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Keep Your Baby Canaries Happy and Healthy. Part 2
9 years ago

At the bare minimum provide a fan in the room for good canary bird care and if possible, an air conditioner or cooler of some kind.

You don't want these things blowing directly on your canary but use them to keep the room from getting to hot.

Keep an eye out for panting and holding his wings out from his body...he's trying to cool off.  Good canary bird care includes helping to keep him cool on a warm day so...

9 years ago

Give Him a Spritzer.

Just use a regular plastic spray bottle--make sure there hasn't been anything harsh inside like a cleanser--and spray him with a fine mist of cool water...Aahhh, refreshing

He'll also enjoy...

A Cool Bath...

Simply a shallow dish with an inch or so of water will keep your canary splashing around for hours-->these baths help keep his feathers clean, shiny, and healthy too!

9 years ago

Obviously, diet has a huge impact on canary health. All birds need a steady supply of...
  • Protiens

  • Carbohydrates

  • Fat...

...Not just canaries...MOST animals must get these three items from their diet for good health.

9 years ago
Canary Diet

Preventive medicine begins with a good canary diet.

I know you've heard the phrase...

"You are what you eat"-->Same goes for your canary. 

If you eat Twinkies all day you'll turn into one--Soft and mushy body with heavy and fatty insides--But at least you'll be sweet.

Feed your canary healthy, strong, clean foods and he'll be...
  • Healthy

  • Strong and

  • Clean Inside

All GOOD things. 
9 years ago

It's up to you to become your canaries best friend.  His choices are limited...severely limited.  He depends on you for everything...

  • Cleanliness

  • Low Stress Environment

  • Exercise

  • Fresh Air

  • Warm Comfortable Home


  • A healthy diet

9 years ago

Your decisions make his life what it is...Don't blow it!  Plus...

You DON'T want a sick canary on your hands.  Do you know what vets cost now days?  You could easily spend hundreds of dollars on a sick canary.  Let's not do that...instead let's make sure that your canary has a happy and clean environment so he can build a strong immune system.  A good place to start is with his...

GREAT Canary Diet.

At a bare minimum he should have the following three items 24 hours a day...

9 years ago

At a bare minimum he should have the following three items 24 hours a day...

  • A good mixture of canary seed

  • Cuttlebone

  • Fresh water

These will keep him alive and healthy for a long time.  Over the
long-haul though, he'll need a few OTHER things that will help his physical--as well as emotional---health...

9 years ago
  • Boiled Egg (or Eggfood)--for protein

  • Fruit--for vitamins and minerals

  • Greens--for vitamins and minerals

Give him each item a couple of times per week or so. Plus...

A tasty treat like honey stick or millet spray now and then rounds out a good canary diet.  And don't forget...

  • Fresh Water at all times.

9 years ago

Help keep viruses and bacterial infections at bay by giving your pet bird a strong canary diet.  In return he'll...


If you've already overdone it with the canary treats you may have ended up with a fat canary on your hands.

9 years ago
If you've already overdone it with the canary treats you may have ended up with a fat canary on your hands.

My Big Fat Canary

Ok, my friend...shame on you for letting your canary
become a fat canary...

9 years ago

Canaries can overeat just like you and me--and I LOVE my vanilla ice cream and fresh baked brownies as much as the next guy--so let's get real...

A fat canary is an UNHEALTHY canary. 

He'll have trouble breathing, flying, breeding (if your into that), and, yes...


9 years ago the right thing by your pet canary...AND YOU.

What's the "right thing"?--Good Question--Here's the answer...

"Feed your canary correctly."

That's the short answer and I have a feeling you KNEW I was going to say that.  First of all...there are certain foods that your canary SHOULD have in his cage 24/7...

  • Canary seed
  • Cuttlebone
  • Fresh Water
9 years ago

Aside from these, the occasional...

  • Veggie
  • Fruit
  • Egg Food

...will be appreciated by your canary and will keep him happy and healthy.  That's all he really needs...

Throw in some dry oatmeal or cooked brown rice now and then and you've got a happy skinny canary that gets something different everyday.

9 years ago

Variety in his diet is good.

Your pet canary is not going to get fat on the items mentioned above...except maybe...

  • Eggfood

Eggs are least the yolk is.  No surprise here--you've heard that all your life, right?So...go easy on the egg. Three times per week is plenty for your skinny AND fat canary. And...

remove the egg from the cage after a a few hours so your fat canary doesn't over eat and/or end up eating spoiled egg.

Go easy on all other treats like...

9 years ago
  • millet sprays
  • pure canary seed (from the canary grass plant)
  • nuts

and any other fattening foods. 

If it's fattening for you--it's fattening for him.  So...

Also, avoid...

  • bread
  • crackers
  • meats
  • sweet desserts--
  • no brownies or ice cream...
9 years ago
...keep those for YOURSELF.

And on the RARE occasion you do give your fat canary something that might make him fat...

Remove it in about 5 minutes.  He'll get a nice snack...that's ALL he should have--not a full meal of powdered donut...

You're fat canary will be skinny and energetic in no time...the way nature intended.

9 years ago

We talk about these kind of canary health issues a lot in’s Canary Tips! E-zine...

Canary Tips! delivers only original and immediately usable information that keeps your canary SINGING!

Quick tips and in-depth articles regarding canary feeding, housing, health care, disease prevention and treatment, breeding, and canary psychology to...

help you understand your bird better.
9 years ago


Everybody knows that exercise is good for you right? 

If you have a decent size cage for your canary he will be able to flutter back and forth between perches.  But how about letting him out of his cage once in a while...It's "fluttering" times 10--and great exercise.

for Canary Birds
" ' fly.  To be free. To soar with the Eagles' sayeth the canary birds."
9 years ago

...I'm sure I read that in a poem somewhere.

Maybe our canaries can't actually fly with the Eagles but they can certainly fly around our homes.  The exercise they get when flying is everything when compared to the little bit of fluttering and hopping around they do in their cages.

Let'em FLY!

Letting our canaries fly around the house has many benefits...

The extra exercise will improve their health dramatically...

9 years ago
  • They'll feel less stress

  • Have a stronger immune system

  • They'll live longer

  • Have more powerful lungs for entertaining YOU with song

  • And they'll be all-around happier canary birds.

Don't Rush Him

If you have never let your canary out of his cage before he may be a little timid about leaving the security of his little home...That's OK. 

Give him time. 

Don't pull him out...

9 years ago

Let him make the decision on his own.  Just open the door and allow him to think for a few minutes.  If he's a little cautious it won't last long...he'll soon be fluttering around the room and singing in delight.

But BEFORE you do that...Make sure your home is safe for fragile canary birds to fly around.  There are a few obstacles that can hurt or even KILL our canaries! First of all...

Put the cat out.

And the dog. And the ferret. And any other predator you might have roaming around looking for a snack. 

9 years ago

Don't even begin to think that your little Weiner dog won't bother your canary.  He's got the same hunting instincts as a Pit Bull.  I'll bet he would love to chase your canary around the house for the afternoon. Whether he catches the bird or not-->he can do serious damage to your canary birds psyche.

Be mindful of that other predator...

The Human Child.

Birds can be a lot of fun for a kid to chase around the house. 

Your canary is going to be stressed out enough the first couple of times out of his cage--Looking for a place to land, checking out his surroundings, looking for dangers--without having a rug rat running around the room making him nervous.

9 years ago
Optical Illusions...

Cover windows and mirrors.  More than one bird has tried to fly through a piece of glass...with a broken neck as a result. 

--Jerry Sienfeld once said...
"I never understood how a bird could fly straight into a mirror...You'd think he would at least try and avoid the OTHER bird"...Good point--

Once canary birds get comfortable they'll start looking for...

9 years ago
Something to eat.  Make sure all plants and other potential edibles are safe for your canary.  Here is a list of potentially poisonous houseplants taken from Mathew M. Vriends' The Canary Handbook.

Most of these I've never even heard of but you may have one in your home...
9 years ago
  • Amaryllis
  • Autumn Crocus
  • Azalea
  • Balsam pear
  • Bird of Paradise (Ironic isn't it?)
  • Boxwood
  • Caladium
  • Castor Bean
  • Chalice Vine
  • Coral Plant
  • Daffodil
  • Datura
  • Dieffenbachia (Bless you!)
  • Elephant's Ear
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Japanese Yew
  • Java Beans
  • Lantana
  • Lilly-of-the-Valley
  • Narcissus
  • Nightshade
  • Oleander
  • Philodendron
  • Rhododendron
  • Yam Bean
9 years ago

If you don't know what kind of plants are in your house, be safe and cover them.

The most dangerous place in the house is the ...


Sinks full of water, a hot stove, pot of boiling soup...these can all end up as your canary birds last landing.  Check the kitchen thoroughly for any hazards.

Other pitfalls found around the house are...

  • Heaters
  • Fans
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Fireplaces...Even when there is no fire, make sure the escape route is blocked.
  • Open fish tanks
9 years ago

...can be the reason you end up with a sick canary on your hands. Your canary does not have the ability to filter out toxins in the air as mammals do.

Fumes from an overheated non-stick pan can kill your canary quite quickly.

Be very careful with household cleaners like ammonia, bleach, floor and furniture cleaners, bathroom cleansers, etc.

Pretty much anything that has a chemical odor to it can be toxic to your canary. No matter how mild you may think it is it can be harmful to canary health.

9 years ago

Some other items to limit your canary's exposure to:

  • scented candles

  • mothballs

  • paint

  • perfume

  • matches

  • tobacco smoke

  • nail polish

  • suntan lotions

No matter how clean you keep your canary's environment he will have toxins in his system. Toxins are in the air everywhere and in the water.

9 years ago
According to some, it's possible to clean out your birds system.

Even your canary needs "routine maintanence". You change the oil in your car ever 3 months right? Well, you should check your canary about every 3 months too.

He should be inspected for illnesses and injuries. His feathers and skin can tell you many things about his health status.

In order to do this of course, you'll have to catch him.
9 years ago

And don't most likely won't hurt him.

He won't like it, but it won't hurt him.

In fact, it'll help him.

Holding Your Canary Bird. Is it a Death Sentence for Your Bird? "Your canary bird doesn't like to be held. But sometimes it's an absolute necessity"
9 years ago

Question and Answer

“Hi Darren,

Thank you for this site, very helpful.

A few hours ago, I took my baby canary (about 1 year) out of its cage for some photos. This lasted less than five minutes.

9 years ago
I held him in my palm trying not to squeeze his chest. Afterwards when I put him back in the cage he

was traumatized, gasping for air as if I almost had tried to strangle him.

And he was slow and quiet for a good hour after that.

What did I do wrong? Is he going to be ok? I really had no intention of hurting my bird. I really love that little creature.
9 years ago
Would really appreciate any comment you would have on this.

Seattle, WA

Hi Menna,

Good to hear from you.

Canaries hate to be held. Your canary thought you were going to eat him. He was frightened and went into a mild shock. In other words, “he was scared stiff”.

Some canaries, after being released, will lie on the bottom of their cage for several if they're playing dead. Then they'll hop up and be perfectly normal. But they’re not playing...
9 years ago
Something biological and instinctual kicks in and they become motionless to avoid predation. Kind of like when an Opossum plays dead ("playing ‘ossum") or when humans are attacked by a bear. We’re told to curl up in a ball and lie perfectly still (easier said then done I’m sure).

In extreme circumstances, a canary bird may even have a heart attack or stroke and die. This is not typical though, and usually indicates some kind of pre-existing problem.

Of course, this doesn't mean you should never hold your bird. Occasionally you'll have to hold your canary bird to...
9 years ago
• check for health problems
• administer medication
• cut nails.

In these cases it's a good idea to make the ordeal as short and sweet as possible...catch your bird as quickly as possible, do what needs to be done, and release him back to his cage immediately.

Some canary bird owners will hold their canary every day for a few seconds just to get him used to being held. I wouldn’t recommend this...most canaries just never get used to it.
9 years ago
Catching your canary is somewhat of an art in itself. And holding him requires gentle hands and an alert mind.

I'm currently writing an article on how to catch and hold your canary in a way that is safe for him and easy on you.

Part of that "routine maintanence" includes...


Canary claws or nails can end up having a negative effect on canary health if allowed to grow out of control.

9 years ago
Canary HealthFortunately, canary nails don't grow near as quickly as humans. They will need to be clipped about twice per year.

Some people recommend wrapping the perch with sandpaper to keep the canary's nails wore down. THIS IS A NO-NO! The sand paper will damage your canary's feet.

When you clip your canary's nails look carefully for the vein inside the nail.

Stay well away form this vein...

It can sometimes be difficult to stop the bleeding if you cut into it.

9 years ago

--The nail clipping sketch is from "The Canary Handbook" by Mathew M. Vriends.--

We talk about these kind of canary health issues a lot in’s Canary Tips! E-zine...

Canary Tips! delivers only original and immediately usable information that keeps your canary SINGING!

Quick tips and in-depth articles regarding canary feeding, housing, health care, disease prevention and treatment, breeding, and canary psychology to...

9 years ago
help you understand your bird better.

Your Sick Canary Has An Enemy...
Look The Enemy in the Eye...

Do you have a sick canary?
Would you know an ill canary if you saw it?

Before you can wage war on the enemy--canary sickness--you have to know what the enemy looks like.

9 years ago

What does the enemy look like?  I'm telling you right now...

Understanding symptoms of a sick canary may be the most important thing you can do for your pet bird.

The symptoms listed below are the traits and mannerisms of an ill canary.  It's difficult to get specific about what sickness your canary might have...
9 years ago

It's like when YOU have a fever, headache, and chills-->You don't really know whether you have a virus or bacterial infection or if the chili dog you had for lunch was a little too old. None-the-less...

Once you discover that your canary is feeling under-the-weather there are things you can do to make him feel better and help him fight off the illness...regardless of whether or not you know the cause.

Your canary can contract an illness, show symptoms, and die...

9 years ago
-all within 24 hours--

So it’s important to keep an eye out for the warning signs. BUT FIRST--

To make it easier to recognize the symptoms of a SICK's important to know the appearance of a...

Healthy Canary.

As Mathew M. Vriends puts it...

"A healthy canary is a nimble, cheerful bird with tight plumage, bright eyes, a hearty voice, and a healthy hunger!" 
From The Canary here.

9 years ago

Let's take a moment to dissect this descriptive comment...

"A healthy canary is a nimble...".  The keyword here is "nimble".  If your canary is NOT nimble he may be

  • listless

  • off-balance

  • sluggish

  • slow...

...If you see these traits there may be an illness waiting to consume your canary. Next, he should be a...

9 years ago

"...cheerful bird with tight plumage...". "Nimble" and "cheerful" kind of go together so let's move on to "tight plumage". If tight plumage indicates a healthy bird then...

  • loose or fluffed up feathers would be a sign of a sick canary.

Watch for your pet bird to be huddled on the floor of his cage, feathers all puffy--he's chilled and trying to stay warm.  A healthy canary will have...

"...bright eyes...". A sick canary may have...

  • dull eyes

  • partially closed eyes and maybe

  • watery eyes.        

9 years ago

  • "...a hearty voice..."   Listen for a...

    • hoarse or raspy singing voice or

    • NOT singing at all.

    "...a healthy hunger..."  Healthy canaries snack all day so if your canary has a...

    • loss of appetite you'll know something is wrong.

    Hopefully, you’ll have time to treat your sick canary after the symptoms show up-->you must have AT LEAST three things on hand at all times...

    ...Antibiotic, enzyme replenisher, and vitamins.

    9 years ago

    This ensures that when your canary acts sick you'll have some important medicines on hand--this is not the time to make a run to the pet store--every minute counts.  See below for more detailed treatment information.

    Do you have a sick canary?

    Here are some more symptoms you should watch for...

    • excessive sleeping

    • sneezing

    • nasal discharge

    • heavy or rapid breathing

    • making a clicking sound

    • sitting on bottom of cage

    • tail bobbing

    • weight loss

    • diarrhea

    • pustules or sores

    • excessive scratching

    9 years ago

    If you notice any of these symptoms all you really know is that...

    "You have a sick canary." He could have a...

    Respiratory infection, intestinal distress, a bad diet, or even a fatal disease.

    Many times it's impossible to tell which form of sickness he has. For example...

    Common sense will tell you he may have a respiratory infection if he is breathing heavily and quickly.  Or if he has diarrhea it is obviously a digestion problem. But...

    9 years ago
    Sick Canary from The Canary Handbook If he is sitting on the bottom of his cage with puffed up feathers and his eyes are closed he could have a respiratory infection OR a digestion problem OR virtually anything else. Read on...

    This sketch is from The Canary Handbook...A very good book that every canary owner should here for more about The Canary Handbook

    9 years ago

    Something else to watch for is abnormality in his droppings...


    Your canary's droppings are talking to YOU too.  Do you know what they're saying?  Are you listening?

    Master the Secret Language
    of Sick Canaries
    and Their Droppings. One of the most important things you can do is to educate yourself on the symptoms of sick canaries. Canary poop speaks to me...It's speaking to you too.
    9 years ago

    Sick canaries will often have abnormal color or shape to their droppings.

    You must learn to evaluate canary health by looking for abnormalities in canary droppings. Watch droppings closely so that when you have a sick canary you may be able to tell what are normal and what are abnormal droppings.

    Canary droppings are made up of three things...

    9 years ago

    --urine (clear)

    --urates (white)

    --feces (dark)

    The urine should be clear in a healthy canary. Red urine indicates internal bleeding.

    An increase in urine could mean your canary...

    9 years ago

    --has contracted a disease

    --has been eating high water foods such as iceberg lettuce or celery

    --is drinking a lot of water which is an indication in sick canaries that they have contracted some kind of canary disease.


    The Urates is a white chalky paste...sometimes light cream colored.

    9 years ago
    • Green or yellow urates indicates liver disease. 
    • Red urates would indicate internal bleeding. 
    • Brown urates indicates lead poisoning.

    The feces should be tubular and have solid form to indicate good canary health. A more liquid form would indicate diarrhea.

    The color of the feces differs depending on diet. The typical seed and greens diet will produce green feces. If your bird has been eating strawberries or red pellets he may have red feces. Blackberries or blueberries will produce black feces.

    9 years ago

    If you see black feces that cannot be explained by diet, your canary may have Melena...intestinal bleeding. Check the feces for worms. Take your canary to the vet as soon as possible if you can afford it.

    Make it a habit to..

    Look at your canary's droppings everyday...

    Do it when you feed or change water.  If a change occurs you'll be able to notice the difference.

    9 years ago

    If you suspect your canary has some form of intestinal distress like diarrhea you can try a probiotic. It provides soothing relief for intestinal distress and is a source of live naturally occurring microorganisms to aid in healthy digestion.

    For more on how to "LISTEN" to your canary's body language and how to recognize subtle symptoms see

    The next logical question is, "How do we treat our sick canaries?"


    9 years ago
    You must make him comfortable.  Then you can administer some very important medicines and supplements.  Don't miss this next page on treatment-

    Save Your Canary
    From Canary Illness.

    Your first line of defense against canary illness is to
    make your bird comfortable.

    9 years ago

    First-things-first...your sick canary needs...

    • --to be quarantined
    • --peace and quiet
    • --warmth
    • --fresh food and water.
    9 years ago

    If you have other birds sharing the same cage you should...

    ***Quarantine or Isolate Your Canary Immediately.** 

    You don't want other birds to catch whatever it is he has. 

    So, if you have more than one canary let the sick bird have his own cage. This will prevent spreading of the canary illness plus, being isolated will give him plenty of opportunity to rest in...

    9 years ago

    ***A Place That is Quiet and Peaceful.***

    Canaries are high stress birds.  They're always on edge. 

    Provide a place without sudden noises or lots of movement or activity taking place.  Maybe a warm bedroom in the back of the house or the master bath. 

    If the weather is nice and moderate a screened in porch will give him some fresh air and sunshine...always a good thing. (Only on a WARM day though...see below.)

    9 years ago

    Remember...he needs calm healing relaxation.  His immune system does a much better job when there is little stress. 

    This next one is super important...

    ***Keep Him Warm.***

    A canary illness will strip your canary of body heat.  I'm assuming here that your canary is exhibiting one of the most common
    symptoms-->sitting still, all hunched up with his feathers fluffed up. He's trying to keep warm. 

    9 years ago

    Even if he doesn't look chilled you can still provide him with some warmth.  It will make him feel better and will speed the healing process.

    Your best option for applying warmth is a...

    Hospital cage

    These special cages are made specifically for sick birds who need to be separated from other birds and who need warmth

    9 years ago

    They're built with lights installed--usually in a separate compartment--for creating heat.  A temperature gauge on the side of the cage lets you know how warm things are-->85-90 degrees Fahrenheit is about right for fighting canary illness.

    Most hospital cages are built and used by breeders who have a lot of birds around.  For the average Josephine Canary-Owner it is a luxury...not a necessity.  Another way Miss. Canary-Owner can provide gentle healing heat is to use a...

    Household Lamp

    Try placing a cloth over 1/2 of his cage and placing a lamp on the other side of the cloth outside of the cage. Close enough that he can feel the warmth but...

    9 years ago

    Not TOO close...I don't want you to burn your house down...

    Try to use a very heavy dark cloth

    You don't want any bright light coming through the cloth.  Too much light can throw your sick canary into an early molt...further exasperating matters. 

    For this reason I really don't like using household lamps.  You're forced to turn it off at night because of the light...unless you cover the entire cage with the cloth.

    Also--and this is my preferred method--you can use a...

    9 years ago

    Ceramic Lamp.

    A ceramic lamp puts out heat but NO light. This is ideal because--like I just said--being exposed to too much light could cause an off-season molt and that would just make his problems worse.

    You really should have a ceramic lamp on hand at all times. Sometimes warmth is ALL you need to cure a canary illness. If you don't have one please get one ASAP.

    9 years ago

    You'll also want to make sure he has plenty of...

    ***Fresh Food and Water.***

    Make sure he has plenty of seed, fresh water, and his favorite treat. Careful with the treats though.  Just use common sense...If your sick canary has diarrhea don't feed him greens.

    Good wholesome treats are

    • dry oatmeal

    • cooked rice

    • fruit.

    9 years ago

    Although a sweet treat like a honey stick or sugar water can perk-up your sick bird...go easy on the sweets.  There is little nutritional value in them.

    Once you have your canary

    1. isolated

    2. relaxed

    3. warm and

    4. well fed... would be a VERY good idea to give him some medication to help him fight off this canary illness.

    8 years ago
    What medications should a canary owner use? Glad you asked.  I want to answer that question but first...

    Whether a virus or bacterial infection or some other canary illness...there are a few things you can give your sick bird to fight the enemy and hopefully-->Win the War.

    Wage War on Canary Illnesses.

    Powerful tips for treating canary illnesses with medicines.
    Which medicines to use and when...

    8 years ago

    Canary disease or illness is the enemy and can pop up at any time for seemingly no reason-->You’ve kept your canary’s cage clean, fed him all the right foods, he has the right sized cage and gets plenty of exercise, and yet he STILL may get sick.

    It's inevitable that at some point in your canary's life he WILL contract some kind of canary sickness. 

    There are many illnesses your canary may get and...It's often difficult--even for an Avian Veterinarian--to diagnose canary disease.  But...

    8 years ago

    If your canary is showing symptoms of sickness you must act...and act quickly

    Your canary's fast metabolism can help speed up the enemy's process and can KILL your canary quite rapidly. And...

    You can choose to diagnose your canary yourself.  Many do. I do. So...I must ask...

    8 years ago

    Are you prepared?

    If you decide to treat your sick canary bird yourself the first thing you should do is:

    • --Isolate him from other birds and from any stressful situations.

    • --Make sure he is warm with a hospital cage or ceramic lamp.

    • --Give him plenty of fresh food and water.

    8 years ago

    ---For more on the first things to do when you have a sick canary click on "First Actions" on the left of this page.---

    Keep in mind that a veterinarian is your best option in saving your birds life.

    That being said, we have to be realisitic. You may be on a limited income. Or perhaps the nearest avian vet is 200 miles away from your home.

    Only YOU can decide what's in the best interest of you and your bird.

    8 years ago
    Only YOU can decide what's in the best interest of you and your bird.

    AND before you can even think of treatment it's good idea to have an understanding of symptoms.

    After you've taken these first, very important steps...

    Note all symptoms and try to figure out if he has contracted one of the common canary illnesses...
    8 years ago

    Most of the time you're just NOT going to know what's wrong with your sick canary.  The best you can do is give your canary the things he needs to fight off whatever enemy is attacking him...

    • Help him get his system in balance

    • Build up a strong immune system.

    How do you do this?  Glad you asked. 

    First, let's talk about what medicine is very effective on canary illnesses BUT you should be VERY careful with.  Your birds life depends on this. 
    8 years ago

    Be Careful with Canary Bird Antibiotics.

    Antibiotics can harm your canary bird.
    Learn how and when to use them for canaries.

    Only in severe cases do I use...


    Antibiotics are drugs designed to kill bacteria within an animals system.

    Unfortunately, without a veterinarians diagnosis you won't know if your canary bird is infected with a bacteria or a virus...Antibiotics will have no effect on a virus.  In may make matters worse as you'll see in a minute...

    8 years ago

    Another problem is...

    In a healthy canary 80% of the bacteria in his system is GOOD bacteria--bacteria that aids in digestion of food.  The other 20% is "bad" bacteria but...although "bad" a small amount is necessary for digestion.

    It's kind of like when your doctor talks about "good" and "bad" cholesterol.  You don't want to get rid of the bad cholesterol completely--it does have a benefit.  You just don't want it to get too high.  You want to have a healthy "balance" of good and bad cholesterol within your system.  Similarly...

    The Canary Bird Needs a Healthy Balance...

    ...of bacteria in their digestive tract. Antibiotics create a bacterial IMBALANCE...So, the bottom line is...

    8 years ago

    Antibiotics will kill, indiscriminately, ALL the bacteria in your canary's system...both good and bad.

    Without a good bacterial balance your canary bird is not able to digest his food-->he will "go light" (lose weight) after day...week after week...until he starves to death.  And...

    It doesn't matter how much he eats.  He may eat twice his normal diet but his system, with it's lack of good bacteria--the bacteria that the antibiotic just wiped out--is unable to extract the nutrients from the food. 

    He eats and eats until he starves.

    8 years ago

    I used to recommend antibiotics anytime a canary got sick but they are so harmful to your birds immune system that it just doesn't make sense.  However, antibiotic is not ALL bad...They do have their place but...

    I ONLY use antibiotics in the case of SEVERE bacterial infection. 

    You need to make your own decision whether to use antibiotics or not...and--by the way--there is an alternative...more below.

    Antibiotics may work quickly in making your bird feel better but it destroys your canary's flora leaving him with an ineffective immune system. He'll seem to improve but...

    8 years ago
    • Often within a few days the bacterial infection is back stronger than ever OR

    • A whole new infection will take over because his immune system is so low.

    But like I said...

    " severe cases I use antibiotics."

    I always have an antibiotic on hand because you never know when a canary bird will get extremely sick.  If I have a canary that is...

    8 years ago
    • Sitting at the bottom of the cage

    • Feathers puffed up

    • Eyes closed.

    • Seems to have no interest in life...

    I WILL use an antibiotic.

    At the very least I make sure I have an antibiotic to use UNTIL I can get to the vet.  The hope is that a broad spectrum antibiotic will at least buy me and my canary some time.

    8 years ago

    I use "Ornacycline Antibiotic".  A good broad spectrum antibiotic available at most pet stores.

    Like I said...If you can afford it, take your canary to a vet.  Anything else is a risk.  If you decide to use an antibiotic make sure you follow up with the "alternative".

    "What's the Alternative?" Glad you asked but...

    Before we get into the alternative...

    8 years ago
    And now for the alternative to antibiotics.  A must read for those interested in optimal canary bird health...

    When Antibiotics Seem too Harmful for Your Pet Canary Use Probiotics.

    The healthier safer choice for the pet canary.


    Probiotic is designed to FLOOD your canary bird's system, during an illness, with GOOD bacteria or microbes.  This forces the excess BAD bacteria out of his system via urine and feces. 

    8 years ago

    Nothing is one is harmed. Your canary is healthier.

    (Unlike antibiotics which can be harmful...see below.)

    This is the old...

    •  "Out with the bad and in with the new"...

    solution.  Or...

    • "The best defense is a good offence." 

    Its all about...

    8 years ago
    • Doing something POSITIVE instead of doing something DESTRUCTIVE.

    There is something poetic just in the names of these two medicines...

    ANTI-biotic vs. PRO-biotic.

    I looked up synonyms for both...

    • "Anti" = negative, adverse, conflicting, incompatible, repugnant

    • "Pro" = positive, effective, efficient, active, helpful

    8 years ago

    I choose to go "PRO" not "ANTI". 

    Even if my birds are not sick...

    I use a probiotic regularly... keep my canaries systems healthy.

    Your pet canary needs a healthy balance of bacteria--or digestive flora--to digest foods properly and build a healthy immune system.  And...

    8 years ago

    Canaries--being high stress birds--can become overly uptight.  This high stress can cause an imbalance in his system...thereby lowering his immunity to illness. Plus...

    It's impossible to overdose with a probiotic.  It's an all natural supplement.  Nothing but GOOD can come from it.

    Unlike an antibiotic...

    An antibiotic can actually harm your pet canary if used at the wrong time or used too much.  Therefore I only use an antibiotic in the case of a seriously ill pet canary.

    Be aware though that...

    8 years ago

    Antibiotics will throw a canary's digestive system into chaos. 

    Antibiotics are simply the excepted treatment...not just for animals but for humans too--"Kill the offending bacteria and nurse yourself, or your pet, back to health AFTER the side effects of the antibiotic." However...

    Antibiotics are not ALL bad.

    Antibiotics work faster.  For a pet canary that is VERY sick an antibiotic may give him a quick fix and save his life...but is not a long term solution.

    Probiotics work slowly.  Building and restoring over a long period of time. 

    8 years ago

    The ideal time to use a probiotic is BEFORE symptoms occur.  Then...

    Add to the dosage when symptoms FIRST start to appear...

    • Listlessness

    • Diarrhea

    • Loss of appetite

    • Over eating

    • Excessive sleeping

    If you miss these first symptoms and your canary starts...

    8 years ago
    • Sitting on the bottom of the cage

    • Feathers fluffed up

    • Eyes closed

    You've waited to long.  Now is the time to use antibiotic for a fast fix...At least that's the way I do it.  You must decide what's right for you.  The vet is your best bet in curing your canary.

    The best thing for you to do with a sick canary is to see an avian veterinarian.  There are no simple and fast cures and if antibiotics are used improperly--or not used at all when they should be--you may do more harm then good.  Just keep in mind...

    When you decide to diagnose and treat your pet canary take a risk.  YOU have to decide whether the risk is worth losing your canary.

    8 years ago
    As my one of my favorite canary authors says...

    "The veterinarian is the best person to treat a sick bird, but when one considers that the veterinarian's fee is likely to be more than the value of the bird, it makes sense for the (canary owner) to learn as much as he can about diagnosing and treating canary illness himself."

    Your vet can do a test and ,usually, see exactly what is ailing your pet canary then prescribe the right medication for his particular illness.
    8 years ago

    On the rare occasion--when I use an antibiotic for a pet canary illness--I also use a probiotic to replace all those "murdered" bacteria.  This is probably the...

    MOST IMPORTANT use of a probiotic...

    After the use of an antibiotic to help your canary's flora return to healthy levels. 

    Probiotic when used regularly--before he gets sick--will build up your canary's flora and help him fight off the enemy-->canary illness.

    8 years ago
    Even if you choose to see a vet when your pet canary gets sick you should still use a probiotic.  Consider it insurance.  Insurance against a low immune system or bad digestive balance.

    Regarding probiotics-->A lot of canary owners have had good experiences with a product called ProBac Adult.  The manufacturer claims ProBac has billions of tiny health inducing bacteria per gram.

    Plus...their website has more information on what a probiotic is and how it works.  It's very good information for the canary lover and...

    8 years ago

    It seems to have helped other people's birds quite a bit.  Less sickness and increased vitality.

    It just might save your canary's life.


    While your canary bird is recovering from his bacterial imbalance, help rejuvenate his immune system with an...

    Herbal Immunity Builder

    In addition to a herbal supplement is just the thing to recover lost energy and boost the immune system into overdrive for quick healing.

    8 years ago

    Shift the Immune System of Your Canary into Overdrive.

    A good immunity building supplement will help insure a happy healthy canary AND a quick recovery from disease.

    Herbal remedies have been used effectively for centuries to boost immunity to common ailments.  It is only recently that humans, and their pets, have fallen victim to DRUGS and their side effects. 

    8 years ago

    Whether your pet bird is suffering from

    • bacterial

    • viral OR

    • toxic invaders...

    ...building immunity is ALWAYS a good thing...and it's an important part of pet bird care.

  • Start with a well balanced healthy diet.  Common sense, right?

  • Add some invigorating exercise.

  • 8 years ago
  • Provide good company...that's you.  Talk to your bird, bring him his favorite treat, play a canary song CD.

  • Help him avoid stressful situations.

  • These are all a good start to having a pet with a strong immune system but you still need a little help...

    Your pet bird can become highly stressed by even the littlest things.  It's in their nature to be nervous.  That's what saves them from predators. But...

    8 years ago

    All that stress can put your bird's immune system in a state of imbalance...opening the way for disease.

    Start with a good probiotic.  Then add a highly potent combination of healing herbs.

    A good immunity builder goes hand in hand with a probiotic...

    1. Ridding the body of bad bacteria by flooding it with good bacteria...

    1. While building up white blood cell count, detoxifying the body, and thereby effectively fighting off infection with an immunity builder.

    8 years ago

    As I've said before...a sugary treat might reinvigorate your bird for a short period of time.  But...

    A good immunity builder is a powerful, long term, system building, HEALTHY food.

    One that is used a lot is Systemajuv.  A lot of pet bird owners have been using this immunity booster along with a probiotic and have seen a lot more happy attitudes and less sickness.

    8 years ago
    I'm going to recommend one more thing for nursing your bird back to health...this one is common sense...

    Canary Information: Vitamins.

    Canary Information:Vitamins.
    The foundation of good health and vitality.  Vitamins are needed to support healing and immunity to canary disease.

    8 years ago

    What's the one bit of canary information you already know?...The one thing you already know your canary needs?


    Of course! Vitamins are the foundation of having a healthy immune system. Vitamins are what our body uses to keep itself healthy.  And...

    No matter how well you eat...

    8 years ago
    • no matter how many times you turn down those fresh baked brownies ala mode...

    • no matter how often you have grilled chicken breast and broccoli instead of a cheeseburger and fries...

    You STILL need vitamins...

    And so does your canary...regardless of how well he eats.

    An important piece of canary information is...

    8 years ago

    It's important that you use a vitamin for your canary bird that is...

    NOT Synthetic. 

    Not only are synthetic vitamins virtually useless to your canary but they are also BAD for your canary...

    Canaries are very sensitive to things that are not "natural".  The toxins in the air, water, and foods can build up over time and make your canary bird very sick...even KILL. 

    8 years ago

    You don't want to ADD to the problem-->Keep reading for the right canary information.

    These toxins are not good for you and me either but we have a better filtration system than birds.  We are not as sensitive to the toxins that surround us.

    Synthetic vitamins may cause a toxic build up in your canaries system.  It is a must that you use a vitamin that is "all natural" and "non-toxic".  A good bird vitamin will say so on the package..."all natural" or "non-toxic".

    I like to use Avian Vita Pak.

    Designed for the adult bird...this product is an all natural, non-toxic combination of essential vitamins, minerals, potassium and botanicals that are necessary for the overall good health of your mature canary and other birds.

    8 years ago

    Used regularly along with your canary's food, a quality vitamin strengthens your birds’ immune system and resistance to disease and increases general good health.

    Avian Vita Pak is NOT the cheapest vitamin around know the old adage...

    "You get what you pay for.

    8 years ago

    About now you're wondering...

    "Where am I going to get these natural products?"...good question.

    Pet stores typically won't carry this kind of product.  They've been brainwashed into thinking DRUGS are the only answer.  Drugs are NOT the only answer...unless the question is...

    8 years ago

    "Why is it when my bird recovers from an illness he gets better for a few days and then gets sick again?" --->Answer:  DRUGS.

    D-R-U-G is a four letter word you know.  Just like "DIET" and "WORK" and a few others that I can't mention...

    Drugs have side-effects can can cause additional problems.

    DON'T GET ME WRONG THOUGH. I do understand that sometimes a drug is needed to combat an illness. But as much as possible, I recommend keeping your canary healthy via good foods, a clean stress free environment, and natural supplements.

    8 years ago

    These natural remedies are the long term solution to canary illnesses...

    • Building...not tearing down.

    • Strengthening...not weakening.

    • Moving forward...not backward.

    Taking one step forward and two steps back doesn't get you ahead.  That's what drugs do--they move your canary's health backward by destroying the very thing that makes him healthy.

    You should be keeping natural remedies on hand at all times.  I do this and it has saved many a bird...
    8 years ago
    Time is not on your side though. Canary illnesses can move through a canary’s body rather quickly. You should have a canary first-aid kit available at all may not have time to drop by the pet store on the way home from work tomorrow...If you do it may be too late.

    According to the Journal of the American Medical Association published in June 2000, pharmaceutical drugs kill over 200,000 human Americans every single year. Who knows how many of these toxic pharmaceutical drugs kill our pets each year.

    Every day I become more and more confident in these herbal remedies.  They're working great on all kinds of pets--that's right, I said "all kinds".  Not just birds but...dogs and cats too!
    8 years ago
    Multiple Reasons for Keeping a Pet Canary Bird in Your Home.

    The simple joys of keeping a pet canary bird are unknown by many but cherished by a multitude.


         Please stay tuned for Part Three.....
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