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Canary Tips! Feather Plucking Part 2 Environment
April 02, 2005

Here is your latest issue of...
CanaryTips! Your Guide to Canary Care Success.

Saturday, April 2, 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




Feather Plucking Part2: How Your Canaryís Environment
Can Lead to Feather Plucking.

My Male Canary Laid An Egg!



1) Build YOUR Canary Site!---EMMINENT
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) RSS and
Using RSS you can choose to be notified immediately anytime I add a new page 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.



Can you believe itís April already?! I canít. Iím still having trouble remembering to write ď2005Ē on my checks...and now itís already time to turn the clocks ahead! Spring is definitely spring-ing here in central Cal. Temps are in the high 70s and wildflowers are popping up everywhere. My birds sure love the warm sunshine. :-)

Growth Is Good
Things are coming along nicely on all the new additions to Some of the stuff will be happening in the background. You wonít even notice it until I whisper it in your ear. You pages with new content, ebooks in the works, and other things.

The Site Search AND the How I Built This Site section are just around the corner. Be looking for it.

The first thing youíll probably notice is the new format for this e-zine. Iíve tried to get it better organized and in the attempt I think it is more attractive and easier to read.

Letís Go Shopping!
Iíve added a new Marketplace section that is sure to help you find any canary related products and services that you need. Youíll have at the tip of your fingers a wide variety of helpful sites during the coming weeks. Itís located at the bottom of each issue of CanaryTips.

Until next time...Keep Your Canary S-I-N-G-I-N-G!

Your Friend,
Darren Walker


Feather Plucking Part2: How Your Canaryís Environment Can Lead to Feather Plucking.

---Read Part 1 here.---

You can help avoid the problem of feather plucking in your canary by keeping his environmental conditions clean and free of toxins.

Environmental conditions include air quality, temperatures, humidity levels, and the like.

One of the worst things for your canary is...

Tobacco Smoke.

It's terrible for your canary's feathers. You and I can take off our smoky clothes and wash them. Your bird can't and he is very sensitive to this type of toxic environment.

Tobacco smoke residue will cause filthy unhealthy feathers and irritated skin.

As a side note...It's absolutely deadly for your bird to breathe in tobacco smoke as well. Birds don't have the filtering system that other animals have. See... Canary Toxins.

Letting your canary have a daily bath will help a little in keeping his feathers clean but will do little to cleanse his skin and that's where the problem begins. To insure that your canary has clean healthy skin keep his environment clean.

Another cause of feather plucking is an...

Excessively Dry Environment.

This may also cause skin irritations.

If your home has a fire place or a running furnace that keeps the air dry you might want to use a humidifier. Regular baths will help also or even a conditioning spray. See...Clean Canary.

It Sure Is Hot in Here!
Canaryís do well in a wide range of temperatures...from below freezing to the high 90s. For best results though you should keep your pet canary at a temp thatís comfortable for you...somewhere between 60 and 80 degrees F gives you a wide window to work with.

And your canary is not a mushroom so be careful of...

Low Light Intensity.
A dim environment during the day--like in a darkened room--may result in an imbalanced system.

Don't let your canary become confused as to whether it is dusk or early afternoon. Open up some drapes and turn a light on. Let the sun shine in. :-)

Too Many Daylight Hours
This is a culprit we've talked about many times...

Long days can cause an off-season molt--or soft molt--not to mention nights that are too short to allow sufficient rest, resulting in feather plucking. Remember to cover the cage at sundown and uncover it at sunrise. If this is inconvenient at least try to keep the number of daylight hours to under 12 per day. See...
Molting Canary.

Zinc and Lead Toxicity can be a problem but is not as common in canaries as it is in the parrot family.

Birds in the parrot family use their beaks on the cage bars a lot...climbing, chewing, and sucking. Although today's cages tend to be powder coated--protecting birds from the metal of the bars--birds in the parrot family have been known to eat through the coating, especially on older cages.

The good news? Canaries do not have the same habits. You will rarely see a canary mouthing the cage bars. However...

If the coating on your canary's cage is flaking off--making it easy to get at--he may decide he wants to eat some of it. Inspect your cage closely. If you see any type of material flaking off the cage bars, get a new cage...immediately!


An infestation of feather mites can cause irritation that may lead to feather plucking. See...Canary Disease.

Keeping your canaryís environment healthy goes much deeper than just preventing feather plucking. A good environment will prevent many other illnesses. Plus, it will keep him happy and full of song!

In Part 3 weíll talk about how high stress can lead to a number of physiological and psychological problems...including feather plucking.


My Male Canary Laid An Egg!

Once in while I get an email from someone who wants to know how to determine the sex of canaries. I also will occasionally get an email from a new canary owner that goes something like this...

ďMy male canary laid an egg today! I didnít know they could do that! What do I do?Ē

No my friend, males donít lay eggs. You have a female.

But donít feel too bad. Even experienced breeders get fooled now and then. Itís extremely difficult--if not impossible--to accurately determine the sex of a canary.

My friend Edith Vermeij wrote a poem recently that I want to share. It is short and sweet but says SOooo much about the job of sexing canaries.

ďThose of us who raise canaries,
Know that their behavior varies.
Males mimic hens for self-protection
And singing hens escape detection

Confusion with canary pairs
Greys canary-keeper hairs
It's not a hen 'till there's eggs about
It's not a cock 'till the chicks hatch out.Ē

Thanks Edith, for letting me post this poem.

So how do you determine a canaryís sex? Youíll have to wait to find out. The next issue of CanaryTips! will teach you how. Sorry...Youíll just have to be patient. ;-)


Keep Your Canary FREE of Toxins.
At last there is a natural way of preventing, maintaining and remedying bird health problems.


Give Your Canary The Best Home Possible
"Of the hundreds of birds the senior author has had in his possession over many years, he still remembers his first canary very well indeed..."
The Canary Handbook


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.
The Complete Canary Album.


Written by Darren Walker
(c) copyright 2005

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