Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"Caveat Emptor"

Anytime we purchase birds we are motivated by the desire to fulfill the Impossible Dream but at the same time there are always risks. As I chase my dream to produce German Rollers like I heard in Germany, I was willing to gamble to get more DKB banded birds. One bird, in front ,was dead upon arrival.

One more died within 24 hours of arrival.

One remains ill and is likely going to die. The two sick birds had dyspnea, labored gasping breathing without clicking. Third bird died two days later.

All new birds should be treated for air sac mites upon arrival. In my experience, the most effective treatment is .5 ml of Ivomec in 8 ounces of water. This is the only water for 24 hours and the treatment is repeated in 10 days. Should you have sick birds, consult your vet for assistance.

All birds must be quarantined, even without the obviously sick and dead ones to prevent disease from wiping out your other birds. The good news is that seven, although ragged appear healthy!

My aviary is attached to the house but has separate air and heating etc. My bedroom is my favorite quarantine station as I can lay on my bed and observe them for hours, hopping up frequently to nurse them!

Most of the birds are finishing a molt. Notice the pin feathers on the top of these two hens heads. (hens pictured above)

Stack of healthy birds. Number two in the stack is actually singing! He has good hollow roll and bass and a wonderful lu lu lu hollow bell.

Another showing extensive molting.

This hen is separated as she was a little thinner than the other two hens.

Closer look at the Bird immediately above.

As I want them to finish their molt, I will feed high carbs. This is cous cous with olive oil and poppy seeds. Cous cous and poppy seeds are generously coated with olive oil (calories) and boiling water added and fluffed with a fork.

With only one remaining sick, I will soon be through the rough part and dreaming again......

My granddaughter Mary pictured on the bottom row far right with blue dress, has something unbelievable to share with her ballet class about her grandmother (Big Bird)!


Anonymous said...

What is your interest so much with those DKB birds..

Anonymous said...

I was directed to your blog as novice canary person to learn and see. It was my day today to do this and see the very upsetting photos of canaries in a plastic bag. I thought perhaps I would learn something from this photo by reading the blog. I understand canaries die, as do all pets at some time. Is it really necessary to post them on a blog for all to see. Why not just say they didn't make it instead of making a spectacle of the poor things, very sad. I guess you are a breeder and not as I am a pet owner and a person wanting to learn. Good with bad always, but this is unnecessary. I'm sorry for your losses.

Linda Hogan said...

The DKB banded birds are from Germany. I have attended two of their master shows and the quality of the sound is nothing short of angelic!

The best birds there sing only their best notes with no extra. Rather than some good and some filler. The presentation is so clear that even hearing it once, will implant the tour identification in your head.

Over the years, I have bred some very good German rollers but the best in Germany are like the difference in professional and collegiate quality.

I bred to produce better birds! I love the challenge and take pride in the small steps toward that "better birds" goal that hopefully happens each year.

Each year at the shows especially, I show my birds and get not only my assessment but also a judge and other exhibitor friends evaluation to help me reach higher and higher.

There are many breeders that have the same goal and without their dreaming the impossible dream of a perfect bird, extinction would result.

In each bred, only a few people are preserving these breeds for the future.

Linda Hogan said...

The canary blog is my canary diary. I thought about whether I should share my struggles and decided to do that because first of all, many people do not realize the importance of quarantine especially when we are so excited about our new bird. Secondly, I want to share some ideas on how to work with the birds and restore them to totally healthy and breeding birds.

Normally, I would not take pictures of dead birds and yes, I think it is upsetting and probably to me more than you as I fell in love with these birds by e-mail long before their arrival! They were to be part of my better birds breeding program. I felt like crying at the airport counter when I saw the first dead bird and sobbing when I saw two more gasping for breath and knew that no matter what I did these too would die. I had to try and save them but realistically I knew my hopes were with the asymptomatic other seven birds.

I took the pictures because photos of dead birds must be e-mailed to be credited. Taking the shot of several together in the baggie shows the number which died.

I apologize for in my own grief being insensitive to the shock it might be to others. I have removed the second picture.

Anonymous said...

Over thirty years ago a neighbor of mine introduced me to Roller Canaries. He was a gruff old German and one thing he would say was "If you have livestock you will also have some dead stock".
People need to know that shipping and quarantine is extremely stressful on even the healthiest of birds. Plus you have no idea what other kind of birds were housed with yours during quarantine. My hats off to you for taking the risk of importing birds. I have no doubt that in the future other Roller breeders will benefit from offspring these remaining birds produce.

Unknown said...

I am a novice which will sart breeding this year for the first time. I have 4 pairs and one trio(i read it in your blog and decided to try).I bought some Red and bronze. My bronze pair is doing very well and the hen is sitting on 4 eggs. My first question is at what age is a hen to old to breed, and what about the cocks when are they to old? What would be the perfect age for a hen and cock to breed? I will be attending a bird show and am looking to purchase a pair of Timbrado canaries, how can I make sure i get a true Timbrado? Im fasinated with this bird. I am very grateful to have this blog thank you for all the information you share.

Linda Hogan said...

Individual birds vary in how long they are good breeders. As an average most of my four year old hens still breed but it depends on how hard they were bred in the past. I commonly breed males that are up to 6 or 8 but usually, I have gone on in the breeding plan and they are no longer important to my goals by then. I keep them anyway and occasionally breed some of them.

It is a good idea when it works out to breed one experienced with one inexperienced in the pair.

The best way to get good stock is first learn all you can about the breed. Join the specialty club and get to know the competition breeders. Get on their lists now...