Friday, October 30, 2015

David and Edith Benites Bird Room

On Sunday after the San Diego Show,  David and Edith showed me their bird room and I got another look at their big show winners and many beautiful birds which could have been shown!

Cobalt - Best New Color and Best Colorbred in Show

Bronze - Best Melanin

Among his many bird projects, David is trying to develop his green, blue and bronze lines. Note striations width and even clear to the beak.

They raise a number of Spanish Timbrados.
Yellow Lipochrome
Red Lipochrome

The aviary is full of beautiful birds of many kinds! See more birds and accessories: and I brought home a number of perches and a nest cover to try.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Questions For Big Bird? Birds Coming Out of Quarantine


What do I need to have on hand to best care for some new birds coming out of quarantine?


First, it is critical to try and prevent problems. Upon arrival immediately treat with Dr. Rob Marshall's (Laraine S76 on the first two days followed by two consecutive days of Dr. Rob Marshall's  KD powder.  S76 treat not only air sac mites but also normal bird body mites that can build up under stressful situations and lead to illnesses. After the first treatment, a second two consecutive treatment is given a week later. Bird with air sac mites should receive a third treatment after an additional week. All birds should receive the two consecutive day treatment during warm weather and once a month the rest of the year.

S76 will kill red and northern mites, airsac mites, deplumbing (feather) mites, blood parasites (Microfloria), blood sucking lice, flies, and roundworms. It is effective in treating Acaria spp. Spiruroid worms and gizzard worms.

KD powder helps birds develop their natural immunity and is active against Strep, E. coli, Thrush, fungus and virus infections. Continue using it weekly till breeding season preparation. At that time, continue on cocks but I do not use it on hens that are laying or setting (I think it has a negative effect on the hens incubation temperature and have used it to stop hens from sitting when they refuse to give up nesting). I use KD daily the first week once their chicks hatch to prevent crop infections in newborn chicks and settling the hens stomach so she keeps feeding.

Second, outside of mites, the second most common problem is soft molt. It is prevented by using some World Organic brand liquid multiple B vitamins in the water with regular vitamins on days not giving S76 or KD and by immediately feed high carb diet (canary seed, oats, white bread) and very low protein (no hard boiled or oily seeds).

Third, if the birds are ill, treat with enrofloxin (baytril) available from lady gouldian finch. I had quite a time with my last imports being so sick, it is all on the blog.

Fourth, have some lugol's iodine or vanodine available to treat foot infections.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Questions For Big Bird? Soiled vent


Some of my borders have soiled vents. What can I do to stop it?


Some borders are especially sensitive to oily seeds. Stop oily seeds and in 24 hours the problem will likely stop. The best seed is canary seed and should be the primary one in their diet. Supplementing with lower oil seed such as untreated grass seed and Blatner's Siskin seed mix will agree with the birds.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Gain A Competive Edge For Showing Birds

This time of year focus is on showing our birds. We want our birds to be in peak pre-breeding condition.


Over the summer total day exposure to light was dropped to 9 hours per day to reset our birds  light sensitivity. Lengthen light exposure and birds sensitivity to the change is one of the most important factors to condition our birds for breeding when optimal day length is 14.5 hours. Show day length should start at a minimum of 10 hours and not be more than 10.5 hours by the end of show season. This keeps the birds with best confirmation which they lose when they come into breeding condition.

If your day length is less than 10 hours increase day length by 15 - 30 minutes per week to reach 10 hours. If you are on more than 10 hours, leave it the way it is as dropping the light can precipitate a molt.


Birds lose weight when they are shown. Birds that are too thin should stay home and be fattened with an additional 1/4 soft white bread placed between the cage bars daily and some hulled sunflower chips (pieces) added to their seed mix.

A couple of shows and moderately fat birds will look about right. To hasten weight loss, feed untreated grass seed, Blatner's Siskin mix, millet, or petamine if available.


I like to give the same additive in the water for two consecutive days. I rotate with Boost 250 dog vitamins, BioDecken optimix metabolism (trace minerals) and Dr. Rob Marshall's KD Powder over the weekend. Once a month, I give Dr. Rob Marshall's S76 on two consecutive days. S76 treats various mites including normal ones that live of a bird and only get out of hand when the birds are stressed. Even if your birds are in great condition, after 24 hours they will look even better, piped tails tighten feathers, look at me attitude! I have a recent post (August 7, 2015) concerning S76 and while at the San Diego Show, I asked if anyone had tried S76 as I recommended. Mike responded he had and it was just as I said, an unbelievable positive change in all his birds, even the ones that looked very good already!


Show diet should be primarily canary seed and dry perle morbide (available from Laraine at lady gouldian, see blog).

For daily extra, I make up cous cous with some coconut oil and moistens with water, moistened perle morbide, thawed frozen peas and plain dry nestling food for the right not too wet consistency.


Tame birds show best. An easy way to tame them is 1/4 slice soft white bread placed between the wire. After a couple days they look for it when you approach the cage and a few more days they will approach to get a bite while it is still in your hand!

Show cages should be attached to the birds regular cage so they can enter at will. I prefer to start all birds with Border cages and then move later the last week to their show cages which may have solid backs.

Be sure an expose the birds to strong light like they will experience on the show bench. Birds can lose confirmation when under the bench lights. Winners keep their form, even as they move on the bench!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fort Worth Fiorino Frill - Exhibited by Joseph Mikhailian

One of the highlights of the Fort Worth Texas Show was this Lovely Fiorino.

(Unfortunately, my pictures were accidentally erased before download so if you have pictures from the show please e-mail to me at

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Finally An Answer For Infertility - Artificial Insemination Kit for Canary and Finch Breeders - Andrea Cabibi

An ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION KIT for Canary and Finch Breeders has finally been produced!  The kit includes all the equipment needed to bring artificial insemination into your Bird Room and includes a detailed and fully illustrated book with all the instructions.  Video of all the techniques is also provided. Andrea has been developing these techniques over the last several years.  It has been FANTASTICALLY effective, especially with her Norwich canaries, and at her job in the zoo saving endangered bird species.  The instructions are easy to follow and you don't need anything other than the Artificial Insemination Kit.

Andrea has been working as a manager in zoos in the USA, Canada and Britain for over 33 years, specializing in breeding birds and endangered species.  She has worked with over 400 different species of birds and animals.  She was specially trained to perform artificial insemination in birds in Washington, DC and went on to manage the artificial insemination program for cranes in San Diego.  She has spent several years developing this Artificial Insemination Kit and perfecting artificial insemination in canaries and finches so that she can share these skills with all her fellow canary and finch breeders.

Contact Andrea Cabibi by email at if you are interested in purchasing a kit and learning this skill. She also has a website

NEW CHECK OUT YOU TUBE Artificial Insemination for Canary and Finch Breeders (Andrea Cabibbi)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Any Interest in Perle Morbide Blanco?

Hello Linda,
I have been asked if I can get the Blanco Perle Morbide in stock. I just spoke to my supplier and they said that they do have it but need to do the pricing for me as it apparently will be different than the green version. If you don't mind, could you ask on your Canary Tales blog if there are any other canary breeders here in the US that would be interested in using the Blanco. I'm trying to figure out how much to order in once they get me the pricing.
Just like before, if anyone is interested, they can reach me at
Thanks again for all your help.