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Topic: Looking for advice on bird---Canary

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Subject: Looking for advice on bird---Canary
Date Posted: 11/13/2008 10:05 PM ET
Member Since: 6/28/2007
Posts: 2,751
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I just got a canary for my classroom & already love him!  But that being said I have never had a bird before & am looking for advice &/or recent books about canaries.  Can anyone help me? 

Thanks! Shayla

Date Posted: 11/14/2008 9:20 AM ET
Member Since: 5/6/2008
Posts: 5,544
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I used to have parakeets...Keep warm, not too cold, not too hot. Cover at night. Fresh water (Preferably bottled distilled, then you don't have to worry about what's in it.) Buy seed you know is fresh, and they probably have special seed for that type of bird. I let mine out once a day or so. If you do that, make sure windows and mirrors are covered. You could go on-line, but most of the time web-sites contradict each other so much it's not worth the time. They also need those bone thingies...ask at the pet shop, although ther're not always well informed either. Maybe someone else will tune-in here.  Good luck.   Roni

Date Posted: 11/23/2008 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 3,308
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Hey Shayla,

I would actually try to find a vet in your area who has experience with birds; look for reccomendations (you want someone who is very up on birds).   Take him in and get an evaluation.  A good exotics vet will do a husbandry evaluation (diet, cage,etc) and point you in the direction of resources.  The cost of the visit will probably not be more than a bird book or two and may save you a lot of grief and possibly money since you will prevent problems.  Most of the time when birds get sick its because of not being kept correctly or  fed the right thing. 

In the mean time: Birds for Dummies by Spadafori and Speer (1999) was one of the reccomended books in my avian class and it might be a good one to have on hand.  Most of the rest of the books are either very technical or parrot books.

Good luck with the little guy!


Date Posted: 12/29/2008 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/22/2006
Posts: 4,734
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My first thought is that I probably wouldn't have gotten a canary for a classroom as they are more sensitive than other caged birds.  Now I'm assuming that your classroom is younger children?  Most children would want to come up to the cage and see the bird up close, maybe stick their finger in the cage, etc.  It's only natural, but from my own personal experience with canaries, canaries don't like to get "up close and personal".  You don't want to keep the canary's cage in the location of a downdraft, nor in a location of direct sunlight.  Most canaries like to have their cage covered at night.  Canaries like to take a "bath" at least three times a week so you'll want to provide a bird bath or a shallow dish with tap water in it for them to bath in.  In addition to a good quality canary seed, I also feed my birds romaine or green leaf lettuce, some corn/peas, and on occasion, they like plain cooked macaroni/spaghetti as a treat.  My birds used to also like chopped apple and shredded carrots.  At one time I had 15 pairs of breeding canaries and the most colorful babies you'd ever want to see and had no shortage of buyers.  Now that we've moved to a very remote ranch location, my "market" is nil and I've gotten rid of all my birds except for one young male singer.  One day I hope to have some pretty canaries again, but would have to live in a location where I could have some good breeding stock shipped to me.  The best  book on canaries that I've found is The New Canary Handbook by Matthew M. Vriends, PhD, ISBN#0812048792, that I ordered from a book store.  Don't know if there are any posted on PBS, but I'd rather doubt it.    I also tried raising cockatiels for awhile and think either a cockatiel or a parakeet might be a better classroom bird.  If you can get a male cockatiel that is young enough, you can finger tame him and teach him to talk, etc.  Only male canaries sing and only male cockatiels talk.  I suppose there is an exception to the rule but I've never had one myself

Anyhow, today is the first time I've ever looked at the pet's thread or I might have responded to you earlier.  Better late than never I guess and I do hope your canary is doing well.