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Thursday, 05 June 2008

ImageMy breeding season started early this year and getting better day after day.  Every clutch that hatched in May and after is a big one 3+ babies. April was not that good, mostly 2 babies.  Finally, I did happen to find my best hen.  Of course, since she is so friendly and you can pet her at any time, on the nest or off the nest my wife calls her "my bird".  It is hard to believe but that same hen "hen 087" likes my wife more than me for some reason.  We both take care of our birds on daily bases and really look after them like our own children.

This year our best hen 087 laid nine eggs and guess what, eight of her eggs were fertile, hatched and raised by three different hens!  Can you imagine canary hen laying 9 eggs, and 8 of them hatched?  This does not happen with many hens and it is our first “the best” experience with clutch of this size.  We are amazed she could cover all of the eggs, and on the other side eggs were pretty good size.  We were lucky to have foster mothers in our flight cage that could feed the babies.  If babies happen to be males, there are two teams already from one clutch, hard to believe.

Breeding season is a big challenge to all of us.  It takes the most time with constant feeding, cleaning, hand feeding etc.

Hand feeding

Do you feed your babies by hand?  We do!  Every nest we have gets extra food from us.  Why do we do this?  It helps your hen a lot, keeps her stronger and she doesn't spend extra energy feeding the babies.  If you feed the babies three times a day, this really helps your hen’s big time especially a good hen and you want to breed and use again next season. Hen should still feed babies don’t take me wrong but you can help to make her life easier and longer.

I personally recommend to every breeder to buy a syringe and Kaytee hand feeding formula in any pet store, follow directions on feeding and watch your babies grow real fast.  Some of the mothers can't feed their babies for first couples of days, because it is very hard, try it yourself!  After two days babies die and we call them a bad mothers!  As long as they sit on their nests to me they are good mothers.  You will save lots of babies this way, believe me...

I went to visit my friend Paul Grech in Seattle earlier in breeding season and he mentioned to me that hens won't feed the babies so he lost some babies from good birds.  We talked about hand feeding and he tried it before but with different food and it didn't work.  You must use hand feeding formula especially made for baby birds, Kaytee works great with canaries.
Week after I visit him again I brought some of the Kaytee hand feeding formula with me and we fed all his babies with syringe, no problem at all.  After that Paul went to the pet store and bought a big bag of formula and gave me some too because he bought a big bag and it's good for a year so it had to be used before it expires and gets bad.  Now, every time we talk he really brings this hand feeding up because it saved him lots of babies and keeps him busy during the day.  Buy the formula and try hand feeding your canary babies you won't regret it!

Good luck with the molt!

Last Updated ( Thursday, 05 June 2008 )
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