November 24, 2012

I Hear Singing Again!

I woke this morning to canaries singing again!  It was nice!!!
I haven't posted about my canaries for the past year... as there was only bad news to report!
Remember I bought canaries December 2010.  2011 was fun, with lots of nesting, babies, and many cages of birds!  I sold and gave away some, and saved several of my favorites.  Summer of 2011 I had 8 birds.
Then they began to die.  First ones to go were the two older ones, which didn't worry me much.  They were given to me as older birds.  Then I lost the white male my mother had raised.  He was less than 8 months old!  Next went another young male I had raised, also less than 8 months old.  Next one of the hens I bought, and she was just two years old.  Well, I still had one male and two hens.
I did some reading, and couldn't find what I may have been doing wrong.  They did not get sick before they died; just suddenly got weak and died in about two hours.  One day, my mom heard a news story that the Scotts company was being sued for contaminated bird seed.  They had treated bulk seed in storage with an insecticide that was known to kill birds and cause Colony Collapse Disorder in bees that may visit bird feeders, which they do quite often.  The contaminated seed was sold under 90+ different labels, and by more than one company. 
I had purchased several specific types of bulk seed, from a lesser known seller on Ebay.  I had noticed that some of the birds did not eat much of it. 
Was this why they died at various times?  Did it depend upon how much they ate?  ????
I also changed the water I gave them.  Maybe our well water HAD changed somewhat after the flood, although the first three had died before the flood. ????
Then last month, my lone male died.
I intended to just let things be for a while, and not get in a hurry to buy more birds.  Although it was a pretty lonesome corner where the single cage now stood.  Even the hens were quiet... and one would call, and call!  She really missed the male.
THEN, we made a 'goat deal' with the canary guy and he 'talked' me into bringing home a few more birds.  :)  It didn't take much talking, as I had taken a cage with me when we went to pick up the goat!  :)
I have birds that sing!  And the two older hens are happy and lively again!  :)
Left to right:  In black cage are two Red Factor birds, a pair.  In the white cage are two males and a hen.  On the right, are my two older hens.
P.S.  The 'canary guy' and others have offered the opinions that I 'overfed' my birds last summer.  They think I gave them too much to eat.  I was following all the instructions in The Books, but I might admit that I had so much fun mixing egg foods, breeding formulas, alternating fruits and veggies, and adding treat seed mixes... that I might have gone overboard and 'killed them with kindness'.  I HOPE it is ONLY THAT!
So, they are getting a set amount of simple canary seed mix, and a small amount of green and orange vegetables several times a week.   :)
P.P.S.  One other possible cause of the deaths:  shortly before the deaths began, I had bought glazed pot saucers (made in China) to use for food dishes in the cages.  Over the past years, we have heard cautions about using China-made dishes/mugs ... especially items listed as 'not for use with food'.  There have been other cautions about toxic metals in other China-made items, especially the cheaper ones.  These pot saucers were cheap/cheap, and definitely not intended for use with food!  ?????