Keep Your Baby Canaries
Happy and Healthy.

Discover how to care for your baby canaries
from hatching to weaning...

ugly baby canaries

OK, so you've been breeding your canaries. That's AWESOME.

It's really fun to set up a breeding pair of birds and witness the whole process happen.

Before you know it, the eggs start arriving. You'll probably get a new egg every couple of days until your hen has about 4 to 7 eggs in her nest.

If she's a good momma, she'll spend most of her time on the nest while her mate stops by to feed her.

You can expect your canary eggs to hatch around 12-14 days after being laid.

Caring For Baby Canaries

Welcome to "How To Care For Baby Canaries," your ultimate guide to nurturing and fostering the growth of these adorable avian companions.

Caring for baby canaries requires attention to detail, patience, and a deep understanding of their developmental needs. In this comprehensive resource, we will provide expert advice on feeding, housing, and handling baby canaries to ensure their health and well-being.

Whether you're a novice breeder or an experienced aviculturist, our practical tips and insights will empower you to provide the best possible care for your feathered friends during this critical stage of their lives.

The newborn canaries are tiny, naked, helpless, and well, kinda ugly. But they grow into beautiful adult birds quickly...if they’re fed properly.

And your young canaries will be born HUNGRY.

Before they hatch, on the 12th day of incubation start providing nestling food.

Top 5 Tips When Raising Baby Canary Chicks

  1. Nutritious Diet: Provide a balanced diet of softened canary seed mix, egg food, and fresh fruits and vegetables to meet their nutritional needs.
  2. Warmth and Security: Maintain a stable temperature around 75 to 85°F in the breeding cage to keep chicks warm and comfortable, and ensure they have a secure nesting environment to reduce stress.
  3. Regular Feeding: Feed baby canaries frequently, providing fresh nestling food at least twice per day.
  4. Hygiene: Keep the nesting area clean and dry to prevent bacterial growth, and regularly clean and disinfect feeding equipment to prevent contamination.
  5. Observation and Monitoring: Monitor chicks closely for signs of illness or distress, and seek veterinary care promptly if needed. Observe their behavior and development milestones to ensure they are thriving.

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Nestling Food

Nestling food for baby canary chicks should mimic their natural diet and provide essential nutrients for healthy growth.

A nutritious blend typically includes a softened canary seed mixture, egg food, and small amounts of soft fresh fruits and vegetables.

High-quality commercial nestling food is also available, enriched with vitamins and minerals crucial for development.

Offer the food in a shallow dish. Ensure that the food is fresh and replenish it regularly. Monitor the chicks' feeding behavior closely to ensure they are eating adequately and adjust the diet as needed for optimal nutrition.

Nestling food is a soft food that your parent canaries will feed their chicks...and once your baby canaries leave the nest they will begin to eat nestling food on their own and eventually will learn to eat the normal dry seed as well.

Nestling food is a protein and nutrient rich food that will not only support the fast growing baby chicks but their overworked parents as well.

You can make your own nestling food which should include at a bare minimum...

-->Soft Seed (either boiled, soaked, or sprouted--see below)

-->Egg Food



Feeding Baby CanariesHen Feeding Baby Canaries

There are other things that can be mixed into nestling food such as grated carrotrolled oatssoft fruit, and Cream of Wheat.

You can even buy some pre-mixed egg food to add to it. It's a nice addition because it's been scientifically created to provide the most important nutrients.

They'll love it. But the soft seed, egg, and greens are a "must-do". The greens are mostly for the Momma canary...she will need the extra nutrition during this stressful time.

Two Ways to Make Soft Seed

1. Just boil your canary’s normal seed for 20 minutes.

Let cool and place a tablespoon of this soft seed in the cage in the morning and another tablespoon in the afternoon along with the boiled egg. This soft seed will be used by both parents to feed the canary babies for the next 3 to 4 weeks.

I have stored boiled seed in the refrigerator for up to 7 days without having any problems with spoilage. To be on the safe side though, it's best to throw it out around day 3 or 4 just in case.

2. Soak It.  You can use any seed mix you have on hand.  But many canary breeders will recommend that you use a specific blend of canary seed specially mixed for soaking and feeding to your babies.

This "soak seed" is soaked in water, rinsed, soaked again, rinsed a few more times over a 24 to 72 hour period...then it will begin to sprout. Now you can feed it to your parent and your hatchlings.


Soaked seed is high in vitamins and minerals and closely resembles a natural food source that canaries find in the wild during spring that helps keep your canaries in a state of premium health.

All in all, it is the BEST soft seed to use but, my canary loving friend, I don't always have that much time to soak, rinse, soak, rinse, rinse, rinse....

That's why I often boil instead. In a 30 minute period I have soft seed ready for my chicks. I have never had any problems with unhealthy or malnutritioned baby canaries using boiled seed instead of using the specialized "soak seed". And they devour it like it's the best thing they've ever had.

You can learn more about Soak Seed here.

Egg Food

Providing egg food and/or boiled egg for baby canaries is essential for their healthy development, as it mimics their natural diet and provides essential nutrients.

Egg food is a commercially available mixture designed specifically for birds, containing finely ground eggs, breadcrumbs, and additional vitamins and minerals. It serves as a highly nutritious supplement, offering protein, fat, and calcium crucial for growth.

Boiled egg, another staple in their diet, should be finely mashed or grated to ensure easy consumption by young chicks. It's rich in protein and essential amino acids necessary for muscle development and overall health.

Boil an egg for 20 minutes, mash it up and serve 1/2 of a boiled egg next to the soft seed twice per day.

Both egg food and/or boiled egg should be offered to baby canaries regularly, ideally multiple times a day, as they are crucial sources of nutrition during the early stages of growth.

Ensure that any uneaten portions are promptly removed from the cage to maintain hygiene and prevent spoilage.

Along with this soft seed you should provide boiled egg for an important source of healthy protein and fat.

Greens and Fruit

A tablespoon of ragreens like romaine, kale, or spinach adds important nutrients to the diet of your parent birds and your baby canaries. 

And a treat they will appreciate is a small chunk of apple or banana.  This will help keep all your birds healthy and happy.

Greens and fruit can be provided just once per day. Serve it along with your baby canaries "breakfast".

Feeding Baby Canaries: Final Tips

All of these tasty treats will be used to feed the baby canaries plus it will help keep up the strength of your busy parents.

Make sure you know what a sick canary looks like so you can attend to any illness immediately.

You can also add...a small piece of whole wheat breadboiled brown ricesoaked shredded wheatcooked or dry oatmeal, and cooked peas to name just a few.

Feed this nestling food once in the morning and once in the early afternoon removing any left over from the previous feeding. This stuff can spoil and grow bacteria in just a few hours so protect your canaries and remove it before it goes bad.

Make sure your pet birds have all the nestling food they want. If they eat all of their "breakfast" by the time you bring the early afternoon feeding than give them some extra until they are getting a little more than they can consume.

They baby canary's appetite will double then double again before he is finally weaned as long as they stay healthy.


You can expect your canary babies to grow rapidly and will leave the nest roughly 2 to 3 weeks after hatching.

The parents will continue to feed the baby canaries, even outside of the nest, until they start eating on their own which will occur around the 4th week.

In the meantime you might find your female has started another clutch of eggs even before the first group of babies have left the nest. That is why it is a good idea to have a second canary nest available for the next clutch of eggs.

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