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New to birds...canary questions

Discussion in 'Canary & Finch Court' started by Glamourfaust, 12/3/18.

  1. Glamourfaust

    Glamourfaust Checking out the neighborhood

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    Hi everyone. I have been wanting to get indoor birds for quite sometime, having had outdoor birds for about a decade (chickens, ducks, quineas, and a turkey). A have a few questions that I cannot find answers to.

    1. Just how sensitive to fumes are these birds? I've been Teflon-free for years but my kids do tend to burn things while cooking. I'm debating putting the birds at the far end of the dining room or in the living room. It's kindof open concept, so the kitchen is not separated, just 25' away from one location or "around the corner" from the other. Is this still too dangerous? What about cleaning compounds, like leather or floor cleaner, that I might spray in the vicinity. Too dangerous? These things can be worked around, I just don't want to find out the hard way that it was too dangerous.

    2. Do the birds chatter/sing all day, or intermittently?

    3. The cage I have is 18"x18"x30" wide. What do you use to cover your canaries? All the covers I saw online fit tall cages, not wide. I don't think a sheet or something I have around the house would keep out enough light. Is anything too thick - I don't want to suffocate them. (Okay, now I sound paranoid.)

    4. Is it okay to keep a pair of canaries together year round?

    Well, that's all I've got so far. I'm looking forward to your wisdom and getting to know you and eventually our birds.
     
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  2. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Jogging around the block

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    Can only partially help here.

    1. Yes, Teflon bad, although some people say it's fine as long as you don't overheat the pan. Sounds like you don't have to worry about that though since you no longer have any. Don't forget about the self clean cycle on the oven and other counter top appliances... As for fumes from cooking, if you fill the house with smoke, no one would want to stay inside, bird or human... If its just normal cooking then you are fine. I have been cooking with my birds in the kitchen now for quite awhile and they are doing great. I might be a little more concerned if I burned something, but I'm good at not doing that.

    2. Depends on the species and the personality. My finches go in cycles of activity during the day and chirping/singing usually lasts 15 mins or so before they get distracted with food, nap, bath, etc. My eckkie on the other hand is a stuffed animal. You will never experience a quieter bird in your life... So it just all depends. Can't say about Canaries, but I would expect regular intervals of singing throughout the day.

    3. I do not cover my birds. I did at first, but I slowly learned that its not necessary. I'm sure there are some on here who will disagree, but all three of my birds have a very happy schedule and a little bit of light at night from not being covered doesn't effect them. They have become too comfortable and lazy and will sleep though almost anything haha...

    4. Don't know about this one.
     
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  3. Serin

    Serin Sprinting down the street

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    It's best to use those things in another room away from the birds, I use glass cleaner in their room but spray it into a cloth before dusting to keep it out of the air. We do use nonstick pans and cleaners elsewhere in our house, but the birds are away in their own well ventilated room and are not closely exposed. There has never been an issue.

    There is so much incorrect information available on canaries and that is such a problem. They are a somewhat tricky bird to keep and raise properly compared to other finches, this is reflected by their higher prices nowadays.

    A male canary kept alone will sing about 80% of the time if he is well-kept, except during a two month period each summer when they molt, when they quiet down. Some get very loud and may be disuptrive if you or a family member aren't really into bird song - it will drown out every noise in the house, especially the Timbrado canaries which are the loudest singers. Some breeds make less noise, like the waterslager and roller canary - these have a nice soft song.

    My experience has been a male and a female canary can live together year round and do enjoy each other's company very much. But, exceptions exist. Some male canaries will attack the females especially if you introduce them in the spring when he is ready to mate and she is not - he can kill a female at that time if he is not bonded to her already. Most males won't get along and some females won't get along with other females. These birds are very variable in their personality.

    A male kept with a female is much quieter and will sing a few times a day, more in the breeding season but nothing like a single bird. Pairs are often silent for hours at a time and make no sound at all. Canaries will make a loud peep when nervous or unsure of a new situation but otherwise are very quiet when not singing and don't make a lot of other sounds. The male's song can be super loud, but his chirps are quiet. The female doesn't sing well and certainly not at the male's volume (but she may sing a bit of a broken tune during the summer), but her chirps are usually louder and more frequent.

    You don't have to cover other finches like Atomiklan has but if canaries receive any extra lighting after sunset it results in constant molts, loss of song, hormonal issues and early death. I've seen several canaries die within a year from too much daylight. It happens because while finches come from the tropics, where days are always long, canaries are a bird from a seasonal northern climate and have adapted to depend on the changing day length to molt, breed and maintain their natural body rhythms. Lighting indoors after dark can make canaries think it's summer all the time, making males lose feathers constantly and females lay eggs nonstop. And even if they're asleep, they still register light in the room due to the pineal gland - a spot on top of their head which is light sensitive and is able to track how long the days are in a way that lets the bird know when to breed in the spring and when to molt in summer before winter comes. Because of this, canaries need to go to bed at sunset and wake at sunrise all year long and do best in a room that can be darkened completely at night and which has windows so they wake naturally with the sun - doing that makes their care very simple, and it's why canaries did so much better in the old days before everyone had lights on all the time than they do nowadays. Without that they will need to be covered at sunset and uncovered at sunrise. I keep my canaries in the room I use a lot so at sunset they are covered with a thick black sheet. In a bright room you should use two sheets or a black blanket if it's not too warm in the house. It needs to be very dark in the cage after sunset, almost pitch black. Don't bother with commercial cage covers.


    If canaries sound like too much trouble to keep, finches like society finches, Java sparrow or zebra finches don't have the same needs for controlled lighting and do not need to be covered. Some of these birds also sing but not as well as the canaries.
     
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  4. Appolosmom

    Appolosmom Sprinting down the street

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    I find canaries to be an easy bird and a great joy to share your home with i have had canaries for over 40 years no i would not keep male and females together year round canaries like being a single bird in a cage
     
  5. Serin

    Serin Sprinting down the street

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    They do prefer company. They just do alright alone versus other bird species. I've never had one that prefers to be alone all the time. Whenever I've had more than one the first thing they do when I let them out is go spend time together. Even my current males get along. Male canaries sing to attract a mate. They sing less with company and so people keep them isolated to make them sing. In they wild they are only territorial during breeding season. It is blatantly incorrect canaries are solitary birds. They live in flocks for more than half the year in the wild. Not every bird gets along and same sex birds will fight if opposite sex birds are around but canaries are social creatures if you allow them to be. Pairs feed each other and sleep side by side. They fly around the house as a flock and bathe together. They can be kept alone but they show more natural behavior with at least anothercanary in the home. Pairs can usually share a cage if introduced properly. Same sex birds can enjoy flight time together with their own cages to retire to. A single canary sings so much because it is lonely. I prefer less song but a happier bird by keeping at least two in the house. I had a pair but sold the female earlier in the year because everyone said canaries don't bond strongly and he wouldn't miss her but he was depressed for months until I got a new bird, another male to avoid more egg laying drama. They hang out now when let them out together and sing duets from their seperate cages. Males appreciate their own space but also a chance to socialize. My male seems happy again. For the time he was an only canary he spent most of his days sitting in one place, stopped singing and hardly left his cage.
     
    Last edited: 12/5/18
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  6. Glamourfaust

    Glamourfaust Checking out the neighborhood

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    Serin, I am also in Indiana. Where did you get your canaries? I'm waiting to hear from possible sources in Indy and Mishawaka. No word yet. :unsure1: I'm hoping for red factors.
     
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  7. Serin

    Serin Sprinting down the street

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    I am near chicago. Canaries are widely available. Both my current birds are from shops, one up in chicago and one in st. John. Canaries come up on Craigslist fairly often and I see ads fir canaries from Indy sometimes on hoobly.com.
     
  8. Dona

    Dona Rollerblading along the road

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    Years ago I had a male Border canary for 17 years and he sang all the time! His song got more and more complex as the years went on. BeeBop is in the background of all our family videos with at least one person commenting/complaining about the constant singing, lol. I don't think Borders are known to be exceptional singers but he was amazing. I had a female cockatiel at the same time and they were caged next to one another. I didn't cover either one. When I moved to a condo and was considering a bird I didn't choose a canary because in my experience the singing was constant. I really love canaries but was afraid it would just be too much in a small space.
     
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