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Canary Tips! Your final issue...
January 01, 2005
Here is your final issue of 2004...
Your Guide to Canary Care Success...
Friday, December 31, 2004
CanaryTips!delivers VALUABLE information about the hobby of keeping
Filled with timely tips, it’s designed to be your
UP-TO-DATE canary care
PROUDLY and JOYOUSLY presented by Darren Walker at CanaryAdvisor.com.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
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.
What's the #1 way to increase canary singing? Use recorded songs!
Is It Cold In Here?
Is It Cold In Here?
Cold weather need not be anything to worry about for canary owners. Canaries are surprisingly resilient and are very tolerant of cold weather.
Winter is a time of rest and recuperation for canaries. The molt is finally over and soon it will be time for breeding.
I have had Canadian breeders tell me that they keep their canaries outside all year-round...even in sub-zero temps!..without problems. However...
I have had OTHER breeders tell me that they do the same in order to cull off the weakest birds...the weaker ones don’t survive the extreme temps. So...
Canaries CAN survive very cold temps but sometimes a weak or sick bird WON’T.
If you have an outdoor aviary I recommend heating it to stay above the freezing mark...32 degrees F. All my birds have been fine at that temp.
One thing you could do--if you have an outdoor or unheated aviary--is get 2 ceramic lamps. Set them about 3 feet apart—creating a warm “space”. Your canaries could then move in and out of this warm space as they desire.
For cages that are not big enough to contain a ceramic lamp just set a lamp outside the cage, on one side. It will keep that side of the cage warm while allowing your bird to move to the other "cool" side if he so desires.
These heat emitters provide heat but NO LIGHT...and that's important because too much light can be a bad thing...more on that in a minute.
Ceramic lamps are great. Not only for “winterizing” an aviary but for treating sick birds too.
One of the most important things you can do for an ill canary is provide warmth. The healing process gets a big boost just by keeping the cage toasty. :-)
If you have just one or two birds that you keep in your home, temp is something you likely won't have to worry about. If it's comfortable for you--> it's likely comfortable for your canary. However...
What you need to watch out for are temperature extremes...90 degrees F during the day and 35 F at night are two extremes that may weaken your bird and cause a drop in his immune systems' abilities...which may result in illness.
A wild bird's ability to stay healthy in cold weather is determined by the weather itself. In other words, a canary can take the cold temps if he has time to acclimate himself to it. If it's been nice and warm over the summer and then immediately, one day, turns cold, a bird will not be prepared.
I recently read an article about pigeons in Louisiana. The weather had been nice and warm, then a severe cold front moved through and thousands of pigeons froze to death. Louisiana pigeons had survived lower temperatures than those brought by this front BUT they weren't prepared for such a sudden change. The cold temps themselves weren't the problem...it was the quick drop.
In nature, the temp slowly changes with the change of the seasons and so...
A bird's ability to stay comfortable changes with the seasons. If its a constant 80 degrees F from July to December a bird will not be prepared for any cold temps. The bottom line...
SUDDEN changes in temp cause SUDDEN changes in health!
Who lets those kinds of extremes occur in their house? Well...nobody I know but...
There are a couple of places in some homes that have high fluctuations in temps...
The winter months are also a time of dry air in the house. We've got our furnaces running or our fireplaces burning and they're sucking all the moisture out of the air.
Help combat dry, itchy skin by offering a bath at least 3 times per week. Baths should be offered EARLY in the day so your bird has all day to dry out...before temps fall in the evening.
The canary diet during winter does not change. (Except, as mentioned above, if you live in an area with very little sunlight you may want to add cod liver oil or use a multi-vitamin for birds. See the article below on the Avian Health Package) Make sure your bird gets plenty of fresh seed, cuttlebone, clean water, PLUS...
Boiled egg, fresh greens, and fruit twice per week each. A fatty treat, like millet, a couple times per week will be appreciated too.
When I was in wilderness survival school I was reminded often of two important facts...
Obviously, provide fatty foods in moderation...your canary doesn't need a lot. He is not in survival mode. ;-)
For more on canary feeding see...
One of the biggest mistakes canary owners make is allowing too many daylight hours.
Canaries are photosensitive and unnatural long days could result in an off-season molt or off-season egg laying.
It's important that canaries have a few months of rest after molting to regain energy for the upcoming breeding season. Even if you don't breed your canary, he still needs that time of year for rest.
Keep daylight time to 9 to 12 hours per day during this time of year. The best way to do this is to cover your birds cage at sundown and remove the cover at sunrise. This will give him the most "natural" length of day.
So...During the cold winter months avoid temperature extremes of all kinds including cold drafts, make sure your canary has a well balanced diet, adjust lighting accordingly and you'll have a happy and healthy and SINGING canary!
A very important part of your canary first-aid kit is something to keep him warm-->Number 1 on the list is a ceramic lamp.
Give Me The GOOD Stuff!
Give Me The GOOD Stuff!
Is your canary operating at optimum health?
A few weeks ago we talked about beneficial bacteria and how you can protect your birds health with all natural probiotics and herbal supplements. You can review that issue here.
Well...if you didn't take advantage of those items THEN-->you'll want to NOW!...
The Avian Medicine Chest has provided us a special sale on their "Avian Health Package". The package includes...
By getting all of these at once in the "Health Package" you save BIG money!
This special sale is only good until the 5th of January. That's this coming Wednesday-->You don't have much time! Go there now and see how you can improve your canary's health AND save some cash on these important supplements.
Sit On it!
As you know...canaries like to line their nest with some kind of fibrous material in order to create a comfortable place to raise their babies. In the wild they will use grass, leaves, and small twigs.
You can go about providing liner material in two ways...
With or Without a Liner
The Pre-formed liner. These are made out of felt, cotton, and even rope and are used to line the wire, bamboo, or plastic canary nesting bowl. Pre-formed liners are inexpensive enough to throw away at the end of breeding season but some breeders like to wash and re-use them.
Some have even used nursing pads or a simple wash cloth folded twice then sown to the nest. Also used are...coffee filters--dampened then formed into the nest to let dry.
When using a liner you must still provide some loose materials--see below--so your hen can build the nest to her preferred shape.
Liners are not absolutely needed. They're used mainly to keep nesting materials like short strings and small pieces of paper from falling through the nesting bowl. It depends on the type of nesting bowl your using...
Wire and plastic nests have relatively large spaces allowing things to fall through. If you use a bamboo nest you won't need the liner...it's already weaved tightly together. Although,
Using a liner will help keep your nesting bowl clean. When the nest is abandoned just pull out the liner, materials and all, and through it away.
Some fibrous nest building materials include...
Just place the materials in the cage and the hen will keep herself busy with the work of nest building.
The material considered the best for canary nest is sisal fibers. Sisal is a soft fiber, allows for good ventilation, and canaries seem to prefer its' light coloring.
To see a picture of sisal fibers as well as other materials AND to get an idea of how much they cost go to...
As you can see there is a multitude of material you can provide for your nesting hen. There are also a couple of things you should NOT use...
Don't use long lengths. Anything longer than two inches and you run the risk of a bird getting tangled. Cut all materials down to one to two inches in length.
Flax is often used but I recommend you stay away from it. The bird could get it's claws caught in its felty mass.
Also avoid thin threadlike strings. A piece of thin thread wrapped around a leg could cause obvious problems.
You can use grass from your yard but make sure it is well dried, clean, and chemical free. To sterilize, bake at 200 degrees F for 10 minutes.
When I first began breeding canaries I used a bamboo nest with the gunny sack or burlap fibers, cut to two inch lengths, and then offered some unscented toilet paper. A canary hen can make a great nest out of just these two items. Of course, it's a lot of work for you cutting up the gunny sack!
Now days I lean more toward purchasing a good quality nesting material...that's ALREADY cut up. ;-) Nesting materials are super INexpensive. Once again, a good supplier of canary supplies including an impressive selection of nests and nesting materials is...
You only need one of the materials listed but canaries, like people, have different tastes. Get 3 or 4 different materials for your hen. Place a small amount of each in the cage to find out which one she prefers. A happy and comfortable canary will be a better mother. :-)
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