American Singer Facts and Tips to be Show Ready
by Bryan Chin
First published in the Pacific American Singer newsletter, volume 7, number 3, July 2000.
- American Singer Canaries need to be about 6 months old to be infull song.
- It takes a minimum of 3 weeks to train your birds in show cages,6 weeks is ideal for me. While they are in the show cages,simulating show conditions are key to getting your birds to singfreely at the competition. This means changing the room, travelingin cars, hearing other birds they are not use to, covering anduncovering birds, etc.
- Lights hours should be lowered to about 9 hours to stimulatemolting in adults. It takes about 2 months from beginning to end.This is important to have your adult males in song to tutor youryoung males. Young males are always listening and learning, butstart doing some serious singing at about 4-5 months (after theirsoft molt, which starts at 12 weeks). The time to lower the hours oflights is up to you; it depends on your setup and when your birdswere born.
- Once you are at 9 hours, keep it there until you are ready tostart raising the lights to get them into breeding conditions for thenext year. With our late show in December your birds maybe in hardsong by then because you are increasing your light hours. Some arenot affected and will continue to sing in the right volume for show.I am a little vague here because everyone has a different system forbringing their birds into breeding conditions. Also some breeders goby the natural sunlight hours and don't force their birds into molt.
- Play tapes of bird songs and sounds that you want your birds tosing.
- If you have the room, putting each young male in individualbreeding cages a month before training them in show cages is ideal.They will not be hassled by others and can focus on their song.
Good luck and see you at the shows.
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