Some More Small Bird Breeding Tips
In the spring, a young bird’s fancy turns to thoughts of…
 
Amphibians
Axolotls
Caecilian Worm
Chaco Toad
Mud Puppies

Newts General
Newts Eastern
Newts Golden

Newts Mandarin
Salamanders
Suriname Toad
Tadpoles
Terrarium I
Terrarium II
USA Toads
Water Dogs
Misc. Toads

Frogs
Bull
Clawed
Dumpy
Dwarf
Fire-Belly
Floating
Green Tree
Leopard
Pac Man
Pipa pipa
Pyxie
Red-Eyed Tree
Tomato
Misc Frogs 
Misc Frogs II
Misc Frogs III
Misc Frogs IV

Misc Frogs V

Animals
Bunnies
Bunnies II 

Cat-N-Around Cat Club
Cat-N-Around Cat Club 2007 Annual Show
Hawkeye Cat Club 2004
Hawkeye Cat Club 2005
Chinchillas
Degus
Ferrets
Ferrets by BOB
Gerbils
Ground Squirrels
Guinea Pig
Hamsters I
Hamsters II
Hamsters III
Hamsters IV
Hamsters V
Hedgehogs
Kittens
Kids & Kittens
Mice
Mice Pets II
Parasites
Rats I
Rats II
Rats III
Rats, Hairless
S-T Opossums
Siberian Chipmunks
Sugar Gliders
Sugar Gliders II
Water Bottles

Bugs
Crabby 500
Crab 04 Results
Centipedes
Cray/Lobsters
Crayfish II
Crayfish III
Cray, Yucatan
Fiddler Crabs
Shrimp, Algae
Shrimp, Aqua
Shrimp, Orange Bee
Shrimp, Red
Shrimp, Flower

Shrimp, Ghost
Shrimp, Rudolph
Hermit Crabs
Hermit Crabs II
Madagas Roach
Mantids
Mini-Clams
Mini-Crabs
Patriot Crabs
Giant Millipedes
Red Claw Crabs
Reiman Butterfly
Spider, Black Widow
Snail, Apple
Snail, Colombian
Snail, Land
Snail, Malaysian

Snail, Mystery
Snail, Trapdoor 
Scorpions
Tarantulas
Tarantulas II
Tarantula Night 2006
TarantulaWeen VII
TarantulaWeen 9
Walking Stick
Misc. Bugs
Misc Bugs II  

Birds
Breeding Tips

Button Quail
Canaries

Cockatiels
Dove, Diamond
Dove, Ringneck
Finches
Love Birds
Parakeets
Pelleted Foods
Quaker Parrots

Parrot Pictures
Parrot Pix II

Parrot Pix III
Dave's Parrots


Lizards
Alligators
Anoles
Bearded Dragon

Beardies II
Calotes
Chamel, Jackson
Chamel, Panther
Chamel, Veiled
Crested Geckos
Gecko, Golden

Gecko, House
Gecko, Leopard
Gecko, Tokay
Horned "Toads"
Iguana New
Iguana Dragons
Iguana Q&A I
Iguana Q&A II
Iguana Training
Iguana Update
Cool Iguana Pics
Knight Anoles
Monitors, Nile

Monitors, Savana
Monitors, Water

Salmonella
Skinks
Skinks Blue-Tongue
Tegus
Uromastyx maliensis
Water Dragon
Misc Lizards
Misc Lizards 2
Misc Lizards 3
Misc Lizards 4
Misc Lizards 5

Misc Lizards 6
Misc Lizards 7
Misc Lizards 8
Misc Lizards 9
Misc Lizards 10


Snakes
Anacondas
Boa, Rosy

Boa, Red-Tail
Corn Snake
Garter Snake
Green Snake
Kids/Corn Snakes
Kids/Red-Tail Boas

Kids at Pet Expo 1

Kids at Pet Expo 2

Kids at Pet Expo 3

Kids at Pet Expo 4

Kids at Pet Expo 5
King & Milk
Python, Ball
Python, Burmese

Snakes Alive
Snakesgiving
Snakesgiving II

Misc Snake Pix
Misc Snakes II

Misc Snakes III  

Turtles/Tortoises
Box, Asian
Box, USA
Races
Snapping

Spiny

Sulcata
Water

Western Painted

Live Foods
Blackworms
Blood Worms
Br Shrimp I
Br
Shrimp II
Crayfish 1
Crayfish 2
Crayfish 3 
Crickets
Dandelions
Daphnia
Earthworms
Feeder Goldfish
Fruit Flies
Ghost Shrimp

Glass Worms

Grindal Worms
Infusoria
Mealworms
Microworms
Rosy Reds

Super Worms

Wax Worms
White Clouds

 

Decorating
Bubbles
Driftwood
Gravel
Plastic Plants
Rocks
Slow Growing Plants

Miscellaneous
Bob's Acclimation

How to Start
How to Add New Fish
How to Keep Healthy
Which Fish Get Along?
10 Questions to Ask
What is Ich?
Under Gravel Filters

Sponge Filters
Cloudy Water

Cool Water Tanks
Gravel Vacuums
Preventing Disease
Feeding to the Max
Frozen Foods
Green Water
Nasty Chemicals
Overfeeding
Power Filters
Rift Lake Salts
Quarantine Tank
Mini-Tank
2nd Av Bait

Pet World Visit
Dandelions

Aquatic Plants
Amazon Swords
More Swords
Sword Plants III

Anubias
Anacharis
Aponogetons
A. boivinianus
A. fenestralis
A. ulvaceous
Aquarium/Bog
Banana Plant
Bolbitis
Bunch
Bunch Plants II
Cryptocorynes
Crystalwort
Dwarf Lily
Grassy
Grassy II
Hornwort
Hygrophila
Lace
Java Fern I
Java Fern II
Java Fern III
Java Fern IV
Java Moss
Moss Balls
Onion
Vermiculite

Watersprite

Different Watersprite

                                           

Birds Reproduce in the Spring.  You can’t stop your feathered friends from trying to reproduce this time of year.  No matter what you do, they’ll still try.  If you want to help, here’s some tips we picked up from Dr. Wilmer Miller.  We did not realize people maintained web sites about him and his wife, Lotus.  We just thought they were helpful people.

Special Note.  When we first dropped past Dr. Wilmer's house, we realized he knew a great deal about doves and finches.  When we saw how he'd set up his homemade rearing cages in a very eye-appealing way in a sun-washed section of his home, we knew he had a good eye for keeping birds.  We knew he was retired from heading the genetics department at Iowa State University.  And we knew he was the mentor of one of our genetics professors at Drake University.  We knew that both professors shared a common interest in pigeon genetics.  What we did not realize was that Wilmer (actually Dr. Wilmer Miller) was the world authority on doves.  Thanks for giving us all this info, Doc.  And thanks for selling us all the finches and doves.  LA.

Not Just One Right Way.  Wilmer says there are lots of right ways (and maybe even more wrong ways) to keep birds.  He wants to pass on to us what works for him.

LA Pic
Doves prefer wider rather than tall cages.  My cage, not his.

Provide Larger Cages.  Wilmer prefers cages at least 24-inches wide.  Birds spend more time flying back and forth rather than up and down.  Bigger cages also sport larger doors.  He uses roosts made of tree limbs.  He places his lower roosts near the food and water sources.  His cages all feature a three-inch high “lip” to reduce the number of flying seed hulls that the birds flutter onto the floor.  You can find commercial versions of this “lip” in plastic bands and see-thru elastic cloth.

LA
Feed the right foods.

Doves Are not Pigeons.  Some commercial dove foods contain soy beans and other seeds too big for doves.  They won’t eat them.  Doves do great on parakeet or finch food.  KayTee has a dove food that comes in 5# bags (instead of 50# bags).

 

Provide the Right Food.  Lots of excellent bird foods exist for our small birds.  However, Wilmer says birds need additional supplements when they start producing eggs.  Citing his work with doves, he notes that females will take calcium from their own bones when producing eggs.  This limits their breeding activities to just a few times per year.  He reports that his doves (and he has lots) breed year-round because he supplements their food with a very small granulized calcium pellet sprinkled with salt containing trace elements.  (He cited one pair of finches that was an ad for calcium supplements -- he pulled 53 eggs from their nest.)

LA
If giving them grit, make it a calcium grit.

Grit not Needed.  Birds seem to enjoy eating grit.  Most don’t need it (according to Dr. Miller as well as Dr. Lafeber).  Although it probably helps with very hard seeds in the wild.  Furnishing calcium granules instead could kill two birds with one stone (bad metaphor) by also furnishing calcium. 

LA
Lazy people can feed their birds eggs also.

Feed Boiled Eggs.  He feeds boiled eggs (cut into eighths) to encourage egg laying in finches and while they feed their young.  Eggs contain “complete proteins” and beneficial fats.  Bird food companies provide “egg biscuits” for this purpose.

LA
You can find several brands of bird vitamins.  Lizard vitamins will also work.

Provide Vitamins.  Wilmer adds Avitron to their water to make sure they get enough vitamins A and D3.  We prefer to give them fresh greens and full-spectrum light.  We put the greens on top of their cages to give them extra exercise.  Putting vitamins in their water can encourage bacterial growth, because some manufacturers add sugar to make it more palatable.  As he says, “lots of right ways.”

 

LA
Any kind of non-tippable shallow bowl makes a nice bird bath.

Furnish Bathing Facilities.  He uses heavy bowls with a half-inch of water.  Birds (especially canaries) love these baths, so give them a bath twice a week.  We use large mister bottles so we can go through the cages faster.  The birds learn to spread their wings after you mist them a few times.

Who’s Dr. Wilmer Miller?  This small intro was written in 2003.  Retired from teaching genetics at Iowa State, Wilmer now spends his time investigating the genetics of doves (dozens of colors we’ve never seen before) and canaries. He also works with finches.  He and his wife also travel to other countries (Brazil most recently) in quest of additional genetic info.


LA
And reading couldn't hurt a bit.

Keep Learning.  As we’ve said elsewhere many times, the more sources you learn from, the wider your knowledge base.  And, thanks for the info, Dr. Miller.  Especially now that we know you’re so famous.  LA.  

© 1998, © 2003, © 2004  LA Productions

3600 Sixth Avenue

Corner of Sixth & Euclid Avenues

Des Moines, IA 50313

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