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How to look after a Canary | Kellyville Pets

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This comprehensive care guide will show you how to look after a Finch in 3 easy steps

Fast Facts:

How long will my Finch live? They can live 8-12 years

How big will it grow? Up to 10cm

What size of enclosure is recommended for my Finch? An aviary of 2ft x 2ft x5ft

What does a Finch eat? Predominantly a seed-eating species

Finch Housing

Finches are a sociable species and can be housed in an aviary with species such as canaries, neophemas and diamond doves. Finches should not be housed with dominant species like lorikeets, rosellas, cockatiels, budgies, lovebirds and conures. 

Ideally, an aviary for Finches should be 2ft(W) X 2ft(D) X 5ft(H) with floors that are easy to maintain and keep clean, and do not hold moisture as this can encourage diseases. 

Finches will enjoy the addition of plants and shrubbery to their aviary. As a general rule any native Australian plant is safe for use in an aviary.

Finch Care

Finches are predominantly a seed eating species so their captive diet should consist of a canary seed mix, which should contain a variety of seeds such as french white millet, plain canary, pannicum and japanese millet. Grit assists with digestion so small amounts should be added to their daily seed. 

Seed lacks important vitamins and minerals so their daily diet should be supplemented with small portions of fresh fruit and vegetables such as apple, carrot, beans, peas, corn, broccoli and spinach. Never feed Finches lettuce or avocado, and always remove the seeds from apples. Fruit and vegetables should not be left for prolonged periods of time as they will easily spoil and this can lead to illness from the bacteria and yeasts that grow on spoilt produce. 

Vitamin supplements such as Soluvite D or Multivet can be added to your Finches water two or three times a week. Calcium and Iodine can be provided through cuttlebone and iodine bells. 

Fresh water should always be available and should be changed on a daily basis. Worming should be repeated every three months with a broad-spectrum bird wormer.

Finch Feeding

Enrichment is all about enhancing the quality of life for your Finch and generally relates back to activities they would usually perform in the wild. Unlike hand raised birds, aviary birds do not require the same level of mental stimulation, as being in a flock environment provides that for them.

However, it is still recommended to give them lots of activities to do within the aviary as boredom can sometimes lead to aggression within certain species. This can be achieved by providing natural branches of varying lengths, shapes and thicknesses. 

There are many native branches that you could offer your Finches such as eucalyptus, gum, grevillea, bottle brush and lilly pilly, many of which have natural nuts and flowers that providing a foraging opportunity for your Finches. This also allows Finches to properly exercise their feet and beak as they can chew and strip the bark perches.

Did You Know?

There are 4 major families of finches.

Australian finches belong to the Estrildidae family, and there are 18 species of Australian finches recognised within this family.

Keeping finches can be a joy for bird keepers of any age or experience level. Whether they’ve been set up to breed or simply to socialise, observing their antics is one of life’s little pleasures.

We have created a Shopping list to show what you need to look after a Finch:

  • Aviary; 2ft x 2ft x 5ft
  • Water bowls
  • Food bowls
  • Perch brackets
  • Natural perches
  • Hanging feeder
  • Carry cage
  • Seed & millet
  • Vitamins
  • Worming
  • Avicare disinfectant
  • Lice & Mite spray
  • Net
  • Calcivet
  • Aviclens
  • Coopex
  • Nests
  • Nesting material
  • Ladders

      Common health issues in Finches

      Psittacosis: A type of bacterial lung infection commonly carried by wild and domesticated birds, and able to be passed onto humans.

      Respiratory Infections: Usually caused by bacteria infecting the respiratory system of birds due to vitamin A deficiency, however can be caused by many other factors such as fungi, parasites and environmental toxins.

      Bacterial Infections: There are many common bacterial diseases birds are susceptible to and is usually caused by lack of hygiene or stress, especially when there is another factor compromising the birds immune system.

      Red flags

      Is your Finch showing any of the signs of disease or illness? If yes, please contact your vet.

      • Fluffed up feathers
      • Nasal discharge
      • Lethargy
      • Out of character behaviour
      • Discoloured poo or diarrhoea
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        At Kellyville Pets, we encourage responsible pet ownership.

        CARE GUIDE © Copyright 2016 Kellyville Pets - All information found in this care guide is based upon our own experience. The information provided is not the only information available. In any medical situations,  you should always consult your vet, including questions regarding your pet's diet.