Diet Research -- Food

- Page Five -
Notes on my 'Canary Diet Research'
March 2019

***  Specific Foods I Use In My Bird Room ( in order of priority) :
  • I like Herman Brothers Canary/Rape mix.... fed as-is while the parents are feeding chicks, and for weaned chicks.  I add more rape seed from middle of winter through the beginning of breeding, also during the molt.  (actual price of the seed is very reasonable, but I pay more per pound for shipping, than for the actual seed, to Montana!)
  • Most often I use the Canary Roller Mix from Leach, sold by Kruse Feed. It contains canary and rape seeds, with a little flax seed.  It is fresh and slightly lower in price, including the shipping, than the Herman Brothers' mix.
  • I have used Kaytee's Daily Supreme Diet for canaries, and will do so again, with several reservations.  I do like the types of seeds included... and the price/availability cannot be beat.
    Amazon and other online pet shops offer this mix at reasonable prices.
    I do suggest inspecting each bag for freshness and cleanliness.
    Every year, I order during late spring and summer, and receive very nice, clean and fresh seed.
    However (!!!), fall and winter seem to be the time for old seed!
    This seed mix is the only one of the above three to be enriched. 
  • I add other seeds, for variety, as treats, and for their nutrients.  Most often it is nyjer seed and white and/or black lettuce seeds.  This is the only 'song food' I use.
  • I do like to include FruitBlend pellets during prior to breeding and during the molt; in both cases to give them something to do and to introduce them to pellets. 
  • I will also feed Sleek & Sassy Standard Pet Canary mix, sold by My Parrot Food.
    The seed is fresh, and free of pests, plus the price is very reasonable.
    Their canary mixes contain less canary seed, and more other carbohydrate seeds such as millet and oat groats. I believe the carb/protein ration is similar as a canary/rape blend.  As I prefer canary seed, this mix is added for variety or as a treat to feed juveniles.
  • I may include a small portion of a canary/finch seed mix, which contains several types of millet seeds, as a treat only. (ie: a 2 pound bag to 25 to 40 pounds of  the canary/rape mix)
  • I am also including Purina Flock Raiser chick starter/grower mash in my diet plan.  I like it's ingredients and nutrition, and my birds seem to accept it's taste and texture when included in my soft food.
    As this breeding season progresses and ends, I will make a decision on this food item.  (Note:  this Flock Raiser 'looks' good when reading it's label.  However, I no long use it, as my canaries did not eat it... they ignored it and some birds actually tossed it out.)
--- raw vegetables, variable with season:
most often carrot, with greens such as kale when available
--- dried alfalfa and dandelion leaves

--- oats, wheat, spirulina, bee pollen, flax, corn, anise, sesame as part of a supplement (not fed every day!)
--- good vitamin-mineral supplements:
My birds LOVE the Ioford/DufoPlus combination, which is added to their water.  It is a basic multivitamin supplement without sugar, and a simple iodine/iron/VitD supplement.
My birds also happily eat F-Vite, described as including a small amount of shell grit, bentonite clay, and other minerals. 
I am experimenting with several additional vitamin/mineral products, but these two seem to be the most loved by the birds... and I have seen satisfactory results of these two supplements when I used them in years past.

--- a good soft food, at certain times of year (not fed every day!)
MIXING my supplemental soft food mix
Many ingredients are  'ground' (after measuring)
in a small electric blade coffee grinder.

As a result of my Diet Research, I adapted my original soft food mix.
It was close to ideal, and I kept the same basic ingredients.  I did adjust the proportions of carbohydrates, proteins, and extras.

My Soft Food Mix
Updated 2021
1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup rolled wheat flakes
1/4 cup corn flour 
2 tablespoons flax seed meal (or ground flax seeds)
2 tablespoons dandelion leaves, cut and sifted (dried)
1 tablespoon anise seed, measured then ground
1/2 teaspoon kelp powder
1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder
1 scoop soy protein powder
4 tablespoon poppy seed (not ground)
1/2 tablespoon sesame seed (not ground)
optional: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of Prime or other vit/min supplement

The oats, wheat flakes, dandelion leaves, anise seeds are measured, then 'ground' in a small electric blade coffee grinder.   Store unused dry mix in freezer.
Yields approximately 2 1/4 cups, after grinding and mixing.
Approximately 12 tablespoons per cup. 

2-3 tablespoons per hard boiled egg
(Depending upon texture desired.  Eggs used immediately after cooking contain more moisture than cooked eggs stored in refrigerator over night.)

1-2 tablespoons per cup of grated carrot, cooked couscous or combination
(Add dry mix to veggies in small amounts until desired texture.  Too much dry mix will make the soft food extremely sticky.  Do not over mix.)

For Higher Protein:
Add 1/2 serving each of pea protein and hemp protein, or double the amount of soy protein.
May add 1/2 to 1 tablespoon (per egg) of Flock Raiser crumbles (20% poultry chick starter) after egg is mixed with dry ingredients. Let stand before serving.

For Higher Carbohydrates:
Increase quick oats and rolled wheat flakes to 1 cup each.  And increase corn flour to 1/2 cup.  (Recommend keeping the soy protein of the basic mix.)

NUTRITIONAL INFO (not including vitamin/mineral supplement)
Mix alone contains twice as much carbohydrates as proteins.
Mix with eggs contains equal amounts of carbs and proteins.
The mix with eggs has:  twice as much fat, three times as much sodium, twice as much sugars, five times as much vitamin D, and half again as much calcium.
The 'additions' such as the dandelion leaves, poppy seeds, etc. do increase the percentage of carbohydrates, but I feel they add much!

My original mix recipe from years past
 Back to the Beginning:  My Diet Research Notes -- Page One