Saturday, October 1, 2011

How to Breed?

Once I had decided that I wanted to breed Selfs I had to work out how I would do it with my aviary set up at home. At the time my enclosure had multiple nesting baskets for my finches, I only had one pair of Bengos and I quickly learned from my friends that I would struggle to successfully breed more than one or two pairs. Generally, when there are a group of Bengalese in a small enclosure like mine they will all try and pile into one nest on top of each other and because of this often breaking eggs and restricting the rearing process of young finches.

 Aside from that in a group like this it is impossible to chose which finch will pair up together so any effective form of selective breeding is not possible.

I decided that I would build a cabinet to selectively breed my pairs of finches and remove all of the nests and nesting materials from the main Aviary and designate that as a holding flight for my flock. Following this I started the process of designing what I would do. Unfortunately since I am living in a unit my ideas were limited to one cabinet but since the Bengalese Mannikin can breed in quite small cages I decided to divide the cabinet in two. Now best practice is to give them more room than this for their condition and fitness but my plan is to rotate the birds into the holding cage after each clutch and not keep a pair in the cabinet for any long duration. You can see in the top image the Budgie cabinet that I selected and when I bought this I also bought two more of the same cage fronts so that I could use the doors. I  put two doors on the front and one as the divider between the two halves so that the whole cabinet could be open if the divider door is open. Next I made a screen to protect the finches from the local Noisy Miners here in Sydney and I did this by making a fly screen like you would have on your house windows you can buy the materials from Bunnings. I have trialed this with my pet shop Bengos and it works quite well. So at this stage I am ready to go!!