In Spain, the breeding season begins in mid-March with spring, although there are variations depending on the particularities of the climate in each area. With this post you will learn everything you need to prepare your canary pairs for the breeding season.
1. Choice of the pair of canaries
A well-fed and well-cared female canary can reproduce up to 4 years of age . Later, her reproductive capacity begins to decline and she can be severely weakened if she has more young. The males, on the other hand, can reproduce for a few more years. Some pairs of canaries cannot reproduce despite receiving good care, either because they are not compatible or due to health problems. It is recommended that at least one of the birds has breeding experience when joining a new pair.
2. Preparation of the male canary
It is convenient to prepare the male about 6 weeks before the breeding season. If you have a lot of canaries, separate the males into individual cages and offer them a protein-rich canary food and add fresh fruit and song food. Vitamins and bee pollen, which are excellent supplements, are also recommended. To increase the protein content of the diet, you can gradually include seed sprouts . As the breeding season approaches, the male canaries are more vigorous and sing seeking to stimulate the females. Usually, it is a louder and harsher song accompanied by a kind of dance, with the wings down. If the male does not begin courtship, the female may not go into heat.
3. Preparation of the female canary
For their part, female canaries begin to prepare the nest by collecting the materials they find in their environment. When they are really ready, their cloaces become swollen and red. In addition, they crouch down and lift their tails when the male approaches or sings to them. If you only have one pair of canaries, you can make these preparations with both birds together in the same cage, as long as they don’t hurt each other. The female also needs a high protein diet and plenty of room to fly and strengthen her muscles for the daunting task of laying eggs and raising chicks.
4. Preparation of the breeding cage for canaries
The most convenient thing is to have a special cage for breeding canaries that has a vertical separation. In this way, the couple will be able to get to know each other during the preparation of the breeding season. We must place it in a quiet place, away from cold drafts, noise and the frequent passage of people or animals. It is not advisable to change the cage during the preparation of the pair.
The hygiene conditions of the cage must always be optimal. During the breeding season we must be even more conscientious with cleaning, since a good part of the success will depend on the health of the canary couple . It is very important to check the stability of the cage perches, as well as to have the right nest and good material so that the female can prepare the bed.
4. The moment of the first meeting
The most important factor in defining the beginning of the breeding season is the number of hours of daylight per day. If you are an amateur breeder you can let nature take care of this, but if you keep your birds with artificial lighting you should gradually increase the hours of light , starting with 10 hours at the end of winter and increasing by 15 minutes each week until arriving. to 13 hours a day in approximately 3 months.
It is best to bring the pair of canaries together by removing the vertical separation when both are shown ready for mating . If we try to get them to start breeding early, it may happen that they lay few eggs or that they are infertile. Once the canaries begin to mate, we must ensure that the behavior of the male is not too aggressive. If it starts to peck fiercely at the female, we must separate them again and try again later. The usual thing is that both members of the couple are receptive, so that from that moment on we will only have to worry about keeping the cage clean , providing the necessary food and letting nature take its course!