PMS OR PREMATURE MORTALITY SYNDROME
By Donald Perez
This article relates to canary chicks that look fine one day and the next are found on their deathbed somewhere out of the nest, there are a variety of reasons why one experiences results such as these with canaries. The first time one would see this in the birdroom, it is natural to assume that as the hen came off of the nest, a chick was stuck under a wing and thus came out of the nest with her. Or possibly that the nest was not deep enough and the chick in its' excitement to be fed, crept out of the nest. Hmmm, lots of good reasons as to why these chicks are found cold and dying on the floor of the cage. Why do some chicks seem to look fine one day and regardless of the age of the chick all of a sudden die or as is said, "gone light."
One reads info in e-mails of too much protein in the diet, another of radiation from a TV. While yet others would attribute problems to wet nests.
Now how exactly does a nest get wet? Does an April shower sprinkle rain on the nest? Does the hen go to the drinker, take a big swig then rush back to the nest and spit it all over the inside of the nest? NO, no, and no!
If one changes the nest, will the problem still be there? In most cases the answer is yes. Why? Because the occupants are still there.
The inside of the nest gets wet because something unnatural is occurring. The fecal sacs of the chicks break because something is happening in the nest. It all starts, folks from the digestive tracts of the parents!! It does not matter what you feed your birds. It does not matter if you buy the finest foods from all over the globe and administer them in the correct proportions set down by so-called experts of nutritional analysis. If the parents are not assimilating all the nutrients from the foods they eat because of the pathogen buildup during the most stressful time of their lives, the results become apparent very quickly as these pathogens continue to develop IN the body of the parent(s) and chicks. The time for procreation and survival of the species is a very stressful time indeed!
Let's start from the beginning as I interject some facts here derived from well over 30 years of breeding canaries and quite successfully I might add for you newbies on the CanaryList. Check out my Champion Glosters at: www.houseofcrests.com
The fact of the matter is that all the breeds of canaries we see before us today are either manufactured breeds or womanufactured breeds. What do I mean by this? Since humans created all these breeds, other factors play into the pairing program other than the natural selection of the species or the survival of the species. The kindness factor, or sensitivity factor or the moral factor enters the selection process. More on this in a bit though.
First, did you know that there are five kinds or varieties of canaries today. One kind or variety was and continues to be developed strictly for their singing abilities with very little concern for type or color and they are called the song variety. The second kind or variety was and continues to be developed strictly for their color with little concern for type and not at all for song and they are known as the color bred variety. The third kind or variety was and continues to be developed strictly for their particular type with little concern for color and not at all for song and they are known as the type canaries with some even being called canaries of posture. The fourth kind or variety are known as the mule and hybrid canaries which are the offspring resulting from crosses between canaries and the various breeds of finches that would mate with them for either their color, their song, their type or any combination of the afore mentioned factors. The fifth kind or variety is composed of any of the above-mentioned kinds or varieties, which are haphazardly bred for the shear pleasure of doing so or whatever such madness may invade the mind of the human. In other words, the fifth kind or variety is what would be considered mutts or mongrels. There are no varieties or kinds of canaries that were or are created to be simply finger-tamed pets ever by any of the master canary breeders who developed all the first four breeds. If one finds a very young canary that will sit on their finger, the youngster will soon grow out of it just like baby tigers and cub bears do. Canaries were never meant to be finger-trained as some would lead you to believe!
The least desirable of any of the above five varieties will undoubtedly find their way to a flea market, bird fair, wholesaler or pet store somewhere. Let's keep these little buggers alive, even if they fall out of the nest time and time again. Let's hand feed all the weaker ones and with the moral human fiber that runs through all of us, it is no wonder we become attached to the struggling chicks that would certainly have perished if this occurred in the wild. Let's upset the natural selection process found in nature of the survival of the fittest! Heck, let's do all we can and watch the majority of the runts develop into disasters with one problem or another before it ever gets a chance to reach adulthood. Yeah, let's keep it alive long enough maybe to get it to market! If we get 15 bucks for it, it'll pay for some snacks for the ones back home! What a huge mistake in most all cases! Now I'm not at all saying these instances are the case with the writers on any of the Internet lists or groups. I was just setting the stage based on those certain individuals who have crossed my path at one time or another in my bird breeding and exhibiting life who seem to think that the answer is to save and continue to breed with weak stock that if they were in the wild, would have been eliminated by nature taking its’ natural course with animals and birds using the natural instincts that have been used longer than man or woman has ever been alive.
It has been said not to breed two crested canaries together or two white-ground together because of lethal factors, yet why do people continue to do that with 99.99% disastrous results? Why do people knowingly pair two different breeds together and sell the resultant offspring somewhere and label them as the breed it most closely resembles at maturity? Why do people hand feed canary chicks when the hens are continually tossing those sickly chicks out of the nest? Is it out of compassion, or greed, or ignorance or some or all of the above or some other reason I do not know of? Maybe these few comments will answer some of these questions:
In the wild, only the strongest birds of any breed survive. In the wild, if there is or are chicks in the nest that do not pick their heads up to eat and seem sickly, they are immediately tossed as far away from the nest as possible so as not to let a predator know there is a nest above and so that all the foods gathered by the feeding parent(so) are fed so that the healthiest mature faster. It makes no sense for the parents to feed the weaker chicks for their genetic makeup should it survive make it a candidate that someday would mate and pass on those defective genes to the species. Think about it for a minute. They instinctively know to do this. Even our manufactured & womanufactured canaries have these instincts today as is experienced in our birdrooms. Yet we, are the "GODS" of our birdroom and it is us who ultimately decides if we should keep the little bugger alive so that it may live another day! It is us who create these crosses and carry them. The sad thing is, many, if they did not slate them to be sold at market, would hold on to them because, "they were saved from death!" These poor creatures hold a special place in their hearts. Worse, some will even breed with the damned things perpetuating these problems from generation to generation and selling them and spreading the survival of the unfit. And the next person ends up with problems and they find a List such as this and ask questions and the oldwives tales continue with all the possible wrong answers with a few good tips here and there.
The next fact is very simple to understand. Canaries, as with most all birds, cannot get in captivity all the freedom, balanced nourishment and mating possibilities for the survival of the species as they are dependant on humans with any and all ideas of the best ways to manage them. As relates to diet, please know now that there is absolutely no diet yet that exists that can replicate what a bird would get in the wild living in its' natural habitat! That in mind, know then that ALL birds are living with some type of stress in captivity. The degree of stress varies with the time of year it is. Other than environment, vermin or pests, mosquitoes and internal and/or external parasites, the major problems are respiratory or digestive. Unsanitary conditions cause digestive problems but more times than not, pathogens are the problems most closely associated with their getting a virus, losing weight and eventually dying. In mature canaries, by the time we notice they have an illness, it's in a very well advanced stage. During the breeding season, they learn to hide illness better than at any other time of the year. Other then a very pale or yellowish color of the inside of the mouth or the body of the chicks, the only way to tell there is a problem is if a chick is tossed or the feathers on the breast of the hen are wet and the downs is matted on the chicks.
What can be done about this? What should have been done long before the breeding season; be proactive!!! Feed a probiotic!!!
OH NO!!! Is this another commercial in the guise of an e-mail? Call it what you will? I call it taking advantage of the opportunity to educate some in the fancy and to perpetuate the improvement of the captive breeds. If someone orders from me and I am making money doing it, fine. I will be the first to say, I live in America, land of capitalism and free enterprise! The fact that I have a product that indeed works as can be attested to by many successful breeders presently using the product is reason enough to try and let those of you who are experiencing problems, death and heartache know that this is an answer to your problem(s).
It is my belief and that successful breeders must feed a totally live, strictly avian-specific probiotic that will create the appropriate environment in the intestine of any bird thus reducing the population of pathogens allowing for total assimilation of any and all foodstuffs administered to our birds year 'round. It does not matter how much or how little is spent on the food products fed to our birds, if there is stress and pathogens indeed gain a stronghold in the digestive system, there will be problems that only amplify themselves if one does not actively take a positive approach and administer a fine-quality probiotic. Learn more by visiting my website and reading all the articles at: www.avi-culture.com and see why I am offering a quality solution that starts to work from the first day you begin to use it!
Get your birds on track to a healthier life and not only you but also they will be happy you did! Think about it again, if you raise healthy birds and they are growing stronger day by day because they are being fed the best foods and can assimilate all the nutrients and they in turn feed from the very beginning this healthy foodstuff to their own chicks, those chicks will grow quicker and develop to their very best genetic potential so that healthier, more improved canaries will fill each and every cage. One will also reduce the incidence of problems and untimely deaths providing for a happier hobby with only tears of happiness. Oh jeeze, where's my hanky!
All the best of the season!
NATIONAL BIRD DESIGNS™
Home of the Master Portfolio Of Type Canary Standards, The Blueprints Standards Of Perfection of The Type Canary, Fiber-Glass Punch-Bar Cage Fronts and AVI-CULTURE™, the Live, Avian Specific Probiotic for ALL BIRDS!