Juniper Times

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Very Sociable Bengalese Finches

Centuries ago Japanese breeders bred the Asian Striated with the Sharptail Manakin and created this lovely breed. Bengalese finches are beautiful and truly unique because they are the only breed of finch to be completely man-made.

They have a lovely temperament making them one of the most popular breeds. They are only 11-12cm in length but need a lot space to fly about. Remember this when building an aviary or purchasing a cage.

Give them a dish about one inch high with about half an inch of water in it for bathing. Or you could have a small bath house attached to the outside which they can use whenever they like.

Bengalese finches come in pure white, fawn and white or chocolate and white. There are also crested forms that have been developed over many years that have ended up being tri-coloured.

One of the main causes of illness in finches is an unhealthy diet, so make sure they have a regular supply of fresh food and water.

They will eat parakeet seed mix or canary seeds. They will also eat other bird seed mixes. You can make this at home or pick up ready-made seed mix at your local pet store.

Add seed mix to some honey with a bits of apple as a treat. They also eat chickweed, spinach or other green foods.

Provide the Bengalese finches with cuttlebone it contains lime which helps digestion and calcium to keep their beaks strong. Calcium is also found in oyster shells or crushed eggshells, eggshells will help prevent egg binding during fertilization.

Grit with charcoals is also good for their digestion it contains trace elements and minerals. Sprinkle this on the cage floor or put it in a cup.

The ‘Society finch’ is the American name for Bengalese finches. The name fits them perfectly, they are very busy and entertaining but don’t let this get in the way of the other breeds who might be trying to breed.

A lot of finches will attempt to get as many into a single finch nest as possible and won’t stop until it is literally impossible for them to fit anymore in. This will be bad for the un-hatched chicks because too many eggs will not be taken care of. Monitor how many are in one nest box.

Also, as this is purely a domestic breed it means you will have to take-over the job of feeding, adults will do it but it won’t be good enough. Remember to give them plenty of protein and calcium.

One of the main jobs is nail trimming. Make sure however that you don’t cut into its vain because it will probably bleed to death. You can purchase powder to stop bleeding and also nail trimmers from most retailers.