Breeding Canaries.

Light. Temperature. Food. Nest. Cage.

You will succeed at breeding canaries ONLY if you get the lighting, temperature, and feeding details right.

Breeding of canaries takes a little education. If you just put a pair of canaries in a cage with seed and water you're not going to get good results.

Your canaries will need daily care...good diet, fresh water, a clean canary breeding cage, and more.

Here are a few important factors when breeding canaries...


A good breeding cage for canaries is the double breeding cage. It consists of a longer than normal size. The removable divider in the middle is helpful for keeping the male and female separate until ready to breed. Plus, occasionally a mom or dad bird will peck and or pluck feathers from the babies and need to be separated.

There are small breeding cages available but I suggest getting one on the large side so your canary birds have plenty of room to flutter around and get a little exercise. Here is an example of a good size breeding cage...

Need more room or have multiple pairs? Check this out...


Lighting, or the number of daylight hours your canary is exposed to, is an extremely important part of good canary care and a vital component to good canary health.

Your breeding canary's hormones are regulated by the amount of daylight entering through the eyes. As the days get longer and longer beginning at the end of winter your canaries will begin to think about breeding. Your canaries will need about 12 to 14 hours of light per day.

You can start your canary's breeding cycle early by using artificial light. Use a timer to turn lights on and off at the appropriate time.

I start at the beginning of January and have my lights come on at 5 am and shut off at 4 pm. Each week I set the timer to come on 30 minutes earlier until the lights are on from 4 am to 4 pm.

Then, as the days get longer I adjust the timer to come on later and later in the morning. In other words, in the late spring when the days are longer I let natural sunlight take over.

You don't want more than 14 hours of daylight. At 15 hours your canaries may begin the annual molt bringing your breeding season to a screeching halt.

Begin your breeding season by keeping your canary's living area between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Be prepared for massive singing by your male at this time as he shows off for his hen.


The pet canary bird will eat about 10% of his body weight daily but breeding birds will require 25% of their body weight daily.

Provide plenty of fruits and vegetables during the breeding season. During the weeks leading up to mating provide egg food and millet for protein. A vitamin supplement added to the water is also a good idea during this time.


Nests are available in plastic, bamboo, metal, and sticks. It doesn't matter which one you use. Obviously, the plastic and metal will last the longest, plus they're easier to clean.

Also see our canary nest page.

Your breeding canaries will lay typically 3 to 6 eggs. The female will sit on the eggs (set) for approximately 14 days while the male feeds her. Once the eggs hatch... the diet changes slightly.

For more on breeding canaries visit here.

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