Breeding cages. These are best if they are box type, have privacy, firm perches, good lighting, through flow ventilation, two doors and underneath a deep pull out tray - the same width as your daily newspaper. That is important. One sheet removed a day makes cleaning a breeze - if you do not clutter up the cage floor.
Let us remember the red Siskin is a tropical bird. It is not hard to breed but is a challenge to raise to maturity. The adult is relatively hardy - but its babies are not. Having said that cold winds especially if damp, will kill adults quite quickly. Tropical birds do not “toughen up”. They die instead.
Sixty eight years ago I bred Diamond Firetails and Bicheno Finches. A friend of the same age bred strawberry finches. Workaday life makes for difficult times and we gave them up always intending to return. Alas! When that time came those birds were no more. If we are to continue to call ourselves breeders we need to work harder and breed, breed, breed what little we have left.
Competing with the playstation and not using the computer to its full potential along with infill housing means that bird breeding is in dangerous decline - an old persons hobby. We need to rectify that by encouraging our own youngsters. “Hey Dad, build me an aviary”.
The red siskin is a bird that will fill you with happiness and on dark days the blackest despair. The hens also sing . Not the glorious song of the cock but a pleasant interesting group chatter.
Footnote 1: The splendid husked Sunflower Seed you buy from your supermarket is grown overseas, but has been certified as fit for human consumption. Certification of seed raises the cost. Most imported birdseed is marked “not for human consumption”. NZ gown Sunflower is just as good but our seed merchants will not dehusk it. As bird lovers we consumers are scorned.