November 30, 2017

November in the Bird Room --- Month by Month Journal

Month by Month Journal

COMMENTS are enabled for these journal posts so please jump in with your advice or questions!
Sales continued this month.  We had wonderful WARM weather here in Montana, so shipping was possible all month.
I love meeting new people through these sales.... some I hope to stay in touch with for years to come!
I've ordered several hundred pounds of seed as well as other supplies such as vitamins.  It is also the time of year to preorder club bands. 
Also time to begin writing down next year's breeding plans.
And to sit and enjoy the young males coming into full song!  Oh, that is fun!
I am still trying the 'apple experiment' to see if it helps my mature hens to postpone their thoughts of Spring.  I do not want to begin until February of next year.
This past spring, I purposely held my hens back, or ignored their nesting attempts in the flights.  I wasn't entirely happy with the result:  many hens were not in condition, even though they had the desire, when I did pair them up in March.
So, while I don't want them to begin in December, and I will continue to persuade them to wait, I am not going to completely ignore them.
I am ready with my plans for pairing.... and I am feeding a basic seed mix, with a majority of  canary seed and rape, with a minimum of oil and treat seeds.  I am feeding more mineral clays and supplements, as well as a little bee pollen, for it's nutrients.  It also has a reputation for being a breeding stimulant, but I want it's nutritional input, so will just feed small amounts so they are used to eating it.
I also am feeding the Ioford/DufoPlus combination ... but only once this month.
So far, everyone looks happy and healthy.
I have so many NICE youngsters from this year, I have kept too many!  But what a wonderful result of a breeding year!  Next year looks to be excititng!
I have learned a few things.... and will change a few things in the new season.
I will post an annual 'Lessons Learned This Year' on New Year's Eve.  :)

November 28, 2017

Do your birds need a Life Coach?

I'll wager you never thought of introducing a 'Big Brother' ( or Sister ) into a flight of youngsters.
The idea of a Song Tutor is well known in the song breeds, but I am talking about an older bird to act as a leader for young canaries of any breed.

Choose a calm, forgiving adult that goes about his business and ignores all the antics of the 'kids'.
I said 'his'... but I have seen both males and hens who get along well with others.  Of course, if he also has a good song, the youngsters may imitate him in that area as well.

I have one male who is worth his weight in gold simply for his calm, unflappable personality, and he also eats any and all seed mixes, new food items, and veggies.
He loves taking a bath and he never 'spooks' at loud noises, sudden movements, or strangers near his cage.  When I put him in a cage with youngsters, soon, they are following his example!

So, think about your birds, and see if there isn't a 'wise one' among them, and next summer, don't forget to try him as a Life Coach.