The Youngest Chicks Don't Thrive or Die: Female canaries lay one egg each day until she has laid all her eggs. The eggs will, therefore, hatch one day apart. The chances for the smallest chicks are diminished, as the larger chicks are stronger and more demanding and will, therefore, receive more food than the younger chicks. This may result in stunted growth and, in some cases, even death.
James Anagnos, an experienced canary breeder, suggests the following: "[T]he day she lays her first egg take it from her and store in safe place in a cup with some tissue or cotton. [Please refer to this webpage about properly storing eggs BEFORE incubation]. Take all her eggs every day as soon as she has laid them. When she has laid all [or her last] eggs, place them all back in her nest. She will now incubate all the eggs at the same time, so all the eggs hatch at about the same time. This will give all birds an equal chance. They are all the same size and strong."This will greatly reduce the chance of losing the younger chicks.
James Anagnos also found a very unusual way of sexing young chicks still in the nest:
"[S]exing canaries is very easy to do when the young birds are still in the nest, when [their] first feathers come in and their wings [still look like] straws. Just tap the nest with your finger and the female birds will just stay there looking at you, [while] the male birds will all put [their] heads down and stick [their behinds] up in the air. [T]his is 100 % foolproof. Every bird that put his head down is a male."