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Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by camchick, Jan 14, 2012.
hi guys is it possible to colour feed finches?
Hmmm...I'm sorry I didn't notice this post earlier.
Yes, finches can be color-fed, but not all finches will show an effect in their feathers. What color-feeding is is adding substances (natural or synthetic) to the food, which the bird uses to enhance plumage coloration. Typically, there are two colors that are affected -- yellows and reds -- but not all finches with these colors produce them from dietary sources. For example, Gouldian finches can have red faces, but this red does not get enhanced by feeding red color-food. On the other hand, Bullfinches have reddish coloration to their bodies, and this IS affected by color-food. For species like Bullfinches, diets low in reddish-pigmented food will result in birds with little or no red coloration.
In general, a way to tell if color-feeding will have an effect is to look at the colored areas on the birds. Those areas that are sharply red or yellow, with no "bleeding" into other areas, are usually NOT dependent upon color-feeding (like the red masks of Gouldian finches). If, on the other hand, the color has a more suffused appearance, with intensity varying between individuals, then it's likely that color feeding WILL have an effect.
Additionally, birds must have the genes to express the color. If you feed canthaxanthin (the principle ingredient in red color-food) to society finches, you probably won't get a red society finch. Before breeders hybridized the Venezuelan Hooded Siskin with canaries, all the color food in the world would get (at best) a faded orange-yellow color. It was only when genes for producing red pigments derived from dietary sources were transferred to the canary that we were able to have Red-Factor canaries.
And one last thing -- in species which respond to color-feeding, the effect can be achieved only when they are color-fed while feathers are growing. This means starting just before the molt begins (at the sign of the first feather dropped) and continuing until the last of the new feathers has finished growing. Feeding color-food while a bird is not in a stage of active feather growth won't affect their coloration.
Long-story-short -- yes, they can, but it will work only if 1) the species has coloration that's influenced by diet, and 2) the birds are fed while feathers are actively growing.
So.....about what kind of finches are you asking?
thanks for your reply. Ive got a bunch of zebras and society finches that I keep with a few fife canaries. Ive heard that you can colour feed fifes but I wasnt sure about finches. I am also getting a st Helena at the weekend. Im pretty new to keeping finches, I normally keep just quail!
Fife canaries should NOT be colorfed, colorfeeding is only for colorbred canaries not type canaries.
This is not true. Besides the Red Factors (colorbred canaries), the Norwich, Yorkshire and Lizard canaries are color-fed, and all three of these breeds are type canaries. And in terms of "rules", they apply only to showing, not to a pet owner.
Lizard canaries are not too common so I can't comment on those but Norwich and Yorkshire and other types are not colorfed if you want to show them, you can colorfeed any canary but I have never met a reputable breeder that would encourage colorfeeding a type bird.
References to colorfeeding Norwich and/or Yorkshire canaries:
http://books.google.com/books?id=3m...v=onepage&q=norwich canary color food&f=false
http://www.supapets-online.co.uk/colour_food.htm (see product description for Carophyll Orange)
Just because there are articles on it doesn't mean it is still done, I go to shows all the time and NONE repeat NONE of the type breeders colorfeed and yes that includes the Norwich and Yorkshire.
There are also an article on a study from several years ago where they bred tiels in a 18" x 18" x 18" cage, but we don't do that anymore either.
Actually, because there are articles on it, because there are pictures of show winners that were clearly color fed, because the winners themselves have websites in which they mention the foods they feed, because the standards allow it....all this indicates that yes, it is still done.
and this one again:
Show me where in the rules for the breeds mentioned that color feeding is prohibited, and then I'll take this rant seriously.
I mean, really, the OP has a PET canary. It doesn't matter whether she color feeds or not because she can't show a bird she didn't breed herself, but you're jumping up and down about it. Show rules do not apply to pet owners who don't show. Are you going to say that it is wrong for poodle owners to keep their adult dogs in a puppy clip?
The short answer to the OP is yes any canary can be colorfed, and a person can do anything they want with a pet canary.
While I myself do not breed yorkshires or Norwich the people I know that do don't colorfeed and do quite well at shows, I have type myself.
Do you breed and show canaries if no then why are you answering a canary question?