Three Hundred Games & Pastimes - complete online book

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

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312              What Shall We Do Now?
buying it; and you ought therefore, in getting a canary, to find some one competent to buy what you want.
Canaries must be kept carefully. They cannot stand so much air as an ordinary finch. Be particular that the cage does not hang in a draught, and let it be large enough for comfort. When evening comes it is kinder to take the cage out of a room in which there will be much light and noise, and put it somewhere dark and quiet, as the air of a room where gas is burned is not good for it. But if moving the cage is not convenient, lower it to a position below the level of the burners and cover it up with a thick cloth. By day the cage should be hung in the sunshine if possible, but if the sun is very hot a green gauze cover ought to protect the bird a little. If the bird's singing is too lusty—as sometimes happens—a handkerchief thrown over the cage will check it; but this seems rather hard treatment.
In feeding canaries follow the rules on p. 311, but you may put a lump of sugar between the bars now and then, or a sprig of groundsel or water-cress. Do not give them cake ; it is no real kindness.
When they are moulting, canaries (and other birds too) need rather more attention. Give them a little richer food, such as chopped-up eggs, and put some saffron in the water. There is a kind of insect called the red mite which often attacks canaries. It is not the rule by any means that canaries should be thus troubled — many escape—but it may happen. If you cannot account for the bird's despondency in any other way, catch it and look at its skin under the feathers of the breast and the under part of the wings. If there are little red spots, it means that the red mites have found out the cage, and you must wash the bird every day with a weak solution of white precipitate powder— about twelve grains to a small glass of warm water—and either wash the cage too with a stronger solution, or, if it is a wooden one, destroy it. Now and then you ought to clip their claws, if they seem too long.
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