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Adopting canaries: How old can my canary get?

Taking Care of a Canary Canaries are very autonomous and easy to live with: they take care of themselves when you provide them with a small ...

Taking Care of a Canary

Canaries are very autonomous and easy to live with: they take care of themselves when you provide them with a small bathtub, a few perches of different sizes and a cuttlefish bone to peck at. But in some situations, your canary needs you to take care of it. To learn all about canaries, read on!

How old can my canary get?

What food for my canaries?

Canaries should be fed with a canary seed mixture. These sheaths are the basis of the canary's diet. The seed mixture can for example consist of grass seed, lettuce seed, flax seed and niger seed. The diet of the canary should be particularly varied. You can therefore feed your canaries green fodder. However, be aware that some plants are poisonous to birds, as are some fruits and vegetables. 

How old can my canary reach?

A canary that you care for properly can have a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.

Breeding period of the canary

The canary's breeding period begins in the spring. The male canary starts by performing a courtship ritual to encourage the female to build a nest. Generally, one day after she finishes the nest, she lays her first egg. Between three and five eggs are laid during this period.

Adopt canaries

Canaries should at least live as a couple. Adopting a group of canaries is even better for the well-being of these ornamental birds. Under no circumstances should they be isolated and live alone in a cage. A male can perfectly well live in a group of females. Thus, even people with little experience with birds can adopt canaries. Of course, the size of the aviary must be adapted to the number of birds in the group. The cage or aviary should always be large enough to allow your canaries to fly and circulate. It is nevertheless recommended to let the canaries fly free in a closed room every day.

The canary's toilet

Even if your birds don't like water very much, regular washing is necessary to prevent their plumage from getting dirty. Ideally, you should use a plant sprayer filled with warm water to wet your canaries. Then your birds will shake vigorously and groom themselves thoroughly. If your birds don't attach much importance to their grooming, you should be vigilant and check that their cloaca is not clogged. Clean particularly dirty areas, preferably with a sponge moistened with warm water.

Molting in the canary

The molting of birds, an annual phenomenon that begins in the middle of summer and ends about eight weeks later, is a particularly trying phase for your canary. Its song will not be as cheerful as usual and it will need a lot more calm. Daily baths are of great importance during the canary's moult. It is particularly important for the renewal of the plumage. Fill the bathtub of your canaries with warm water twice a day, so that they will have more fun wading. Make sure they are not exposed to drafts, especially when they are still soaking wet on their perch. They may get cold quickly.

During molting, you should not neglect your bird's food: it should be particularly varied. Zooplus offers a wide range of bird food supplements that provide your canary with the vitamins and minerals it needs. To give your bird small amounts, it is a good idea to add a small bowl to your bird's cage. Put in its cage its daily ration of greenery, preferably dandelion, which is very suitable for canaries.

The molting of the scales

It is not only the plumage of the bird that is subject to moulting, but also the scales covering its legs, also known as scoots. These are renewed every year. In older birds and birds that do not often have the opportunity to bathe, several layers may overlap and thus make the bird's skin thicker and scaly. To take good care of a canary during moulting and to help it get rid of these scales, soak its legs in a warm bath. If you really want to make a difference, gently massage your bird's paws with a greasy cream or balm specially designed for small birds.  If your canary's paws become rough again very quickly, your pet may be bothered by dust mites. We advise you to consult your veterinarian.

Care of the canary's claws

If the claws of your canaries become too long, do not hesitate to cut them. They might not be able to walk properly and stumble, or even hurt themselves while hanging on to the cage. To cut the canary's claws, hold your canary in one hand, and using your index finger and thumb, pull one leg forward. Stand facing a light source: this way, you will easily see its blood vessels. Cut off the ends of your canary's claws, taking care to leave a transparent part of the claw, and to reproduce a more or less natural shape. If you ever cut a claw a little too short, use a hemostatic cotton pad to stop the bleeding quickly.

Care of the beak

In some canaries, parts of the beak may become prominent. In order for your small companion to continue to eat with pleasure, it will be necessary to cut off part of its beak. This is not an easy thing to do, since on the one hand the beak of canaries is very hard, and on the other hand, you must be very careful not to hurt their tongue. If you have the courage to do it yourself, ask your veterinarian to show you how to do it.

If you take good care of your canary, you will feel it on its well-being: its lively temperament as well as its singing will cheer you up for a long time to come!

Canary diseases

The following list gives you everything you need to know about canaries and diseases specific to this bird species.

Canary pox 

It is a deadly virus for the canary. Preventive vaccination against canary pox can be useful, but to date there is no possibility of treatment. Canaries carrying the disease show lesions on their beaks and legs. In the advanced stages of the disease, canaries suffer from respiratory difficulties.

Retention of eggs or egg-laying difficulties

In female canaries, it can happen that an egg gets stuck in the oviduct. This dysfunction causes a swelling of the belly of the female canary, which causes her exhaustion and weakening. If you notice that one of your female canaries is suffering from "egg-laying sickness", contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. This canary disease can quickly lead to death.

Canary Acariasis

Mite infestations are very common in canaries. The mites can then attack different parts of the canary's body. When they are in the trachea of canaries, they produce a sound when they breathe. On the fur of the canaries, the mites are visible to the naked eye. Your birds are constantly grooming to get rid of them. A mite infestation is often a sign of poor hygiene in your canary's cage.

As a preventive measure, use a bird spray to avoid infestations of mites, fleas and lice, for example.

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