Friday, November 14, 2014

Unusually Cold Weather - Birdie Its Cold Outside

Columbus Fancy getting ready to be the first in his cage to hog the soft white bread.
Normally, the temperature here is a high of 57 F (14 C) and a low of 35 F (2 C). I have two skylights and windows on the South and West and a concrete floor in the aviary that is separate from the house but shares its east side wall with the back wall of the double car garage and an addition six feet with the kitchen wall.  So normally it gets chilly but not really cold in the unheated aviary till January. I have a heat pump/air conditioner that I can turn on to warm it up but I prefer to hold off warming it up and use raising temperatures as another breeding signal when conditioning for breeding season.

Oops, an Arctic blast of cold air is prematurely covering our area and a good portion of the US. Our high today is predicted to be about the normal low and the low 22 F (-6 C). And to top it off snow is predicted and then by Monday the upper temperature is predicted at 29 F (-2 C) and the low 9 F (-13 C)! If it were January, I would use a little heat at night but its only November, so I would rather not.

The problem for the birds is that they need more calories to keep warm and if they do not get them, they will lose weight and weaker ones might get sick. So I have just finished giving all cages supplemental soft white bread, and around noon I will offer uncooked porridge oatmeal, and then around 4 pm some dry nestling food. While I am gloomy about the cold weather, they are happy as can be!
Soft white bread is also a great food to offer in the show cages to tame them prior to a show (place it high for upright position birds or low for German Rollers who sing best when they are parallel to the perch) and fed also to avoid weight loss, a common complication of showing them. I even pop it in their show cage for the ride home!

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