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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Finch Pintail

Finch Pintail

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Traits & behavior

Social
Finches love to have visual contact with people, however, typically do not like to be handled. Talking and whistling to your bird will provide them the interaction and socialization they need.

Song birds
The soothing sounds of the male bird make the finch an entertaining pet.

High metabolic rate
Because a finch's metabolism is very active, starvation can occur in as little as 24 hours. Food should be available at all times.

Communal

There are multiple species of finches and some do not get along. Larger species of finches should not be housed in the same cage as smaller species.

Messy eaters
Your finch will drop a lot of food while eating.
 

Things to remember

Supervision
Don't forget that children, pets and unfamiliar guests should be supervised when interacting with your finch.

Lifespan
Before purchasing your bird, be aware that a finch requires a commitment of approximately five years.

Safety & cleanliness
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet's home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.
 

Nutrition

Staple diet
Feed 1-2 teaspoons of a seed-based or pellet, fortified finch diet everyday. Also, finches only eat off the top layer of the food dish, so if feeding seeds, be sure to check the food daily and remove empty seed hulls.

Fruits & vegetables*
About 5-10% of a finch's diet should be bite-sized fruits and veggies like apples, oranges, melon, sweet potatoes, broccoli, spinach, mustard greens and shredded carrots. Offer daily or every 2-3 days.

Supplements
Be sure to provide a cuttle bone in your finch's cage at all times.

Water
Finches should always have access to clean, fresh water in a bottle or bowl.

*Remember that fresh food requires its own dish and should be removed from the habitat within four hours to avoid spoilage.

Health

Signs of a healthy finch:

  • Clear, bright eyes
  • Clean, smooth feathers
  • Eats throughout the day
  • Normal droppings that are not runny for more than a couple of days
  • A curious and active disposition

Things to watch for:

  • Decreased appetite; weight loss
  • Decreased activity and grooming behavior
  • Sitting at the bottom of cage
  • Discharge from nose or mouth; frequent sneezing
  • Feathers fluffed for prolonged periods of time

If you notice any of the signs described above, consult an Avian Veterinarian.
 

Habitat

Housing
Finches like to fly, so when selecting a cage remember that length is better than height. Your finch's cage must be large enough for her to comfortably stretch her wings and fly from perch to perch. The bigger the cage, the better. Minimum cage size is 12"W x 12"L x 15"H. More than two finches require a correspondingly larger cage.

Perches
Place two perches at different heights, so your finch will be unable to soil her food bowls. Provide perches of differing widths, diameters and textures to help keep her feet
healthy.

Cage placement
Place your bird's cage off the floor, away from drafts, open windows and the kitchen. Be aware that finches are sensitive to smoke and strong odors. Cover the cage at night
to prevent drafts.

Wicker nests
Finches like to sleep in wicker nests. You can place clean grass hay or straw inside the cage and they will use it to line their nests. To avoid fights, there should be several more nests than birds inside the cage.

Baths
Provide a birdbath 2-3 times per week. Offer a warm water bath or gently mist her with warm water from a clean spray bottle.

Food & water containers
It is important to clean you bird's containers every day, even if the bowl or bottle looks full.

 

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