Groupings, Personal Space, Garden Art, and Color forum: Toni's Canary Odyssey

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ImageSkiekitty
Jun 22, 2015 12:26 PM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
Well, I closed up my book on chickens, now let's move onto something a lot smaller, a lot less messy, and can be a lot more noisy.. canaries! I used to keep canaries years ago but got out of it as I was getting tired of people complaining on how I couldn't guarantee that they were getting a male or a female. Unless it lays an egg, there's no easy 100% non-DNA way to sex a canary! They're not sexually dimorphic (meaning males look different than females) and just because it sings doesn't make it a male.. I've had girls who sang up a storm! Sure, I could get the babies DNA tested, but that costs money and people aren't going to want to pay the price.
Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon
ImageSkiekitty
Jun 22, 2015 1:48 PM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
Well, that was a truncated post! I didn't get quite finished with it! Oops.

I've done canary posts before, but not here on BG, so new audience. So I'll start with the background.

Back in 2003, I got my first canary. I was working at a Petco & a lady came in needing a home for her Tweety. She was older & going into a hospice and couldn't take Tweety with her, so she needed to find a home for him. I had never seen a green canary before, so I took Tweety home. Much to my surprise about a year later when Tweety, who had been quite the singing bird, laid an egg! Oops! Of course I was under the impression that only males sing to attract a female, but I later found out that some females will sing too. I never bred Tweety.. but I did have her until she passed away in.. 2009? 2010? Something like that. And she was already 3 years old when *I* got her (her band said 2000). So she had a long, tweet-tweet filled life.

When I start a hobby, I unfortunately go bonkers with it. I can't help myself. I am trying very hard now to limit myself, but I just can't help it. When I decided I was going to do canaries, I ended up with like 20+ breeding pairs! I had my "craft room" completely dedicated just to my canaries! I had 3 walls lined with cages! Taking care of them would take an hour to 2 hours every day - feeding, watering, cleaning water dishes, sweeping (and sweeping and sweeping.. my god are birds messy critters!!).. and that would be just a "surface" clean. On Sunday mornings would be my deep cleaning and that's when I would scrub cages/perches, shopvac the room, etc. Unless I had babies, those cages would just get a surface clean every day as I didn't want to disturb the mom too much. Moms take care of their babies for 2-3 weeks before she will kick them out of the nest permanently. I also try to keep the dad with the babies.. I've found through experience that babies with a dad actually are stronger because they have 2 parents feeding them rather than just 1. Sometimes you get a good dad, sometimes you get a dud. But all you can do is try until you know what you got!

Right now I have 5 canaries. I had started out with just 1, but the lady who sold me that one was downsizing some of her birds, so I ended up getting a second from her. The first one was an older canary. I was a little leery about it, but she assured me that she bought him from a breeder in 2012, so a 3 year old bird isn't that bad. But after I got him home, I looked at his legs. Birds age the most in their legs, and his legs were pretty old looking. Oh well. But she texted me letting me know that she needed to get rid of her other canary, so I got him from her as well. Now he's a much younger bird, maybe a year at best. I'm color feeding him so he'll be bright orangy by the time he's done molting.

You can 'colorfeed' a canary that's got "red factor" in him. A "redfactor" canary is a descendant of a odd mixmatch pairing of a red siskin and a female canary. Red siskins are beautiful birds from Central America and is a type of finch. Canaries are actually from the Canary Islands, but almost no canaries are imported from there any longer (no need). Unfortunately, red siskins are now endangered in their own natural habitat because of people capturing them for the pet bird trade. No real reason for that, they breed quite readily in captivity! Anyways, the red genes from the red siskin will breed true in canaries and, with a little help from humans, you can now have bright red canaries! Only thing is that you have to keep color feeding them otherwise they'll revert back to their natural plumage. But color feeding them doesn't hurt at all.. all it is just powdered carrots & red bell peppers & other foods with beta carotene in it. You can get commercially made food that way and that's the easiest way to do it.

Canaries in the wild are a mottled green/brown color, but with breeding, that's how we've got the massive variety of canaries that we do have. People breed them for song or for posture or for looks. There's canaries that look really wrong to me (the "frilled" canaries with their permanent bad feather days or the "Gibber Italicus" canary that looks SOO horrible, like a hunched over half-dead canary), or the funky looking ones (crested with the Beetles haircuts or the Norwich which looks like a giant poofball). Then there's the color bred ones (white, red, yellow, green, mosaic (color on head/wings/tail, kinda like a Siamese cat), and blue (actually a type of greyish color, not a real "blue). And, of course, canaries bred just for song. American singers, Spanish Timbrados, German Rollers, Russian singers... they all have categories & a point system and ohmygoodness lots & lots of different stuff all involved. Me, personally, I just like the song birds. I love American & Russian Singers best, Spanish Timbrados are very nice, but I don't care personally for German rollers. Just not my thing.

As I said before before I got off track, I have 5 canaries. I started with the older one, who unfortunately passed away a few days ago. :( I have the younger orange colored one, "Simon". I also adopted a beautiful very young yellow one from the Metro Denver Parrot Rescue that I named Michael Jackson. I then purchased two from the bird expo in May. I purchased them as females and I personally didn't check. Oops. One's definitely male. He's only about 4 months old and has a "baby" song. I originally named "her" Vicki E., but I probably need to change that name to Victor or something like. Maybe Victory? He's a pure white canary who's parentage is Spanish timbrado and Russian singer. Let's see exactly what his song's going to be like. Then I have another solid yellow, and I'm quite sure that's a female (I really should just look to see. You *can* tell a male from female if they're old enough, but she's probably not old enough yet) as she's much more sedate than Victory is. Then I just picked up a very cute mottled canary.. mostly white with some black on his head and a splash of red on his wings due to his parentage. Not sure what his song is going to be as he was actually bred for coloring, not song. But he's adorable and I love him & that's what matters! I'll get pictures of everyone when I get back from NY and strive to keep this post alive.

Victory & the yellow female.. maybe SunnyGirl?
Thumb of 2015-06-22/Skiekitty/90c607

Video of Michael Jackson
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOudRVTOoJQ

Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon
ImageSharon
Jun 22, 2015 5:30 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
I love it Toni! I already just plain love this thread!
Thank you.
ImageSkiekitty
Jun 22, 2015 11:29 PM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
Simon
Thumb of 2015-06-23/Skiekitty/637bbd

Unnamed white w/spots.. thinking maybe "pirate"
Thumb of 2015-06-23/Skiekitty/145673
Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon
ImageDaylilyOma2
Jun 23, 2015 12:12 AM CST
Name: DaylilyOma2
OH
Be a good day maker! Smile!
Wow, Toni! Neat thread.
I have only one canary that DH bought me last year. He is a beautiful male singer. It is two in the morning and he is singing up a storm. He is really a "nite owl" like his "mama" I guess. Of course that is not by choice.
Tweetiepie doesn't like me to put his cover on until I am ready to turn out the light. But sometimes I do cover him up because if I want to listen to music or a message on the computer, he sings up a storm and I can't hear myself think. Hilarious! But he is such company after my DH goes to bed. Both the dog and cat are sleeping but I can count on Tweetiepie to keep me company.

I will look forward to your canary thread, Toni. Hurray!
Oma
ImageSharon
Jun 23, 2015 12:55 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
That's right, Oma!! I remember when you got Tweetiepie. I've never had a bird, though my son once had a little green something that I can't remember the name of. Duh. Too many years ago and I didn't have much to do with it. Named it LeRoy Bird the third, after a college basketball player at UK. Cockatiel, that's it. It talked a little, sounded just like my son.
ImageSkiekitty
Jun 23, 2015 5:36 AM CST
Name: Toni
Denver Metro, Zone 5
Too many cats!!
Oma - Can you take pictures of your Tweetiepie? He sounds like one of my birds I used to have... Pavarotti. He never shut up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stPeenXHh2Q

It's an older video but I loved that bird. He was a great singer. He sang when it was dark, he sang when it was light.. he was just a noisy birdie!

I don't know if I really want to get back into breeding. I was doing the red mosaics. I had 1 particular mosaic, PurdyBirdie, who was absolutely gorgeous IMO. I matched him with Rose, my first female red canary, and they produced some pretty babies. Here's a picture of PurdyBirdie with Rose.

Thumb of 2015-06-23/Skiekitty/8f908e

it's amazing how this:

Thumb of 2015-06-23/Skiekitty/fd8342

turns into this:

Thumb of 2015-06-23/Skiekitty/558201

in about 2 months.
Never be afraid of a scar. It just means that you were stronger than something that tried to hurt you.
My new Etsy shop - handmade jewelry by ME!! http://www.etsy.com/shop/OjodelGato
Buy some of my photos! http://www.catsonkeyboards.com
"I've seen better acting from extras in Godzilla movies!" - Calculon
ImageSharon
Jun 23, 2015 9:26 AM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
So beautiful, Toni.
ImageDaylilyOma2
Jun 23, 2015 3:18 PM CST
Name: DaylilyOma2
OH
Be a good day maker! Smile!
Wow, Toni, what beautiful birds.

I have tried to get a picture but Tweetiepie is afraid of the camera. When I get up that close to the cage, he gets afraid and jumps all over the place. It is hard to get a picture. But I will keep trying.
He is singing his little heart out today. Love his company, otherwise the house is just tooooo quiet to suit me.
Oma
Imageirisarian
Jun 23, 2015 6:44 PM CST
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA
irises
I had a pair of canaries when I was about 9. they were a birthday present. I had named one Jack, so my mother named the other one Jill. Hartz Mountain broadcast 15 minutes of song on the radio & he would listen to that & sing.
ImageFleuDeLis
Sep 9, 2015 6:33 PM CST
Name: Dianne
New England Area, NSW - Tenter

Great thread! Is it still 'going'?

My Dad .. no, my g'father .. his dad .. had the 1st canaries I remember. Dad bred them, g'dad & nan always had one though inside. A great uncle also bred them & my mum's younger sister also always had one.

I was a budgerigar nut when I was a kid .. dad built me a whole avairy to myself & my budgies, which I bred for pocket money from the age of about 10yrs old. When I left home & had a family myself, I then also bred canaries & crossed them with Goldfinches, which produces 'mules' which cannot breed as they are sterile. Oh, boy but do they sing! Genetics got me hooked & it was an 'omen' for things to come ..

Over the years I've bred several types of bantam chooks, peafowl, various breeds of pigeons .. and even my own 'line' of white fantails with black or brown tail feathers .. the canaries, budgies, geese, various breeds of Goldfish, Himalayan persian cats, Dexter Cattle, Aust. Silky Terriers, Boston Terriers, Japanese Chins, Tenterfield Terriers .. previously known as Miniature Foxies & very much like your 'rat terriers' .. English Bull Terriers & Staffordshire Bull Terriers & Irish Wolfhounds .. all for show only & exported a few Silkies over the years.

Do you remember a Silky that sat on the desk in a USA series of a TV station .. was it called 'Lou Grant' with Ed Azner?? .. well, that Silky was a true blue Ausie bred by myself! He also appeared with Zaza Gabor in 'Fantasy Island'.
The mother of that pup was an Aust. Champion who was also awarded a 'Puppy of the Day' at our Easter Show Dog Show in Sydney when she was just over 4mths old .. an award her mother also attained at the same age .. the only 2 Silkies ever to do so. Her name was 'Colombine' or 'Colly' for short.

I've also had 3 horses .. my first was a strawberry roan x arab who went on to be a stud stallion for someone else .. he was VERY naughty .. then I rescued 'Bisque' ('Bikky' for short) a gorgeous golden buckskin 1st cross Quarter Horse/Brumby a few yrs later who had been so very cruelly treated by some boys who stole him & nearly killed him in the process, from the original owner who used to Camp Draft with him.
I was later given an old mare as a companion for him, when I left Sydney for Tenterfield in 1988, who was born on the day man landed on the moon .. her name was 'Lunar' of course. Both now are sadly gone & as I can no longer ride nor live on a property, I have no horse. :(

These days we have just 2 Cockatiels .. 'Joe' & 'Freckles' .. quite a few different goldfish, 2 dogs .. 'Dolly' a black Great Dane & 'Jack' a ginger dog of dubious breeding .. both of which are rescue fur babies .. and no cats, as both our 'boys' passed within a few months of each other late last year at nearly 16yrs old, lots of garden & plants.

Here's Dolly in her new pyjamas last year .. she really likes this hot pink!
:Thumb of 2015-09-10/FleuDeLis/3d0418

This is Jack .. he ate his pyjamas!
Thumb of 2015-09-10/FleuDeLis/51b47e

Here is 'Joe' helping me packing plant orders ..
Thumb of 2015-09-10/FleuDeLis/06e766

and this is 'Freckles' when we first bought her home from a pet shop, near starving ..
Thumb of 2015-09-10/FleuDeLis/9c3793

and our 2 dear 'boys', who were brothers .. 'Smokey Joe' & 'Pokey Mon' who had only half a tail ..
Thumb of 2015-09-10/FleuDeLis/d5cafd

and our dear 'Boss' .. a x Wolfhound who sadly passed at 8yrs with a heart failure, after a life-long murmur .. here he is with 'Dolly' a few mnths before passing away ..
Thumb of 2015-09-10/FleuDeLis/0fa123
''Lend Your Ears to the Sounds of Nature''
ImageSharon
Sep 9, 2015 6:50 PM CST
Name: Sharon
Kentucky
Beautiful animals/pets, all of them and wow for all those who have been in your life. Beautiful story!

I've found that most who love plants and gardens also love animals. Seems they go hand in hand.

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