Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Right Cage for a Pet Finch

Finches are small birds often kept as house pets.  Sadly some people make bad mistakes when selecting the cage for their finch. 

Today in the Animal Cabin, we feature an article by Georgina Dawes, who writes about the importance of selecting the right cage for pet finches.

"Whether you are breeding or taking in a bird as your pet, choose a shelter accordingly. There are two cages that you can provide for finches, a regular cage or an aviary.
If you have only one or two finches, then you have the option of using a regular cage but one that is spacious. The smallest that the cage should be is 12x18 inches, and that is recommended for only one finch; but it isn’t suggested that you have only one finch. These are birds that do better in pairs and with each other. They are not interactive with people only with other finches and that makes them happy. That is unless you raise one and take the time to finger train them. The more finches the merrier, but only in even numbers! At times if there is an odd number of finches, two of them will begin to pick on one that is either smaller, weaker or of the opposite gender. They will begin to de-feather them, and at times can kill the odd bird out.

The small cage should obtain everything that an aviary would: feeder, water cup a bath and perches. Make sure that the cage is in a room that is used often, and is at room temperature. Place the cage at eye level so that the finch can see everything that is going on their environment, and make sure that there is a constant air circulation. Finches are very sensitive to temperature and if the room is too hot or too cold they can catch an illness. It isn’t recommended that the cage is outside unless you have an aviary, or the spot where it’s at can be temperature controlled. Any degrees that is over 90 or any weather that is deliberately cold will can be very deadly. Take extra precaution!

art by Mark Gordon Brown


Aviaries are the best choice if you wish to have a group of finches together. Aviaries are very large cages for finches and are similar to the size of a walk in closet. These are most commonly used for breeding birds or for owners who purchase birds often. It’s easier for the finches to breed in these room-sized cages, because they don’t feel as constricted. In one you have more options: you can set up more greenery, more perches, more feeders and baths, and you can separate the birds within the aviary if you’d like. With one of these you are able to walk in to change their food and water. This makes it easier for you and it doesn’t alarm the birds.

In the aviary you can include multiple misters which makes keeping finches outside when it’s warm not as risky to them. If the weather is cold there are always heaters that you can buy for these and most of them come with a protective roof; keeping out rain and other bird feces. It’s essential that these come with a mesh covering, or you attach one to it. There are more insects and small critters that can crawl into the aviary outside of your house. Buy an aviary that fits your needs and your location’s common weather conditions.

Finches can be great pets for a single pet owner or a family. They are effective pets to have in apartments because they don’t make too much of a mess, and aren’t overly loud. Depending on which breed of the finch you purchase, some of them may sing more often than others. The Society finch is one of the breeds where only the male is vocal, and more often when he is mating. If you wish to have an extremely vibrant and colorful bird that sings more often, take a look at the Zebra finch (as in the drawing). Be sure you have time to provide the birds’ basic needs, then you won’t have any problems owning one. Cages, food, temperature, activity and bird interaction are the finches basic needs.

It is important that you know what the finch looks like when they aren’t feeling well. Their feathers tend to fall out, their eyes are droopy and they do not look attentive. It’s best to research or ask your doctor if your finch has odd behavior. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Enjoy the wild and lively birds for what they have to offer, and choose one that fits your personality; it’s not like you have hundreds to choose from!"

Article Source

Read also this article by Mark Gordon Brown, in regards to building a large starplate aviary.  You will need different wire for an aviary for finches, you will note Mark used stucco wire which is fine for large birds, but a finch can easily get through, however the design is excellent where weather allows such aviaries.

3 comments:

  1. Nice! I really enjoyed reading your post. Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work.

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  2. I really appreciate your effort in providing such a great information for all of us. This will be very useful for those who to keep this wild yet beautiful birds.

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  3. Hi!

    I would just like to quickly add something up about what to consider on cages for finches.
    The size of the cage should be big enough for the finches to fly around. Take into account the kind of finches that will be living in the cage because different kind of finches behave in different ways, another thing is to check the bar space because you wouldn't want your finches escaping and flying away :)

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