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How to Provide Balanced Diets for Canaries

If you’re looking to keep your canary healthy and vibrant, providing a balanced and appropriate diet is essential. Canaries, with their bright plumage and cheerful songs, thrive on a diet that mimics their natural intake.

Understanding a Canary’s Diet

Primarily, canaries are granivores, which means their diet in the wild consists largely of grains such as wheat and other cereals. But they also benefit from a variety of insects, berries, and small fruits plucked straight from plants, foods that are fresher and more nutritious than anything pre-packaged. It’s imperative for domestic canaries to have a diverse diet to compensate for nutrients they might miss from their natural habitat.


Seeds form the core of a canary’s dietary intake. Food For Birds offers a variety of seed mixes that contain mixed canary seed, black rapeseed, Chinese millet, and mixed pulses. While these mixes provide a good foundation, it’s important not to depend solely on them. Over time, relying exclusively on these seed mixtures can result in nutritional deficiencies unless they are supplemented appropriately.

The Importance of Mash

Mash is a blend of flour-based foods and other ground ingredients, available in both soft and dry forms, and may include egg components. This food source is rich in proteins and lipids, making it especially beneficial during the colder months. Feeding your canary mash two to three times a week generally suffices.

Fruits and Vegetables

Although wild canaries hop from tree to tree in search of fresh fruit, captive canaries also need these vitamin and mineral-rich foods. Favourites include apples, melons, bananas, grapes, raspberries, and apricots. Canaries also enjoy leafy greens such as radicchio, chicory, lettuce, Belgian endive, and spinach, as well as grated carrots, broccoli, and dandelion. Always ensure any uneaten fruits and vegetables are removed daily to prevent bacterial growth.

Supplements and Cuttlefish Bone

During more stressful times, such as breeding or moulting seasons, canaries benefit from additional support. This can include vitamin and mineral supplements, available in liquid drops for water or powder for mash. Providing a cuttlefish bone in your canary’s cage is an excellent way to ensure they get enough calcium. This not only boosts their health but also enhances their overall energy.

By paying close attention to these dietary needs, you can help your canary lead a long, healthy, and joyful life.

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