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As I said, in the feeding chapter and in the breeder's calendar, that many breeders do not see any logic in supplying the different seed mixtures in a different seasons and according to the sex of the canary. At the same time there are many breeders which are even fussier than I am. I would not argue who is right or who is wrong. I gave my recipes, as I was using them all my life, with few changes from time to time. Those recipes were serving me well, so I thing, it is my duty to share them with my fellow breeders. But for a better understanding, why such and not the other mixture should be used at particular time and for particular bird, I give a list of seeds and greens with their chemical and nutritional analysis. Giving this analysis, I hope that some breeders with better knowledge of nutritional requirements, will produce better, more effective seed mixtures. 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. In my feeding schedule, rape seed is one of the most important and it is " a bread and butter" of my rollers. They have all the time a special container full of rape seeds only.


Rape seed also known as canola seed, it is of great value to most seed eating birds. The seed is rich in magnesia, lime potash and phosphoric acid. The rape seed should be used moderately or it will produce diarrhea. A diarrhea is a problem only if the birds do not have in their diets any antidiarrhoeals ingredients. All my seed mixtures and egg food as well have quite a dose of poppy seeds, which is excellent antidiarrhoeal remedy. Never ever I did experience any attack of diarrhea or loose stool. It is one of the reasons to prepare your own seed mixture according to save, proven recipes.

Rape is cultivated for the sake of the oil pressed from its seeds, the refuse being used to make oil cake, or rape-cake, for feeding cattle. It is frequently grown instead of White Mustard as a crop, being rather milder in flavor. It is grown mostly for feeding cattle. The seeds are also sown in gardens for winter and spring salads, as it is one of the small salad herbs, though little used. It is also cultivated in cottage gardens for spring greens - the tops being cut first and afterwards the side shoots.

Protein 19.4%, Fat 40.5%, Carbohydrate 10.2%, Ash 3.9%, Water 11.5%.



It is principle item of diet and main ingredient in all seed mixtures. It provides muscle building element (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%




It is a small black seed and has a high oil content. It is alleged that niger is a good remedy for egg-binding. The seeds of niger are stimulating, controlling song quality, maintains health and enriches plumage. When I was using hemp, I did not use niger in my mixtures. Damaged hulls cause oil to be rancid. Too much may cause liver trouble.

It is becoming a strong favorite with breeders as a conditioning seed and as a soaked seed for rearing. It is a bit more expensive in comparison with other seeds. It is used as a natural tonic and has plenty of nitrogenous matter. It overcomes harmful affects of hemp and flax.

Protein 17.5%, Fat 32.7%, Carbohydrate 15.3%, Ash 7%, Water 8.4%


The millets are common ingredients of seed mixture. Sometimes the canaries cannot crack this seed but it is valuable when ground and when 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%




This is a very tiny bluish-gray seed. It has a high oil content. It is very useful in controlling diarrhea and looseness of bowels. It is used in conditioning mixtures and very often is used in egg food. It is 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%


Hemp had an important role in feeding program. It is a especially liked by canaries and they will generally eat it first. This large, round, grayish seed has a very hard coat and it takes a very long time before a canary would be able to make a crack in the husk. In spite of it, they pick the hemp out first from the seeds containers. It is nourishing, fattening, warming. Used sparingly in winter or in the breeding season it can be beneficial for general conditioning and especially for quality of singing. It was a must in every, good quality seed mixture. Unfortunately due too steady degeneration of human race and increasing danger of drugs it become forbidden commodity.

Protein 15.5%, Fat 32.2, Carbohydrate 15.2%, Ash 1.5%, Water12

LINSEED - flax

It is a flat, brown glossy seed which comes from the flax plant. Any good seed mixture contains the linseed. It has a very high content of oil and it gives gloss to coat especially when given during the molt. Some breeders boil the linseeds producing a sticky jelly-like substance and add it to egg food mixture.

Linseed or Flax is one of many grown medicinal herbs, the products of which are included in the British Pharmacopoeia; its seed known as Linseed, being much used in medicine.

Its cultivation reaches back to the remotest periods of history. Flax seeds as well as the woven cloth having been found in Egyptian tombs. It has been cultivated in all temperate and tropical regions for so many centuries that its geographical origin cannot be identified, for it readily escapes from cultivation and is found in a semi-wild condition in all the countries where it is grown.

Linseed is largely employed as an addition to cough medicines. As a domestic remedy for colds, coughs and irritation of the urinary organs, linseed tea is most valuable. A little honey and lemon juice makes it very agreeable and more efficacious. This demulcent infusion contains a large quantity of mucilage, and is made from 30 grams of the ground or entire seeds to 1/2 liter of boiling water. It is taken in glassful doses, which may be repeated many times per day.

Borrowing the ideas from medical observation for humans, many canaries'' breeders' claim that linseed consumption is also very useful in correcting respiratory organs and vocal cords problems.


Sometimes used in a grain form but mostly as a hulled oats.

In human medicine it used for building muscle strength, as stimulant and antispasmodic. Oats are made into gruel, which is used, as a mild nutritious diet of easy digestion in inflammatory cases and fevers. It is very useful after parturition, and is sometimes employed in poisoning from acid substances.

Oats contain an amorphous alkaloid, which acts as a stimulant of the motor ganglia, increasing the excitability of the muscles, and in horses causes excitement.


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.


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 offered and when coarse ground or chopped even the young canaries can eat them.


Tightens and glosses the plumage. Forces hens into breeding condition. Excessive use effects the stomach, has lots of sulfur.


Excellent remedy for diarrhea also used as a general tonic.


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11 September, 1999 07:45 PM