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(CanaryTips) Hi, Top 3 Canary Health Tips
February 27, 2013


Like I said last week, I received a ton of great questions from subscribers. Mostly they were questions about product recommendations but a close 2nd was questions about food. So, I picked out a couple of questions that would let me talk a little about food and mineral grit. They also touch on other canary issues.

Your answers are below. But first: Thanks so much for the positive emails I've gotten regarding the grand opening of the Store. Your up-building and thankful comments are appreciated. If you want a particular product added, let me know.

In addition to the store, many pages at have been updated. Remember to check the blog regularly to keep up with the changes and additions.

Now, let's answer a couple important questions...


“Hi Darren,

I have been reading and saving all your emails. I find them very helpful.

I have been buying my seed at the local, feed shop. Do you recommend a certain brand or product?

My little guy, is doing well. And still loves singing to your CD each morning. He's a joy and lots of fun to watch.”


A basic canary bird mix is often just 4 or 5 different grass seeds. These mediocre mixes will get the job done but it always seemed to me that they don't have enough variety. My philosophy has always been to offer a wide variety of foods in order to ensure great health.

In a canary seed mix, I look for not just canary seed but a broad variety of seeds, nuts, veggies, and preferably, bee pollen. That's why I like Dr. Harvey's canary mix so much.

It's the best of the best and matches perfectly with's feeding strategy. I mean, just check out this massive list of ingredients!:

Bee Pollen, Canary Grass Seed, Red Millet, White Millet, Niger Seed, Canola Seed, Caraway Seed, Sesame Seed, Apple Granules, Coconut Shreds, Flax Seed, Oat Groats, *Carrot Granules, Hemp Seed, Anise Seed, Poppy Seed, Orange Peel Granules, Macadamia, Pecan, Walnut, Brazil, Filbert, Pistachio, Almond, Pine Nuts, Cashew, Soy Bean, * Greens Beans, *Broccoli, *Zucchini, *Petite Peas, *Red Bell Pepper Granules, *Green Bell Pepper Granules, * Celery Stalk & Leaf Granules, *Spinach Granules, *Parsley Granules, Red Clover Blossoms, Dandelion Leaf, Calendula Flowers, Echinacea Angustifolia Herb, Alfalfa Leaf, Oat Straw, Thyme Leaf, Rosemary Leaf, Peppermint Leaf, Basil Leaf, Fennel Seed, Papaya Leaf, Red Raspberry Leaf, Rose Hips

How does this compare to the mixture you've been using?

This doesn't necessarily mean you should stop feeding your canary fresh fruit and veggies along with the seed mixture but it does go a long way toward providing a plethora of nutrient rich goodies.

The negative is that Dr Harvey's is more expensive than the other basic mixtures but, as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for”.


“Darren, My canary is constantly ripping up the paper at the bottom of the cage and making a huge mess. I think he actually may be eating it because it looks like some is missing. The person at the pet store suggested gravel paper because it's heavier and that it is good for canaries to eat the gravel. Not sure, what do you think? It's a little expensive but I'll get it if it's good...Just means one less coffee outing for me.”


Canaries do indeed need gravel/grit to help digest their food. I don't like using gravel paper for the bottom of the cage though because they'll be picking up gravel from the same place that their poop ends up. I keep mineral gravel/grit in a separate dish. A good mineral grit is not very expensive and will last a long time.

Regarding the paper tearing, canaries can get bored and look for something to tear apart and carry around...especially during nest building season (spring).

For a bird that likes to tear paper, I cut pieces of cardboard for the bottom of the cage...they can't tear that up very easily.

I'll also add some short pieces of twine, like hemp or cotton twine so they have something to play with. Unfortunately the twine doesn't satisfy a canary’s need to tear things apart or pull on something so I have used a box of nesting material that they can tug on a little to get it free. I also like shreddable bird toys for keeping a canary entertained.

So...Don't bother buying the expensive gravel paper. Just find some free cardboard boxes and cut them up...and enjoy that extra coffee ;-)


I hope that info helps with some of your questions. Several people asked questions on the same topics. I'll be back next week with more.

Until then...

Make Your Canary SING!

Your Friend,
Darren at


(C) Copyright Darren P.D. Walker
All rights reserved.

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