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 Finches Caresheet

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PostSubject: Canary Caresheet   Thu Jan 28, 2010 11:43 pm

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Origin
Canary Islands and on to Europe

Life Span
10 years +

Sexing
Males sing.

Training
Use a cassette tape

Food Intake
10 to 20% of weight per day

Location
Avoid drafts.

Water
Needs fresh water.

Attitude
Perky and unafraid

Perches
Provide a variety of sizes

Grit
Small quantities optional

Humidity
Loves misting

Foods
Seeds, eggs, greens

Supplements
Germinated seeds, fruits

Lighting
Full-spectrum best

Breeding
Easiest March thru May.

Breeder Age
9 to 10 months

Nest
Provide 2 or 3

Clutch Size
4 to 6 on the average

Incubation
Female sits 14 days.

Exit nest
16 days after hatching

Origins: Canaries were first shipped to Europe from the Canary (dog, canes = Latin dog as in old Roman yard signs, CAVE CANEM = Beware of the dog) Islands. The different European nations developed many different strains and colors. American canaries are often an amalgamation of numerous strains of canaries (much like most of us).

Foods: If they will accept them, canaries do fine on the pelleted diets. Unfortunately, few confirmed seed eaters will convert to pellets. Some birds just refuse to convert to pellets. Some little guys, such as canaries, will often starve before they accept pellets. Hookbills switch over much more easily.

Supplements: Most fortified canary foods contain all the elements healthy canaries need – including the breeders and their babies. However, canaries really appreciate treat foods. They welcome little changes in their diet but not large ones. To bring out the full potential in “red factor” canaries, you will need to feed “color foods.” Mix the color supplement with mashed boiled eggs. Canaries love boiled eggs. The red color additive will not make them healthier, just prettier.

Lighting: All birds do better and look better under full-spectrum fluorescent lighting. They also enjoy real sunlight when kept in outdoor aviaries. Make sure they can get out of the sun. Actually, with the advent of West Nile virus deaths in crows, there's no way we'd keep birds outdoors.

Heat: Room temperature works fine. Cool days won’t bother them but avoid drafts. If your canary gets sick, warm him up and call your bird vet.

Water: If you give them a bowl of water, most canaries will jump in it and thrash around. Change their bathing water often because they also drink it. Give them drinking water in drinking tubes. They’re easier to keep clean. They also like daily mistings. Canaries learn to open their wings when you mist them. Do it early so they have time to dry.

Mixers: Canaries usually mix with other canaries (in big cages) and with most finches. Keep your eye on them. If certain ones get picked on, take out the victim (usually a female) or the bully (usually a male).

Isolate Males: Some males will fight with other males (and with females). You will have happier and “sing-ier” males if you put each in its own cage.

Tameable: Canaries (unlike the flightier finches) will learn to sit on your finger or shoulder. Few try to hand-train their canaries. Never take an untrimmed canary outside. In fact, if you take yours out of their cage often, trim their wings for their own protection. They can smack into objects hard enough to kill them. Ceiling fans, glass windows, and foods cooking in the kitchen present common dangers.

Breeding: Sexually mature male canaries sing to attract willing females. If you decide to breed them, put the two sexes in side by side cages. Provide nests and nesting materials. When she starts building a nest, she’s ready. If he starts feeding and “kissing” her, he’s ready.

Tips to Increase Singing: To encourage your male canaries to sing more, make sure they can’t see other canaries. Listening to pre-recorded tapes and hearing better singers will enlarge their singing repertoire. Certain “singing foods” will also encourage your males to sing better. Most sing best early in the day – when the light first hits them and in the early evenings.


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PostSubject: Finches Caresheet   Wed Apr 07, 2010 4:30 pm

Zebra Finch
(Poephila guttata)
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Origin: Australia
Size: 4"
Pet Status: Excellent
Noise level: Low
Life span: 5-7 years
Sexing: Male are slightly larger and more brightly colored with a reddish orange beak.
Breeding ability: Excellent (4-6 eggs incubate in 12-14 days)
Compatibility with other species: Not recommended
Feeding: Seed

Bio:
Zebras are among the most popular of all finches. In the wild they are found in over 90% of Australia, where they travel in flocks and breed in colonies. They are found primarily in flat grasslands and savannahs where they thrive on seed that has fallen to the ground. Because they are such social creatures they should be kept in pairs, at the very least.

General diet:
Finches are basically seed eaters in the wild so they can be fed a diet on many types of seed, such as those found in specially prepared Finch Seed Mixtures.
Treats/extra foods: Dark leafy greens and millet or seed sticks to simulate foraging.

Vitamins/supplements: Finches need a vitamin, mineral and amino acid supplement added to their food every day.

Housing:
Zebra Finches need to move around a lot so a rectangular flight cage is optimal. It should be at least 24"Wx14"Dx18"H, with metal bars no more than 3/8" apart. A variety of good softwood perches with diameters varying from 3/8" - 3/4" should also be provided. An assortment of tree branches of similar size also make excellent perching sites. Finches also like a variety of toys to help keep them occupied during the day. Since finches prefer to sleep in an enclosed place at night, covered nests made of wicker or a similar material should also be provided, at a rate of one nest for every pair of birds. Cage paper or bird litter is best used in the bottom of the cage, never use colored newspaper or cedar shavings. Place the cage in a well ventilated area, free of drafts. At eye level against a wall is ideal, in a well lit area out of direct sunlight.

Sanitation/General care:
Scrub the water dish every day. Take off the top layer of seed mix and add more new seed and mix thoroughly, also every day. Change the seed mix completely every 2-3 days. Clean the cage bottom at least weekly. Perched should be cleaned off once a week, or as needed. At least once a month, clean out the cage completely, by thoroughly washing the bars, base, tray and all of the toys and accessories.

General Maintenance:
Most finches rarely need nail or beak trims, but owners should keep an eye on these just in case. Special perches are available for the nails and beak conditioners and cuttlebones should be provided for beak health. Bathing is very important to finches, a clip on bathhouse or a 1' dish ½ filled with clean fresh water should be provided daily.

Health care:
Zebra Finches are very hardy birds and do not need any type of vaccines. However, they should be checked by a veterinarian if they show any signs of illness such a lethargy, discharges, change in feces, lack of appetite or changes in behavior such as sitting fluffed up on the bottom of the cage.

Taming:
Finches are very active fluttering around the cage, bathing and preening themselves as well as each other. Generally they will not finger train and should be left in their cage unless emergency handling is required.

Supplies checklist:
Wire cage
Cage paper or bird litter
Perches of at least 3 different sizes
Food, Water and Treat dishes
Vitamin/mineral/amino acid supplements
Seed and Treats
Beak conditioners/cuttlebone
Toys/bathhouse
Books on the care Zebra Finches


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PostSubject: Re: Finches Caresheet   Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:12 pm

Gouldian Finch
Family: Estrildidae
Scientific name:Chloebia gouldiae, Poephila gouldian Learn more about the Gouldian "Family", the Estrildidae Finches here: Finch Families
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Description: Gouldian Finches are 5.5" - 6"(14 -15 cm) with the females being a bit smaller. The males are the more colorful. The females are a bit duller, especially less intense in the breast color. Normal males have purple breasts, yellow bellies, and green bodies. The black-headed Gouldian is the most common in the wild, but about one out of four will have a red head and on a rare occasion, a yellow head. Breeders have developed a variety of color mutations including the white breasted, yellow-headed, rose breasted, blue breasted, blue bodied, and white bodied. The variations continue to grow.

Distribution: Gouldian Finches are found in Queensland and Northern and Northwest Australia.

Care and Feeding: Fresh food and water must be provided daily. A good finch seed mix will provide their everyday need of grass seeds and millets and is readily available at a pet store. They will need a good supply of protein, especially when they are molting or egg laying. In a treat cup you can occasionally offer supplements of diced hard boiled eggs, other egg foods, and mealworms. Seed moistened with cod liver oil and powdered with yeast will provide a high fat protein and vitamin D. In a separate cup supply green foods such as lettuce, spinach, celery tops, and chickweed. Finch treats of seed with honey, fruits and vegetables are fun for your bird too, as well as nutritious! Grit with charcoal is essential to aid in digestion and it contains valuable minerals and trace elements. Grit should be provided in a special cup or sprinkled over the bottom of the cage floor. Provide a cuttlebone because the calcium it provides will give your bird a firm beak, strong eggshells when breeding, and will help prevent egg binding. The lime in the cuttlebone also aids in digestion. Give your Gouldian Finch a bath daily or as often as possible. A bath dish that is 1" deep with a 1/2" of water, or a clip on bath house is very important as they love to bathe. Their nails may occasionally need to be trimmed, but be careful never to clip into the vein as the bird can quickly bleed to death. Bird nail trimmers and styptic powder to stop the bleeding are available at pet shops.

Housing: Gouldian Finches have a great need for movement. A cage with a good height as well as horizontal space is important. A minimum of 24" (60 cm) in height (necessary because they fly up when first taking off) and at least 28" (70 cm) long. Gouldians must to be kept in a heated area as they cannot tolerate cold, any dampness or drafts. Always keep the bird area above 55 ° F, though they will do much better if the temperature is kept at 77 ° F or warmer. Place the cage where it is well ventilated and against a wall at eye level. The cage should have good lighting but be away from doors and windows where direct exposure to sunlight can make it overly warm. Provide two or three good softwood perches about 3/8" to 3/4" in diameter. Tree branches of a similar size also make good perches and will help to wear the claws down naturally. Provide separate dishes for food, water, treats, and grit. Place paper on the cage bottom that can be sprinkled with grit, or use a grit paper. Gouldian Finches also do very well in aviaries or bird rooms. In an outdoor aviary they need protection from wind and rain, a covered flight is best. The screening should be 3/8" square mesh. Dishes for food, water, grit and bathing water must be included along with perches and a wide variety of nests.Gouldian Finches may roost in nest boxes even when they are not breeding. Plants that are not poisonous, such as fruit trees, privet, forsythia, and honeysuckle bushes will make the space more enjoyable for the finches.

Maintenance: Although finches require very little time, a clean environment as well as fresh food and water daily is a must to prevent disease and illness. The basic cage care includes daily cleaning of the water and food dishes. Every two to three days change the paper on the bottom of the cage and sprinkle it with about 1/8" of fresh grit. Weekly wash and dry the entire cage, including the perches.

Social Behaviors: Gouldian Finches are social and live in large groups all year long in the wild. They are friendly with other finches and do well when kept in groups. If you wish to mix bird types, they do very well in aviaries with Zebra Finches and Society Finches.

Handling/Training: Finches are simply enjoyed for their antics and play rather than training. When you need to handle your finch to examine it or clip it's nails, place your palm on it's back and wrap your fingers around the bird with your thumb and forefinger on either side of it's head.

Activities: Gouldian Finches are active and very energetic breeders. They must be kept active to remain healthy.

Breeding/Reproduction: Gouldian Finches breed readily both in colonies and as a pair in a cage. Provide them with either open or covered nests. Nest boxes, larger than those used for Zebra or Society Finches, should be about 6"x 6"x 6" (15 x 15 x 15 cm) and mounted as high as possible. Both birds will build the nest and they will need nesting materials such as soft hay, sisal, and coconut fiber. Incandescent lighting tends to produce mostly males, while full-spectrum lighting helps produce a more equal number of males to females. Provide soakedseed, egg foods and spray millet when breeding. Gouldian Finches need more protein than other finches to stay healthy and it is especially important when the female is laying eggs. Females are prone to egg binding. This is thought to be caused by breeding too young, temperatures too low, or not in good shape. Some pairs will often keep breeding to exhaustion. They must be prevented from constant breeding in order to keep them healthy. The female will lay a clutch of 4 to 8 eggs and they will hatch in 14 to 15 days. The young leave the nest about 18 to 21 days after they hatch and in 6 to 8 weeks will be on their own, after their first molt. Their adult plumage comes in between 6 and 12 months.

Potential Problems: Gouldian Finches, though not to hard to keep, are difficult to acclimate and will sometimes die for no apparent reason. They will suffer from metabolic problems if they don't get enough exercise, and can become ill after even a very short exposure to cold. Finches are fairly hardy birds and almost all illnesses can be traced to improper diet, dirty cages, and drafts. A balanced diet, being kept warm, and plenty of exercise will prevent most illnesses. Know your birds and watch for any changes as indications of illness. Some signs of illness to be aware of are droppings that are not black and white, feathers that are fluffed and the bird tucks it's head under it's wing, lack of appetite, wheezing, and acting feeble and run down. Some of the common illnesses and injuries your finch could contract are broken wings or legs, cuts and open wounds, overgrown beaks and nails, ingrown feathers, feather picking, metabolic problems from lack of exercise, weight loss, heat stroke, shock, concussion, egg binding, diarrhea, mites, colds, baldness, scaly legs, sore eyes, tumors, constipation, and diarrhea. First you can try and isolate the bird in a hospital cage where you cover all but the front of the cage and add a light bulb or heating pad to keep the interior of the cage at a constant temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove all perches and put food and water dishes on the floor. If you don't see improvements within a few hours, take the bird to an avian veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.


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PostSubject: Re: Finches Caresheet   Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:16 pm

Society Finch
Bengalese Finch - Japanese Movchen
Family: Estrildidae
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Scientific name: Lonchura domestica Learn more about the Society "Family", the Estrildidae Finches here: Finch Families

Description: Society Finches reach a size of 4 1/4" to 4 3/4" (11-12 cm). They have three basic color varieties: chocolate and white, fawn and white, and pure white. Tri-coloreds, crested forms (developed in the 1930's), and solid colors are also seen. No two Society Finches are alike!

Distribution: Society Finches are totally domestic and large numbers are bred in captivity.

Care and Feeding: Fresh food and water must be provided daily. A good finch seed mix will provide their everyday preference for millets and canary seed and is readily available at a pet store. In a separate cup supply green foods regularly, such as chickweed and spinach. Other supplements include egg foods, apple and pear. Finch treats of seed with honey, fruits and vegetables are fun for your bird too, as well as nutritious! Grit with charcoal is essential to aid in digestion and it contains valuable minerals and trace elements. Grit should be provided in a special cup or sprinkled over the bottom of the cage floor. Provide a cuttlebone because the calcium it provides will give your bird a firm beak, strong eggshells when breeding, and will prevent egg binding. The lime in the cuttlebone also aids in digestion. Offer your finch a bath occasionally by providing a bath dish that is 1" deep with a 1/2" of water, or a clip on bath house. Their nails may occasionally need to be trimmed, but be careful never to clip into the vein as the bird can quickly bleed to death. Bird nail trimmers and styptic powder to stop the bleeding are available at pet shops.

Housing: Society Finches do well indoors in a cage. Place the cage where it is well ventilated though free from drafts, and against a wall at eye level. It should have good light but be away from doors and windows where direct exposure to sunlight can make it overly warm. Provide two or three good softwood perches about 3/8" to 3/4" in diameter. Tree branches of a similar size also make good perches and will help to wear the claws down naturally. Provide separate dishes for food, water, treats, and grit. Place paper on the cage bottom that can be sprinkled with grit, or use a grit paper. Society Finches also do very well an in aviaries or bird rooms. The screening should be 3/8" square mesh. Dishes for food, water, grit and bathing water must be included along with perches and nests. Plants that are not poisonous, such as fruit trees, privet, forsythia, and honeysuckle bushes will make the space more enjoyable for thefinches.

Maintenance: Although finches require very little time, a clean environment as well as fresh food and water daily is a must to prevent disease and illness. The basic cage care includes daily cleaning of the water and food dishes. Every two to three days change the paper on the bottom of the cage and sprinkle it with about 1/8" offresh grit. Weekly wash and dry the entire cage, including the perches.

Social Behaviors: Society Finches are very, very social and should be kept in groups (except when breeding a single pair). They are most friendly, have an ideal temperament, and are never aggressive toward other birds.

Handling/Training: Finches are simply enjoyed for their antics and play rather than training. When you need to handle your finch to examine it or clip it's nails, place your palm on it's back and wrap your fingers around the bird with your thumb and forefinger on either side of it's head.

Activities: Society Finches are active and very friendly. They are so social and such busy bodies that they can often get in the way of, and disrupt the breeding habits of other more private birds! Keep an eye on your energetic friends in an aviary!

Breeding/Reproduction: Society Finches are one of the most reliable breeders! They can be bred as individual pairs housed separately or as groups in aviaries. When breeding in groups, you must make sure you have more than three pairs to prevent a pecking order. One drawback to aviary breeding is over eagerness. They will often all crowd into one nest to lay and incubate their eggs. They get in each others way and make it impossible for any one hen to incubate the eggs. They are such dedicated breeders, they will even incubate and rear the young of many other birds. &nbsp The sexes are very similar, but the male will display mating behavior by singing a little song to the female. Females are generally quiet unless visually separated from their mate. In this case, the male will call to the female with a single syllable, while the hen's answer will be three or four syllables. They like a closed or partially open nest. The size of a nest box should be about 5" or 6" (13 -16 cm). Nesting materials such as grasses and hay will be appreciated, and they will line the nest with feathers and soft materials. The female will lay a clutch of 4 to 6 eggs. The female will do most of the sitting on the eggs and they will hatch in 12 to 13 days. Both parents will feed the hatchlings. At this time provide lots of greens,seed and egg food.

Potential Problems: Society Finches are very hardy birds and almost all illnesses can be traced to improper diet, dirty cages, and drafts. A balanced diet and plenty of exercise will prevent most illnesses. The white coloration ofSociety Finches can often be albino, with pink eyes, and prone to eye problems. Eye problems of this sort can be prevented by supplying lots of green foods high in carotene. Know your birds and watch for real drastic changes as indications of illness. Some signs of illness to be aware of are droppings that are not black and white, feathers that are ruffled, lack of appetite, wheezing, and acting feeble and run down. Some of the common illnesses and injuries your finch could contract are broken wings or legs, cuts and open wounds, overgrown beaks and nails, ingrown feathers, feather picking, confinement cramps in the legs from a cage that is too small, weight loss, heat stroke, shock, concussion, egg binding, diarrhea, mites, colds, baldness, scaly legs, sore eyes, tumors, constipation, and diarrhea. First you can try and isolate the bird in a hospital cage where you cover all but the front of the cage and add a light bulb or heating pad to keep the interior of the cage at a constant temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove all perches and put food and water dishes on the floor. If you don't see improvements within a few hours, take the bird to an avian veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.


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PostSubject: Re: Finches Caresheet   Wed Apr 07, 2010 5:21 pm

Canary Varieties
Family: Fringillidae
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Distribution:
Domestic pet canaries are distributed throughout the world. There are some very fascinating canary bird facts about the development of these birds and the different canary breeds of both yesterday and today. The ancestor of the domesticated canary we see today can be found in the Canary Islands, Azores and Madeira. Since 1478, when they were first imported into Europe, the domestic canary breeds have changed. Actually there have been many changes in the canary breeds over the years, with changes occurring based on the commercial popularity of some breeds over others.
Canaries were introduced to Spain in 1478 when the Spaniards conquered the Canary Islands. For over 100 years, until the 16th century, the Spaniards maintained control of these delightful little birds, selling only males to other European countries. Then, due to a shipping accident, a large cargo of canaries escaped and flew to the Island of Elba. They soon were sold all over Europe and many different canary breeds began to be developed.
Some countries specialized in breeding canaries for their song, while others bred them for color, body type, or feathering. Thus some canary breeds are named and classified by their shape and the geographic areas in which they were developed while others are named and classified for their plumage, song, or color. Different countries became known for the classification they bred, for example, the Germans bred for the canary song while the English and French bred for canary colors.

Description:
The canary is generally between 4 3/4" to 8" (12-20 cm) in length. Their plumage is very bright starting in the yellows, yellow-greens, greens, shades of orange to shades of red. The canary life span varies somewhat from bird to bird. The average life span of a bred female canary is 5 - 6 years and for a male canary, up to 10 years, though there have been canaries that have lived up to 20 years.

Types of Canaries: There are basically three selectively bred canary types available today. The types of canary breeds, along with some Amazon birds that are commonly available in the pet industry include:

* Color Canary
This group includes birds specifically bred for various canary colors. Also known as Color Bred Canaries, they have been developed in just about every conceivable canary color. This group also includes the Red Factor Canary. Red Factor canaries can be found in all shades from very light oranges, coppers, deep red-oranges, to almost red. The Red Factor is a strain that many experts agree was achieved from interbreeding the canary with the Red-Hooded Siskin, Carduelis cucullata. Today, in the wild, the Red-Hooded Siskin is very rare and is endangered.
o Color Bred Canary
o Red Factor Canar
* Song Canary
This group includes birds specifically bred for their canary song, well known is the Roller canary.
o American Singer Canary
o Roller Canary
o Spanish Timbrado
o Waterslager Canary
* Type Canary
This group includes birds specifically bred for special characteristics, such as size, shape, or feathering. The Lancashire Canary is the largest breed available today. Other unique characteristics can be found in quite a number of other canaries bred for type, including:
o Belgian Fancy Canary
o Border Fancy Canary
o Crested Canary
o Fife Fancy Canary
o Gloster Fancy Canary
o Lizard Canary
o Northern Dutch Frilled Canary
o Norwich Canary
o Parisian Frilled Canary
o Stafford Canary
o Yorkshire Canary

Care and feeding:
The bird food in a canary diet consisting of a good seed mixture (vitamin coated) supplemented with sprouted seed, various fruits, green foods, and commercial pellets are generally regarded suitable.

* Bird Food:
Fresh food and water must be provided daily.
o Canary Seed:
Fresh canary seed is their everyday food and vitamin coated seed mixes are readily available at a pet store. A single canary will eat about one teaspoon of seed a day and canaries will rarely overeat, though they may need to eat a bit more when the weather is cold or during their moult.
o Pelleted Diet:
Pelleted diets are also available and contain vitamins and more protein than seed, making additional supplementation unnecessary. However birds not raised on a pelleted diet may not recognize it as food, so may not accept it..
* Supplements:
Supplements are very important and can be put in an extra dish and rotated for variety.
o Fruits and Vegetables:
Daily supplements that canaries like to eat include greens such as kale, broccoli, dandelions, spinach, celery, peas, and watercress. Small amounts of fruits such as apples, oranges, grapes, bananas, and melons can also be offered. Canary treats of seed with honey, fruits and vegetables are fun for your bird too, as well as nutritious. However there are some that feel these treats will contribute to a lethargic or lazy bird that may be less inclined to sing.
o Proteins:
About once a week offer an additional protein supplement such as egg biscuit
o Canary Song Food:
Every few days you can also provide some song food to help develop vocal cords.
o Colour food for Canary Color Food:
For red birds it is important to provide a colour food for canaries. For information on color feeding, and color food for see the: Color Bred Canary: Care and Feeding
o Vitamins:
Most canary seed mixes have vitamin coated seeds. However, if their canary seed is not vitamin enriched, vitamins can be added to the drinking water or the food.
o Minerals:
Provide a cuttlebone or a mineral block. The calcium they provide will give your bird a firm beak, strong eggshells when breeding, and will prevent egg binding. The lime in the cuttlebone also aids in digestion.
o Grit:
Today in the United State the use of grit is being discourage as being unnecessary for canaries because they shell their seed. However in the past, and still in most other countries today, it is considered an important ingredient for the canary diet. It is said to be essential in providing necessary minerals and elements as well as an aid in digestion. Possibly this change is a result of commercially developed pelleted diets.
* Water:
A canary cannot live without for a 24 hour period without water! Provide fresh water daily.
* Bird Baths:
Give your canary a bath at least once a week and daily during the summer by placing a dish on the bottom of the cage. A bath with an enclosure will help to keep the water splashing to a minimum. Bathing is very important to canaries during molting and breeding.
* Bird Grooming:
Their nails will occasionally need to be trimmed, but be careful never to clip into the vein as the bird can quickly bleed to death. Bird nail trimmers and styptic powder to stop the bleeding are available at pet shops.

Housing:

* Bird Cages:
Canaries like wide open spaces so provide your pet with a roomy canary cage. Also provide dishes for food, water, and treats as well as an area for a bath.
Good size canary cages are:
o Single canary: For a single bird, canary cages should be at least 16" (40 cm)
o Pair of canaries: For a canary pair, canary cages should be at least 20" (50 cm)
* Bird Perch:
Provide two or three good softwood perches about 3/8" to 3/4" in diameter. Tree branches of a similar size also make good perches and will help to wear the claws down naturally.
* Where to Place Finch Cages:
Place the cage on a stand or hang it from a wall bracket at eye level or at about 6 feet off the floor. Be sure the spot you pick has good light and is well ventilated, though free from drafts. It should be away from doors and windows where direct exposure to sunlight can make it overly warm, but placed close to at least one wall to enhance a feeling of security.
Average daytime temperatures can range from between 60 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit with nighttime temperatures down to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
The cage should be covered at night to prevent drafts and disturbances.
* Aviary:
A roomy indoor aviary, a bird room, or an outdoor aviary (depending on your area) are all good choices. The aviary needs plenty of light and fresh air. The outdoor aviary needs to have a protected shelter that can be heated and cooled where necessary and a canary flight cage made with about a 3/8" wire mesh, anything larger will let in mice.

Maintenance:
Although canaries require very little time, a clean environment as well as fresh food and water daily is a must to prevent disease and illness. The basic cage care includes daily cleaning of the water and food dishes. Every two to three days change the paper on the bottom of the cage. Weekly wash and dry the entire cage, including the perches.

Social Behaviors:
Canaries are very social with good personalities. They will not harm children, visitors, or other pets. They are, however, timid birds and should not be housed with parakeets, lovebirds, or other hookbills that tend to be more aggressive birds by nature. Pairing up with two male canaries in a cage can cause fights, but canaries can easily be housed in a spacious cage with other canaries, finches, and other hardbills.

Handling/Training:
Most of the time, canaries are simply enjoyed for their beauty and singing. However, some canaries are allowed out of their cage to perch or are show canaries and therefore require taming or training.
Canaries can some simple tricks such as playing with a toy, but they are quite timid and it takes a lot of patience. If they are exposed to sounds when they are young, male canaries can also learn to mimic sounds such as a telephone ring or a door bell.
If you wish to tame or train your canary, it is best to buy a single bird, and it is easier to tame a young bird. Wing clipping will make it much easier as it inhibits their ability to fly. When you need to hold your canary, place your palm on it's back and wrap your fingers around the bird with your thumb and forefinger on either side of it's head. Canaries rarely bite, and even if they do, they do not have a harmful or dangerous bite.
Taming or training a canary requires a lot of patience and persistent effort.

Breeding/Reproduction:
Canaries are fairly easy to breed in captivity if you provide them with privacy and very few disturbances.

* Breeding Canaries:
The canary breeding season begins with the arrival of spring. The female should be at least one year old and the male should not be over five years old. Both the male canary and the hen must be very well fed and healthy.
Introduce the male and female to each other in separate cages side by side for a few weeks before putting them together so they can become familiar with each other and prevent fights.
You should supplement their diet with bits of niger seed, spinach, lettuce and dandelion leaves. Also put a bit of olive oil or wheat germ oil on their egg biscuit to prevent constipation and egg binding in the female.
* Breeding Environment:
A box breeding cage is good and should be about 18"x 11"x 14" (46 x 28 x 36 cm). Mount a nesting pan of ceramic, metal, or earthenware, or a wicker nest inside the cage. For the canary bird nesting material, place a layer of soft wood shavings, corn cob bedding, or other canary nesting material in the nest.
* Egg Laying and Hatchlings:
The female will lay an egg a day until there are two to six eggs. Remove each egg gently with a spoon and replace it with a dummy egg until she is done laying. The removed eggs can be placed on cotton, sand, cornmeal, oatmeal or wood shavings and turned once a day until you return them to the nest when the female is done laying. Some breeders believe it is best to remove the male at this time so he will not interfere with the female and keep her from brooding. Others feel that the male may tend the female while she is brooding. If you choose to leave the male, make sure the female is staying on the nest brooding the eggs.
After 12 days, offer the female a bath. She will bathe and return to the nest, dampening the bedding and moisturizing the eggs. This softens the membranes of the eggs for the young that are about to hatch. The eggs will hatch on the 13th or 14th day. At this time provide the female with nesting food and soft foods of bread soaked in milk, hard boiled egg yolks and a bit of apple. At about two weeks, return the male to the nest to help feed the young.
The hatchlings are born blind and featherless. At about two and a half to three weeks, they will begin to feather and leave the nest to perch on low perches. They will be independent and eating seed at about six weeks and the female may be nesting again.

Do not let a pair breed to much or they will start to produce weak babies!

Potential Problems:
Canaries are very hardy birds and almost all illnesses can be traced to improper diet, dirty cages, and drafts. A balanced diet and plenty of exercise will prevent most canary illnesses. If a canary becomes ill it will lose weight rapidly, so it is essential that you know your bird and watch for real drastic changes as indications of illness.
Some signs of illness to be aware of are droppings that are not black and white, feathers that are ruffled, lack of appetite, wheezing, molting out of season, does not sing, and acts feeble and run down.
Some of the common illnesses and injuries your canary could contract are broken wings or legs, cuts and open wounds, overgrown beaks and nails, ingrown feathers (feather lumps), feather picking, false molt caused by mishandling or a poor diet, confinement cramps in the legs from a cage that is too small, weight loss, heat stroke, shock, concussion, egg binding, diarrhea, mites, colds, baldness, scaly legs, sore eyes, tumors, loss of song, constipation, and diarrhea.
First you can try and isolate the bird in a hospital cage where you cover all but the front of the cage and add a light bulb or heating pad to keep the interior of the cage at a constant temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove all perches and put food and water dishes on the floor. If you don't see improvements within a few hours, take the bird to an avian veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.


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