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Soft Food Recipe & Sprouted Seed


Soft Foods


In nature, insects provide the additional protein requirement during the breeding season. Protein in the form of an egg or soft food mix must also be provided to canaries.


Traditionally, soft foods were called egg food. At first, they consisted of a crushed boiled egg mixed with bread or biscuit crumbs and provided to the birds during the breeding season as an additional source of protein. Over time, additional protein sources became readily available (Farex protein cereal, powdered eggs, wheatgerm and so on) and were added to the egg food.


Observant fanciers changed the soft food recipe further by adding more bread or carbohydrate products based on their experiences of feeding parents leaving some of the egg food uneaten in preference for the biscuit or bread crumbs. Others combined the soft food with soaked seed with further improvements in breeding results. Nowadays, most soft foods recipes contain both protein and energy for the feeding parents.


Soaked Seed


Soaked seed may also be used as a source of protein and energy for breeding birds. When prepared hygienically soaked seed offers breeding birds the most concentrated form of energy available. Soaked seed also offers the fancier the best medium in which to add those extra vitamins, minerals and trace elements required for breeding success. Soaked seed is, however, easily contaminated and may become lethal to nestlings and feeding parents, unless proper precautions are taken during its preparation.


Experienced fanciers (Mr. Don Swavely) administer Water Cleanser continuously in the drinking water at a very low dose to combat soaked seed related nestling deaths and improve breeding performance.



Soft Food/Soaked Seed Combinations

With the addition of vitamins, minerals and trace elements, soft foods/soaked seed combinations offer the canary with everything it needs for breeding success. However, not everyone has time to prepare these recipes hygienically, nor to remove uneaten remnants before they spoil. products such as Turbobooster, Energy supplement, F-vite, Dufoplus, Ioford and NV powder have been developed to provide the additional protein and energy, as well as vitamin, mineral and trace element requirements for breeding success in a convenient and hygienic form. They can be added to all of the dry seed, soft food, soaked seed or combined soft food/soaked seed recipes with equal success.


Soft Food Recipes


The following soft food recipes offer the canary breeder with quality soft foods that are also simple to prepare. The very nature of soft foods requires that uneaten remnants should be removed within 6 hours from the aviary. There are countless soft food/soaked seed recipes available that are usually chosen pragmatically from personal or shared experience. Whatever recipe is selected, they must always provide the breeding birds with an extra source of quality protein and energy. They are also an excellent method in which to add vitamins, trace elements and minerals to the diet of the breeding canary.

Soaked Seed Options


This soaked seed recipe must use seed free of bacterial or fungal contamination. Seed should be tested by sprouting on cotton wool or culture tested. A number of seed combinations may be used in these soaked seed recipes.


Soaked Seed Preparation Technique


The seed selected for soaking must be pre-tested for cleanliness by culture testing or sprouting on cotton wool. Seed that bubbles excessively, smells bad or grows fungus must be rejected.

  • Soak seed mix in a 4 litre plastic ice cream container overnight. Add 1 teaspoon of Water Cleanser powder to the water added to the container.


  • Wash thoroughly through a 25 cm (10 inch) sieve with tap water, then final rinse with Water Cleanser. Allow sieved seed to drain thoroughly before placing in an oven or on a warm surface for 24 hours.

  • Next morning wash out with Water Cleanser again.

  • Wash again in the evening with Water Cleanser. Make sure it is drained well. Repeat morning and night until seed shoots appear or seeds are opening wide enough for birds to pull sprout out. The amount of time to germinate varies upon the air temperature. Make sure the soaked seeds are not too wet nor too dry.

  • Seeds should have a short sprout only. Add Dr Rob's Nutritonal Supplements to soaked seed. Supplements: Turbobooster, Dufoplus, Ioford, Energy supplement. Energy supplement and F-vite should be made available in finger drawers at all times. Soft food may also be mixed into soaked seed now.

  • Sprouting equipment must be thoroughly sterilised between use.

  • Reject seed that smells "off" at any stage or develops a mould.



Alan Simpson's soft food recipe uses hard boiled eggs, breeding crumbles, and Dr Rob Marshall's health supplements to produce excellent breeding outcomes.

A comprehensive guide to achieving a superior level of health and happiness in both the exhibition and pet canary.

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