Following is a list of the various seeds and their value which may help in your
choice from which to pick and assess their value in your feeding program:
Principle item of diet. provides muscle (nitrogen) and heat (carbon). Husks
provide fiber for stimulation of alimentary canal, also phosphorous and iron
for vigor. Protein 13.5%, Fat 4.0%, Carbohydrates 10.2%, Ash 3.9%, Water 13.6%
Of great value to most seed-eating birds but should be used moderately or it
will produce diarrhea. Rich in Magnesia, lime, potash, and phosphoric acid.
Protein 19.4%, Fat 40.5%, Carbohydrate 10.2%, Ash 3.9%, Water 11.5%
Nourishing, fattening, warming. Used sparingly in winter or in the breeding
season it can be beneficial. Sterilized hemp seed can still be purchased at
some pet shops and at seed companies though it is expensive; Protein 15.5%,
Fat 32.2, Carbohydrate 15.2%, Ash 1.5%, Water12.5%
- Poppy (Maw):
Corrects constipation and looseness of bowels. Readily digestible and good
preparation for young in eating harder seeds. The seed is free of opiates
though the plant is not. Protein 15.5%, Fat 40.5%, Carbohydrates 12.2%
- Niger (Thistle):
Stimulating, restores song, maintains health and enriches plumage. Damaged
hulls cause oil to be rancid. Too much may cause liver trouble. Protein 17.5%,
Fat 32.7%, Carbohydrate 15.3%, Ash 7%, Water 8.4%
Gives gloss to coat, in molt is good for respiratory organs. Strengthens the
system. Use sparingly.
Relieves gas in stomach and intestines, and is a fine stimulant.
Valuable as a change in food, in winter months. High in fats and oils so should
be used sparingly.
- Sunflower seed:
Rich in oils. Black sunflower seeds are less oily. When ground the seed is then
available to the canary. Sunflower chips (hulled, unsalted and not roasted)
are available and when coarse ground or chopped even the young canaries can eat them.
Natural tonic and has plenty of nitrogenous matter. Overcomes harmful affects
of hemp and flax.
Used instead of hemp; fattening, heating.
Sometimes the canaries cannot crack this seed but it is valuable when ground
where the birds have been fed too much fat and rich food as it exercises the
stomach and gives nourishment. Protein 15%, Fat 5%, Carbohydrates 16.2%,
Ash 1.5%, Water 13%
- Gold-of-Pleasure (False Flax):
Tightens and glosses the plumage. Forces hens into breeding condition. Excessive
use effects the stomach, has lots of sulphur.
- Grain-of-Paradise: Excellent
remedy for diarrhea, also used as a general tonic.
These are the most common seeds used in the feeding of canaries and it is noted
which produced oils and fats and may help in your selection of a balanced diet.
Though canary seed is the basic diet, it is advisable to create some variety
in the diet, keeping in mind that the birds in warm confinement do not need as
much as birds in flights or cooler conditions. Also, the moulting season calls
for a little extra attention to feeds needed.
Last modified: January 26, 2010
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