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  • Hand Feeding Baby Canaries

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    June 2012 Update: These baby canaries were 9 days old in the video. I handfed them since day one until they weaned at 5-6 weeks. I use Kaytee Bird Formula (you can get it at most pet stores) mixed with red color feeding powder (try “New Hampshire Bird Supply” to order online. I’ve never seen it in a store. It is used to bring out vibrant colors in the feathers, but only works if they are part red factor. Not all yellow). I follow the directions on the bag of formula and make sure the formula is warm but not hot or cold. It’s best to use as small a syringe as possible. The one I was using was a bit too big (but within a week, that size was just right), but it was all I had.

    Once you get the bird to the weaning stage, make sure to keep seed in the cage, but start offering soft foods: defrosted peas and corn, steamed sweet potato, steamed broccoli, and apple slices (never put butter, salt, oil, or any seasoning on the foods). They may not try it if you put it in the bars of the cage. Don’t be afraid to spread the food on the floor and remove the perches from the cage. They will walk in the food, peck it off their feet, and realize it’s yummy. Make sure you clean it up right after they have a meal so they are not eating their poop.

    Once they are completely weaned, continue offering soft foods as well as seed daily for 2-3 more weeks, then you can slowly offer less and less soft foods once you are sure they are eating seed successfully. Then, offer those soft foods a couple times a week as a treat. Never feed your bird apples or avocado, and don’t keep the cage in the kitchen (cleaners, teflon, and bleach are all toxic to the little birds).

    May 2011: Now Spot and Sunny are 9 days old, and are getting VERY big. They are about a quarter of an ounce each (I know what you’re thinking: “a quarter ounce is BIG?!”) and very healthy.

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