There are many different types of canaries. The most common in this country are Borders, Yorkshires, Rollers, Glosters and Red Factors.

The colours of a canary can vary greatly. Canaries are often noted for their singing but it is only the male canaries that really sing, female canaries may twitter. Unfortunately it is very difficult to find out the sex of a canary until they start to sing or not as the case maybe!

Where will your canary live?

The canary’s cage should be roomy enough to allow the canary to move about, climb and stretch his wings. It should also have a few horizontal bars set at different heights to encourage the bird to move about.

The cage itself should be located away from drafts and be kept at an even temperature. Avoid placing the cage in front of a window as the sun can heat up a cage considerably.

You will need to put sand sheets or cage bird sand on the bottom of the cage. Canaries need sand or grit to help them digest their food.

When you first take your canary home introduce him to his new cage slowly. Open the box and allow the canary to walk into his new cage and leave him alone for a while in a quiet place. Cover him up at night if the temperature is likely to drop.

What does the canary eat?

Canaries require a special seed mixture. This can be obtained from Acton Pet Store when you buy your canary or from your local pet shop. You will need to check and refill the seed pot regularly and remove empty husks.

Grit must be available to help the bird’s digestion and cuttlefish will provide the canary with much needed calcium. Ensure you buy the right size for your cage. Mineral blocks, also available from Acton Pets, will provide other essential minerals and trace elements.

What about toys and treats?

Your canary will thoroughly enjoy new toys to amuse him. An extensive range is available at Acton Pet Store. Just make sure there is room enough for the bird to stretch and climb and avoid overcrowding the cage.

General care of your canary

If you care for your canary he will live a long and tuneful life.


Canaries love a daily bath. This helps to keep their feathers in good condition. A range of baths is available at Acton Pet Store. During the last few weeks of the summer a canary may moult, i.e. loose some of its feathers, this is perfectly normal and a moulting tonic is available to help the canary grow new feathers. Speak to your local pet shop for further advice. Moulting at other times maybe caused by being kept in a draft or catching a chill, move the bird to a warmer area avoiding sudden changes in temperature and apply a moulting tonic


The most common parasite for the canary is red mite. This is a little parasite which hides away during the day feeds on the blood of the canary causing loss of appetite and weight loss. Treatment is easy; just ask you local pet shop for a mite spray for canaries. They will be more than happy to help you.


If a canary is kept in a cold environment or they are frequent changes in the room temperature it may develop a cold. The bird will be quiet and sleepy. He may stop singing and he will loose his appetite. Speak to your local pet shop or take the bird to your vet.


Do not allow the canaries claws to become overgrown. This can be dangerous to the bird as they become caught in the cage. Care is needed when clipping the claws of the canary as a small vein lies near the claws and you accidentally cut this causing the bird to bleed. If in doubt please consult you vet or local pet shop.


Too much green food will cause the canary to have diarrhoea. Stop all greens until the canary’s droppings return to normal.