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Canary Tips! Feather Plucking / Nests
March 06, 2005

Here is your current issue of...

Your Guide to Canary Care Success.


Sunday, March 6, 2005

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

Filled with timely tips, itís 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 Darren Walker at


Table of Contents
1) What is Feather Plucking?
2) Canary Nests


Coming SOON to

1) Build YOUR Canary Site!
Many people have been asking how I've taken a teeny-tiny insignificant topic like "canary care" and created a website that ranks among the top 2% of all 60 MILLION sites on the net.  This section of will show you how I did it and how YOU can do it too.

2) Blogging and
Using RSS you can choose to get notified immediately anytime I add or change a page.  Complete introduction to using and benefiting from this new and hot way to find the info you want on the net.

3) Site Search
Search for any topic.

4) Canary Cage Central
I've had such a hard time finding functional, attractive, and affordable cages for canaries on-line that I've decided to take control of the situation!  You'll be able to select from the best values in canary cages.

5) Canary Keeper Catalog
A thorough collection of books and magazines for bird lovers.

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



As you can see in the Coming SOON section above, I've got a lot of things planned for  Some of these things are going to be extremely helpful to you in getting the most reliable canary care information available.

They're not going to happen overnight but it should all be done within a few at a time. :-)

If there is anything in particular that you need from send me a note via my contact page.  Any ideas, suggestions, rants, and ravings?  Let me know.


What's the #1 way to increase canary singing?  Use recorded songs!

Use the same tricks that professional canary breeders and exhibitionists use to train their canaries to sing...Click here.



Feather Plucking Part 1:  What is Feather Plucking?

This is a problem that happens to a small percentage of canaries but when it DOES happen--WOW, it can be really difficult to deal with!

Feather plucking is exactly what it sounds like...the plucking or pulling or picking of feathers from the body.  Sometimes it's done by another bird in the cage but often it's done by the victim himself. 

During the annual molt you might notice your canary picking at his feathers...this is normal.  Molting causes some slight irritation and picking at and plucking out the OLD feathers helps alleviate the problem.  But it shouldn't continue after the molt.

See molting canary.

Once your bird starts picking out his own feathers--outside of the molt--it can develop into a nasty habit that is extremely difficult to break.  Approximately 30% of feather pluckers are never cured.

Why on earth would a canary pluck out his own feathers?

There are various reasons and often it is a mixture of problems. It might include psychological problems as well as  physical problems.

  • Infectious disease
  • Allergies
  • Endocrine/Reproductive Disease
  • Toxins
  • Parasites
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Primary Skin Infection
  • Dietary Deficiencies
  • Systemic Disease
  • Behavioral problems

For most of these, the diagnosis of an avian veterinarian is necessary.  But the most common causes can be treated by you.  These include, in plain English,...

1.  Environment
    Air, cage, and climate all come into play when trying to prevent or cure feather plucking.

2.  High Stress
    Does your canary need some Zen? Help him relax with some useful calming tips.

3.  Bad Diet
    A lack of certain vitamins and minerals may cause your canary to consume his own feathers.

In the next issue of CanaryTips! you'll discover what you might be doing to encourage feather plucking.   You'll discover what you can do to insure that he has a comfortable, clean, and healthy environment.



Canary Nests

Canary nests come in a number of forms. 

Most nests are in the open-topped bowl shape which canaries prefer but some canaries are willing to use the closed in nesting box too.  If you've used these boxes for other birds--like parakeets for instance--you can try and let your canaries use it.  But be ready to put in a bowl nest just in case.

You can find bowl nests made of plastic, wire, bamboo, and grassy materials.

Plastic canary nests are easy to clean and are reusable, year after year.  These plastic nests typically are not solid but have small--sometimes large--holes cut out into them to allow air circulation.  For the nests with large holes you'll need to use a nest liner.  See...
Nesting Materials.

You probably won't run into these large-holed plastic nests anywhere.  I haven't seen any available for quite a while and don't even know if they're made anymore. 

Liners are also useful for wire nests which have gaping holes and using a liner will help protect your birds claws from getting caught in the mesh.  Wire nests can be used year to year as long as you keep them clean.

Bamboo and grass canary nests are the most "natural" and most attractive--in my opinion at least.  They are woven together tightly to form a bowl and typically have two wires on one side to connect the nest to the inside of the cage.  You then provide either a liner or nest building materials.  I highly recommend using the nest building materials--it satisfies the natural instinct to build a nest and helps alleviate unwanted stress.

Woven natural nests are also available made from hemp and sticks.

Another type of nest is the canary nest box that mounts on the outside of the cage.  It is a semi-enclosed box that has a small plastic removable bowl.  These boxes make for easy access to the eggs and babies.

For more info see...
Canary Nests.


Until next time...Keep your canary S-I-N-G-I-N-G! :-)


Written by Darren Walker
(c) copyright 2004

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