My love for animals began as a child. I don't ever remember a time in my life when caring for a "critter" of some kind wasn't a part of my daily routine. Animals are part of who I am, and I would be incomplete without them! My "Lil' Bit of Everything Farm," as my kids call it, consists of horses, miniature horses and donkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, zebra finches, parakeets, button quail, and of course dogs and cats. And, when my husband isn't paying attention, I'll probably add something else soon!
I started raising zebra finches approximately 20 years ago when I bought a group of birds of various colors from Garrie Landry. After a couple years, I found that Florida Fancies were my favorite and focused my attention on this mutation. I improved their size by incorporating English birds to my flock. I also began to add the Phaeo gene to my FF's. The effort I put into improving my birds over the years paid off. The impressive size and confirmation of my birds was acknowledged by Garrie when he began advertising the "Ragas Florida Fancy" as some of the largest FF's he had ever come across. Then came Hurricane Katrina in 2005! I lost my home and community, but I was lucky enough to save my birds, thanks again to Garrie Landry. Katrina put me out of the bird business for over three years while my family and I rebuilt our lives and relocated to a safer area of the state.
In 2008, I was settled and able to return to raising zebras. Although my favorite mutations still remained the Florida Fancy and Phaeo, I added Orange Breasted, Black Faced, and Black Breasted birds to my flock in the attempt to add the most orange color possible to my FF's. The mutations mentioned above are still the main colors I work with to date. The addition of English sized fawns and greys will serve to improve the size and confirmation of my birds. Through larger breeding stock and selective pairings, I am constantly striving to further improve my birds with each generation.
My Breeding Stock
I breed my birds as individual colonies in large flights. Rarely do I cage breed. I have been very successful in this method of breeding. Pairs of similar colors/ sizes are grouped together and allowed to choose their own mates.
A SELECTION OF SOME OF MY
CURRENT ZEBRA FINCH MALES