Before discussing the signs your canary is ready to mate and breed, we should perhaps introduce how canaries reach optimal breeding conditions.
In temperate climates such as Europe and the Middle East, daylight hours begin to gradually increase with the onset of winter (23-12), and this gradually increase triggers the breeding season for canaries, and when day and night nearly equalize with the beginning of spring (21-03) canaries reach sexual peak laying the first clutch.
Daylight is not the only factor that triggers the breeding season; temperature and food supply play a role in making conditions desirable for breeding, and they also gradually increase as we reach spring and move away from winter.
These three factors (daylight, temperature, and food abundance) intersect in spring forming a suitable atmosphere for canaries to breed: 12 hours daylight, and 15 ° C average temperature depending on the geographical area, and unlimited food supply.
If you are a beginner in canary breeding, you should let your birds simulate nature by making them sleep at sunset and wake up at sunrise. You should also leave your birds without artificial heat; the temperature gradually increases as daylight increases, too, but if your breeding facility or room isn’t equipped to handle winter, you should use artificial heat and aim for a room temperature between 10 and 15 degrees Celsius, otherwise, your bird might fall sick especially if the place is humid or drafty and diet is poor.
If the breeding room is suitable meaning it is isolated from humidity and drafts and therefore bitter cold, you canary should be able to survive even if the temperature drops below zero given that you feed your bird a diet that suits such cold weather conditions.
As the weather warms up and daylight increases naturally without human intervention. At this point, you should begin to improve the quality and variety of food two months before the breeding season. Remember that caged birds do not have control over what they eat so you must provide suitable foods that help your birds reach optimal breeding conditions.
So, daylight, temperature, and nutrition together contribute to stimulating your canary to breed and display more visible and identifiable signs of readiness as the spring approaches. So, what are exactly the signs that tell your male and female canary are ready to mate, lay eggs, and raise a clutch of chicks?
Signs your male canary is ready to mate
One of the clear signs that your male canary is ready to mate is singing but not any kind of singing. As the breeding season approaches in the spring, the intensity, strength, and frequency of singing increases to a peak point where the bird starts dancing on the perches.
Watch the sexual peak and readiness of this Canary male on our youtube channel:
Another clear sign of male readiness to mate is the bent and swelling of the vent. Before the breeding season, the vent of the canary bird, whether male or female, is pretty much the same: flat to slightly bent outward. When the males are ready to breed, the vent begins to enlarge, swell or thicken, and bend more outwards. When this happens there is no doubt that the bird is 100% ready to mate even if you don’t hear it sing!!!
Other secondary signs of male readiness include:
- calling to the female more often
- alertness and frequent movement and activity
- the dropping of wings
- increased feather shininess and luster
Signs your female canary is ready to breed
There are certain signs that the female canary is ready to mate and lay eggs. The most obvious sign is the changes in the vent and abdomen area. Before the breeding season, the female’s vent is slightly bent outwards just like the male, and it looks as if it is a separate part from the abdomen.
But when the female becomes ready to lay an egg the vent becomes straight with the abdomen as if both the vent and abdomen are one surfaced piece. The abdomen also enlarges as the female becomes more ready to lay her first egg, and you should notice boldness or fall of the feather in the abdominal area as laying appeaches as well.
Another clear and undoubtful sign is calling the male for mating. Females emit a distinct call or sound for such a purpose, and we refer to this call “tastsa” in Palestine. Hear it in the following video. This call is very similar to the one you hear when your canary is stressed or showing signs of distress:
The canary female can also display other signs of readiness such as flapping the wings. Flapping the wings could also mean that the bird is trying to stretch the wings. If you separate the female away from her mate, you will notice her flapping the wings and looking for the male by omitting distinctive rolling calls.
Note: if a male and female canary are housed in one cage but in separate compartments, you should see them feeding each other from behind the barrier, and this is a sign they are ready to breed, Good luck.
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