Why canaries and birds in general use nesting material to build a nest?
In nature birds use nesting material to create the nest from scratch , all birds search thoroughly before they decide where to build their nest which will be the safest and most comfortable place they can find. Some types of birds chose to build their nests in a high point as tree or mountain, and some build it on low areas. All nests are built from all types of birds have almost the same shape from the inside where the eggs will be laid, but in a different size, width, height, depth and nesting material.
Since birds in the wild use nesting material to create their nest, why do we have to provide our "canaries" with nesting material when we already providing them with a nests and nest pads which is enough to keep the eggs in the right position, then when they hatch, the youngsters will grow !!!!!!!!!!!!!
So is it ok not to provide our canaries with nesting material ? No, it is not Ok.
Why should we provide a female canary with nesting material ?
1) When a canary female provided with nesting material, she will not be deprived from her instinct that God provided her with.
2) When she is provided with nesting material she will feel comfortable, warm, and secured while she lays in the nest.
ask yourself this: Which way is more comfortable for you, To sleep always on a bed with a comfortable mattress and bedding, or to sleep always on the bare floor?
3) Nesting material works as a excretion" poop" collector as a human baby diapers , if you look closely in a nest built perfectly, you will see it built from the inside with the shape of the latter" V " or upside down half moon made as steps (layers) to collect the youngsters poop through their growing time. The first three days of the young's life the first layer will collect their poop, then when they reach the age of one week the second layer will collect their poop as well, etc....... until they reach the last layer which is the edge of the nest top when they are almost ready to fledged.
When the youngsters are ready to poop they back up pointing their vent to reach the highest layer they can
reach to keep enough distance between them and between their poop because, they know by instinct it is
harmful for them and to make it easier on their mother to collect it to keep the nest clean.
A nest without nesting material will allow the poops to roll down onto the young's and it may get in their beak,
their eyes and by touching their soft skin will cause it a serious pain and damages.
4) A female canary uses her beak to collect/clean her young's poops from the nest, and she may unintentionally,
swallows some of it , if the nest has no nesting material, it will cause the female to work harder to pick up more
than normal numbers of poops from around and under her young's eventually, will cause her to become sick.
5) When she is not provided with nesting material she will have no choice but to pluck her male feathers, her grown
young's feathers and/or her own feathers to build a nest.
6) A nest with out nesting material could cause the young's to have a splayed leg's "as pictured" .
The following pictures shows the steps of building a nest.....
Should male and female canaries be kept together in the same cage all year round?
Male and a female canary should be kept together only during the breeding season, and should be separated after that.
Canaries need a break during the molting season. keeping a canary male and female together all year round will cause:
- This arrangement will not encourage the male to sing frequently as if he was separated.
- Male could harm the female or kill her if she refuses to mate with him when he is ready to mate and she is not.
- female could lay unfertilized eggs if the male was not ready to mate.
"unhatched canary eggs"
Should I remove the unhatched egg from the nest, when the rest of the eggs have already hatched?
- If only one egg did not hatch do not remove it, keep it in the nest because it will be a great advantage. That unhatched egg
will be a barrier between the mother canary (hen) and the youngsters, when the female is laying on the young's she may
go in a deep sleep and by putting all her body weight on the them she may smother them unintentionally, so the unhatched
egg will not allow the hen body to go all the way down to the bottom of the nest which will allow the new hatched young's to
move around freely and breath .
- If more than one egg did not hatch, keep one unhatched egg with the youngsters and dispose the rest of the unhatched eggs .
- If all the eggs have hatched you must place a fake- plastic egg (Dummy egg) made special for canaries in the nest with the youngsters, or use any unfertilized canary egg that you kept to work for the same purpose.
Note......, Some hens will control them selves during the mating to leave one egg (usually the last laid egg) from getting fertilized to be used as a barrier.
(I believe it ...Do you...?)
Can I leave a night light in my canaries' aviary during the sleeping hours?
- Method (1) Some breeders leave the canary aviary completely dark during the sleeping hours.
- Method (2) Some breeders keep a night light "7.1/2 watts" in the canaries' aviary during the sleeping hours.
I always like to compare things to the way they are in nature. In nature canaries fly, eat, and drink only during the day light
hours, and sleep during the night hours.
Canaries can not see in the dark, therefore they are immobile and cannot reach food or water. In nature just before darkness canaries eat, drink then prepare themselves to sleep in a comfortable and safe place. So if your canaries are off the breeding season (molting) provide their aviary with a completely darkened, peaceful and quiet aviary during sleeping hours. They will become healthy and happy, as long as you provide them with enough food and water during the day light hours .
During the breeding season you have no choice but to use a 7 1/2 watts light bulb for canaries breeding room size of 10ft x 10ft.
This will allow the female to get back to her nest in case she was away when the main light goes out. "
Can i breed one male canary with more than one female?
There are three methods to breeding canaries, and i have experienced them first hand............
- Method (1)...... Colony breeding, when a group of males and females placed in one cage and allowed
to breed at free will.
Throughout my experience i concluded that colony breeding method is wrong for the following reasons:
a- It will be impossible to seperate the related and unrelated offsprings from each other, therefore causing inbreeding .
b- Male canaries will fight most of the time over the females and territoys.
c- When a male canary is about to mate with a female he will be disturbed"attacked" by another males who's behavors is based on jealosy to not allow
the mating , therefor most females will lay unfertilized eggs.
d- Female canaries will fight over nesting material and pluck each other feathers to use it as a nesting material, eventually they cause damage to each other feathers and nests.
- Method (2) Polygamous breeding, one canary male serves several females, the male will be used for fertilization only and after each mating he will be moved to another cage with another female and so on............,
Throughout my exprience with this method , i found it wrong for the following reasons :
a- Some females will abandon the nest when moving the male away from their cage.( It happened in some cases ).
b- Leaving the female to nurse the youngsters by her self will put plenty of presure causing her to get stressed.
c- As we know the male canary helps with nursing the youngsters when they become almost ten days old, with
out the male presence nursing the youngsters with the female will cause the youngsters to be deprived of
nutrition having weak immune system, slow growth, and the may die.
d- The female canary depend on the male to feed her while she incubates the eggs or sitting on the youngsters
especially throughout the first week of the youngsters age, with out the male she may starve her self and the
young's may die.
- Method (3) Monogamous breeding, one male breed with only one female .
Throughout my experience with this method, i found it the best way to breed canaries for the following reasons :
a- The male and female will share the task of nursing the youngsters.
b- The female will receive feeding from the male while she set in the nest and feel secure and happy when her male
with her during the breeding season, and she will not become stress during nursing the youngsters.
c- Using this method for breeding your canaries will allow each pair to have normal breeding cycles and healthy young's.
Can i provide the female canary with bath during the incubating period ?
Canary female love to bath during the incubation period. After she takes a bath and sits back on the eggs she provides them with higher humidity,
keeping them supples insted of being dry, therefore aiding the embroys devolopment and assists in hatching.
Can i remove the canaries vent feathers( Feeler feathers) to increase contact during mating ?
- Some heavy feathered canaries like the " Gloster canaries " need their vent feathers trimmed to increase contact during mating.
- Some light feathered canaries like the " American singer " canary, do not need their vent feathers to be trimmed.
- In any of the above situation you do not remove or trim the " Feeler feathers " .
Feeler feathers are located at the tip of the canaries vent . These feathers are intended to aid or used as a sensor to direct the male and the female to join
their vent together and positioning them right for mating.
At what age should i breed my canaries ?
In general most canaries will be ready to breed when they reach the age of one year old.
Throughout my experience i found out that breeding canaries at in early age (one year old or less) will not be beneficial. It will be a successful Breeding
season when breeding canaries when they reach the age of two years to insure that they completed their maturity physically and mentally .
Why will a female canary ignore the original nest and decided to build her nest in the seed cup or, on the bottom of the cage near by the the cage front ?
The sun and full spectrum light that we use in our birds aviary produce Vitamin D, this vitamin purpose is to
maintain blood levels of calcium in the correct, normal range and to tell the body to absorb more calcium from
food as needed .
When the breeder place the nest in one of the cage back corners that will be the right thing to do because, its the
canary female favorite spot and the most comfortable place for her to build her nest but, when she feel that she
has lack of Vitamin D or calcium, she will choose to build her nest in the seed cup or on the bottom of the cage floor near by
the cage front because, its the closest spot to the light where her body will absorb Vitamin D the most.
So, what should i do when i experience this mater ?
When we mention constant lack of vitamin D and calcium in canaries that means death, if you attempt to force your
female canary to build her nest against her will, i doubt if you can win !! To solve this problem simply move her cage to a
different area where she will get enough sun light or near by a artificial full spectrum light if possible and she must be provided
with vitamin D and calcium supplement asap .
At what age the canary young's can be isolated from their parents ?
1) When the young become 25 days old they will start picking on soft food as : boiled eggs and cooked rice but it does not
mean they can survive on their own at this age .
2) When the young's become 35 days old they will be able to eat a full meal of soft food and may be few types of canary
seed but it does not mean that all of them can survive on their own at this age .
3) When the young's become 40 days old they will be able to eat soft food and most types of canary seed, at this age they
can be isolated from their parents but they must receive soft food as Boiled eggs,cooked rice and green at least
4 days a week .
At this age the breeder must insure that all young's are able to survive on their own before and after isolating them from
their parents because the maturity of the 40 days old young's is different from young to another.
Q-32 Why the young's died inside the egg's before or during the hatching due date ?
Here is some possibility's :
- Low humidity: will cause the egg shell to harden making it hard to the young to break out, the aviary humidity should not be less than 50% .
- High humidity: will cause the young body to get glued in the inside walls of the egg shell therefor, it will not be able to move inside the egg freely then will die.
- Thick shells: The over normal thickness of an egg shells will cause the young unable to hatch, the over thickness of an egg shells caused byCalcium overdose or/and vitamin D overdose.
- Inbreed, If the parents are related .
- High or low temperature .
- Lethal gene: If both parents are dominant white.
- Sudden Dark: If the hen left the nest longer than the normal time, usually happened at night time while she is away from the nest when the main light turned off, due to the dark she will not be able to get back to her nest leading the young's to die before hatching.
Q-33 Why will a male canary eats his female eggs as soon as they are laid and what should i do to avoid this matter?
- Nutrition deficiency: Eggs contain many nutrition's. It is vary hard to diagnose exactly which nutrition's the male is lacking of that
led to him to eat the new laid eggs. The breeder is responsible for all type of food categories that a canary must eat.
- Behavior: Eating eggs can become a habit especially, when enjoying the taste of an raw egg even if the canary is not lacking of
any nutrition's. When a canary becomes addicted to raw eggs, it will be so hard to brake his habit .
- lack of attention: The lack of attention received from the female will lead her male to eat the eggs. These males who behave
within this matter are attached to their females on a high level, vary sensitive and need much attention from their females.
When a female is focused on building a nest, lay her eggs, Incubating the eggs, or feeding the young's it deprives her attention
from the male which will cause him to become jealous and aggressive leading him to eat the new laid eggs.
How to avoid this matter from happening ?
There are many ways can be used to avoid the male from eating the eggs it depend on what the breeder believe the cause
- Food: Provide all type of food categories that a canaries need to eat to avoid the male and female canary from eating their own
- Second female: If the male eat the eggs because of the lack of attention he received from his female, the best way to avoid this problem is to Place a second female in the same cage with him and his previous female to keep his attention away from his previous female eggs.(2 females+ 1 male in the same cage) .
- Moving the eggs: Normally, a female canary will lay each egg at morning time around 5:00am, each egg must be removed and placed in a safe place with room temperature (70F) before the light goes ON while the male can not see around yet. A dummy eggs should replace the real eggs to avoid the female abandon the nest. When all the eggs are laid, all the dummy eggs should be moved out of the nest and all the real eggs must be placed back in the nest at the same time, the male must be separated until all the eggs are hatched.
Q- 34 Why will one or both parents eat their young's ?
The only reason i could think of that leads the parents to eat their young's or part of their body as the wings and beaks is nutrition's deficiency mostly, protein or/and calcium or/and vitamin D. Boiled eggs must be provided ASAP .
At which month of the year i should breed my canaries?
(1) Lighting is very important for the canary's need, and they are very sensitive to it as well.
(2) The amount of light that canaries receive will control their sleep, rest, molting, and breeding time.
(3) Light entering a canary's eyes affects the testosterone hormones in their body, and the brain area that is responsible for singing . The more hours of light they receive, the more their hormones are increased.
How many hours of a light my canaries should receive now!!! and how do i know, when to breed them and when they are ready to molt ?
In nature, Lights changes over the course of each year, the length of the day light will change from day to another, from month to another, from year to another, from state to another and from country to another country.
For example: If your canaries and your friend canaries both are depending on the natural sunlight and each one of you live in a different country, it does not mean that your canaries and his will breed and molt at the same time.
For example: In July/1/2011 The length of the day light in city-Louisville, state- ky, country-USA was 14h &42m (breeding season).
In April/1/2011 The length of the day light in city- Amman, state-Jordan, country-Middle east was 14h & 41m (breeding season).
If your canaries are depending on the Natural sunlight, they will be in breeding condition when the length of the day light in your area reaches almost the longest hours of a day light (14 to 15 hours of a day light) and they will start molting when the length of the day light reaches almost 9 hours and 30 minutes.
If your canaries are depending on artificial light, You must, monitor the length of the natural day light in your area for each month to match it with your canaries lighting system (Timer) to provide them with the correct time for their breeding and molting seasons rather than that, you will experience many breeding and molting complications.
How to know the length of the day light in your area ?
Use any research way as (Google) and type: The sunrise and sunset in your (city) and (state) for each month.
Is there any other way i can use to monitor my canaries breeding and molting season ?
Yes................I believe that there is a relationship between the canary's breeding/ molting and nature.
- When the tree leaf color change from green color to orange/yellow/red color, this is the beginning of the molting season. When the tree leaf start falling down, this he time when canaries go through a heavy molting .
- When the trees are coming into leaf (leafs popping out of the tree branches) prepare your self to breed your canaries.
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