There are many species of domestic birds, but the most can compete with the parakeet is without a doubt the canary, one of the best companions to have at home thanks to its cheerful songs and its vitality.
Types of Canarys
What do you know about the canary?
The canary, also known as Serinus Canaria, is a species that belongs to the family of the Fringillidae. Although its name suggests that it is indigenous exclusively to the Canary Islands, the truth is that it can also be found in the Azores and Madeira. The closest relative of this bird is the European Serin.
The law of the Canary Islands Government considers this bird the natural symbol of its archipelago along with the Canarian palm tree, besides being a species protected by its lands only being able to be sold by people who have the opportune permits for it.
How is the canary?
Its trill is singular and if it is to be said that it resembles some other bird, one could say that it is countenance with the chirping of the Goldfinch, but very different at the same time. Its colors are usually brown in the upper part and yellow-green in the area of the face and the lower parts. It has greater contrast than other birds in the same family, such as Serin. It can measure 13 centimeters and weigh about 50 grams.
Although generally they are birds of faded tones, from the seventeenth century began to cross with other variants which has given as origin to vivid colors such as white, orange, copper or yellow, the most common tones in canaries destined for sale. The Red Canary was the first canary to be created by a genetic selection.
And how much does a canary live?
Of course, having a canary implies having a partner for a long time. The normal thing is that a canary live for about 10 years, although there are some who have come to live 10 years in captivity.
The hunting of these birds in some islands for their study, has caused that some do not reach to exceed 7 years of life. In addition, the common ignorance of many caregivers causes these animals, in most cases, not to exceed 5 years of life.
How do you differentiate a male from a female?
While with other birds it is almost impossible to distinguish the male from the female, in the case of Canaries if there are some clues that can help detect the sex of the bird you have at home.
One example is that males are slender, athletic and usually have a more upright posture. The females, on the other hand, are smaller and their heads have a more rounded shape. In addition, during the mating season you can easily check. In the sewer, the females have the abdomen smoother, while the males have a lump, known as a button, right at the exit of the sewer.
In the breeding season is another good time to know the sex of the bird you have at home. The males sing stronger songs in order to attract the females, try to feed the beak and woo it. In the case of the females, they will try to prepare the nest, looking for materials that can have in the cage to build it.
When they are young, some breeders have developed some methods in order to differentiate the sex of the pigeons. For example, some say that if you hit the nest, the males lower their heads and lift the tail, while the females do not change. Another method is to place the pigeons on a towel. The males go out to explore, while the females stay in the towel.
I’m going to go to the store for a cage, what do I have to look for?
Unlike other birds, Canaries spend most of their lives locked in the cage, so you have to get one that suits your needs and can be happy as long as it goes in there.
The size is very important, because the canaries like to fly from one side to the other. Thus, a cage for a canary should be 100 cm wide, 60 centimeters high and 80 centimeters deep. A perfect size also if you are going to have two birds. The maximum width of the rods must not be greater than 12 mm and the bar-bar gap must not exceed 1 centimeter. In addition, it must have some horizontal bars, as this bird likes to perch on the walls to gossip its surroundings.
In terms of the shape of the cage, many often make a serious mistake of buying a cage that is homemade or oval (or cylindrical). Big mistake, since this does nothing but stress the bird and cause psychological damage. Always choose a cage that has a square or rectangular shape, because the bird can make horizontal flights inside. Choosing the best material is also important. Many bet on a wooden or plastic cage, although the best is a metal cage, stainless steel If it can be, because they are much more durable. Never opt for plastic cages, as they are hard to clean. To live in an area with wild birds, and have long beaks, it is advisable to cover the cage with a aviary mesh to keep the canary safe inside their cage, as these birds will try to attack it to eat it.
We arrived at the time to decide that you will have the canary inside your cage. To start the hangers are the fundamental part of the decoration of the same, avoiding at all costs those with sandpaper or plastic, because they damage the legs of the canary. Always opt for hangers of natural wood or put some branches inside the cage, because they are much healthier for them. In how much to toys, you can always bet on some rope, ladder or something that can bite.
Canaries are not as escapist as other birds, but they may give you a fright if you get distracted, so that the trough and feeder are not placed in the cage by a slit or door. They better be the ones that are held on the outside, this will prevent you from trying to escape and can be hurt in the process.
In the base of the cage you have to put sand for birds, which helps to keep the cage clean and is much more hygienic than using only paper. Although, if you put a paper base and then the sand, this will make cleaning work easier.
I got the cage, but where do I put it?
One of the main causes of mortality of the Canaries is to make a serious mistake when it comes to locating the cage. They must be avoided at all costs to place this bird in balconies or galleys of the kitchen, since they are not very healthy areas for them. In the balconies the noises stress and are unprotected by sudden changes in temperature. On the other hand, in the kitchen are exposed to pollution when you are cooking a dish, which is very dangerous.
So you have to choose the room that is well ventilated and that gives you the sun, but only for a couple of hours throughout the day, like the living room or a bedroom. The height always has to be the same height as your eyes (especially if you want to establish a link with the bird) and that two walls of the cage are attached to the house (this prevents the bird from being frightened to see you arrive). Avoid at all costs an area with draughts, like near a window, and that has too much light. Canaries like natural light, but not that they are giving them all day.
If you have a house that is too “bright” you have to locate the cage in such a way that a part of it is in the shade, in this way, when the canary gets tired it can be protected in that part of the cage.
I’m going to clean your cage, what do I do?
For this bird to have a long and prosperous life, hygiene tasks are very important. First the baths. The bird being cooped up doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be cleaned. You must put a cup or a bowl with water so that it can bathe, especially in summer, and so be shiny.
As for the cage, the base of the same must be changed about two or three times a week, while the inside of it is advisable to clean it at least 2 times a month for the canary is healthy. Start by removing the tray and cleaning well, and then put the canary in a carrier while you do the cleaning tasks.
The best way to remove the dirt, and to stop the germs, is to use bleach diluted in water and clean bars and hangers with a wet rag in this mixture. He insists a lot to be able to eliminate all the bacteria, especially in the hangers, because it is possible that they have traces of their feces. Once clean, wet with water and then dry with a dry cloth or leave it to dry in the sun. Then you relocate it, keep the canary back in and until the next cleanup.
What do you feed the canaries?
In many supermarkets you will find birdseed for your Canaries, this being its fundamental food thanks to the carbohydrates that it contains. It is the most healthy for these animals, however, it is advisable to mix with other seeds such as Negril, hemp, red rape or rapeseed to receive nutrients. The ideal mixture is composed of 50% of canary seed, 20% of Negril, 10% of red rape, 10% of hemp, 6% of Cardillo, 2% of peeled oats and 2% of flax.
But is this only enough to feed the canary? It is true that yes, but it is also good to feed some fruits and vegetables, which provide vitamins and minerals. Among those you can eat are carrots, spinach, cabbage and lettuce as long as they are well washed and chopped. of fruit, the best is the apple, the orange and the banana. All well chopped so that the bird does not cost much digest.
Drinker’s water has to be changed every day and it is advisable to add some vitamins, especially vitamin C and D, to take care of the health of your bones.
If my sick canary, what can I have?
that are protected by some bars does not mean that the bird is going to be healthy all his life. On the contrary, there are many diseases that can suffer. The most common are:
- Cold: Of locating the cage badly of the canary and that is being beaten constantly by draughts, will end up catching a cold, feeling tired, sleeping more than normal and breathing in a slow way. With vitamin C can be recovered.
- Cold: In the case of not treating the cold when it is detected, it can lead to a cold, in which the bird will lose appetite but drink lots of water, have the soft crop and violet skin and begin to suffer diarrhea. We need to get him to the vet for treatment.
- Paratyphoid: A deadly disease caused by poor cage hygiene. Among the different symptoms, the canary will have the feathers bristling, you will feel sad and wanting to do any activity. Besides, the eyes will always have them closed.
- Constipation: A bad diet can end up causing this bird to suffer from constipation. It can be easily cured with a little lettuce in the diet or by making a porridge with soft vegetables and a little bread.
- Asthma: This has to be treated by a specialist, since even if it is not deadly, it is necessary to know what treatment to give according to the level of asthma that it suffers.
- Intestinal inflammation: Because you feel something wrong or a genetic problem, the canary may suffer from intestinal inflammation. You’ll lose your appetite and have diarrhea. An antibiotic can treat the disease.
- Bronchitis: In winter it is normal to have bronchitis if the cage has not been placed in a place that is warm. It will open the beak to breathe and be on the move all day, with your eyes closed, so you could be hurt. We have to change it to a warmer place in the house.
- Worms: Because of poor feeding, the bird may have worms. In the feces there will be white dots and the bird will be tired and lose the weight quickly. He has to be treated by a veterinarian.
- Mites: Mites can attack the bird in the case of not having a good cleaning of the cage. You will lose your feathers, scratch frequently or hurt yourself to scratch. The only solution is to take him to the vet.
- Cobalicilosis: A deadly disease that requires you to take it quickly to a specialist. In addition, it is very contagious and can also pass it on to humans, so you have to be very careful. Among the symptoms, it is detected that the feces have a green and white color, besides the bird loses the appetite.
- Aphonia: Your trill will be hoarse, because it is in a poorly ventilated area, full of moisture or that sings too much. You have to give him some lemon boots with a thousand so he can recover.
- Wounds: The bird can become injured because it flies very fast inside the cage or is nervous. In this case you have to treat the wounds with oxygenated water quickly so that you do not get infected.
- Legs: In the legs or fingers will have scabs, which are going to need an ointment so you can recover how much earlier.
Can you train a canary?
Although the Canary spends most of his life inside a cage, it doesn’t really have to be that way. It is possible to train it, for simple things that yes, for it to pose on the finger or so that it can fly free by the house and then return to its cage. It’s easy? Not at all, since you have to be very patient. Do you want to know the steps to follow to train it?
- First step: Getting used to your presence is the first step. Therefore, when the cage is located, it has to be in the room of greater social activity of the House. So at all times they know what happens around them and they can get used to the noises. Slowly get closer to the cage, checking the maximum distance that the bird allows you. And then give her some candy to buy her love. It will eventually approach the bars of the cage for eat.
- Second step: Have you managed to get used to it and let you get close to the cage without being frightened? Perfect, then the time has come to put your hand inside the cage with food you like, like biscuits, pine nuts or chunks of apple. Wait till he poses in his hand to eat. I may not do it the first day, so don’t give up.
- Third step: The canary will have become accustomed to your presence and can be in your hand without problems to spend some time. That’s when you have to try to get it on your finger. But what to do for it? When the hanger is, knock gently with your finger, so that it loses balance, so you will get into it and you can take it out.
Now, let’s say you want to let him out of the cage. As much as possible the first time I tried to fly, so first of all close the window and the doors of the room. Then get him out and let him come back if he wants. With a trinket you can convince him to go back to his cage. Never force it with a cry or try to catch it, because all the hard work of trust you’ve done will be lost.
I want my canaries to breed, what do I have to do?
To get the Canaries to breed is not impossible or difficult, but it does not take away that you will not have to wait for the Canaries want to have offspring. To begin with, the breeding season is usually in the late spring and early summer, when the days are longer and there are more days of light, when you have to have your pair of canaries paired.
You should know that females acquire sexual maturity at 7 months, while males do so at 9, so you have to wait a bit to both have reached the mature stage of their life. The courtship process can last for many days, so you have to be quite patient during the process.
If you have been successful, you have to buy a nest where you can put your eggs. Many breeders bet on the wooden nests, because they are spacious and very safe, while others choose to buy the materials so that it is the female that builds with them.
You have to be very attentive to the laying of eggs, as it will put an egg a day, or you may one day rest and put one the next two days. Once placed, they must be removed, which helps the hatching of the eggs is the same day. Once you have put all the eggs, between three and five, you have to put them all back in the nest and so it can incubate for two or three weeks until hatch. As long as the eggs are out of the nest remember that they are in danger, so you have to cover them with an electric blanket or something that can give you heat.
Once the pigeons are born, they will depend entirely on their parents, so you have to give them an exclusive diet for these offspring so that the parents can suministrársela. In addition, giving them some insect or earthworm can come in well to get vitamins. After two months they will begin to explore the cage and it is time to change them to another module or an independent cage so they can live their own life.