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Finch Care 101

February 01, 2021

Are you considering adopting a bird? If so, a finch may be a great option. These tiny birds are very cute and lovable! A Pasadena, MD veterinarian discusses finch care below.

Basics

Finches are quite small, rarely growing over five inches. They can live for up to five years with proper care. There are many types of finches, but zebra finches and society finches are the ones most often found as pets. These birds are very sociable, and should always be kept in pairs or small groups.

Cage

Since finches fly horizontally, your birdcage should be longer than it is high. We recommend getting one that is at least 3 feet long and 14″ high. Place the cage so that it’s just about at your eye level. Your birds should have some exposure to sunlight, but you don’t want to put the cage right in a window. Avoid drafty areas as well.

Accessories

Your tiny pals will need certain accessories. For substrate, you can use wood pellets, recycled paper, or aspen. A liner will also work. Like any other bird, finches need different types of perches. Just make sure they are the right size for your tiny pals.

Veterinary Care

Your vet may recommend clipping your pets’ wings and claws. This will also make it easier for you to handle your bird. You’ll also need to watch for signs of illness, such as a lack of appetite, behavioral changes, sneezing, puffed-out feathers, or strange postures or positions. Call your vet immediately if you notice any of these red flags.

Diet

Finches have very high metabolism. They can become extremely sick from missing even one meal. Fortified seeds should be the basis of your pets’ diet. Finches can also have specific veggies; fruits; cooked eggs; and occasionally, cheese. Your vet may also recommend sprinkling vitamin powder over their food. For treats, millet sprays are a good bet. We also recommend giving finches cuttlebones or mineral blocks, as well as a hay ball for foraging. Ask your vet for more information.

Handling

Finches are very timid and they don’t always enjoy being handled. Treats will go a long way towards helping your pets feel more comfortable being handled. Just be very careful: because these birds are so small, it’s very easy to injure them.

Do you have questions about finch care? Contact us, your Pasadena, MD veterinary clinic, today!


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