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Lack of Singing
December 01, 2004

Here is your new edition of...

Your Guide to Canary Care Success...


Tuesday, December 1, 2004

CanaryTips! delivers VALUABLE information about the hobby of keeping
a canary as a pet AND tips for successful canary breeding.

Filled with timely tips, it’s designed to be your UP-TO-DATE canary care
that helps you provide the BEST living conditions for your flying friend. :-)

PROUDLY and JOYOUSLY presented by


Table of Contents
1) "It's a Beautiful Fall Day...Why Isn't My Canary Singing?"
2) Breeding:  Rearing Baby Canaries with Good Foods.
3) News for Bird Lovers:  Chicks Take the Heat, End Up Girls


Coming SOON to

1) Build YOUR Canary Site!

2) More information on where to find the best deals on canary supplies...complete with special discounts from favorite retailers.



"It's a Beautiful Fall Day...
Why Isn't My Canary Singing?"

Has your canary stopped or slowed his singing recently?

There's a good chance your canary is still...

"In The Molt".

Molting typically starts mid-summer and lasts about 2 months.  This means your canary should stop molting by the end of September.  However...

Sometimes a molt can last as long as 3 months.  If your canary is not singing by mid-November your canary may be suffering with an "extended" or "off-season" molt.  The reason?

"Let There Be Light!"

...but not too much.  Canaries are photosensitive. Breeding season and molting season are regulated by the number of daylight hours your bird is exposed to.  Too much light throws your birds system out of whack.

He may molt too long, too short, or not at all, depending on the amount of daylight hours.

For keeping your canary on schedule cover his cage at sundown and uncover at sunrise.  This will give him the most "natural" amount of light throughout the year...keeping his system on a seasonal routine.

Don't forget to feed a...

Well Balanced Diet.  

Molting takes a lot out of a canary and he needs great nutrition.

  • Canary Seed Mixture
  • Egg food
  • Fruits and veggies
  • Cuttlebone
  • Fresh water

You may want to get some molting or song food as well.  High in nutrients, these foods help re-energize your canary during and immediately following the molt. 

Your canary might also stop singing in...

"The Golden Years"

Your canary likely won't sing forever.  Typically--as a canary ages--he sings less and less...and the drop-off in singing will often occur after a molt.

Canaries often stop or slow their singing at around 7 or 8 years old.  So, if your canary is older than 7, your hours spent listening to canary song may be declining.  Of course...

This isn't always the case.  Some older canaries sing just fine. 

But if you have an older canary who doesn't sing much anymore you may want to get another younger bird.  Put him in a different cage and in a different room.  This will encourage BOTH to sing more.

The song food will help too but you should know...

"The #1 Way To Increase Singing".

The very best way to increase singing is to have your canary listen to other canaries singing.  Your canary will want to announce to the other birds that this is HIS territory..."Make not doubt about it".

A canary will claim his cage as his own.  AND he'll want to protect it from other birds. You can get another bird as described above or...

Get a Canary CD.

The very best one I've ever heard is "The Complete Canary Album".  It contains the kind of recordings that professional song canary exhibitionists use to TRAIN their canaries and so...It is very effective.

For more on using recorded songs--and to listen to a sample--see this article...

"Using Recorded Songs to Increase Canary Singing"

So...if it's a beautiful fall day and your canary is not singing...

  • Check your lighting routine.
  • Note your canary's age.
  • Get a song CD.


Breeding:  Rearing Baby Canaries with Good Foods.

Rearing young canaries is one of my favorite activities.

If all goes as planned your canary eggs will begin to hatch on the 13th day.  Each egg will probably hatch one day apart.

One day before you expect eggs to start hatching start feeding soft foods...


Boil an egg for 20 minutes.  Remove the shell and mash the egg with a fork. 

=====SIDE NOTE=====
You can feed your birds the egg shell too. Most breeders will probably tell you to bake the shell before feeding it to your canaries.  This will kill any bacteria on the shell.  However...

I have often just mashed up the egg and shell together and served it to adult birds only.   I've never had any problems doing it this way.

I hesitate to serve it while there are babies in the cage, however, for fear they will choke on the shell or otherwise be injured by the sharp edges.   When babies are present just use the egg and toss the shell.
=====SIDE NOTE=====

The egg provides fats and proteins while the shell is a great supplier of calcium.

Serve about one tablespoon of egg twice per day. Remove old egg when you bring the fresh batch.

Another soft food you should give your breeding pair with babies is...

Soft Seed.

Soft seed can be produced by soaking your regular canary seed mixture in warm water overnight.  Drain thoroughly. Serve about two teaspoons per pair.  Serve soft seed twice per day along with the egg.

If your pair usually consumes all the soft seed before you bring the next serving give more each time.  In other words-->let them have ALL they can eat or feed to there babies.

You can also boil the seed to soften it. 

This works well and I used it for an entire season with no problems.  Some will say that many of the nutrients get "boiled" out of the seed but like I said...I used it for an entire breeding season and everyone stayed healthy...including the babies. :-)

Again...let them have all they can eat.

Fruits and Veggies

Almost every day offer a new "treat".  Fruits and veggies are full of vitamins and fiber and your canaries will eat them up fast!  But once per day is plenty.

This is what my schedule might look like...

  • Monday-->greens
  • Tuesday-->apple
  • Wednesday-->greens
  • Thursday-->banana and grated carrots
  • Friday-->greens
  • Saturday-->apple
  • Sunday-->A sweet treat like honey stick.

About a silver dollar size piece of greens is sufficient for a breeding pair.  For fruit I serve about two table spoons worth--about a golf ball sized portion.  Remember...These foods are being used to feed their babies so don't be to stingy with them.

Feed these 3 foods twice daily for about 3 to 4 weeks.  The parents will feed their babies this mixture for about that long. By then the babies should be eating the dry seed mixture and you can discontinue the daily feeding of soft foods.  Unless there is...

A Second Clutch.

The hen will probably want to start a second nest before the first babies leave the nest.  So... make sure she has a second nest with plenty of nesting materials...more on that in the next issue.

When the first babies are eating on their own you should remove them to another cage.  Especially if a second clutch has been started.

That's it...except...

Make sure you continue to feed the regular...

  • dry seed mixture
  • cuttlebone
  • fresh water.

Good nutrition equals healthy strong baby canaries.


News for Bird Lovers:

Chicks Take the Heat, End Up Girls

Temperature influences the sex of birds, not just reptiles, researchers have shown for the first time.

Australian researchers Dr. Ann Göth from Sydney's Macquarie University and Dr David Booth from the University of Queensland studied the unusual habits of the Australian brush or bush turkey (Alectura lathami), after a tip-off from an Aboriginal elder.

The researchers found more female brush turkeys hatch at high temperatures and males at lower temperatures, publishing their findings in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

They say brush turkeys are the first known birds to regulate the sex ratio of their chicks using temperature. But they are thought to do it in a different way to some reptiles.

The brush turkey is unusual as it belongs to a group of 22 bird species known as megapodes that do not sit on their eggs. Instead they use environmental heat sources such as composting leaf litter.

Göth said after the female lays the eggs the male tends the composting mound using a temperature sensor in his upper beak to keep the mound between 30 and 37°C.

"Each day during the nesting season from July to February he takes a small amount of soil in his beak and checks the temperature," she said.

"If it is cold he will add more leaf litter and if it is too hot he will open the top of the mound to cool it down."

Extreme temperatures

Göth found equal numbers of male and female chicks hatched at the average mound temperature of 34°C. But more males hatched when the mound was a lower 31°C and more females hatched at a higher 36°C.

Göth said unlike reptiles, brush turkey incubation temperature did not determine the sex of an egg but rather affected which eggs would survive.

"We know in reptiles temperature determines the sex of an egg after it is laid but the sex of a brush turkey is determined by the time it is laid," she said.

Göth studied nest temperature after an Aboriginal elder in the Atherton tablelands of Far North Queensland told her there were more female chicks following a hot nesting season and more males after a cold season.

"The Aboriginal people have been aware of a connection between incubation temperature and brush turkey sex for a long time," she said.

Other Australian megapodes include the mallee fowl and orange-footed megapode that use similar incubation methods as the brush turkey.

By Catriona Purcell
ABC Science Online


In the Next Issue of Canary Tips!...
1) "Cold Weather Canary Care"
2) Breeding:  Nesting Material for Your Hen.


Written by Darren Walker
(c) copyright 2004


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