Category: Canary Facilities & Equipment

Canaries

What bird is named after a group of islands? What bird did your grandmother probably have as a pet? The canary (Serinus canarius) is the answer to both questions. Contrary to popular opinion, the Canary Islands were not named after canaries; it was just the opposite. When Spanish sailors discovered these wonderful birds, they loved the songs so much that they took some back to their country. From Spain, the canaries found their way into homes throughout Europe. Today's many breeds of canary have a common ancestor in the little brownish-green bird the sailors found on the Islands. Some of these breeds include American singer, German roller, Spanish timbrado, Belgium waterslagger, border canary, gloster (crested) canary, Norwich canary, Yorkshire canary, frilled canary, lizard canary, fife canary, and red-factor canary. Although small in comparison to parrots, canaries need a cage 20 to 24 inches long, 12 to 16 inches wide, and 16 to 18 inches high. Never put a canary (or...

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Filed under: Breeding Cages, Canary Facilities & Equipment, Canary Health, Nutrition & Diet

Letting them fly

By Dorotheé Sensen I'm often asked about letting my birds fly freely around my apartment, so I thought I'd try and put together a little page about letting them fly. I tried not only to tell my experiences but also consider other situations. Why letting them fly? Well, actually I think that birds don't belong inside houses but outside in the wild where they can fly around as they like, since that is their natural way of moving around. That's why I'd never have decided to get a bird as a pet. On the other hand, you can't simply let birds free that have lived in captivity for generations, and so when Benji came to me I thought it my responsibility to at least give her a life as natural as possible. Not everyone has the opportunity to build an outside aviary, or a big flight inside the house where it's possible for the birds to fly and get the...

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Filed under: Aviaries, Canary Facilities & Equipment, The Canary Fancy

The Canary Bath

Bathing keeps your birds healthy and their feathers in good condition. Our birds get their baths every day. During molting, it's especially important because the water will help soften the hard brittle shafts of newly developing feathers (called pinfeathers) so they can open and fall off the feather. Almost all canaries and especially finches, enjoy bathing. There is nothing more fun than to watch a group of finches getting ready to bathe. First one will hop in and then out as if to test the water. Back in he hops and makes a little splash, the signal for all of them to hop in and join the fun, fluttering their wings and diving their heads underwater, while everything nearby is getting soaked along with the birds. We use plastic plant saucers for our finches to bathe in because they are community bathers. Our canaries get large parakeet bird baths that hang on the outside of the cage, since they like...

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Filed under: Canary Facilities & Equipment, Canary Health

Flight Cages & Aviaries – An Overview

Exercise is very important to every bird, but especially the hen, because the same muscles that are used for flying also help to push eggs from her body. If these muscles are weak from lack of exercise, she can become eggbound. Eggbinding is a dangerous situation and can be fatal if not treated immediately. Flight cages are just what the name implies: a cage to allow for horizontal flight. The longer the cage the better. Most of our flight cages are three feet and four feet wide, twenty inches high, and eighteen inches deep. We build them ourselves. For instructions, click here. We keep three females to one flight cage or approximately five or six young. When the young are getting on to a year old, we separate the males into individual flights. There is the occasional female that is particularly dominant and will chase the others to the point of wearing them out or plucking their feathers and causing bald...

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Filed under: Aviaries

Canary Perches

There has been concern in recent years of birds perching on one size perch developing painful arthritis. To avoid this condition, it is recommended that perches of different sizes be used; either commercially made dowels or branches gathered from trees outdoors. Some safe, nontoxic branches that you can include might be fruit trees, maples, birches, or ash. If you are uncertain as to the safety of using a particular tree branch, it's best to avoid using it. The branches should be fresh with no cracks or splits for tiny nails to get caught in. Our favorites are ash and river birch. We scrub these clean with soap and water and then soak them in the tub in a soap, bleach and water solution for about 30-45 minutes using a weight to keep them under water. Then we rinse well and allow them a week or two to dry. With this procedure, we have never had any invasion of mites or...

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Filed under: Aviaries, Breeding Cages, Canary Facilities & Equipment