feeding canaries mixed diets
I am a retired canary breeder of 50 years. I have kept one little bird as a pet to enjoy. Over the years that I raised these birds, I was instructed by more experienced breeders that the basic diet for canaries is always 60% canary seed, mixed with 40% sweet rape seed. Other seeds may be mixed into this basic mix in small quantities. No pellets were available then, so they were not fed until more recent years. Now I am finding only mixed canary and finch seeds, which are somewhat alike, but are not 100% the same. Canaries have fallen out of favor in the last 10 years, for the most part, and it is difficult to find correct basic food for them in smaller quantities – and I feel that I shouldn’t be mixing other food types into their basic diet. My present bird is a picky eater, and will not take pellets at all unless I put them in a food processor and make them smaller. Then he will eat a few. He was raised on 60/40 canary/rape seed, along with natural foods (cooked carrots, fresh greens, and a home made dry food which I make in the food processor with dry oatmeal, shredded wheat, corn meal, LaFeber dry vitamins, and wheat germ. He is trim and healthy now, but I would like to add a little fruit to his diet (which he now refuses to eat). He also takes washed and baked eggshell for calcium, and sometimes a little grit on the cage floor.
Please respond with suggestions for the proper foods to give to a single bird, which will not bring him into breeding condition in the spring.