DTI001 20_12_17 

Bengalese Finches
British Birds
Game Birds
Love Birds
Raptors and Owls

Which branches can I use in a mixed aviary?


COULD you please tell me if it is safe to use bamboo in flights containing zebra finches, canaries, Bengalese finches and diamond doves? Also, are sweet chestnut branches and greengage branches safe in budgie and cockatiel flights? M.M., via email.

Bill Naylor, experienced keeper at zoos and bird parks, replies: Bamboo, which is really a grass, is excellent for the finch species you mention and adds that exotic feel to an aviary. Ideally, a reasonable sized clump of it should be planted, as the zebras especially will attempt to strip the leaves for nest and courting material. Plant the roots deep, with a liberal amount of compost, locating it in the shade or semi shade. Read more...

Is it too late for my Fife pair to breed?

Late starters: D.P.’s Fife canaries have started to nest late in the summer. Is this OK?I’VE just got into keeping canaries as a bit of a hobby. Currently I’ve got five Fifes and two have decided to pair up and nest. I’ve removed them into a breeder cage to observe. I’ve provided a nest-pan and nesting material, and they have gone down to nest.

Is it too late in the year to try my luck at getting them to hatch a clutch? D.P., via Facebook.


Pied-to-pied pairings: what’s your advice?

Risky business: some fanciers will avoid pairing pied to pied at all costs, whereas others use dominant pieds in their breeding programme to correct faults

IS THERE anything wrong with breeding two dominant pieds together? G.J., Gwynedd. 

Dave Herring, former Budgerigar Society president, replies: This is one of those questions which attracts a variety of answers, and in fact, it was one of the topics under discussion at a recent Northern BS Beginners day.


What’s the law on collecting eggs from aviary birds?

There is no reference in the Wildlife & Countryside Act to collecting eggs from captive-bred birds, such as these robin eggs. Collecting wild bird eggs IS ILLEGALI HAVE just started birdkeeping once again after many years absence. I have both foreign and British birds. However, the other day I was asked a question by a young boy, who was looking at my birds, which I could not answer.


Would a siskin x red hooded siskin be fertile?

Compatible partners: Bernard Howlett and Bill Naylor agree that pairings between cock siskins (main image) and hen red hooded (inset) would produce a proportion of fertile hybrid young. Bill, however, believes breeders should not mix the gene poolsIF I were to cross a normal siskin cock with a red hooded siskin hen, would any hybrid offspring be fertile? Also, would a F1 red hooded siskin hybrid cock paired back to a red hooded siskin hen be fertile? I.M., Derbyshire.


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