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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 30378
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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OMg what a great surprise! I'm here because i'm worried my

Customer Question

Hey, OMg what a great surprise! I'm here because i'm worried my canary is not feeling well, it has been two weeks since i heard him sing He is 10 months old approx, im sure he is a male I live in Canada and it is pretty cold outside right now so im not sure taking him uot to the vet is a good idea he has a healthy diet, showers often and he was fine suddenly he started molting and has not sang since, today i feel like he is a bit weaker he is hanging around the bottom of the cage, which is not was he usualy does
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I feel like he is sick, i have had him for 5 months now. This is our first winter together and we do not get a lot of sun, max 4/5 hrs a day. He is hanging in a great spot. He started singing less than 10 mns after i got him and put him in the spot he is at i didnt change his diet, he still takes baths (today did not want), and he sings so great. Even at night when he is supposed to be sleeping. I know i had a happy bird. but since two weeks, he started molting and went completely silent today, for the first time, i see he barely has energy to move (because when i open the cage and put my hand in he usually flies around, today he remained in the corner at he bottom of the cage)
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Bird Specialists generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

Molting commonly will temporarily stop even the most prolific singer from singing. It's also a stressful time because he's using up his reserves of protein and calcium in order to make new feathers. Please tell me what his diet has consisted of. Nutritional imbalances are a common cause of illness in our pet birds. Seeds should compose less than 20% of his diet. Ideally, a balanced pelleted diet such as can be found here: or here: should be fed as well as hard boiled egg yolk, pancakes and cornbread, the tops of fresh greens, dairy products such as yogurt and cheese, fresh fruits such as apples, pears, melon, kiwi, and berries, vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, beets, asparagus, cabbage, sweet potato, and squash, and even tiny pieces of meat.

Let's help him maintain his body heat by heating up his environment to 85F by means of a 100W bulb shined into his partially covered cage (not at night when he needs to rest) or by taping a heating pad set on its lowest setting to the sides of his cage. He appears weakened and so remove his perches and put his food and water on the bottom of the cage along with him. Add a water soluble avian vitamin such as Oasis brand to his water at half of the recommended dose so as not to make his water distasteful. Add a calcium supplement such as Calcivet or Calciboost to his water. These supplements are available in pet/feed stores. Avoid over the counter antibiotics designed to be placed in his water.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.