Thursday, December 31, 2009

Canary Tales Blog Finishes Its First Year!

A big thank you to all of you bloggers who have shared my bird life this past year! I look forward to 2010 and only hope that as you click, can you believe its over 35,511 site visits, that you feel the same love for canaries that I feel!

A special thank you for all your feedback and encouragement! This is the cover for a card that I received yesterday from Enrique Pouce, President of North American Border Club, for a Happy Holiday Season and a special wish for a Happy New Year and a Great Breeding Season!

I not only look forward to breeding season but it is also basketball time and my beloved Kansas Jayhawk's, ranked number 1 nationally, just scored their 50th consecutive home win!

Seems like when the Jayhawk's play, it is about the only time in my day when I focus on something other than birds! (But then again, isn't a Jayhawk a bird?) :-)

Number 4, Sherron Collins made me so happy this year when he decided to come back to play Kansas basketball his senior year rather than go to the NBA.

But can you believe just how quickly freshman Xavier Henry is stealing my heart!

Tonight I plan on celebrating quietly by the fireplace with a cup of sugar-free hot chocolate and ponder over show results and breeding records getting ready for the up coming breeding season.

Wishing you a Happy New Year and a Great Breeding Season!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Removing Feather Cysts

On rare occasions, you may notice that a birds feathers are not lying smoothly but rather arch up just slightly. Note the feathers near the wing butt in this bird. (Click on photos for a closer look.)

When you examine more closely, you may notice an odd thick soft feather that is coming out with difficulty, crooked, and out of line.

If it has broken through the skin, when you touch it, even slightly, it starts coming out of the feather shaft. If it has not broken through the skin, it is more difficult to remove as it will require a small incision through the skin.

Once the cyst is starting to come out, you will see some bleeding.

Be sure and get the whole cyst and then apply some pressure over the site to stop the bleeding.

Once the bleeding has stopped, you can treat the site with iodine and return the bird to its cage. Notice how soft and downy these mosaic feathers appear. No wonder they can not break through the skin.

If the single cyst is not removed promptly, other feather cysts will become involved. Here is an example of two adjacent cysts.

Even two cysts are easily removed with minimal bleeding. Even though this bird is a not a mosaic, its feathers are noticeably wide and soft.

Here there are four cysts involved. Unfortunately, they were not seen earlier but whenever they are discovered they need to be removed as it only gets worse!

Feather cysts are commonly called feather lumps. Even if they are removed, they often reoccur, especially on the wings. The earlier you remove them, the easier and less traumatic for you and the bird. Failure to excise a cyst will mean the problem involves more and more shafts. If damage is sustained to one side of the follicle, the feather growth is asymmetrical and the feather may grow in a curled fashion inside the the follicle, resulting in a huge cyst that is totally under the skin.

Cysts can occur in any feather follicle and in some cases may involve the feather tract and can be very challenging to remove especially when under the skin or involving the tail area where they can be severe and disfiguring and may require radical excision. See your avian veterinarian for assistance removing feather cysts.

Feather cysts, although they may result from trauma to the feather shaft or feather follicle, are usually genetic and due to breeding a soft wide feather. These "soft-feathered" canaries have abnormally developed feathers that are no longer able to come in normally.

Because the type of feathering is inherited, birds with feather cysts should not be used for breeding. Although feather cysts can occur in any variety, they are more common in mosaics, glosters and norwich. Even in these prone variety the chance of feather cysts can be greatly decreased by breeding shorter narrower feathers into a line regularity.

Some breeders report, although not proven in scientific studies, improvement from adding some iodine to the water. In some cases, feeding multiple amino acids especially methionine may prevent recurrence.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Super Pet Aviary Trough Feeder Saves Seed

After eating a bit, the cock burst into song!

Dividers provides more eating spaces.

The bird photos above are some of my young Stafford breeder cocks. They are all eating from the Super Pet Aviary Trough Feeder which discourages seed scattering and waste. They really do require less feed and it is especially nice to not need to refill it for several days! I will also reduce the amount I put in the troughs once the birds are use to it. Wish I would have them when I was out of town judging bird shows this fall. It would have really made my husbands job easier.

I purchased the troughs from Aviary & Animal Pet Supply (903)785-2636 for $18 per dozen. If you are interested call Joe Henry soon, as he is going out of business 12/31/09. I also bought a pair of J pliers and clips to repair my cages and some tube brushes.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Questions For Big Bird?

Got a question that does not fit this weeks blog posts? Post this weeks questions here!


What is the benefit of feeding hemp as a conditioner?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Eve of Christmas

More Tips from Steve's Aviary

Clothes pins perches?

These wooden trays are built on the frame and are easy to fill and provide considerable eating space.

In some cages, he used abalone shell as feeding dishes.

Hen flight with abalone seed dish.

Steve puts some newspaper on the floor under the water dish to catch any spills. This helps the spills to dry and he also picks them up frequently.

His favorite egg food is ABBA green 92. He mixes a warm hard boiled egg with shell with dry ABBA green. No additional moisture is needed. It has a great consistency, light and fluffy.

For a special treat this time of year, he adds some bee pollen to the mix.

This is a neat carrying cage that is used to transport birds.

It is divided in half and has a door like this at each end.