American Singers Club, Inc.
National Colorbred Association
Master Breeder Award
There are many aspects to
Canary and birdroom management, ranging from birdroom layout and
equipment to the challenge of breeding season... providing for the needs of an entire flock of birds as opposed to a handful of birds
kept only as pets.
This section will not attempt
to cover all of those details, but will offer to you some unique tips
and techniques that I have found useful in my own birdroom. I
highly suggest that you read all you can get your hands on that relates
to canaries and breeding them... before you purchase your first breeding
This is a very
rewarding and satisfying hobby, but can also be very demanding of your
time and attention, not to mention the expenses of setting up a workable
I'll welcome you into my
birdroom, and show you my simple and functional setup. Although it
is a work in process, my hope is you gain some good ideas to help you on
your way to managing a successful birdroom of your own.
As much as possible, keep
the cages and equipment in your birdroom uniform. This enables you to
rearrange and interchange things easily.
I've found this especially
useful in things such feeding cups and drinkers. By using the same
style throughout the birdroom, I always have clean containers to replace
the dirty ones. They clip right into the holders that are already
in the cages, making this a quick process. The dirty ones can be
placed in the sink until I have time for washing and disinfecting them.
This extends to even the
cages themselves. All of my breeding cages are identical, and
outfitted the same. I always keep an extra cage or two clean and
ready, and when I am pressed for time, I can pull a dirty cage off the
shelf, slid one of the extra cages into its place and put the occupant
into the clean cage. The dirty cage can wait until the weekend
when I have time to give it a thorough cleaning.
When choosing cages for
your birdroom, think "versatility". When I first started, I
equipped my room with a battery of twelve double breeding cages, each
one having a wire divider that would easily slide in and out from the
front of the cage. I cut out some solid dividers of corrugated PVC
signboard, the kind that makers of outdoor signs use.
It is durable, rigid, lightweight, and washable. In addition to
making slide in dividers with this material, I cut pieces to slide along
the outsides of the cages so the occupants have privacy from their
neighbors. Without them, the males would be busy scoping out the
hens in the next cage, and the hens would be making eyes at the someone
other than her "intended". This isolation also helps them to claim
that space as their own, and feel secure. This modest setup allows
me to divide the cages to make twenty four
individual cages or remove the dividers and make twelve large
I should also
warn you that within a year, I was doubling the number of cages I had,
as my interest mushroomed. Don't let that scare you, because one
of the keys on any hobby is managing its size to stay within your own
budget, how much time you have available to devote to it, and your
I chose a cage that was
24" long, 16" tall, and 16" deep. This size makes a very nice home
for a single male during most of the year. When breeding time
comes, the dividers go in as I introduce him to the hen. The pair
raises their chicks together there, and the chicks eventually get
transferred to another divided cage for weaning.
When I started out, I also
looked for versatility in room arrangement, so I placed my cages (both
breeding and flight) on rolling stands. This made for easy
cleaning, as I could roll a set of cages out into the middle of the room
and have access to the walls and floor space. I was also able to
change the configuration of the room to suit the season, and having the
moveable cages made it possible.
I used the bottom cage
space of the rack to hold a covered plastic tote, giving me extra
storage space. This bottom space would not be a good place for
birds to occupy because of the possibility of drafts so close to the
floor, plus the fact that I would have to stand on my head to observe
them and would constantly be bending over to tend to their needs. I'm
finding that middle age makes things like that important, and the less
bending, the better.
Every keeper of
birds needs contacts and resources far beyond what can be offered in
this simple website. Look for a breeder to purchase your
foundation stock from that is willing to answer questions you have along
the way and serve as a mentor for you. Having someone to obtain
sound advice from and point you in the right direction is extremely
Connections page to find a listing of
resources I've found to be
Last, but not least, one
of the things I've found to be most important for those keeping canaries
and managing birdrooms is ENJOYMENT. This is a hobby that is and
should be fun.
Hours and hours of time
are required in being devoted to this fancy to be successful. I have
heard that the key to success in anything is this....hard work. Although this
is true, I have also heard that if you work at something you enjoy, you
will never work a day in your life. This means that it won't seem
like work so much if you're doing something you enjoy. Success in canary
keeping is the result of enjoyable work. The hours I've spent in
my birdroom are hours of my life that I will never get back, but I can't
think of any other way I would have rather spent them.
I've placed an
overstuffed chair in an area where I can sit and observe the birds and
their activities. It gives me a quiet place to "consider
the birds" and marvel at what intriguing creatures they are.
If you keep canaries,
enjoy them, enjoy the work, enjoy the planning, enjoy the challenges.
Enjoy the songs they offer up to you in appreciation for the care and
attention you give to managing the details of their lives.
Enjoy your very own.......
Aria From A