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

Achieving Fulfillment from your Hobby

The fulfilment of anything in life is a personal thing and the same ethos can be attributed to the Gloster Fancy. What do we want out of the fancy for personal satisfaction and what are we prepared to give back to the fancy?. These are the two fundamentals which guide the fulfilment aspect of the hobby. Everyone, we are sure, enters the fancy because they have an interest in birds in general and a liking for the Gloster Canary specifically Also, a deep in-built characteristic of man is that he is a tender of live-stock and in our urban environment we tend to keep a range of small live-stock, of which the canary is one. Fulfilment of this can be owning a single canary or having a decorative aviary and breeding birds on an ad-hoc system. However the other necessity is competition and to this end a controlled breeding environment is called for. Also the involvement within a show promoting...

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Filed under: 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

Glosters on the Show Bench

How often have we seen good Gloster Canaries let down on the show bench by poor presentation, either of themselves or the show they occupy. The exhibition side of the hobby is our shop window. It tells everyone else about us the exhibitor and gives a message to the rest of the fancy. It also sends signals to non-bird fancy individuals or organisation. Clean and well painted show cages are a priority not an after thought, it displays your intentions as an exhibitor. The exhibit must arrive at the show well prepared, second best is not good enough to catch the judges eye. How we arrive at this "best practice" is not a complicated affair but a one of acceptable standards and common sense. THE SHOW CAGE: The frame for the picture is the show cage, it should be clean and well painted with acceptable perches. A good clean seed to cover the floor and a "bit extra" in the...

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Filed under: Showing Canaries

Moulting Glosters

A successful moult of Gloster Canaries is achieved by following a few straight forward rules. These can be itemised thus. 1. A sensible end to the breeding season allowing the Gloster Canaries time to have a complete moult before the onset of cold, dark days. 2. Clean conditions to allow the fruits of the moult to be viewed. 3. A well ventilated birdroom which allows free movement of air without draughts. 4. A good balanced diet which is rich in protein to allow good feather growth. A sensible continuation of eggfoods and soaked seeds is also beneficial at this time. 5. A constant supply of baths during the moult and warm sprays to harden and finish the process. 6. Undisturbed conditions which remove the stress factors at this crucial time. 7. Uncrowded accommodation which gives the moulting birds time to relax and eases the pecking order. All these points are well worth noting, for the moult is a stressful time...

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Filed under: Canary Health, The Moult

A Simple Feeding Routine for your Glosters

The writers have achieved successful breeding seasons and show bench success based on an uncomplicated feeding routine. A definition of a feeding routine can be thus. "To achieve the necessary requirements to sustain the health and well being of the Gloster Canary so it reproduces and acquires the necessary fitness to enable it to be exhibited without causing stress and illness". So what are the necessary requirements. These are basics NEEDS and additional WANTS. A. BASIC NEEDS :- * Clean water in hygienic receptacles. * A good variety canary mixture which is 50% plain canary. * Fine grits and charcoal ,together with cuttlefish bone. * A soluble additive to supply the necessary vitamins and trace elements. B. ADDITIONAL WANTS:- * Eggfood mixture which is offered according to the time of year. * Greens and household vegetable waste offered as and when available. (However this should not be over used, once/week) * Soaked seeds offered during the breeding season and moult....

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Filed under: Greens, Nutrition & Diet, Recipes, Seed, Soft Food

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

Wintering your Gloster Canaries

The wintering of Gloster canaries usually begins at the end of the moult or the end of the show season, depending upon the needs you place on your stock. Glosters which are to be retained fall into a variety of classes (this will be discussed in paper no.6) and for this reason the housing and feeding of such stock will be modified to suit the situation. The end of the moult to the beginning of the new calendar year is a time when the birdroom and stock are in a fluid situation. The stock will be moved around the birdroom as and when space and needs arise. Flighted birds which are to be retained and not shown can be caged in groups with regards hens and the cocks can be separated. Young stock which is to be retained and not shown can similarly be housed. On the other hand surplus stock needs similar housing, but attention must be paid to the...

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Filed under: Canary Health, The Moult

Letting them fly

By Dorotheé Sensen I'm often asked about letting my birds fly freely around my apartment, so I thought I'd try and put together a little page about letting them fly. I tried not only to tell my experiences but also consider other situations. Why letting them fly? Well, actually I think that birds don't belong inside houses but outside in the wild where they can fly around as they like, since that is their natural way of moving around. That's why I'd never have decided to get a bird as a pet. On the other hand, you can't simply let birds free that have lived in captivity for generations, and so when Benji came to me I thought it my responsibility to at least give her a life as natural as possible. Not everyone has the opportunity to build an outside aviary, or a big flight inside the house where it's possible for the birds to fly and get the...

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Filed under: Aviaries, Canary Facilities & Equipment, The Canary Fancy

Disease Prevention in Commercial Aviaries

The prevention of disease in commercial aviaries requires an understanding of how disease organisms are spread. The common ways that disease organisms enter aviaries are by people, equipment, newly introduced birds, pests and stress. DISEASE TRANSMISSION People People can spread disease to birds in aviaries by two methods; they may be directly infected or they may serve as mechanical carriers. Man may be directly infected with some disease organisms which also infect birds and shed these organisms to the birds. Examples include Candida, E. coli, Salmonella and others. Man may also simply transport disease organisms (mechanical transmission) on his footwear, clothing, hair, hands, etc. For example, if someone visits an aviary where birds are shedding Pachecos virus, Psittacosis, or another disease organism and then visits your aviary, there is a good possibility of disease transmission to your birds. To decrease the probability of disease spread to an aviary, one needs to limit visitors. For those who must enter the aviary,...

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Filed under: Canary Health, Disease and Illness