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ניסיון אמיתי ועצות 18/5/07

 


 

 

ניסיון אמיתי בגידול ציפורים ועצות מועילות לגידול 18/5/07

תרגם ברשות תומר ג. ©

True experience with birds Helpful hints about caged birds 5/18/07

by G.A. Abbate Ph.D.©

yטרם תורגם

ולדוברי האנגלית שבינינו, ניתן להצטרף לחוויה הלימודית בפורומים הבאים ביאהו:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ABBASEEDBIRDSQANDA/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/COM_USA/?yguid=47202339
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ColorbredCanaries101Genetics/?yguid=47202339
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EuropeanGoldFinch/?yguid=47202339
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GPA101911/?yguid=47202339
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/timbrado/?yguid=47202339
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NFSS/?yguid=47202339

Hello from the chilly, nasty, cooold, shivering Garden State. Yesterday the temperature dropped below 50. Bright and early this morning it was very cold and nasty. Poor birds in the wild! Poor birds in our cages! They don't know if they should drop an egg or drop a feather. This is very confusing this year. Nevertheless, the green vegetation is so beautiful dandelions, chickweed, and other seeding weeds are plentiful everywhere. Yesterday while I was in my estate in Warren, NJ, I cut in the fields a couple bushels of rye, fescue, and other grasses in the seeding stage. The Gouldian Finches and other similar birds had a feast this morning. Even the Goldfinches and other Carduelan species chew on the little seed of the grasses with pleasure. Still, despite all of this attention, they show no interest to build a nest as yet. Eventually they will decide to do something I hope. If not, there is always next year.

The Gouldian Finches, as well as other similar birds, as soon as we put these long stem grasses in their cages, after they eat the little seed, they immediately carry their stems in their nest box to build a nest. Some of the Finches build a colorful nest with the combination of green grasses, shredded burlap bags pieces, and goat hair.

The proper nesting material determines success in breeding many species of birds. Observing the nests that birds build in their wild state, they start by using lots of rough material, such as roots from trees and grasses, which are available in cultivated fields. Then they gather fine material such as grass, animal hair, and other material, which are available in the wild. They build a beautiful, strong nest that allows air circulation so that the eggs are properly incubated and the youngsters hatch successfully.

Some manufacturers in Europe promote and sell nest pads made out of Styrofoam material supplying the birds with shredded cotton as nesting material. The breeding birds build a nest that you can drink out of. I have seen many fellow fanciers breed Canaries and Carduelan Finches with these nests and nesting material resulting in youngsters welded on the bottom of the nest, squashed by their parents, in my opinion this was caused by the lack of air circulation.

I visited my friend Franco Gobbi who every year successfully breeds a couple species of Cardinals. He supplies the birds with cotton and other animal hairs as nesting material. The Cardinals rather lay the eggs on the wicker baskets with no built nest, than use the cotton as a nesting material. I have seen nests of Cardinals with five fertile eggs that hatched successful in this wicker basket nest.

Myself, as well as many other friends that I know in Europe, have been trying to imitate the wild state and supply the same material the birds use in their wild habitat. A couple weeks ago we roto tilled my fields and I and some of my helpers, compete with the wild birds in gathering the roots from grasses and trees. The wild birds simply attacked the cultivated fields and stole a good portion of the roots for their own nests. Let's use nature as a guideline to achieve the best success in breeding all species of birds.

When I was very young, I observed many species of breeding birds in the wild state of Australia. For example, I observed quite a few nests of Gouldian Finches at the end of the breeding season. The nesting material in the cavity of the trees was so rough. It was built out of twigs, roots, and grasses. I also saw nests of Zebra Finches, whose nests were built in the same way as the Gouldians, rough. I have seen many open nests in trees of many species of birds, not only in Australia, but all throughout South America and other parts of the world. Always the nests were started with twigs, roots, and other rough material and were gradually finished up with finer, softer material. It was always obvious that air circulation was the primary concern of the birds in the wild state.

In my property in Warren a couple years ago I discovered a couple nests of abandoned American Goldfinches. Both nests, one on each end of the property, were full of water after a heavy rain. The young actually drowned in that well built nest. The American Goldfinch and other seed eating birds normally breed in late summer. At that time of the year, here in the Garden State, as well as other areas of the country, including California, the birds breed in late summer when rainfall is not so plentiful. The youngsters, because of the bountiful supply of a variety of seeding weeds such as a variety of thistle, wild sunflowers and other, they grow very rapidly and fledge successfully. However, when heavy rains, thunder, wind, storms occur, like on Wednesday, it undoubtedly destroys a lot of wild bird nests? Lucky for those birds that are kept in our cages in our bird rooms, handled and maintained by responsible bird fanciers.

While the weather is cold and chilly, the heat is on in the bird room and everything is doing great. When the heat goes off and the warm weather approaches, lots of caution must be used in handling our birds. Moist food goes bad very rapidly during the hot, muggy weather. Use caution. Do not allow birds to eat spoiled food. It will kill the youngsters and make the adults very sick, resulting in the abandonment of their youngsters. Even the dry seed must be stored properly in a dry cool place and not on the floor of a damp basement. The seed must be kept dry and ventilated. Purchase only a sufficient amount of seed that will last you less than a month. Responsible seed manufacturers store their seed in dry, cool conditions to avoid mildew from developing. Toxins in moldy seed can be detrimental to the health of the birds.

In my bird room, we keep a couple spray bottles filled with 9 parts water and 1 part bleach. We spray the corners, the floor, sterilize the feeding cups and drinking tubes. In my opinion, bleach is the best germicide of all, and cheap too! In my bird room we use at least a couple containers per week. We wash everything in bleach water. When we gather greens and we are not certain if they are pesticide and contamination free we spread the greens on a wire mesh box, we spray them thoroughly with the bleach solution and let them stay that way for about ten minutes or so, then we wash them thoroughly with the garden hose to flush all the bleach away. It can be done even in the kitchen sink using a spaghetti strainer. We do use a spaghetti strainer when we have a small amount of contaminated greens. I would definitely sterilize all the greens originated from the supermarket. Yes, you can just wash and feed them, but why take the risk? Better to be safe than sorry. Again, to each his own.

On Tuesday the 22nd of May I will be flying to Europe on a business trip. I will be visiting and listening to laments by many European fellow fanciers. Hopefully on my return, I will be able to share with you all the good and bad things and anything else that I learned from others. You know, we learn from each other.  

If you are not a member of the following groups, please join and be part of the learning experience.

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ABBASEEDBIRDSQANDA/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/COM_USA/?yguid=47202339
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ColorbredCanaries101Genetics/?yguid=472023\
39

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EuropeanGoldFinch/?yguid=47202339
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GPA101911/?yguid=47202339
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NFSS/?yguid=47202339
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/timbrado/?yguid=47202339

Best regards to all,

G.A. Abbate
 

 

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