Popular Pet Birds – FinchPetmania Pet Care Advisor
Choosing a Pet Bird: A little bit about Finches
Birds can make wonderful pets, but there are many different types of birds, so how do you choose the one that is right for your family? Like any pet, birds will require lots of love and care to help keep them healthy and well, so in this blog we are taking a look at Finches, and what you can expect if you were to have a Finch as pet.
Types of Finch
The main body of the Zebra Finch is grey along the wings, a white belly and orange legs. Male zebra finches have chestnut patches on their cheeks, and black and white zebra stripes on their chin and neck. The male also has an orange beak. The females are duller in colour and are lacking chestnut patches with a bright red/orange beak. They grow up to four inches.
These have a stocky build and can come in a variety of colours. The dark brown (or chocolate) Bengalese Finch is the most widely recognised. There is no physical difference between the Bengalese Finches other than the male Fiches will sing, as where females will not.
Java Sparrow / Java Finch
Java Sparrows have a grey upper body with a pink belly. They have a black head, white cheeks along with red around their eyes. The Java Sparrow has pink feet and a thick red beak. Male and female Java Sparrows are very similar in appearance so one way of telling them apart is by the size of their beak. Males will have a thick red beak while females will have a slimmer red beak.
How Long Do Finches Live?
The average lifespan of a Finch is between five and ten years.
Company for Finches
Finches are very sociable birds and prefer companionship of the same breed. They are shy birds and require very little human interaction but are best kept in groups.
Where Finches Like to Live
Finches love space and love to fly, sing and socialize so the bigger cage or enclosure you can provide the better. The minimum cage size for two Finches is (62cm x 36cm x 46cm) with metal bars spaced no more than an inch apart. Perches should be made available to allow the Finch to exercise its feet. The most suitable bedding used in a Finch’s cage is sand paper or wood chippings.
Where do Finches Come From?
Zebra Finches come from Australia, the Bengalese Finch originates from Japan and China. Java Sparrow Finches come from Southern Asia.
Exercise & Play for Finches
It is a good idea to provide toys within the cage for Finches, perches and balls are recommended to stimulate and entertain. Finches do not like to be handled so if you are looking for a pet that you will be able to interact with, Finches are not a good fit.
Diet & Nutrition
Finches should be fed a mix of seeds and oats, such as yellow millet, canary seed, naked oats, linseed, and nyjer seed. Like all birds they require calcium so we recommend a cuttlebone or a mineral block. Grit should be put in the cage so the Finches can pick at it in order to help aid digestion. As a treat millet sprays should be given.
Make sure your Finches have fresh food and water everyday.
Health & Hygiene
A weekly clean of your cage is essential; you should use a bird safe disinfectant and add fresh bedding. The Finches toys like perches and dishes should be washed using warm water – do not use any soap on the equipment. Dishes must also be cleaned weekly, with fresh food and water available on a daily basis for the Finch.
A bird bath is a great way for the your finches not only to play, but also to keep in good health. An alternative to the bird bath would be a bird spray where you spray your Finch with a light misting everyday.
If you decide to keep finches, you will need to have vet who will be able to care for it’s medical needs. Not all vets will have the experience to treat birds, so you may need to travel to find a suitable vet to care for your finch.
If your Finch is a male he will sing and if it is a female she will lay eggs.
Take Me Home Checklist
Before you take your Finch home, you will need to make sure you have some things in order to help keep them healthy and happy.
We’ve put together a simple ‘Take Me Home’ checklist for new Finch keepers. If you have any questions, or need any further advice, please drop in to your local Petmania and talk to our Petcare Advisors.
- Cage (62cm x 36cm x 46cm)
- Bedding- sand paper or wood shavings
- Food & water dishes
- Toys like bells and perches
- Bird bath or mist spray
- Cuttlebone (source of calcium) and bird grit (to aid digestion)
- Bird safe disinfectant