The reproduction of canaries is a fascinating process, but one that requires rules and procedures to be respected! If you want to embark on this wonderful journey, we will give you all the necessary information, from the preliminary stages of mating, up to the weaning of small canaries. Trust us, it will be an experience that will give you great satisfaction!
The reproduction period and photoperiod
Canaries breed between March and August , although the hottest periods are best avoided! In fact, this would favor the formation of diseases and the infestation of mites and parasites to the detriment of the young.
Canaries need at least 13 hours of continuous light throughout the day to ensure regularity to their seasonal cycle ( photoperiod ). In fact, light is used by the photoreceptors of the brain to produce sex hormones. If our habits do not allow adequate and continuous lighting inside the house, it would be appropriate to place them outside (to get them used to the cold it is better to place them outdoors no later than October). If, on the other hand, we manage to keep them at home, let’s arm ourselves with lamps (to heat and illuminate) and a waxed sheet to cover the aviary at night.
Power during playback
In addition to the usual mixture of seeds accompanied by fruit and vegetables (see previous article on the canary), vitamin and calcium supplements are recommended . The cuttlefish bones will favor the assimilation of calcium by the female and consequently healthy eggs.
There are also excellent egg mash (or bits of egg biscuit) that should be introduced gradually in the diet (from 2 to 3 days a week), about a month before playback . It is important to accustom the female to the food so that after the eggs hatch this is also given to wean the young.
When are canaries ready for mating?
Observe the behavior of the canaries! The male may begin to sing more shrill by lowering his wings until he chirps. You could also try your hand at a kind of dance around the perch. If other males are present then it will show very territorial.
The females, on the other hand, will begin to tear the paper on the bottom of the aviary (a sign that they want to prepare the nest) and in front of the boys they could crouch down raising their tail. Everything will be even more evident by checking their cloaca (the reproductive organ) which in the reproductive phase will swell and redden.
Formation of the pair of canaries
As for humans, even among canaries, before starting a family, the spark must be triggered! If the male canary were to enter the reproductive phase earlier, he could prove aggressive towards the female. Therefore, until they are both ready, it is better to keep them in separate cages or in the same aviary spaced by a divider. However, it is better to keep eye contact .
When they are ready it is likely to see them exchange a few “kisses” through the partition! This tender gesture that makes them look a lot like the man will decree that the couple is formed. Otherwise, put them together and make sure they don’t fight (if so, separate them and wait a little longer). If you respect their times everything will be fine!
The nest and spawning
Regardless of the type of nest chosen (wicker interior or exterior), we should put our canary in a position to lay and brood the eggs in seclusion and tranquility . We provide the future mother with cotton or jute to set up the nest and possibly also help her with the arrangement of the same.
Once the nest is made, the canary will begin to lay one egg per day (from 4 to 6 eggs total). For each egg laid, we will have to replace it with a fake one, keeping the real one in a box filled with wadding. This procedure is used to give birth to all the little ones at the same time, avoiding that “whoever arrives first .. better lodges” by overriding others. The eggs will be turned every day (so as not to decentralize the yolk) and heated with a low intensity light bulb . When all the eggs are laid, we will have to put them back in the nest.
Hatching of eggs and weaning
After about 2 weeks the eggs will hatch. Both parents will provide the weaning food. After about 20 days, the chicks will start feeding on their own. This will mean that they can be separated from their parents, who will in turn be separated!