Saturday, December 29, 2012

Confidential Informant - Mite Protector

A Canary Breeder, who wishes to remain anonymous, offered me a tip on mite prevention. They use the MannaPro Water Protector in the birds bath water each week to prevent mites and pointed  out that this was an all natural effective non-toxic alternative to toxic chemicals commonly used to treat birds with mites.

They also recommended MannaPro Poultry Protector which can be sprayed in cages, nests and even on birds.

Have any of you used these products?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Breeder Report - Kristine Holmberg

You asked for input from other breeders.  I started breeding Roller's when I was 13yrs old.  So I've bred canaries off and on for the last 35 yrs.  Boy that makes me feel my age.  
In 2000 I decided to try Waterslager's  and 3 yrs ago I added Scots to the mix.  I breed just enough for my enjoyment, though I have been showing the Scots.  I have also been breeding Black and Hooded Siskins for the last 6 yrs with some success.

I still use eggfood to bring my birds into breeding condition.  Old habits die hard, but the last few years I have been adding cooked Quinoa to the mix.  I have also been using KJ's dry nestling food, which is awesome.
I have used Dr. Marshall products since I started keeping Siskins.  The KD has been vital to keeping them healthy.
This year I did make a few changes.  I have had fertility problems with some of my Scots and the Hooded's.  In the past I have tried Ferti-vit, Abba-E, Breed max with little success.   So this year I'm using Omni-Vit.  OH boy I already hear the difference.  The siskins are already singing.   In the past the cocks have been very slow to come into breeding condition.  So it will be fun to see how this breeding season turns out.  I have also started using Pigeon Vitality's "Improver" instead of KD.  I have seen and heard quite a significant change for the better in all the birds.  It was highly recommended by many Pigeon breeders in my area.  So time will tell if I like it better than KD.

Your Blog is alway fun to read and this old bird is always learning something new.

Happy New Year,
Kristine Holmberg
Seattle, WA
Thanks Kristine!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Breeder Report - Doyle Johnson

Doyle Johnson called this morning to report that he has four Border chicks, one green and three variegated, that are ready to be banded today or tomorrow!Wow! First nest of Borders this season and four eggs, all fertile, all hatched and the hen is feeding well! Second nest, yet to be ready to hatch, all fertile too!!

Of course, I couldn't wait to find out more about what he is doing to have his birds in such great condition for breeding.

He uses the 23% Calcium Gluconate, 1 Tablespoon to a gallon water daily till breeding season is over.

He used ABBA fertility E starting the cocks about 2 1/2 weeks before the hens.

He turns his lights up first to 10.5 hours and then 5 weeks before pairing turns them suddenly up to 14.5 hours. He ignores any eggs laid earlier then scheduled as in his experience early eggs are likely infertile and should be ignored. During the conditioning phase he uses AA Miracle vitamins (available from ABBA Products).

Doyle also wheat germ oil (he uses the wheat germ oil blend which is fortified with vitamins A, D, and E) coats his regular canary mix and starts cocks on it six weeks before breeding and hens three weeks before breeding. Recipe 50 lb batch: In a large pail put 5 lbs canary mix and add 1 cup wheat germ oil and let it stand for a couple days mixing daily. Add coated seeds to the remainder 45 lb seeds and mix well.

The feeding Border hen is fed a simple eggless nesting food.  He is using 2 cups dry Biodecken Novafood nestling food, 2 cups Higgins Proteen nestling food and 1 cup chopped broccoli. The broccoli is processed in the food processor and frozen in one cup packages. No additional moisture is added.

Just made up a batch and offered to my birds and yes they think it is yummy!

Can you share your success with us? Many tell me how much you enjoy this blog, but being a teacher I need more interaction with you. Send your breeder report to or call me for an interview at 316 722-5024 mornings are the best time to call.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Deck The Halls With Biodecken

Thanks to Ricardo Sanchez, Tel 214 998-7474, Fax 888 371-2420, Biodecken bird products are now available in the US! He is working on a web site so for now use any of the contact methods listed.

Prior to breeding season, I gave my birds a nutritional tonic cocktail. The cocktail is made my adding the recommended dose of both the Biodecken multiple vitamin and the Biodecken immune support together to the birds water for two consecutive days a week.

Fertility supplement improves fertility as it helps to improve formation of sperm and eggs. It contains antioxidants such as vitamin E and organic selenium to help preserve good reproductive cells, amino acids that help improve the reproductive parameters and prevents health problems such as white muscle (muscle paralysis) caused by deficiency of vitamin E and selenium in birds.

I am getting ready to test this product this breeding season especially on Borders.
Jingle supplement is made from 17 alpha-methyl-testosterone (male hormone) and potentiates secondary sexual characteristics in male songbirds. I tried jungle on my roller males this year. Low "t" holds back song frequency and song development. Jingle corrected both of these problems and most importantly without making their song harsh or breeding season like. I will definitely continue using jingle on my competitive song birds.

Jingle also contains vitamins A, E, D3, mineral and organic selenium to help improve male reproductive performance. DO NOT GIVE TO FEMALE BIRDS.
Novafood has a special balance blend for canaries with and without coloring agents. I have been feeding the one without color dry to my birds. They seem to like it and each group eats a small chinese sauce dish full each day. Some breeders feed novafood instead of egg food when the hens have babies. I am going to keep it available free choice to hens with babies but will likely supplement with egg containing nestling food. I may use some in my egg containing nestling food too.
Novafood for canaries

Happy Holidays From The Hogan Flock

Monday, December 24, 2012

Garden State Bird Show Elizabeth NJ

First Place Best Lipochrome, a recessive white, exhibited by Felix Hernandez, is the best one I have ever seen! Not only does it have great color and confirmation but also it was a real showman! In the final competition for Division standing, I would raise my hand and each time it would move with my hand gracefully back and forth perch to perch! Never have I seen such a well-trained canary on the show bench! Several exhibitors applauded when I put him up first over the gorgeous red intensive who was his strongest competitor but although it gave a standard position, the recessive white was a phenomenal showman!

It reminds me of once when I judged type at the Chicago show, a gibber (naked breast and legs and all) had very good position on the perch and all day long whenever I glanced at him he immediately assumed the correct position. And on that day I made the gibber best in show! Like the gibber, I will never forget this recessive white!

Felix Hernandez, Canary Breeder Extraordinaire

Second Best Lipochrome a beautiful personable red intensive exhibited by Felix Hernandez. Notice how he responded to my voice.

Third Best Lipochrome, a very nice red ground frost, exhibited by Antonio Chelate.
Fourth Best, very nice yellow ground frost, exhibited by Felix Hernandez.

When I first saw Manuel Vieira at the Garden State Show, I immediately bent over and started frantically searching the floor and looking under tables and he burst out laughing over our private joke.

I originally met him at the National Cage Bird Show this year and when I learned he had Borders for sale, I followed him to his room to see what I might be able to purchase and purchased a number of them. I had a feeling there might be more but he assured me that was all the Borders he had for sale.

The following day, he came up to me and confessed that his conscience was really bothering him. He did have two more hens when I looked over the borders and made my purchase yesterday, but he had carefully hide them under the bed so I would not see them as he knew I would want them too. Of course they were the best of the lot and yes, to clear his conscience, he let me buy them too!

This is a great club and show, friendly members, great hospitality (luncheon Portuguese buffet was fabulous!) and fabulous birds to die for!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Northwest Roller Canary Club Annual Song Contest

Best Team in Show with its fantastic tone was exhibited by Almin Omic. Beautiful tone comes from great hollow roll and is characterized by the sounds depth, clarity and hollowness.

Wow! What gorgeous ribbons!
Almin needed a box to hold all his winning ribbons. In addition to Best Team in Show his other major wins include Sweepstakes, Best Young Team, Highest Scoring Team in the basic four tours, and Tour specials for Hollow Roll, Bass, Hollow Bell, and Flute. Congratulations Almin on raising fantastic quality birds!!
Almin is the club Vice President and Treasurer.

Club President, Paul Scandlyn looks over his ribbons.
Paul Grech, Show Manager and his wife Leoni Benzang, Show Hostess won a number of awards including First Runner Up Young Bird (just a dot less than Almin's Best Young Bird), Tour Specials for Glucke, Water Roll, Bell Roll and Bell Tour and various class wins.
The club surprised me with a judges appreciation ribbon!
New member Heinz Best originally from Germany is getting back into raising and showing rollers.

Pictured with Club Secretary, James Hayes he has purchased some stock from Almin.
Visit the club web site at

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Conditioning and Hatching Boost

Many products that are used to condition hens for breeding, such as wheat based ones, must be used carefully as they tend to encourage the hen to promptly lay eggs, often prematurely, which results in many infertile eggs.

Recently, when I started my birds on Calcium gluconate 23% solution (1 tablespoon to 1 gallon water used daily in the water till breeding season is over), I noticed what a positive effect it had on the birds coming into condition naturally rather than prematurely. All the birds became more active and when I check the hens abdomens they were becoming bare and red and felt much warmer.  When hens lay prematurely before they are in condition, laying is out of sequence happening before their abdomen are bare and hot.

The positive effect of using this product in the condition process makes good sense as having calcium available communicates to the hen that conditions are favorable for laying eggs as well as the effect of calcium on reproductive hormones.

Extremely high blood calcium levels are necessary for laying hens. When a bird lays in the morning hours, like canaries, when food intake and subsequent intestinal absorption is decreased, bone calcium is mobilized from the calcified medullary space of the long bones particularly the femur and humerus, which was stored primarily during approximately ten days before egg formation. If calcium is deficient in the mobilization process it can result in reduction in FSH secretion and thus can even stops the laying process.

An added benefit of shells with proper thickness is increase fertility as when eggs have the proper thickness they develop and  hatch normally rather than dehydrate.

I purchase my calcium gluconate solution, designed for use in cattle,  at Tractor Supply Company, about 6 dollars/bottle.