Charlie's Song Birds



               Breeding African Serins

                                                              Yellow-Fronted Canary 

                                                                   (Serinus mozambicus)



The Yellow-Fronted Canary  also  known  as  the  Green  singer  is  a small  common  African Serin that is found in most of Africa ,  south of  the  Sahara and is seen from savannas to scrub land, gardens and plantations.   It  is  persecuted  for  the cage bird trade because of its lively  clear  loud  canary  like  song , calm and confiding nature and willingness to breed. There are 10 subspecies of this Serin most being seperated  by  slight  variation  in  the amount of green , yellow  and gray  in  the  plumage,   size  and  facial  markings.   Males  when  in breeding  condition  sing  in  concert with each one trying to out sing the next.  I found that this African Serin thrives on a  typical "finch" mix  with  all t ypes of millets  and millet spray added rather than a regular  canary  seed  mix.


 First off I would like to say that what method works for one breeder does  not  necessarily mean it will work for others as in this article I will   share   my   own  experience  breeding  these  beautiful  African Serins.

 I strongly believe that success  in breeding these birds they will need to have a strong pair bond.  To  achieve  this  you  will  have  to pair them  up  a few months  before  breeding  season  commences.  I  also suggest  using  a  double  breeder  cage  that  has  a  wire  divider  for reasons  I  will  explain later. I have found that they will need about 14-16  hours  of  light  to  rear successfully.  They  will  need  a  good quality  finch  mix  with  a  little canary song restorer added, a daily supply   of   soaked / sprouted  seeds,   a   good  commercial  eggfood mix  that  I  also  add hard boiled egg and a probiotic (Lactobacillis) for  a  healthy  immune   system   in  the  young  and  breeding birds.

 I give my pairs small 4in open canary nests that are camouflaged by some  fake  evergreen branches.   Even though the birds are cage bred they  seem  to sit/breed better when they have a little added security. I use white cotton  fiber  or white goat hair for nesting material and the  hens usually build a beautiful tightly woven nest.  Green singers usually  lay  up  to 3-4  eggs  and  each  egg  should be taken out and replaced  with a dummy canary egg. When the 3rd egg is laid I return her  eggs  and  I remove  the dummy eggs to ensure that all the young have  an  equal  survival  chance  as  they  will  hatch the same time.   
Incubation  is  usually  between 12 -14 days and at this time keep an eye on the male Serin as sometimes he becomes a problem by tugging at  the  nesting  material or the nest and this disturbs the sitting hen. If so I  close him  off to the other side of the cage with a wire divider and let him back in with the hen after the chicks hatch and are about 5-7 days  old  as  he  should start feeding the youngsters and the hen.

The youngsters  usually  leave  the nest anywhere from 15-18 days of age and are predominantly  fed  by the male Serin. Again keep an eye on the male  Serin  when  the  youngsters  reach about 25 days old he will get a little rough  with t hem  as the hen will start getting ready for round 2.  This time separate the youngsters from the parents with the wire  divider  and  the  male cannot harm them and will continue to feed them up until they are fully weaned.  I  personally  keep them next to each other up till the youngsters are 40 days old and are very strong by  then  and  can  be  moved  into  a  small  flight w ith other youngsters of roughly the same species.  Sexing  the youngsters is not easy  at  first  as  the young males do not get into full color until the second molt and carry the necklace of dots like the hens have up to a year.  You  will  notice the young males starting to chirp/sing a baby song  after  a couple months as they look dazed and barely squeezing some  noises  out  of  their  throats.   Heres a tip:  put small different colored  open  plastic  bands  on  the  youngsters  when  you transfer them to the baby flight cage.  Every time  you spot one trying to sing mark  the  color  as  a  male.

I   hope   some   of   this   information  will  help  others  breed  these magnificent  Serins  as  they  are  beautiful birds, very long lived and have  a  very  strong  melodic  song.

Charles Loukeris
Member of N.F.S.S



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