Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday's Tipster - Margaret Perry Fletcher

Congratulations Margaret on being selected as this weeks Tuesday's Tipster!

Don't Act Like a Predator. Allow Your Birds Privacy.

At this time of the year, canaries are especially protective of their youngsters and may suspend feeding their babies during your stay in the bird room. Don't act like a stalking predator, intently watching and staring at them but rather I like to establish a non threatening presence by humming or singing or talking to the birds as I go about my chores in the bird room.

Usually I make inspections of a hen's nest when I clean her cage or put out fresh egg food or sprouted seed. By doing this as part of my normal daily routine I find that most hens will readily return to their nest or rush over, get a bite of food after I've looked at their eggs or babies , and then quickly return to the nest without further disruption. For best breeding success, I recommend that you minimize your time in the bird room to allow shy parents plenty of time to care for their families.

Thank You Margaret for this timely tip! The best thing we can do for our birds is to take care of them and then get out of the aviary. Growing up with a mother who raised 100 canaries a year, I believe that giving birds privacy was the very first aviary lesson my mother taught me. We would go to the aviary about three times a day but not to linger or stare but rather to feed the birds as quickly as possible and leave the aviary promptly! It is so tempting to hang out in the aviary but your birds will take care of business, if you do not threaten them and just let them do it.

Tuesday's Tipster is a regular feature of this blog. Please contribute your valuable experience by sending in your tips. Identify your e-mail by using Tuesday's Tipster as the subject, and send to canarytales@juno.com.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bird Brain Teaser

What is Canary Winking and what does it mean?

The first correct answer will be posted, so please jump in if you think you know the answer!!

Congratulation Shawn Bartlett of South Africa, You are the winner of this Bird Brain Teaser!!

See the answer by clicking on comments!

Bachelorette, Chicks, and Gator Heat Update

Sunshine Covers Wichita and the Hogan Aviary!

Outside of the ice and seven inches of snow, we escaped the major blizzard and today is gorgeous with highs today 52 and later in the week to reach 70! Normal high for now is 62. That's Kansas Weather for you!

When I came back from the NCBS board meeting in Tulsa, I found Bachelorette had laid three eggs directly on the corn cob floor. She was not even covering them with nesting material or feathers... So I foster those three eggs and the fourth she laid the next day on the floor. The chick photo is the two chicks from Bachelorette and Shocker and are doing well! One chick is variegated like Shocker and the other is clear and favors Bachelorette.

Bachelorette has recycled and built a regular nest and laid again. I was so anger with her for laying on the floor, that I promptly started her back on the weekly vitamin E in the water treatment. Hind site tells me I should have waited a week as she did recycle appropriately but it was too quick so she had the last word and only laid two eggs. From two cycles she has only laid a total of six eggs. I will slow her down a bit by letting her raise a couple of chicks and letting her and Shocker go one more time. Third time should be charm for her!!

The nest mates of yesterdays crop impacted chick are doing fine. No diarrhea, or wrinkled abdomen and I see a hint of fat being deposited under the skin on the rump and the droppings are completely normal in form and correctly encased in the normal fecal sac.

Likewise the chick that was not fluffy like his marginally fluffed nest mates on Thursday, is doing fine. I hand fed them twice a day for two days only with a thin mixture of ABBA Green 92 and tap water. Tip for hand feeding: when a chick is full, it will expel the fecal sac, do not over feed, you want the crop to empty correctly and not impact. The nest mates are now fully fluffy and the previously naked chick has some fluff especially on his rump. It will be fine without any further hand feeding.

The chick that was found on the cage floor looks exactly like his three nest mates. So everything is going well!

Gator heat has two hens, one with five chicks and the other four. Today, he is helping feed both nests! What a good papa he is!!! The top photo is Gator Heat and his hens and chicks. He has finished feeding the nest of five in the foreground and has moved to the nest of four to finish the job!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Troubles at the Hogan House

Oh no! Just how bad can it get?

Last night my beloved Kansas Jayhawks Basketball Team, led 37 of 40 minutes only to lose to the Michigan Team in the sweet sixteen! What I can savage is a hope that now with the loss, Collins and Aldrich will not jump ship to the NBA like last years national championship team! Oh well, I can't wait to see next years team!

Then another blizzard has hit. The nearest town West of Wichita, Hutchinson, has 18 inches of snow but the next town West Pratt, has 28 inches !! We have layers of sleet and then thinner layers of snow and it just keeps coming down! I work tonight at the hospital, hope I do not get snowed in.. I did once and had to work four straight 8 hour shifts before help could get in and then those who rescued us, were snowed in for three more 8 hour shifts.. Gone are my daffodils and tulips, gone are my beautiful seeding chickweed!!.. Oh well...

Yesterday evening, I noticed a chick with an unbelievable amount of egg food in its crop. On closer examination, I noticed it felt cold and clammy, the skin in the lower abdomen wrinkled and totally liquid droppings were all around the edge of the nest. There was no expected fat layer visible under the skin on the rump. The chick was literally gagging and I could see the food coming partially up into its mouth...When I palpated the crop, it was hard. I tried to empty the crop and warm the chick up but alas it was too late and the chick was dead this morning. I took all hard boiled egg away from this hen except what is in the egg food, provided a clean nest, and offered a dish of pure ABBA green 92. I had offer some romaine lettuce yesterday so I am not sure about whether it might have set this off... so no more...One more of the chicks has the wrinkled lower abdomen like dehydration but I think maybe I can save three of the four.. Just like my Jayhawks, I lost this one. Oh well....Usually, I stop the plain hard boiled egg when the chicks are banded but this hen was not feeding the egg food as well as I liked so I made a bad decision to keep her getting hard boiled egg..I will introduce pure hard boiled egg again when the first chicks leaves the nest as it is an easy way to wean the chicks...

Now this morning I found a chick on the floor. After taking a quick photo, I warmed it up in my hands and placed it back in the nest and readjusted the nest to make sure it is perfectly level and provided a perch slightly higher than the nest so the hen will fly up and any chicks will more likely fall into the nest when she takes off. This chick will likely be fine! I always warm them up before declaring them dead as when they are cold they can look dead but they are not.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Monitoring Chick Skin Tone

Keep the Chick Skin Tone Desert Rose Pink!

In addition to the chicks being fluffy, their skin tone is another clue to their health. As they grow daily, the chick skin tone should become more and more rosy pink color that I would describe as desert rose pink. This indicates that the chicks are progressing on target with no hitches! (The top picture of yesterdays post shows a very nice rosy pink color on the center bird. The top bird, in the top picture, is showing some melanin skin pigment and should not to be confused with the abnormal red color.)

Sometimes, when the diet is too rich, chicks develop an unhealthy bright red skin tone, usually apparent around banding time. Should you see redness in the chicks skin tone, don't wait for it to get worse, take immediate action and cut the hard boiled egg, make sure that you have not added extra sugar to your usually good egg food recipe, and dilute the egg food 1/2 again with ABBA green 92 and offer a dish of plain ABBA green 92. In addition, offer greens such as broccoli if the chicks have been banded.

You can expect red skin chicks and maybe even the hen to develop diarrhea! The hen's breast feathers may become soiled with fecal material. Although she initially stuffed her chicks, after developing diarrhea, she is not likely to feed her chicks. Sometimes you find, even though she is sick she is feeding. Unfortunately, you may find a stuffed chick, the largest one, dead in the nest. Its crop did not empty.

Live chicks have another problem, their vents can be sealed with an almost invisible coat of fecal material. I have seen the coating so invisible that you had to peel it off with you finger nail to even see it is there! The nest will be soiled and needs to be changed and each chick's vent examined, and washed with warm water, and massaged to be sure that it is indeed open and not sealed shut! Looking at the chick's abdomen is also a clue as you will see fecal material backed up that is long overdue to be expelled. As the chicks worsen, they become very dehydrated and their skin will not only look red but it will feel sticky!

Should the droppings have a foul odor, the problem is not simply too rich of food but is a bacterial infection likely with E. coli and will require antibiotics that are effective against gram negative bacteria. Make sure there are no mice or rats fecal contamination in the food or aviary. Make sure that the water is fresh and not delivered from holding tanks or garden hose. Make sure that you always remember to wash your hands with soap and dry your hands thoroughly before entering the aviary and handling eggs or chicks as fecal bacteria like E. coli are part of the normal human intestinal flora and you could be the source of the bacteria! Take care of any sick birds last and wash up again with soap and water frequently. Unfortunately, once you detect the foul smell the chicks and maybe the hen, will likely die....and you sure don't want to spread this around the aviary...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Fluffy Hatchlings

Observing when chicks are not fluffy is a heads up for saving chicks!

The top photo is a nest of five chicks which hatched this morning, all curled up in a ball. Notice how fluffy they appear and what a nice rosy pink color. These chicks are doing fine and outside of adding three plastic eggs to the nest because the nest is a little too flat, no intervention is necessary. Just privacy is all they need! (Remember the Stafford cock called Gator Heat from the contest, he is the proud papa! The other hen in the cage currently has three chicks but may hatch another one or two.)

The middle photo is three German roller chicks two which are marginally fluffy (hatched this morning, I prefer the fuzz to stick straight out), but one is not fluffy (chick hatched yesterday) and its color is a little more yellow in places like the wing butt and frontal part of the head. Its back is sunken in like it is getting emaciated. The first 24 hours, the chick can live on the absorbed yolk, but after that mom must feed it.

The emaciated roller chick is not being feed and if it is to be saved, I will need to give it a couple of hand-feedings a day for a couple of days. For hand feeding, I make a very liquid mixture of just ABBA green 92 (ABBA Products) and warm tap water (bottom photo). I use two toothpicks to deliver the food to the chicks. You can see in the photo some food in its crop as I have just finished feeding it. I first learned this trick when I was first learning to breed borders and it works fantastic and is so simple to use.

To get the chick to eat you can jiggle the nest a bit or I like to touch it in the upper neck region immediately below the beak. I just gently touch the chicks neck and move my finger gently up to the beak. It is amazing how that touch and movement toward the beak makes them open their beak!

If gentle massage from the upper neck to the beak doesn't work, it is because the chick is in real danger of dying, I then will pry the mouth open with my fingernail. Sometimes it takes me and my husband to get that one sickly chick feed, one to pry the mouth open and one to use the two toothpicks to scope food into the chick's mouth! Even these chicks, that are too weak to open their mouth, can be saved. I try to intervene before it gets to that point however.

Overall, I much prefer the mother to feed the chicks! They grow much better when she feeds but I also intervene when she fails to feed an adequate amount because after a couple of days of my supplimenting, she will likely feed adequately. Till the chicks are banded she gets the 1/4 quarter hard boiled egg and egg food but no greens. If she will feed even a bite or two of the hard boiled eggs, the chicks will thrive! If I see the hen is eating the hard boiled egg, I know she is likely feeding it to her chicks!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Red Hot Momma - My Tuesday's Tip

Fully Conditioned Hen

Whow! Look at this hen! What a brood patch, red hot abdomen and so many extra visible blood vessels over it! This is a hen who is in full condition before laying a single egg!

I attribute this primarily to feeding. I have been subtly giving the hens more suggestions that breeding is coming. My latest addition was to feed Harrison's high potency mash (www.harrisonsbirdfoods.com) mixed 50/50 with petamine breeding formula, to all the birds: those needing conditioning for breeding and those sitting or feeding chicks with the only exception being any obese cocks, as it is pretty fattening.

I would normally have used this trick as soon as the cocks were ready but trying not have the hens come in while I was gone to the NCBS board meeting, I held off a bit! But whow, what an effect it made when I was finally ready for them to come into full breeding condition.

Tuesday's Tipster is a regular feature of this blog. Please help me out by sharing your tip with us! Send you tip with Tuesday's Tipster in the subject line to canarytales@juno.com.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Eggs-pert Audience Participation Fourth Round!

Fourth Eggs-pert Game: What do you think about the unusually large egg in this nest? What caused the unusually large egg?

Bonus Round: Yesterday, I notice that one of the four new Stafford chicks, the one in the center of the photo who has a black cap, does not have any fuzz on the top of its head? In fact, it is slightly raised on top and has a very small pin point indent in the very center of the dome. What about that?

Please participate and post your comment to this blog posting by 10 am Tuesday central time zone. I get lonely when I don't hear from you. Anxiously awaiting your response......

Congratulation to Tom Ressel winner of the fourth tournment round! Check the post comment for the answer!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Announcing an Upcoming Easter Parade!

In Your Easter Bonnet is the Theme of an Upcoming Canary Blog Parade!

Join in the fun by submitting photos of canaries which have naturally adorned heads such as crests, topknots, caps, or frills.

Take a shot down on the head so that we can see the crest shape if that is needed to identify the canary type.

Identify the type of canary and give your name. Send to canarytales@juno.com and put Easter Bonnet in the subject line. Early submissions are appreciated but the final deadline for parade entries is April 10th. Multiple entries are accepted from the same canary fancier if they are of different kinds of canaries.

Success of our parade depends on many people participating. I anxiously await your parade entry!

Cover Girl Bird photo taken by Paul Putz and is from the DKB /AZ Farben- und Positurkanarienstandard.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

An Then There Were Four!

Chicks Continue Hatching!

At 14:-00 yesterday, immediately before I left for work, I checked the new chick and was delighted to see that two more chicks had hatched. This morning the fourth chick hatched, so looks like I was lucky as all four chicks hatched in a 24 hour period! It is not uncommon for the hen to wait a bit to start sitting and to get her full incubation temperature. When that happens, the chicks will hatch within 24 hours. It could have gone the other way, with chicks hatching over two to four days, so again the luck of the Irish was with me!

The photo shows a chick that is 1/2 out of the shell. I carefully helped him the rest of the way out. Should there be any drying of the shell to the chick, loosen with a tiny bit of water to avoid damaging the chick!

It also shows an extra 1/2 shell still in the nest. This needs to be removed as it can easily piggy-back onto another egg and prevent that egg from hatching.

There was one egg that was infertile. I leave infertile eggs in the nest till the chicks are bigger to help protect the chicks from the mother sitting too tight and squashing them. I also added a plastic egg so the four chicks are protected from getting buried in the center.

Yesterday, I offered the hen egg food and 1/4 of a hard boiled egg. I observed her eating the hard boiled egg yolk and that is a very good sign she will feed the chicks. Fresh food was again offered before I went to work. If I am off, I offer fresh food three times a day. This morning, I put out fresh egg food and 1/4 quarter hard boiled when the light came on. I think getting in the aviary and feeding those extras to any hen with chicks makes all the difference in how easy it is to get the chicks to thrive. I also noted this morning that one chick had food in its crop and the chicks were fluffed out evenly. This is a sign that they are being fed. Their color was a good rosy pink.

The very best thing I can do besides offering fresh food is to give the hen her privacy! She will feed naturally if I leave her alone! That means spending the least amount of time in the aviary possible but also avoiding eye contact with the hen when I am in the aviary!

Friday, March 20, 2009

First Chick and Other Aviary Happenings!

Aviary News Bulletin

Today, the very first chick, a Stafford, hatched! It has a good pink color (not a problem yellow color) but the challenge is still to come. As you recall, two weeks ago, I went out town and was not able to gather eggs daily, so I expect the chicks are going to hatch over several days...

On a brighter note, two rose brown hens, starting fighting over the same nest. It was resolved by placing their nests side by side. Also a shot of two border hens nesting peacefully in the same flight.

Eggs-pert Audience Participation Third Round!

If yesterday hen, who laid the abnormal eggs and actually laid three ugly eggs and one with no shell at all, is a DUD, what about the cock, is he also a DUD?

Compare the pictures of unincubated egg yolks. The bottom two photos are a comparison of unincubated unfertile (immediately above the bottom photo) and fertile eggs (bottom photo) in a much larger bird variety (probably a chicken) and are from Avian Medicine: Principles and Application by Ritchie, Harrison and Harrison.

The four top photos are all different shots of the same unicubated ugly egg pictured yesterday. (Be sure and click on each photo to enlarge the details.) It is much easier to see the spot in the ugly egg than it is to photograph it!

Please Jump in and send your comments to this blog post before 10 am tomorrow!!

Click on the comment for the answer! It is important to evaluate every egg that is not productive and learn from it!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Eggs-pert Audience Participation Second Round!

What is your opinion of these eggs? What should be done?

It was great hearing from you'll. Good luck in the second round! Please, Jump in and give your opinion before 10:00 am tomorrow.

Check out the best blogger comment!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Eggs-pert Audience Participation Very First Game!!

Are these good eggs or bad eggs?

Jump in and give me your thoughts, please!! This will be fun, but only if you participate...The best of the answers, received within 24 hours will be posted, so please send your entry as a comment to this blog post. I have a few days of this egg-citing game planned so jump in early and often, please!!

Today's Game: Compare these two clutches.

The top full clutch of five beautiful glossy eggs belong to a Stafford pair, where the hen is ready to be set today, to the bottom dull looking Border eggs that I am in the process of collecting, the third egg being laid this morning.

Check out the comments to see the BEST of the Bloggers!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Wearin' of the Green Contest Winner

1 st Runner-Up: A special recognition to Evon Cauley who correctly identified and classified four of the five birds!

Bonnie writes: (click on the underline birds to review each bird)

My best opinion is

Bird #1 is Fife, yellow, green, self or foul.

Bird #2 is a Scot Fancy, Green, self or foul (possibly buff).

Bird #3 is Old Crest-Bred, self or foul.

Bird #4 is Mosaic, Type 1 Female, Gold Opal

Bird #5 Border, buff (probably) variegated hen.

La' Fheile Padraig Dhuit!!

Happy St. Patrick Day!!

The scenic pictures were taken on my trips to Ireland. Portbradden, the hamlet in picture one, has the smallest church in Ireland. I can not remember its exact size but something in 12' x 15' foot size.

Donegal is a part of Ireland that is least visited by American tourists but is probably the most ruggedly scenic part of the country. While most tourists flock to the west and southwest of Ireland, Donegal remains undiscovered and hopefully will continue to be.

Glendalough has been a religious site since about the year 800 A.D. and has a magical quality about it. If you are fortunate enough to be able to visit the site, be sure and walk to the upper lakes.

Patrick O'Hogan

Tuesday Tipster-Shawn Bartlett

Congratulation Shawn on being selected as Tuesday's Tipster

Shawn's Tip: Vitamin E - so easily overdone!

Since you all are going into breeding season, here's a tip from me whose breeding season ends in December every year. (Shawn is from South Africa!)

Two years ago, I learned a very hard lesson. Being eager to breed my Border canaries, I went about conditioning them ever so diligently. They were getting the best food I could feed, temperature and lighting controlled by sunrise and extra time after sunset. I was giving extras about one extra per day and the birds were responding very well.

Being even more excited to breed the best Borders I have ever had (at that time) I heard many of the "Veterans" around me talking about extra Vitamin E. The best way was to coat the seed with it and then the condition advanced quickly. So true that ended up being. I quickly added 10/ 15 ml oil (blend of Evening Primrose, Garlic,Cod liver and Wheat Germ oils) to about 5kg seed. This was fed to all birds everyday from about 6/7 weeks of breeding.

Hens responded especially quickly and set about making nests and promising a wonderful season. They did not lose breast feather or get red though. Cock birds were also coming on strong. At last I could not hold them back any longer and decided that it was time to pair the lot. First signal was the cock birds' aggression: They basically attacked the even squatting hens as they did not want to go through the romancing steps - they wanted to get down to business and NOW! The hens were fantastic, very accommodating on the strong advances of the cock birds etc. They invited mating very regularly built the most beautiful nests and laid their eggs. Then two or three hens did something peculiar. They simply lost interest in what appeared to be full fertile clutches. I was confused. The eggs felt cold to touch by the time I got home, but I tried all the same to foster. The first two/ three hens settled down and within 3 days of deserting decided that they wanted to go to nest again. They started shuffling in corners and not paired would lay eggs anyhow. The eggs I fostered, were simply deserted by the foster hens a day later and almost every hen would sit for two to three days, lose incubation temperature and then desert! I was so despondent - this was my first round - the pick of the litters! All gone and all fertile eggs!!!!

Within the same week the hens would recycle and then lay again, sit for two or three days and desert. It was clear that they were only interested in mating (to the delight of the cock birds) and laying eggs like chickens! I started to take stock as to what the reasons for this could be. The birds were in tip top condition, good vents on the cocks, hens inviting mating, building their nests and laying within a week - these are excellent signs of breeding condition! Then one day in my despondency, I again saw a cock bird taking a hen to task - but like seriously fighting with her. I got mad at him and grabbed him and put him in another cage. He immediately started singing his head off dancing on the perch as if he were sky high! Then it suddenly dawned on me:- the aggression in the cock birds and the sterling hen behavior were in line with vitamin E overdose. The fact that the hens were losing incubation temperature was also a tell tale sign and their incessant calling for mating was another sign.

I changed the diet towards the end of the second round and stopped all vitamin E - voila! All sanity returned! Unfortunately, I had already lost all the fertile eggs and so much time. Oh well, that's what breeding canaries is all about - a friend of mine always says, save the sawdust for the aviary floor, and not the cages, cause every breeder cries many tears for mistakes we make with the birds!

Thanks so much Shawn for this excellent tip! Overdosing on vitamin E, when the amount used is left up to luck and not an exact measured dose, is unfortunately way too common!

Tuesday's Tipster is a regular feature of this blog! Send you tip to canarytales@juno.com and use Tuesday's Tipster in the subject line. Please contribute!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Wearin' of the Green Special Contest-Fifth Bird

A special thank you to Colm Southern, County Wicklow....60 miles south of Dublin, Ireland who submitted the fantastic photo of one of his show stopping hens, raised in his own shed, one of 13 chicks bred from one pair of 100% Warne stock! He also submitted a scan of the front cover of Cage Birds from 1910...yes its 99 years old showing two prize winning Irish birds and shamrocks to boot!!

This is the final bird in the contest. Submit your contest entry prior to 10 am (Central time zone) March 17th...Please give it your best shot, I'd love to hear from you.. If you are unsure about a bird, consult your friends, maybe they can offer a hand up!! Luck of the Irish to you and all the friends you need!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ides of March: Beware of Canary Myopia Syndrome

Trouble in the Aviary!

It seems like I have been plagued with a fatal case of canary myopia! Yesterday, I thought having three German Roller super breeding ready cocks get loose in the aviary was kinda fun. They would fly around and hang on the hens cages and sing their breeding song. I was thinking that if my flax seed and vitamin B failed, these cocks would really get those hens hot!!

I'll catch them tomorrow...I even took a moment to remember a good trick that I have used on occasion, where I placed a super cock, singing boisterously, under a cage where a timid cock was not singing or feeding his hen. When the hen hears the super cock, she invites mating, and then the timid cock takes advantage of the situation and mates with her. I have used this trick with Norwich and occasionally Borders when the cock would not initiate mating. Usually the super cock was a German Roller and the hens were Norwich or Borders. My mind was wondering if this would work if the cock was flying loose instead on in a cage??

With all these canary thoughts dancing around in my head, I left the aviary not even considering what effect loose canaries might have on my husband's sprouting heirloom tomato seeds which are also in the aviary! Myopia had truly struck!!

This morning, when I went in the aviary, I was still thinking about how I really should catch the cocks but still thinking how much I enjoyed seeing them loose. I was shocked back into reality when I started watering my husband's heirloom tomato newly sprouted seeds! What happened to the leaves, I saw leaves on them yesterday? Oh no, my cute super cocks have eaten the new tomato leaves and left just the stems!!

Only a few sprouting seeds remain but I will salvage those and plant some more, we have only lost about 7 to 10 days...Oh well.... and my husband says its not canary myopia that I suffer from, its really canary insanity!

Wearin' of the Green Special Contest-Fourth Bird

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Kick It Up A Notch!

Getting the Hens Hotter!

Although the cocks are coming along nicely, the hens are still not exhibiting red hot bare abdomens. I can't control the weather which has been extremely dry, no spring rains yet, and extreme temperature variation from setting a record high at 86 degrees F to a few snow flakes. First its hot and then its cold, what's a girl to do? When its hot, its full speed ahead, and when its cold they back off and a few even skip a day laying!

To counter balance the go and stop weather signals, I had added a couple of more good tricks. Some flax seed were added to the seed mix. Flax seed is one of highest known seed sources of linolenic acid (an Omega-3-fatty acid), which is important for feather luster when fed during the molt. It also contains phytosterols which enhance breeding condition. On the downside, as an oily seed it is fattening and overdosing with flax seed will cause diarrhea. I actually had a e-mail once regarding birds with uncontrolled diarrhea, the dark part of the dropping was totally liquid. Investigation revealed that the only seed the breeder was feeding was flax seed!

The second thing I added was World Organic Brand, multiple B vitamins in the water. I get these from the health food store and will containing making the water yellow colored through the molt. Being water soluble, you do not need to be concerned about overdosing with them.

Once the hens abdomens are really hot, and they are paired, I will up the wheat products, wheat germ mixed 50/50 with petamine and more cous cous in the egg food. Wheat products encourage laying but it is useless for the hen to lay heat eggs, we want her to invite mating and lay fertile eggs!

Wearin' of the Green Special Contest-Third Bird

Thank you Robert Wild for sending in the bird's photo.