Monday, 25 April 2011

zebra finch

Zebra Finches

In the wild Zebra Finches are hardy little grass finches that occupy grass or brush lands, dry savannas, open areas, pastures and cultivated fields.  In our homes, they steal the hearts of their owners with their cheerful nature and active lifestyle.  But that is not the only reason that Zebra Finches have been one of the most popular cage birds for over one-hundred years.  These attractive little creatures are also hardy, inexpensive, active, and one of the easiest birds to keep and breed.
Zebra Finches are great birds for a beginner or for any bird enthusiast!  They maintain their happy disposition throughout their seven to ten year lifespan with continuous work and song.  They are also one of the most popular varieties seen in pet stores.  Zebra Finches need the company of other finches, so plan on getting a pair, and you will need a decent sized cage so they can fly.
Zebra Finches are available in many different patterns and colors.  Typically, the male Zebra Finch has a gray upper body and wings and a white belly.  Their beak and legs are a red-orange color and there is a cheek patch on each side of its head.  They also have a teardrop mark under the eye that can be brown, tan or fawn, but is commonly called “orange” by Zebra Finch enthusiasts.  The flanks or sides located just below the wings of male Zebra Finches are chestnut-colored (orange) with white dots.  And finally, the male’s chest is black and white striped like a zebra, hence the name Zebra Finch.
The female Zebra Finches also have a gray upper body and wings with a white belly, but their beaks and legs are lighter in color then the males’.  Females also have a black teardrop mark under the eye.  Some different Zebra Finch varieties include the Fawn, Chestnut Flanked White,Lightback , Pied, Black or Orange Breasted and the Black Cheek.
Zebra Finches originate from Australia where they live in dry areas and eat mostly grass seeds.  Seeds are also the basic food for them in captivity.  However, offering your finches fresh foods from your kitchen is also an option.  Different individual birds will have different likes and dislikes.  You can experiment with a variety of food items to see what your particular birds will like to eat.
Try offerings them things like mixed vegetables, sprouts (alfalfa, etc.), hard boiled eggs (mashed), lettuce, spinach, bread crumbs, and corn bread.  Most natural foods can be fed to your birds.  Just stay away from extremes like peppers, cabbage, etc.  Make sure to feed your Zebra Finches only the amount of fresh food that they will consume on a daily basis.
Remove any food that they do not eat before it spoils.  Although Zebra Finches are very hardy and can go for a long period of time without water since they are desert birds (not recommended), eating daily is vital for their survival – so make sure that you always keep their seed bowl filled.

1 comment:

  1. Hello!
    I am thrilled to find this blog regarding finches. I am and will always be a canine lover at heart but because of personal illness, my body strength does not permit me to care for a German Shepherd as I have done all my life.

    I moved into a small rental last year and much to my dismay my landlord would not allow my Maye to come live with me. This broke my heart as she was my very best friend. It was hard to say goodbye, so I didn' daughter did it for me and my CNA found her a very good home with a loving family, 25 acres of farm land, 2 teenagers a dog trainer and a beagle named Snoopy. I was devastated, so lost without her and felt so unprotected. Nobody would enter the property with her by the door or on her runner. She saved me from 2 burglaries, and 3 serious diabetic seizures. She was most certainly a canine spirit I will never ever forget and most likely will see again when we cross through heavens gates.

    This past Christmas I was bound and determined to find a pet of some kind. I've had birds before, mainly parakeets, but have had canaries and finches as well, breeding Zebras for about over 1 year, but because the clutches were weak and the parents just were not brooding well, I sold them and gave up. It broke my heart to see the babies not make it, and being inexperienced I felt it my fault.

    Time has rolled by, years passed really since and I became determined to fill a void in my heart some how. So, this past Christmas Day my grand-kids and daughter came for Holiday dinner and gift exchange. After it was all over my grandson went outside as I was in my kitchen. He called me to come to my living room and because I have to use a walker, I was slow getting to him. (Grandma was slow, but she was old....get it???? hahahh)and he was becoming extremely disgruntled with me, so he grabbed my hand requesting my presence quicker than I could high step. I turned the corner and there sat the smallest, prettiest bright orange cheek, tiny Zebra striped tailed male Finch I've ever seen. When I sat down by him he was startled and was quiet for nearly 1/2 hour but as my grandson talked to him, he started his "warbling" little by little. He was absolutely what I needed to keep me company! I am so thrilled with him and named him Jorgie that afternoon. I've watched him change almost daily, his feathers change color (breast from pure white to brownish grey)as well as watched him grow larger and now has lost and already grown all new, pretty fresh feathers. He is stunning!! He's not a finicky eater, loves his seed of course. I had to pick the Millet off the stem for him at first as he didn't know what to do with it but now, the little porker knows exactly how to eat it, when and even where to spit out the hull. lol! He likes boiled egg +shell finely chopped, apple chopped, nutri-grain bar pieces (small tiny pieces-1/2"= 2 times a week-I crumble and separate in smaller dish), apple and or banana rolled in peanut butter and seed, wheat toast crumbs, applesauce and yogurt mix-1/2 teaspoon-2 times a week-I found it helps him when his bowels get loose as it puts the good bacteria back he's lost and the applesauce helps "stiffen" with the natural pectin. I try new things, as well as his honey-treated seeds I give him once a week. I just don't want him to become obese nor do I want to harm or poison him. I read quite a bit about them, and that is how I found your blog. I'm searching for a larger cage and a female mate. Currently he is his best friend. I put a mirror in between the locking parts of his cage and he sits and talks to himself as well as plays, kisses, and dances. He's a corker, but he's my little corker and friend and I'm so thankful to have him bless my world as he does.

    Thanks for reading. I do hope to check back from time to time and find more info. Thanks again.

    Jaynie Keets