Choosing a Finch as a Pet
Different types of Finches:
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.
Chestnut Breast Finch
These have a white belly with a brown upper body. The face, chin and throat are black along with the under tail. Males and females are nearly identically in appearance, but males will have a broader head and a beak with a blacker face. Males sing and dance while females do not.
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 (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.
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. We recommend you pair Finches that are the same breed. They are shy birds and require very little human interaction.
Where Finches Like to Live
The cage for a Finch is much like a canary cage, however finches love space and love to fly, sing and socialize. 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 beach chippings.
Where do they come from?
Zebra Finches come from Australia, the Bengalese Finch originates from Japan and China. Java Sparrow Finches come from Southern Asia.
Exercise & Play
It is a good idea to provide toys within the cage for Finches, perches and balls are recommended. Finches rarely like being handled so it is important that there are proper toys available for them to interact with instead.
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 Finch has 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.
Bird bath/mist sprayer
A bird bath is a great way for the Finch 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 your Finch is a male he will sing and if it is a female she will lay eggs. This is generally how to figure out its sex.
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)
- Food- Finch food available from all Petmania stores
- Bedding- sand paper or beech chippings
- Food & water dishes- if not provided with the cage
- Toys like bells and perches
- Bird bath or mist spray
- Cuttlebone (source of calcium) and bird grit (to aid digestion)
- Bird safe disinfectant Treats (millet spray)
- Finch Book