Popular Pet Birds – Canaries

Popular Pet Birds – Canaries

Choosing a Pet Bird: A little bit about Canaries

Birds can make wonderful pets, but there are many different types of birds, so how do you choose the one that is right for your family? Like any pet, birds will require lots of love and care to help keep them healthy and well, so in this blog we are taking a look at Canaries, and what you can expect if you were to have a one as a pet.

Canaries are social birds that love need to live in groups. There are numerous breeds of canary that identified by colour, song or breed.

Common Breeds of Canary

Yellow Canary

This is the most common type of canary, they are yellow in colour and can reach up to five inches in length.

Gloster Fancy Canary

This is a small canary reaching about four inches in length. They have a unique round style of crest with a yellow body and a white ring around their upper neck.

Red Factor Canary

These will grow to about five inches in length. The canaries are red in colour and are normally bred for bird shows.

How Long Do Canaries Live?

The average lifespan for Canaries is 10 years.

Company for Canaries

Canaries are sociable birds and prefer to be kept with at least one other canary. However, do not put two male canaries together as they will fight; and you should not house different breeds of canaries together either.

Where Canaries Like to Live

Canaries like wide open spaces so providing a roomy cage (50cm x 42cm x 50cm) would be a good home for a Canary. Provide a cage with vertical bars and small perches of different size for foot exercise. In addition, have at least one perch set high in the cage. The cage should also be high up, away from draughts and in a place that is well lit. The most suitable bedding is sand paper or wood shavings.

Exercise & Play

Canaries do not require toys, mirrors or any other form of entertainment but a swing is recommended to keep them occupied.

You can let your Canary out of the cage often, however, make sure your house is bird proof; all doors and windows should be closed.

Diet & Nutrition

Canaries eat mainly canary seed and rape seed. They will also eat fruit and vegetables but only in small quantities. Like all birds you need to add calcium in their diet so we advise a cuttlebone. In addition; berries, beetroot, tomatoes, and cherries can help to enhance their colour. A millet spray can be used as a treat for the Canaries too.

Make sure fresh food and water is available on a daily basis for the Canary.

Health & Hygiene

Basic cage care includes removing any droppings on a daily basis; wiping down food and water dishes; and once a week the entire cage should be cleaned using a bird safe disinfectant. All toys and perches to be cleaned twice a week too.

All Canaries do like to bathe, so they should be offered a bird bath. However, be careful in how much water you put into the bird bath. The bath will help keep the Canaries coat in good condition but you could also use mist spray on the Canary as well.

Having a specialist bird vet is also essential if you have a pet Canary and this may require travelling a distance if your bird becomes ill.


It is hard to sex canaries, the main difference is that males sing and females do not sing. During the non-breeding season it is easier to sex; females will have a red dome shaped belly, during breeding season the red dome belly will be gone into more of a flat shaped.


Take Me Home Checklist

Before you take your Canary home, you will need to make sure you have some things in order to help keep them healthy and happy. We’ve put together a simple ‘Take Me Home’ checklist for new Canary keepers. If you have any questions, or need any further advise, please drop in to your local Petmania and talk to our Petcare Advisors.

  • Metal cage (50cm x 42cm x 50cm minimum size)
  • Food – Canary seed and fruit & vegetables
  • Bedding- sand paper or wood shavings
  • Food and water bowls
  • Toy (swing)
  • Cuttlebone Bird bath or mist spray Treats
  • Bird safe disinfectant

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