October 31, 2015

Breeding season 2014

Breeding Season is over for 2014

The breeding season for this year is over... and now I am having fun watching and comparing the young birds!
I hatched 32 young out of five pairs, and then took the hens to a different, darker/cooler room when I thought I had as many birds as I could handle!
I can't believe it worked, or that I convinced myself I had enough!  :)
But the hens seem relieved and are happily eating, resting, and rebuilding their health after all the work of raising young.
I am watching the young birds:  comparing them to each other and to what I am searching for.  So far, I have found several that will make great pets/breeders.  Several young males are showing good color, and an early tendency to song.
The two white cages on the left are the red young, and the right cages contain the American Singer and yellow young.
The cards contain band number/pair/hatch date and information.
You will notice I have moved the canaries into an official BIRDROOM!  :)

The New Bird Room

My family has been very patient with me and the canaries.... when the males would get competitive with their singing, the men would  turn up the volume, move to a different room, or set a book or magazine on the top of a cage to quiet the chatter.
But when the number of birds exceeded a dozen, I began to see signs of stress!!!!
So, I did some rearranging in our utility room and it became a Bird Room!
I still have things to do, but here is a photo of how it looked in January:

October 30, 2015

New Birds -- Fall 2013

My first birds were colorbreds from Bruce Thompson, Billings, MT, acquired in 2010.

I ordered a trio of American Singers Fall 2013.....

and have had lots of fun with them in this 2014 breeding season!
The American Singer is a song breed, noted for freedom and variation in song as well as beauty in form and color.
I also bought two new red colorbred birds, a male and female... that I paired with my original red pair.  These lates red factors came from Tom Cubbage, Great Falls, MT.

October 29, 2015

Breeding season 2013

There are baby canaries in my house!  :)
I had two hens on nests.... and they each hatched two chicks!
This is the yellow hen's nest, with her two chicks...
Warning:  view at your own risk!  They 'ain't pretty'!
But they are about one week old, and it won't be long and they will look 'a little' better with feathers.
In a month, they will be out of the nest and look just like regular canaries.
When they hatched, they were just a bit larger than the egg that is still in the nest!

Laurie, you asked for the 'cute' pictures of the baby canaries...
Well, here are the two 'babies' shown in the earlier photo, with the two babies from the red factor hen:
The variegated and yellow birds are from the yellow hen, and both birds on the right (both top perch and the branch) are from the red factor hen.
Okay, they grew up before I got a photo!  They are still smaller than adult size, and soon they will molt their juvenile feathers.

So.... the two hens went to work again!  :)
Here are their second nestlings:
First the yellow hen had four babies:
Here are the red hen's babies:
I must admit that I am not particularily attracted to the variegated ones... I love the solid colored canaries best.  But I think the soft peachy color of the red factor babies made them look 'sweeter'!  :)
     I wish I had thought to take a video clip.... as these babies got older, they began to look around and watch mama eating on the floor.  Sometimes they hopped to the edge of the nest.  I would peek through the doorway from the other room and see they were just overflowing the nest.  The nests looked like they had a frothy, feathery topknot.  I never could sneak close enough to get a good photo.... as soon as they caught a glance of me, they would duck and the nest would SINK!  The whole top just disappeared!  It was so funny!  It was hard to believe all those big babies could flatten out so much! 
     The day after I took these photos, all eight babies LEFT THE NESTS!  Wow, did they have problems getting their 'sea legs' !  Or 'flying wings'!   They usually fell to the bottom of the cage, but could fly from perch to perch up to the top again.  It is amazing how well they could fly when you think they spent a month just sitting in the nest.   BUT, they flutter their wings very fast all the while the parents are feeding them, so I suppose that is Nature's way to build up their wing strength.

October 28, 2015

Breeding season 2012

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. 

October 27, 2015

Breeding season 2011

Long Story Short:  There are CANARY BABIES!
Here is the yellow hen with one little guy's head showing... at 4 days of age:

Here is the nest with all four chicks:
The Gloster hen hatched 2 TINY chicks!
It is amazing how tiny they are! I know the Gloster Fancy breed is supposed to be smaller than the regular singing and color breeds, AND the hen and male are smaller....
BUT these babes are TINY!
The egg left in the nest is about the size of my thumbnail, if that large... maybe more like the nail on my index finger.

The chicks are 6 days old!

I am having problems getting a good photo of Dad feeding the birds, because everytime I get close, he stops and glares at me!  This one is taken from some distance!
Notice the 'droppings' along the edge of the nest.  The little ones scoot their tail end up to the edge of the nest or over the edge.  Keeps the nest clean, I guess.

October 26, 2015

Breeding season 2011 continued

The Chicks Are Growing!!

Just an update.... at the rate they are growing, soon they will look enough like Mama and Daddy that the photos won't be interesting!! Here are the chicks at 10 days old:
And again, at 12 days old:
The last photo, taken at 15 days of age, yesterday.  I used a flash... so will try to do better soon.

My, how many birds you have, my dear!!!

Hard to imagine I didn't have a single cage four months ago!!!!

Left to right:
The Gloster hen is in the 'tv cabinet' box cage, with the Gloster male and the 2 young ones from the first hatch in the cage on the table in front.
The two square dark cages in the middle have the varigated hen in one and the yellow hen in the other.  The little cage is wired between the doors of each cage... so that the male can go from one hen to the other however he is needed. He goes into the little cage whenever he wants to move, and I close one door behind him and open the other!  :)
The white cage on the right has the 3 young ones from the yellow hen's first hatch.

Oh, Grannie and Stubby are still in the kitchen, so that makes 6 cages on April 11th!!!

( I do plan on 'consolidating' the hens into one or two cages, when they have finished nesting!)

October 25, 2015

My bird cages in 2010

My Canaries in 2010:

Here are my canaries: