Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Gotta Question or Tip For Big Bird?

Post your questions or tips to this post.
 See comments

Questions: Going light, Preparing white birds for show, Rapeseed oil, ivermectin, feather picking


Anonymous said...

Is there any reliable way of counteracting "going light"?

Linda Hogan said...

The most reliable way to counteract going light is prevention.

First keep a watchful eye out for birds acting timid or dumpy or wide tails as they are high risk for going light. If you note any of those early signs, separate them from the rest that appear healthy.

Second separate male and females and if you can't tell the sex, separate thin ones from fatter more aggressive ones.

Third cage the thin ones in individual cages if possible. If not possible cage thin ones together.

Fourth feed them fattening foods such as sunflower chips and bread and drop the protein level.

Five feed them avigain which contains vitamins, high fat, and a lactobacillus probiotic.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,
Soon we will start preparing our birds for the coming bird shows. Last year I have heard from some experienced breeders that they wash their white bird borders with a special stuff that they mix with water to make their feathers look more brilliant white. Have you got any idea of what it might be or if you use anything in particular to enhance the white feather? When I asked them what it was they just wouldn't want to say and avoid the question politely..some breeders are not helpful to novices..it's a pity!

Anonymous said...

Have you ever fed rape seed oil to your birds? Do you think it's good for them during the moult to boost up their feather colour in a natural way?

Linda Hogan said...

The first thing about preparing white birds for show is to not expose them to any coloring that may accidentally get on the feathers around their beak. Avoid newspaper print and greens on white birds.

Washing with a very dilute of selsun blue is some times used to make white birds dazzling white under the show stage lights. Others have used products that are meant for washing white dogs.

Linda Hogan said...

I feed my birds quite a bit of cous cous made up with a generous amount of olive oil and poppy seed during breeding and molting season. It helps fatten them and perhaps give them some feather luster.

At times I am out of olive oil and substitute canola oil.

Anonymous said...


For ivermectin, do you use 1ml of the one used for cattle with the 1% concentration in drinking water as so far all pharmacies I went to were against using ivermectin for canaries?


Anonymous said...

During my last breeding season i had a problem with some hens picking feathers from their chicks. I have done everything to avoid this to no avail. On the 14th day i give them the second nest with an abundance of jute and also pieces of tissue and even cotton so that the hen won't pick on her babies. I also tried to remove the nest on the cage floor and place her second nest in her original place. I tried with a cock in the same cage and even without him. I had one hen in particular that even when i placed the chicks in another cage to feed them through the bars she still wanted to pick on them. She did it with so eagerness that she would look like she wants to go through the bars to get those feathers. It's such a pity to see the chicks sometimes even with blood. My question is this..Does she do this cause she is lacking of some minerals in particular or maybe lack of protein in her diet or something else? When i notice her behavior i see that the hen 'chew' the stem of the feather and then off for another one..What is your opinion in this regard? Thanks

Linda Hogan said...

Ivermectin: google this blog search for mites and you will find the excellent article by veterinarian Dr. Jim Sillers and his dose is 1 cc to a quart.

Linda Hogan said...

Hens pluck feathers from young because they want to nest again too quickly. They are overstimulated to lay before they finish raising a nest. Make sure you are not over feeding vitamin E.

I offer a second nest at 14 days with nesting material. I place it side by side to the original. Usually the chicks will change nests and make more room before they leave the nest at about 18 days.

You have tried separating through the wire and letting the cock feed them.

Most smaller canaries can be weaned at 21 days. I separate them when I see them eat their first bite to a small cage with no perches.

Foods that they will eat at 18 days include 1/4 hard boiled egg and white foods such dishes of dry handrearing formula. I also offer nestling eggfood and a variety but they will start with the egg and handrearing food.

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda, I am trying to get some Ivermectin. locally I can get only 1 litre from the farm supply store.

Any idea where I can buy a small bottle
(100 ml or so )
thanks Peter

Linda Hogan said...

You should be able to buy 25 ml size on line. Google ivomec

Linda Hogan said...

It should be a product that does not have any additional active ingredients. I use the injectable (10 mg/ml) cattle but the pig one I believe is similar to the cattle one. I have not used it but I understand a water-soluble preparation designed for horses is available. Check with your vet.