Are you a “Birder”? Do you love the sound of birds singing, twittering, and chirping? Are you thinking of adding a pet to your family? One of the easiest and most beautiful pets you could choose is the Finch. Their needs are relatively small, as is space needed to house them, so they make a fine pet even if you are an apartment dweller.
Finches are happiest in pairs. According to the cage size, you can add several more birds to your collection, as long as you keep them in pairs. Just like children, an odd numbered group may cause some of the creatures to become aggressive. For two pet Finches, a standard size bird cage is sufficient. Since most species of Finches are rather small, the wires of the cage should be not more than one half-inch apart. As difficult as it may be, it is better not to take your pet Finches out of their cage. Finches like the company of other Finches more than they like the company of humans.
Finches are primarily seed-eaters and will enjoy Finch birdseed from the pet store. They will also be delighted with occasional treats of fruit and/or vegetables. Add mealworms from time to time to supply protein to their diets, and provide daily clean water for drinking and bathing. Cuttlebone hung in the cage not only keeps beaks from becoming overgrown, but, also supplements their diets with calcium and other minerals. To really start a celebration, hang some millet seed strips in their cage and be prepared to see it disappear quickly.
Finches are rather messy in their eating, drinking and bathing habits. They scatter food and water everywhere. They love to bath and will splash water far and wide so make sure you have an area that water won’t harm for their cage. You will need to clean their cage every day and make sure they have plenty of food. Their water dish may have to be filled several times a day as they may decide to bath in it rather than their bathing dish.
To keep your pet Finch healthy and happy, add a few bird toys, a small nest, and a ladder, all of which can be purchased at your local pet store. Make sure your birds get plenty of light during the day and darkness at night to ensure a peaceful rest. If necessary, add a light on a timer in order to mimic night and day. Covering them at night will insure they know its bed time and will sleep instead of sing. In the morning you will hear them talking to each other but when you uncover them they go full volume.
Domesticated pet Finches will breed in captivity. A small nest can be purchased or better yet provide a basic nest and nesting material, such as burlap pieces, dried grass, and cotton, so you can watch them build the nest. The eggs should hatch in about 14 days. Once the eggs are laid, it is a good idea to move the cage to a calm, more private place. The babies fledge (get feathers) in about 18 to 21 days and are usually completely independent in 31 to 33 days.
If you plan to breed your pet finches and have more than a pair in the cage it would probably be a good idea to put pairs in separate cages. They will breed in groups but it can get a bit chaotic at times with disruptions between birds. At times nesting materials, eggs and even chicks can be thrown out of nests.
Pet Finches can have a life-span of 10 years and with minimal care, but a lot of love, you will have happy pets that will make you happy also. If you wake up in the morning feeling kind of blue get a pair of Finches and I guarantee you mood will start to improve the moment you take the cover off their cage and hear them start singing. If you are thinking about getting a pet bird go to the pet shop and look at, as well as listen to, the Finches. The hard part will be, not trying to decide if they are the right pets, but which ones you want to take home with you.