Sunday, May 1, 2011

Got a Question or Tip To Share with Big Bird?

Please post your current questions or tips here!

I like to use muffin tins with nesting material to store eggs at room temperature till I set the hen. I have so many eggs now I am using a piece of paper to divide each hole. On one side of the paper is one cage number and on the other side the other cage number.

Normally, I set eggs on the fourth or fifth day. In the bottom left, each have six eggs, the reason being that the chicks needed to be moved and I was called in and worked an 11 hour shift at the hospital and just could not get to it before I had to leave...

Do you recognize this plant? Thanks for the fantastic responses! Yes it is canola rape. This is in my front "flower" bed and actually lived through an unusually cold winter.



1. Mary is concerned that her chicks may be starving:

Hello again:

These seems like strange questions for me to ask, after raising canaries for 45 years successfully. My brand new parent birds now have 3 of their 5 eggs hatched – two yesterday and overnight.

They are both gathering food, and the cock feeds the hen diligently when she is on the nest -- and the hen appears to be feeding her young while sitting on them to keep them warm…but I have not seen her stand on the edge of the nest to feed them. Also, I am not HEARING the peeping of the youngsters, nor do I see much egg food in their crops when the hen is off the nest. They do raise their heads…but I am worried that they are starving.

I am contemplating supplemental hand feeding. I purchase a 1 ml. syringe with which to feed and made some eggfood up with boiled water mixed in it…but I find that I cannot load this tiny syringe with the food. The water seems to separate from the eggfood and run out, and the food itself is just not going into the syringe. It is extremely frustrating.

The questions that I have are: why am I not hearing the peeping of the chicks? And What is the best way to put food into a syringe? The little beaks are so small that this is really the only thing that I can find that would go into their mouths. I have had absolutely NO luck trying to find a glass medicine dropper!! I have tried practicing with the two flat toothpicks that you mentioned using, but I am just not adept in holding the food with them.

Again, thanks for your help –

Mary Roberts


One of our blogger's gave me a small aluminum tool that is used
for putting split bands on canary legs. It is a small light
weight scoop and is easier to handle than my toothpicks.I think
they got it from Red Bird. Help blogger's?

Check comments for a tip on improvising a small spoon from a straw from Debbie!

I doubt if you can get an egg food to go through the syringe even
if you cut off the tip a bit. Get either sonic or exact hand
feeding formula. If that is not possible use some powdered
vegetable protein powder from the health food store. Not as good
but will work.

I would not worry about a hen feeding on the nest or off nor
whether she feeds less in volume and more often or is a stuffer.
Both ways work..I go by seeing a fluffy chick and pink not yellow
skin tone. When the chick is not fluffy or has a yellow skin tone,
I hand feed.


carlos said...

Hi Hope all is well. Am new to breeding canaries. I have a chick that about 10 days old and for the last few days I notice that it has one of it legs stretch out and away from the body, almost perpendicular to the other leg. It almost look like its "elbow" misaligned. Other than the let the chick seem fine, doesn't look like it in any kind of pain. Its breathing normal, eating all the time, its alert of what going on and so on. Thank you for your time and i appriciate any comments or advice on this matter. Carlos Tobar

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda.
For egg storage, I have a great clear plastic box with many compartments from the craft store. It has a lid for safe keeping. The muffin tin is a great idea too !

The blooms are from rape seed and I sometimes feed the blooms to my softbills. Nothing is wasted.


ninez said...

Enjoying your blog. Is that a canola plant?

donald said...

Hi Linda
The plant is a rape seed plant or canola.

Rich said...

Linda, is it a rape seed plant? Rich

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

Got to be honest here and say I don't think much of your egg storage system..not often I see something I can pull you up on!!!

I note that on one side in a couple of the holes you have SIX eggs!
When do you set them?

Glad your having a good season ...and great news today for the USA.

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

Looks like in the brassia family? Could be mustard or rape?

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

In Red Factor Canaries---could you please explain to me;what a CHECK-FROST red bird is;and if it isw or is not a good type of bird to use in breeding?


Anonymous said...

For handfeeding tiny chicks, you can improvise a small spoon from a soda straw. Just cut the straw diagonally in the shape of a bird's beak. It acts as a scoop spoon of sort. I do blunt the end so as to not have a sharp edge that may harm a tiny chick. Have used this for many years, but do use the little split band tool too !

Anonymous said...

Hi Linda,

Question...if you feed new-born Red Factor chicks colored nestling food[with canthax.]...and you feed the babies 3 times a day. Do you feed the colored-food only once out of the 3 feedings or feed the color food all three feedings?

Thankyou,for your help
and insights!!!

Linda Hogan said...

Check frost is a feather that does not express the color to the tip but is not obviously frosted as in a frost canary. Often you have to get the light just right to see the light frost which is often on the back. I breed them to frost canaries as they are often strong colored and can back up a heavy frost just a bit.

Linda Hogan said...

With my Stafford canaries I feed the color food first thing in the morning.

With serious red factor canaries, I feed it three times a day. The most important thing is to feed the same consistent amount at the same time every day and that they eat it up.

Mosaic canaries and my topaz get red coloring agent starting at the 55 day as you do not want red coloring in the wings and tail while other red variety where you want the coloring in the wings and tail get red coloring starting with parents during at pairing.

Linda Hogan said...

Lost where the question regarding a canary vaccine went but biomune makes a canary pox vaccine and can be found with google's help.

Anonymous said...

A good source for medicine droppers is a health-food store or any other grocery store that sells a lot of bulk foods. I got mine at Whole Foods. Look in the bulk food section for small brown or blue glass bottles - they will most likely have eyedroppers as caps. Having the bottle too is convenient because it can be used to wash the eyedropper out afterwards and to store it in between feedings.

Paul Cruise said...

I managed to get some VANODINE on the web from a Company in England.
The instructions say to use 6 drops to a gallon.
My question is twofold:
(1) Will Vanodine kill beneficial bacteria in the canaries gut along with the other "bad" bacteria. If so, should the birds be given a probiotic after the Vanodine water?
(2) How long should the water dispenser with the Vanodine be left for the canary? Is one day sufficient for the Vanodine to be effective.
I change the water in my aviary every day.
Seasons Greetings
Paul Cruise
Charleston, South Carolina