Monday, February 7, 2011

Border Breeder Report & Tips From Donald Sanders

Donald is a Border Breeder in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Being in the Southern Hemisphere, their canary breeding season is six months ahead of ours. His birds have started moulting now! Isn't it great to hear a heads up report from him!

Traditional long hair cats (Chinchilla Longhair).They live in Donald's bird room without any problems.

Sprouted seed after 60 hours and which has been washed and patted dry.Will be ready for use at 5am tomorrow morning.

Sprouted seed 1:-3 bottles -from the right new dry seed ,middle soaked and sprouted 24 hours and extreme left the bottle that has sprouted for 48 hours.The blue bottle is the bleach (2 tablespoons) that I put into the seed. The water I use over the sprouted seed is hot water from the tap. This has worked well for me -no fungal growth.If you look at the 3 bottles I use the one one the right first has no water but only the bleach and then I fill it up as shown. The bottle holds about 300ml water when filled only with water.

Donald writes:

Thanks for all the good tips, they really paid off this year! I bred 86 (Border) chicks from 20 hens. It has been so good to see all these chicks and how well the borders fed.

All the people in SA that used the Border Veggie with Breedmax (Belgium) had good breeding results. Breedmax
recommends using 10 grm(1 scoop) for every 150 grams of soft food/Border veggies- it is used every Day as I start to breed I use 10 grms to 100 grms of soft food/Border Veggies.

I do not need to feed any extra calcium but always keep a bottle of liquid calcium handy. If I see that the hen is fluffed up after the second or third egg I then put 2 drops down the beak.Within the hour she has passed the egg and there are no further problems.

The soft food I used was Orlux yellow dry mixed with Border veggies(minus soya) for the feeding hens, the cocks and non incubating or hens that have not laid only BV(Border Veggies) . I use ground soya and this has made the BV very easy. I grate the Broccoli and caulflower. I prepare about (dry)2 cups of ground soya each Sunday. Once it has been soaked and dried (in a towel) I weigh equally amounts for each day. This is stored in the deep freeze. Daily, one pack is removed from deep freeze and allowed to thaw in the fridge. Broccoli and Cauliflower is put into all the food with the appropriate amount of Breedmax put over it.

Once the hen has laid her 1st egg, she does not get any of the above. I normally give her a bit of soft food and 1/4 boiled egg on the morning the chicks hatch.

I feed BV every day for the whole breeding season to the cocks that I run, the other that are in pairs are fed a finger draw full every morning.To all of this I put in 2 cups of sprout seed (2kg black sunflower,1 kg wheat,1kg mung beans and 1 kg black rape)

We do put 2 drops of wheatgerm oil into the cocks beak 2-3 times a week. The wheat germ is one that I buy from a co-op that sells animal and cattle food. The birds are slightly reluctant the first week (first 3 times)but there after they actually pick at the syringe as it approaches.The cocks that get the oil lose a few feathers on the side of the face to no detriment.That is all replaced at moulting. Between these 2 products and Breedmax the birds are really in tune.

This last breeding season (2010)it was recommended that I try 3 products.Oxy-B,Bird Improver and Antifungal.My birds were off colour when I started to breed.I started at 1/2 strength with Antifungal and Bird Improver and Oxy-B at full strength .This was done for a month.just after 2 weeks the hens started to lay. I am giving these products at 1/2 and full strength as above twice a week.there is no prole in the the bird room and all the birds are moulting. THESE PRODUCTS CAN BE VIEWED at .

Before breeding I do the doxycycline test.I give the Birds doxy for 5 days,to this I add 10ml apple cider vinegar.When I start(1st morning) I listen to the intensity of the sound in the birdroom. On the 3rd morning I again listen to the intensity of the sound.If the sound has got less or softer I stop after the 5th Day(Finish the course of antibiotic) If the sound has intensified I continue for 30 days or until the birds become fluffed.When they become fluffed it tells you that they no longer need the treatment.
I also do the to the stock birds that battle to come through the moult.(this doxy treatment method is from Dr Rob Marshall's book Canary Health)

I let my stock birds moult out in the breeding cages.Once we get to the start of April I then put them into a mobile flight cage and put the birds in front of the security door that is covered with welded mesh.The sun beats in to their cage for 2 to 3 hours daily.They really love the unfiltered sun and love to unbath .I give them thistles with the soil on and this is devoured. They seem to love the fresh greens more if they have soil on them.

My Moulting soft food mix:
I give soft food (Orlux Yellow Dry)with Breedmax(10grams per 150grm of soft food - including all the extras)broccoli,soya protein powder (5grms per 500grams of soft food)sprouted seed and 3 boiled eggs to my mix.This mix is about

I hope this will be helpful to you, I read your blog on a regular basis.

Thanks for all your help

Best Regards

Thanks so much Donald for sharing with us!! I am running a small scale test using your wheat germ oil delivered directly into the beak method. I am also going to add the Breedmax dose you recommend to my Border Veggies.


Anonymous said...


Why no pics of your birds?Come on let's see them!!

Re feeding greens with the soil attched, aren't you afraid of introducing parasites this way? Especially in a sub tropical environment.

Linda Hogan said...

Donald writes:

My birds are in the moult (+/- 6 weeks) at the moment and I promise to send pictures as soon as they are through the moult.Mid April is when the first birds are through the moult.

I have never had a problem with internal parasites .I deworm twice a year as a precaution and have never seen any parasites.I use ivermectin or moxydectin the one time and the next I use Endo tape(Bayer).This is a combination praziquantel and levamisol.

Anonymous please give us your name

SEAGULL said...

Do the cats actually LIVE IN THE BIRDROOM????!!

They must be some pretty strange cats if they're not "tempted" to "play" with the Borders!!

Personally I'm a dog person myself, so perhaps am displaying an unfair bias. I'd much prefer to see pics of your birds thn your cats Donald!!

Great post by the way!!Thanks for sharing Linda

Linda Hogan said...

The cats really intrigue me. I am a dog person but growing up I had 21 cats! Unfortunately, my dog Bella has it in for cats.

Went to the cat show last weekend and was really taken by a blue creme British short hair cat.

If I could have cats in the bird room without fear, that would be something.