The word “society” is perfectly suited for these little birds due to their extremely social nature. They are so social, that they should always be kept in groups. In fact, they are such busybodies that they can often get in the way and disrupt the breeding habits of other more private birds. But their energetic nature is never aggressive and they make wonderful pets for novice as well as advanced bird lovers.
Society Finches are believed to have been developed in Asia over three hundred years ago by Chinese and Japanese breeders. It is assumed that they are a domestic form of the White-backed Munia (Lonchura striata), but their absolute ancestry is uncertain. These friendly birds grow to be about four and one-fourth inches to four and three-fourths inches (11-12 cm).
Society Finches have three basic color varieties: chocolate and white, fawn and white, and pure white. There are also tri-colored, crested forms (developed in the 1930′s), and solid-colored Society Finches. But what makes them really great is that no two Society Finches are alike.
Society Finches make great pets for beginners. In addition to their ideal temperament, they are inexpensive and one of the easiest birds to care for. Fresh food and water must be provided for these hardy birds daily. A good finch seed mix will provide their everyday preference for millets and canary seed. Finch seed mix is readily available at any pet store.
Owners should also supply their Social Finches with green foods, such as chickweed and spinach, in a separate cup on a regular basis. Other food supplements can include egg foods, apples or pears. You can even spoil your finches with special nutritious treats of seeds with honey, fruits or vegetables.
Grit with charcoal is also essential to your Social Finch’s diet to aid in digestion, plus it contains valuable minerals and trace elements. Grit should be provided in a special cup or it can be sprinkled over the bottom of the cage floor. Owners should also provide their birds with a cuttlebone because the calcium that it provides will give your bird a firm beak, strong eggshells when breeding, and it will also prevent egg binding in females. The lime in the cuttlebone also aids the birds in their digestion. Since Society Finches are very hardy birds, almost all illnesses can be traced to an improper diet, dirty cages, or drafts. Society Finches with a balanced diet and plenty of exercise are able to avoid most illnesses.
Occasionally you can offer your Society Finches a bath by setting a dish in the bottom of the cage that is about 1″ deep with a 1/2″ of water inside, or you can clip a bath house onto the side of the cage. Another aspect of Society Finch care involves trimming their nails. Owners must be careful to never clip into the vein because the bird can quickly bleed to death. Bird nail trimmers and styptic powder to stop the bleeding are available at any pet shop.