Animal-Worlds Featured Pet of the Week: The Zebra Finch
Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Zebra Finch!
If you would like to try out a bird as a pet, the Zebra Finch may be a great way to go! They are small, easy to care for, relatively hardy, and inexpensive! I know many people who have had them for pets, and they are especially good for an older child who would like a bird but who may not be ready for the responsibility and care that comes with a larger bird such as a conure or parrot. They are a good bird that is best enjoyed by sitting back and watching and listening to them – rather than handling and training them. They are very active birds and love to tweet and fly around often.
The Zebra Finch Poephila guttata castanotis originated in Australia and has been one of the most popular pet birds for over 100 years! In Australia, they are naturally wild in over 90% of its landmass, they live and breed in groups, and feed on grass seeds from the ground. They actually live a fairly long life in domestic conditions – up to 12 years with decent care – and are quite easy to breed in captivity if you have a desire to do so.
Their care is not hard to accommodate into most people’s lives, although it does take daily maintenance. They should be provided with fresh water every day as well as fresh food. The best food for them is a finch seed mix – which can be found at virtually any pet store. Treats can be offered occasionally, which could include moistened bread, green vegetables (lettuce, celery tops and spinach), and packaged bird seed treats from pet stores. It is essential that you provide them with grit which contains charcoal because they need it to aid in their digestion and provide them with certain minerals. You can purchase this grit at a pet store as well and either spread it on the bottom of their cage or provide it in a separate dish from their food. They should also be given a cuttlebone to provide them with calcium. Calcium helps keep their beaks strong as well as aids in reproduction.
Zebra finches also need and love baths, so providing them with a bowl of bathwater every day is great for their health and well-being. Their nails will continue to grow as well, so it is best to keep an eye on them and if you notice their nails getting a little long you will want to trim them back a tiny bit.
If you want to provide optimal conditions for your zebra finch(es), make sure to provide a cage that is big enough for them to fly in and that is larger horizontally than vertically because they love to fly in a horizontal direction. This will help keep them in good physical shape and they will be happier overall. Also provide at least one or two perches (depending on how big the cage is) so that they have places to stand other than the cage bottom. These birds also do much better when kept in pairs and not singly – so plan on buying at least 2 finches and ensure the cage is large enough to accommodate that!
As I stated earlier, zebra finches are hardy little birds and rarely get sick. As long as you keep them in a healthy environment, provide the proper diet, and keep them out of drafts (all birds should be kept out of drafty areas), you will most likely have a very healthy bird (or pair of birds!) for many years.
Zebra Finches are available almost everywhere and should be easy to find if you would like to purchase one. For more detailed information on their care, read up on Animal-World’s Zebra Finch care guide!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.