So you’ve welcomed a finch into your family – congratulations! Discover everything you need to know about how to care for your new pet finch, including advice on grooming, health care, nutrition and routine.
Finch fact file
Life span – Up to 12 years
Size – 8-12cm
Diet – Birdseed, crumbles, fruits and veggies
Home – 73cm x 46cm x 46cm cage
Care and maintenance
If you’re looking for a pet that will bring personality, beauty and song into your house without extensive upkeep, a finch is the perfect new friend for you.
Not usually ones to stay quiet, your finch will liven up your life for up to 15 years. While they are usually hands-off pets, a finch is the perfect companion animal and has been known to perch on your finger.
Like most birds, finches love to live with their own kind. If you have enough space it’s definitely recommended that you parent a couple of finches, mixed gender or same sex, or even more than two.
A birdcage is the perfect place for your new pet to perch or, if you are introducing a flock of new friends to your home, an aviary. Finches tend to fly horizontally rather than vertically so make sure your cage is wider rather than taller. Talk to your local Petbarn team member about what size cage you will need for the number of birds you plan to have. For some comfy bedding at the base of your birdcage, you can use recycled paper.
Finches aren’t crazy for toys but they love a perch, swing, fresh pick of grasses and leafy branches. Include these items in their cage to keep them active and entertained. When placing toys in your finch’s cage, keep them out of the flight path so your pets can dart around as they please.
Like all birds, finches love to keep themselves clean. Make sure they have access to a suitably sized bathing bowl for washing.
Location is important. Place your finch’s cage at or below eye level, away from excessive sunlight and away from anything that is quite aromatic, like your kitchen. Birds have a very efficient respiratory system. They absorb anything in the air really well and easily suffer toxic side effects from things like aerosols, cigarette smoke, essential oils, etc.
Finches need a balanced diet to give them the right vitamins and nutrients. Commercial crumbles from your local Petbarn will cover their dietary requirements perfectly.
Mimic your finch’s natural eating habits by giving them fresh fruits, leafy greens and vegetables. Some species of finch prefer mealworms, fly pupae and sprouts.
If your bird has left their food for over four hours, remove the scraps and try serving less next time. Include a water bowl in their birdcage at all times and keep it clean by washing daily.
The best way to transport your finches is in a small, covered cage, pet carrier or even a small box. The size should not be stifling, but just big enough for your pet to be comfortable.
Leave any sharp objects or unsecure items at home to prevent your finches being injured. One or two securely fixed bars is enough for your birds to enjoy the ride.
Secure the cage with a safety belt. For longer journeys, you may need to shield the cage from direct sunlight and make water stops to keep your pet hydrated and comfortable.
Finches are more than happy to take control of their own hygiene. Simply supply a decent-sized bowl for bathing to keep them content. Fill up the bowl with filtered, chlorine-free, tepid water for your finch to bathe in. Alternatively, you can mist your finch to keep them clean and cool.
While they keep themselves fresh and clean for the most part, your finch will need assistance when it comes to caring for their talons. Take your finch to your local Greencross Vets to keep their nails neatly trimmed.
New finches should be health-checked by a vet. To prevent your finch from catching any nasties like mites, lice or worms, parasite prevention is advisable. You will need to worm your finch every three months for outdoor birds, six months for indoor birds and use mite and lice spray if they are exposed to other birds. Ask your local Petbarn team member what parasite protection products you will need.
Finches are prone to ailments like diarrhoea, avian pox and fungal infections. Regularly check your bird for signs such as fluffed up feathers (this occurs if they have a low temperature), closed eyes, lethargy, hunched posture, droopy tail and/or wings, discharge around eyes, nose or beak, sneezing and coughing, diarrhoea and irregular breathing.
If you notice any of these signs or anything else peculiar, refer to your local Greencross Vets for treatment.
Pet safety tips
Finches are sensitive to the cold, and this can have fatal effects for them. Make sure to keep your finch away from any cold draughts. If you live in a colder climate, or your finch is outside during winter, provide a cover for their birdcage.
Your finch relies on sunlight. It’s crucial you provide your finch with constant access to the sun’s rays. If the cage is positioned in direct sunlight, however, make sure there is a shady spot for your bird to cool down in if needed.
Tip: Birds have sensitive respiratory systems. Scented candles, air fresheners and perfumes can harm them.
Find everything you need for your pet finch in the bird supplies section of Petbarn in-store and online.
- Bird crumbles
- Eggs, insects & biscuits (depending on breed)