Basic care

Caring for a Canary

Josie F. Turner
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. November 8, 2016
Caring for a Canary

Caring for a canary is simple, but it also requires constant monitoring to ensure everything is functioning correctly; as an owner, you will need to develop regular habits and do some research so that your beloved pet stays healthy, happy and well in its small habitat.

In this AnimalWised article we will go over everything you need to know about keeping and raising canaries so that you can give your pet bird all the care it needs, including tips to choose a cage, keep it clean, and giving the best diet. Keep reading!

You may also be interested in: Do Canaries Recognize Their Owners?
  1. Choosing a cage for a canary
  2. Perches for a canary's cage
  3. Maintaining the hygiene of a canary's cage
  4. Feeding a canary
  5. Preventing parasites
  6. Creating a good environment for a canary
  7. A canary's molting period

Choosing a cage for a canary

Your canary's cage should be spacious and big, preferably in width, so that your bird can exercise properly. A domestic canary's cage is their habitat and home, which is why it is very important that it is not only appropriate but also pleasant.

Some breeders, especially those dedicated to singing contests, often have very small cages to encourage them to sing. However, we believe this is a very bad practice, as it makes the canaries stressed and uncomfortable. It also reduces their life expectancy and damages their health in the long run.

Caring for a Canary - Choosing a cage for a canary

Perches for a canary's cage

Plastic perches are commonplace in most cages for canaries, and they often come with the cage. Perches are a basic requirement for your canary's health and happiness, and you should consider getting natural branches instead of plastic substitutes. Real wood will wear down the canary's nails, exercise its legs and provide a more comfortable grip.

If you can't fins any branches in pet shops, you can look for branches from fruit trees, always untreated and without varnishing. Cut them to the appropriate length for the cage.

It is important to know that you should not place any feeders or bowls below the perches because droppings will inevitably fall on them.

Caring for a Canary - Perches for a canary's cage

Maintaining the hygiene of a canary's cage

Not maintaining the hygiene in your canary's cage regularly can lead to serious illnesses in the future; we can't stress this enough, as some infectious diseases can also be transmitted to humans. To prevent them, clean the cage thoroughly with a natural and harmless disinfectant at least once a week. You should also clean the branches, food bowl, water bowl, swings, floor and even the bars.

The remains of food like fruit and vegetables may rot, so they should also be removed more frequently. You should change all the food in the cage once a week, because even if they are just seeds they are also susceptible to being damaged.

Caring for a Canary - Maintaining the hygiene of a canary's cage

Feeding a canary

Paying attention your canary's diet is essential for its well-being, physical health and development. Therefore, it is important to feed it the right birdseed mixtures, fruit and vegetables, calcium, fresh water and supplements in the right quantities and variety.

If you want to know more about this key aspect of bird care, take a look at our guide on what is the best diet for a canary. If your canaries are young, we recommend making their egg food yourself.

Caring for a Canary - Feeding a canary

Preventing parasites

Like other pets, your canary may suffer from a mite or parasite infestation. If this happens, you should go to the vet as soon as possible, and they will tell you how advanced the disease is, as sometimes the anti-parasite sprays you can find in shops can't do much to stop them. As a rule, don't apply any products that you don't know how to use.

To prevent parasites, a single drop of a pipette for dogs applied every two or three months should be enough. You should also give it regular baths and check its feathers. Here you can learn more about preventing and treating canary lice.

Sometimes, people with little experience in birds confuse molting with having parasites; in doubt, go see an expert.

Caring for a Canary - Preventing parasites

Creating a good environment for a canary

Your canary should be in a calm and relaxed environment with some natural light. During the summer, it should be protected from the sunlight with a small patch of shade. Avoid placing the cage in a drafty area, as drafts are very harmful to birds and can cause them to suffer from a cold quickly.

Canaries use the hours of light and darkness as a measure to start molting or reproducing. That's why even if it lives inside, a domestic canary should have a minimal set of hours in which in which it carries out this process.

When the sun sets and you notice the canary beginning to relax by going up to perch on the highest branch, cover up the cage. If it is summertime, only cover a small part of the top of the cage.

Caring for a Canary - Creating a good environment for a canary

A canary's molting period

Canaries usually molt during late summer. In most cases, living inside usually pushes this period earlier or later as a consequence of the hours of light and dark they get, as mentioned in the previous point.

Try not to alter the canary's natural photoperiod and temperature, as well as other environmental conditions. Maintain a balance to keep your canary happy. Molting periods take a nutritional toll, so you should learn all about caring for a molting canary.

Caring for a Canary - A canary's molting period

If you want to read similar articles to Caring for a Canary, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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should i get my canary a friend or will he become territorial?
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Caring for a Canary