How to care for your finch...

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With the exception of the Zebra Finch and Society Finch the Gouldian is probably the most popular finch kept in aviaries around the United States. The Gouldian Finch (Erythrura gouldiae) comes from tropical northern Australia where the three head colors, Red, Black and Orange all occur naturally in the wild.  Their striking beauty overwhelms all who see them and they testify to the awesome creative power of their Maker.

The Gouldian is a good caged bird for it is not as flighty as some of the other finches. This is also true of the Zebra Finch and the Society Finch. Many of the other finches tend to be very flighty in an inside cage.

They do not require mealworms or animal protein as do the Cordon Blues

I am always reading of how fragile Gouldian finches are and do not agree with this. We very, very rarely have had an adult bird die and find them hardy. They withstand the AZ winters outside and breed with success. I think the domestic stock now available is much hardier. They require: a good quality finch mix (I mix premium finch seed with canary seed, ~3 parts finch:1 part Canary), seeding grass heads, sprouted seeds and greens (such as endive, dandelion and watercress)

Our pairs daily get a dish of our mash with sprouts and greens on top.

I supplement their food when breeding with hardboiled eggs. Egg food is another way we increase protein. Egg binding is sometimes a problem for hen Gouldians. To guard against egg binding, feed a good quality grit mix,  finely ground oyster shell, crushed sterilized egg shell, or cuttlebone. In our grit, I sprinkle charcoal over the top. Egg binding is also deterred by allowing your hens flights large enough to keep them muscularly strong. Charcoal aids in digestion and adds carbon to their diet.

Millet helps the babies during their fledging time and is often the first seed that youngsters will eat on their own.

Again, I am emphasizing that fresh foods for all birds is essential. No "only seed or only pellet" diets. A dish of parrot mash which is corn, yam, broccoli heads, peas, carrots, and sprouts all mixed together is given every morning. They also get fruits and always an orange slice. Once a week or so, I give them a hard boiled egg all pureed in a food processor (with the shell on). Make sure you boil for 20 minutes to kill any chicken germs. The other must is a dark green leafy veggies, but not spinach...kale and romaine are good, but my birds also like cilantro. 

The last important care is to always have clean water. I, oops, my sistesr, Jessie, cleans it 2x per day and adds a squirt of apple cider vinegar each time. Finches like to bathe daily.  Offer a shallow crock/bowl daily.  Its a treat to watch finches bathe.  Finches also drink a lot of water.  Offer a few sources/bowls. The clean water is a biggie. For more on the benefits of ACV, please go to:

http://www.ladygouldianfinch.com/features_applecidervinegar.mgi   http://www.cagenbird.com/vinegar.htm

Keep your birds out of drafts and ask if you have any questions. 

Finches are best when kept in pairs.  If you do not want breeding to happen, then get two males or two females.  One finch is a lonely finch

Most beginners try and keep finches in a cage that is TOO SMALL. Try and purchase one wider than it is high (30 wide).  The bars need to be spaced close together.  Natural branches can be added for perches (citrus make good branches).  Provide a window or source of sun light, but make sure there is shade too for your finch to get under.

For an explanation of how we sprout finch seed, please go to our Sprouts page. 

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