Of course, even as an owner of canaries, you will want to go on vacation from time to time, or you may have to travel for work-related reasons.
But: What happens in the meantime with your canaries?
In this article we would like to show you if and how long canaries can stay alone, how long they can do without food and water and what you can do to prepare the animal optimally for your absence.
Facts about the character of canaries
Like all other birds, canaries have a certain shyness towards people.
However, they can lose this shyness if you deal with the animals intensively. Since canaries are very social animals, they are not suitable for single keeping.
If you would like to bring canaries into your own four walls, you should therefore acquire at least two animals. The diurnal birds are very communicative and lively. Varied activities are therefore a must in every aviary.
A good bird-human relationship cannot replace the relationship with a conspecific!
Here we come to a significant point: canaries can do well without humans, but not without a feathered friend.
Basically it is no problem to leave your canaries alone at home – provided that you keep several birds.
The partner animal dies – what now?
It can always happen that an animal dies suddenly and unpredictably.
On the one hand, this is very bad for you, of course, but on the other hand, your remaining canary will also suffer very much from the loss. Especially if you keep only two animals, the death of the partner animal is difficult to cope with for the other bird.
Not infrequently, such animals then fall into depression, which can sometimes be so bad that the animals refuse to eat and die themselves only a short time later.
To prevent this, you need a certain tact. A new partner animal cannot be conjured up so simply from the hat – the search for a new buddy for your feather friend therefore takes some time.
To help your beloved canary get through this transition period, give him plenty of attention and affection. Speak to your canary in a calm voice and avoid leaving the animal alone for long periods of time.
Ideally, you will spend most of the day in the room where the bird’s cage is located. Free flight, clicker training, hand feeding as well as various toys in the cage can distract the bird and make it forget its sorrow for a bit.
Keep in mind, however, that keeping your bird alone is not a solution in the long run!
You will notice that your bird will become very attached to you during this time and will increasingly seek your closeness.
Possibly you are very flattered by this affection and you consider to keep the bird in single keeping. Please keep in mind that you can never fulfill the social needs of your canary as well as a partner animal!
Keeping the bird alone for the rest of its life would therefore be cruelty to animals – even if you have the impression that your canary is completely happy in your presence.
The fact that the bird becomes so trusting and specifically seeks your proximity is a clear sign of loneliness. Your pet is suffering and longing very much for the deep bond of a partnership, which you simply won’t be able to offer the animal. So make an effort, jump over your shadow and put your selfishness behind you for the sake of the animal 😉 .
When people go on vacation
‘Finally a vacation! Sun, beach and sea! But what do I do with my canaries during this time?’
Have you ever asked yourself this question?
Then you will now get an answer to it.
If all your canaries are integrated in a fixed group, the animals could easily get along without your presence for a few days or even a few weeks – if there wasn’t the matter of dependence.
Since your animals cannot take care of themselves and both food and water do not grow in the cage, it is imperative that someone in your circle of acquaintances takes care of the animals during your absence.
If you travel only for 1 – 2 days, it is enough to replenish food and water before your departure. In this case, it is not necessary that you hire someone to take care of the animals – provided that they are healthy!
Problems that may occur
Keep in mind that strangers can cause stress for your canaries.
While most animals will quickly overcome their innate shyness towards their owners, this does not automatically apply to strangers.
It is therefore advisable that you give your vacation replacement precise instructions on how to behave towards the birds. Also point out that the cage door must not be left open, otherwise the birds could escape from the cage in case of panic.
A stranger, who most likely has little to no experience with canaries, will find it difficult to recapture the birds.
Ideally, you should invite the person a few times before you leave and let him or her take care of the birds in your presence, so that you can provide advice and assistance – and even intervene if necessary.
This will also give your birds a chance to get used to the person who is a stranger to them. You will also feel more comfortable knowing that your vacation replacement knows what they are doing and that you can see with your own eyes that the care is running smoothly.
Exceptions prove the rules
Even though it almost never happens, there are canaries that will not tolerate the company of other canaries.
This abnormal behavior is usually not congenital, but is either due to a mismatch, lack of experience with social contacts, poor husbandry or disease.
Here no general solution can be found.
Especially if you take over adult birds that behave strangely, a checkup at the vet is essential. If no organic cause for this problem can be found, observe your canary a little more closely.
How does the animal behave towards you? Is the animal conspicuously trusting and even seeks your proximity? Then it is most likely a false imprinting.
Does the aviary offer enough occupation possibilities for the animals? Permanent boredom can be quite frustrating for your canaries! A little variety in the cage setup or longer free flight can work wonders. Also a too small cage, which offers hardly place for the animals and make the flying impossible can lead to frustration and aggression.
Is there possibly a food incompatibility? A food incompatibility is not always clearly recognizable at first glance – even for a veterinarian. If the grumbling canary has not been in your possession for long and has already shown an aversion to its conspecifics from the beginning, it can be informative to ask the previous owners whether this problem also existed with them.
If this is not the case and the previous owners fed differently than you do, you could change the food on a trial basis and test whether an improvement occurs – because who constantly suffers from abdominal pain, which is now quickly grumpy!
Conclusion: Canaries do not like to stay alone!
If you are a globetrotter who is always drawn to travel, then canaries are not the right animals for you!
Canaries have a very sensitive character and therefore need a familiar and stable environment. Constantly changing caregivers or frequent loneliness lead to stress, which can make the animals sick.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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