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Re: Canary Behavior

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Canary FAQ

Posted by Timothy Henderson on September 12, 2004 at 07:56:07:

In Reply to: Canary Behavior posted by Nancy Pryor on September 11, 2004 at 13:00:53:

: I have a 9 month old male and female canary. Got the male in Jan 2004 & the female in May 2004. Initially they got on fine together in a cage & soon the female produced 2 unfertilized eggs. The male fed her intermittently and I noticed in time that particularly in the evenings, the female would get off her nest & go after the male for no reason at all. She would spread her wings & assume an "attack mode". Seemed she wanted to get on the highest perch & wasn't going to let up until the male retreated to a corner in the bottom of the cage. He would initially spread his wings & try to defend himself but to no avail. Once he tried to disappear, the female would go back to the nest. This continued for several days so I moved the male to a separate cage next to hers so they can see each other. Once not long ago I saw her do the spread wing attack mode again from her cage & he did it from his. What is this all about? I'm afraid to put them back together again. She has subsequently laid 3 more unfertilized eggs & is nesting on them again. He sings to her throughout the day & she peeps at him a lot from her nest. I'm really puzzled. HELP

For a proper breeding season resulting in fertilized eggs and the healthy young, canaries MUST be in proper breeding condition. For the birds to be in proper breeding condition they MUST have a proper light schedule and nutrition.

Where are you located? Canaries only should breed in the Spring. They must have a period of rest before the breeding season. If you are in the Northern Hemisphere, the hen should not be laying eggs now!

Get the birds on the same number of hours of light as there are in nature. That means steadily less through the Winter and then slowly increase in advance of Spring. This way, the birds will rest and build strength through the Winter and come into proper breeding condition in the Spring. If the birds are in a room with a light, then cover the cage with a towel from dusk to dawn.

You know if the female is ready to breed when she furiously shreds paper and feathers to use in building a nest. The male will be singing vigorously.

Canaries are by nature solitary and should not be housed together except during the breeding season. If the birds are fighting, THEY ARE NOT READY TO BREED! Putting the pair together when the birds are not in breeding condition results in unfertile eggs and fights -- as you've seen.

Nutrition is also extremely important. The birds require a varied diet that includes sources of vitamins, minerals, and protein. If you are feeding the birds plain seed, that as if you ate nothing except french fried potatoes!

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