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Browse FAQs » Birds » Canaries
  • The canary is classified as part of the finch family. Their name derives from their notive home known as the Canary Islands. The most com...

    The canary is classified as part of the finch family. Their name derives from their notive home known as the Canary Islands. The most common color of the domestic canary is yellow although it can be found in other bright pastel colors. Most canaries generally live up to ten years although a well-cared for bird can surpass those years, with a life expectancy of up to 15 years.

     

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  • It is extremely difficult to differentiate the sex of a canary unless done by a breeder or veterinarian. When young and in the nest, it i...

    It is extremely difficult to differentiate the sex of a canary unless done by a breeder or veterinarian. When young and in the nest, it is easy to tell the sex of the bird. As you tap the nest with the young birds inside, the female birds do not move, while the male birds will put their heads down with their behinds up in the air. 

    All canaries are capable of singing although the male bird is more melodious than the female. If a pair of canaries is together, the male will sing less frequently, just to attract his mate. They sing less during molting season.

     

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  • Although they are rather hardy, there are some health issues with the canary. Most illnesses or diseases can be avoided by feeding your c...

    Although they are rather hardy, there are some health issues with the canary. Most illnesses or diseases can be avoided by feeding your canary a proper nutritious diet, allowing plenty of daily exercises, keeping the cage clean and preventing drafts.

    If your canary does get ill, you will notice some weight loss as it also becomes lethargic. Droppings will be loose and changing color, the feathers become ruffled, there will possibly be a lack of appetite, wheezing, unseasonable molting and no singing.

    The most common conditions and illnesses that could affect your canary are overgrown beaks and nails, broken wings or legs, ingrown feathers, cuts and open wounds, inappropriate molting due to mishandling or poor diet, weight loss, shock, heat stroke, mites, egg binding, diarrhea and so much more. As soon as you notice any of the symptoms mentioned, contact your veterinarian immediately. You will also need to isolate your bird in a hospital cage, cover the cage except for the front and place a heat lamp or heating pad over the cage to provide a constant temperature of 85 degrees. Remove everything from the cage except to place a food and water dish on the floor and speak with your avian veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.

     

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  • Begin with a good quality canary seed mix along with some pellets, placing a dish of both in the cage. As with other birds, the canary al...

    Begin with a good quality canary seed mix along with some pellets, placing a dish of both in the cage. As with other birds, the canary also needs and enjoys a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables such as oranges, apples, bananas, canned corn, green peppers, corn on the cob, raw spinach, collard greens, Swiss chard and dandelion greens. You can also choose cooked broccoli, hard boiled eggs, pears, strawberries, peaches, squash, cucumbers and more. Feed in moderation and vary the fresh foods daily for balanced nutrition. Provide an ample supply of fresh water in the cage daily.

     

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  • The canary needs a large enough cage so that it can get its exercise through flight within that space. A longer rather than taller, narro...

    The canary needs a large enough cage so that it can get its exercise through flight within that space. A longer rather than taller, narrow cage is best and should be at least 24 inches in length. Be cautious of the spacing between the bars, no more than ½ inches, so that the bird does not get its head stuck. Although there are a variety of unique cages, chose the wire type since it is the easiest of most other varieties to keep clean.

    Provide some comfortable perches of various diameters from 3/8 to ¾ inches. Try to find perches that are not completely smooth for more comfort on the canary’s feet but avoid sandpaper perches for these birds. Some canary owners use a blade of sorts to scrape the perches slightly to give that comfortable grip if you are not able to find appropriate perches in the pet stores.

    The canary cage can be kept at room temperature since canaries are pretty hardy birds. However, avoid areas with drafts, air conditioning and direct sunlight. Some light is important, indirectly. At night, you will need to cover the cage with special cage covering. The canary needs to rest, even if forced to “sleep” at night and play during daylight. It is not healthy for your canary to be allowed to stay up late and survive with artificial light.

    The canary does enjoy some playtime, as long as any of the toys are not in the way of the bird’s flight exercising. You can provide such things as a swing, bells, mirrors and other hanging wooden or acrylic toys for the bird’s pleasure.

     

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  • About 3 – 4 times a week, provide your bird with a shallow dish of water for bathing. You can use your own dish or purchase a speci...

    About 3 – 4 times a week, provide your bird with a shallow dish of water for bathing. You can use your own dish or purchase a special bird bath at the pet store. Other than bath time, your bird will preen itself on a regular basis to keep the plumage healthy.

     

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