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Home > Cage & Aviary Bird-Keepers Blog > A month by month guide to the breeding and rearing of American Singer Canaries

A month by month guide to the breeding and rearing of American Singer Canaries

Monday, 10th March 2014

UK fancier, and Haith's customer, Mike Harrington shares a year in the life of his incredible American singer programme... (Mr Harrington has kindly agreed to take photos to illustrate each month's activity. This is a rare and fascinating insight into the world of American singers...).
In addition to the monthly recommendations it is advisable to conduct an all year round feeding and cleaning programme of:
 
Diet:

Adlib feed of Haith’s Deluxe Canary Seed
Fresh water with the addition of Avigold
A mix of mineralised grit and oyster shell
Cuttlefish
Broccoli florets
 
Housing:

Combination of plastic breeding and flight cages housed in an unheated building preferably made of brick.
Natural daylight tube lighting operated with a timer and making regular adjustments to the ‘daylight’ hours throughout the year building up to a maximum of 14 hours ‘daylight in April.
 
Cleaning:

Wash cages and perches regularly. I use paper on the cage floors to make cleaning easier.
Bath birds weekly.
 
November to December

Birds rested in preparation of a build up to the breeding season.
 
January

Prepare birds for breeding by giving them a mix of conditioning seed with added rape and Kraker Tonic Grains. A pinch per bird fed in individual feeding pots.
Introduce weekly baths and continue these throughout until the rest period begins in November.
 
February

Treat birds for red mite with Ivermectin.
Prepare nesting pans with a jute liner fixed into place with melted carbolic soap which helps to keep any mite etc. at bay.
Select pairings for the current years breeding.
 
March

Finalise pairings.
Increase conditioning seed and Kraker Tonic Grains.
Start feeding Nectar Blend egg food.
Take cocks and hens from their flights and put single birds into single cages alternating cages with a cock and a hen (a breeding pair in adjoining cages) with a wire partition between the cock and hen of each breeding pair.
 
April

Remove wire partitions from the breeding pairs.
Put in prepared nest pans and spray the nest pans with ARDAP which will help to control red mite.
Reduce conditioning seed and Kraker Tonic Grains.
Stop Nectar Blend egg food as soon as birds start sitting on eggs.
As eggs are laid remove and replace with pot eggs.
When 4 to 5 eggs have been laid set them all together.
 
May

By the beginning of May you should have chicks hatching.
Feed a main diet of Deluxe Canary seed with fresh Nectar Blend egg food twice a day.
When chicks are a couple of days old feed with sprouted Easi Soak.
When chicks are 7 days old they can be rung with ASC closed rings.
At 22 days the chicks can be weaned making sure the chicks have plenty of Nectar Blend egg food and sprouted Easi Soak.  The chicks will not crack a seed at this stage.
N.b. before chicks are weaned the hen will lay again so ensure a second prepared nest pan is placed inside the cage.
 
June

By the end of May / beginning of June you will have birds sitting on the second round.
Make sure the bird room is not too hot.
Dispose of any stale soft foods on a regular basis.
 
July

By the beginning of July you should be weaning your second round of chicks.
Keep spraying ARDAP onto the cage surfaces taking care not to spray the birds.
When the last youngsters are weaned split the adult cocks and hens.
 
August

Group together all young birds into large flight cages.
By this time the young birds will be able to crack seed and so conditioning seed can be added to their diet together with broccoli florets.
Ensure young birds get plenty of baths.
 
September

Stop feeding soaked seed.
 
October

Birds will moult during October.
When the young cocks start singing split cocks and hens into separate flights, keeping them separate from the adults.
 

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