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BIRD / new pets

Finch Care Guide

Tips from home to health to food and fun

Overview

4 things to know about your finch

  • Finches grow up to 5 inches in length
  • They live for about 5 years
  • Some male finches develop mating calls by memorizing their fathers’ songs, then adding in their own notes
  • Finches have very high metabolisms and can starve quickly

How do I set up a finch habitat

Birds are social creatures. Finches of the same species and size can be housed in pairs or flocks. Their enclosure must be large enough for finches to stretch their wings, climb and play.

  • Choose an enclosure that’s at least 12 x 12 x 15 inches (30 x 30 x 38 cm); the more birds that live in the enclosure, the larger it should be.
  • Place the enclosure at or below your eye level.
  • Birds are sensitive to strong smells, smoke and drafts. Keep the enclosure out of the kitchen and away from windows and doors.
  • Layer the bottom of the enclosure with aspen shavings, wood pellets, recycled paper or a liner. Change or clean the bottom of the enclosure at least once monthly.
  • Provide a shallow dish of water for finches to bathe in, or gently spritz them with warm water 2 or 3 times a week.
  • Encourage foraging by placing a hay ball in the enclosure.
  • Finches should also have a cuttlebone or mineral block to maintain a healthy beak and provide calcium for strong bones.
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What do finches eat?

Finches must have food available at all times; they can starve in as little as 24 hours.

  • Fortified pellet food should make up most of a finch’s diet. These pellets contain essential nutrients; some also include grains, fruits and vegetables. Refresh your finch’s pellet supply daily and keep the bowl at least three-quarters full.
  • Vegetables should make up 15% of your finch’s diet and can be given every other day. Fruits should make up about 5% of your finch’s diet; offer them about once a week. Remove any uneaten fruits and veggies after 4 hours.
  • Scrambled or boiled egg, wheat pasta, beans and peas are ideal treats, making up the last 5% of your finch’s diet. Offer 1 of these menu items once a month.
  • Always make sure your finch has clean, fresh water.
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How can I keep my finch healthy?

Try not to handle finches for 3 or 4 days, while they adjust to their new home. Even settled-in birds can get sick. Notice any of the following signs? Contact a veterinarian or a PetSmart store associate

  • Decreased appetite or weight loss
  • Decreased activity or grooming
  • Change in droppings for more than 2 days
  • Long periods sitting at the bottom of the cage
  • Sneezing; discharge from beak
  • Feathers fluffed up for a long time

PET SAFETY TIPS

  • Thoroughly wash your hands before contact with your finch.
  • Use caution when handling birds, and remember they may bite or scratch, especially when stressed.
  • Supervise children around birds.
  • All animals can carry viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic diseases that are contagious to humans. Thoroughly wash your hands with warm, soapy water after contact with any pet, its habitat, or aquarium water. Adults should assist children with hand-washing.

VET ASSURED™

Pets purchased at PetSmart are part of our exclusive Vet Assured™ program, designed by PetSmart veterinarians to help improve the health and well being of our pets.

Our vendors meet a high standard in caring for pets and screening them for common illnesses. This program also includes specific standards for in-store pet care.

PETSMART PROMISE

If your pet becomes ill during the initial 14-day period, or if you’re not satisfied for any reason, PetSmart will gladly replace the pet or refund the purchase price.