How To Feed A Canary

  • Date: December 1, 2021
  • Time to read: 5 min.

Feed Your Canary the Right Way

Canaries eat a diet of 75-80% pellets and 20-25% fruits and vegetables. You should not feed your canary a diet entirely made of seeds. You should only give your canary 1-2 teaspoons of seeds each day.

Did you just get a canary and want to make sure you are feeding him correctly? Or are you running into nutritional problems and need a little bit of help? This article will show you the ropes on how to feed your canary.

Why is it important to choose the right food for my canary?

Pet birds are often neglected nutritionally. Your veterinarian will have the best advice on how to feed your specific bird. 

Bad nutrition causes most of the health problems that domesticated birds face.

You should always be trying to improve your bird’s diet. Recommendations are ever-evolving so stay on top of the trends and continue doing research even once a regime is established. 

Again, veterinarians will know about the leaps and bounds being made and can give you the best advice.

What do canaries eat in the wild?

Wild canaries eat seeds. Because the seasons determine the availability of seeds, for some parts of the year canaries eat mostly vegetation, berries, fruits, and insects.

What should I feed my pet canary?

You should always feed your canary a varied diet. It may be tempting to rely on seeds alone, but canaries who eat too many seeds are at higher risk of obesity and other health problems.

It is best to feed your canary a diet made of mostly pellets, with a supplementation of greens, fruits, and vegetables. You can feed your pet seeds in moderation.

Can I feed my canary seeds?

Although wild canaries eat many different kinds of seeds, pet seed mixes only have an average of three or four seed types. They tend to be high in carbs and fat and don’t have enough nutrients.

A diet made up completely of seeds is not enough for canaries. Even worse, they tend to eat only one or two favorite seed types out of the mix.

Millet seeds are sold as a millet branch. Canaries tend to love them, but they aren’t nutritionally complete. Honey sticks are similar in that your bird will love them but they are just seeds glued by sugar and honey and don’t have the proper nutrients.

There are also seed mixes advertised as conditioning foods, song foods, and molting foods. They are all high in fat and should be avoided. 

How much seed should I feed my canary?

You should feed your canary 1-2 teaspoons of various seeds in a shallow dish.

If you have more than one bird in the same cage, offer 1-2 teaspoon per bird and put the seeds in different dishes.

Can I feed my canary a diet made of pellets?

Pellets have been formulated to meet the nutritional needs of pet birds. They are the best diet for the majority of birds.

If your bird eats mostly seeds, he has to be weaned off of seeds slowly and converted to a diet of pellets. 

Pellets should be roughly 75-80% of your bird’s food. 

If you have a mature canary who was raised on seeds, it may be very hard to convert him to a pelleted diet. 

There are different pellets for different stages of life and to manage specific diseases. 

How do I change over to a pelleted diet?

It may be difficult to convert birds who eat seeds onto a diet of pellets. Your bird might not realize that pellets are food at first. 

Give your bird pellets in a separate bowl right in the morning when he is the most hungry. If he doesn’t eat the pellets right away, he can slowly be weaned off of seeds throughout a few weeks while maintaining the pellets in a separate bowl.

Pellets should not be mixed with seeds because your bird will just pick out his favorite seeds. 

You can crush the pellets up and sprinkle them over moist food to get your bird used to their taste. Slowly you can crush the pellets less and mix them with less food until you don’t need the second food source anymore.

You should weigh your canary every day to make sure he isn’t losing a lot of weight while changing over to a pellet diet.

Should I feed my canary fruits and vegetables?

A canary’s diet should be about 20-25% greens, fruits, and vegetables. Don’t use vegetables that have a high percentage of water like lettuce or celery. Avocados are toxic to birds.

Thoroughly wash the fruits and vegetables and cut them into small bits. You don’t have to take off the skins. 

Put fruits and vegetables in a separate bowl. 

If your bird starts to exclusively pick out one fruit or vegetable from the mix, take it out temporarily so your bird eats other foods.

Can I feed my canary people food?

If you are eating nutritious food, you can give it to your bird in very small amounts. Examples include eggs, fish, and lean meat.

Birds are lactose-intolerant so any dairy should be in extreme moderation.

You should never feed your canary junk food, foods high in sodium, caffeinated drinks, or alcohol.

How should I give my bird water?

There should always be clean, fresh water available to your bird. 

If your tap water isn’t of the highest quality, you might want to use bottled water.

Clean your bird’s food dishes every day.

Final thoughts

It is vital to feed your canary correctly if you want him to live a full, happy life.

Although seeds seem like the obvious choice at first, upon further inspection it becomes clear that pellets, greens, fruits, and vegetables are the right way to feed your bird.

It can be hard to convert from a diet of seeds to a diet of pellets. Take small steps and eventually, you will get there.

Doing your research is half the battle, so now that you have this knowledge you can be a great pet owner and feed your canary the way he deserves to be fed!

Previous Post

What Are the Breeds of Canaries

Next Post

How to Make My Canary Sing