Clean drinking water is essential to all living creatures. Canaries are sensitive to chemicals. If you have city water it probably contains chlorine. The best practice is to provide filtered water. We use an RO system for both us and the birds. Spring bottled water works well. Do not use distilled or flavored water.
A good quality canary seed will be a large percent of your birds diet. We order seed from Preferred Exotic Bird Diets (916)635-4771. http://www.preferredexoticbirddiets.com/index.html
Another product we have been happy with and is recommended by many well known breeders is ABBA 1700 Canary Food. The minimum order is 5LB http://www.abbaseed.com/SEED_PRODUCTS/seed_products.html
Be sure you have seed not just hulls in the feed dish…..Each bird should eat about two tablespoons of seed per day.
Many veterinarians recommend a pelleted diet. We have tried to sell the diet to all of our birds. A few of them will eat a few pellets but it appears they prefer their seed mix and fresh fruit and veggies. Be careful if you are trying to switch your bird to a new food, they might starve if they do not recognize it as a food.
We like the larger size and use a plastic holder with a built in perch. This is a good source of calcium, helps keep the beak of the bird trimmed and is overall a necessity. Should be available at all times.
Millet is easily found in pet stores. This food is easy to digest even for young birds. We have it available at all times. Once again in a plastic holder with a built in perch.
Apple -We like to keep it simple. Many fruits are acceptable for your bird. We offer apple on a regular basis. If traveling with your bird a few slices of apple will ensure that he/she remains hydrated if the water bottle plugs up due to the motion. Apple also settles the stomach. Be sure to remove the core as apple seeds are toxic.
Orange – a small slice of orange is great but not too often. Remove the seeds.
Other fruits in moderation – Banana, melon, strawberries, blueberries….
Broccoli – They love it….but don’t try to pass off the frozen stuff on them. They like fresh, clean veggies.
Corn on the cob – They will accept frozen corn if it is good quality. The good thing about this veggie is that it will stay good for two days, so it is a good week ender.
Carrots – We grind them first.
Start least two weeks prior to breeding season. Breeding and moulting- as much as they will eat. other times of the year 1/2 teaspoon per bird.
Mashed hard boiled egg (remove after a few hours to prevent spoilage) and dry egg food is a valuable addition to the diet when the birds are moulting and/or breeding. We continue to feed the chicks the egg and egg food until they are 3 to 4 months old or two weeks after they are finished moulting. Limit the feeding of eggs to the breeding season, overfeeding can cause health issues.
Our choice of egg food is Cede Eggfood for Canaries. We do not moisten it as suggested by the manufacturers. However, they seem to like it just as it is. Smell it and you will see why. A reliable source is Glam Gouldians http://www.glamgouldians.com/product-cede-eggfood.php
We have read that the sprouted seed is 300% more nutritious than dry seed mixes. So….we offer this to all of the birds on a regular basis. We have been satisfied with the results of the Higgins Sunburst Soak and Sprout available from Petco.
You can obtain a sprouter from the Sprout People website. http://sproutpeople.org/easy-sprout-sprouter/ I only make enough to last 5 days in the frig. Pretty easy…Put in the desired amount of seed. Fill the sprouter with room temperature drinkable water for 1 to 2 days. Be sure to rinse daily. You will see some of the sprouts starting…then rinse, drain and store in the frig ready to serve. One teaspoon is about the amount most birds will eat in one day. Remove any left overs at the end of the day.
Other nutritious items:
Whole Grain Bread chopped. (not whole wheat, whole grain) about a teaspoon
Example Feeding Schedule
7 days a week
- Cede Egg Food for Canaries
Tuesday Thursday and the Week End
- Sprouted Seed
- Whole Grain Bread chopped
- Choose one- Broccoli, Corn on the cob, ground carrots
Monday Wednesday and Friday
Keep it easy chose one each day.
- Apple, orange slice or other fruit
- Maybe some Kale – What’s in the frig. or garden?
- Ok some more broccoli or ground carrots
Do not feed:
Foods with a high water content like celery, onions, iceberg lettuce. Romaine and Kale are a better choice.
Tomato, avocado, apple seeds, mangos, chocolate, candy, mushrooms, salt, caffeine. Regular bread, cookies, cake.