What Is the Lifespan for Canaries?

Written by jaimie zinski
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There are three different types of domestic canaries: the type canary, song canary and colour canary. This songbird is available in a variety of colours, including oranges, reds, yellows and greens and will grow anywhere from 4 to 8 inches in length. The average lifespan of a canary is longer when the bird is properly cared for.

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Average Lifespan

The average lifespan of all three types of domestic canaries differs depending on the gender. On average, a male canary will live up to 10 years, while a female will survive from anywhere from 5 to 6 years. Some canaries have been reported to live up to 20 years in captivity.

General Care

A canary requires a cage that is at least 16 inches for a single bird and daily food in the form of canary seed, bird seed and bird pellets. You may feed your canary treats of small pieces of fresh fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, peas and kale, and protein in the form of egg biscuit once a week. Canaries require a constant source of fresh water and a dish to bathe in at least once a week, especially when being bred or moulting. Clean a canary's cage, including any toys and the perch, at least once a week to help prevent disease and infection.

Signs of a Healthy Canary

A canary that is in good health will have bright, clear eyes and will be active on a daily basis. Many breeds of canaries sing and another sign of a healthy bird is a canary that sings, or at least squeaks and chirps, every day. The colours of a well canary will be bright and vibrant and its feathers will moult on schedule.

Signs of Canary Illness

Signs of an ill canary include irregular coloured faeces, sneezing, listlessness, beak discharge and loss of appetite. The canary will also have feathers that are dull and puffed out and it will begin to lose weight, sometimes rapidly. There are several potential causes of illness in canaries, including improper diet, dehydration, broken wings or legs, ingrown feathers, heat stroke, mites, avian cold, tumours or constipation.

Caring for a Sick Canary

A sick canary must be isolated from any other birds immediately and kept separate for at least 30 days. Place the cage in a warm environment that is maintained at a constant temperature of at least 29.4 degrees C with a heat lamp or heating pad. Offer the bird a constant supply of fresh water and bird seed in a separate bowl from other birds. If the canary does not become better in a few hours or if the bird has a broken leg or wing, take it to the veterinarian immediately.

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