Monday, March 2, 2009

Mounting Made Easy: Only A Short Athletic Leap!

Balance Training and Perch Placement Improves Fertility!

Although good stable perches are important for fertility, it is also important that the birds have good coordination and balance. Smaller varieties usually have good coordination and balance but larger varieties, such as Borders, sometimes have balance issues because of their body shape and large size.

Wild birds learn balance skills naturally, as they are required to be able to perch in a variety of situations and weather conditions. Wild birds in Kansas must have excellent balance because of our strong gusty winds and violent thunder storms! So, how do you improve your birds balance skills?

An effective technique to teach birds balance and coordination is to provide them with ample swings. At first, larger canaries are quite clumsy but they quickly learn to balance themselves, even in a moving swing! Acquiring balance skills is beneficial not only for foundation skills for show cage training but also for successful mating skills!

But, as helpful as swings are for balance training, they must be removed from the breeding cage, because having birds at different heights encourages them to fight! To promote compatibility and positive breeding behavior, all perches in the breeding cage should be at the same height and in the lower third of the cage. (Nests should be a little lower than perches to prevent birds from using them as perches and soiling the nesting material.)

In addition, you can promote successful mating by placing perches in the breeding cage close together so the cock has only a short distance to move to mount the hen. This is especially helpful with Borders but it works so well that I do it for all my different varieties.

My cages fronts are 30 inch long. I place a pair of perches only three inches apart and six inches from each end of the cage. This means wherever the hen perches, the cock is close behind and can easily make the short athletic leap to mount her!

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