africa over ten times and I have lived in South Africa for a while. You can find there such beautiful animals, so you will become automatically fond of animals. From my twelfth till sixteenth I had an aviary with different bird. But around my seventeenth birthday I went to college and I couldn’t keep the birds any longer. “
A couple of years ago he was ready to have birds again. “I hadn’t had birds for 25 years. But now I live in a house with a huge garden, so I had to start again,” he laughs cheerful. Frank has spent much time on researching which type of birds and aviary he wanted to have. In the end he chose to build the aviary partly over the existing garden and partly over the grass.
“Having fun is the most important part,” Frank explains. “Personally, I hope the best quality of birds, that are beautiful, have a good size and nice colors. That shouldn’t be at the expense of everything. It’s always health over good looks.” He has a smart tip for starting breeders: “You need to start with good birds. It’s better to spend more on less birds of a good quality, than making a bad start with many birds.” Frank travelled through the whole country to find the most beautiful and best birds. “I only buy healthy birds. If you start with a good quality, you will automatically build a good herd book.”
Frank is the very first customer who uses ZooEasy on an individual basis. As a MAC user he was waiting on the new version for a long time, because this one is also available for Apple computers. In bird breeding he mostly uses the features for pedigrees, genetics and relationships.