ZooEasy has existed for ten years now. The customers of ZooEasy are spread over the entire world: from a bird breeder in Australia until a dog breeder in Sweden. There are sold over 15,000 stand alone software programs to hobby and (semi)professional breeders, and nowadays over 40 breeding associations and herd books are using ZooEasy Online. This series about the foundation of ZooEasy ends with the story of Jacob Miedema, the very first costumer.
Jacob Miedema (58) from Franeker, Holland, has always been a fanatic bird breeder. “I have been born and raised with it. My father owned canaries, but I was more a tropics kind of guy. It’s an addiction.” At his height, Jacob Miedema owned 200 birds. In the past years he has won many awards, he has given lectures and judged many birds. He is also closely involved in several functions at Volièrevereniging De Edelzanger in Franeker. Nowadays Jacob Miedema has taken things easier. He now owns about 50 birds, like Turqoise Parrots, swift parrots, starlings, zebra finches and quails. “It’s mainly for fun now.” Twice a day he makes a walk through his aviary: “Especially the quails are very close to me. They come right up to me and eat from my hand.”
Just a few people know that Jacob Miedema was also involved at the start of ZooEasy: “My friend Jan Weistra and me were breeding zebra finches at the time. Jan’s son knew Erik Reudink through their badminton association. Erik knew a lot about computers. Jan asked him if he could make a pedigree program. They asked me to join them, to give my opinion on the contents that are important for bird breeders. It was very devious, but Erik was good at DOS. Soon there were more functions available, like judging notes, features and characteristics, safety for the unique codes of the ring numbers. It was then called Ra-Bird.” Since then the program has developed more and more, until the name ZooEasy was released.
The secret is good bookkeeping
With his years of experience at bird breeding, Jacob Miedema has some tips for bird breeders: “It is important to keep good records. I always have a breeding book in my aviary. There I write everything down, and every season I put that in my computer. If you’re breeding birds for contests, you will have to look at the quality norms of the birds. The beauty of ZooEasy is that you can write down everything very accurately. This makes it easy to sort which characteristics like colour and patterns you would like to strengthen en preserve. You can also track and keep up with blood lines.”
Satisfied with what you have
The last ten years there hasn’t changed must in bird breeding. Jacob Miedema has become a wiser man on one topic: “I keep my birds longer to myself. If the quality of the birds is good, why should you want to discard them? In the old days everything had to be more and better. But at one point you should be satisfied with what you have.” A look back at 10 years ZooEasy brings up a lot of personal memories for Jacob Miedema: “I have bred and registered a lot of birds in ZooEasy. Most of these birds aren’t alive anymore, but their records are still there. I will keep on using ZooEasy as long as I have birds. It was just stupid of us that we didn’t ask for a part of the share at the beginning of ZooEasy.” Jacob Miedema laughs. “No, nonsense. Erik has done his job very well, and it has become a great company.”