The Red Factor canary belongs to the "Color" canary
(or "Colorbred") canary Type.
Color canaries are one of the...
Three Types of Canaries--->
The Colorbred is a type of canary that has been bred to bring a
desired color with little or no regard for singing ability or body shape. There are many colors but the Red
Factor canary is the most popular and the most well known.
Any canary with a red factor gene can be referred to as a "red factor".
Keep in mind though that within this colorbred group there are many different colors and shades of red.
Through selection of color mutations AND
"intensive breeding" breeders have discovered many colors.
A Rainbow Of Colors.
Some of the colors you will see exhibited at a Colorbred canary show are...
And a WHOLE lot more
and, of course, the most popular Color...
Red --Sometimes referred to as the...
RED FACTOR Canary.
By far the most well known of the colorbred canaries is the red canary. This
color canary was developed
in the early 1900's by crossing a Venezuelan Black-Hooded Red Siskin with a
yellow canary. Some say the yellow canary was a German Roller
while others say it was a Border...I guess no one knows for sure.
Everyone pretty much agrees it was a yellow
canary though...it's nice to agree on something...:-)
This pairing of a canary and a Venezuelan Black-Hooded Red Siskin resulted in a couple of...
1. The Venezuelan Black-Hooded Red Siskin is not a canary at all. So is
the offspring a canary?
---My KNEE-JERK reaction:---
To the average red factor canary owner it
doesn't matter. You have a beautiful bird. There is
someone who cares though...
Breeders and Exhibitors.
It's difficult to have a canary
show if half the birds are not "pure-bred" canaries.
Today's red canary offspring is more canary than Siskin--I will say that.
The Siskin is in the mix just to get a start
in the development of red canaries. The first offspring of that initial
pairing were then bred to other canaries...
...and those to other canaries...
those to other canaries...
...and on and on and on...
The level of Siskin blood
is virtually gone by now. So...the real answer is...
Yes...the red factor canary is indeed a
2. In order for these canaries with the red factor to actually be red, special foods
must be provided which are absorbed by the canary's system and results in red feathers.
At one time way back in the "old days"
of canary exhibition there was some controversy over the red canary.
Red factor canaries were not allowed to be shown if they had been fed
concentrates of carotenoids--they were considered unnatural--See "Color
Fed" below. But they soon came to their senses and realized there
was no way to enforce such a ruling. Besides...
The rule was inconsistent with other feeding
routines. Breeding pairs are often fed boiled egg for a protein
supplement...boiled egg is definitely NOT a natural food source for canaries.
How many different canary colors are there?
Over 200 Canary Colors...
Breeders who specialize in the Colorbred canary are
veritable experts at canary
genetics. Studying such topics as
cells, chromosomes, and genes
Recessive and dominant traits
Homozygous and Heterozygous pairings
...and other such high-falutin' sounding words.
Me? I know nothing about genetics AND if you
want to keep a red factor canary as a pet...
YOU don't need to know all that stuff either.
I created CanaryAdvisor.com for the serious pet canary owner (not the breeder) to help insure that your bird stays healthy and happy so that you can enjoy him for as long as possible.
The study of canary genetics is for the serious canary breeder and exhibitor not the average pet owner.
When breeding those original Canary-Siskin
crosses only a small percentage of the offspring were fertile...typical when...
Crossing Two Breeds.
Breed a donkey and a horse and you end up
with a mule that is sterile...
Breed a siskin or any other bird with a
canary and you get mule canaries of which MOST are sterile.
Like I said I'm not "into" genetics so I won't go
As I mentioned above, to bring out that pretty red coloring these
canaries must be...
The Venezuelan Black-Hooded Red Siskin
obtains it's brilliant red coloring by eating foods high in carotenoids.
Take a Siskin out of his natural habitat and feed him foods devoid of
carotenoids and you end up with little or no red in the Red Siskin...IRONIC
It's a similar story with the PINK
Flamingo. They obtain their color from the plankton they feed on in the
Take them out of the wild where they have no access to that plankton
and they are as white as the background on this page.
"White Flamingo" -->just doesn't
have the same ring to it...;-)
I understand zoos feed their Flamingos beet
juice so they will obtain the pink coloring. Interesting...I just can't
figure out how they get the Flamingos to drink beet juice. YUCK!
Same with red factor canaries...
A red factor canary will get some color from
natural foods that you supply...
These foods, fed regularly, will help your red
factor canary maintain an orange to reddish hue. To get a really
nice deep red however, you'll want to use a...
Concentrate of Carotenoids.
You can buy a mix that should be added to water
You must have a red factor
canary for this to work. Color feeding would have little or no effect on common canaries.
This mix is a concentrate of Canthaxanthin
and Beta-Carotene. For best results get a concentrate that has BOTH
Canthaxanthin AND Beta-Carotene--not just one.
Some have sugar additives of sucrose, dextrose,
as well as vitamin C and vitamin B but these FILLERS don't help with the
coloring. They only dilute the mix. Try to buy pure
concentrate to get your moneys worth.
It has been said that feeding these
concentrates year-round will cause liver and kidney damage to your red factor
canary but I've known breeders that use concentrates all the time, year-round,
and have never had any problems. Just follow the directions on the box and
you and your red factor canary will be fine.
Feed these foods and concentrates immediately
before and during the molt. All new feathers will come in red. You
can continue to feed carotenoids to your red factor canary after
the molt so that if a feather is lost and re-grown it will also grow-in red.
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