Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The cat's away. ....

Hello peeps!  :)

So, the "cat's" away, or at least that is what mom called it when I was young. "The cat is away so the mice will play!"  My 6 kids have heard it so often from me that I am quite sure my future grandkids will know it well.  :)

Yes,  the cat is away, and I am spending my days filing mom's shoes with her beloved birdies.  I have to admit I enjoy them very much, I always have.   If I didn't have 3 cats in my home I would definately have at least two canaries! I do have 13 chickens,    (shhhhhh!) We are only allowed 12 but when I purchased 3 chicks last spring my oldest Hen,  Buffy, was looking like her last day was coming.  I can't have 11, lol, must have the limit, right?  ;)

So the little party this morning is with my sister, Kellie, who made delicious Cranberry Pistachio Muffins!  They were a perfect treat on this crisp Fall morning.

The light is now on, back to the birdroom!  :) Sandy

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Meet Me At The Show 2014


11 and 12th

Swords & Dist. Cage Bird Society Show. Donabate Community & Leisure Centre, Portrane Road, Donabate, Co. Dublin. Donabate is five Kms north of Swords and is accessed form exit four off the M1 motorway coming from the north or South.

18 and 19th

All-Ireland All-Border Show:Irish Border Fancy Club, St. Colmcille's GAA Club Co. Dublin. I will give a talk at 10:30 in the show hall on Sunday. 


19 thru 22nd

National Cage Bird Show Dayton, Ohio For show details see web site ncbs.org


12 and 13th 

Florida Canary Fanciers, judging type and mule divisions at the Ramada Hotel Gateway, 7470 Highway 192 West, Kissimmee, Florida.  If you have questions, please contact Brian Byrne at 912 344 7196

Each year I plant Mexican Sunflowers. They are beautiful and they attract hummingbirds and so many kinds of butterflies!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Puting On A Runway Attitude

Just a few days ago, I counted 26 Monarch butterflies in my garden and today they have all gone on to Mexico.  This is a sure sign and the calendar agrees, show season is finally here! So I took a few shot of any other ones I could find and contemplated what final steps I have taken the last few days to make my birds dress like a model and have that "walking down the runway" attitude.

Earlier, I shared that the seed diet has been increasingly changed to canary seed.  This is very important especially if a bird or breed has a tendency toward hanging droppings. When that happens the diet has too much oil and fatty seeds such as especially flax (linseed) but also depending on the breed such as glosters and borders even thistle (niger), rape and maw too.

So having done that, I now find an extra attitude bloom by feeding some sprouted seed along with the canary seed. My sprouted mix is ABBA soak seed which has several usual seeds such as safflower, millet, wheat, buckwheat, canary, thistle, and rape but also contains mung beans and lettuce seed. The sprouted seed mix does not cause the hanging dropping problem even though it contains some oily seeds. And it has given them a "look at me show stopping attitude"!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Getting Ready For My Two Week Trip To Ireland

My mind should be filled with thoughts about what to pack but instead I am thinking about what I can do to assure the birds will be well taken care of while I enjoy the beautiful Birds and scenic Ireland!

I have left my birds a few times over the years for a week each when I took two trips to Germany for the Meisterschaft German Roller shows and a couple of times for two weeks each when I did visiting professorships in Granada at St. George University.

The thing I found that worked best for me is a two person system with different responsibilities given to each but both responsible for checking on feed and water and health issues such as looking for hanging droppings and removing any found.

Person number one, Sarah,  has been helping in the aviary three or four times a week for about 1 1/2 years. Each time she comes she feeds and waters and cleans cages and sweeps the aviary (it is my responsible on her off days). Each time she comes she is quizzed on how the birds look and if there are any problems she is shown and responsible with me for treatment. I have made a point to discuss treatment options and shared the results etc. She has never had birds and no experience with canaries before I hired her. She does a very good job but occasionally a water is misplaced so it is inconvenient for the birds or a cage missed with feed but with seventy cages which on a couple of days a week she does fast in less than one hour, she could make a costly mistake.  Unusual but I always check.

Person number two, Sandy, is my oldest daughter. She has taken care of the birds in the past and she did raise canaries for about a year but gave them up for chickens. She will come daily and do my usual job. Her son and my grandson seems to have gotten into chickens. When John was four he had been to my house when the adults were visiting about the importance of learning a foreign language, as I drove him home he said "Granny, I can speak a foreign language"! So I inquired  "what language do you speak"? He said "I speak chicken" and proceeded to imitate their sound! I nearly had to stop the car, cause I was laughing so hard.

John (age 8, plays banjo) says, "I am a chicken who plucks, not clucks!" 

 Instead of my usual two spray millet swings, I have added multiple sprays!

Some cages have multiple millet sprays pulled through the side wire. 

Click on each photo: notice especially the fantastic tight feathered bottom German roller.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Meet My New Blogger Friend From Singapore

Hello Linda!
I'm Edmund from Singapore. I've been reading your blog with much enjoyment over the past year. Though I mainly keep Asian songbirds like the white rumped shama, the oriental magpie and white eyes, my curiously of canaries have gotten the better of me.

I've with me now, a male and a female green Timbrado. They were not purchased as a pair. The female though, has laid eggs at the store where I bought her from. She's been with me since 2 days back, and he, about a week and a half. These birds are born in 2013 as the ring suggests and the store keeper says so. I've been giving them commercial egg food, garden greens, broccoli heads, cuttlefish bone, and a good seed mix.

An interesting thing has happened. He sings his heart out when he's hung alone at the window. However, when he's in plain sight of her, he stops singing altogether and goes about eating and preening. She doesn't appear excited also. I can tell that she's eating a lot of greens which I suppose they weren't given at the store.

While I'm not in a hurry to breed them, it puzzles me how he'd stop singing when he sees her. All my other male birds in the house goes berserk when they hear a female of their species on YouTube.

While I will carry on pampering them, and I don't think these fellas are ill in any way, I'd like to ask for your advice on why this interesting behavior is observed. She's a good looking lady in terms of plumage and posture. I'd be asking for her number if I was a bird. Hehehe....

Looking forward to some golden words of advice.

And thank you. Your blog has given me so many nights of joyous reading.

Warmest Regards,

Hello Edmund!
 I am so happy to meet you and learn about your birds! Sounds like you have a pair!

Some males will not sing when they see the female unless they are in breeding condition. Mrs. Tim appears to have pin feathers on her head, since the molt finishes on the head, it seems she is still finishing the molt. Once she has finished the molt, hearing him sing will bring her into breeding condition.

It is a good idea to add some vitamins such as poultry vitamins or Boost 250 or Orlux etc. to their water and change it daily.

To get him to sing, place the males cage above the hens cage.  

Normally birds in the Northern Hemisphere breed in Spring but not sure about your area as you are barely Northern Hemisphere. Southern Hemisphere is breeding now. 

Canaries are Amazing!

Thanks Linda!
You've set my mind at ease. I'll put him above her cage then. Singapore is a tiny tropical country. Hot year round. Hope I get some action soon! Cheers Linda!


Breeder Tip - Picking the Right Mate:  When I have a cock that is to be bred to several hens, I place the hens in a small flight and then the cock. He will sing and try to court a ready hen but ignore the rest. Of course, if one squats for him, she is the most ready!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

More Greens - Cai Nhung

While shopping at my favorite Asian Market, Kim Son, I noticed this lovely leafy green. Of course, I couldn't resist and the birds love it!

The Border under treatment has to wait till his medication is finished to taste this new green, as I want him to continue to consume the treated water instead of him reducing his dose because he is eating the greens instead of drinking the treated water.

Monday: This morning I picked Swiss chard that was overgrowing my curly leaf parsley patch which I recently replanted in hopes it would generate some more caterpillars.

My husband refuses to cook any Swiss chard with bug holes, but my birds turn a blind eye toward the holes and enjoy eating it bug holes and all!

Fresh Garden Swiss Chard

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Eye Problem Part 2 - If At First You Do Not Succeed, Try Try Again

Young Border Before Treatment

Yesterday, I was very disappointed in the first 24 hour treatment of the eye problem with mycoban so I switched to Enrofloxyn (10 % baytril pigeon product from lady gouldian finch).

Same bird after 24 hours on Enrofloxyn! Wow!! That's how it should work!!!

Feathers above the eye are just a little stiff and drooping and I will wash them with water to soften them. It also lost a few feathers which were irritating the eye yesterday.

Tired of my photo shots (actually 28 and this one is the last for this post) but happy and thrilled wanting to tell the world our good results! (Click on each photo and see how the eye and tissue around the eye have improved so much) Treatment will continue for seven days to make sure I get it all and then I will watch closely to make sure he does not take a back set.

Update 48 hour on Enrofloxyn!

If you are outside the US, check with pigeon supply companies and with a veterinarian or perhaps a pharmacy if you can buy antibiotics there. A breeder from Indonesia was able to get a 5% liquid baytril solution from her veterinarian. Since this is a 10% liquid solution, she is able to double it to get the right dose for her sick birds with respiratory problems.

Notice how the head confirmation is good again, Good frontal rise and pretty good roundness all around.