Yellow Chopper In Song


Canaries are not social by nature. Outside of the breeding season, canaries should always be kept apart. Male canaries fight with each other, sometimes with fatal results. He might also kill the female, if she is not ready to breed. Several canaries may be kept, in separate cages, in the same room. This sort of arrangement will encourage the males to sing, but is not necessary for the bird’s health or well being.

When not breeding, it is not always easy to tell the male canary from the female. Only the male sings and only the female will build a nest. During the Summer and early Fall, it takes a well informed canary fancier to detect the gender of a bird hatched that year. When shopping for a hen, go to a store that will guarantee the bird – allow a replacement if the wrong gender is supplied.

Canary hens are generally in good supply from mid-summer until early autumn. With nesting finished for the year, fanciers sell off their excess birds. They are not easy to obtain at other times of the year. Plan to purchase the female at the earliest opportunity. This will give the bird a chance to adjust to her new home. Very rarely are productive hens sold during the breeding season. Female canaries that are put up for sale then are most often either past their prime or are poor mothers.

The canary breeding season is controlled by the number of daylight hours that the birds experience. Throughout most of the United States, if the birds’ cages are kept covered from dusk to dawn, your canaries will most likely wish to breed sometime around Valentine’s Day. The hen will let you know her intentions by furiously shredding any available paper, feathers, or plant material. She should now be provided with a plastic or wire canary nest that is available from your local pet shop. Be sure to ask for the special nest liners, in case your hen does not weave a proper nest. The liner may be sewn into the nest or glued. Check to see that the glue is completely dry before putting the nest in with the bird. Do not try to use a wicker finch nest. Your canary will probably ignore the finch nest. If, in desperation, she does use the basket sort of nest, you will be unable to inspect the eggs or babies. A plastic or metal nest can be cleaned and sterilized, wicker can not.

A regular canary breeding cage comes equipped with two dividers:one solid, one wire. Keep both in place, until you see the hen canary start to build her nest. Then, remove the solid partition, but leave the wire one in place. Now wait until you see the birds kissing through the bars. At this point they should be united. Remove the wire partition. Watch for any lover’s quarrels. Don’t let any wife beating take place! If this happens, immediately separate the birds. Remember, it most often only will get worse.

If your birds are in pet style cages, just keep the cages alongside each other. The rest is the same as above.

The hen lays up to eight small blue eggs. Five is the average number. She will very often not sit on them until the last one is produced. Two or three days after she starts to sit, the eggs may be carefully removed and held up to a light. You will make out the outline of the embryo and the network of veins nourishing it. If you can see right through every egg, put them back in the nest and wait five days before checking them again with the light. If the eggs are still clear, showing no sign of an embryo, discard them. This gives the birds a chance to go to nest for a second try. Wash your hands before handling the eggs, for germs, oils, and chemicals on your hands can pass through the egg shell. This might kill the developing chick.

Canary eggs hatch in 14 days. This is counted from the day that the hen starts to sit on the eggs, not from the day that the egg was laid. The canary chick hatches without any assistance from you or the parents. The little chick enters the world blind and naked, adorned by only a few wisps of down. The parents provide all care for the young.

Canaries that are starting a family must have perfect diets. They need a vitamin enriched seed in front of them at all times. Every day, every bird should get a small dish of nestling food. This provides extra protein. Also, on a daily basis, the birds must get a small piece of fruit or vegetable, any healthy item you eat yourself. In addition they need grit and cuttlebone as sources of calcium for the eggs. Many good vitamin preparations are sold to completely ensure a balanced diet. Pellet and other processed feed preparations have been formulated as complete diets. These may also be used, but I do suggest to also provide small amounts of fruits and vegetables, just to be on the safe side.

If nutrition is adequate, the hen most often lays the eggs with no problems. Sometimes, particularly if not supplied with all the vitamins and minerals that they require, the hen will have trouble laying an egg. If the hen seems unable to move, quickly consult your avian veterinarian Without immediate help, the hen will die.

When the eggs hatch, place an unlimited supply of dry nestling food in the cage. The young require large amounts of this to fuel their rapid growth. You may also mix grated egg and carrot with the nestling food. This mix must be changed every two hours, for it rapidly spoils. If you are using pellets, no supplements are required, but will be enjoyed by your pets..

When you are certain that the young are eating on their own, give them a separate cage. Watch the young birds very carefully the first day away from ma and pa. Some babies might be eating but still require food from the parents.

After the young have been removed, the original pair will frequently go to nest again. Two nests are safe. Three are possible. After the third set of young, remove the nest. Now, put the birds in different cages. For the regular canary breeding cage, the dividers should be put back in. After breeding is finished expect your birds to begin to molt. Continue with the high protein food, so that they may regrow beautiful new feathers. Allow the birds to rest until next spring’s breeding season.


  1. I bought a male and female canary this summer. They have been in the same cage and doing we’ll together. Is it nessariry to separate them if we want them to breed. The person we bought them from here in Florida said the best time to breed them is late November. Of all the things I have read tonight most are saying in the spring. Please help. I am confused I want so much to breed canarys. Thank you or any help you can give. Thanks bev

      1. My Male canary is pulling newly hatched chicks out of the nest and dumping them at the bottom of the cage why ?

    1. My breeding season is feb to July
      In Alaska where I live part time and the summers are long ,

      My pairs will stay in breeding condition for 8 months
      Because of the long daylight hours ,

      All realigns are different

      Florida might be to hot for canaries in the summer months ?

      I would find a good breeder in your area and follow their advice ?
      Especially with diet and calcium minerals

      Best wishes ,
      You got this

    2. Hi hoping for some advice pls
      I had no idea my canaries would be such good breeders.. 😊
      Long story short i only have 2 small aviaries and 1 flight cage.. But now have 10 baby canaries along with 6 parents in these cages with finch.
      At what age can i try to move the young canaries on pls?
      Its starting to get crowded and parents are on 3 more clutches😱

    3. Mine is sitting on eggs right now make sure they have a quiet space lots of light through the day and temperature is no more then 70 in the house

    4. The amount of daylight hours depends on when the birds breed. If you put lights on it is possible to get birds breeding just after Christmas. This is usually done by breeders who want to get their birds through the first moult and ready for the show season.

  2. I have a problem. My canary hen refused the nest I was preparing for her. Instead she laid her eggs….in the seed food bowl. She refuses anything else. She is currently breeding on two eggs. The orthers broke in our help, trying foe her to nest in a proper nest!!Must I just leave her there or what can I do?

    1. are you fixing her nest or you just putting the material she need and she doing it her self ? canary don’t like when you do her nest she like to do it her self because she do it in a way to comfort her not you lol. make sure you put a cotton and some rough lines so she can fix her nest

    2. Mine also laid her first egg in food dish, but you can’t touch the egg…I was told to use a spoon and move it to the basket and there after she laid the rest of her eggs in it..But remember you can’t touch them..

    3. I now have a pair who are nesting four eggs. I put a nest(maybe a robin’s or other bird’s) in the cage thinking the female would nest in it but she took the nest and did make her own nest on the other side of the cage. She is happy with her own nest and is currently sitting on the 4 eggs I did mention before.

    4. Everything that I have read says to leave the eggs where they lay them. They will hatch in a seed dish. Maybe put some nesting material in the cup. I sometimes cut up paper towels and use that. You can also buy nesting materials at a pet shop. Good luck.

      1. The best thing to use is a wire nest and get the lining for the bottom, then kinda shred or cut a bunch of soft scent less Kleenex half way up so she can pull the strips for her nest .I clipped the Kleenex on the side of the cage at the end of one of the perches and am now on my 3rd clutch ( I didn’t want more) but they keep mating when I am gone

      2. Okay, laid in a nest of seeds. Problem is, like with me this last 2 hours is that the baby will get seeds in it’s mouth and like when the girl scouts stuffed many marshmallos in their mouths as a contest, the bird died. I used a bread tie and pulled out 4 seeds. So I used a spoon and removed the other 3 eggs, 1 which is hatching and took out all seeds and put unscented tissue in the nest. The mother wet back to sitting. I REALLY had the thought that this would happen. Just made sense to me that a sticky open mouth would get seeds in it.

    5. My female canary laid 3 infertile eggs, which I have since removed. The problem now is that she continually sits in the seed container and doesn’t move!! I don’t know what’s wrong with her, what do I do? We have a male zebra finch in the cage with her for company, and he basically stand’s watch over her and he can’t figure out why she is in there everyday!! I don’t know what to do, or if there is anything wrong with her. Can you please help?

    6. Hey I have the exact same problem she’s sitting on two eggs in her seed dish I have the coconut nest she doesn’t bother with the flat softer nest she doesn’t bother with and a little while ago and she got up to get water and he jumped up there and pecked one of the eggs. Ugh

  3. Hi I want know canary breed 12 months or some specific month it can breed and what kind of food and caging is required

    1. I have canaries and they now are in breeding , we are in late November and my canary sits on 5 eggs , , I believe the just need the right temperature . I set my heat 70F to 75F and they love it . . feed them boiled eggs not a full egg no cut it in half and put it in side the cage they love it . add some lattice and broccoli . just a small amount . they love that too.

  4. hello i have been trying to breed canaries for years very little success my hens build nests and have eggs i have set up 24 prs of canaries but all the eggs are not fertile idont know why as they are singing the male dont seem to mount the hens what more can i doi to get the males into condition they ge fruits veggies seed i clean weekly i play the radio and canariy records not one fertile egg im at 13 hours of light in my bird room it is central a/c temp is 78 to 80 deg

    1. hi there joe
      think you might be trying to breed your birds to early . i find the best time to breed is the end of march . i put my cocks next to the hens last sunday of march this year was mothers day .
      after two hrs i allowed the cock birds with the hens i had my first egg in the 2nd april . if your birds are in condition and you have trimmed the birds vents nails and powder them for mite . i did this the 1st week in march and re-powdered tham the 2nd week they should not be a problem
      hope this helps you . good luck
      happy breeding

    2. High protein diet, 14 hours of sunlight and warmer temps provide optimum breeding. I have the opposite problem, they keep laying clutches of eggs and I want them to stop. I adopted/rescued 2 from a breeder they were so happy here they mated and 2 turned into 6 and now 4 more on the way HELP!! Rabbits have nothing on canaries!!!

      1. Hi, where do you live? I’ve had a male and female together for a year and no eggs. What kind of protein do you feed?

    3. Try the nestling food … Comes in bright yellpw or red …looks like large grain corn flour. Makes your birds very strong. I find they like cauliflour leaves and fennel tops too. They like applies and dry figs (without preservatives). I also give them hazelnuts by squeezing the shelled nut between the bars of the cage. One or two nuts for 6 or 7 birds per week. When the nut falls off the wire because they ate the most of it, i put the remainder in the seed tray. I give them hard bioled eggs cut in half with the shell on- which they deliberatel eat ..yes they eat the shell. Don’t cut up the egg.- they will choose which part they want. I will say one thing …not all male birds are good fathers! They should feed the female while she minds the eggs, and they should help feed the young ones. Get another male if they aren’t doing their part. Some females aren’t good mothers either – though I’ve found it’s the best males that determine the success of breeding. ? Good luck!


    1. I have a hen that is sitting on eggs but the male is constantly fighting with her whenever she leaves the nest. Should I remove him from the cage?

    2. The canary just laid one chick . He is three weeks old, and still in nest. When can i put male and female together again, is it risky if small canary chick is still in nest, or you have to await till it feeds on its own and out of nest.

  6. Hello. I have a canary that has laid eggs. I didn’t know it was a hen. She has not been around another canary since I got her seven months ago. Is it safe to say that these eggs are not fertilized? Thank you!

  7. my canary laid eggs and the following week one of them broke them either the female or male
    I would like to know why?

  8. We had a male and a female. The female laid four (4) eggs and promptly died. We have kept a light on the eggs ever since hoping for a miracle. Any words of advice?

  9. So My husband brought me two canaries not so long ago for an early birthday present, only as pets and one started to sign so we new he was a male but then they started to what we think was fight! So we read up and come to he conclusion that the hen wasn’t ready to bread. So we took the male out of the cage and put him in one next to the hen cage. Now they are constantly kissing through the cage…. does this mean they are ready to bread? as there is no sign that she made a nest? Any help would be good!! Just want them to be happy!!

    1. No this is the animal kingdom I have male & female that are both white with hints of yellow & got then from some guy. They seem to be brother & sister & they did hit it off & laid eggs was the first batch witch contained nothing & 1 that had died inside so I assume it’s possible because they are mating again on 3 eggs

      1. Sorry that this post is way later than yours– but you do have a problem if the birds are nest-mates. Actually, 2 problems. First– Breeding pairs should not be closely related. Young may hatch, but they will be less healthy and most likely will become smaller, poorly feathered birds.The second ‘red-flag’ in your situation is the white color. There are 2 types of white genes, dominant and recessive. You could not know which type your birds have. However, pairing 2 recessive whites will always end up with dead chicks. (You can Google this for more detailed info. 🙂 )

  10. Everything I’ve read goes against what I am witnessing in front of me RE:canary behavior. Found a red factor canary on rainy day in middle of street. Thought she was a he because last spring she started singing, I mean really singing. Few months later BOOM 1 egg in her cage. Love story short she kept laying I gave her a nest… As she was going OCD on trying to tear at anything to nest build. I began to get concerned because she would lay clutch after clutch of unfertilized eggs I finally decided to get a male which now I’m really confused. They both worked on building the nest they both have mounted each other they both feed each other and they take turns on sitting. YET the eggs never hatch? I worry about the health of the bird/birds & all the eggs being laid. Now I’m not even sure if it’s just the known female or both of them laying eggs. HELP WITH ADVISE

    1. Hello there I got a female who seems to be kinda like a male also & kinda sings.
      I think the situation is either you don’t got a male, it isn’t a superior male or let alone she is a alpha female & it’s harder for her to lay eggs like mine.
      I would suggest separate them & see how they do to see if the other one lays eggs

  11. I have a one year old female canary that my children got me last Christmas after being told it was a male. Discovered she was a female when she laid her first egg. I have no interest in getting another canary but I have a question. She is still laying eggs in the nest I provided for her but, of course the eggs aren’t fertile. Do I remove the eggs or just leave the there? Can you also tell me why I should remove them ABD why I should not remove them so I can understand which is best for her. Help!!!
    Thank you!!!

    1. Sorry that I just came upon this site almost a year past your post! But… your hen was ‘broody’, meaning that she was wanting to lay eggs. She may be older than you were told by the seller, and an experienced mama. If you still have the hen, perhaps you can breed her this year if you decide to give her a mate.
      Responsible canary breeders will put a band on the legs of all chicks–the bands are color-coded for years (up 10, since that’s about the max lifespan),then the color code starts over again). The band color indicates the hatch year (or how old your hen is).

  12. Many Canaries will take up Residence ready to nest in their Seed Bowls’,the simple thing to do is to REMOVE the Seed Bowl & give the Seed in a shallow dish ie a Jam jar top & the Hen will then recognise a Partially made Nest as the place to make her own home for her eggs’. My Fyfe/Fife Canary did this, she even started taking the Cotton Wool & placing it UNDER the nest on the floor of the cage but just keep removing the cotton wool from the floor & putting it back into the Nest Bowl. She will then accept the Nest you have given her.

  13. I have 3 canaries. One red, one white and one yellow and white. The last two are around each other all the time. They were suppose to be all males. They fight with the red one but not all the time The white one sings, but the yellow and white occasionally. They are always kissing and I had a nest and put it in the cage. My yellow and white one sits in it and even sleeps in it. I don’t know if it is a male or female. I am waiting. Can anyone tell me if males do that to each other? I have read mating is spring to fall. I await to see what I have. I have them in the living room with me to keep an eye on them. I can’t imagine two males loving each other like that. If it’s female I guess I am in the breeding business, would not ever give them up for anything. Those two never fight. I just want to know what I have.

  14. Only one of my eggs hatched, and the mother has been feeding to chick everyday. She’s also sitting on the chick (the chick is still in the nest) and won’t get off unless she wants to eat. I’m worried that this is suffocate the chick, but the chick is not ready to leave it’s mother. What should I do???

    1. Leave them alone honey they know what they’re doing and no the baby will not suffocate. The mother keeps it warm as well.

  15. It is safe to pair up all my birds? They seem to want to friends & play but they fight at times not sure if it’s play fighting or like a to the death situation.

  16. My female stopped sitting on 3 eggs afterabout 3 weeks. The male is still in the same cage.
    Should I just remove the eggs so they start over?

  17. I was wondering at about what age will canaries stop breeding? Will they continue to breed until they die or do they stop at a certain age usually?

      1. I don’t know if there is a set age at which they will not breed. However, I’ve had males & females still producing young at 6-7 years old. Keeping good cage conditions and a healthy diet are most important.

    1. I have a back stabbed canary. He was a white canary and a friend of a male red factor canary which has a wife that is yellow. Last year the red male and yellow canary had a clutch of eggs with 3 surviving babies

      The is year the white canary is mating with the yellow canary out of disrespect for the red male canary. Should I remove the back stabber white canary?

  18. Hi, I bought a nesting basket at a pet store.
    It had no cloth or nesting material
    What do they need for nesting?
    Shredded paper, cotton cloth, etc??
    Many thanks

  19. My female canary laid 3 eggs and tossed 2 , but now it’s been two days and she’s not sitting on the one. Will it die, or can I incubate it?

  20. Purchased 2 red canaries at pet smart. They know nothing about them.1 laid egg standing on perch, then built nest in seed box laid 2 eggs not sitting i think shr will lay more. The othe bird not laying they have black band on their right feet. Do i leave them together? Any thoughts, suggestions.

  21. My two canaries have lived together for about two years, and they fight a lot, but they’ve never actually hurt each other, it’s more just threatening each other. The male actually usually loses these screeching battles, and sulks on the perch at the back when he does. Since they kind of really hate each other, if I were to put a nest out for them, would they actually breed? Despite them always fighting, whenever I separate them, they seem to panic and call for each other. I’m not sure if they love or hate each other, but in the right setting, do you reckon they would breed?

  22. Hi I’m very new to this I have a male and female I bought them in August as baby’s and they are in the same cage together also I know it’s sometime in spring they mate I bought a nest for them with straw what comes with it , they are both rearranging the nest is this a sign they are getting ready to mate I’m so very excited. Any advice will be appreciated . Thank you in Advance 🌸

  23. Hello I have a pair 0f canaries I have always been led to believe only the mail sings and only the female builds the nest my male is a prolific wistler he sometimes is that keen he has fallen of the perch while whistling but when it comes to nesting he does all the nest building and sitting he won’t let her do it any idea’s thanks

  24. I have a Gloster consort canary that has now laid 16 eggs in 10 weeks, a clutch of 5, followed by four, then five, and now two.

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