There are now several varieties of domesticated foreign finches and their hybrids and many are becoming available in various colour mutations, but perhaps the most common are the Zebra Finch, Bengalese and Gouldian Finches. They originate mainly from tropical regions and therefore can benefit from feeding regimes suitable for tropical finches such as Haith's Foreign Finch Mix. Seed mixtures suitable for this group of birds are based upon high quality Mixed millets along with Canary and other plain seeds to give variety. Mixed millets usually consist of Red, Yellow, White and Japanese Millet along with high quality Panicum and Haith's Canadian Canary Seed all go to make the basis of a good domesticated foreign finch diet.
Plain Seeds such as Niger, linseed, rape, hemp and teazel and sometimes, pinhead oats and sesame seed are all beneficial and used in tonic mixes to give variety and to make up some of the discrepancies in essential vitamins and minerals. Most adult foreign finches will take Haith's Prosecto Insectivorous food and rearing foods such as Nectarblend, Egg Biscuit Food and Haith's Rearing and Condition Food during the breeding season to help maintain their own condition and also to feed their developing chicks.
Also beneficial at this time is a small but regular amount of Foreign Finch Soakseed, but don't overdo it as the chicks may be fed on nothing else. There will be times when there are signs of birds getting out of condition and then Haith's Foreign Finch Tonic food can work wonders. Foraging activity should always be encouraged and there is no better way than to offer Haith's Millet Sprays suspended from the enclosure roof. Soaked millet sprays are also very beneficial as a rearing food but don’t leave them around too long as they will develop moulds which can cause illness. All small seed-eaters require a Fine Oystershell Grit and Haith's Mineralised Tonic Grit is also a useful source of essential minerals. Small Cuttlefish Bone should always be available as a source of calcium, and Granulated Charcoal can also aid in the digestive process.
Zebra Finches originate from Australia and a few of the more eastern Indonesian islands. Domesticated forms include several colour variations as well as crested and yellow-billed varieties. They are delightful little birds, very easy to care for and will even breed in small groups. They can be housed in aviaries and will readily breed in typical breeding cages. In temperate regions they can be housed in outside aviaries providing there is adequate shelter and protection from freezing weather conditions.
Feeding is simple, consisting of a basic millet / canary seed mix including a few other seeds for variety. Haith's Foreign Finch Mix is ideal for the purpose but fresh chopped-up greenfood should also be offered particularly when breeding. Parents and young can all benefit from a supplementary diet of Haith's Rearing and Condition Food, Egg Biscuit Food or Nectarblend and Prosecto Insectivorous mix throughout the breeding season. Haith's Millet Sprays are also a very important addition to the diet as they also provide a welcome opportunity for the birds to forage. Millet Sprays are also very beneficial when soaked and can be used as a rearing food. Like all seed-eaters, Zebra Finches require a Fine Oystershell Grit and Small Cuttlefish bone, and Granulated Charcoal can also aid in the digestive process.
Next week, will be taking a look at Bengalese Finches and Gouldian Finches…
You and your birds are safe, with Haith’s.