Basic Advice for Feeding Canaries

Basic Advice for Feeding Canaries

Last update: 14 May, 2018

There is more than just selecting canary seed, grains, fruits and vegetables, it’s equally important to know how much your bird will need. Likewise, consider if it’s in mating season, raising young, and if it’s going to have to deal with the winter or cold weather.

The canary is one of the most popular domestic birds that exist. The know species, Serinus Canaria domestica, is actually a product of selective breeding, so you can say that the domestic canary was born domestic. Here are some at basic homemade feeding tips for this popular bird.

A domestic canary’s nutritional needs

The Serinus Canaria domestica or domestic canary was created by human intervention in the seventeenth century, developed from a series of wild specimens with colorful and showy plumage.

There are different kinds of grain for feeding canaries, as well as certain types of plants and vegetables. The most common foods in their diet are usually:

  • Canary seed
  • Millet
  • Nyjer
  • Lettuce
  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • Hemp
  • Oats

Regarding their dietary nutritional percentages, you should feed your bird 50% canary seed, 20% nyjer and 30% other seeds. Don’t forget the aforementioned fruits and vegetables will provide your pet vitamins, minerals, and a source of water.


How to feed a newborn canary

The nutritional needs of any species’ offspring are of utmost importance.  Since they are still developing and need a series of specific nutrients to grow properly. In addition to the usual foods mentioned above, newborn canaries require a number of nutritional supplements to help them grow.

The mother usually grinds and regurgitates the foods to feed her newborn chicks. Thus, the mother’s diet must also change. The mother normally grinds oats, some fruits or vegetables, and some kind of food containing animal proteins.
To include these animal proteins into the diet, you can use gelatin, hard-boiled chicken eggs, crushed cuttlefish bone, or live insects, so the mother will grind and regurgitate them properly to carefully feed her chicks.
Feeding the parents properly during the breeding season is also important in order for the eggs to develop correctly. Try giving them foods high in animal proteins like the ones mentioned above as soon as they start mating, in order for the egg shells to form properly.

Food and alternative practices

During the winter or stressful times — which can take place during mating season or while moving to a new home — you will have to make sure your pet’s are having a complete diet in order to
boost his immune system.
As a granivore, the canary grinds the grains and eats them with an organ called the gizzard. To help them grind grain more efficiently, you can give them sand or gravel, which they naturally ingest to improve their grain grinding abilities in the gizzard.
Wild plants are another feeding alternative for canaries. There are certain types of plants they can eat easily at home. For example:
  • Dandelion
  • Nettles
  • Alfalfa
  • Chickweed

In conclusion, don’t forget you can include foods high in  animal protein into their diet by making a paste with crushed hard-boiled egg and cereals. It will help canaries gain weight and get prepared for cold weather.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.