conditions and behaviors
Canary bumble foot
symptoms, causes & treatment
What is Bumble foot?
In the beginning stage it appears as a pink-colored shiny pimple the size of a canary's eye. Canary bumble foot is usually, located on the pad of a canary's foot or above the toes or under the toes near by the nails or will appear on some or all the mentioned locations at the same
time . In the second stage, it turns to a dark reddish color then in the third stage it becomes a blue-colored pimple
filled with pus. If it is not cured it can cause permanent damage to the canary's foot .
Why do canaries get Bumble foot?
1) When a canary is overfed food that help excess the uric acid in the blood stream then form to a Crystals, these
sharp needles will pool together in the joints and in the most parts of the body that receive stress the most as :
(knee, feet pads,Toe's etc........... .
2) A canary with a bad kidney is vulnerable to the bumble foot .
3) A canary with over weight .
4) A canary with up normal metabolism.
Why will the Bumble foot appear only on the canary feet?
I believe that one or more of the following reason's will cause the bumble foot to show on the canary foot :
1) Maybe Because the feet are the lowest extremities on the bird.
2) Maybe Because the feet are an area that receives a lot of stress on a canary's body.
3) Maybe Because the uric acid crystals are heavy in the blood and will drop to the lower parts of the body due to the pull of gravity-just as gout is often found the most in the human big toes.
4)The pimples of bumble foot are not found anywhere else on the canary's body because, there are feathers to absorb the extra uric acid.
Will the excess of uric acid crystals cause only the bumblefoot in canaries ?
No. When a canary is overfed foods that help excess the levels of uric acid crystals in the blood stream will cause Bumble foot or/and skin irritation also, the Gout and under skin irritation in Human, animals and birds. The uric acid crystals will gather under the skin tissues and the capillaries close to the skin causing skin irritation and making the bird pluck near it neck, shoulders, stomach and wherever else it is having itchiness and pain that can be reached. No matter how long the bird scratches and plucks, there will be no relief until its body expels the excess uric acid crystals.
What food may cause the bumble foot ?
Boiled eggs and dry egg food: Through my experience, i noticed when canaries overfed boiled eggs will have the bumble foot . Eggs protein is not different than the protein found in meat and the animal product in general that can cause the Gout in human.
What is the relationship between Human Gout, Bumble foot and under skin irritation in canaries/birds?
Through out my research, i found that all these conditions are related and caused by extra-deposit-excess of the uric acid crystals in the bloodstream.
What is Uric Acid?
The smallest unit in the body is the cell, each cell has Nucleus where the genetic material is located, the genetic material is DNA and RNA, Purine is what the genetic material is made of . The cells in the body are live material and will die then a new cells will be created to take over the task, When the cells die (broken down) the genetic material (DNA& RNA) will broke down too also will cause the Purine to broke down as well forming the Uric acid.
Uric acid consist of broken down Purine . Uric acid is a good material to keep the blood vessels healthy but as we know, too much of a good is not good so, when the uric acid excess in the blood stream it form in to Crystal's. Crystals are sharp material look like sewing Needles.
Is there any other reasons may cause the bumble foot beside the uric acid crystals ?
Many people think, the canary bumble foot caused by a external bacteria enter through a cut located on the bird foot pad and some think that improper perch will
cause the bumblefoot too. Well, that is not possible !!!!! Because, the bumble foot does not appear just on the canary/bird foot pad but also appear above the toes near by the nails.
What the different between a canary foot infection and canary bumble foot ?
1) Foot infection: The canary's feet are the part of their body that receives stress the most and they are vulnerable to be injured and infected at any time. A canary may step on a sharp surface that may cut one or both of his feet pads also, improper perch can cause damage to the feet pads and the bottom of the toes.
Usually, It will take almost 48 hours for a cut in a canary foot to start developing Pus, The pus must be drained out and disinfectant as(First aid antiseptic Dettol) and Antibiotic cream (Neosporin) must be applied to the infected foot to avoid permanent damage. If condition worsen consult a vet .
2) Canary bumble foot: It will take almost 30 days for a canary infected with the bumble to develop pus basically, when the bumble reach the third stage .
How to treat the bumble foot ?
1) Stop providing the infected canary with any source of complex protein sources as boiled eggs and dry egg food until the uric acid level in the canary system is back to normal usually, when the bumble disappeared.
2) As soon as the bumble discovered, dip the canary foot in any Antiseptic as Dettol a day for 7 to 10 days.
Canary air sac mites
The cause of the air sac mite must be identified before canaries receive the treatment. The canary aviary, cages and all it contents must be free of dust, clean and sanitized.
How mites are transmitted in to the canaries' aviary?
These microscopic mites live everywhere in our environment and are transmitted to the canaries' aviary through dust, seed, strange infected bird, wood, contaminated water, dishes, nesting material, or any other item containing mites that enters into their aviary.
How mites are transmitted to the canary air sac system?
The mites are transmitted directly to a canary nasal cavity.
The mites are transmitted to the young's through their infected parents.
The mites are transmitted from one adult canary to another adult by courtship feeding.
The mites crawl to a perched canary crawl up his feet and legs to reach his head then travels to his trachea, lungs, and air sac system by entering through his nasal cavity and beak.
How to know if your canaries are infected with air sac mites?
During the sleeping hours of your canaries, and when their aviary is completely dark and quiet, listen carefully if you can hear your canaries making one or more of the following four sounds "symptoms" : * Sneezing *Wheezing *Clicking
If you hear these sounds and you have several canaries placed in one cage, use a small flashlight to guide you to find the infected canary during the dark, place the canary in a hospital cage to receive the medication.
In general, when a canary has a respiratory infection, lack of vitamin A or air sac mites, he will have some or all the following symptoms:
What are the Air sac mites symptoms ?
Nasal discharge . Open beak breathing . Neck stretching .Wheezing . Clicking. Fever. Itchy and watery eyes . Hard breathing . Strep throat . Tail bobbing. A canary will open his beak moving his tongue to the left and right sides of his beak similar to a human licking his lips.
What does tail bobbing mean?
- In general, when a canary becomes sick, his tail will be (bobbing) moving Down and up during his breathing cycle (Inhalation-Exhalation). Tail bobbing can be related to any type of canary sickness. Tail bobbing can be noticeable during the canary sleeping time.
- A healthy canary tail will not move at all while the canary is a sleep .
- The faster inhalation and exhalation a sick canary makes during his sleeping time, the faster his tail will be bobbing. It means, that his sickness is in a higher stage.
- The longest of a distance the tail create while the canary is breathing means, his sickness is in a higher stage .
If the canary tail move down about 1/2 of an inch away from the normal position of his tail during the breathing cycle and while the canary is a sleep it means, his sickness is in a higher level than a canary moving his tail about 1/4 of an inch .
The only time a canary with No tail bobbing, if he is 100% healthy or if he is dead .
Air sac mites treatment
What is the best medication to treat a canary infected with the air sac mites?
Scatt is the best product i used to treat a canary infected with the air sac mites.
How to hold a canary ?
Every one has a specific way to hold a canary regardless, to be provided with medication or for any other reason, i have found this way as pictured
is the safest way not to harm the canary or loose him ( fly a way) and i have noticed that he/she will calm down with out panicking or fighting to be
released . Always remove the perches before you catch a canary to avoid chasing the canary for longer time inside the cage which can cause it a
major stress, as soon as you catch him it will be a stress relive to him if you pet him for seconds by sliding your finger slowly on his back and tail then
simply cage your fingers around him and release his head out of your hand in between both the Index and middle finger.
How to apply the air sac mites medication?
1) When you are ready to apply the medication Scatt and regardless, if you are right or left handed always hold the canary with your left hand because,
his back neck vein is located on the right side of his neck when you are facing his back, this position will allow you to see the vein closely and clearly
as pictured .
2) Place the canary neck between your index and middle finger leaving a 1/2" space to not allow pressure on his neck as pictured.
3) Hold and spread the canary right wing using the ring and little finger to separate his wing feathers from his neck feathers as pictured.
4) Use your thumb to lift up and hold his neck feathers toward his left wing to see the vein clearly as pictured.
Where to apply the medication ?
The canary back neck vein: Apply one drop of Scatt exactly on the vein for faster result while the vein absorb the medication and spread it in the
canary system faster than when it's applied and absorbed just by the skin.
How often should i treat my canaries against the Air sac mites ?
- Uninfected Canaries must be vaccinated against the air sac mites four times a year (Its better to be safe than sorry) .
- The average use of the medication to treat an infected canary is to apply one drop of Scatt on his back neck vein and one drop on his thigh, repeat the treatment after 21 days when the mites eggs in the canary system about to hatch or already have hatched.
- The air sac mite's number and activity in a canary is different from one canary to another. Open beak breathing means, canary is extremely infected.
What does it mean if my a canary still showing the air sac mites symptoms after receiving the treatment ?
Usually, it takes 24 hours for the medication to take effect. If the treated canary still showing the air sac mites symptoms after that time, i advice to repeat the treatment three more times, one time every 7 days (Total treatment 4 times with in 28 days). If the canary did not recover after receiving the four treatments then one of the following reasons may be the reason:
1) The medication was not applied correctly .
2) The canary has respiratory infection not the air sac mites. (Must be treated with Antibiotic) .
3) The canary has lack of Vitamin A. (Must be provided with vitamin A dosage and/or boiled egg and dark leafy green as Kale) ASAP.
The air sac mites, the respiratory infection and vitamin A deficiency all these conditions will show the same symptoms .
Canaries/birds must be provided with Dark leafy green at least every other day and at all time.
Canary feather plucking
The knowledge i have about canaries feather plucking based on my experience through out the years of breeding canaries,
feather plucking subject is so deep and can be complicated so, i tried my best to divide it to sections to make it easy for you
to understand the reasons for canaries to act with this matter.
Plucking means to pull out of place.
Canary feather plucking is a behavior in canaries caused by different reasons and circumstances, in this matter canaries use
their beaks to pluck their own or other canaries feathers.
Feather plucking is common mostly amongst the females and young's canaries more so than the males especially, during the
molting season and, will be more common and progressively worse when they are being together in the flight cage.
In general, Feather plucking can be caused by nutrition deficiency, not available nesting material or Hika (OCD) obsessive
Hika is a obsessive compulsive disorder may show in Humans, animals and birds. Through out my experience with canaries
i found that low activity can cause a canaries to become stress leading them to pluck each others feathers as something for them to do to drain out their over stored energy, to avoid this matter provide canaries with toy's able to be shredded such as Burlap rope, sisal rope, Jute rope, Whole toilet papers etc..... .
A Female canary feathers plucking
Why does a female canary pluck her own feathers ?
There are three circumstances will lead a female canary to pluck her own feathers ... ... ...
1) Building a nest : When a female canary is ready to lay her eggs, in most cases will pluck only her wings and tail feathers to place them in the nest, in some cases i have witnessed few females will pluck the front side of their neck feathers for the same purpose. The main reason will leads a female canary to pluck her own feathers and then place it in the nest is:
- When she either not provided with any nesting material.
- If the nesting material was not enough to complete her nest.
- The nesting material she has been provided with is not to her liking .
2) Soft cushion : A female canary must be provided with soft material as Cottons to be used as a soft cushion where the eggs will be
laid, if she was provided with only framing nesting material such as (burlap strings) and was not provided with Cottons, in this case she will pluck her own feathers to be used as a soft cushion where the eggs will be laid .
3) Sickness : If a female canary pluck her own feathers with out the attention to place it in the nest, it may be one or more of the following reasons :
- She may have feather mites .
- She may have dry skin caused low humidity or/and nutrition deficiency .
Plucking the front side of the neck, the chest area or/and her shoulders with out her attention to place the plucked feathers in the nest it mean's:
- She has under skin irritation caused by excess of the Uric acid Crystals in her blood stream .
Why will a canary female pluck her male and/or her chicks' feathers?
There are three reasons may lead a female Canary to pluck her male and mostly her chicks' feathers:
1) Building a nest: When a female Canary is ready to build a new nest she will pluck her male's and/or chicks' feathers to place them in the nest
when she is either not provided with nesting material, if the nesting material was not enough to complete the nest, or if the nesting material
she was provided with was not to her liking.
2) If the female pluck her male or her young's feathers then eat the plucked feathers quill's blood it's definitely caused by nutrition deficiency.
What should be done to avoid the female from plucking her young's feathers for the purpose of building a nest ?
There is no specific age for the canary young's to guide the breeder to know when exactly their Mother is ready to pluck their feathers to start a
new nest. Some females will pluck their young's feathers when ever they are ready to start a new clutch, she may pluck their feathers when they
reach the age of 15 days old, 20 days old, 35 days old etc............... .
The best way i found to avoid this matter is to place cotton in the cage as soon as the young's become 10 days old, this way the female will ignore plucking her young's feathers and will prefer to use the cotton to build her new nest .
The female will place the cotton in the same nest where she raised her young's but, raising two clutches in the same nest with dirty nesting material is not healthy.
As soon as the breeder witness the female picking on the cotton he/she must move the old nest out of the cage and place a new clean nest and nesting material to allow the female build a fresh nest, at the same time he/she must divide the young's using a wire divider to allow them receive food from their parent through the divider opening .
Why does a canary pluck its own feathers to the extent of causing the plucked area to bleed?
I believe that when a canary is overfed foods that contain high levels of uric acid, such as boiled chicken eggs, this can cause skin irritation, or gout of the joints. The uric acid crystals will gather in the skin and the cappilaries close to the skin causing skin irritation and making the bird pluck near its neck, shoulders, stomach and wherever else it is having itchiness and pain that can be reached. No matter how much the canary scratches and plucks, there will be no relief until its body expells the excess uric acid and reaches normal levels within its bloodstream.
Canary Feet plucking
Why will a canary female pluck her own young's toe's and feet?
Canary Feet are skin and bones, when a female canary pluck her young's feet usually, she start with the youngest chick because, his feet is softer than the oldest. In this case we do not know if her attention was to eat their feet skin or the bones. Regardless, what her attention is, it is vary painful situation to the hen, the breeder and the poor young's the most .
Nutrition deficiency is what will cause the hen to pluck-eat her young's feet.
Bone created of different nutrition but most of it made of Calcium compound.
Skin created of different nutrition as: Vitamin D, C, E, B and A also, the Betacarotene and Keratin protein .
Since it is hard to diagnose which nutrition's the female was missing with out running a blood test then feeding boiled eggs including the shells, dark leafy green (Kale) and cooked rice will solve the problem from the roots .
The egg white, yolk and the shells contain most of the nutrition (Vitamins and minerals) especially, Protein, Vitamin A, calcium, many types of fatty acid etc....... .
A breeding pair must be provided with 1/4 of boiled egg including the shells every other day during nursing young's, dark leafy green at least 5 days a week all year round and cooked rice every other day .
In most cases the female canary becomes bald. For a male canary, this is rare, but it happens!
What causes canaries to become bald?
1) Parasites: Internal parasites (Worms), external parasites (feather's mites).
2) Over the young age: Some canaries become bald when they reach the age of 5 years old or older .
3) Over breeding: When a canary raise more than four clutches through out one breeding season.
4) Inbreeding: breeding related canaries.
5) Lack of nutrition's: Feathers are made of beta keratin, the lack of keratin will cause baldness and poor looking feathers.
5) Stress ..........
What cause canaries to become stressed?
1) When canaries bred at an early age (less than one year old) or at a late age (over four years old).
2) When canaries raise more than 4 clutches each during the same breeding season .
3) When canaries bred off the breeding season.
4) When the artificial light used in the canaries aviary sat to turn ON and OFF the opposite of the day light and night in nature.
5) When the parent produce more than four youngsters in each clutch, they will spend most of their time and energy feeding the young's and clean the nest therefore, they will not have enough time to rest and then they will become stressed .
6) Genetic or nutrition's deficiency: Some canaries will become bald only during the molting season and then the feathers in the bald area will grow back after that. In this case i consider their baldness related to their genetic. If a canary feathers did not grow back after the molting season past then the baldness may be related to nutrition's deficiency.
Canary egg bound
Symptoms, Causes and treatment
Egg bound means: When a female canary is unable to pass/lay her egg.
Egg bound symptoms
When the egg is created, settled in the hen Uterus (shell gland) and ready to be laid, the hen will not be able to pass it
through her vent. When the egg stays in the Uterus longer than the normal time, the hen will look restless, weak, unable to
walk, fly, sick looking and spending most of her time on the bottom of the cage waiting for her death.
I experienced some females died in their nests During the night time over egg bound .
Egg bound causes
There are many reasons can cause the egg binding. knowing the cause may help the breeder to save the hen life when
having egg bound .
(1) Nutrition's deficiency:
a- Lack of Calcium will cause the hen to become sick, weak and unable to pass the egg. In some cases, a tiny calcium-y pimples (rough egg shells) created on the egg shell surface causing internal bleeding and much pain to the hen during the time of passing the egg. This pain will be the reason to stop the hen from keep trying to lay the egg leading it to stay inside her more than the normal time causing her death. A blood may appear in her wast and around her vent and if she gets lucky to lay the egg also a blood will show on the egg shell as a sign for the immature egg and lack of calcium.
b- Lack of vitamin D. Vitamin D help absorb the calcium. The lack of vitamin D will lead to lack of calcium .
c- Lack of oily food. Oil seed (Lipid seed) as Sunflower seed, hemp seed, sesame seed, olive oil etc........ so, the lipid seed will work as Lubricant to the canary's feathers, joints, muscles and her Uterus/shell gland. Lack of lipid in the hen system will lead to dehydrate her Uterus causing the egg to stuck in it therefore, the hen will not be able to pass it.
(2) Excess of complex Protein and minerals in the hen system provided through boiled eggs, egg food etc....... will increase the size of an egg than normal therefore, the size of the egg will be way larger than the hen Pelvis causing the egg bound.
(3) Sickness: When the hen become sick for any reason, she will not have enough energy to pass her egg causing the egg bound.
(4) Wrong egg position: Normally, the sharp side of an egg will come out of the hen vent first however, in some cases, the egg will be created in a wrong position when the big side of the egg is located near the vent/Cloaca making it difficult for the hen to pass it.
(5) Lack of exercise: Female canaries must have plenty of exercise especially, after the breeding season. Lack of exercise will not maintain healthy muscles. A female canary uses much energy during laying each egg, If her body muscles especially, her belly and vent muscles not strong enough to help passing the egg, will cause egg bound.
Egg bound treatment
1) Apply 10 drops of warm olive oil on the female canary belly.
2) Massage her belly gently and slowly using a Q-tip dipped in warm olive oil not your finger. Do not push hard to avoid breaking the egg inside the hen that may cause internal infection and may be death.
3) Start the massage always from the top of the hen belly going toward her vent as a straight lines from up to down .
4) The massage therapy should take approximately five minutes. It's better to place a heating lamp 16 inches above the female during the therapy to help relaxing her muscles faster .
5) In most cases the hen will not lay the egg while you are holding her so, you must place her in a hospital cage, incubator or any heated and ventilated box with temperature of 85 Fahrenheit to keep her warm and to keep the olive oil around her belly warm to help relaxing her muscle faster and lay her egg hopefully soon and safely .
I advice not to attempt to break the egg inside the hen belly, not to force by pushing the egg out and do not forget that her pain is not less than a human giving birth .
Feather cyst / Ingrown feather / Feather lump
Causes symptoms and treatment
Have you heard of human ingrown hair ? Ingrown feather under the bird's skin is not different than ingrown hair under
a human's skin of course, the size of the feather lump on bird is bigger than the hair lump on human because, the size of the
feather and the feather follicle is bigger than the hair and the hair follicle.
How the feather lump looks like ?
In the beginning stage, it appears as a small pimple under the bird skin. The pimple will grow to become a lump then day
after day, the size of the lump will continue to grow skyrocket and easy to be noticed on the bird especially, when
it reaches approximately, the size of a Chickpeas.
What the different between feather lump and ingrown feather ?
Do not always expect to see a feather inside the lump when you cut it open. Through my research, i have learned that
(Feathers are made of Beta keratin. Beta keratin is a strong, fibrous protein manufactured in the body that makes hair, nails
and part of the skin).
The feather is formed of beta keratin located in the feather follicle. Follicle is a socket/skin bag where the feather's root
started to grow to create the feather, it's similar to a hall you create when you dip your finger in dirt to plant a seed.
* I would call the Feather lump this name when the actual feather is not created under the skin/ in the follicle yet. In this
case, when the lump is cut open, a cheesy, pale yellow colored material what will be found under the skin and this material is
are the beta keratin.
I believe, when the beta keratin are not able to create the feather for some reason will stay longer time than normal inside
the follicle forming a cyst, while the cyst continue to grow, the size of the lump will increase as well.
* I would call the ingrown feather this name, when the feather is created under the skin but not able to break through the
bird's skin therefore, it will curls under the skin then as it grows, its size will enlarge.
How to treat a feather lump/ingrown feather ?
I can imagine how painful a feather lump or ingrown feather in a bird will feel especially, if it's located near by a nerve, the
head area or the internal organs that may cause the bird death. So, cutting the skin to clean it may lead to a faster
death if you do not have enough knowledge or if it's not done by a vet.
I know few people who took the chance to cut the lump, cleaned it, sanitized it and their birds survived however, How many
people out there killed their birds' when played doctors?
When i first experienced one of my canaries with a big lump on his head" As pictured", at that time, i could not afford to
consult a vet so i did the following:
I dipped a Q-tip in First aid Antiseptic Dettol and i wiped the lump one time daily for 10 days, i was surprise to see the lump
size decreased day after day until it disappeared completely. by Using this way of treatment, i saved my canary life,
no missing feathers/ baldy area over surgery.
Note: I am not sure if his condition was related to feather lump or ingrown feather, either way, the way i mentioned above to
treat my canary, worked successfully.