Yellow and red factor canaries are colour varieties of the domestic canary, and can easily be paired and bred. When pairing a red factor with a yellow canary, select a solid yellow or lipochrome canary to be paired with a frosted red factor canary. The lipochrome bird will show solid colour throughout its plumage while the frosted red factor will show shadings from white to deep orange red. Pairing a lipochrome canary to a frosted canary promotes genetic diversity assists with avoiding inherited disorders.
Line the cage tray with newspaper. Install two perches in each side of the breeding cage. One level with food and water cups at the front of the cage and one higher at the rear of the cage. Place a cuttle bone on the exterior side of each cage compartment. Fill the feed cups with canary seed and breeding food supplement. Fill the water cups with fresh water. Place a small cup of grit in each half of the breeding cage.
Place one canary in each compartment of the breeding cage. Canaries are solitary birds and it takes a few days for them to accept each other. Watch the birds closely; when the male feeds the female through the bars of the cage divider, remove the divider. Place the nesting basket in a rear corner of the cage approximately level with a perch. Supply nesting material such as tissue paper or commercial nesting material. The birds will carry the nesting material around in their bills and may build and destroy nests before settling down. Add crumbled hard boiled egg yolk to the canaries' food. Cover the cage at night.
Avoid fussing over your canaries. Once the female birds starts sitting on her nest steadily, it's time to leave the birds alone other than providing food, water and cleaning their cage. Canary eggs hatch in about 13 days. Both parents feed the babies, and the female will continue to sit on the nest until the babies are too large. The adult canaries will eat more than usual. Keep the birds supplied with plenty of food. They may also be given leafy greens, but remove any uneaten portions each day.
Young canaries leave the nest between 3 and 4 weeks of age. When the last baby has left the nest, separate the male canary and babies from the female by reinstalling the cage divider. This prevents the female from plucking the babies' feathers. The male will continue to feed the babies until they learn to eat on their own. Reunite the male canary with the female when all of the baby canaries are eating and drinking on their own.
Don't allow a pair of canaries to raise more than two clutches of babies a year. Remove perishable food items daily and more often if needed.
Dirty bird cages lead to disease. If you can smell a bird cage, it's dirty. Canaries bathe frequently. Ensure that your birds have fresh clean water at all times. Avoid collecting grass and weeds for nesting material; you risk transmitting disease or poisons to your birds.
Tips and warnings
- Don't allow a pair of canaries to raise more than two clutches of babies a year.
- Remove perishable food items daily and more often if needed.
- Dirty bird cages lead to disease. If you can smell a bird cage, it's dirty.
- Canaries bathe frequently. Ensure that your birds have fresh clean water at all times.
- Avoid collecting grass and weeds for nesting material; you risk transmitting disease or poisons to your birds.