Congratulation Doyle on Being Selected as Tuesday's Tipster!
Doyle's Timely Tip: What Kills Weeds, Kills Birds!
At this time of year when the weeds start growing and the insects start to come out, a lot of people will be thinking about spraying around their yards and their houses. You must be careful not to spray around the aviary! Many of the herbicides and insect sprays are also harmful to cage birds.
Last Spring, I lost 278 of my nearly 400 canaries overnight because a lawn man sprayed around my aviary! The fumes came up around the walls and through the air conditioner and overcame the birds overnight. The next morning the loss was very difficult to deal with. Dead was every one of my original winning German roller line, gone were all of my show-stopping bronze, gone were all but one of my outstanding show winning red lipochrome, gone were all my new lines of topaz and onyx, gone were most of my borders with only three border cocks surviving. The sight of our precious canaries, breed to be winning lines over many, many years, dead in cage after cage, was devastating!
In shock, we watch an additional 14 canaries die within the next few hours. In hopes of stopping the slaughter, Cheryl and I moved the remaining approximately 60 birds into our house. Once in the house, only three more birds, which had appeared sickly, died. At last the dying, had stopped. But what had caused this, we wondered?
Our first fears were of some weird virus or bacteria but since there had been no prior warning signs, no birds were puffed up or appeared ill the day before the sudden deaths, and finding so many dying so suddenly, we knew it must be an environmental killer.
So we started our investigation with the grounds keeper, who stated with pride that he had a great new chemical that could really kill weeds! We informed him that his chemical was so good that it had killed nearly a whole aviary of birds!
Earlier we had warned the complex manager that we had an aviary full of birds and we did not want any spraying in our lawn. Whether the word didn't get passed on to the grounds keeper or what, we will never know. Remember that although some herbicide/insecticide labels do not mention anything about being harmful to birds, keep in mind that they all contain enough chemicals to kill plants and insects.
Thanks so much Doyle for sharing your painful experience with us! It is an unfortunate experience but we will all be more vigilant in protecting our birds!
Be sure and read Shawn's excellent comments on this posting!!
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