. . . Zooeasy . . . Quiko . . . Giantel . . . Bird shop . . . J & J . . . Easyyem . . . Heesakkers . . . Vaesen . . . Comed . . . . . . kaf o matic . . . Witte Molen . . .

Black spot door Dr J.Vanderborght .

Black spot - derived from an article by Dr J. Vanderborght (Belgium) - Black spot is caused by the circovirus. Most of the adult birds already have a competent immune system when they are infected. This means that they can develop protective antibodies over a period of some weeks and these will then clear the body from the virus.

zwarte stipYoung chicks are most susceptible when there is an outbreak and the mother has not been able to build sufficient protective antibodies to pass on to her eggs. As the hen is not yet cleared from the virus, the virus will replicate in the egg, destroying the immune system, and whatever secondary infection will kill the newly hatched chick.

The enemy to a healthy immune system is stress as the latter gives rise to immune suppression. The onset of the breeding season always brings stress in the breeding room. Immune stimulation measures are OK, but at low dose and then applied intermittently.

Secondary infections will also weaken the immune system.E. Coli is a normal inhabitant of the birds intestinal flora, but it has been shown that domesticated birds do have higher levels in their intestines than their wild relatives. Levels can be reduced with prebiotics, probiotics and good hygiene protocol. Addition of 5-10% of egg yolk powder also has shown to reduce E. Coli numbers, probably because of the protective antibodies they contain.

Black spot is no disaster, except for massive outbreaks, which seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Till now no vaccine is available. Understanding the disease is very important as to prevention and/or interpretation of what we see.

Chicks Becoming Independent - W.v.Gils

Chicks Becoming Independent - W.v.Gils

One often hears of chicks dying when they are close to coming independent. Of course some weak birds may be expected to die through natural selection. But some birds may also die from entirely avoidable causes.

It is the latter situation we need to address.

When do the young become independent :

Many breeders see this straightaway - some by observing their age about 3 weeks after hatching, but an excellent indication is a fully developed V in the tail of the young bird which is a sure sign that the bird has become independent.

At the same time the bird will be eating suffiently on its own and husking its seeds well and adequately. Eggfood must be made available on a daily basis.

When the birds are eating well and the V in the tail sufficiently pronounced it is time to set the young birds apart. The best procedure is to place them for a fortnight in a transit cage (breeding cage, small flight or other) before transferring to a larger flight.

Make sure that the birds in the transit cage can readily find their drinking water and place this near the seed and eggfood. check that there are enough perches and that the floor materials are clean and dry. Check the young daily while and watch out for dull eyes, squeaking sounds. Birds displaying these symptoms may be short of something. By returning them to their parents or adopted parents any such problems will generally be overcome.

Placing birds in larger flights :

After the birds have been in a fortnight in the transit cage they can be transferred to a larger flight. This move is recommended for the development of the the young birds. The flight needs to be properly disinfected beforehand and treated against vermin for the longer term - a procedure often neglected but the consequence of which can prove most harmful.

Again check that both water and food are readily accessible for the young birds and that perches are firmly secured. Separated individual perches are also recommended. When transferring birds always do so during the morning so that they are familiar with their new space by the evening.

Never have older hens with the young as this will encourage featherplucking. Provide distractions by hanging several sprays of millet which will serve to entertain the birds and avoid featherplucking. Ensure sufficient fine shellgrit and dry floor materials.

Although the birds do not pick up all the seed initially this will change after a few weeks. Give fresh seed each day but not too much about 5g per bird per day. Continue feeding eggfood daily for the first month , but then gradually reduce to two or three times a week.

What may never be forgotten is that baths should be provided twice a week to the young and indeed all your birds.

Adding bath salts once a week is very beneficial for feathers, aids in the prevention of feather mite and the general development of plumage. During the moult birds will lose the occasional feather from the tail and wing not from the normal moult, but as a result of fighting squabbles. It is best to remove any loose feathers from the cage floor as birds will peck at these for their amino acids and this, in turn, may lead to featherplucking. Any birds showing signs of blood should be separated immediately to avoid featherplucking and not left with the other birds .

Loose feathers can be captured by placing an inclined board in a back corner of the flight - the feathers will aggregate and can be readily removed.

Of course now and then the birds should be given a piece of apple, orange or other, but only just enough to last a few hours. Furthermore it is important to keep the young from rounds one and two apart and not together. Also no older birds with the young so moulting occurs separately and definitely not to the disadvantage of the young.

Subject to the steps referred to above the young will develop well without any problems and grow a beautiful and healthy plumage. Moreover few birds will be lost or grow malformed wing and tail pinfeathers.

And of course is this not our overriding aim.

Success - Wout v.Gils

Bijgaande video is gemaakt naar aanleiding van de 1 miljoenste bezoeker aan de kanarie homepage Wout van Gils. En is uitgezonden geweest op TV Limburg. Op 12-04-2014.



Deze video is ook te bekijken via youtube door op deze link te klikken:

Feather plucking can be mostly avoided

Feather plucking can be mostly avoided. 

Feather plucking is a well-known problem to many canary breeders and it concerns many fanciers each year. One may experience it more frequently than another but we all have had some instances of feather plucking, I am sure.

Why is this and what can we do about it? Feather plucking can arise for a number of reasons each with a different cause and requiring a different remedy but has to be applied promptly. Provided the correct measures are taken feather plucking can almost be entirely eliminated.


The reasons for feather plucking are various.


  1. Overcrowding of aviaries or cages
  2. Perches not correctly made, placed or mounted
  3. A lack of amino acids or other nutritional elements in diet
  4. Birds with bloodied feathers not separated immediately
  5. A lack of suitable nesting material
  6. Pastel and or ivory birds placed with other colour varieties
  7. Boredom and insufficient distraction for the birds
  8. Placing birds of different ages in one aviary or cage
  9. A hereditary factor


As you can see there are a number of causes that may give rise to feather plucking.


What preventative measures can be taken?  

  1. 1.Overcrowding

With overcrowding, birds lack flying space and place to perch, resulting in fighting with loss of feathers and pin feathers. Once birds develop a taste of blood, fighting will increase even further and this may involve the whole population of the aviary. In a short period of time show birds may become worthless as their feathers may be permanently damaged and may no longer grow normally. Therefore ensure that your birds have sufficient room and separate any plucked bird as soon as possible.

  1. 2.Perches not correctly made, placed or mounted

Chances of feather plucking are greater when perches are not convenient to sit on for the birds, check the diameter of the perches. Perches must be properly mounted and located in breeding cages so that each bird can have its own spot and the perches are sufficiently apart to prevent birds from reaching each other.

Also place the perches as high as possible. Birds prefer to sit high in the aviary or cage.

  1. 3.A lack of amino acids or other nutritional elements in the diet

Feather plucking is much less likely where a balanced diet and natural vitamins are provided. Pinfeathers contain amino acids which are sweet tasting and appeal greatly to canaries. This is the number one reason why feather plucking with all its consequences can so quickly get out of hand.

Provide a varied diet and adequate vitamins regularly and put once a week half an onion in your aviary. Onions are a rich source of amino acids. Also a parboiled potato cut in half may be helpful to alleviate the problem.

  1. 4.Birds with bloodied feathers not separated promptly

As mentioned above the problem multiplies quickly if affected birds are not removed immediately from the healthy ones.

  1. 5.A lack of suitable nesting material

Normally the parent birds commence building their new nest when the young ones are about to leave the nest when they are nicely attired with a nice coat of feathers. When there is a lack of suitable nesting material available the young birds will be quickly robbed from their down feathers and unless action is taken, flight and tail feathers disappear as well. Therefore provide plenty of different nesting material so they can choose their favourite material to make their nest at the right time.

Normally the hen will cease plucking the young ones after she has laid her first egg. If you have a breeding cage with a baby cage will make it even easier to avoid the problem all together. Also we can take the cock bird away as soon as the second egg has been laid. Another solution to the problem is to place the nest with young in a larger cage with say about 5 hens that will serve as foster mothers. They will raise and feed the young most effectively.

  1. 6.Pastel, ivory and crested birds

Many breeders are aware that some canary varieties are more prone to being feather plucked than others.

Ivory, pastel and to a lesser degree the browns and the crested ones. I do not know the reason for this but I would recommend that these varieties be kept separate and not mixed with other colour varieties in the aviary.

If anyone knows the reason why these varieties are more prone to plucking, your input would be greatly appreciated.

  1. 7.Boredom

This particular cause is really part of point 1. With adequate and proper nutrition, cuttlefish bone, shell grit, natural vitamins an onion weekly, some millet sprays, a piece of rope, feather plucking will essentially be prevented.

  1. 8.Placing birds of different ages in one cage or aviary

When older and younger independent birds are put together and the older birds want to make a nest but nesting material is not available they will start pulling the feathers off the young birds. It is always better to keep birds from different ages separated but definitely keep them apart during the breeding season.

  1. 9.Hereditary factors

In spite of what has been written above I believe that feather plucking to a large degree is inherited. It is therefore essential to record feather pluckers in your stock book and dispose of them if feather plucking has indeed become a frequent occurrence. By doing this you will have largely eradicated a troublesome problem.

I trust that by implementing the above measures feather plucking will be a thing of the past for you. If it still persists you can be rest assured that you are dealing with a hereditary factor.


Wout van Gils, Translated by Bernard Reinen      Thanks Bernard.

Breeding Hints by Wout van Gils

Breeding Hints by Wout Van Gils

From experience Wout has found that the males generally lag the hens in terms of breeding condition. He therefore places them first  in the breeding boxes and increases the temperature to 18C maximum and the lighting hours to about 14.5.
Place a few hens in front of them; you will see that some males will respond quickly.

Provide extra eggfood three times a week and after about 1 1/2 weeks your can introduce the hens to the males. With both birds in breeding condition pairing will occur quickly; this is a sign that everything has gone to plan. You may find that some birds will pair a little later, but with the majority things will progress readily.


It may happen that some birds will continue to fight. In this case prompt action is required. It may be that one of the birds is not in proper breeding condition  or that one of them is attracted by the call from another bird.
Listen carefully when a hen calls and whether the same male answers constantly. If the new pairing is suitable with respect to song the hen can then be placed with the new male and things will generally work out.
Another approach is to remove the hen for several days and then replace her in the evening. Be aware however of birds which continue fighting.
After four days provide the nesting material; hens which are in breeding condition will promptly start building their nest.

Check that the nest is properly formed by turning a globe inside it. Some breeders remove the eggs and return them once the fourth egg is laid; store the eggs in a shaded place, NOT in the sun.
The hens will now start their breeding and the young are hatched after fourteen days. Ensure that the birdroom is well ventilated with fresh air and oxygen.
Provide the birds regularly with baths and spray the eggs now and then with an atomiser. Check that the eggs are not sticking to the nest so that the hen can readily turn them.
Be aware that in a healthy brood the eggs will appear glossy with the pointy ends facing each other.
Success,  Wout.                                                                                                                                                              

Feather Plucking

Feather Plucking

Although feather plucking is preventable all canary breeders would have experienced this troublesome affliction at one time or other. There are a number of possible reasons and causes and these need to be correctly identified for preventative as well as remedial action: - 

  1. Overcrowding in the aviary or other housing.
    With insufficient room to fly and places to perch fighting will result and feathers plucked. This may give rise to blood pinfeathers, the taste for which causing more fights and more bloodfeathered birds. Within a relatively short time the aviary may contain a multitude of bloodfeathered birds with all its consequences. Birds will become worthless for exhibiting since the implant of the feather has become so badly damaged that the new replacement feather becomes twisted and the damage has become irreparable. Any new feather growth may also be marred when the bird starts plucking its own feathers. Provide therefore adequate space for your birds and ensure that any plucked birds are promptly separated from the healthy ones. 
  2. Perches not properly mounted and/or constructed.
    In breeding cages where perches have not been placed properly there is a greater likelihood that birds will feather pluck particularly during the moult and towards the breeding season. Place perches so that each bird has his own spot and is well separated from the others. Always remove any plucked birds from the healthy ones.
  3. A lack of amino acids and/or other nutritional elements.
    Not usually a problem where normal nutrition with adequate natural vitamins is provided. Pinfeathers contain amino acids, which are savoured by birds and are the main reason for the rapid escalation in feather plucking. Amino acids can be readily provided by giving moulting birds in an aviary/flight half an onion each week. Provide natural vitamins during the moult and winter time.  
  4. Birds with bloodfeathers not promptly removed from the aviary/housing.
    As mentioned above the problem quickly multiplies if affected birds are not immediately removed from the healthy ones. Other measures are as described under (1) – (3) above.

 A shortage of nesting material.
Normally the older birds commence building their new nest, when the young are about to leave the nest and they are nicely attired with a new coat of feathers. When there is insufficient good nesting material about the young will be quickly robbed of their down feathers and unless quick action is taken their new flight and tail feathers as well. Thus provide the hen with proper soft nesting material so that she can make her new nest at the right time. In other words make sure that the hen has laid her first egg as the young fly out of the first nest. At this point any feather plucking of the young will have ceased. What is even better if you can is to make breeding cages that have a baby cage attached. What is still simpler when the time comes is to remove the nest with the young to a larger enclosure containing (say) five hens. These hens will serve as foster parents and feed and raise the young well. Five hens can accommodate up to eight nests with young nearly ready to fly out and they will be fed and raised most effectively. All other measures from (3) above still apply. 

  1. Pastel and/or ivory factor birds placed together with other varieties.
    Many breeders are aware that some canary varieties are more prone to being feather plucked than others, viz., pastel yellow-ivory and to a lesser degree the browns. I do not know the reason for this but would recommend that these “pluck prone” varieties be kept together and not mixed with others in the aviary.
    All other measures still apply.
  2. Boredom – birds lack adequate distractions.
    This particular cause is really part of point (1). With adequate and proper nutrition, cuttlefish bone, shellgrit, natural vitamins, onion weekly, here and there millet sprays, suspended coarse strings and no overcrowding, feather plucking will essentially be prevented. Thus provide adequate distractions for your birds. Other measures still apply. 
  3. Young independent birds placed together with older birds in the same aviary.
    This may happen when the older birds want to make a nest but nesting material is not available. As a consequence these birds will start to pull the feathers off these young defenceless birds. During the breeding season do not place young birds in an aviary with older birds for the purpose of promoting their growth and development. 
  4. A disposition inherited.
    In spite of what has been written above I believe that feather plucking can to a large degree be inherited from mother to daughter and father to son. Record these feather pluckers in your stockbook and dispose of them if feather plucking has indeed become a frequent occurrence. By doing so you will have largely eradicated a troublesome and painful habit.


By taking proper precautions in aviaries and breeding cages and through timely observations and corrective action it is possible to virtually eliminate feather plucking. I hope that the above measures will make feather plucking a thing from the past for you. If it still persists you can be rest assured that you are dealing with a hereditary factor.              Wout van Gils



A turning point in avian health care.

Comed logo

Aturning point in avian health care (Courtesy Wout van Gils)

The latest large exhibitions of racing pigeons in Kassel and Dortmund, Germany have resulted in something of a turning point. Government Health Authorities performed a close inspection on the illegal sales of medicine in the pigeon food distribution network with particular emphasis on the misuse of antibiotics.It was no surprise that numerous transgressors were found amongst the stand-holders. Sadly this is a problem that also extends to aviculture in general. Over many decades generations have been bred with the aid of antibiotics to such an extent that some bird strains today can no longer survive and thrive without the continued use of antibiotics. The bird’s immunity system has been greatly compromised and the very use of the word “illness” is no longer appropriate.

megabac fotoVaccinations and veterinary checks of droppings, crop mucus and blood samples are essential in determining which birds are to be removed from your breeding programme. I would go as far as to state that birds that can no longer breed without the assistance of antibiotics should simply be replaced. Antibiotics should be used as little as possible and preferably not at all. The use of Comedgamma*) was for me a revelation. I was intrigued by the system adopted by Dr. Willem de Bruijn, who manages to race pigeons without the use of antibiotics. Of course one can doubt the super-system adopted by a national grand champion breeder and doyen in the industry were it not that for the fact that Willem is also very well-versed in the fields of medicine and science.The impact of antibiotics is further exacerbated by the increasing use of antibiotic mixtures (three-in-one, four-in-one). The latter will lead to further deterioration in the functioning and health of the digestive system - conditions, which are difficult treat and which will greatly diminish the care free nature of our Fancy.


*) The Comed product was tested at the University of Luik (Belgium) and found to generate a strong inhibiting action against resistant bacteria (staphylococcus) and viruses.


(It is interesting to note that Dr Rob Marshall advocates the use of antibiotics in canaries in a restricted manner and only under very strict guidelines)





The Moulting Season is a powerful indicator

The Moulting Season is a powerful indicator - W.v.Gils


When the birds are in good health the moult will proceed normally and reasonably quickly, but the birds must be provided with adequate room and not overpopulated. It is of course important to provide the birds with a proper balanced diet because the moult can be very taxing.A good supply of protein and mineral salts is also required to ensure a good moult. Indeed the feathers consist of the protein 'keratin'. If the bird is ill or suffers from a deficiency the moult will be drawn out and incomplete. A feather has a limited life span. The total plumage comprises about 10% of the bird's weight.
To enable a smooth moult some important aspects need to be considered, viz, "the light" and the "bath" and a good variable seed mix. and adequate living space, perches and distractions. 

As soon as the breeding season has ended any artifical lighting should be reduced as much as possible. Only natural lighting should be the norm. This will bring the birds in relative darkness and will serve as a natural trigger for initiating the moult.During the moult the birds should be left in peace and quiet and any catching avoided as much as possible. Also provide half an onion (amino acids) on a regular basis and sprays of millet will also be of great benefit. Provide distractions by suspending strands of rope and sufficient sheltered perch positions.Any birds that show traces of blood should be removed straightaway and kept separate, and only returned when the bleeding has stopped and all traces of blood washed away. 

Baths are provided twice a week. I use normal water and add "bath salts for pigeons". The salt softens the feathers and assists in feather renewal by removing the dust. The salt is added once a week. 

When you know that an ordinary canary has about 1500 feathers you will appreciate the amount of energy that the bird must produce. The effect is often that the bird grows lean. This can be felt when you hold the bird in your hand and is the reason for making eggfood available during the course of the moult about 6-7 weeks. Food supplements are added to the eggfood which is given three times per week. Probotics are also added to maintain the intestinal flora in alance.Other measures include proper ventilation and air replacement, avoiding moisture ingress. With proper care your birds will have properly moulted after 6-7 weeks. Plumage will be smooth, clean and tight and the males will thank you when once again they resume their singing.Complements - Wout Van Gils

Stainless Steel Grilles in your Breeding Cages.

bodemrooster1Stainless Steel Grilles in your Breeding Cages

Although no longer a novelty stainless steel grilles and cage fronts are gaining increased acceptance. Although they primarily benefit the birds the breeders themselves are also better of.  


  1. Major benefits with regard to hygiene. Significantly reduced incidence in intestinal and other infections.
  2. Rejected seed, egg food and other fall into the drawer and can no longer be consumed at a later date when possibly perished resulting in intestinal infections, etc.
  3. Cages can be cleaned in record time.
  4. Bird droppings fall mostly through the grille thus improving hygiene.
  5. Place baths on a cloth cut to size. Floors stay dry and the cloth can be readily interchanged.
  6. No more sand required resulting in savings.
  7. Lay newspapers or junk mail beneath the grilles – no cost involved.
  8. Grilles can be readily cleaned with a steel brush. Since most of the droppings fall through the grille this only needs to be done once every three weeks.
  9. When the cages are cleaned the fouled newspapers can be disposed with the general rubbish.
  10. Birds can no longer escape below when the bottom drawers are cleaned. 


  1. Some nesting material will fall through the grille. This can be routinely retrieved but both quantity and costs involved are not significant.
  2. A young chick that has fallen out of the nest is likely to perish sooner if not detected. A similar situation however arises with sand.
  3. More seed is likely to be wasted but the use of automatic feeders will overcome this. 

Breeding cages can be readily adapted to take these stainless steel grilles. The best thing is to try it first with a few to convince yourself that you are on the right track. I am planning to produce some for my next breeding season. S/s mesh in 1200mm x 2400mm panels can be purchased for about $150 and should be sufficient for three triple breeders. Grade 316 quality is preferred for its superior anti corrosion properties (marine conditions). KweekkooiBe2

Keeping your birds healthy - Probiotics & Antibiotics

We all wish to keep our Rollers in prime health. This is not always possible. Even when we exercise great care with balanced feeding, good quality seed & greens, clean & pest free cages, problems may still arise. In previous years birds were treated with antibiotics. Properly administered antibiotics do not generally pose a problem, rather it was the uncontrolled application of antibiotics, which build up a resistance in the birds and created an ongoing dependency on antibiotics.

Proper hygiene is required in all aspects – food and seed quality, storage, clean drinking water refreshed regularly. Cleanliness of cages especially the floor covering and the perches. Constant availability of minerals and shellgrit. Variation in seeds and egg food offered during breeding, “rest” period and the moult. Combatting pests and finally regular baths. Ensure cage floors are dry as this is often the reason why birds are off colour and problems quickly arise. In other words hygiene is a prime factor in preventing disease.

The aim should be to strive and use natural products in preference to antibiotics not only for ourselves but for our Rollers. Herman kamp.

Hand-feeding nestlings .

Hand-feeding nestlings   (Wout van Gils)

This is nothing new and   can certainly save some young stragglers from dying. There are some points to   be watched however. One is tempted to just feed the smaller and weaker   nestlings, but that is not always the best course of action. If the stragglers are   hand-fed during the day then the healthily growing ones tend to be   exclusively fed by the parents as they strongly vie for their attention. Another procedure should be adopted. Hand-feeding   should be given to the strongly growing chicks during the day. This will stop   them from gaping and demanding food from the parents, who will now focus   their attention on the weaker ones and feed them instead. There is nothing   better than what the parents produce with their digestive crop juices and   this way their growth will be better stimulated. Provide some additional food to these   stragglers just before dark and you will soon observe their recovery.


Hand   feeding – courtesy Linda Hogan

Hand feeding is one way I tame   my birds. Taming makes my birds easier to work with whether simply catching a   loose bird or training in a show cage or being comfortable with my   "checking" on newborn chicks. (These photos were difficult as I was   both the feeder and the photographer!)


One feeding method I used   this year I call a feeding station. I attached an empty nest on the outside   of the cage, at a comfortable height for me, and then lifted the chick's nest   out of the cage and set it on the empty nest on the outside of the cage. Regardless   of where the chicks were located, I used the same empty nest to sit their   nest on while I fed them. I could easily feed three chicks at once just   rotating who got the bite!


At the beginning of a feeding   they all want to eat! Should they not, I gently brush upward under their chin   to get them started opening up wide. Once one starts the others will usually   follow.


This shot shows a deep chest and gives me great hope that   he will be an excellent singer! – L.H.

Handvoeding  kanaries.

Rood mozaïek type 2 d

Ringing your chiks.

Ringing your chicks – Things to look out for during and after ringing - Courtesy Wout van Gils

Ringing is always an enjoyable activity with the chicks having survived their first critical phase and having started gathering plumage. Rings are normally supplied by the club or federation to which you are affiliated. They indicate the name of the club or federation concerned, the breeding year and sequential number issued.

Young roller chicks should be rung when they are 5-6 days old.

          (1)                           (2)                    (3)


However problems may arise, for instance:


  1. Chicks rung too late or too early.
  2. Injuries incurred during the ringing.
  3. Parents throwing the young with ring out of the nest.
  4. Ring becoming fastened.


Most of us will recognise the above cases and how best to avoid them.

The best time to ring your young chicks is when their first excretions appear around the rim of the nest. This is an indication that the hen no longer cleans the nest and minimises the chance that the parents will regard the ring as droppings.

When attempting to ring it is also recommended to moisten the toes and leg to allow easy passage and avoid possible injuries.

It is also advisable to check a few times that the young are still in the nest in spite of your good intentions. Better to check once too often than to lose a bird. If you do find a seemingly lifeless bird on the floor of the cage do not dispose of it straightaway but place it in the palm of your hand and warm it with your breath. Quite often the young do recover.


Hint : In addition to the above I also do the following: - before returning the young to the nest after they have been rung I cover the bottom of the nest with a little seed. The parents will initially try to clean out the nest but find this too laborious and soon give up. In this way it becomes very rare that the parents will still continue to throw their newly rung chicks out of the nest. Try it and see for yourself

Once again, perches.


Once again, perches.                         Wout van Gils

Dear friends of the canaries, still some national exposures and still some
others. Then the great challenge, the world championship arrives, and then the  breeding starts again. I make a point of making you share of something who holds  me with heart. During my judgements, and I also think of several of my colleagues, we were obliged to allot faults to the birds, damage when it is the bird which is in question but here the problem is not the bird but the amateur  who is in fault. Although I already wrote an article on the subject "Perches,"  we perch well still note a faulty maintenance due to the too smooth perches; the  bird wants to take a maintenance but cannot, quite simply because its perch too  is slipping and because the bird tries this maintenance nevertheless, it has beats of tail or a maintenance lying and this because it tries to maintain its  balance. Very often the bird balances itself from top to bottom during the  judgement, or takes the above-mentioned maintenance, very damage, the bird loses 1 most of the time point what is not too serious if for example the bird passes from 89 to 88 but more serious if the bird is very good (e.g. in color and drawing etc...) and remains for example at 91 points for the above mentioned reasons and your colleague stockbreeder obtains 92 points. What is certainly more serious it is than the bird does not have nothing to do there, but well the
amateur who makes the fault. Thus moreover in spite of my article one still meets too many faults due to perches too slipping, too fine and even too large. 

It is very simple, I know that the amateur wants to keep his very own cages and it is naturally formidable and it is the standard. But by scouring the perches with, for example, a sponge iron to scour the pans, the perches do not become only clean but also slipping, even results with fine paper to sandpaper. You can use them but ensure you that after some cleanings the perches do not become slipping and I draw as your attention to the thickness of the perch who should not be finer as 12 M/m (mm) and in fact must be of 14 M/m. The too fine or too
large perches give also the same faults.


1. Maintenance packed (the bird tries thus to keep its balance)
2. constant Movement (from top to bottom) of the tail (the bird thus tries to
keep its balance).
3. Maintenance constantly moving (from top to bottom) the bird cannot be almost
held on its perch. 4. The legs of the bird slip.
5. The bird appuye on the partition postpones itself and thus tries to be
maintained in balance.
6. The bird is much in bottom of cage because it tests there more comfort.
7. The bird rectifies itself on its perch in order to keep its balance.
8. The nails do not surround the perch but are on the perch.

In short, sufficiently of signals to establish that the bird undergoes discomfort and all these problems are very easily resolvable while bringing sufficient attention to the perches, this also counts for the perches of the
cages of breeding: pay attention to the perches there too.


All the perches are good if they do not slip and have between 12 and 14 mm thickness but if you buy the new ones, I advise you to buy the corded perches, they are without context the best. But if you do not want to buy the new ones, make your perches a little rough with for example a web out of iron, and are vigilant that they do not become slipping by constant cleanings with a scouring object. While bringing a little attention, the problem of the slipping perches should not arise any more, but better, your birds will take a better maintenance and a calmer maintenance; during the judgement that will bring certainly a point to you in more and often a point makes the decision. Thus without expenses, you can represent yourselves how the bird feels on a perch where it cannot aggriper suitably and firmly; it is not bearable, nor for your birds either. Let us hope for the birds that we will see good perches in the future, the bird will thank you. Success. The page of the Wout.v.Gils.

Research Findings in Breeding Canaries .

Research Findings in Breeding Canaries (Courtesy Wout van Gils)

The hen imparts increasing amounts of testosterone to her eggs in the order they are laid. This occurs whether or not she has been paired. The testosterone is present in the yolk of the egg and is independent of the male.It has been found that with many birds the eggs laid do not all hatch at the same time and that the young that are later hatched have higher amounts of testosterone in their system. The canary hen is no exception to this and it appears that the hen allows for the fact that not all of her eggs are hatched at the same time and initiates the best strategy for the survival of her young.

The fact that a hen starts breeding before all eggs are laid is not a sign of degeneration but in nature the rule rather than the exception. Where I have removed the eggs to ensure even hatching I have noticed, when banding, that there are significant differences in size amongst the young in a full nest of 4-5 young. I regarded this as an early opportunity for selection and rung the birds in order of size with the lowest numbers going to the “preferred” larger birds and the highest ring number to the eventual laggard presumably born from the last laid egg, the so-called “Schlussei”. The dissimilar sizes of young that are hatched at the same time were found to be determined by the order in which the eggs are laid and inherently by the increasing dosage of testosterone within each subsequent egg laid.The role of testosterone cannot be merely dismissed, because it leads to


  • More persistent “begging” behaviour
  • Higher growth rates
  • Increased aggressiveness


The ranking within a group is positively influenced by the amount of testosterone within the eggs. The hens can introduce something to the eggs (testosterone) that alters the behaviour of their young. These young are higher in the pecking order and more dominant.

These discoveries clearly indicate that dominance increases with each subsequent egg laid so that the last hatched bird would be the “preferred” bird of choice.Researchers from Rockefeller University have performed experiments on the Belgian Waterslager and these have shown that the level of testosterone the hen imparts depends on


  • Testosterone levels within the hen
  • Environmental factors
  • Order in which eggs are laid


Further research showed that the effects of injecting testosterone into eggs with a very fine needle. The tests were based on very large population sizes and also included eggs injected with a placido. The results proved that the young born from eggs injected with testosterone acquired definite advantages over their siblings.It is therefore worthwhile to pay more attention to those eggs that are hatched last since these contain something which is lacking to a lesser or greater degree in the first laid eggs. How this can best be exploited can perhaps best be explained in another article. There are many other factors, for instance, why does a hen leave the nest prematurely before any of the eggs have hatched. I find that about 50% of the hens are already sitting after the first or second egg has been laid. This means that where the eggs are picked and the hen ends up laying six eggs she ends up sitting 4-5 days later than she normally would. So after 10 days she “feels” as if she has already been on the eggs for14.Environmental factors affecting testosterone levels also include breeding arrangements, eg.,


  • Breeding one male to 3 or 4 hens in a flight
  • Pairing one male with one hen
  • Switching one male between two hens


Another experiment showed that when lighting was abruptly changed from 8 hrs light -16 hrs dark to 14 hrs light – 10 hrs dark, i.e., without a gradual phasing in, the first eggs were laid after 14 days.

Our research is ongoing.

The following series of articles from our friend wout van Gils

The following series of articles from our friend, Wout van Gils, in Belgium is particularly relevant to our fanciers at this time of the year. Wout's website has been an overwhelming success with over 2.5 million visitors!


Preparing for breeding - Courtesy Wout van Gils 

Although many articles have been written and presentations given on the subject mistakes are still often being made. Here then are some pointers for fanciers to follow. 


Breeding Quarters: 

Before starting your breeding season ensure that the breeding cages are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. This is very important to eliminate all germs and vermin still residing inside the cages. The cages are washed out with dettol or other similar products. Also treat the surroundings in a like manner and limewash if appropriate. In the Netherlands it is also common practice for breeders to remove their birds and follow up with Koudijs Smoke disinfectors a few days after the cleaning to eliminate fungal spores.

After a number of weeks the cages can be treated with products (Baygon, Birdspray,etc) that maintain the breeding cages free from blood mite and vermin on a long term basis.  


Breeding birds: 

With breeding pairs it is best to visibly separate the males from the females but so that they can still hear each other. You will soon notice when there is still a male amongst the hens or vice versa, but the males and the females will come into breeding condtion more readily when heard rather than seen.

The birds must have reached an age of at least 9-10 months and be in good health. It is quite ok if the birds carry a little fat - easily observed when blowing the feathers and revealing a buttery-yellow fat layer.

Any birds with intestinal loops, enlarged liver and spleen are immediately excluded from the breeding programme. Soiled tail feathers will also require extra attention. Timely check these points. Also examine the bird's eyes as these are also an indicator of overall health. Watery or squinty eyes indicate that the bird is not in 100% condition and it is advisable to treat such a bird, eg, with Baycox. Remember to keep some breeding birds in reserve in case one of the selected birds becomes injured or proves no longer suitable.

The onset of the breeding season is dependent on the number of hours of light. The number of light hours are very important in bringing birds into breeding condition.

Different methods are used. The pituatary gland of the bird is activated when the light hours are increased. One approach is to increase the daily light hours. Automatic light switch with dimmers are now available which enable you to gradualy switch on and off in time increments of five minutes.
In this way you will have healthy birds in prime breeding condition in 5-6 weeks time. Whichever method you adopt be aware that the males will take more time to come into breeding condition compared to the hens otherwise some nests will prove infertile.



It should also be clear that the temperature should also be increased somewhat with the extending light hours. The temperature does not need to be too high but preferably at 14-15C. When it is time to transfer the birds into the breeding cages the temperature may reach around 18C - this is more than adequate..


Males require more time:

As mentioned above males require more time than hens. This should be recognised and proper action taken. Wout does this by placing the males in the breeding cages after 5 ½ weeks. The temperature is increased somewhat and some hens are placed in conest cages opposite the males. In this way the males reach breeding condition more quickly and will fertilise better. The period of time for which the males are kept separate is dependent on how they respond and start whistling, usually about 1 ½ weeks.

Feeding during the breeding preparations 
Besides lighting, warmth and fresh air breeders must also include other important requirements which the birds need.
The birds should appear clean and healthy; regular baths to which a little bath salt is added are a must even when the weather is cold. Never give baths towards the evening as birds need to be completely dry when lights start to dim.

Eggfood should be increased. Our birds are seed eaters and it is important that during the winter they extract all they need from the seed mixture as proper preparation for the breeding season. During this rest period eggfood can be provided not more than twice a week, and an amount that is fully consumed within three hours. A piece of apple and/or carrot is also recommended. Also think about a slice of white bread soaked in milk (milksop). And besides do not forget to give birds with a recessive factor extra Vitamin A every 14 days.
From the time the birds are given extra light hours extras should be added to the food.
Increase the eggfood to 2-3 times a week. Provide every two days some extra hemp seed and also some extra rape seed and hulled oats. What must not be forgotten is the addition of wheat germ oil to the eggfood 2-3 days a week.

Pairing of the birds

Prior to pairing the birds are given a checkover for any signs of disease and intestinal disorders; sick birds must clearly not be used for breeding.

Although birds may appear ostensibly healthy most breeders still administer a course of antibiotics (Baycox) to prevent an outbreak of coccidiosis amongst the nestlings.

Other matters will require our attention. A container with fine shellgrit and bird minerals must always be available. Also take care that the nest boxes are suspended from the front of the cage. This enables better air circulation and also ensures that the young will be more at ease after being raised.

Also check that the perches are not mounted too high or are loose fitting as these may lead to infertile eggs. Wout's preference is also for a sisal pre-nest so that the birds will always have a base nest only requiring finishing off by the birds. Before the males are placed in the breeding cages their nails are cut if too long taking care not to cut the little blood vessel. When the males are placed in the breeding cages the temperature should be raised to 18C maximum and the light hours at 14 ½. Note that the number of light hours will need to be extended at a later date. Do this in the morning when you go to work and when you first feed the birds in the morning.
The males are in the breeding cage and in front I place a few females., You will see that certain males will react very quickly.
As described earlier provide extra food, eggfood three times a week and after about 1 ½ weeks the hens are added. A hen in breeding condition has a blunt vent in the form of a chicken egg!!!
You will see that some healthy birds in good breeding condition will pair soon after. This is a sign that everything is going according to plan. You may find that some other birds will pair later, but the majority will do so quite quickly. There will also be instances where birds continue to fight. In this case the breeder needs to intervene because one of the birds is not yet in breeding condition or one of the birds is bonded to the call from another bird. You will note that when the hen calls the same male will reply. If suitable from a breeding point of view the hen can be placed with that particular male and all will be well. Another possibility is to remove the bird for a few days and replace it in the evening. This may help. But take care with birds, which continue fighting.
After four days introduce nesting material so that the birds can start making their nest. Again here you see that with proper preparation the hens will start their nest building straightaway.
Ensure that the nest is properly shaped by turning a globe around the nest. When the birds begin making their nest Wout collects each egg as it is laid and returns them on the fourth egg being laid; do not store the eggs in the sun, but in a shadowy place.
Soon thereafter the hens will start to breed and 14 days later the young will hatch. Ensure there is adequate air and oxygen in the birdroom and provide baths at regular intervals or lightly mist the eggs. Check the eggs regularly for free movement so that the hen is able to turn them.
Realize and note that the eggs in a healthy clutch are glossy and have the pointy ends facing inward.

Hatching of the young 
Before the young have hatched give the birds daily fresh water with some apple cider vinegar added at a rate of 10mL per litre. The mix is given fresh daily for the first six days and 2-3 times a week thereafter.
At the same time before hatching the birds are given some eggfood daily and a light misting of the eggs. Ample seed is provided and now it is a matter of waiting for the young to hatch.

When the young are hatched you will see the down of healthy young stand straight up and usually also some yellow eggfood contents in their little crops. This is a good sign that all is going well. From that time you provide eggfood three times a day if possible but twice a day (when working) is also sufficient.

Some breeders swear to the use of greenfood or sprouted seed when there are nestlings but Wout does not support this. If you do give greenfood during then definitely not for the first few days of life and then only enough to last one hour. Any more will most likely lead to intestinal disorders. When giving sprouted seed make sure that the sprouts are as small as possible; large sprouts will trigger large problems. If greenfood is given do not do so in the evenings and also not during periods of warm weather. But again Wout does not provide the young with greenfood under any circumstances!!!
Depending on the number of young in a clutch and their age more eggfood will need to be given as well as more seed. Check the excretions closely and if watery take direct action. This is highly unlikely to happen if the birds are given apple cider vinegar and Megabactin mixed in with the eggfood.
A period of greater alertness is called for when it becomes time to ring the young. Most hens will not throw their young out of the nest when there is a ring of excreta around the rim of the nest. This occurs when the hen stops cleaning her nest because the young have started throwing their excreta on to the rim of the nest. But with some hens extra care needs to be exercised as they will still often continue cleaning their nests with all the consequences. If a young is thrown out of the nest do not be in a hurry to throw the apparently lifeless young away, but hold it inside the closed palm of your hand for a while and direct your warm breath on to it. Quite often the "lifeless" body begins to move again.
When the young have reached the age of 16-18 days depending on how the young have been fed and have grown Wout places the nest on the floor of the cage and at the same time provides a new nest in the old location. After a short time the hen will start making a new nest while still continue feeding her young.
Using this method the hen has usually laid her first egg when the first of the young is ready to jump out of the nest. With this method featherplucking is kept to a minimum. It must be acknowledged however that feather plucking may still occur. It is then ideal if the breeder has baby cages in the breeding cages or baby cages which can be suspended from the front of the breeding cage. The method described above is for single pair breeding

In recent years another method of pair breeding has been introduced. After 10 days the male is removed (often immediately after the eggs are laid). The hen raises the young by herself and when these are 18 days old they are moved to a baby cage containing a number of other nests. The hens come together in front of the baby cage and they will feed the young until they become independent. This method virtually eliminates featherplucking with no trouble from fat males, which remain in the flight.

The method results in fewer unfertilised eggs, less damage to eggs or eggs covered in excreta when the young remain in the nest. This method of raising young has many advantages but requires a little learning and becoming used to.
Once the young have become independent do not place them directly in the aviary but first transfer them to a transition cage where they become familiar with their seed and drink.Once the birds have developed a proper V in their tail and have been independent for at least a week they can be moved without causing any damage.

Too much eggfood used in preparing birds for breeding:

Too much eggfood used in preparing birds for breeding:

Eggfood should be fed moderately as too much does not serve our birds well. It is also relativToo much eggfood used in preparing birds for breeding:ely expensive and too much of it will unquestionably cause your birds to gain excess weight.

So use caution with eggfood during the winter months. Providing eggfood during this time is nevertheless important as a good take up at this time will help these birds later when feeding their young. Even so, not more than twice a week and as much as can be consumed in one hour. In other words - rationed!

The same argument applies to seeds like niger, hulled oats and sunflower seeds which should not be supplied too liberally. These are seeds that the birds savour and too much will cause an imbalance in their diet and make them fat resulting in less fertilized eggs and/or less feeding of the young during the breeding season.  Courtesy Wout van Gils

Dear canary lover, bird friends.


Rood intensiefRecessief wit a

Hello everyone, dear canary lover ,bird friends.

Dear canary lover and or breeder also bird friends.

At this moment there are already more than 2.700.000 visitors on my canary Homepage. Thank you very much to all of these bird friends. Still a number of visitors remains but to increase and much appreciating e-mail me has considerably motivated the previous time to hold back datewout 1 the site up-to for our canary and bird friends. The site has been extended with three more headings, concerning Medication, Vitamins, Disinfestations resources etc. Present appear there are already 600 Articles of me on the website. Yes it does not become itself easier still writing an new article. Much have been already mentioned on the site, have you yourself proposals please e-mail me your suggestions.E-Mail  Dit e-mailadres wordt beveiligd tegen spambots. JavaScript dient ingeschakeld te zijn om het te bekijken.

Thank you! Last update 0p-27-01-2018.

Cock of Hen

Checking for Breeding Condition - With canaries it is often possible to identify their gender even when the young are hatched. But in many cases the breeder is not certain. He may then select gender based on the presence or absence of song.
As we prepare the canaries for breeding there comes a time when we can clearly see the sex of the bird even by a less experienced breeder.   If still in doubt this means that the bird concerned is not yet fully in breeding condition.
Closely observe the two photos of cock and hen. They show the cock and hen in the right condition for breeding.




broedrijp pop


Megabacteria – What Now?

Megabacteria – What Now?
A terrible and until recently difficult to treat disease, called megabacteria, occurs in many of our aviaries.The name “megabacteria” is misleading as it indicates that we have to do with bacteria, which is absolutely not the case. Various treatments with antibiotics have never yielded positive results.
The research: To identify the particular cause the infecting source needed to be isolated first and then grown into a culture. This process did take a long time but eventually the right nurturing medium was found. It is interesting to note that an antibiotic (Baytril) needed to be added to eliminate unwanted bacteria. It appeared that a fungus, subsequently named
Macrorhabdus ornithogaster, was the culprit. Further tests were done to prove beyond doubt that we were dealing with a fungus and not a virus, bacteria, or other.
Microscopic images were taken of the fungus (also referred to as a yeast, but different from the one used to make bread rise). The fungi multiply by budding. It has a length of 20-90 micron and is 1-5 micron thick. A micron is a thousandth of a millimetre. A suitable colouring agent also had to be discovered to make the fungus visible under the microscope. An electron microscope magnifies about 200,000 times, sufficient to analyse the structure of the fungus and prove that it was a fungus with which we were dealing.
It was already known that M. Ornithogaster can barely survive an acidic environment. This explained why acidifying drinking water had a favourable effect on the disease. Water can be best acidified by adding apple cider vinegar, grapefruit juice or sour milk. But the discovery of the real cause has led to a much more effective treatment of the disease.
It had been noted with parakeets that not all birds in a community contracted the disease. Apparently some birds were more likely to be infected than others. This characteristic was also found to be hereditary. Another factor is the degree of inbreeding, which tends to play a greater role in aviaries. Furthermore Schulz and Von Lüttwitz discovered that the near total lack of Vitamin K1 in the diet strips the digestive tract of its mucous coating and makes the bird extremely vulnerable to the disease.
A suitable cure needed to be found amongst the anti-fungal treatments. Amphotericine B (Fungiline, Squibb-Fungiline) was soon found to foot the bill. It is introduced into the crop and cures the disease within five days. 0.15 to 0.3 ml Fungiline suspension (= 100mg Amphotericine-B per ml) is applied directly into the crop 3-4 times a day.
Amphotericine B, however, is not very soluble and the liquid required constant shaking to keep it in suspension.
The process was refined by adding gammacyclodextrine to improve the solubility of the substance. This was done by adding as much Amphotericine-B in a saturated solution of gammacyclodextrine as could be absorbed, filtering and then snap-freezing the solution. The resulting yellow powder was now readily soluble in water.
A number of diagnosed birds (parakeets in this case) were given the required amounts of medications. This involved 5g of the medicine mixed in water and added to a commercial seed mix and corresponds to a concentration of 0.9mg per milliliter of water. This may all sound a little complicated, but your local veterinary officer will know how to go about it. Each bird was placed in a separate cage each day and its droppings examined. After five days no more traces of the disease were found and the birds were definitely cured. They were a lot noisier, ate well and visibly much brighter.
The effect of the medicine is to damage the cell walls of the fungi causing the cell contents to leak out and the cell subsequently dies. The bird is thus cured. There are no negative effects with the poison on the bird provided the medicine is administered in the right strengths. The medicated water is ingested by the bird without any problems.
The senseless application of antibiotics encourages the development of fungal afflictions. In the interests of both birds and humans it is important to limit the use of antibiotics to an absolute minimum. The taking of medicine as a precaution is sheer madness as is the taking of a headache tablet when you don’t have one, only the implications are more disastrous and you give fungi the opportunity of becoming established.
Sugars also can cause fungi in the intestinal tract. Another point is that we need to have sufficient Vitamin K1 in our normal diet – vegetables and fruit, and in the stinging nettle. Spirulina is also fine, but rather dear.
Finally inbreeding should be strictly controlled and minimised as far as possible. Inbred animals are considerably weaker than the offspring from unrelated animals.I hope that this article will provide you with a step forward towards a “megabacteria-free” existence. Peter Otten. 
Note: Dr Rob Marshall adds the following comments and qualifications: -
Symptoms – going light; excessive amounts of mucous causing bird to vomit; changed droppings – soft watery, dark green/brown/black; mortality; lack of coordination.
Stress and genetic makeup are key factors in making birds susceptible.
Possible side effects of Fungilin – kidney damage, infertility in healthy birds.
Fungilin should not be used on healthy birds!



Holding birds

Holding Birds (Courtesy Wout van Gils)

Sometimes it becomes necessary to hold a bird. With tame birds this can be done without using a restraining force when, for instance, the bird has been trained to sit ona stick or finger.In this case a simple examination will not cause any problems.Birds that are not accustomed to being handled will however require more constraint. The most important element is to prevent the bird from biting or being stressed and that means that its head must be well secured. To prevent the bird from biting it is best to hold the head from the back. Holding the head on each side with thumb and index finger just below the eyes will stop the head from turning. A reasonable pressure can be applied without causing any damage because that is where the lower mandible bone is located. Otherwise one must always be aware that a bird is a particularly vulnerable animal. Its bones are hollow and therefore easily broken. Breathing can be impaired if the bird is not held correctly. A bird obtains air by moving its sternum. If this is prevented by holding its rump too tightly the bird may suffocate.



 vasthouden-kanarie 02

The bodies of small birds (canaries, agapornis, grass parrots) can be held in the palm of one hand. This way the bird cannot damage its wings and the neck remains stretched. The other hand can then be used to administer medication. With larger birds (cockatoos, amazons, grey redtail) the head is held with one hand and the wings and feet are held with the other. The bird must not be able to flap its wings or bite and must be held in a relaxed manner (except for the head, which should be held firmly) so as to minimize stress and allow the bird to breathe freely. It is not advisable to catch birds when temperatures are high.

Artikel in vogelvreugd Wout Van Gils


Wout van Gils


The Dutch bird publication “Vogelvreugd” recently acknowledged the outstanding work performed by Wout van Gils in establishing his website attracting over 1.5 million visitors since 2008.

Most of the numerous canary articles on the website were produced by Wout himself, who has a natural altruistic flair in collaborating with others.

Five years ago the website was modernized to enable Wout to upload, update and amend the articles by himself.

Working as a maintenance manager in a metal factory he still finds the 1½ hours a day required to manage his homepage and respond to the 25 emails he receives each day. Most common queries relate to breeding, blood mite, health concerns, problems with breeding.

Wout’s true forte relates to colour canaries breeding from



 wout 1


45 pairs of colour canaries each year to produce about 200 offspring. In his area of specialty of colour canaries he was involved in judging contests at both national and COM levels for many years.

His website success has not gone unnoticed and he is frequently approached by manufacturers to try out their new products.


Knapjes gedaan!  Tanks  Herman

Groetjes - Herman

Candling ( Reprint )

Candling   (reprint)

The   candling of eggs is performed to determine hether or not the eggs are   fertilised. Although straightforward mistakes are still sometimes made. These   mostly occur when the pencil torch is shone on the wrong part of the egg,   viz., the air pocket end. Another error occurs when candling is performed too   early. The best method involves candling after 4 to 5 days.


What you must then determine is   represented in the photos on the right.

The first photo shows an infertile egg,   the second a fertilised egg and the third a candled egg after 4 days.

Do   not be in a hurry to remove the eggs that are shown to be infertile and allow   the hen to hatch for about 10 days to ensure that the hen receives an   adequate rest between hatchings. Success with your Rollers but   candle  Wout van Gils



eitjes schouwen


Going Light

Going Light – Wout van Gils


Early signs:

Often the bird can be seen puffed up at the bottom of the cage. Unfortunately this indicates that the bird has already become very sick and that successful treatment may no longer be possible.

Early observation, diagnosis and direct action are therefore paramount before the bird crawls away in a ball.  

These are : -

  1. 1)Watery eyes.
  2. 2)Bird spends more time at the seed dish.
  3. 3)Laboured breathing with tail bob.
  4. 4)Produces a squeaking/ rattling sound.
  5. 5)Pale beak and feet.
  6. 6)Pasted vent.
  7. 7)Ruffled feathers.
  8. 8)Soiled feet and nails.


 kanarie geel ziek
  1. 9)

Catch the bird for any one of the above signs and check for the following:

 Rattled breathing

  • Enlarged liver or spleen
  • Intestines red and swollen
  • Sharp breastbone indicating muscle wastage  

Birds with recessive white factor may exhibit watery eyes and/or very pale beaks and feet.If any of the above apply the more experienced fancier can quickly make a diagnosis and commence treatment.Discontinue the use of greenfood immediately, transfer bird to an isolation cage and check for the following: 

  • Check your eggfood – is it becoming rancid.
  • Are birds exposed to dampness or draught.
  • Watery and sticky excretions


(to be continued)

Cockbird or Hen, which one first?

Introducing Rollers into the Breeding Cage - Cockbird or Hen, which one first?

Our Rollers are brought into breeding condition before the commencement of each breeding season. The question often arises next as to which one to cage first into the breeding box - the cock or the hen.

Provided both are well prepared I believe there is little or no difference. Even so there are many large breeders that cage the cock first and I have to admit that I am one of these. Why is this?

In the first place we know that on average it will take the male ten days more than the female to come into breeding condition. Thus we can advance the conditions (lighting, temperature, seed selection) that will advance the male specifically. Once in the breeding cage for five days you can place some hens in contest cages in front of him. This will encourage the male even further as you can readily hear.

Another benefit is that after a number of days the male has begun to regard the breeding cage as his territory and will if necessary defend it. This means that when a hen is placed with him after the ten days, the male will be usually dominant over the hen and the latter will submit and subsequent pairing will take place. On the other hand if the hen is the first to be introduced to the breeding cage the opposite is likely to happen and the hen will be dominant over the cock resulting in a greater likelihood of unsuccessful fertilization.

This is the reason why most breeders prefer placing the cock first into the breeding cage.

Success in your breeding - Wout van Gils

The nest has been made but only few eggs or other problems

The nest has been made but only few eggs or other problems - Wout van Gils. 

Successful pairing requires good preparation before the onset of breeding, a fact well recognised by all breeders. Nonetheless many questions do arise around this time regarding breeding failures. These include “what have I done wrong?”, but more often than not the birds are blamed.Of course there is the possibility that the birds are not satisfactory or not quite 100% right, but a sound preparation should ensure that breeding progresses normally. A number of possible causes should be mentioned in the hope that the breeder can identify the cause of the poor start and learn some lessons. I assume that the preliminary work involving proper exposure to lighting has been carried out. Other problems that may surface are:

 1 – Birds continue to fight.

With a good preparation either the cock or the hen is placed 10 to 14 days earlier in the breeding cage. Whether the cock or hen is placed first depends on personal preferences. When the partner is then introduced and both are in good health the two will generally click within a certain time and all will be well. But you may also experience that the birds continue to fight and fly at each other. This means -  

A – Birds are not in breeding condition. 

B – Possibility of two males. 

C – Birds too young – not nine months. 

D – The hen has bonded to the call of another cock.  

The solution resides in one of the above causes and it is up to the breeder to identify which particular cause and take the necessary remedial action.

 2 – The hen makes the nest, but then pulls it down again, etc.

 After pairing you generally see the hen beginning to build her nest 3-4 later and provided that the hen is in breeding condition this will proceed very quickly. On the other hand you may see the hen pulling the nest down again and choosing another spot (eg., feeder). The making of the nest has turned into a hunt for a suitable place. This again can have several reasons and it is once again up to the breeder to identify them and take appropriate action.

A – Hen can not find a suitable place for her nest. Action – hang the nest elsewhere. 

B – Hen is too young. 

C – Pairing has not yet taken place. 

D – Hen is not in breeding condition. 

E – Provide other nesting material. Try a synthetic nest. 

The solution lies with one of the above factors. Breeder to identify and take action.

 3 – Hen only lays a couple of eggs.

Too few eggs laid again indicates that the birds are not 100%. At the risk of repeating oneself the cause is generally one of the ones already stated above, but it is an area sufficiently important to again dwell on.

 A – Hen too young. 

B – Hen too old. 

C – Inadequate time taken for breeding preparation. Attempting to bring into condition too quickly. 

D – Insufficient grit and minerals.

 Dear breeders - You will have seen that the reasons for poor egg laying correspond closely with one another, but will in fact also determine whether you have good, indifferent or poor results.Birds that are too young, placed into breeding cages too early will give rise to the above mentioned problems.These suggestions, I believe, will assist you in preventing many of these problems. Success! – Wout van Gils

New Canary Website

 New Canary Website     

Mr Wout van Gils has spent the past twelve months updating and redesigning his website. The website has been an outstanding success attracting nearly 600,000 visitors over 12 years.wout en Henny  The website has been streamlined and is now simpler to navigate – much of the material has been scrutinized and revised. We do wish Wout ongoing success with the new website. Congratulations!

 You may like to read the article “Ingestuurde artikelen”/”Email uit Nieuw Zeeland” on the new website. It was forwarded by our New Zealand friend Bernard Reinen, who promptly translated the article on “Importing Canaries” (September Newsletter) into Dutch and emailed it to Wout.

I was surprised to receive Wout’s acknowledgement of this within 24 hours of the Newsletter having been sent out! It is a small world! Thanks Bernard, your native Dutch is vastly superior to mine.




The candling of eggs is performed to determine whether or not the eggs are fertilised. Although straightforward mistakes are still sometimes made. These mostly occur when the pencil torch is shone on the wrong part of the egg, viz., the airpocket end. Another error occurs when the candling is performed too early. The best method involves candling after 4 to 5 days. What you must then determine is represented in the photos below.

The first photo shows an infertile egg, the second a fertilised egg and the third a candled egg after 4 days.

Do not be in a hurry to remove the eggs that are shown to be infertile and allow the hen to hatch for about 10 days. This will ensure that the hen receives an adequate rest between hatchings

Pairing birds after breeding preparations have been completed .

Practical hints from Wout van Gils.

badende-kanarieIn my earlier articles I covered preparation and nutrition when bringing breeding birds into condition. We have established the importance of observing your birds and to start only with birds that are old enough and healthy. I also covered the aspects of lighting and nutrition –all important factors that need to be controlled and observed. Similarly our attention to the disinfecting and the combatting of vermin must never waver.

Before pairing we should check the birds for any obvious signs of illness and/or intestinal problems. It is clear that sick birds should not be used for breeding. Even though the birds may appear healthy most breeders still give them a treatment. I, myself, give them a one Gram of Baycox (or Amprolium) in one litre of water for three days. This is followed with a multi-vitamin supplement for two days and then another treatment with Baycox. The reason for this is to suppress any coccidiosis even though this may not be evident at the time. This is performed on all birds in the area in question. Another option is to use ESB3 (broad spectrum antibiotic) instead with one gram per litre of drinking water for five days, followed by two days of vitamins and finishing with further three days of ESB3.

The pairing of the birds gives rise to other factors that require our attention. I place the cocks first in the breeding cages as they need a little more time than the hens to come into condition. I know that some breeders cage up their hens first, but they must then have other methods of enabling the cocks to catch up the shortfall. The breeding cages and general area must be thoroughly disinfected and steps taken to eliminate any vermin. The cages are clean and the bottom covered with cardboard, shell grit or other depending on personal preferences. A dish with grit and bird minerals is indispensable. Take care that the nest is suspended inside the front or on the outside for better air circulation and for ensuring that the young will be more settled when raised near the front. Check that the perches are not loose or too close to the roof of the cage as this may result in infertile eggs. I also place a pre-made sisal nest in the nest holder so that the birds already have an established nest and only need to finish it off.

Before placing the cocks in the breeding cage trim those nails that are too long, but take care not to cut the central blood vein. Some breeders trim or remove the feathers around the vent, but I strongly discourage this practice as the cutting or even the removal of these feathers may cause irritation around the vent of the cock with infertility as a result. Also the stubble caused by trimming the cock’s feathers may irritate the hen again resulting in infertility. Many texts state that vent feathers of the male actually facilitate successful impregnation – another reason for not trimming or removing the vent feathers

When the cocks are placed in the breeding boxes increase the ambient temperature to about 18C maximum and adjust lighting to about 14.5 hours. Allow for the fact that the clock will need to be readjusted one more time. If you need to go to work set the times so that the light is on when you first feed your birds in the morning. 

When the cocks are in their breeding boxes I place a few hens in front of them. You will see that some of the cocks will react straight away. Provide extra food and eggfood three times a week and after 1½ weeks you can place the hens with the cocks. A hen in breeding condition has a swollen vent with the low abdomen taking on a bright reddish hue, almost fiery red. You shall see that some of the birds will already attempt to pair and this is a sign that everything is going well. Other birds will take some time, but most will bond quickly.

There are times when birds continue to fight. You will then need to take action and the reasons for the ongoing fighting are various, but generally because of one of the birds not being in breeding condition or that one of the birds has developed a bond with another. You can tell the latter if the hen calls and the same cock answers from another cage. If your selection criteria allow it you can then place the hen in question with the other cock and bonding will take place.

Another course of action is to separate the birds for several days and return them in the evening, but watch out for birds that continue fighting. Nesting material can be provided after four days and the birds can start proceedings. Sound preconditioning will pay off as the hens immediately start making a nest.

Check to make sure that the nest has been properly finished or shaped it by turning a globe inside the nest. Once the hen starts laying it is recommended that you remove each egg daily and replace them with the fourth egg; store the eggs in a cool, shady spot – not in the sun. The hens will now commence their breeding and the chicks will hatch after 14 days. Keep your breeding area well ventilated, provide baths and/or spray the eggs a little. Regularly check to see that the eggs can be freely turned by the hen. Note that in a healthy clutch the pointed ends of the eggs face one another.


Wishing you a healthy brood – Wout

The breeding room


The following article is a translation from the van Gils Canary website. In it he highlights the importance of matching our breeding aspirations to practical realities – a sanity check!


The Breeding Room – Space allowed is often insufficient (Courtesy Wout van Gils)

Space, layout, lighting and the quantity of light will determine your scope for breeding. These factors will decide the number of breeding pairs you can ideally accommodate in keeping with the number of young you can expect at the end of the breeding season.

Doubling the number of breeding pairs does not necessarily imply doubling the number of young. For each breeding setup there is an optimum number of breeding pairs - limit the available space and/or the number of birds. The results depend on many factors. It is the task of the fancier to determine his optimum and maintain himself at that level. This will help avoid many problems in the future.

jong kan gekipt 


Firstly there is the aviary or the breeding area to consider. Do not fill all the available space with breeding pairs as you will need the same again for the young. The breeding boxes must never occupy more than half the available space. It isn’t possible to come up with a optimum number of birds per square metre. This depends on the number of bird types being bred and also the way the birds are housed, eg., breeding boxes or aviaries.

Secondly, there is the amount of time and space you have available for tending to your birds. Indeed this is probably the one factor that most fanciers underestimate. In my opinion you will need one to one and a half hours in the morning for 10-20 breeding pairs and a further two hours in the evening. This number should not be exceeded if extra time is at a premium.


Don’t think that 3½ hours per day for 20 pairs is an exaggeration. I assume that the birds receive the best of care and this care is essential for good results. Here is a brief summary. Thoroughly cleaning the nestling food dishes each day. Checking to see that none of the nestling food has adhered to the perches and closely monitor how the nests are being built and how the breeding is proceeding. Also providing clean water, seeds, and nestling food at least twice a day and now and then a little greenfood and some tonic seeds. In addition you need to observe the birds and make notes about the breeding pairs; chicks need to be rung and others removed from their parents. At the same time breeding boxes need to be tidied and badly fouled nests removed. The health of the birds should be checked daily and also to see that the young that have been separated are doing ok. Check that the hens are properly feeding the young and remove the first three eggs that are laid.

In short, jot down everything you need to do daily for your birds and allocate a time; you will see that a person who works full-time will find it difficult to breed from more than 15-20 pairs.

If you begin by keeping 30 or even 50 pair it will all become too much. You are being restricted by constantly rushing back and forth. Proper observation of the birds is no longer happening and if a chick falls out it is discovered dead days later on a dirty floor at the bottom of the cage. Do not expect that with 50 pair you will have four times more young birds on the perch. I know breeders that have many less young than other breeders and this often occurs through not having sufficient time to provide the proper care and attention.

Check this out for yourself. Are you one of the breeders that no longer derive pleasure from the hobby because you no longer have the time to enjoy it. Be honest - if this is the case, then perhaps you are trying to breed from too many pairs.

Care during the Moult -

Care during the Moult – Courtesy Wout van Gils


The moult is well-known to every bird fancier and he recognizes it as an annual event in the live of his canaries. 

A novice does not place much importance on this at first but quickly notices that something is happening to the coat of feathers of his birds. The moult has started and this is a very important period in the life of the birds as well as us fanciers. A bird which does not properly moult lacks something in his metabolism and will never become 100% fit and cannot be expected to excel. During the moult all the weaknesses that the bird harbours will come to the fore, but also all its good points, particularly when you see the coat of feathers changing and how beautifully the colours and markings have become.


On the other hand the bird’s health may have suffered and the bird has not come well through the moult or the feathering and markings have not come up to expectation. In brief, the moult bodes an interesting time for both bird and fancier.

 The Moult

The moult normally starts mid to late January; this depends on when the breeding season was started. Early breeders will have their birds moulting before late breeders, who have started in October. Nature also plays a role in this and you need to finish your breeding in a timely manner to enable the moult to commence and finish before the onset of cooler weather. The moult cannot and should not be forced and the bird needs its energy reserves to bring it to a successful conclusion; it is beneficial for the bird if this occurs at a time of reasonable weather. Subject to these conditions being fulfilled the moult will be fully complete between 6 and 8 weeks.

Young birds will generally not shed their tail and wing feathers. Older birds have a much harder time as they need to replace all their feathers. At times you even feel sorry for their dishevelled appearance, but with proper care you will be surprised as to how quickly the bird recovers. People often remark that a bird in moult is not really ill, but very susceptible to disease, particularly if deficient in food, minerals and adequate peace and calm. A lack of any of these elements can be outwardly detected from the appearance of the quills; it becomes therefore very important to maintain proper nutrition and continue observation.

 Care during the moult

As described above for a proper moult it is necessary to maintain a largely constant temperature, low humidity, fresh air, well-balanced nutrition and eggfood three times a week. It is also very important not to overpopulate your flights; birds need space and calm and this will also help prevent featherplucking. Also important is that the perches are separate from one another to allow birds to sit without being disturbed by others. Distractions should be provided – suspend small bunches of strands of sisal rope or even better regular sprays of millet. Add vitamins regularly to the drinking water and supplement the food of recessed whites with vitamin A.

A further recommended measure is the weekly addition of half an onion. It will take the birds a little time to become used to this but, once accustomed, will relish it and onion is of particular value when taken during the moult.

In addition fruit can be offered two or three times a week. Only provide enough to last 2½ hours; any longer may cause the fruit to become mouldy with adverse consequences. A good seed mixture should always be included and should always be available in sufficient quantity.

More recently various companies have begun offering products to assist birds through their moult.

It is up to the fancier to ensure that his birds come through the moult with no lasting ill-effects.

 Baths and the moult

I have intentionally avoided mentioning the use of baths until now in order to stress the importance of providing regular baths. During the moult baths should be provided at least three times a week and once a week bath salts should also be added. Another recommendation is the application of a good flower spray bottle or atomiser to mist up the birds several times a week (over and above the use of baths). The birds love it and it does not only benefit the birds and their plumage, but also has a calming effect on them; the latter is particular beneficial when they are being taken to an exhibition.Thus for the moult never skimp on providing baths – your birds will thank you for it. And the flower spray does wonders!!!!

 The soft moult

The soft moult is not particularly prevalent amongst canary breeders, but occurs more often in a home where only a few birds are kept for their song. It is also common with people who are careless with their artificial lighting. Here therefore a few words about the so-called soft moult.

At the beginning I described all the factors that one must consider when caring for a canary. One of these factors is to maintain the daily light hours at about 11 hours. When this is not done, for instance, 11 hours one day and 16 the next and more or less of the same ongoing then you will not enjoy your bird for very many years. What is happening?

The pineal gland of the bird reacts to the number of hours of light; in other words birds in nature reach breeding condition as the hours of daylight lengthen; the temperature has little effect. Similarly as hours of daylight shorten the bird will stop breeding and begin replacing its coat of feathers.

Now what happens inside a home where the bird is not placed in a darkened area at a specific time. The activity of the pituitary will fluctuate and the bird will not realize whether it is spring, summer, autumn or winter. In short the bird is totally confused and will start to moult, but because his system is out of synch he can no longer move out of the moult – he will no longer sing, breed, etc. and the feathers will continue to fly around the room.

The bird is now in the so-called soft moult, a condition difficult and often impossible to recover from. After a long road the bird may no longer be able to generate the required amount of energy, emaciate and die.

Hence the importance of exercising proper control over the number of light hours!


Some Tips

As mentioned above the provision of baths is essential, but you must also provide proper floor materials, constant grit, distractions through the suspension of sisal rope strands or millet sprays.

Regularly remove the loose quills as these can lead to bad habits. A golden tip is the leaning of a small plank against the wall at the back of the birdroom. Air movements will cause the feathers to float and these feathers will come to rest behind the plank. After a few days the feathers can be picked up by the handful and few if any feathers will be left flying around your birdroom. Very easy and handy.


I hope that this article has again drawn your attention to the need for proper care during the moult. It cannot be said and written too often that a large amount of attention needs to be paid during this period as many good birds are established here and some through lack of attention and care are ruined and that is not our goal.

The moult is an exciting time. Most breeders realize this and manage accordingly.

I hope that your birds will do you proud through the moult and on to our exhibitions.




Cigarette butts help urban birds ward off mites.

Cigarette butts help urban birds ward off mites

  • 13:03 05 December 2012 by Joanna Carver .                                                                       

It's not just people that have a penchant for cigarettes. Birds living in urban environments often use cigarette butts to line their nests. Unlike in humans, the cigarettes seem to have a beneficial effect – they cut the number of parasites in the nests.

Nicotine-based sprays are already used on some crops to repel insects. To see whether cigarette butts might have a similar effect in urban birds' nests, Constantino Macías Garcia from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Mexico City and colleagues lured parasites to these nests.

The team set up thermal traps in the nests of 27 house finches and 28 house sparrows, species commonly found in cities. The traps had electrical resistors placed on either side of the nest to generate heat, attracting parasites – such as mites – which then got stuck to a strip of adhesive tape attached to the resistor. The team also placed cellulose fibres from smoked or unsmoked cigarettes on top of each resistor to see whether the mites had a preference for either.

Once any chicks had left, the nests were collected for analysis. The team found that the more cigarette fibres the nest contained, the fewer parasites moved in.

Nicotine nest

What's more, traps containing cellulose from used cigarettes butts attracted 60 per cent fewer mites, on average, than ones with unsmoked cigarettes. This suggests it is indeed the nicotine and other chemicals in a cigarette that repel mites, since these substances are only released once it has been smoked.

Does that mean birds line their nests with cigarette butts to repel parasites? Not necessarily, says Macías Garcia. "One possibility is that the birds are using the cellulose from smoked cigarettes for its thermal properties, as a substitute for other materials such as feathers, down or fur," he says.

"Much of the work on urban environments has focused on the negative impacts of human activities on birds and other animals," says Paige Warren of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who was not involved in the study. "But there are also many resources that humans provide for animals in the city."

The team's next step is to determine whether birds that had a choice between spent butts and unsmoked cigarettes would prefer the former. Birds can distinguish between the two by their smell, and if they prefer to line their nests with spent butts, that would suggest they are aware of the butts' ability to deter parasites. The team also plan to investigate whether the chemicals in spent cigarettes harm the birds.

Dave Shutler, a biologist at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada, described the study as "very interesting", but says its results are only vaguely suggestive.

As for the birds' preferred brand, the nests contained more Marlboro Red butts than any other brand. Montserrat Suárez Rodriguez, who co-authored the study, says she doesn't know if that's because the birds prefer Reds or because the students do.

Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2012.0931

E-Mail uit Australie.

New Canary Website 

Mr Wout van Gils has spent the past twelve months updating and redesigning his website. The website has been an outstanding success attracting nearly 1.000000 visitors over 12 years. 

The website has been streamlined and is now simpler to navigate – much of the material has been scrutinized and revised. We do wish Wout ongoing success with the new website. Congratulations!wout en Henny


You may like to read the article “Ingestuurde artikelen”/”Email uit Nieuw Zeeland” on the new website. It was forwarded by our New Zealand friend Bernard Reinen, who promptly translated the article on “Importing Canaries” (September Newsletter) into Dutch and emailed it to Wout.

Iwas prised to receive Wout’s acknowledgement of this within 24 hours of the Newsletter having been sent out! It is a small world! Thanks Bernard, your native Dutch is vastly superior to mine.Bedankt  Bernard .Wout van Gils.


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Ringing your chicks – Things to look out for during and after ringing


Ringing is always an enjoyable activity with the chicks having survived their first critical phase and having started gathering plumage. Rings are normally supplied by the club or federation to which you are affiliated. They indicate the name of the club or federation concerned, the breeding year and sequential number issued.  

From 2015 onwards the ring colour adopted by the Roller Canary Society will comply with the European (COM) six year colour cycle, viz.,2015violet, 2016 orange, 2017 dark blue, 2018 red, 2019 black, and 2020 pastel green. This practice will also be in conformance with the approach adopted by The Canary and Cage Bird Federation of Australia Inc.


Young roller chicks should be rung when they are 5-6 days old. However problems may arise, for instance:


  1. Chicks rung too late or too early.
  2. Injuries incurred during the ringing.
  3. Parents throwing the young with ring out of the nest.
  4. Ring becoming fastened.


Most of us will recognise the above cases and how best to avoid them.

 Hint : In addition to the above I also do the following: - before returning the young to the nest after they have been rung I cover the bottom of the nest with a little seed. The parents will initially try to clean out the nest but find this too laborious and soon give up. In this way it becomes very rare that the parents will still continue to throw their newly rung chicks out of the nest. Try it and see for yourself. 

Split rings

Our new stocks have arrived and can now be ordered from our secretary Mrs. Margaret Kuschel.

Available colours are: - black, white, light green, medium green, pink, purple, light blue, medium blue, red, brown and orange.

The moult as an indicator of the state of health of your birds.

The moult as an indicator of the state of health of your birds

Birds in good condition will moult normally reasonably quickly provided they have adequate space and are not kept in overcrowded aviaries or cages.

It is of course most important to provide a balanced and nutritious diet with some extra vitamins as a moulting bird requires lots of energy to shed old feathers and grow new ones.

As feathers consist out of keratin=protein. A good diet rich in proteins and minerals is essential to ensure a trouble free moult.

The moult is a good indicator of the condition of your birds

The condition of the feathers of a bird is a good indicator of the bird’s health.

When a bird is sick or in bad condition the bird will moult very slowly and very often only partially...

For a quick moult a number of factors need to be considered. A good healthy diet with a good seed mixture and some extra vitamins and soft food are necessary.

Also give the birds plenty of natural light only and at least twice a week the opportunity for the birds to take a good bath. Once a week I add a little bath salt for pigeons to the water. The salt helps to remove the dust and soften the new plumage and keeps feather mite at bay.

Take also care to make sure that the aviary or cage is not too crowded.

During the moulting period the birds should be left alone as much as possible.

To keep the birds entertained put some millet spray in the aviary or put up some pieces of rope.

Shielded perches are helpful to stop feather picking, also put half an onion in your aviary or half a parboiled potato for the same reason once a week.

Feathers have a limited lifespan and are renewed by every moult. When we realize that a canary has about 1500 feathers which is about 10% of the weight of the bird it is easy to understand the amount of energy and resources that are needed for the bird to go through a moult successfully.

The bird often loses weight and this becomes readily apparent when we keep the bird in our hand. Egg food and oily seeds like rape, linseed and hulled oaths should be made available during the full duration of the moulting period. Also added vitamins in the drinking water and a supplement of probiotics are most helpful for a good condition of the birds.

And remember that a good and successful moult will determine your success in the show and success for the next breeding season.


Translated from an article by Wout van Gils

E-mail uit New zeeland.


Rood mozaïek type 2 d

Bernard Reinen (Nieuw-Zeeland)   31-08-2012 Ontvangen. 

Heeft onlangs onze goede vriend Wout van Gils in België bezocht.Wout is een man die al zijn energie, hart en ziel in de bevordering van de Kanarie hobby en kweek in a zijnfacetten heeft gestopt.En tevens heeft hij door het delen van zijn rijkdom aan kennis met allen en iedereen een grote bijdrage geleverd aan de verbreiding en in instandhouding van onze hobby.Bernard was een beetje treurig omdat er zoveel van de gekleurde Kanaries die we proberen te kweken bij hun gewoon in Nederland en België in overvloed voor liefhebbers beschikbaar zijn.Hij vond het ook onwaarschijnlijk dat we ooit deze rijkdom aan vogels zouden kunnen importeren naar Nieuw-Zeeland en Australië.Ik besloot om een opsomming te maken van welke bedragen hier dan mee gemoeid zouden zijn.Zelfs als Biosecurity Australië vandaag de invoering van deze vogels zougoedkeuren dan zouden de kosten ervan enorme gevolgen hebben.Huidige vergoedingen voor quarantaine op Australisch grondgebied alleen al dat zou oplopen tot $17.000 voor een zending van één enkele Kanarie.Een zending van 200 Kanaries zou iets meer voordeel opleveren want dat zou ongeveer $33.000 moeten kosten.Echter als één van de vogels sterft zou er een sterke kans bestaan dat de hele zending zal worden vernietigd.Als er zeventig procent kans is dat één van de vogels zou sterven dan zou dat de kosten van de te isoleren 200 vogels dichter bij $100.000 of te wel zouden de kosten $500 per vogel gaan bedragen!Verder dient er nog rekening te moeten worden gehouden met bijkomende kosten met betrekking tot de aankoop van de vogels, de vrachtkosten, de tijdelijk huisvesting en dan ook nog de kosten voor de beoordeling door bioveiligheid alsmede de kosten van diensten in het land van oorsprong zoals zijnde de pre quarantaine.Geen Wonder dat de smokkel van deze vogels naar Australië en Nieuw Zeeland zo lucratief is.Dat momt mede door de invoering van de PMV-1 dat maakt het praktisch onmogelijk om aan vogels te kunnen komen via import.We staan er werkelijk helemaal alleen voor.


Sportieve  groeten  Herman  Kamp. 

Importing Canaries


Bernard Reinen (New Zealand) has recently visited our dear friend Wout van Gils in Belgium – this I had also heard from Wout himself – a man who has poured his heart and soul into promoting the canary fancy in Europe and beyond by sharing his wealth of knowledge with all and sundry. Any way Bernard was ruefully pointing out how some of the coloured canaries that we are trying to breed are readily available in their hundreds in Holland - a “land of plenty” for bird fanciers. He also considered it unlikely that we would ever be able to import birds into New Zealand and Australia again.I decided to do some sums. Even if Biosecurity Australia were to approve the general imports of birds today the cost implications would be formidable. Present fees for quarantine on Australian soil alone would amount to $17,000 for a consignment of one single canary. A consignment of 200 canaries would attract large economies of scale and cost $33,000. However if one of the birds died there would be a strong chance that the whole consignment would be destroyed. If there is a seventy percent chance of one of the birds dying, the cost of quarantining 200 birds would be closer to $100,000 or $500 per bird! There are further charges to be taken into account - purchase of birds, freight, lodgment/ assessment by Biosecurity as well as the cost of pre-quarantine services in the country of origin. Little wonder that bird smuggling into Australia has become so lucrative and sadly exemplified by the introduction of PMV-1. We truly are on our own



Acidifying the drinking water.

Acidifying the drinking water. 

aanzuren drinkwater

Acidifying the drinking waterApple cider vinegar in the form of 10mL per 1.5L of water has a beneficial effect on the health of birds during the breeding season. Wout van Gils recommends giving this during the first eight days of the breeding season and four days a week thereafter.


Here are the benefits: -

  1. 1.Acts as an appetizer
  2. 2.Birds are less affected by coccidiosis
  3. 3.Birds increase their uptake of shellgrit.
  4. 4.Reduces the need for medications such as Baycox.
  5. 5.Limits the spread of megabacteria.
  6. 6.Supports the digestive process and stimulates the breakdown of food.
  7. 7.Disease carrying bacteria are stemmed and beneficial bacteria are enhanced (acts as a probiotic)
  8. 8.Compatible with the body’s own digestive juices. 


Acidifying the drinking water in this natural way helps keep your birds healthy. It is much preferred to the use of antibiotics as the birds will not build up resistance to it. Healthy birds will mostly overcome a virus by building up sufficient antibodies and the use of acidified water will surely help here. Birds with insufficient resistance shall mostly die or remain in a weakened state.

Congratulations to Wout’s drive and resourcefulness with his canary website – over 1.1 million visitors during the past 12-13 years!

. . . Zooeasy . . . Quiko . . . Giantel . . . Bird shop . . . J & J . . . Easyyem . . . Heesakkers . . . Vaesen . . . Comed . . . . . . kaf o matic . . . Witte Molen . . .



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