MAKING OUR HOME BEAUTIFUL 231
what other food is given. Attempt should be made to regulate the supply of egg food or other soft food so that all is eaten without waste. The actual quantity will vary with individual birds. Meal worms occasionally are good for birds that are not thriving. A craving for animal food may be satisfied by bits of raw steak. It is not well to continue feeding raw meat, as it will cause a foul odor about the cage. For delicate birds, rape seed, soaked in water over night and carefully drained until dry, is beneficial.
Under normal conditions most birds probably bathe daily, and canaries in captivity should be allowed the same opportunity. In open wire cages in common use for singing birds the base is removed and the cage placed over a small dish containing water. In open-front cages in which the bottom is not detachable, small bath cages which fasten at the open door are used. These are only.a few inches wide, but serve to hold a dish for water. Many birds are notional in bathing, and at times ignore the offered bath. Usually the small acts of cleaning the cage and renewing the seed and water will excite in them a desire for bathing, and often when a bath is not provided the bird will do its best to perform its ablutions in the small supply of water in the drinking cup. When individual birds obstinately refuse to enter the water, gentle spraying will usually induce them to bathe.
Birds brought into strange quarters usually refuse to bathe for the first few days. When water is offered, they either ignore it or, sitting on a perch, go through the motions of bathing and drying, fluttering wings and tail with a great whirring of feathers. The bath should be offered whenever the cage is cleaned, and if left alone the birds will act normally after a few days.
Small china dishes that are not too deep make good bathing pans. When a bird becomes accustomed to one dish it will usually refuse to bathe in another of different shape or color. In winter the water should be warmed until tepid. Even in