Category: Canary Health


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

Soak Seed and Nestling Food Diet

What Is All This Stuff? Soaked seed is a method of feeding seed in a form similar to that in which it is found in the wild by a foraging bird. As the name implies, this method involves soaking the seed, followed by thorough rinsing and (usually) a short period in which the soaked seed is allowed to begin to sprout. Wild birds eat many varieties of green and/or sprouting seeds in their quest for food. Seed in this form is highly nutritious. Nestling food is what canary breeders call the dry mix on which they base the food they give to parent birds who are feeding babies. A number of items are usually added to this dry mix just before serving, among them being water, chopped or grated boiled eggs, grated carrots, crushed baby biscuits...the different mixes and methods vary almost as much as do breeders. Nevertheless, nestling foods are a very healthy and nutritious addition to the pet...

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Filed under: Canary Health, Greens, Nutrition & Diet, Recipes, Seed, Soft Food

Annual Sunrise-Sunset Chart

Use for biweekly on and off times for artificial lighting. Canaries are photosensitive, which means that the length of the days and nights they see triggers all their important life cycles, such as breeding, moulting, and singing. The chart below follows the changes of the average day lengths over a year in the Canary Islands, where canaries evolved (you may wish to note that the birds were named after the islands where they were found, not the other way 'round.) Feel free to adapt this chart to your needs, changing the on and off times to suit your lifestyle; just make sure that the average daylengths, listed down the center of this table, follow the same type of pattern as shown here, and that your on and off times don't change drastically from day to day. A point worth mentioning; notice that the shortest day listed here is 10 hours and 22 minutes long, while the longest day is 13...

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Filed under: Canary Breeding, Canary Health

Moulting Glosters

A successful moult of Gloster Canaries is achieved by following a few straight forward rules. These can be itemised thus. 1. A sensible end to the breeding season allowing the Gloster Canaries time to have a complete moult before the onset of cold, dark days. 2. Clean conditions to allow the fruits of the moult to be viewed. 3. A well ventilated birdroom which allows free movement of air without draughts. 4. A good balanced diet which is rich in protein to allow good feather growth. A sensible continuation of eggfoods and soaked seeds is also beneficial at this time. 5. A constant supply of baths during the moult and warm sprays to harden and finish the process. 6. Undisturbed conditions which remove the stress factors at this crucial time. 7. Uncrowded accommodation which gives the moulting birds time to relax and eases the pecking order. All these points are well worth noting, for the moult is a stressful time...

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Filed under: Canary Health, The Moult

A Simple Feeding Routine for your Glosters

The writers have achieved successful breeding seasons and show bench success based on an uncomplicated feeding routine. A definition of a feeding routine can be thus. "To achieve the necessary requirements to sustain the health and well being of the Gloster Canary so it reproduces and acquires the necessary fitness to enable it to be exhibited without causing stress and illness". So what are the necessary requirements. These are basics NEEDS and additional WANTS. A. BASIC NEEDS :- * Clean water in hygienic receptacles. * A good variety canary mixture which is 50% plain canary. * Fine grits and charcoal ,together with cuttlefish bone. * A soluble additive to supply the necessary vitamins and trace elements. B. ADDITIONAL WANTS:- * Eggfood mixture which is offered according to the time of year. * Greens and household vegetable waste offered as and when available. (However this should not be over used, once/week) * Soaked seeds offered during the breeding season and moult....

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Filed under: Greens, Nutrition & Diet, Recipes, Seed, Soft Food

Achieving Breeding Condition in Glosters

"Breeding condition is achieved by controlling the environment in which the Gloster Fancy Canary is housed and the lengthening of the natural or un-natural daylight hours". This statement or definition says it all. By correct housing which is not overcrowded, the conditions are clean and the birds are given a balanced diet which is supplemented by the increased use of eggfood, you will achieve breeding condition. As the daylight hours increase the birds natural instincts will be to reproduce. This will only be suppressed if the Gloster Canary is out of condition, ie, unhealthy. Poor health can be arrived at in four ways. 1. The genetic make up of the creature which will decide its life span or state of health. This is uncontrollable by the fancier in many respects, however by breeding from strong healthy stock you should breed a sound stud if weaklings are weeded out. 2. Poor conditions lead to a break down in health and this...

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Filed under: Canary Breeding, Canary Health, Nutrition & Diet

Wintering your Gloster Canaries

The wintering of Gloster canaries usually begins at the end of the moult or the end of the show season, depending upon the needs you place on your stock. Glosters which are to be retained fall into a variety of classes (this will be discussed in paper no.6) and for this reason the housing and feeding of such stock will be modified to suit the situation. The end of the moult to the beginning of the new calendar year is a time when the birdroom and stock are in a fluid situation. The stock will be moved around the birdroom as and when space and needs arise. Flighted birds which are to be retained and not shown can be caged in groups with regards hens and the cocks can be separated. Young stock which is to be retained and not shown can similarly be housed. On the other hand surplus stock needs similar housing, but attention must be paid to the...

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Filed under: Canary Health, The Moult

Disease Prevention in Commercial Aviaries

The prevention of disease in commercial aviaries requires an understanding of how disease organisms are spread. The common ways that disease organisms enter aviaries are by people, equipment, newly introduced birds, pests and stress. DISEASE TRANSMISSION People People can spread disease to birds in aviaries by two methods; they may be directly infected or they may serve as mechanical carriers. Man may be directly infected with some disease organisms which also infect birds and shed these organisms to the birds. Examples include Candida, E. coli, Salmonella and others. Man may also simply transport disease organisms (mechanical transmission) on his footwear, clothing, hair, hands, etc. For example, if someone visits an aviary where birds are shedding Pachecos virus, Psittacosis, or another disease organism and then visits your aviary, there is a good possibility of disease transmission to your birds. To decrease the probability of disease spread to an aviary, one needs to limit visitors. For those who must enter the aviary,...

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Filed under: Canary Health, Disease and Illness

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

Breeding Canaries – Diet for Parents and Chicks

There are many good diets that are very successful in breeding healthy chicks. But don't forget, the diet plan you offer your bird will only be effective if your bird eats it. Don't be hesitant about mixing one food with another to get your bird to eat; for example, you know he should be eating the broccoli, but only eats the birdie bread -- chop the broccoli very fine in a food processor and add it to the birdie bread. As breeding season approaches, gradually increase the amount of protein, calcium and vitamin E in your birds' diet. We start increasing approximately six to eight weeks before actual breeding. We increase the greens our birds receive from once or twice a week to every other day and then every day. During this critical time, remember not to give spinach or swiss chard, because they each contain oxalic acid which inhibits the absorption of calcium. Eggfood which includes a breeding formula, usually Petamine,...

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Filed under: Canary Health, Nutrition & Diet