Husbandry/Keeping of tanagers
The selection of what species of bird to keep is usually determined by the amount of available space and by the purpose of keeping. This in term also determines what kind of aviary should be used, and thus knowledge of the species is important. In choosing the right species of tanager this is very important. Tanagers are not known for their ability to adapt to different conditions and are prone to stress out quite quickly. The tanagers that get subjected to much stress are more vulnerable for diseases, predominantly respiratory fungal infection and atoxoplasmosis. Hygienics play are important part in this. We also need to take in account the amount of birds that can be kept on a certain amount of space and the decoration of our aviaries. For breeding purposes it is best to keep a pair together. Daily feeding can give tanagers a lot of stress, certainly if the birds are kept in breeding cage where you’re very close to the bird for cleaning and feeding The size of the cage, most importantly the length, can make up for a lot. If the cage is long enough, the birds always have a “safe zone” where the can fly off too. Cage measurments that can be used for tanagers must be atleast 80 x 80 x 250cm. A helpfull addition to the cage would be to create a extra place so that the male can be placed outside the view of the female.
These problems are much less common in an aviary. The disadvantage of an aviary is the size it has, which can be a problem for people with less space. If we keep the ideal conditions in account, where only a pair of birds is kept in one aviary, we need to start thinking about the amount of pairs that can be kept. Most tanager species are not winterhard and in winter need to be kept at atleast 16 degrees. The breeding seasons of most species is quite long and runs through our winter time. Ofcourse the length of the breeding season can be altered by changing the food and the amount of hours of light per day.
Besides the people that keep tanagers in breeding cages and aviaries there are also breeders who keep tanagers in a tropical greenhouse. In a greenhouse the temperature can be controled and the birds have plenty of space. Disadvantages of a greenhouse are that is difficult to controle the breeding process and capturing of birds can be hard.
Every type of cage/aviary has its advantages and disadvantages. Here is a quick summary of the ad and disadvantages:
- Good controle of breeding, easy to catch the bird/seperate the male from female
- Small space for the birds which means more stress during feeding and cleaning. Cleaning requires more time due to the smalle surface.
- Plenty of space for the birds which means less stress. Due to the amount of species there is a limited possibility of keeping multiple pairs.
- Plenty of space for the birds, looks very nice and natural
- Difficult to keep birds in pairs, this influences the breeding. Difficult the catch the birds/separate male from female.