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One of the biggest mistakes when housing finches together is making the enclosure too small. Finch are tiny as birds go, but for physical and emotional health, they need sufficient territory. If finches are provided with the proper habitat, different species of finches can live together. When it comes to inhabiting the same enclosure, some finches are more compatible than others.
Size is Everything
An enclosure designed to house finches is called an aviary. Providing a proper aviary is essential when keeping these birds, and the first consideration should be space. The minimum space per finch pair should measure 32 inches wide by 22 inches deep and 36 inches in height. An enclosure this size gives finches ample room to stretch their wings, and maintain an individualized space of personal territory. Most finch keepers find an enclosure of 5 feet long, 5 feet wide and 2 feet deep is ideal when housing four to six birds.
As a rule, finch prefer the company of other finches and flourish with communal living. When keeping different finch species, aviculturists, or bird hobbyists, recommend staying away from the more aggressive birds such as cutthroat, diamond firetail, gray singing, java sparrow, melba saffron and weaver finch. Finch that do well together are often species from the same region such as the Australian owl, shaft-tail, star, Gouldian, painted and masked finch. Mixing birds within the same finch species is a popular practice when housing these birds. For example, you can keep a variety of all zebra finch and black cheeked, black faced, timor, crested, light back, fawns or Florida fancy finch together.
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For finches to commune happily together it is important to provide a complex environment with busy work and foraging opportunities. Equip the finch enclosure with a few 3/4 inch softwood, or vine-like, perches. Similar sized tree branches make ideal perches and will aid in wearing the finches claws down. Branches with leaves add a realistic touch and are perfect for hiding treats. Finch need room for short flights, but a couple of toys, a reflector and a landing branch will be appreciated. A ceramic dish of fresh bathing water should always be available and separated from drinking water.
Need to Feed and Forage
Mixed species of finches have the same dietary needs and can eat from the same feeding station. Seed mixes, made especially for finches, is an everyday staple. In addition to seed, finches in captivity need a supplement of vitamins, minerals and proteins. Sprouts, spray millet and cod liver oil are vitamin-rich foods. Protein snacks for pet finch include cubes of whole wheat bread soaked in milk, avian egg food, meal worms, fruit flies and chunks of dry dog food. Occasional treats to be offered sparingly include greens such as chickweed, spinach, leaf lettuce or watercress. For a nutritious snack finch enjoy a dash of honey mixed with seed or bits of fruit and vegetables.
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