Animal-World’s Featured Pet for this week is: The Society Finch!
Society Finches are another great, easy to care for, all-around great, small bird for beginners! Finches in general, are a great pet bird to just look at, listen to, and keep yourself entertained with. We had so many finches come through the pet store because people just loved them! They would be sold out regularly. I personally think the Society Finch is one of the prettiest finches available. Not only are they pretty, but they are very social and you can keep several of them together!
Finches are really good birds for beginners. The Society Finch Lonchura domestica is a very small, very hardy, very easy to care for, and inexpensive bird. Especially when you compare them to the care required for most larger birds. They are also called “society” finches for a reason – because they LOVE to be social! They do best when kept in groups of many birds and are not aggressive at all! Finches are not generally handled and are primarily just used to look at and listen to. They play and chirp together and are happy when they have several companions. These birds are also very good at breeding; you can easily end up with several babies if you have a large group of finches!
The exact background on these birds is not known. It is thought that the Japanese and Chinese probably developed them by specifically breeding a bird called the White-backed Munia, which is another type of finch. This happened at least 300 years ago and it is not 100% certain this is how they came to be, or the exact reasons of why they were bred. They are, however, completely domesticated birds and are not found in the wild. This makes them great as pets!
Society Finches are very small, reaching less than 5 inches when full grown. They also come in quite a mix of patterns from three basic color varieties. These varieties include white, white and fawn, and white and chocolate. They have also been developed to have crested forms, all solid colors, and tri-colored birds. Quite a variety to choose from!
Caring for these birds couldn’t be easier. Finch Care is easy enough in general. The first rule of thumb is: provide them with fresh food and fresh water every day! Food can consist of a purchased finch seed mix and green vegetables. To mix it up a bit or as a treat feel free to occasionally offer them apples, pears, and egg foods. Society Finches also need to ingest grit to help digest their food and to provide trace elements and minerals. You can purchase grit at a pet store as well and it can be provided in a separate dish or spread over the bottom of their cage where they can readily reach it. Offering cuttle bones is also a good idea. Cuttle bones give them needed calcium to keep their beaks strong and to keep their eggshells healthy during breeding.
Society Finches do enjoy baths so feel free to offer them a dish of water occasionally on the bottom of their cage where they can bathe. Be prepared to trim their nails if they become too long. If you give them rough perches they may need their nails trimmed rarely or never. But do keep an eye on them regardless.
Provide a roomy cage for several society finches. Keep the cage away from drafts and direct sunlight. Make sure to change out the paper and clean out the cage every few days. If you really want to go all out, you can set up an aviary for them. These finches do very well in aviaries! They love the room to fly and having many companion birds.
If you want to try your hand at bird breeding, Society Finches are a great bird to start with. They breed readily and easily. You can choose to breed just one pair, or have at least 3 or more pairs in the same space (to reduce territorial fighting). Make sure there are plenty of nesting spaces which are closed or at least partially closed. As I mentioned before, make sure you are feeding your finches properly and giving them cuttle bones to ensure their eggs and offspring will be healthy. Females will lay 4-6 eggs and will do all the sitting on them. The eggs hatch within 12 to 13 days and both the males and females will help to feed the young.
Society Finches are extremely hardy birds. If you take care of them, they will almost certainly thrive! Keep their cages clean, provide them with a proper diet, and you should have very healthy birds!
Read more on Society Finches if these little birds pique your interest! If you are a breeder or want to become one, then good luck! These are great birds!
Jasmine is a team member at Animal-World and has contributed many articles and write-ups.