MAKING OUR HOME BEAUTIFUL 229
pants. An English authority gives the standard size for breeding cages as 22 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 16 inches high. Several types of open breeding cages made of wire may be obtained, or a box with a wire front may be made.
Care of Cages
Though canaries, when acclimated, can endure a great degree of cold without discomfort, they are very susceptible to sudden changes in temperature, and cold drafts soon prove fatal. This should be borne in mind in choosing a place for the cage. A place along the wall at some distance from a window is better for the bird, yet cages are usually suspended before windows. This may be permitted if the window is kept closed and the joints are tight. It may be necessary to line the edges of the window frame and the junction of the upper and lower halves of the window with weather stripping to prevent drafts. The room must remain at a fairly even temperature day and night. For this reason it is best to avoid keeping birds in small kitchens, as the fluctuations in heat are perhaps more marked there than in any other part of the house. Exposure to damp air is also likely to be fatal, another reason for avoiding the steam-laden air of small kitchens. Direct exposure to a strong draft of cold air must always be avoided. A cage may be placed on a small shelf along the wall or suspended from a bracket attached to the wall or window casing. Brackets are inexpensive and are convenient for use when it is impracticable to fasten hooks in the ceiling.
Wherever placed, the cage must be kept scrupulously clean, if the canary is to remain in good health and free from vermin. Seed supplies must be replenished and water renewed each day. The receptacles for these necessaries should be cleaned and washed carefully at short intervals. Cages that have removable bases should have the tray in the bottom covered with several thicknesses of paper. A better plan is to use the heavy coarse-grade sandpaper, known as gravel paper, that may be secured from dealers in cage-bird supplies. This should be
renewed whenever the cage is cleaned, and in addition the pan X—16