March 31, 2019

March In The Bird Room --- Month by Month Journal

Late March 2019
Breeding has begun!
The bird room is vibrating with male song and hen twittering.
Bits of string, jute and yarn fly in the air.
A page in my notebook is filled with cage numbers and dates of incubation.

Some things are going according to plan, but there have been a few surprises.
Good News first:  Half of the prospective pairs are getting along well, and have nests built.  The other half are getting along well, happy to be in a cage together.  Most are beginning to tear paper and I am putting more nests into cages every day!
My new system of cage numbering and coding with slips of paper with date of expected hatch is working well.  Making plans ahead has kept things going well on on those mornings I have 20 minutes to check the hens!

Now for the Bad News:
I had three hens show symptoms of egg binding.  One was an old 6 year old hen, and unfortunately, she is gone.  The other two survived with the help of calcium in their water.  One was another older hen, and the third was a new bird purchased last fall.  Everyone else seems fine, but the entire bird room is receiving calcium in the water.
I suspect my limited time in the bird room the past two weeks is to blame.
Our ranch work jumped into Spring overnight, it seemed, and my plans for the bird room became less than the most important.  As a result, I did not feed softfood 3 times a week, as planned.  Once a week was the most I did prepare for the canaries.  I also put the F-vite mineral supplement in for the birds only twice, instead of four weeks.

The Best News of All:  I finished my Canary Diet Research!
I had so much fun!
It was a great way to occupy myself while I was impatiently waiting for breeding season.
I spent my spare time reading and making experiments, instead of hovering over the canaries.
I discovered so many tips and little gems of advice.... and there are many web pages by breeders that deserve reading and re-reading!!!
I kept a few notes, and am sharing the research:
Please begin on Page One!