Finches – Care and management

Birds Human Classroom

 If you are starting as a pet bird owner, don’t have enough time to spend with any pet species you may want, or in the case that you are an experienced one and are looking towards a small break either from loud bird species such as the Amazon Parrot or a needy bird such as the Cockatoo then Finches are one of the best choices you could get, very similar to the Canary pet bird. Instead of the irritating noise from most parrots species, you’ll get a pleasant sound added with their lovely singing and entertainment Finches are very known for and very cherished by many bird lovers. Besides their small size, they are easy to handle since there’s no need to keep them on your hand or shoulder since they are happier being left alone to avoid stress. As very social birds, they thrive among Finch flocks so owning more than one of these amazing pet birds will surely be better for your new pet and you and your family can sit back and relax with the singing and joyful personality of the Finch bird species.

HISTORY 

 Finch species are scattered almost all over the world but most of them can be found in Australia, being the origin of the most popular and kept Finch species as pets such as the Zebra Finch, Society Finch (also known as Bengalese Finch), and the Gouldian Finch. The rest of the Finch species might not be as popular because these three are better if you plan on having multiple birds at your place, but with that idea on your mind, you should and must always consult which speciesyou can mix in the cage since some won’t get along with each other or they might bully those that are docile, although it would be nice to have a mix of the beautiful colors of their feathers depending on the Finch species. Furthermore, if you want to have a male and a female Finch you must know at least they would most likely procreate and you should watch out for the breeding season to educate yourself if needed. If you are a new owning pet bird it’s better if you stick with birds of the same sex till you get used to their management to avoid any problems and remember to seek the advice only of professionals whenever you are in need or any doubt you may have.

 The English naturalist Charles Robert Darwin discovered in a trip he made to the Galapagos Island, a group of birdspecies that are closely related reaching a little more than 10 different species in which they received the name of Darwin’s finches.

THE TWITTERY “MEEP”

 Sadly enough, a pet Finch has a low lifespan despite being a small pet bird of about 5 to 10 years. Not everything can last forever but they will surely get you and your family well-entertained thanks to their soft vocal attitude as they communicate with each other and their active attitude going back and forth inside the cage. Finches aren’t like parrots in the sense that they won’t learn words or sounds that you make, as I mentioned before they make a “meep” or “beep” sound to communicate with another Finch but they can still get to sing to you with a gentle and soft sound that shouldn’t create any issues with your neighbors since these sounds aren’t as outrageous as other bird companions that are bigger. Something that they do have in common with the other pet birds is the fact that the male Finch is the one that sings, females can sing as well but aren’t as vocal as the males so don’t expect them to.

  What makes Finch a great option for those who are starting with birds or don’t have the time, dedication, and responsibility of owning a pet thanks to their slight independence and the fact that they are a hands-off pet bird. As long as they have at least one partner to spend their time or the necessary tools to keep them entertained they should be ok, but always remember to keep the cage clean, fill the water bowl and keep them on a proper diet so you can truly enjoy and experience how amazing and easy-going companions they can get to be. 

 Something that you must have in mind at all times, especially whenever you have a guest at home, is how prone to stress these birds are. Even if you try to get them used to your hand being close to them, in the long run, they might not even look forward to sitting on it, so don’t let this discourage you since it’s something natural in them, they are an exotic pet to have at home. You must be aware of these guests as they might not know this issue Finches have so it’s better to avoid these types os situations that could change your bird’s behavior. Before you try anything with your bird inside his cage when attempting to get your hand inside the cage you must do it delicately and always watching the reaction on your Finch so you have the time to stop whenever you see him altered in any way, wait for it to calm down before moving your hand again, let him mark the pace of this exercise. This is something that I highly recommend you to do so when the time comes to feed them or filling the water bowl or cleaning up the cage so that this process doesn’t become a traumatic experience for your Finch.

 After proper research and you educate yourself on everything you might need, you should have in mind which Finchspecies you like and can get into your house to be part of your family, some of the species you can find I’ve already mentioned some like the Zebra Finch, Society Finch, and Gouldian Finch, you could also find the Cassin’s Finch, European Goldfinch, Warbler Finch, White winged crossbill, Winter finches, among others.

GETTING THE RIGHT CAGE

 As I’ve been saying, Finches are a little different to take care off in comparison with other pet birds of the parrot species. Since they aren’t attached to their owners and they should spend most of their time inside the cage, you must fill it with accessories, toys, equipment, everything it would need to keep itself entertained and it can also exercise, even getting a nest if you have birds of a different gender. The bigger size of the cage will depend on a few things. The space you can provide for it, how much Finches you own or plan to have, and the money you can afford to expend for everything. The more you have the better is for them (as long as they get along and you don’t mix any species you shouldn’t) but this also means that you’ll have to spend more money on everything for your new Finch family, going from the best diet and nutrition you can get, everything you’ll need to keep the space of your Finch as impeccable as possible, all of what it has to do with his cage, and last but not least, the regular checkups at the avian veterinarian to ensure the best and healthy lifestyle you can and should provide them with. 

 The Finch cage has to be wider-longer rather than taller. Finches aren’t climbers so they don’t look to fly up and down, as I’ve mentioned before they like to fly back and forth thus why a larger cage is the wat to go with this bird species. As I mentioned in the article of Care and Management of Pet Birds, you need to take into consideration many things as to where to establish your birds’ cage. Look for a draft-free spot but has the proper amount of natural light that all birds need, but keep close a blanket to cover the cage to help control the light time since they need up to 10 to 12 hours to sleep each night. 

 Finch birds are prone to suffer from a lung disease caused by parasites, so avoiding the air currents will help you prevent any other respiratory health complications. Remember as well to keep them far away from places where the temperature can get to change throughout the day like the kitchen or bathrooms, furthermore, these areas of the house people use some products, mostly the chemical ones, that could also be hazardous to your Finch flock, so the products that you get to use to clean up the cage should be something that won’t affect them. If you have other pets in the household try to keep them away if you notice that your Finch’s behavior changes as you need to avoid anything that can be stressful for them, same goes for little kids that some may want to hold one of your birds or maybe bother them in their cage so it is important to keep an eye on those type of persons that might want to bother your pets, as even some adults tend to hate animals your poor little Finch doesn’t have to pay for it, also remember that they aren’t a bird species that you can hold on your hand and even if this was the case, being such a small bird they are fragile too, so the manipulation should be under surveillance.

 As for the cleaning of the cage, it would depend on the number of Finches you own. It is recommended to make a deep cleanup of the cage once a week, what’s going to change is the number of times that you are going to remove the bottom of the cage to clean anything your Finch may drop, being his droppings, food leftovers, and some feathers the standard and normal things you should expect to see. By cleaning the bottom of the cage will help you evaluate some aspects of your birds, checking if they are eating everything or leaving it on the food bowl or just letting it drop, that the depositions are normal, that there’s no blood drops or anything unusual. This may seem like a tedious task but its more helpful than most people think thanks to this other perspective about the health of your beautiful small birds. Also, you should check that the cage you buy has a retractable bottom pan so it’s easier for you to clean it up and changing it, and some cages come with a set of food and water bowl but in the end, it all comes down to what you can afford. You could look for any bird feeder or maybe a Finch feeder, depending on what you can find if you have the time to look for those items that suit them best. If you have between 1 to 3 Finches you should change the bottom pan somewhere about 2 to 3 times per week, if you have more than this then it might be better if you clean it up daily to maintain proper hygiene. You should have at least 2 sets of food and water bowls so you can clean one while the other ones are in use, change the water daily and make sure that the food bowl remains clean so the food looks appealing for your Finch.

 Cleaning up the toys, accessories, and the bars of the cage its something that should and must get done with everything else I’ve mentioned. Remember that you were the one that decided to adopt a new pet, it’s a responsibility that some people aren’t prepared for, and for others, it’s nothing since they are used to and they do it because they love their cute little feathered companions.

NUTRITION

 Being a small bird, Finches won’t demand high amounts of food but if you have a good number of them this could change of course. Some people think that with just a package of seed is more than enough to cover all of his nutritional needs when these are the ones with the least amount of nutrients for these beautiful birds. Some come as a complete and good diet for most bird species but there are for specific bird species, it’s just a matter of dedication and look out for theses and not some regular ones because, in the end, your bird is the one that’s gonna suffer from a base food that isn’t nutritional at all. You can complement his daily meals with some fresh food such as fruits so your Finch won’t get bored as you may serve him the same food over and over again. Some food presentations tempt the pet to “play” with his food and this interaction will keep him interested in every meal, and there are some toys that also have some nutritional addition to them, just try to get a variety of fresh food, fruits and veggies, or anything else you get should get properly washed up, cut them up into small pieces so it’s easier to them to eat and that they are free of chemical compounds that look to eliminate anything that could be hazardous to your bird. As wild animals, you could use some “unusual” ways to feed them with “live food” that you can also get in some pet supplies stores to add some variety into every meal.

HEALTH CARE

 From the bottom to the top, you must always check and ask for anything you may have doubts only with certified professionals to avoid as much as you can any disease or health-related issues regarding your bird’s time as your companion. The Avian vet should be your first option for most of these cases, as some Finch breeder could give you some guidance in some subjects but this is something that will depend entirely on you since you are and will be like the lawyer of your pet’s. By having routine veterinary care will surely help your bird to have a healthier life alongside with you, so do your best at learning his body language to detect at early stages any disease or affection they may have such as oversleeping, any discharge of mucus or bubbles, weird breathing sounds, vomits, if it gets tired or won’t look to fly as much, all of this little things can determine if your Finch can be treated or not so stay on a passive watch when possible. By knowing what to care for and what to do you’ll avoid any stressful event for your Finch that could lead to behavior changes and even feather plucking as a response to this. The beak size of the Finch tends to be a problem, and the same goes for the nails so having your vet cut them off to ensure it’s done properly and avoid having any trouble regarding his beak shape. Whenever you get a new bird in the household you should keep it during some time in isolation just in case it carries a disease that gets unnoticed. 

 The stress could also make them prone to getting some air sac mites or and intestinal disease like Coccidiosis, due to bad management they could get cold if there are changes in the environment regarding air currents or the temperature, also with bad nutrition could lead to feather loss due to lack of essential vitamins and even sunlight, or any traumatic injury for having such a small and fragile bone structure, and if an egg gets stuck on the reproductive tract. 

 I hope I’ve covered up most of your concerns regarding this amazing yet small companion that Finch birds can get to be. If you think I’ve missed anything please let me know in the comment section down below.

Professor Whiskers
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