Starting Out With Society and Zebra Finches: A Guide
Finches are colorful and amazingly lively pets that make an excellent addition to any home. Society finches and zebra finches can be kept by any level of pet owner with just a little bit of set up and daily maintenance. These finches are very affordable and simple to care for. Here's what you need to know!
Can Finches Be Kept Alone?
Much like humans, finches don't do well alone. You must keep them in pairs. However, if you have six or more finches housed together, they will be more social and probably won't exclude any of the other finches. Though zebra finches and society finches can usually be safely housed together, please introduce them carefully, as some finches can become territorial. Kept in good conditions, both zebra finches and society finches can live 7 to fourteen years, and even longer in some cases!
Where Do Finches Come From?
According to ornithologists, "true" finches are actually from the family Fringillidae. But the common pet finches, like zebra finches and society finches, actually come from the scientific family Estrildidae, which also includes sparrows, waxwings, and weavers. These birds are widely distributed and thrive in captivity.
Where Are Zebra Finches From?
Although the Estrildidae family is found all across the world, zebra finches come from the wild grasslands of Australia. Named so for the black and white stripes across their chests, zebra finches make wonderful and cheerful pets. Many owners of zebra finches report joyful chirps when their zebra finches see them after a long, hard day at work.
Where Are Society Finches From?
In contrast, society finches are more of a designer breed -- they do not occur naturally in the wild. Society finches were bred as a hybrid between two other finch species thousands of years ago in China and India. Because of their domestic heritage, some society finches can be trained to take treats and food from the hand. Society finches come in many different shades, from all white to nearly black, but unlike other finch species, the males and females look the same.
Caring For Your Finches
Zebra finch and society finch care can be a rewarding experience for even the most novice pet owners. Finches do best in "average" room temperature - between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. As mentioned above, finches need to be kept in pairs. They also do best when they have access to partial sun and shade, or, if no window is available, access to a sun lamp.
Cage Size For Zebra and Society Finches
Although finches are small, they do need some room to be able to fly around in their cage. The smallest cage recommended for zebra finches and society finches is a 14"x18"x24" cage. This will give a pair of finches enough room to live happily. Although finches don't often enjoy toys, they do enjoy treats, perches, and swings.
How To Feed Your Finches
The majority of a finch's diet should be made up of food pellets appropriate for finches, but they can also be fed fresh vegetables, sliced fruits, and seeds in small amounts. You should not feed your finch items high in fat and sugar, or items containing caffeine or alcohol, as these may seriously injure your bird. Like most creatures, finches are picky about their water, so be sure to provide fresh, filtered, unchlorinated water daily for your birds to avoid dehydration.
Cage Care For Finches
Finally, be sure to provide weekly cleaning for your finches. Disinfect the habitat, perches, and swings regularly, and replace the substrate liner weekly. You should use natural cleaning products, as finches are very sensitive to chemicals and strong fumes.
We hope you enjoy many happy, healthy years with your finches!