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  1. #1
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    Helen
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    Question When should baby canaries start to fly and when do I clean out the nest?

    Hey all,

    I have a pair of canaries... mum and dad had a clutch of five eggs one of which hatched. Bubs is now 18 days old and is starting to fly around the cage following the parents calling for food. Dad does most of the feeding and will go wait by the nest for bubs and then he feeds it. They have a good selection of fresh food every day incuding nesting food. I have left the unhatched eggs in the nest as I read on one site that this helps prevent leg issues in the babies. Mum and dad have been going at it again recently and mum has been ripping up news paper and putting it in the water dish because the nest still has eggs.

    Ok so the question is... should the baby be able to fly yet (even though it seems to be able to) since it still hasn't got fully formed wings and tail feathers and I thought they didn't leave the nest for 3 to 4 weeks??? Also when do I clean the unhatched eggs out and do I allow mum to breed again so soon if she is getting jiggy with dad? If I leave the eggs in the nest until bubs is fending for itself then mum can't lay new eggs in there... I don't want to separate mum and dad because dad still feeds bubs (who is very demanding) any ideas???

    Cheers,

    Helen

  2. #2
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    Rudi
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    Re: When should baby canaries start to fly and when do I clean out the nest?

    Helen, all sounds normal and actually perfect. The parents do usually start mating before the first clutch’s young are weaned. Only problem usually is the Mom will begin using the baby’s feathers as nest material, sometimes plucking the poor thing bare. If you are not banding/leg ringing it is your call in regard to the nest. Usually breeders wait until the babies are showing their pin feathers, feathers all over their body popping up. At this time they pull the nest, band the young, catalog band number and specifics. They prepare a new nest and as they band the young they place them in the fresh new nest. Then place the new/clean nest back into the cage with babies in it. When done, place new food in the cage. This distracts the parents and they very quickly forget about the intrusion and go to feeding the young. Usually also go to do close to lights out. Mom resumes sitting and all is fine. Since yours are moving about they do become real flighty, so I would replace the nest now with a fresh clean one. Dad will continue to feed, which is great as Mom sits. The young will pester her but she will usually put up with it. She will lay her clutch and endure the young bouncing about. The only good way to be sure the young are ready to be separated from Mom and Dada is when you see them cracking seed on their own. Flying, don’t worry about it, they’ll do that when they do it, sound like their already on their way. Weaning is another subject. If removed to soon they will lose weight fast. They need soft food for up to 3 months some time until they are self-sufficient. Some people will disagree with me on the 3 months thing; I play it safe and make sure they get what they need. You sound like you have a great pair/parents, don’t remove the male, he’s doing his daddy work well. If it becomes apparent either parent are beginning to abuse/peck/hurt the young, get a double breeder cage and place the parents in one side with their nest and the weaning young in the other side. The young will still beg and dada will feed them through the bars. Good luck

  3. #3
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    Re: When should baby canaries start to fly and when do I clean out the nest?

    Thanks for the info! I don't really want to end up with a million birds and I didn't really get the birds to breed them, just because they were pretty and I like having them around. If I let her have another clutch of eggs, but then want to give her a break, do I reduce the light hours to prevent her trying for a third lot?

    regards,

    Helen

  4. #4
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    Re: When should baby canaries start to fly and when do I clean out the nest?

    That may work but the truth is there is no fast rule here. Some birds will do what they are going to do no matter what. When your ready, remove the male and nest. This has a bigger chance of triggering, hey he's gone I can relax. Problem here is feeding young means high protien food, usually egg driven which in itself causes laying responses. Light, food and temperature all do. The sudden decrease in light generally trigger, stop breeding time to molt. By removing him and the nest she still may want to lay, now you get eggs in the food dish and she sits there on them. You can wait that out or you can just do the old fashioned tried and true way as well. This is to let everything remain the same. When she lays wait till she is complete, 3, 4, 5 eggs, whatever. Now take those out and replace them with fake eggs. If you can't find any, use marbles, she won't know, nor can they count so 2 is fine. She will continue to sit and after a few weeks remove the nest and all. This in most cases gets it out of their system and moves them on. Once again, some hens can be very broody and this can go on and on and be very frustrating. I have a hen I leave the nest in year round. She stops laying after a while but simply has to have it to sleep in. I induldge her, she is sweet but she is in a huge flight and chases off everyone who gets near her king size bed. Sorry she makes me laugh so I leave it. Good luck

  5. #5
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    Re: When should baby canaries start to fly and when do I clean out the nest?

    Thank you Rudi,

    It is funny that your female likes her bed to herself! I guess I was a little naive because I thought you just popped a couple of birds in the cage and feed and water them and they would have one nest and play happy families and all would be well with the world! I didn't realise they were the bunnies of the bird world! We had guinea pigs when we lived in New Zealand... and they breed like crazy! The canaries remind me of them. I'm pleased I have more than one cage so I can separate them.

    Thanks again,

    Helen

  6. #6
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    Re: When should baby canaries start to fly and when do I clean out the nest?

    I totally agree with you Helen. When I first had one parakeet many years ago, like you, it was all about cleaning his cage, watering and feeding him, and watching him play on his swing. Fast forward a few decades, and I added several birds to my flock. I had 5 keets and 4 tiels. I figured it was no big deal, just do the same thing taking care of them as you did one parakeet. Well, I sure was wrong. Soon I had a pair of budgies who got together and produced (4) chicks. They could hardly wait until the chicks crawled out of the nesting box so they could start all over again. And now, I have a chronic egg laying, tiel. So, I've learned that indeed, birds are are indeed the "bunnies of the bird world"!!

  7. #7
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    Re: When should baby canaries start to fly and when do I clean out the nest?

    It's crazy! My husband is already calling me the crazy bird lady and I only have the three. I have separated bubs, but it is in the cage next to mum and dad and they do still feed it although it is eating more on it's own. I think I have found a good home for the baby when it is old enough so that is a relief! Mum has already made a nice new nest up, but there are no eggs as yet so that is a relief also...

    I am thinking I need to build a better stand for the bird cages. At they moment they are on top of a cabinet because one of my dogs is quite keen to play with the birds and see if he can get their sqeakers out. He thinks they are sqeaky toys! I had to put the cage on a box on the cabinet because he can jump quite high for a little dog. He is part Maltese and Part Jack Russell so he is cute with an obsessive compulsive personality. Very lovable and sweet, but loves toys that squeak!

    regards,

    Helen

  8. #8
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    Re: When should baby canaries start to fly and when do I clean out the nest?

    When it is mating/breeding season most will go 2 to 3 rounds/clutches if allowed. After that they "should stop", but not always. Canary's only breed in spring to summer where most hookbills, (cocktiels, lovebirds, bungies ect) can do it all year if you let them. I did have a pair of both lovebirds and cocktiels who if there was a nest in site they laid eggs. I just pulled the nests and they stpped, well sometimes honestly, but sooner or later afetr a few wekks they stopped. Canary's will stop and should be made to if they do not. They are also very solitary birds which most get along fine if caged together but some never. I always say do not generalized as you have above. No disrespect meant, I am just pointing out, there are no fast and true things when it come to any breed. Well there are but I am refering to personalities. They are all individuals and when you think you have it down they'll throw you a curve ball. The littel girl with the nest I spoke about above, is an older hen who is past her breeding days, so I leave her the nest because she really does act like it her own personal bedroom. She will fight any other to the death, mine mine mine. She never lays eggs anymore but sleeps and even brings food back to sit and eat there. 12 other birds in the flight and she is queen, so I let her just be and everyone else in there seems to understand it as well, or she'll remind them real quick.

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