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Finch Care Instructions 

 

Your finches travel a long way to reach you. They can be quite fragile and need peace and calm once they arrive at their new home. It is recommended that they be placed in a warm environment (72 - 75 Degrees) with their cage partially covered (leave a corner open for them) to give them some isolated time to acclimate for a few days before integrating them into an aviary or mixed cage situation. 

 

Make sure they have plenty of food and water in open containers. This ensures that they will be able to find their food and water sources immediately while they are in transition.  

 

Electrolytes & Vitamins will be included with your order. Provide this mixture for a period of 1 week (follow instructions on packet).

 

  • Nutrition ~ Finches prefer fortified seed, oyster shell, charcoal, egg shells and hard boiled eggs (ie; two finches = one egg for the week, mashed up and given to the finches a little at a time. Remove what they don't eat after an hour or so to keep the egg from going rancid)

    

  • Keep finches away from drafts ~ they should not be around any extremes whether hot or cold     

 

  •  Keep the temperature of their environment no cooler than 72 degrees. If they are “fluffy” that is an indication that they are either stressed and/or cold. 

 

  • Give them clean water every day!

 

  • Their cage should be dust-free to keep mites away. Diatemaceous Earth, a non-toxic powder, can be sprinkled in their cage and on their food to keep moths and other pests away.

    

  • Over handling your finch(es) will easily stress them out which can lead to illness and/or death

 

  • Their environment should be peaceful with no loud noises or excessive arm/hand movements

 

Note:  We have eyes at the front of our faces, unlike finches whose eyes are on the side. This gives us a predator face which can stress out these little guys. Just keep this in mind while interacting with your newfound friend.    

 

 

 
NECTAR RECIPE (Zosteropidae finches ie; White-Eyes):
  1. Mix 4 parts water to 1 part table sugar in a pan. For example, use 1 cup sugar to 4 cups water.  Do not use honey, Jell-O or brown sugar.   Especially do not use artificial sweeteners.  Putting birds on a diet will kill them. Do not use red food coloring. Do not add anything else, just sugar and water, that's all.
  2. Bring to a boil then remove from the heat. Stir it while it is heating until all of the sugar is dissolved. Don't boil it for long because that will change the ratio as water is boiled off. The reason for boiling is not to make syrup, but to drive out the chlorine in the water and to kill mold and yeast spores that might be in the sugar. This will help make the nectar last longer both in the feeder and in your refrigerator. 
  3. Cover and allow to cool before using or pouring into the storage bottle. Making a large batch of nectar and storing it in the refrigerator in a 2 liter soda bottle (washed thoroughly first) makes refilling the feeder so easy that you won't mind doing it every few days.

Cleanliness:
    Sugar water is a very rich growth medium. Yeasts like to eat it causing fermentation and mold and bacteria grow in it which can harm to your birds.  You must change the nectar frequently to avoid these contaminants. In cooler temperatures we recommend changing it every seven days. If your temperatures get above 70 degrees, follow this chart:

High temperatures

 

Change nectar after

71-75

 

6 days

76-80

 

5 days

81-84

 

4 days

85-88

 

3 days

89-92

 

2 days

93+

 

change daily

 
 

Note: If you notice that the nectar is turning milky or that white strings or black spots are growing in it, change it more often. 

Clean the feeder with very hot water each time you refill it.  Most good feeders come apart for easier cleaning. Be sure and take them apart every time. If contamination occurs, use a mild bleach solution to sterilize it, but if you use bleach, rinse thoroughly afterwards. Even a tiny amount of bleach could be harmful to birds. Glass or metal pieces can be boiled, but you should probably not boil plastic pieces. The black mold may leave a very faint stain, but this will not affect the safe operation of the feeder.


Thanks to the WildBirdShop.com for this information...

 


BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR FINCHES:
 

Bright Lighting - at least 12 to 14 hours per day. If lighting is not sufficient the birds may not be able to feed enough for their high metabolisms. If the lighting time is too long, they will not get enough sleep. Full Spectrum lighting is recommended either in bulbs or tubes.
 

Heating - Since finches are from tropical regions, it is imperative that heating be provided in their environment. Temperatures between 65 to 70 degrees F are typical to thrive, while some finches, due to their extreme sensitivities, require temperatures between 68 to 86 degrees F. 
 

Sleeping Habits - Some finches spend the night on branches or perches while others require the safety of a nest, even if it’s not mating season. Without their nest, it is easy for them to catch cold or panic at the slightest nighttime disturbance. 
 

Cages - Cages can never be too large. Finches prefer flight cages - a cage where the width of the cage is longer than the width or height. Extra cages are used for quarantine, which is necessary to acclimate your new finch to it’s environment. Placing the quarantine cage close to their new cage helps the new finch become acquainted with it’s new roommates. A hospital cage is also necessary to separate weak birds from the group while they are being treated.  
 

Perches - Perches, no more than 4 to 5 per cage, should be placed where the birds tail will not rub against the cage walls. Perches should not interfere significantly with the flight area. Rough textured perches are the easiest for finches to grab hold of. Different dimensions of perches ensure that their feet are exercised and kept healthy. To sanitize perches, clean by scraping and bake (200 degrees F, 93 degrees C) them often.
 

Dishes - Stainless Steel dishes are best for bathing and drinking. 

Nesting Boxes - There should be two nesting boxes for each pair of finches to allow them choices of where to nest.
 

Compatibility Issues:

Most exotic finches are friendly birds that cohabitate with their own kind and should never be kept singly. They need very close contact with a partner in order to be happy and healthy. You will know that your finches have “paired up” when you see two of them flying, feeding, preening each other and perching together. Their bond will likely last their lifetime. That being said, some exotic finches do not get along well with others. Following are definitions of aggressive behavior to help you be aware if your finches are not happy together.
 

Signs of aggressive behavior include:

Threatening - extending the neck with open or closed bill; 

Pecking - hacking at each other with their beaks; 

Ousting - chasing off a perch as an example, and rousting it each time it tries to settle. This is typically due to conflicts over territory during mating season; 
 

Gestures of Submission - when a weaker bird uses begging motions of a baby bird to appease it’s attacker. 

If you find that any of your finches are in the weaker position in any of these situations, it’s best to remove them from the cage, away from the aggression. 
 

The Aggression Charts above will assist you in making appropriate choices for the finches you choose to house in your aviaries and/or cages.

 

This information was gathered from “The Finch Handbook” by Christa Koepff and April Romagnano, PhD, DVM

 
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