Finch Care Guide
Before You Buy A Finch
Finches make fantastic, rewarding pets but you have to be sure that you buy the right bird for your needs. Different breeds and species have different requirements and different personalities! Here are some of the questions that we think you should be asking yourself:
Do you want a sociable bird that is eager to come out of his cage regularly or a bird that is happy to stay inside and not be touched? Different birds relate to people in different ways. It is important that you think carefully about the type of relationship that you want with your pet. So do a bit of research on bird species before buying. Finches are sociable birds but like to live in small flocks and are not very dependant on human contact. This makes them easy to care for but they are not a bird that will be out of their cage interacting with you.
Because of the wide variety of natural habitats different birds often have very different nutritional and maintenance needs. Read this guide for information on what a finches basic nutritional and environmental needs.
Are you ready for a long term commitment? Finches live up to 10 years, so make sure that you are willing to put in the time over a long time to care for your pet. Remember you get as much out of it as you put into it!
Finches are fascinating pets but make sure that you know exactly what you need before plunging in and getting your first finch. Read on for more info!
Feeding and Diet
What Is Their Diet?
You need to buy good quality food for your bird as you are attempting to substitute his natural diet in the wild. To minimise the danger of instestinal problems feed a varied diet including a good quality formulated bird feed, fresh fruit and vegetables. If you feeding seeds rather than a formulated pellet diet then you should add a vitamin supplement to complement his nutritional intake.
However, if you feed a pelleted mix, be careful before giving extra vitamins as you can overdose your birds . You should however, have an extra source of calcium availabel in the form of cuttlebone. This will keep your birds beak healthy.
Fresh water should be readily available to your birds for drinking and bathing. Birds will not distinguish between these two functions so there is no need to separate the water sources. Just make sure that they have plenty of fresh water on hand at all times.
How Should I feed?
Finches metabolise food very quickly so they need to eat regularly and can starve to death very quickly if left without food. Set a regular feeding schedule and stick to it
Keep food away from perches and water to stop it from being splashed or soiled
Finches are very sociable animals and should never be kept singly. If kept alone they will become lonely and display strange behaviors to the point of becoming ill. Finches form strong bonds with each other and will mate for life; feeding, sleeping and flying together. When one partner dies the other is often very badly affected.
When introducing a new bird to a flock you should be aware that other birds may react badly to this newcomer. It is best therefore to introduce your new flockmates gradually.
Start by keeping you new bird in a cage adjacent to the main aviary and then introduce it into the aviary in a cage so that the others have a chance to get used to it being there.
You should generally avoid mixing different species of finch together as they can react violently to each other, particularly when mating. This varies according to species type so ask your expert in Equipet before mixing different types of finch!
Any housing that we provide a finch with is going to be restrictive in comparison with their native freedom so remember that the bigger the aviary the better. Finches love to fly around and one of the great delights of owning finches is watching them in action; a flock of brightly coloured, loudly chirping finches is a delight. But finches need space to fly so , once again, the bigger the cage the better- don’t let finches small size fool you!
Make sure that your birds get sufficient light but do not expose them to direct sunlight unless they have plenty of shade. Daylight is important to birds in regulating their day so they will need plenty of light especially in winter. Remember that in nature they 12-14 hours daylight so be prepared to provide the same in captivity.
Remember that finches come from warmer parts of the world than northern Europe so providing them with extra het is essential. Finches thrive at a temperature of 18-21 degrees so make sure that the room in which you keep them is well heated.
Health and Disease
You can prevent a lot of health related problems by looking after your finches properly. Clean the cage regularly and make sure that food and water are regularly refreshed. Do not leave stale food or water in the cage.
Common sign of ill health include lethargy, forced breathing, fluffed up feathers and closed eyes. If you see any of these sysmptoms in one of your birds separate it from the other birds and take it to the vet immediately.