Friday, September 19, 2014

Got A Question For Big Bird?

Questions Accepted Like: "What Does It Mean If The Caterpillar Sees His Shadow?"

(Sounds like an AMA!) Ask Me Anything!


Anonymous said...

What are birds, particularly cocks, who eat excessively and seem to crack and break up seed a lot, looking for?

Anonymous said...

Hello --

I hope you don't mind if I ask a question or two? I just bought a pair of young Fifes and hope to breed them this Spring.

I've read your very good book and some other things, but I'm still uncertain about how to deal with lighting. I'm reluctant to house my birds outside all the time, given all the warnings I’ve read about mosquitos, canary pox, and outdoor predators.

Thus, my birds are kept indoors. Their cages are in front of a large window facing southeast, but the room isn’t really bright due to tall bamboo growing across from the window. This bedroom has a ceiling mounted incandescent fixture (not very bright either); it also has a SolarTube, which is basically a small skylight that brings outside light into the room. Again, even with this skylight, I don’t think the room is particularly bright.

So, I have added some full-spectrum lights – an Ott light on one cage, and a FeatherBrite fixture that sits on top of the other.

My big question (sorry it took so long to get here!): how many hours a day should I leave the full-spectrum lights on? Some sources say to leave them on all day for canaries (following a breeding lighting calendar); others say this is would be sort of like giving the birds a sunburn, and that 2-4 hours/day is the maximum. Your thoughts? I currently leave them on for 3.5 hours/day, and notice that the birds seem to like sitting directly under the lights during that time.

Also – do I need to also bring in additional ambient lighting to make the room seem generally brighter during the daylight hours?

Sorry to be a dunce, but I want to do this right, and I’m confused!

Thanks very much.


Linda Hogan said...

I see there are several ott light and Featherbrite bulbs. Likely you selected the full spectrum ones.

During breeding season, I leave lights on all day. The total hours of daylight for my birds is 14.5, this includes and dim time.

Depending on how early I am able to get up due to my work schedule, I like to add the extra hours as much as possible in the morning but I want to be up and offering food as soon as the light comes on.

If the light goes off after normal daylight hours, use a dimmer the last half hour.
Lengthening hours by 30 minutes per week is the easy way to help bring them in.
Off season molting dim and natural hours or 9 hours per day extra lighting.

A simple light timer that you plug in keeps the hours consistent. It is critical that when we extend lighting that it is not inconsistent because we accidentally slept in on a Saturday!

Linda Hogan said...

Canaries normally crack the seed they eat unlike chickens who swallow the seeds whole.

They also like to play with the seeds and perhaps eat too much out of boredom.

I like to make the spray millet swings so if they eat excessively they are not getting fat on millet.

I also like swings especially the canary ferris wheel to give them something else to do.