Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Preschool - Deluxe Extension in the Sky

Stafford Mosaic Checking It Out

One Small Step For Birdie, One Giant Leap Toward Best In Show or Maybe a Higgins Trophy in Tulsa!

Time To Check Back Out! Wow What A Great Top Line, Even As He Moves!

My Turn!

Looks Like A Stafford Party Going On, We're Living Large!!

Regardless of the Correct Show Cage, Introduce Potential Show Birds First to the Open-Wire Border Show Cage - Principle Seven

Once chicks are five weeks old, they can begin preschool show training. On the first exposure, place green and bread in the show cage and a seed mix on the bottom. Securely hang the show cage to your birds cage at waist to head high level.

My first goal was to get the birds to enter the show cage. They are very easy to train to do this because just seeing the treats, they will venture into the cage just to get a bite.

These pictures were taken around noon last Sunday when I first attached the Border show cage to this flight of Stafford canaries. Within minutes the first bird was checking it out and then more and more became curious until the show cage was full but even when many birds entered the cage at the same time, there was no fighting. By the next morning, every trace of greens and bread were gone.

With the first goal accomplished, the second goal was for the birds to enjoy hopping back and forth. Now that the only treat is regular seed on the floor. The most attractive thing about the show cage is the fun it is to move in and out and hop back and forth. The fact that they like their cage swings also helps them to like moving between perches. By the second day, most of the birds are enthusiastic about the show cage and not at all timid like the first day. Without greens or bread treats in the show cage, usually only one or two birds enter at a time.

Today I started goal three which is get them comfortable with my head close to the cage. I talk calmly to them as I approach the cage and I think by tomorrow they will let my head get pretty close without spooking. The higher the show cage is hung, the less threatening. This cage is hung at shoulder level.

Once they are comfortable with my head, I will start showing them my hands and eventually I will be directing them to hop back and forth when I move my hands. Since many are comfortable with eating a bite of bread from my hand while I am still putting it between the wires, this will go much easier than if they were not already somewhat tame.

In preparation for the next phase, I will then place a drinker in the cage and once they drink from it, they will be ready to have me separate the cage from the flight and move it to various places in the room and finally close to the full spectrum lights.

Once we are finished with molt, I will introduce the correct three sided show cage. Even if you are not planning to show your bird, get a border cage and see how much they love their cage extension and living large!

Check my comments to this blog for border cage sources.

Critical Concept: For birds that show in three sided cages, start their training in open wire border cages!

1 comment:

Linda Hogan said...

I had an e-mail question regarding where to get border cages. The very nicest are hand made by Ernest Coo, 7601 Ogden Rd. S.E.m Calgary, Alberta Canada. His phone is 403-279-0393 or 403-236-2402. He usually brings cages and perches to sell at the national cage bird show which is in Tulsa, OK this year but place your order with Ernie in advance.
I also get some nice hand made ones from England but these have been sent to me by breeders there. You could check the Border Convention Journal.
I have bought a border manufactured one from ABBA which is fine for cage extension use but these are not nearly so nice.