Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

A Book Of Suggestions For Children's Games And Employments.

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What Shall We Do Now?
Other rules in the care of all birds are—never let them be in a draught, but do not keep them in a very warm place. Cover them with a white cloth at night, and in cold weather put a shawl over that.
Seed-eating birds do best if they are fed on canary seed and a little summer rape, with now and then a few hemp-seeds, some Hartz mountain bread, and a bit of groundsel or water-cress that has been well washed. If they look dull and sit in a puffed-up little heap, a drop of brandy in their water often does good ; and, should they show signs of asthma, try chopped, hard-boiled egg, with a few grains of cayenne pepper, and a bit of saffron or a rusty nail in the water. Thes.e are also good when the bird is moulting. For insect-eating birds you must buy meal-worms and ants' eggs, and thrushes and blackbirds need earth-worms as well.
Some birds are easily taught tricks. We remember a red­poll who would draw his water up from a well in the cage in a little bucket; but if you teach your bird to do this you must be careful to watch him, in case the string gets twisted and the bucket does not reach the water, when your pet will suffer terribly from thirst. He will also learn to pull his seed-box up an in­clined board if you put it day by day a little farther from him, so that he must draw the string to get his food. It is better to take a long time in training birds, and tempt them with any dainty they care most for, such as water-cress, groundsel, chickweed, or hemp-seed, as otherwise you must starve the bird first, or he will not trouble to get the seed. This means a certain amount of cruelty and cannot be right.
The favourite cage-bird is the canary, which, though a foreign bird, is kept in this country in greater numbers than any other bird, and is also bred here. So English has it become that one desirable variety of it is known as the Norwich.
Many Englishmen make a good living by selling canaries, not always too honestly. Indeed, one has to be very well posted up in the nature of the bird to be protected against deception when
Food. Tricks.
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