The process begins with the selection of pairs being careful of their pedigree and heritable traits. Canaries are only fertile when the length of the day is about 12 or more hours. Spring!
Important characteristics, such as overall appearance, color and trilling should be high on the priority list.
1. Number the cages & partners or note the band information,
2. Record the history, and
3. Results of the mating.
Start with a breeding cage with a partition in the middle so the pair can get to know each other. When you observe “kissing” through the partition they are ready.
Nest Building: 3-6 days
When the partition is removed, the male will start feeding the female. Place a nest in the cage and provide nesting material. The female will start building the nest with the males assistance usually taking about 3-6 days.
During the nest building, the male inseminates the female with regular but very short breeding…
Sometimes this process appears to be a little concerning.
Egg Laying: 4-7 days
A few days later the female lays the first egg after a short but laborious process.
Laying the eggs lasts for 4 to 7 days. Every morning the female lays an egg.
Option: Remove the egg off the nest immediately after laying, replacing it with a dummy. Put them back all together in the nest at the end of egg-laying, in order to achieve a simultaneous hatching of chicks. This would achieve the goal of having them about the same size so the older chick would not have an advantage.
Keep a record of the dates by cage..and also by pair.
The dedication of the female and the devotion of the male guarantee a successful procreation.
Incubation: 13-14 days
The incubation of all chicks happens on the 13th to 14th day and lasts from 2 up to 12 hours.
During the incubation, the female watches restlessly and intervenes only to take away the remains.
Feeding: 6 weeks
After the incubation, the feeding of the chicks begins.
When the chicks hatch, you must provide food rich in egg protein for the parents to feed them. Greens such as broccoli and sprouts are also very important.
For the first 3 to 4 days the female feeds the chicks exclusively on her own.
At the same time keeping the nest clean!
The male feeds the female regularly, so that she does not abandon the nest, thus exposing the chicks to the cold.
The feeding of the female by the male has to be non-stop throughout the process in order to achieve success.
The breeder attends to a daily provision of protein and calcium boiled egg as well as vitamins from fresh fruits (apple) and other egg/nesting foods.
After about the 5th day the male participates actively in the feeding of small birds….while from the 10th day and afterwards he progressively takes over their feeding
Leg Bands: 6- 8th day optional
From the 6th until the 8th day, the owner carries out the leg ringing of the nestlings with closed type rings. Open colored bands can be put on the chicks when they leave the nest.
Some Breeders use a ring with the year, breeders number, the series and the location of reproduction, the number of chicks. Other breeders use a color ring and careful records to know the genealogy of the new canaries.
New Nest 13th-16th day
After the 13th – 16th day, the female focuses on building the new nest and starting over the whole process. The chicks leave the nest at about 18 days after hatching. The parents will feed them for another week +-.
The breeder attends to the enclosure of the chicks inside the nest, with a special door which allows the continuity of their feeding.
After the completion of the second nest and of the egg-laying, a bisector mesh is placed…which allows the upbringing of small birds, either with the father and the mother alone…
or with the pair on one side and the birds on the other.
28 to 30 days
After 28-30 days, the chicks are removed from parents in a spacious cage, with the suitable food. By the time they are 4 weeks old, the chicks must learn to eat on their own. Provide them with the same egg food the parents fed them. Also prepare softened seed by soaking it for 48 hours. Rinse the soaked seed daily. Start an assembly line so that every day you will have seed that has been soaked for 2 days. Do not give them the normal dry canary seed mix until they are at least 6 weeks old.
After some months we put the male canaries in separate individual cages.
A Few Rules:
Crested Canaries should always be paired with Plainheads. Dominate whites should not be bred to each other.