Canary

 

Date: July 19th, 2011

Canary CountryMax.com

Origin: Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands

Average Size: 4 to 5 inches


Average Life Span: 10-12 years


Diet: Seed or pellet, fruit, greens, source of protein


Vocals: Beautiful singing from the male!


Sexual Maturity: 1 year


Egg Incubation Period: 13- 14 days


Weaning Age for Chicks: Around 4 weeks


Eggs: 5 eggs on average, up to 8




Housing

At the bare minimum, Canaries require a cage that is one cubic foot (1’x1’x1’). Canaries like to hop from perch to perch so offering at least two perches will please these playful birds. As with all birds and all cages, the bigger the better. Plus, male Canaries will reward your hospitality – they will usually begin singing immediately when placed in a large cage.

Supervised playtime outside of the cage should be offered every day. Make sure to take the necessary precaution before letting your bird out of the cage. For more information on bird safety, read this article.

Many Canary owners construct “flights” for their birds; these are large areas for the Canary to fly around in. Flights offer room for many Canaries and reduce labor on the behalf of the owner. Large food and water bowls reduce the amount of refilling and large areas take longer to dirty. Flight cages are available that offer extended area to move around.

Although their beautiful singing would lead you to believe otherwise, Canaries are not very social creatures. When not breeding, Canaries should be kept apart.

 

Diet

The Canary diet should consist of a variety of seed/pellets, greens, vegetables and fruits. The seed and pellet portion of the diet should be around 50% of the diet, while the other 50% should be the greens, veggies and fruits. A good mixture of seed to feed is one that consists of Canary Seed, rapeseed, flax, oat groats, millet, and hemp. Calcium should be provided through cuttlebone or some other source. Fresh water needs to be made available daily – a thirsty Canary won’t be able to serenade you with its best music!

There are many different options to feed your Canary – how do you know which is best for your bird? Listed below are healthy choices that should regularly supplement the seed or pellet portion of the diet:


Greens: Kale, Turnip tops, Mustard, Chicory, Spinach, Broccoli, Endive, Watercress


Vegetables: Corn, Grated raw carrots, cooked carrots, peas, sweet potatoes, cucumbers  


Fruits: Apples, Pears, Oranges, Bananas

Most things grown in your garden will serve as a healthy snack for your Canary. Just make sure that you do not feed anything that was treated with pesticides. Also, make sure to wash prior to feeding.

 

Breeding

The hen will let you know when she is ready for breeding by furiously shredding any available paper, feathers, or plant material in the cage. At this point, provide her with a plastic or wire canary nest.


If you have dividers – one that is solid and one that is a see-through wire, follow these steps: Separate the male and female into one cage using both dividers. Keep the dividers in place until you see the hen Canary start to build her nest. Then, remove the solid portion, but leave the wire divider in place. Wait until you see the birds kissing through the bars and then remove the last divider. Watch for any fighting or abuse. If the male begins to pick on the female, place the dividers back in and start the process over.

If you don’t have dividers, place the two cages next to each other and follow the same guidelines listed above.


Breeding canaries need a vitamin enriched seed in front of them at all times. Also, the birds must get a small piece of fruit or vegetable to supplement. Grit and cuttlebone should be added to the diet to serve as sources of calcium for the eggs.


The hen lays up to eight small blue eggs, but five is the average. The eggs may be carefully removed and held up to a light three days after all eggs have been laid. You should be able to make out the outline of the embryo and the network of veins nourishing it. If you can clearly see through each egg, place them back in the nest and wait five days before checking them again. If the eggs are still clear with no signs of an embryo, discard them. This will allow the birds a chance to go to nest for a second try. Remember, always wash your hands before handling the eggs!


Canary eggs usually hatch in about 14 days. The canary chick will hatch without any assistance from you or the parents. One hatched, the parents will provide all care for the young.

 

Once you are certain that the young Canaries are eating on their own, give them a separate cage. Keep a watchful eye over the babies for the first day away from their parents. Make sure that each Canary is receiving adequate food and water.


After the young have been removed, the original pair will frequently go to nest again. If you are ready for more young, then you can allow the Canaries to go ahead with breeding. If not, return the Canaries to their respective cages.


After breeding is finished, the breeding Canaries will begin to molt. Continue feeding a high protein food to help re-grow feathers.





Source: http://www.petcraft.com/docs/canb.shtml


Canaries offer companionship, beautiful singing, and a cheery demeanor to anyone who is lucky enough to own one of these birds! If you have any further questions, email them to AskMax@CountryMax.com, or visit your local CountryMax store today!



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