American Singer Facts and Tips to be Show Ready
by Bryan Chin

First published in the Pacific American Singer newsletter, volume 7, number 3, July 2000.

  1. American Singer Canaries need to be about 6 months old to be in full song.
  2. It takes a minimum of 3 weeks to train your birds in show cages, 6 weeks is ideal for me. While they are in the show cages, simulating show conditions are key to getting your birds to sing freely at the competition. This means changing the room, traveling in cars, hearing other birds they are not use to, covering and uncovering birds, etc.
  3. Lights hours should be lowered to about 9 hours to stimulate molting in adults. It takes about 2 months from beginning to end. This is important to have your adult males in song to tutor your young males. Young males are always listening and learning, but start doing some serious singing at about 4-5 months (after their soft molt, which starts at 12 weeks). The time to lower the hours of lights is up to you; it depends on your setup and when your birds were born.
  4. Once you are at 9 hours, keep it there until you are ready to start raising the lights to get them into breeding conditions for the next year. With our late show in December your birds maybe in hard song by then because you are increasing your light hours. Some are not affected and will continue to sing in the right volume for show. I am a little vague here because everyone has a different system for bringing their birds into breeding conditions. Also some breeders go by the natural sunlight hours and don't force their birds into molt.
  5. Play tapes of bird songs and sounds that you want your birds to sing.
  6. If you have the room, putting each young male in individual breeding cages a month before training them in show cages is ideal. They will not be hassled by others and can focus on their song.

Good luck and see you at the shows.

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