These canaries are 3 weeks old. (Photo: Flickr/godhead22)
Q: I have a pair of canaries with four 3-week-old babies in a nest. The male and female are mating again and making another nest. Is this all right, or should I break up the new nest?
A: Leave things alone for now. It will take about 3 weeks (or a little less) for the new clutch to hatch after the last egg is lain. The parents will do their part at "kicking the kids out" in the meantime.
What you need more than anything is a big enough cage for the youngsters to find their own territory. Otherwise the parents can become aggressive and the stress levels in the cage can turn into serious injuries or even death, including to the new clutch both before hatching and after.
Canaries need plenty of flying room in order to meet the requirements of their metabolisms. An overall good rule of thumb for a cage is to look at the setup you have and imagine all the birds standing straight across the highest perch. Then imagine that each of them has their wings and tail feathers full-fanned and opened up. Now, can each bird completely turn around sideways and upside down without a single feature touching another bird or any part of the cage? That would be a minimum-sized cage.
As for the current family, once you see the parents not feeding or tending to the youngsters any longer, and the young ones are fully fledged and eating on their own, it's time to re-home them into a new cage of their own.
-- Answer from S. August Abbott, certified avian specialist on JustAnswer.
Daily Answer is excerpted from the JustAnswer archives and features information provided by a Expert on JustAnswer.