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Old 10-24-2012, 11:49 AM
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Default Canaries/finches/birds

I've always been really fond of canaries. I'm not very much a bird person, though.

I'm thinking more about it though...Sapphira passed away last year, and Aidan's getting older, and all I have are the snakes and him and Milo, really. We live with lots of other pets, but they're not "mine" really.

I said no more small animals after these guys are gone, butttttt I waaaaant.

I just don't know all that much about canary care. Are they messy like other, larger birds? Are they very tame, do they like attention and affection? Can you leave them, say, for a weekend with lights on a timer and a food dispenser? Do they poop all over the house if you let them out? Are they trainable at all?

There are a lot of varieties, too...my main attraction to them are their songs. Do the pretty orangey and yellow ones sing? I think the ones bred for their songs are the sort of mottled greenish yellow ones, is that true?

*sigh* maybe I'll just buy a canary songs CD
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:21 PM
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I had both parakeets and canaries. The Budgies were the trainable ones...the ones I let out of their cage, but clipped their wings until they got tamed. The canaries aren't the kind of birds you want to let out of their cage...at least not to my knowledge. They aren't apt to be that into humans like budgies are. They are messy, molting their feathers a lot and their poop is way splattery, unlike the firmer kind from the parakeets. Mine had a very large cage my Dad made with a fruit tree branch in it. I don't know about automatic feeders. I just fed them and cleaned up after them. It was hard to keep all the mess in their cage....so around the cage, on the floor or in my case, a big card table....that needed protection too. lol. I had a yellow Hartz Mountain Kentucky roller. He sang beautifully...just phenomenal. His name was Petrucchio. And my aunt raised wild canaries. She gave me a pretty little brownish, reddish female. I tried breeding them. She made a nest in the tea strainer I put in her cage along with soft things to make the nest out of...and laid eggs. But none were fertilized.

The parakeets, I had the most fun with...very tame and could fly around. The one scary thing was that someone could leave a door open. You have to be very careful if their wings aren't clipped when a door is opened. I lost a couple of birds that way. They are next to impossible to get back. I heard that they have no sense of direction. Don't know if that's true or not. I had several Budgies, usually one at a time, as they're easier to tame and work with that way when it's just you and the bird. But I did try to breed a pair once. My Dad built me a nesting box. They're hard, made of wood, not like the canaries nest. But it didn't work...probably because they were pretty tame to humans.

Anyhow, you can have both canaries and budgies or another kind of bird. But if you're into tame birds that like to fly around the house, come flying across the room when you put your arms out, come land on your shoulder when you're doing dishes and ask if you'll please turn the water pressure down low and cup your hands, so they can take a bath, then budgies are the ones for you. lol. Beware though, of open doors and watch out for your lamp shades. They like to land on those and peck the edges until they rip. LOL. Their little poops are usually kind of hard so not too gross to clean up. They like to have fun too, in their cages if you have lots of toys for them. I had for one toy, a little sombrero hat with a bell inside. The birds loved that one. They'd ding the bell and it looked like they were wearing the hat. They liked ladders and things with bells that they could ding with their feet. Good luck in your search.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:54 PM
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hmm, I'm not too worried about a bird coming to me when I ask it to or hanging out in the house or training it tricks or anything, but I don't really want a bird that's fearful of me. If they're kept in the cage all the time, do they get enough exercise and stimulation?

I sort of imagine the bird would need to be let out for some exercise or playtime, probably supervised.

How bad do they mess around the cage? For example, if I set newsprint under the cage will the mess be mostly contained? Is it unrealistic to put the cage over carpet or is it mostly harder seeds and feathers out of the cage? I don't mind running the dust buster or vacuum under the cage once a day but bird poops or soft food going everywhere would drive me nuts.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:17 PM
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Canaries are messy birds...no getting around it. You need to put bird gravel on the bottom on top of newspaper for their gizzards and they kick it around, it goes flying out of the cage all over the place, as do their downy feathers when they're molting. You don't have to put the gravel on the floor, but can put in in a feed container on the side of the cage next to their seed. They need also a mineral block and a coddle bone. They aren't the type of bird to let out of their cage. You'd never catch them and they are somewhat nervous and fearful. They're just not like budgies. They don't need a ton of exercise. If you have a nice, big cage, they can fly in that. Or they'll flap their wings a little bit in place if they're in a smallish cage. You can look online maybe and see what you can find out. Maybe there is something I haven't heard of about canaries as far as what people do with them. My aunt had a big, huge cage....almost what you'd call an aviary, with branches and all kinds of neat things for the birds. But they were to look at, listen to them sing and just enjoy that way rather than a tame bird of the parrot family that is more in tune with humans.
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Old 10-24-2012, 05:47 PM
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I'm okay with a bird that's more to look at an enjoy singing, I don't need a companion animal, that's what the dogs and cats are for. But I'd definitely have to look more into options as far as caging and keeping the canary area clean.

Thanks for the input!
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:25 PM
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It's a myth that Canaries need grit or gravel. It can cause impaction. As long as you feed a good quality food with vitamins and minerals, you do not need grit or gravel.

Canaries are not the type of bird to come out and sit with you or pet. There are of course exceptions. If you are looking for a species that you can have some interaction with, then I would recommend a Love Bird or a parakeet, or even a Cockatiel. Parakeets (aka Budgie) is a big parrot in a small body. They need lots of stimulation. But they can learn tricks, some learn to talk.

I myself grew up with Budgie's, and in my late teens I got my first Tiel (Deo). He's almost 13. He's a talker and enjoys filling the day with his songs. While its not as pretty as a canary, it's still pretty. My second Tiel, Bebe, who is 2 is super loving. Love Birds has a pretty sound and from what I heard they are parrot-y but mellow-ish.

If not, and your just looking for a bird to look at, canaries are good. You can try to tame them, there are plenty of websites out there. Free flight is ok as long as you can do it in an enclosed area where you can access the bird Quickly and safely without hurting it. You need to know safe bird handling to trim nails and wings.

In general you want to find a cage with appropriate bar spacing, you want to make sure that you don't put them directly in front of a window, or where there is a draft. Clean water, a good quality food, fresh veggies and fruits. Toys that jingle, toys to climb, toys to chew - they are all good. If you aren't going to let your bird out a lot then get the biggest cage you can afford (you should do this anyway really).

Canaries I think are like finches and do best in pairs or small groups.

Also it's fine to put the cages on carpet. Mine are both on carpet. I haven't had any issues.
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Old 10-24-2012, 07:57 PM
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Here are a couple websites that might interest you. No, my mistake...canaries don't need grit because they don't have a gizzard. But Budgies need it...just not all the time. It's been ages since I had birds. I was pre-teen and teen age when I had them. And I think I had a Budgie when I was first married, then no more after that. I liked my canaries, but I would say my favorites were the Budgies...had several of them. They're just lots of fun...very comical and interesting.

http://www.essortment.com/digestive-...rds-49064.html

http://www.robirda.com/faqs.html#grit
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:42 PM
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Definitely meet some lovebirds beforehand if you're thinking of getting some. They sound like BEEEEDURP! BEEEEDURP! BEEEEEDURP! BEEEDURP! BEEDURP!

and would likely be way too loud for an apartment. Their sound really gets on my nerves. lol

If you enjoy dove noises, they make really good cage/aviary/companion birds. We had several ringnecks that got to fly free throughout the house. They basically only had two places they perched and I'd put newspaper down there and change it out daily. They'd fly between the two spots and that was it.

Mine were all really tame. They were never handled before I got them, but they're so docile and derpy that it only took days to get them hand tame. They liked riding on my shoulder and would happily perch on my hand if I offered it to them.
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Old 10-24-2012, 09:23 PM
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I've always liked canarys my old neighbor had one. Sang such lovely little tunes and they are fine being solitary

I had two budgies.. very social, very fun to watch.. but LOUD! They make little screeching noises and chatter and just ugh.
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Old 10-24-2012, 10:14 PM
klaus1991 klaus1991 is offline
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For the love of pets.

Love birds are very pretty and can be very sweet.If you purchase a hand raised bird from a breeder he will be use to being handled and will enjoy perching on your shoulder.You can also teach them tricks and to say a word or two.They are very intelligent and can be very good escape artist!keep him in a cage designed for cockatiels because cages designed for parakeets/finches maybe escaped from and are unsuitable for their exercise.Its a myth that lovebirds must always be in pairs they can live fine alone as long as he is kept occupied with toys,kept indoors, and given plenty of attention by you.If well taken care of they can last you 15yrs or more!Love birds all have different temperaments and some breeds can be more aggressive than others.Peach face love birds tend to be more hot tempered than masked blue love birds.For a beginner i recommend masked blue lovebirds.

Finches are skittish little birds and do not enjoy being handled at all.They do require less cage space and most are not smart enough to open the cage doors and escape.They not the heartiest birds I've kept.They cannot with stand any cold temperature and should be at least 80f in his room to feel comfortable.They require less interaction than lovebirds and do great kept in groups of 6 or more! If you want a bird you can train and pet finches are certainly not a good choice.
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