Canary seed is the fruit of a cereal plant that is common in the southern tropics, in particular in the Canary Islands. Otherwise, it is also called "canary", as well as "canary" and "Canarian grass".
Canary seed was once brought to Europe along with canaries, because they preferred this food to everything else in their homeland.
In Russia, this cereal grows like a weed in the fields and near water bodies, mainly in the southern regions of the country. Nowadays, canaries are rarely cultivated, although it is known that at the beginning of the 20th century, the peasants of some provinces were actively engaged in this plant. Today, canary seed is an export commodity, and its value is quite high.
The seeds of the plant are used not only as food for songbirds, but also a paste is made from flour to impregnate cotton fabrics in order to give it additional strengthening properties. In addition, canary grass flouredible because it has high nutritional characteristics. And the plant itself can be used as livestock feed - it is used for hay and silage.
The photo of the canary seed shows that it is a grayish-brown shiny oblong grain. It is twice as large as millet known to us and somewhat smaller than oats. On the stem, the seeds ripen in dense spikes. In terms of nutritional value, they are especially valuable in the stage of milky-wax ripeness. Its composition correlates with oats, while it contains less fiber and more protein.
As for the plant itself, it is an annual multi-stemmed cereal with creeping underground shoots with pointed long rough leaves. Stems erect, branched at the base. Inflorescences are ovoid, reddish or greenish.
How they grow
Today, some canary lovers often sow this cereal in their garden or even on the windowsill.
However, those who sow canaries should take into account that this plant cannot stand cold weather and loves moisture. Therefore, in most regions of Russia, sowing should be carried out in May, when a stable positive temperature has set in and the soil has warmed up well. Although in general, the plant is unpretentious and does not require much effort from the grower, before the onset of cold weather it has time to ripen in the northern regions of the country, in particular, in the Leningrad region.
The best soil for canaries is one that contains humus.The distance between sowing rows should not exceed 20 cm, and seeds should be sown to a centimeter depth.
As already mentioned, this plant is moisture-loving, therefore, it is necessary to water the plantings up to earing and during it constantly. The maximum pause in watering is no more than two days. However, the plant does not tolerate waterlogging and stagnant water in the soil, this must also be remembered.
This wind-pollinated cereal starts blooming in June and seeds ripen in July.
How to feed
The Canaries are loved not only by canaries, but also by parrots and most captive songbirds.
At the same time, the diet of birds should not consist entirely of canaries. Such a "diet" can only harm your pet, despite the nutritional value of this cereal. Its share in the feed should be no more than half. This is for canaries, but for budgerigars, 10-15% will be enough.
We talked about how canary seed looks like, about its use and cultivation.