January 6, 2018

Montana Canary Friends Meet

Sharing a photo of three canary breeders in Montana!

Left:  Debbie of Savoy Singers Aviary
Middle:  Bruce of Canary One Aviary
Right:  Tom of The Bird Connection

December 22, 2017

The Best Advice for Your First Canary

I was fortunate to have received GOOD ADVICE when I was buying my first canaries, from several breeders and hobbyists.  Their words of wisdom have proven helpful since that first day I put my new birds into a cage in my house, and to this day are the basics I follow every day in my bird room. 

To those who are thinking of getting a Canary Companion, and to those who have emailed with questions, I will pass along the tips and instructions that I feel guaranteed my enjoyment of canaries as companions and exciting 'housemates'.

The very first TIP:  find a breeder or hobbyist to talk to personally.
If you can find someone close enough to visit, by all means do so.  If you must look online for a 'canary mentor', there are many places to find someone willing to help.  And don't give up if the first person just wants to sell you a bird.  I found three or four breeders online who took the time to ask ME questions about why I wanted a bird, what experience I had, and just what I was hoping to get as a perfect companion.

This person will also be very helpful after you get a canary.  If it appears sick or you have questions about it's behavior, you have that person to contact for an immediate answer.  The right person can be a very enjoyable friend in this new venture into Canary Keeping.

And who knows, you may find a kindred spirit in the process!  I have found several wonderful, interesting people, of all levels of experience raising canaries, whom I count among my best friends.

The second TIP:  buy a bird in person, if at all possible.
You may not find a canary breeder locally, but don't overlook the small hobbyist who may only have a few for sale.  They may have birds more used to daily and individual attention.

If you can see more than one canary, acting normally in an average size cage, you will be more likely to see the differences in personality and activity... and of course, you can hear differences in song.  Many breeders do not allow visitors into their main bird room, but will usually have their birds for sale in an area open to potential buyers.

This was a learning experience for me!  And invaluable!  I learned more in those two hours spent in Bruce's birdhouse, than the days spent reading all those books.  Just observing how they were fed, how their perches were set up, what area of the house they were in, etc.  was wonderful.  Of course, listening to the breeder talking about his birds and their differences was enjoyable --- and his enthusiasm was infectious!

So, PLEASE, search for other canary people within visiting distance, even if you buy your final bird elsewhere!

Third TIP:  Read, read, and read again!
You can find advice online for nearly every topic.  There are many canary associations and clubs with articles on their websites.  There are forums and groups exclusively for canaries.  Browse them all.

And don't forget books.  Some canary books that read like textbooks, but I have found others that are great entertainment besides giving helpful information!
( My Favorite Canary Books by Debbie )

Remember this next TIP:  There is NO ONE PERFECT WAY to care for a canary.
If you asked the same question to 50 canary people, you would get many different answers, and each person is convinced that way is the only way.  Remember, when someone says a certain way is the only way, what he really means is, it is the only way for him.

Everyone's home, climate, daily schedule, and even time spent with the bird will be different.  And what YOU want from a canary companion may be entirely different than everyone else!

TIP number five:  Have fun!  
The basics of having a canary in your home are pretty simple.  And the rewards are so very many!
*** Some of my favorite links: Seeds of Canary Information
*** My Personal Advice: Canary Care Sheet (pdf)

December 20, 2017

Stay in touch for some Off-Season Fun!

Thank you to everyone who bought birds, or who just called or emailed to visit about canaries!
I had so much fun, sharing your interest, your personal experiences with canaries and other cage birds, and your joy in canaries.
I don't post advertising or talk about anything but canaries.
Your email subscription is handled entirely by FeedBurner, so your email is safe from any spam.  (You will receive a verification email, which requires you to click a link to 'opt-in'.)
I DO list the wonderful and helpful weblinks I discover, and some of my observations in my bird room.
I also have plans for some Canary Fun this winter.... so stay in touch!

Shipping is over for the winter!

I will be selling approximately 12 pairs in the spring, beginning sometime late February 2018.
I have kept 34 youngsters for myself!  I had so many nice ones in this year's hatches, I just have to watch them over the next two months!!! :)
Combined with my best adults, they will bring my total to over 40 pairs by breeding season in 2018.
It will be hard to decide which ones to keep, but I cannot keep that many.
So, I will be offering pairs for sale next year.
I will add their photos and descriptions to the Sales Page in several months.
Stay tuned!

November 30, 2017

November in the Bird Room --- Month by Month Journal

Month by Month Journal

COMMENTS are enabled for these journal posts so please jump in with your advice or questions!
Sales continued this month.  We had wonderful WARM weather here in Montana, so shipping was possible all month.
I love meeting new people through these sales.... some I hope to stay in touch with for years to come!
I've ordered several hundred pounds of seed as well as other supplies such as vitamins.  It is also the time of year to preorder club bands. 
Also time to begin writing down next year's breeding plans.
And to sit and enjoy the young males coming into full song!  Oh, that is fun!
I am still trying the 'apple experiment' to see if it helps my mature hens to postpone their thoughts of Spring.  I do not want to begin until February of next year.
This past spring, I purposely held my hens back, or ignored their nesting attempts in the flights.  I wasn't entirely happy with the result:  many hens were not in condition, even though they had the desire, when I did pair them up in March.
So, while I don't want them to begin in December, and I will continue to persuade them to wait, I am not going to completely ignore them.
I am ready with my plans for pairing.... and I am feeding a basic seed mix, with a majority of  canary seed and rape, with a minimum of oil and treat seeds.  I am feeding more mineral clays and supplements, as well as a little bee pollen, for it's nutrients.  It also has a reputation for being a breeding stimulant, but I want it's nutritional input, so will just feed small amounts so they are used to eating it.
I also am feeding the Ioford/DufoPlus combination ... but only once this month.
So far, everyone looks happy and healthy.
I have so many NICE youngsters from this year, I have kept too many!  But what a wonderful result of a breeding year!  Next year looks to be excititng!
I have learned a few things.... and will change a few things in the new season.
I will post an annual 'Lessons Learned This Year' on New Year's Eve.  :)

November 28, 2017

Do your birds need a Life Coach?

I'll wager you never thought of introducing a 'Big Brother' ( or Sister ) into a flight of youngsters.
The idea of a Song Tutor is well known in the song breeds, but I am talking about an older bird to act as a leader for young canaries of any breed.

Choose a calm, forgiving adult that goes about his business and ignores all the antics of the 'kids'.
I said 'his'... but I have seen both males and hens who get along well with others.  Of course, if he also has a good song, the youngsters may imitate him in that area as well.

I have one male who is worth his weight in gold simply for his calm, unflappable personality, and he also eats any and all seed mixes, new food items, and veggies.
He loves taking a bath and he never 'spooks' at loud noises, sudden movements, or strangers near his cage.  When I put him in a cage with youngsters, soon, they are following his example!

So, think about your birds, and see if there isn't a 'wise one' among them, and next summer, don't forget to try him as a Life Coach.