How to Care for Baby Canaries

  • Date: December 5, 2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

If you adopted a baby canary or your current bird has eggs ready to hatch, you will need to know the basics of caring for them. Having soft nutritional food, a roomy cage, and plenty of exercise is the best way to raise a baby canary.

For more information regarding baby canary care and what you need to take care of these chicks properly, continue reading this informative article, full of canary care tips and tricks.

How Old Do Canaries Have to Be Before They Can Leave Their Mothers?

Healthy baby canaries can leave their mothers at a relatively young age of just 3 or 4 weeks, which is a lot younger than many other types of animals.

You cannot separate babies from their parents until they can eat independently. These birds should be able to eat soft food before they are removed from the nest. 

What Do You Feed Baby Canaries?

From the moment baby canaries hatch, they will need to be fed nestling food by their parents, until they are able to eat the food and eventually harder food on their own.

Nestling food is rich in proteins and nutrients to help support the baby’s growth and help busy parents keep up their strength, health, and energy.

Nestling food can include any or all of the ingredients below.

  • Eggs
  • Seeds
  • Greens
  • Grated carrot
  • Rolled oats
  • Soft fruit
  • Cream of Wheat

At the very least, your baby canary needs the first three ingredients daily. 

To prepare nestling food, you will want to boil the egg and smash it up, making it extremely easy to eat and digest.

To make the soft seed, just take a regular canary seed and boil it for about 15-20 minutes; this will make them soft and mushy.

You can then chop up your greens and fruits into tiny pieces and add them to one of the two daily servings you will feed your babies; you can use foods such as banana chunks, kale, spinach, and apples, to name a few. 

Remember to remove the soft food from the canary’s cage no more than 5-6 hours after giving it to them. Once the food starts to spoil, it can develop harmful bacteria and toxic mildew that can cause health problems for your birds.

Canary chick’s beaks will not be strong enough to crack regular hard canary seeds.

How Often Should You Feed Your Baby Canaries

Baby canaries should be fed twice a day, typically once in the morning and then again in the early afternoon. As mentioned above, soft feed should be removed no more than 6 hours after giving it to your baby birds, and then clean the dish thoroughly before adding more feed.


Your baby canary will start fledging or “flying” at around three weeks old; this is known as fledging. During this stage, the baby birds will start to leave the nest and return to their parents for another week or so to be fed by their parents. 

Once the baby turns four weeks old, they are usually fully independent and ready to leave the nest.

Proper Cage For Your Baby Canary

Once your canary is old enough to live on its own, you are going to want to keep him or her separate from other birds unless you have a fairly large cage. Canaries are not considered very social birds and prefer to keep to themselves.

Canaries are also not happy sitting in one place, so swings and toys will not be enough. You need a large cage, giving your bird plenty of room to roam.

It is important to remember that baby birds will be skittish when first leaving their parent’s nest, so be cautious and careful when cleaning out their cages or feeding them. If they get scared, these young birds will start flapping their wings and start to flutter inconsolably, leading to injury.

What to Put in Your Canary Cage

Because canaries are active little birds, they require a few different items in their cage to keep them happy and healthy.


All canary cages need at least two perches. Place these perches at opposite ends of the cage and if you have the extra space, offer the canary a few different perches in higher areas. You should also make sure the perches are different diameters in order to keep your birds from developing arthritis.


Your baby canary would love to have a few toys in their cage as well; this will keep them occupied and provide plenty of exercise. The best option for toys is bird sticks and strings for them to pull on.

You can also opt to place a swing and mirror in the cage. However, some canaries will like these items, and others won’t. If your bird seems to get aggressive or stops singing, it may be due to the mirror, and you should consider taking it away.

Food and Water Dishes

You should purchase stainless steel or glass feeding and watering containers to avoid bacteria growth and clean them frequently. You should also keep an eye on the waterer, making sure your bird always has access to clean, freshwater to drink.

Can You Let Canaries Fly Outside of Their Cages?

Yes, contrary to popular belief, canaries aren’t that hard to train when it comes to free flight. Hand-taming your bird from a very young age will make it much easier when training them to fly around the home safely.

Always start training sessions in a bird-friendly space—a room with closed windows and little furniture and appliances that provide hiding spots or danger zones. 

To begin training, open your canary’s cage door and place a perch near the opening. This is going to be a good indicator to the bird they are good to go. It will also provide a location for them to focus on when coming back in.

If you have any issues getting the bird to go back into its cage, place a little food in its dish, and he or she will be back in no time.


Canaries can make great pets and can be very social and active if you have time to bond with them starting from a young age. These birds are simple to care for, only requiring fresh, nutritious foods, clean water, and plenty of room to fly. 

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