HOW TO FEED YOUR ROLLER CANARY

 

Diet

The basic diet is a mixture of half canary and half rape seed. Roller Canaries can survive upon a seed diet alone. Seeds should be bought from a bulk store rather than a supermarket and should be fresh, clean and sweet-smelling. However, to keep your bird(s) in top condition follow the diet chart below.

 

 
Song Season
(April to August)
Breeding Season
(September to December)
Moulting Season
(January to March)

 

Cocks

 

Mixture of half canary and half rape seed.
Very small amounts weekly of hulled oats. linseed niger and maw seed fed separately.
Daily greens or sprouting seed.
Occasional eggfood.
Mixture of half canary and half rape seed with some hulled oats and linseed.
Small amounts of niger for hens prior to egg- laying.
Daily egg food in small quantities when rearing young.
Occasional sprouting seed or seeding grasses (e.g. milk thistle, chickweed, winter grass, South African veldt grass).
The condition of birds for the song and breeding seasons depends upon the quality of their diet during this season.
Mixture of half canary and half rape seed with some hulled oats and linseed.
Daily greens.
Regular egg food (e.g. weekly). Regular sprouting seed (e.g. weekly).
Small amounts weekly of niger and maw seed fed separately.

 

 

 

Hens


Mixture of half canary and half rape seed with some hulled oats and linseed.
Small amounts weekly of niger and maw seed fed separately.
Daily greens or sprouting seed.
Occasional eggfood.

 

NB: Stale or fouled eggfood and greens, mouldy sprouting seed and fouled water can be toxic for canaries, especially for chicks and fledglings.

 

Greens
Availability varies from season to season. Seeding grasses. together with roots and dirt, e.g. milk thistle, chickweed, winter grass (poa annua), South African veldt grass, dandelion, cultivated rape seed cabbage, and canary seed heads, provide the most natural diet. Cabbage, spinach, kale, nasturtium, comfrey, endive, grated carrot, cobs of sweetcorn (soaked in water to soften) are also suitable. Lettuce and apple can be fed, but sparingly, as these tend to make the birds scour.

 

Water
Should be available at all times and kept scrupulously clean. One way to avoid changing water daily is to drill a 3 mm hole in the cap of a 225 ml medicine bottle (available from chemists), glue (Araldite) a thin strip of metal bent into a hook at its end on to the flat side of the bottle so that the bottle can be hung upside down inside the cage from one of the cage's horizontal bars. Surface tension holds the water in the bottle and the birds have no difficulty in finding and drinking from the 3 mm hole.

 

Egg Food
Hard boil an egg for fifteen minutes and grate. Mix the grated egg with six dessertspoons of wheatgerm or breadcrumbs or other suitable meal mix (e.g. wheatgerm, Farex, polenta 4:1:1). Add some grated carrot and maw seed. For a single bird keep the grated egg in the refrigerator - use small amounts with the meal mix as required.

 

Sprouting Seed
Soak some rape and sunflower seeds in a bucket of water for twenty-four hours. Wash in a strainer and place on a cloth in a colander to germinate. Feed when seeds have just sprouted.