Category: Canary Breeding

Canary Linebreeding and Genetics

Line-breeding, a form of in-breeding where carefully selected related birds are chosen to breed to each other, has been practiced for centuries, with varying results. The last century has brought much new information to add to the accumulated years of experience, but that has done little to settle the many and often heated discussions on the topic. Go to any bird show and listen, and it will probably not be long before you begin to overhear varied snippets of conversation centering around breeding winning showbirds. This is a favorite topic at shows, and you will find that there are as many different proponents and systems as there are birds at the show. Yes, I said birds, not people. It’s been my observation that many of the people at these events tend to hold several systems dear. A newcomer to the Canary Fancy can become incredibly confused in very short order listening to all these (many conflicting) ideas and methods, particularly...

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Filed under: Canary Breeding, Genetics

Breeding tips from The Duchess

Although there are some major differences in breeding canaries vs. finches, there are also some similarities and common sense things that need to be done in order for your pair to successfully raise their young. The links above will take you to pages with more specific details. Below is an outline to get you started. DIET: A good diet, right from the start, is essential. It does not start the day before you decide to breed your pair. A good diet, along with exercise, decreases the chances of egg-binding and possibly losing your hen. We've also noticed that our pairs seem to be more eager to be good parents. Fortunately, we have not been plagued by parents who either refuse to feed or throw chicks from the nest. PRIVACY: Moving your birds to a room where they will have quiet days with no loud noises, people rushing past, or curious children with their noses against the bars, will make it...

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Filed under: Canary Breeding

Annual Sunrise-Sunset Chart

Use for biweekly on and off times for artificial lighting. Canaries are photosensitive, which means that the length of the days and nights they see triggers all their important life cycles, such as breeding, moulting, and singing. The chart below follows the changes of the average day lengths over a year in the Canary Islands, where canaries evolved (you may wish to note that the birds were named after the islands where they were found, not the other way 'round.) Feel free to adapt this chart to your needs, changing the on and off times to suit your lifestyle; just make sure that the average daylengths, listed down the center of this table, follow the same type of pattern as shown here, and that your on and off times don't change drastically from day to day. A point worth mentioning; notice that the shortest day listed here is 10 hours and 22 minutes long, while the longest day is 13...

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Filed under: Canary Breeding, Canary Health

Pertinent Points About Breeding Canaries

Sharing Experiences If we are to advance our understanding of these delicate little songsters, it is up to us all to share, and add to, the common pool of knowledge. This is why I’d like to share with you some of the more valuable advice and insights on canaries that have been proffered to me over the years. Most of it is deceptively simple - the kind of thing that makes you wonder, "Why didn’t I think of that?" It is my hope that these pointers will be as great an assistance to you as they were to me, and that you will make a point one day of passing them on in turn. Canaries are marvelously complicated little birds. Many’s the successful finch, cockatiel, or budgie breeder I’ve seen advance with high hopes and cheerful dreams into the realm of breeding canaries, thinking that since they’d already mastered breeding one or more types of bird, how much more difficult...

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Filed under: Canary Breeding, The Canary Fancy

The use of yellows in a breeding program

To breed exhibition Gloster Canaries of the type required to do well on a show bench we invariably have to resort to buff (mealy) feathered birds, i.e. buff x buff we have to Incorporate a programme of buff x buff pairings. This is done to keep the cobiness in the bird, i.e. thickness of neck and roundness of body also the required shape of head and browiness over the eye. The Gloster Canary breeder cannot resort to the normal practice of yellow x buff pairing every year, because the required cobiness will soon disappear and we will be left with narrow headed, free necked and tight feathered little birds ~re in keeping with the Fife Fancy than the Gloster Fancy canary. The Gloster Fancy canary breeder must be wary on two accounts, (1) that they do not buff x buff year after year and (2) that when they choose their yellow (jonque) feathered bird they choose the correct bird. Buff...

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Filed under: Canary Breeding, Genetics

Why Yellow and Buff?

From time to time man always questions laid down rules and ask: why? This could be the case with the canary breeder's first commandment, i.e. always pair yellow to buff. Of course this asks the question why. When we consider, man-made, domesticated live stock alongside their wild counterparts the differences in most cases are breathtaking. Whether man has improved this stock or not is another moot point. In this article we will be considering only the Gloster Fancy Canaries and their wild ancestors. Wild canaries are breeding as nature intended with only the strong surviving. No guiding hand telling which cock to pair to which hen or trying to change the phenotype of the birds. It is only when man began to domesticate the canary and think about fancies and fads that the canary began to have feather problems. In its wild state nature has given the canary its very being, its shape, its colour, its feather, everything is geared...

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Filed under: Canary Breeding, Genetics

Partnerships

As we write the fancy in general is seeing a growing number of partnerships on the show bench. It is quite understandable to see a husband and wife or other family members forming a partnership, but what about the others who join as a partnership. The motives are mixed and fall into the following categories 1. To help one another; this can vary according to circumstances. 2. To expand through new skills introduced. (combined resources) 3. To share work load. 4. To share decisions. All these are valid points and no.1 is perhaps the definitive answer: To help one another. In this article we will relate to partnerships where the sole aim is success on the show bench and a measured involvement within the fancy. It is perhaps reasonable to list the reason why the partnership is formed and the fundamental goals which are aimed for. WHY: 1. To increase the success rate during the combined breeding season. 2. To...

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Filed under: Canary Breeding, The Canary Fancy

Selecting your Retained Gloster Canaries

Retaining Gloster Canaries for use the following and subsequent years depends on one main philosophy, "always retain the best". By always retaining the best you are not depleting the gene pool or having to constantly look for replacements. Other aspects to be taken into account are the retention of only the very best of the cocks and a sufficient number of hens to be able to give the required options needed during the breeding programme. Cocks retained must be the best and variety is not an option to be enjoyed in small studs if exhibition is the prime concern. Options come from the hens and fancy's and fads can be considered when retaining hens. OPTIONS TO BE CONSIDERED: 1. Yellow feathered. 2. Cinnamon. 3. White ground, either variegated or self. 4. Grizzle. Other options are a variety of feather types among the retained hens. This is important if balance is to be achieved in the stock. Numbers of course depend...

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Filed under: Administration & Record Keeping, Canary Breeding, Genetics

Achieving Breeding Condition in Glosters

"Breeding condition is achieved by controlling the environment in which the Gloster Fancy Canary is housed and the lengthening of the natural or un-natural daylight hours". This statement or definition says it all. By correct housing which is not overcrowded, the conditions are clean and the birds are given a balanced diet which is supplemented by the increased use of eggfood, you will achieve breeding condition. As the daylight hours increase the birds natural instincts will be to reproduce. This will only be suppressed if the Gloster Canary is out of condition, ie, unhealthy. Poor health can be arrived at in four ways. 1. The genetic make up of the creature which will decide its life span or state of health. This is uncontrollable by the fancier in many respects, however by breeding from strong healthy stock you should breed a sound stud if weaklings are weeded out. 2. Poor conditions lead to a break down in health and this...

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Filed under: Canary Breeding, Canary Health, Nutrition & Diet

Breeding Canaries – Planning ahead

First and foremost, when planning to breed, is consideration of what to do with the babies once they are fully weaned and on their own. Decisions must be made beforehand to avoid complications down the road. You might want to ask yourself these questions: DO YOU HAVE SPACE TO KEEP THE BABIES ONCE THEY ARE WEANED? Once the babies are weaned and eating on their own, the parents are going to want to start their next clutch. Sometimes they want to start even before the first babies are weaned. In which case, usually the father and babies are transferred to another cage or a divider is put into the breeding cage with the babies on one side and parents on the other. Father is then able to continue feeding the babies through the bars while also getting ready for the next clutch. This situation is only temporary and the weaned babies will eventually need their own cage. We transfer our...

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Filed under: Administration & Record Keeping, Canary Breeding, Genetics