Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Let the Sunshine In - Changing New Birds Daylight Hours

Most people like to buy or sell canaries several months before breeding season before the birds have been conditioned with extended daylight hours, warmer temperature and food. If the birds are on natural day length hours or kept on the same number of day light hours the transfer will like be smooth.

Even then, the change in diet may be stimulating enough to bring the transferred birds into breeding quicker than the rest of the aviary. Successful breeding is just ahead of the rest of the pack.  Even inquiring about diet and trying to follow the other persons diet can still be stimulating as you may be feeding more of it etc.

Since the breeding is successful, it is not really a problem, the problem is when the bird day length is reduced. It is therefore critical to know the birds lighting pattern at the breeders aviary. What time does this bird get up and what time does it go to sleep?

It is the lengthening total day light hours that brings birds into breeding and then shortening day light hours that brings them into molting. Many new canary owners do not understand the importance of day length and will keep the bird on late hours in the family room and then wonder why the bird does not molt or more commonly after a year or two of extended or irratic day length their bird first stops singing than gets sick and eventually dies prematurely. Simply moving the bird to another room where the sun can put it to bed and leaving it uncovered so the morning light will get it up and then moving it to a family area after sunrise will help keep the bird healthy. Simply let the sunshine in!

To avoid decreasing the birds day length, the first day when you get a new bird, put it to sleep at the same time as the seller. The next day you can change to the same total hours but not necessarily the same time of day. Lengthen the total day light hours is fine even on the first day if it is continued thereafter but never shorten a birds total day light hours as the expected result is pushing the bird into a molt unless the breeding season is over and you want your birds to molt!

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