With canaries, October can be a straightforward month. The show season is in full swing and those Open and members shows will continue until the end of the year...
Most of the birds should be through the moult now but there is likely to be a few birds that are not quite “finished” If you have colour-fed birds like Norwich, Yorkshires and even Coloured canaries it’s vital to keep up the colour food just in case the odd feather is still coming through. It’s always best to keep feeding colour food especially with the show team as it’s just possible they may drop a feather and if they are still being colour-fed, the new feather will be coloured too.
It’s vital to understand the feeding of canaries at this time of the year. It’s important to appreciate the difference between feeding to maintain the birds in show condition and feeding to achieve breeding condition. At this time of the year it’s important to offer the birds an excellent seed diet, such as Haith’s De Luxe Canary Mix, probably a little Easisoak soaking seed as an extra with the occasional treat of an eggfood once a week.
Canaries love treats and that includes greenfood – chickweed, apple, lettuce, spinach and broccoli. There is a problem with feeding these foods as they are likely to stain the birds’ faces and if it’s the intention to show them, there’s a problem. It’s vital to keep the show team clean!
Grit and cuttlefish bone is needed by the birds all year round. Offer Haith’s Mineralised Grit, Haith’s Oystershell Grit and cuttlefish bone for added calcium.
During October is all about keeping canaries in show condition, generally caring for the stock and not offering Condition Seed as that will start to bring the canaries into breeding condition and that will make the show team unsteady, the cocks will start to “pull” and generally be more interested in attracting a mate, rather than showing themselves to the judge.
October is an excellent time of the year to think about management issues in the birdroom like painting, building a new flight or even making new breeding and stock cages. It’s always best to get those jobs sorted long before the breeding season approaches.
Written by Fred Wright