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Patricia, Parrot Consultant
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 1759
Experience:  Published author, free lance bird behaviorist, adviser to the parrots at Sarasota Jungle Gardens.
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My canary is sleeping in his seed cup. why

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the canary has been doing this for about two weeks is it normal for him or her to sleep in the seed cup?
Hi Val. Has this always been your bird or did you just get it recently? Is it actually getting in the seed cup or just sleeping on the edge? Have you seen any other changes in behavior like a change in vocalizations, sitting with feathers fluffed, sitting on the cage floor? Have you seen any change in the appearance of the droppings? Please tell me everything in your bird's normal diet. This extra information will help me give you my best advice. Thanks, Patricia
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I have had the canary for about 7 months, it was given to me from a friend who had it for a few years. I recently removed the cover from the seed cup, because I was told they sometimes get spooked if they can't see what's going on, and won't eat. His diet consists of good quality canary mix, I also give him or her song food, and a mixture of treat food. I also give lettuce or escarole, and apples a few times a week. I also have a gravel cup for him. I'm not sure if it's male or female. I was told male, but I haven't heard it sing, only cherps and beeps. It eats well and seems OK. It actually gets it's whole body in the cup and puffs up just like they do when they sleep. I did have a small mirror with perch in the cage, but removed the mirror last night, was told that could make them fearful. But the mirror was given as soon as I got the bird, so it's been there for 7 months. It didn't seem to bother it in fact I thouht he liked it he was always on it. do you think it could be a security thing? or maybe he might be cold. I do cover him at night. thanks hope I gave enough info. No change in dropping either.
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
I just noticed he sits in and eats in the cup also.

Hi Val. Thanks for the extra information. It's very helpful. If sitting in the seed cup is the only thing he is doing and there are no other symptoms of an injury or illness, it may be nothing more than he just likes to do it. It may also be that he is needing a perch change. If he only has the dowel rod type that came with the cage, he needs changes. Those are the worst things we can do for our bird's feet. They must have a variety of materials, surfaces and diameters to keep their feet and legs in the best of health. He needs a natural limb type, (the Manzanitas are good), one proper nail trimmer but definitely not the sandpaper covers, and he needs one of the twisted rope styles so he has a soft surface for relief from constantly standing on hard surfaces. As for the mirror, I'd give it back to him. Birds are very flock oriented and if he is the only bird, his mirror was likely a lot of company and comfort for him. Contrary to what many people think, it's my opinion that a mirror is not going to do any harm, especially for a lone bird. Whether he is getting chilled or not depends on whether your house cools down much at night or not. Most birds can handle a fairly wide range of temperatures. Where they can start to get in trouble is if they are subjected to sudden changes of more than about 10-15 degrees. You are definitely doing a better job with the diet than the majority of customers I hear from. So many folks think birds can live on nothing but seeds and it simply isn't so. Like most "seed eating" birds, Canarys need more than just seed. Wild canaries also eat insects, fruits, plant leaves, and get direct sunshine which creates vitamin D. The typical pet canary gets an unlimited supply of just seed. Some get just a poor-quality box mix from the grocery store, which is mostly millet. However, even the best quality seed-only mix is not a complete diet for long-term health. Canary diet should be supplemented with hard-boiled chicken eggs, vegetable greens, calcium from cuttlebone, fruits, vegetables, and greens. You can also offer apples, oranges, bananas, green peppers, canned corn, fresh corn on the cob, cooked broccoli, carrots, raw spinach, raw dandelions, raw collard greens, raw Swiss chard, pears, peaches, strawberries, and cherries. The various berries are very good, especially for red factor birds. Iceberg type lettuce is useless and should not be fed but you can offer Romaine. You can also offer Kale, mustard, collard and turnip greens. Cooked egg-white is also very beneficial for canaries, and most beneficial during molting. It's fine to continue giving your bird the seed mix. It's just that he needs some of the other things dailey as well. Obviously you don't try to give him something of all of it, everday. One more thing, with your seed mix portion of his diet, I don't know where you are buying it but if by chance you are shopping in a grocery store, a WalMart, a KMart or similar, that's not a good place to buy bird food. They do not turn their stock over fast enough and their bird foods, more often than not, are old and stale long before anyone purchases it. I suggest always buying from a high volume pet supply store, unless you have an on line source where you like to shop. Canarys are one of the types that can be impossible to judge gender, only by looking. But if you haven't heard singing, it's more likely to be female than male. If it's female, it may be thinking of laying some eggs and that's why there is a lot of sitting in the bowl. If the cover was always on the seed dish, then there is no harm in replacing that also, after you get some variety in the perches available. You can put it back, or not, your choice. One other thing that can affect them very much would be all the toxic products we have in our homes. The problem is, it's things we never give a thought to because they are harmless to us and most other pets but can be deadly for birds. Some kill almost instantly, others are cumulative and kill over time. I'm going to give you some links to information about that so you can do some detetctive work and make sure you are not exposing him to any of them. There are many but some of the ones we hear about most often as causing bird deaths are; any type or form of air freshener, any product that is sprayed into the air, almost all commercial cleaning products, burning candles or incense, cigarette smoke, nicotine from the unwashed hands of a smoker, and an over heated piece of non stick cookware. Some of the symptoms of an ill or injured bird are; any change in the appearance of the droppings that lasts longer than 24 hours and cannot be accounted for by diet, sitting with feathers fluffed all the time, giving up the perches and sitting on the cage floor and sleeping an inordinate amount of time during the day. Because one of their strongest instincts is to mask all symptoms from us, by the time we see a symptom, they are so ill they can no longer keep up the pretense. If you ever see even one symptom, don't wait for others to show up. Be off to your proper Avian Vet for a check up. In case you don't have one already, I'll also give you links to assist with that. I'd go ahead and get that vet located and have the information easily at hand. Nothing you have said makes me think you have any emergencies going on. For now, I'd suggest looking into the perch situation, begin some additions to the diet, let him have his mirror back and keep an eye out for symptoms. I hope this will all be helpful for you but if you have any more questions, just let me know. Patricia

Click here: Toxic and Safe Plants/Trees for Birds - Household Poisons

Click here: Birdsnways - Safe Plants & Trees for pet birds, pet parrots &exotic birds

Click here: Find your local Avian Veterinarian

Click here: Avian Veterinarians Recommended by Bird Breeders and Owners

Click here: Avian Vet List

Click here: BirdsnWays - Avian Veterinarians - Vets - Vet Services for Pet Parrots & Exotic Birds

This one looks like an advertisement for Harrison pellets but they are only sold by vets so it's another good list to check. Click here: Harrison's Bird Foods is a family of certified organic pet bird diets that were formulated to make your bird as he

Here is a variety of a lot of misc. Canary info you may find helpful as well.

Click here: Canary Care

Click here: All About Red Factor Canaries & Keeping Red Factor Canaries as Pet Birds

Click here: All About Canaries & Keeping Canaries as Pet Birds

Click here: Pet Bird Canary FAQ

Click here: Feeding Canaries a Pellet Diet

Click here: The Pet Canary - Introduction and Care of Canaries

Click here: Feather Cysts

Click here: Canary Diseases and Treatments

Baldness Click here: HAMILTON & DISTRICT BUDGERIGAR & CAGE BIRD SOCIETY INC. reasons for baldness in canarys and others

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