Tuesday, February 25, 2014

High Rise Nest Builder

With my aviary day length on 14 hours and getting close to day light savings time change where the clock is turned forward and close to my trip to the Missouri Valley Tournament, when I saw this hen German Roller hen determined to build in her seed cup,  I just couldn't resist her sweet face and pleading. So even though I was in a hurry to leave for work, I thought why not and after checking the records, it looked like she would be a great hen for Richey!

When I put her in with him, he immediately did the macho breeding dance and sang boisteriously to her. She then immediately assumed a mating position and he quickly responded.

I placed a nest and nesting material in the cage and left for work. Was I ever surprised the next morning to see the high rise nest she had built! In fact it is too high and too deep for her to cover any eggs well.

So I remade her nest and removed extra material  and low and behold she has taken me on and rebuilt the way she likes it with the few material she had left!

Every year, seems like I have a few determined hens that want their way usually with building on the floor or in a seed cup and I spend a few days trying to change their mind and finally make a compromise deal with them!

Wondering how long this dispute would be going on, I checked her abdomen and low and behold she has heat and redness but I do not like the wrinkle and she should be fuller so perhaps she is really fooling with me!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Trying Another Product - Naturamine

Today, I decided to try a pigeon product called Naturamine. Naturamine is a tonic consisting of minerals, trace elements and important amino acids. It is made in Belgium, www.natural-granen.com and has wide distribution. Other distributors listed on the box include Merrylands Produce in Australia and Verspreider in South Africa. I purchase mine from Foy's Pigeon Supply. 

I was attracted to this  product because the calcium and phosphorus are in the correct proportions and it contains trace amounts of other minerals and amino acid lysine all in a liquid form for easy absorption. Calcium and phosphorus are two vital minerals that only have a positive effect when administered in the correct proportions.

A five day consecutive treatment is recommended and then two or three times weekly from pairing to weaning during breeding season and twice weekly during the entire moulting season.

Lucca and I will be keeping a close watch on Naturamine and reporting back our findings.

Early Observations:

1. There is a definite improvement in the birds sense of well-being. The feathers are unbelievably tight, the tails are more piped (narrow), birds that were lazy are more active, a few border males who didn't want to stand up and some who would rather sit on the floor are up on perches and standing about 3/4 up but are not doing any stretching.  I definitely will try this during molt and on a limited scale on show birds for tightening up feathering and sense of well-being. (I need to see if confirmation improves or with the lysine in it if they will get more cylindrical as they do in breeding condition. A little might be really good! Could some of you Border breeders in South Africa, since you are six months opposite Northern Hemisphere breeders, give us a heads up by trying this and reporting back to us.)

 2. Hens are the same as males. Those who were sitting in seed cups about 1/2 of them kept sitting. Some quit setting and laying prematurely. This could also be due to a drop in weather temperature. So not sure of the effect on laying and sitting at this point.

If you have tried this product, please post your finding to this post.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Canary Singer With Fighter Style - Indonesia

In a championship, we are looking for a singer with a fighter style.

Style includes how long they are singing, what kind of song variety such as: singing a blackthroat or goldfinch song mix with local bird song or canary song (Spanish timbrado, waterslager, gloster, etc)

Loud song is a must but other points are important such as open wings or just staying cool when they are singing.

Thanks and regards,
Uphay D52
Jakarta - indonesia
(Click on the link below to watch a clip of the birds singing!)
Watch This Youtube Video!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Baby Bok Choy

This morning I went to the indoor Farmers Market and bought this lovely Baby Bok Choy for the canaries.

Luckily I bought two large bags, cause Big Bird is continuing to keep celebrating Chinese New Year and really loving all the great food!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

False Start - Premature Egg Drop

I really want my birds to be ready shortly after I return from the Missouri Valley Basketball Tournament March 9 th. That is nearly a month away and yet what did I find this morning but an egg laid on the cage floor!

Does this mean I need to figure out who laid the egg and pair her immediately?

Certainly birds should be paired when they are ready and not delayed because it is inconvenient with my schedule but how do I know when the time is right?

First of all the cocks need to be ready and anxious to feed the hen and show off singing ferociously, doing their macho dance and their vent needs to be fully engorged.

The hens need to be flying back and forth frantically with red hot stretched and glossy abdomen, calling to the cocks and lastly assuming a mating position when she hear the breeding song.

Do I even have any hens like that now? No. What I have is a FALSE START dropping an egg here and there! Setting this hen up now is a waste of time and effort.

 What I can do is evaluate the egg quality. The shell was quite firm but when I cracked the egg it is just a little thin. Today I will make sure that all hen cages have ample mineral and no cage was accidentally missed with fresh cuttlebone a couple of months ago and I will give them a couple of days of Soluble calcium, D3, magnesium in the water (Avi-tech Cal-D-Solve). 
And Patiently Keep Watching!

Just as soon as the overnight temperatures are in the twenties and days in the low 40 F, I will turn the extra heat off. With aviary concrete floor the temperature during those condition will not get lower than 50 overnight. This will stop these hens from their false start!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Winter Games In Wichita

 Lucca, my Belgium Malinois, is enjoying his own version of the Winter Games!

From making Snow Angels,

 To burying his chuck-it ball in the snow a top the covered fountain,

To digging it out again,

 To hiding his ball in the pile of wood for the wood oven,

To digging and more digging,

And finally, full recovery of his ball from under the wood pile,

And once again, back to chasing the ball in the snow!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Nasal Sinuses Infection - Feather Loss Around Eye

Note  the extensive swelling of the sinuses, eyelid and total swelling covering the nare nose hole on the right side.
In canaries, the right and left nasal sinuses do not communicate so infection may be in either side or both. This bird has both. A number of organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and chlamydia may cause the problem.

The most common cause in canaries is Mycoplasma which is difficult to treat.  I decided to treat with Mycoban, a vitamin and antibiotic product intended for use in pigeons and cagebirds which I purchased from Foy's Pigeon Supply but I understand it is widely available around the world. Treatment in the water and recommended for 3 to 5 days.

After 4 days the birds are improved as swelling is down, nose holes are visible but knowing how difficult Mycoplasma is I am continuing treatment till redness disappears. I will also be watching them carefully for reoccurrence which is common in about a week after other antibiotic treatments. The bird is much more active and holding its feathers tight so it is definitely better but I do not think it is cured at this point.

Update 24 hours later

Another Update 24 hours later

And yet another 24 hours later

Left eye is looking good but right eye has a ways to go yet.

 48 hours later

Right eye better but not great yet.

Another 48 hours later

 Right better but hint of red in the red nare.

Left looking pretty good.

Right is Almost well now March 26th, Left looks fantastic the bird is also coming into breeding condition but I will not be breeding her as this will be stressful and could bring on a back set.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Couch Potato Fat Cocks Threatens Fertility

Although this cock is showing good vent development, he is getting so fat that it could endanger his fertility. Time for some dieting and exercise!

All but two perches were removed from their cage. Water is at the high perch and food dishes are on the floor to maximize exercise. (When birds are too thin I do the opposite and put many perches in the cage to minimize flight.)

"Oh no, not more lower calorie greens again!"

And the only seed mix cocks in my weight management spa get is Petamine Breeding Formula.

Just a couple of days in my health spa and the cock is showing off his trimmer form and moving frantically while doing a macho dance!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hens Losing Breeding Condition

Lucca loves to fetch the paper but today he was feeling a bit ornery.

Just when I tried to take it, he ran up the stairs!

Question For Big Bird?

1. My young females had shown the breeding condition and improvement and I introduced my really ready males to them about one week ago, the improvement were continued but today I saw that they are going back and the stomach which shown really good were not improved and seems that they are going back from breeding condition, I need your advice and help.

Big Bird:

When birds revert from breeding condition it is usually due to a change in diet or method. It could even just be a sudden drop in temperature. Cool temperature will keep hens from laying. (I sometimes use this to slow the hens down when the hens are moving ahead of cocks.)

Addition to your diet  or increased frequency usually works but subtraction effects the birds negatively.  The only time I subtract or seriously change methods during breeding is if my results are pitiful and when you do that you can expect it will take another month to recycle them into breeding condition. 

Encourage your paired birds by giving them nestling food daily until she lays her last egg. Start nestling food again when chicks hatch.

Vitamin E extra supplement that is given daily in the water for conditioning is continued for birds after pairing but should be stopped when the hen lays her first egg. I do continue the seed coated fortified with wheat germ oil (1 cup to 50 lbs seed mix) throughout the breeding season. This amount does not negatively effect the hens or cocks. 

If you are sure the cocks are ready and feeding the hens, you could encourage the hens to proceed by adding wheat products to the diet. Wheat germ or cous cous could do the trick to get the process started again. 

If the cocks are not feeding the hens, put in a wire divider, give treats to cock and let the hen beg him for feeding through the wire and keep them separated until that happens. This gets the hens moving forward and makes sure that the ready cock is not denying the hens food.

 Make sure that you have not decreased lighting as that precipitates hormone changes and leads to molting. 

If you haven't made any subtraction changes and you can't blame it on a sudden drop in aviary temperature, it could also be breeder getter's caused by micromanaging and is fixed by just being patient and giving the birds more privacy! 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

The Great Tail Feather Robbery Mystery

Three older hens are caged together in one cage with corn cob liter on the floor bottom. At least one of the hens has committed a serious crime, tail feather robbery! After making sure no bleeding feather stubs need to be removed from the victim, I have one question: Who Done It? Was It Colonel Mustard In The Library With The Candlestick Or Perhaps Miss Peacock In The Conservatory With The Revolver? I Don't Have A Clue?

Prime Suspect has a hot and red full abdomen with a protruding rounded vent that is flashing open and closed (winking)!

Suspect #2 has a slightly developed abdomen and appears to be several weeks from breeding.

Prime Suspect has been moved in with Richey! A couple of things could happen either she may get mad at him if he isn't ready for mating and start a fight or she may slow down and wait on him. I will be watching closely to make sure she does not attack him! I do not want her to lay yet because I am attending the Missouri Valley Basketball Tournament in St. Louis March 6 - 9 (Go Wichita State Shockers!). Therefore, I am not providing her with a nest as giving her a nest encourages her to proceed toward laying.

PM Update: Just checking on Richey and the new gal to see if I need to put in a wire divider to get this romance started and the new gal is feeding Richey. Guess its love at first sight!

Time Saving Side Note Tip: When I am overstocked on hens and ready to set up a few but not all and I don't want to catch each one to figure out which to pair, I put a nest in the hen flight and catch only the ones that are seriously interested in the nest and if there are still to many hens ready, I pick the ones with the hottest abdomen.

Just in case Suspect #2 is an accomplice, I added a few strips on newspaper. Suspect #2 readily took to the paper strips and at least if she sits on the floor she is not pulling feathers! Not taking any chances on innocent till proven guilty!

Lucca says Go Seahawks! Why Seahawks, cause there the underDOGS!