Using Changes in the Weather to Shorten the Molt
Kansas is known for abrupt weather changes and last week was a good example. One day we had a high of 107 F and a low of 86 F. Last night the low was 60 F and the high was 78 F! Changing temperatures in the aviary, along with the hours of sunlight which are either shortening or lengthening throughout the year, that clearly communicate changing seasons.
My aviary is heated and cooled with a heat pump unit in the window. In addition, I have a separate full size house exhaust fan in the aviary attic with a large ceiling vent to pull out air. Some people are concerned about keeping canaries out of drafts. To that I say, Rubbish!! You can not imagine the draft in my aviary when I open the windows and turn on the big exhaust fan!!
In addition to the exhaust fan, I have a ceiling mounted large electronic precipitator air cleaning machine. With the windows closed, the air cleaning machine will completely clean the aviary air ever six minutes. This unit is similar to what you find collecting pollutants in a club.
Amazingly, exhausting is actually more effective at removing feather dust than filtering the air with a clean air machine! It is also more energy efficient so I keep the exhaust on day and night year round when temperatures are between 60 and 90 F. Together the exhaust fan and the clean air machine remove feather dust from the air making it safer for me and the birds to breathe the air.
When it is hot during the summer, I usually let the aviary get to 90 F but last week when it was 107, I let it get to 95 F. That extra hot weather made everyone one shed clothing and feathers! Clearly the temperature communicated that it is hot and very safe to molt. In the evening, I turned off the heat pump as usual and opened the windows and turned on the exhaust fan. That night the room never got below 86 F.
Now that we have a cool spell, I have the exhaust on all day and night. Having a cold spell is new warning cautioning the birds that they need to get this molt over, as cool weather is just around the corner. I especially like these cold spells during show season as it really helps tighten up their feathers!
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