December 31, 2018

December In The Bird Room --- Month By Month Journal

December 2018 In Summary:
I fed a different diet than usual.  Not by choice!
Was it wrong?  We will see!
One of the most important things to success with breeding canaries is the canary seed mix, in my opinion.  I prefer a plain mix of canary seed and rape.
In fact, this seed mix is the Number One thing that I feel is responsible for success or failure in breeding canaries.  There are several other factors to do in canary breeding, but what you feed them is number one.
Most canary/finch mixes, especially the ones available in 2 pound bags at pet shops, contain too many other types of seeds, such as millet.  The bits of pellet or egg food and dehydrated fruits such as coconut are not necessary and I think of them as 'candy'.  I have nothing against pellets, but I feel the ones in a seed mix are of inferior quality.  These mixes also contain broken oat hulls which lower the overall protein of the canary's diet. 
They LOVE to take a bath in the Ioford/DufoPlus water!

Oh, and I learned several new things about genetics.... and I bought 15 new birds!

Activity In The Bird Room: 
Details about the change in seed:
Most years, I buy Kaytee Daily Supreme for Canaries, which does have a small amount of other seeds, but is 90+% canary seed and rape.  It is the third best seed mix I have seen.
I use it for 6 to 8 months of a year, because I can order it to be shipped right to my door, at a reasonable price of approximately $1.25 a pound.  Living in Montana means I can expect to pay more for shipping than for the seed, if I order from the two best seed sources.  (more on seed later)
I would recommend it highly, except for one factor:  the seed is dusty and dirty during late summer and fall.  If I order from July through November, I almost always get bags of poor quality seed.  It does not seem to matter from which company I order the seed.
If I order from January through May, I get good fresh, clean seed, from any company.  It is good seed and I am happy with it.  Other breeders have had the same experience.
So, during the summer and fall, I order the better quality, but more expensive, seed which usually costs me three times what the Kaytee costs.
This fall, I ordered a few different Kaytee seed mixes for canaries, most of which contain 'way too many different seeds.  I ordered plain canary seed and mixed the two half and half.
I guess I will see how the birds do with the different ratio of seeds.  As soon as possible, I will order the 'Good Seed' and get back to my usual seed mix of canary and rape!!!! More on SEED in January! 
On My Mind:
I have wondered why a favorite hen, that looks ideal and comes from my very best pair of American Singers, was producing only average offspring.  This summer, I paired her with a different male, also from great parents... and they produced some promising males.
A sister of this hen was paired with the original male, and they also produced some great youngsters. I did find some interesting information about genetics that explained why this happened.... although I have only scratched the surface of this topic!  But it will be fun to keep reading!