One wonderful pet to have is the Canary. Their cheerful chirping will be with you the whole day, and the companionship provided by this little creature would be hard to find elsewhere. Some of the basic things to consider before buying a canary are Cages, food and water, greens, treats, keeping him clean, and the possibility of another canary for the bird's companionship.
When looking at cages try to get one that's rectangular, and at least forty inches long, fifteen to twenty inches wide and about thirty inches tall, with the bar spacing no greater than half an inch. If you get around cage make sure it's at least 40 inches tall since much of the space is lost because of the curve at the top. You don't want the bird to get depressed because of the closed-in space. Of course, the canary would like to have some free flight in some area of your home, so make sure you have a limited amount of space somewhere in your house. The canary can then be trained to come to sit on your hand, come at your beckoning, and feel freer then if it was in the cage all the time. The first time you bring out your canary, make sure you show him the windowpane, so he doesn't fly into it and injure his neck. Don't leave the window open or he will probably take flight and you might never get him back.
Fresh food and water should be always available to the canary. One of the keywords here is freshness. The water should be cleaned out at least twice a day since seeds and excrement tend to fall into the water and the canary will not drink from it if it isn't of good quality. If the canary doesn't have fresh water for about 16 hours it is possible he will not survive, so this part of the care is very important. As for the food, canaries love seeds and should be fed twice a day. Buy a high-quality food so the canary will eat, or ask the people from the pet store what kind the canary is used to. Often once the canary is used to one type of food it will not accept another type unless it likes it very much. One of the best mixes is the canary mix from Abba seeds since it contains about 82.5 percent canary grass seed, which is a beige color and the rest is canola seeds and some flax seeds.
These are good proportions for the canaries. The larger white or yellow millets are often present in canary seed mixes, but they should not be in there since the canary can't even eat those kinds. Since your canary will spend most of his time inside it will miss the sunshine (don't place the cage in direct sunlight or he will get too hot) and that will result in a deficit of vitamins and minerals. To help him get his share of calcium bake some eggshells and crush them, then mix them in with his seeds. To give them their vitamins there are some supplements that can be mixed in with their water or some that are to be sprinkled on the canary's food or drink. One of the best types is Hagen's vitamin-mineral supplement "Prime", which some canaries take to easily. Try to follow the instructions exactly as they are on the box since giving too much of the vitamins can be dangerous too.
Another important thing to consider is that birds in the wild eat fresh fruits and vegetables. Try different combinations of each. Often canaries like apples, shredded carrots, broccoli, romaine lettuce, cabbage, beets, and much more. Try to just give him what you are cooking for your family (before cooking it of course). This will let the canary be much healthier and more alert and he will be able to eat about up to half his body weight from this type of food. The only thing to remember about fruits is that you should try to stay away from fruits such as mango, peach, and papaya since it will make the canary's feces too soft and that is very dangerous to his health.
To train your canary to come to you when you call, to sit on you, hop a certain number of times, and such, the best way to do that is to reward him with some kind of treat. Make sure you don't give him more than a teaspoon per bird per day and give treats only about 2-3 times a week since their livers might become damaged from too many of these fatty seeds. If you get things such as candied sticks or spray millets, make sure you inspect them before buying since often the wrapping will have holes in it and the treatment will be stale and too hard for the canary to eat.
To keep your bird clean, put some sand at the bottom of the cage and clean out the feces daily by scooping it out and refilling sand as needed. The entire cage should be cleaned out once a week, taking all the sand out and cleaning all the wired walls. This will help both you and the bird prevent diseases and parasites. Another option would be to have the paper on the bottom of the cage, but the sand is more natural and he likes to dig in it and will get minerals from it. Do not use air fresheners in or around the canaries' cage since it will not be good for his health. Remember in the old mining days canaries were often used to detect toxins (if the canary's dead get out of the tunnel) so make sure all traces of cleaning agents are out of the cage before putting your canary back in.
Many people find that the canary is much happier if he has a companion. Some things to consider when getting a companion is that two males usually don't get along. In some instances, one of the males even fights the other one to death. So make sure you either have two females or a pair of canaries. If you have a pair either make sure you want babies or go see a doctor about advice on how to have the male sterilized. Usually, if there are two birds it is good to have a slightly larger cage than the one mentioned above. A good rule would be adding 15 inches to every dimension.
Now that you know everything about basic canary care, you are ready to go and buy your little feathered friend and make sure you don't forget to water, clean and play with him so his beautiful song will fill both your heart and your home.