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Canary Tips! The Toxic Canary
January 12, 2005

Here is your current issue of...

Your Guide to Canary Care Success.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005

CanaryTips! delivers VALUABLE information about the hobby of keeping
a canary as a pet AND tips for successful canary breeding.

Filled with timely tips, itís designed to be your UP-TO-DATE canary care
that helps you provide the BEST living conditions for your flying friend. :-)

PROUDLY and JOYOUSLY presented by Darren Walker at


Table of Contents
1) A Well Deserved Vacation
2) The Toxic Canary--Preventing and Treating Toxic Poisoning in Your Bird.
3) Building Strength for Love--Preparing for Breeding Season.


Coming SOON to

1) Build YOUR Canary Site!

2) More information on where to find the best deals on canary supplies...complete with special discounts from favorite retailers.



A Well Deserved Vacation
--> If I do say so myself ;-) <--


If you've been thinking of picking up a copy of The Complete Canary Album on CD, now would be the time to order...

I'm hopping on a plane to Texas this coming Sunday and I won't be taking any more orders until I get back in 2 weeks.  I'll be pulling the order page down this Friday at midnight and will be shipping the final CDs out on Saturday morning.  After won't be able to order until I get back. ensure your CD is shipped before I leave, order by Friday.

Click here to learn more about the CD.

The same thing goes for

Canary Care GOLD! No orders will be taken after Friday.

Click here for...Canary Care GOLD!



"The Toxic Canary--
Preventing and Treating Toxic Poisoning in Your Bird."

Imagine...It's a beautiful Sunday morning-->The sun is shining, the wild birds are fluttering in the bushes outside your kitchen window, and inside, your canary is singing a beautiful song...

You set a pan on the stove, start cooking some eggs and 30 minutes later your canary is dead.


This actually happened recently to a New Zealand family.  Only they ended up losing not only a canary but 2 parakeets as well.  A family in Michigan lost over 50 birds when they let a pan of boiling water run dry.

The cause in these instances was Teflon Toxicosis...a result of an overheated Teflon coated pan.  The Teflon need not be overheated to cause problems...fumes emanate from the pans even at normal temps. 

At normal temps this may not have an effect on your bird TODAY. But over months and years of use, toxicity can build up in your birds body.  These toxins are known to cause nerve damage resulting in convulsions, respiratory problems, and eventually, death.

It's not uncommon for people to write me and ask why their canary suddenly, after 5 years in their home, went into convulsions and died.

Often, the answer is mild but long term exposure to toxic fumes.

No Batteries Needed

As you've no doubt heard...Canaries were used to detect noxious gases in coal mines during the 1800s and into the 1900s.

The birds respiratory system is highly sensitive. Their breathing is naturally rapid and because birds have air sacs, as well as lungs, fast absorption of harmful gas fumes is unavoidable.

If the canary in the coal mine began labored breathing--or keeled over--the miners would rush out of the mine to avoid breathing in the poison air.  Many a canary died while saving lives of humans.

Fortunately, today's gas detectors are battery powered gizmos that sound the alarm when necessary.

Poisons in Your Home?

As mentioned above Teflon cookware is the worst offender but...

Stove top pans are not the only Teflon coated products in our homes.   Other household appliances that use Teflon are...

  • space heaters
  • ovens
  • drip pans
  • cookie sheets
  • electric skillets
  • toaster ovens
  • irons and ironing board covers

Apparently, Teflon, when heated to high temperatures separates into 15 deadly gases!  These gases are terrible for humans, causing flu like symptoms, but DEADLY to your canary.

Your bird's tiny lungs simply can not handle the toxic gases.  The lungs hemorrhage and fill with fluid, leading to suffocation.

Tests have shown birds dieing within 17 minutes of being exposed to these toxic fumes!

And it's not just Teflon you have to worry about...

Toxins Everywhere!

There are other chemicals that can kill your bird in a matter of minutes.

  • Pretty much any household cleaner can have a negative effect on your canary's health...

    • ammonia

    • bleach

    • floor and furniture cleaners

    • bathroom cleansers

    • etc.

Virtually anything that has a chemical odor to it can be toxic to your canary. No matter how mild you may think it is, it can be harmful.

  • Some other items to limit your canary's exposure to:

    • scented candles

    • mothballs

    • paint

    • perfume

    • matches

    • tobacco smoke

    • nail polish

    • suntan lotions

  • I understand metal poisons also play a factor in canary health.  Often found in water is...

    • zinc

    • lead

    As a result many canary owners will buy bottled spring water for their birds.  

  • It's also common for drugs like antibiotics to create toxicity in the system of canaries.  Kidneys and livers tend to be collectors of harmful chemicals.

There is a good article online
about the harmful effects of drugs
and other toxins...Click here to read it.

What to do...

You can minimize your canary's exposure to Teflon Toxicity by...

  • keeping his cage as far away from the kitchen or appliances used.  But even this is not fool-proof.  The fumes will inundate your whole house.

  • replacing all Teflon coated cookware.  Good substitutes are...
    • Stainless Steel
    • Cast iron


Remove your canary from the room when using harsh cleansers or burning candles.

No matter how clean you keep your canary's environment he will have toxins in his system. It's inevitable...Toxins are in the air everywhere AND in the water.


According to the makers of Hematox there is a way to clean out a birds system.  Hematox is an herbal supplement. These natural ingredients have been shown to help cleanse the blood, liver and kidneys.

Read more about Hematox.

Keeping your canary's environment as clean as possible and then cleaning out his system on a regular basis will help insure many more years of his good company. :-)



"Building Strength for Love--
Preparing for Breeding Season."

While many will tell you about all kinds of special foods that are "needed" to help prepare canaries for breeding season, a lot of the recommendations, I find, are on the equivalent of "old wives tales".

If you've been feeding your birds a well balanced diet throughout the year, you likely have healthy birds....

Canary Feeding

The only thing I do differently is...

One month prior to putting the birds together I increase the feeding of fresh greens to DAILY.  

Just watch closely.  To much greens can sometimes result in diarrhea...if so, reduce to 3 or 4 times per week.

At this time I'll also increase egg food to DAILY so the birds systems are flooded with protein.

A mineral supplement at this time would also be wise.  It will help the hen with egg development.  Important minerals are calcium, phosphate, phosphorous, and magnesium.

To learn more about how minerals can be used to improve breeding here.

Of course, if your birds have had fertility problems in the past then they may need special care.

See this article on fertility problems in birds.

Until next time...Keep your canary S-I-N-G-I-N-G! :-)


Written by Darren Walker
(c) copyright 2004

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