How to Breed Canary Birds

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Canary birds are a favorite pet, bred for their color and their song.
Canary birds are a favorite pet, bred for their color and their song. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Canaries are members of the finch family of birds and are native to the Canary Islands. They are somewhat timid and shy, and they don't like to be handled. They can also be quite territorial and it is usually recommended to keep them in separate cages except when breeding. Canaries are bred for a variety of reasons from their color to their song. They don't require a lot of care other than food and water, and they are a favorite pet of those who enjoy their whistling melody.

Things You'll Need

  • Male and female canary
  • Bird cage
  • Canary nest
  • Bathroom tissue
  • Coconut fibers
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Hard-boiled egg

Purchase a pair of canaries at your local pet store and make sure you have a male and a female. One way to tell is male canaries will sing and female canaries do not. If you have a pair already and you aren't sure of their sex, you can also take them to your local pet store or veterinarian and have them checked to be sure you have one of each.

Place the male and female canary in the same cage with one nest. Canaries like to use the open bowl-shaped nest, not the enclosed nests with just one hold on the side. You can purchase canary nests at your local pet store. The nests are usually made of bamboo or plastic, but the plastic nest is easier to clean and will last longer than bamboo.

Attach the nest to the bars of the cage, making sure it isn't under a perch or near the food or water dish. The best spot is near the top of the cage in a corner, but make sure it isn't so high the female canary can't get in and out of it. The nest should be approximately 4 inches from the top of the cage to give her plenty of room to enter and exit. Also, make sure the nest is level so baby canaries won't fall out. Fill the nest with items such as unscented bathroom tissue, thick cotton string, coconut fibers or small pieces of soft cloth.

Make sure your canaries have plenty of light and are well fed. Giving them extra items such as bread, oranges and applies may also help them to breed. Then all you need to do is simply let nature take its course. Sometimes the birds will fight but this is normal, and they will eventually breed. A female canary will usually lay about five eggs, and the eggs will hatch 14 days after the female begins to sit on them. Canaries will also feed their young. Be sure to keep plenty of hard-boiled eggs in the nest for them to use for feeding.

Tips & Warnings

  • Place your canaries in separate cages after breeding to avoid fighting.

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