Welcome to the Chaplin Nest canary page. Shirl decided to start raising canaries by accident. We bought our first canary, Robin, home thinking it was a male and would sing pretty. A couple of days later, Shirl found a red factor canary and brought it home. We named him Punkin because of his color.
Needless to say, we discovered that Punkin was a male when he belted out a song the likes I've never heard before. Then, a day later, Robin (who we thought was a male) plopped an egg in her food dish.
Of course, we didn't know any better so we had the birds in, what we thought was, a nice cage. Digging online into everything we could read about canaries, we found the birds fly sideways and our nice cage was way too small for one, let alone two of them.
Off to the pet store we went and found a nice large cage for them. It was long and they could fly and exercise themselve, although, Robin had different ideas. She started plucking her feathers so, digging deeper, we found that pre-made nests and string was the order of the day. With that, Robin commenced building her nest and laying eggs. We got two babies from the first clutch. Beaker and Spot.
We learned and fretted a lot those first weeks. I've sure never raised baby birds before (well except for chickens and turkeys) and Shirl had never experienced it before although she had friends who raised canaries for commercial purposes. As luck would have it, we never could get hold of them so we did it against all the recommended advice of every web page we went to. Luck was with us, that's for sure.
The next canary Shirl bought was a crested yellow singer who we named Julio. Then came Misty. Of course they had to have their own cage so we picked up a rack with 3 cages. We mated them and had two in the first clutch. One was a crested we named PigPen (the poor little thing became ill shortly after birth and after many visits to the vet, who still doesn't know what's wrong, we took him off all meds, figured if he survived then he would, and, don't you know, he cleared up quite nicely. We had him in an isolation cage until the doctor gave him a clean bill of health and now is living with all the others. We won't sell him because we had such a time with him.
The next clutch Misty had was another adventure in raising canaries. 3 eggs hatched and two eggs remained. The information we had was to leave the eggs in the nest for the babies to support themselves on. A week after the 3 hatched, the 4th egg hatched. The poor thing was so tiny compared to the other 3 that we knew he would not survive. I was beside myself with worry. Shirl came home at lunch to check on the babies and found the 4th hatchling on the bottom of the cage. She put it back in the nest and called me at work that afternoon and told me it would probably die. I got home that evening to find the baby on the cage floor cold and, I thought, dead. I went to take it out and it's little head raised up so weakly. I ran around the house with the baby nestled in my hand for about 20 minutes not knowing what to do. So, I called Shirl and she told me to try putting it in Robin's nest.
Robin was out of the nest when I went to the cage so I put it gently in and Robin looked at that tiny baby and immediately jumped on the nest, wiggled down to keep the baby warm and, from that point on, fed and nourished it. We called him Lucky and he's doing just great. A beautiful crested yellow canary and can he sing.
So, the point of all this is, whatever works will work. We found out, after 2 clutches with Julio and Misty (both crested yellow canaries) that you cannot breed two crested together. Either the eggs will not hatch or the babies won't survive beyond a month. I hate to say this, my friends, but these two crested canaries have had 3 clutches and the most beautiful crested and consorts I have ever seen.
The bottom line is, nature will do what nature has to do. We've had excellent luck and gone against most practices and procedures because we didn't know any better. However, we are going to breed each crested with a consort (actually we are going to try with the red factors to see what we get).
So, sit back and enjoy the Canaries of Chaplin Nest.