- I Hope this Web site helps.
Heavily Variegated Cinnamon - Young Bird Clear  yellow - Young Bird This site was designed very simply on a "no cost budget" and generates NO Income. The members of Australian Fife Canary cannot sell birds via contacts on this web site and receive no payment for services or articles provided. "AFC" is NOT a club you can join, however you can submit articles and be invited to be a member; see feedback page.
The site content is primarily for the beginner and for Australian conditions. Everything on this website is absolutely FREE. There are plenty of Tips & Tricks and Articles, use the Menu at the top of this the Home page or at the top of every other page, or use the  Index - Click here.   The index is the most valuable tool on this site.! The Tips and articles which have been selected for this site are relevant to both the beginner and may help in reminding the enthusiast of the basic principles of keeping Canaries.
The content changes from time to time as the authors produce more text. We are also limited by the WEB storage capacity, therefore some articles will disappear.  See also Tips & Tricks.
White On the nest
With EMPHASIS on the FIFE.

This site is specifically targeted at the Fife Canary. I love the Fife because it is so active, small, sings like a little beauty, and breeds like a rabbit.
Hear me sing Click Here What more could a person want.
I forgot to say and they come in all the colours you could possibly want, without colour feeding.
Cost also being a factor is another reason to choose the Fife.
Unlike the Gloster, Fifes don't get feather lumps and have few hereditary problems.
(singing Fife compliments University of St Andrews Scotland "Its cheap to cheep". If your sound does not work, the most common problem is the speakers are turned off.)


The hobby of keeping Canaries has been around for a very long time, and with time there comes a lot of truths and fallacies. This website has been designed to be simple, and with the tried methods that the author of each article has used. The particular breed of Canary that is covered here is the Fife; a small Canary which is often said breeds like rabbits; which to the beginner gives the thrill of breeding and multiplication.

The Fife Canary is very easy to keep, is hardy and suffers from few diseases. The Fife in Australia is reasonably cheap to purchase and comes in all of the canary colours.

The Cock Fife is a brilliant singer and is often kept just for the singing. The elderly often keep a Canary as a companion and the Fife can be a joy to keep and own with little effort or fear of illness.

Watching young birds develop and grow with the expectation of the perfect bird in every respect; beautiful colour, perfect shape, just the correct length, stands perfectly on the perch. To the expert a show winner, to the hack a beautiful bird. Both can say, "I bred that Canary".

If your keeping a single bird as a companion you can use an all wire cage that you buy from a Pet Shop or Produce Store. Remember to keep your bird out of strong drafts and it helps to cover the cage at night. Make sure your bird has plenty of clean water and seed and give a little greens each day.

If your going to breed, then to have a consistent breeding quantity and quality however, you need to breed in a smaller cage that is closed in on all sides except for a wire front. A cage like this is often referred to as a breeding box and when there are many separate compartments is known as a breeding cabinet. In each box you would only have 1 hen [girl] and 1 cock [boy]. This gives the breeder the ability to create a more consistent quality and also is a more reliable method than an Aviary

You can also keep the Fife in an aviary. At a minimum the aviary must have a closed in area for protection from the cold, wind and wet. Be particularly careful in colder climates as Canaries don't like to be chilled. When breeding in an aviary you usually have more hens than cocks, to avoid the cocks fighting.
I personally breed in cabinets and then release into Aviaries for the rest of the time.
Breeders who show, keep their birds in cabinets to keep them better trained and not as wild.
see also
On the nest


SEED
Feeding your Fife Canaries is easy, they will survive on just plain canary [Phalaris], or mixed Canary as purchased from the supermarket or produce supplier. They will survive but they won’t live up to there potential. For good health, Canaries like humans, need a balanced and varying diet, which should include mixed seeds and greens.--
more information on Seed

GREENS
Greens such as Dandelion, ChickWeed or Thistle, or purchasable greens like Buk Choy, Lettuce or Cabbage, should be fed daily if possible. Just a little if you have a single bird as you don't want to upset their metabolism. --
more information on Greens

GRIT
It is essential that your birds have some grit; this can be crushed stone or shell grit. My preference is fine shell grit which can be purchased from the produce store. The grit is used by the Canary in the gut as part of the digestion. I use shell grit because of the calcium which is essential when breeding --
more information on Grit

EGG and BISCUIT
During the breeding season you should feed an "egg and biscuit", which will be fed by the adults too the chicks.

WATER
It is essential to have clean water available at all times. There are many different types of drinkers and it doesn't really matter as long as the water is clean. I cover this more in the free articles. I use a product in the water called Aviclens made by Vetafarm. This product helps to kill bacteria and is relatively inexpensive.


In a clean and well cared for environment a Fife Canary can live to ten years.
For breeding, a Hen is best from her 2nd year, to her 5th year.
The cock on the other hand is in his prime from 1st year, through to his 6th years.
I tend not to breed any birds after their 4th birthday unless it is an exceptionally good bird.

You can tell the age of a Canary by reading the numbers on the ring on its leg. This should be a closed ring and read something like 02 FIS 1111, where the first 2 numbers are the year and are sideways the FIS stands for the club, in this case Fife Improvement Society, and the last set of numbers is the unique identifier of that bird.
If a bird doesn’t have a ring, then it is difficult to tell its age and it probably did not come from a reliable breeder.



The colour range is the same as most other varieties of Canary; however for those who are contemplating showing, then no colour feeding is allowed.

I have only covered the colours here in a simplified form and left all the technical details to other pages.
COLOUR DESCRIPTION
Yellow An intense yellow not washed out or pale. Sometimes called Intensive Yellow. The Yellow is lipochrome (a fat-soluble dye that colours the feathers)
for more information on
Buff A shade of yellow, which is caused by the bird having bigger and more rounded feathers, where the edge is frosted white. Sometimes referred to as Frosted.
for more information on
White A white canary is "white" but may have very slight tinges of yellow on its flanks.
for more information on
Green This is a yellow or buff bird with a black and brown pigment [melanin] superimposed over their ground colour, which gives the bird a greenish appearance. This is the colour of the wild-type. A true green bird also has dark skin on legs and feet.
for more information on
Cinnamon This is a yellow or buff bird with a brown only pigment [melanin] superimposed over, which gives the bird a brownish appearance. Cinnamons have pink eyes which can be observed easily when first born.
for more information on
Blue Blue is a White Bird with the same colours over as the Green i.e. Black and Brown
for more information on
Faun Faun is a White Bird with Cinnamon, i.e. Brown melanin over
for more information on
Grizzled Any Coloured bird with a patch of light grey. This is a term used when showing.
Lightly variegated (LV) Is associated with colour in that the bird has less than 50% dark feathers, Green, Cinnamon, Faun or Blue. This is a term used when showing. see also
Heavily variegated (HV) Is associated with colour in that the bird has more than 50% dark feathers, Green, Cinnamon, Faun or Blue. This is also a term used when showing.
Ticked Is associated with colour in that the bird has a single small patch of dark feathers. In Australia it would be less than .10c. This is a term used mainly when showing.
Foul A bird that would would have been classified self, except for a light feather usually in the wing or tail
Self A dark feathered bird that contains NO light feathers; i.e. it is 100% dark feathered

See also the Standard for shape etc
Click here for Standard.

The diseases of the Fife Canary are the same as all other Canaries; however if you start with good healthy stock and keep them well fed and in clean conditions, your risk of having a major illness problem is very limited.

In an outdoor aviary there is the possibility of catching something from wild birds. The same goes for each new bird you bring into your colony. The preferred option is to quarantine new birds for as long as possible and to use a proprietary worming mixture. Worming is also necessary for Aviary Birds, at a minimum annually before the breeding season, but preferably every 3 months.

If you get an illness in your birds, isolate the ill birds and consult an Expert or an Avian Veterinarian as soon as possible. In a big colony it can become necessary to destroy any ill birds for the sake of the rest, but this should only be done after seeking advice. Remember that you're more likely to have healthy Canaries than sick ones, if you care for them properly.
[ complete list of Illness's ]