Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Are Your Birds in Tip Top Shape?

Beautiful Tight Feathered Stafford

What does a fit bird look like?

A bird in top condition has glossy feathers that are so tight that they look like a glove or wet suit. Individual feathers are held so close to the body that they appear painted on the body! When a bird puffs his feathers out, it is chilling as without sweat glands they use their feathers to puff out and provide an insulation layer. Healthy birds may have some loose feathers especially in the vent area when they have not completely harden off after the molt.

Another fitness sign is glossy feet. A tip top shape birds feet have a natural glow. Birds with nutritional deficiencies often have scaly feet. Improving their diet, softening the scales with a very small amount of oil, and gently lifting off the old scales can correct the problem.

A third sign of fitness is a piped tail. The fit birds tail is piped because the feathers are held as tightly together as possible and not carried fanned out at all. Likewise the wings are carried up just meeting in the back without leaving a gap between them.

Critical Concept: For the secret of the care of the canary is in caring for the canary!


Anonymous said...

What to do with Rollers who never came into breeding condition, on low lights, simple diet, starting to build nests in a large flight?

I turned the light over that flight off this morning when I saw that. Mother Nature is a mess!

Linda Hogan said...

Seems like the weather has got some birds confused about what time of year this is. We just got six inches of rain in 24 hours which might happen in the Spring but never this time of year. We also have had a cool August only to warm up a bit, just like Spring.Looks like my rain the forecast. We just never did get our Spring rains till now!!

When this happens, the birds that want to nest should be feed only carbohydrates such as plain canary seed, oatmeal, fine grind milo/corn and white bread. No proteins, no oily seeds, and when possible put them in the darkest spots in the aviary.

This time of year my aviary is dim as the only light is natural which is coming in the windows.

Anonymous said...

Question for Research Ms. Linda !

Sometimes I have used a small flexible light from the computer store to candle eggs. When changing the battery, noticed it had a warning on the side that that light was dangerous for your eyes.
My question: have you heard that these Laser lights damage fertile eggs / embryo and thus destroys the unhatched chick? Something is warning me it does. Could be the culprit in my 2009 hatch rate.


Linda Hogan said...

I did a little literature review and read a few studies that said that the laser light did not adversely affect egg fertility.

I have seen so many eggs over the years that I can just tell if they are not glossy look solid or dark or feel hot to touch that they are fertile.

If they are not fertile, I like to let the hen sit on them anyway till they should have hatched to slow her down a bit and also she will make a good foster when the nests are large. Some hens hatch five or six eggs and I would much prefer a hen to raise two or three as it is a lot of work to feed chicks.

When five hatch, I like to give one hen two and the other three to raise.