Canary Care Guide
Canaries make great pets but you have to be sure that you buy the right bird for your needs. Canaries have their own requirements and personalities compared to other birds! Here are some of the questions that we think you should be asking yourself:
Do you want a sociable bird that is eager to come out of his cage regularly or a bird that is happy to stay inside and not be touched? Different birds relate to people in different ways. It is important that you think carefully about the type of relationship that you want with your pet. So do a bit of research on bird species before buying.
Canaries are not as sociable as other breeds of small birds such as budgies and tend to do their own thing most of the time although they should be kept wioth one or two other birds. This makes them easy to care for but they are not a bird that will be out of their cage interacting with you but they are lively cheerful creatures that are fascinating to keep.
Because of the wide variety of natural habitats different birds often have very different nutritional and maintenance needs. Read this guide for information on canaries basic nutritional and environmental needs.
Are you ready for a long term commitment? Canaries live up to 10 years, so make sure that you are willing to put in the time over a long period to care for your pet.
Remember you get as much out of it as you put into it!
Canaries are fascinating pets but make sure that you know exactly what you need before plunging in and getting your first canary. Read on for more info!
Feeding and Diet
What Is Their Diet?
A balanced bird seed mix is the bulk of a canaries diet. A good mix would consist of niger and canary grass seed with small amounts of rape, oats and hemp. Always buy fresh seed as this is higer in nutrients. To minimise the danger of instestinal problems feed a varied diet including a good quality formulated bird feed, fresh fruit and vegetables. Your bird may reject some of what you give him but you will learn his tastes through trial and error.
Fresh water should be readily available to your birds for drinking and bathing. Birds will not distinguish between these two functions so there is no need to separate the water sources. Just make sure that they have plenty of fresh water on hand at all times.
Provide cuttlefish as a source of calcium for your bird. It is also a good idea to supplement his diet with mineral supplements.
Never feed your bird spicy food, chocolate, coffee, cheese or alcohol!
How Should I feed?
Use trial and error to see how much food your bird eats. Always feed in moderate amounts and change food daily. Canaries metabolise food very quickly so they need to eat regularly and can starve to death very quickly if left without food. Set a regular feeding schedule and stick to it. Your birds will become used to being fed at regular times of the day.
Keep food away from perches and water to stop it from being splashed or soiled.
Canaries should generally not be kept singly. While canaries will accept their human owner as a flock mate they will require much more attention if kept alone and may become bored and frustrated easily especially if you are away a lot of the time.
When introducing a new bird you should be aware that other birds may react badly to this newcomer. It is best therefore to introduce your new flockmates gradually. Start by keeping you new bird in a cage adjacent to the main aviary and then introduce it into the aviary in a cage so that the others have a chance to get used to it being there.
You should not approach your bird until it has become used to its new home and your presence in it. You will notice that it stops fluttering about when you are near. Talk softly to the bird to get it used to your voice. Approach the bird slowly with your hand offering a treat. If it becomes nervous withdraw your hand slowly. Be patient. Eventually your bird will accept your hand and will gladly hop on to your fingers.
Never approach your bird suddenly or in a style that it does not recognise as this will frighten it.
Any housing that we provide a canary with is small in comparison with their native freedom so remember that the bigger the aviary the better. Canaries love to fly around and one of the great delights of owning canaries is watching them in action. The bigger the bird cage the better- don’t let canries small size fool you! Lenth is more important than height as canaries exercise by flying back and forth rather than up and down.
Make sure that your birds get sufficient light but do not expose them to direct sunlight unless they have plenty of shade. Daylight is important to birds in regulating their day so they will need plenty of light especially in winter. Remember that in nature they 12-14 hours daylight so be prepared to provide the same in captivity. Do not place the cage in an area where it will be exposed to drafts as canaries cannot deal with temperature fluctuations. At night cover your birds cage with a sheet to allow them get their rest, this is particularly important is they are kept in house with sources of articial light that can reach their cage.
Canaries like high perches as this mimics the natural safety that they get by living high above potential predators. Place your bird in a position where it can get a good view of the room around it. Keep your canary cage in the one place. Moving it constantly will make your bird feel insecure.
Let your bird fly free once a day to stretch itself and exercise. You should instoriduce this freedom garadually once your canary is well established in the home. Do not force it out of the cage as this confuse it and damage its confidence.
Health and Disease
You can prevent a lot of health related problems by looking after your canariesproperly. Clean the cage regularly and make sure that food and water are regularly refreshed.
Do not leave stale food or water in the cage.
Common sign of ill health include lethargy, forced breathing, fluffed up feathers and closed eyes. If you see any of these sysmptoms in one of your birds separate it from the other birds and take it to the vet immediately.