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Why Zebra Finches Are Ideal Pets

Zebra finches are one of the easiest breeds to take care of for both experienced bird enthusiasts and beginners alike, making them one of the most popular. They originate from the dry areas of Australia and are one of the most energetic breeds.

They are very sociable so it is a good idea to get a pair. To save mess inside it is best to build an aviary outside. Zebra finches fly long distances in the wild so an outdoor aviary is good for the space issue. If an aviary is not possible then a cage sat in the garden shed will be fine.

Their head, back and wings are usually gray, their bellies are white, their tails are black and white, their legs are orange and their eyes are brown.

Males and females have a few differences when it comes to colours and patterns, for example;

Males have a red to orange beak, chestnut flanks, a black band on the belly, black and white markings on the upper chest, and neck and chin, and chestnut cheek patterns.

The females on the other hand don’t have chestnut cheek patterns, chestnut flanks but do have an orange beak.

Zebra finches are also known as chestnut flanked finches.

Seed mixes of canary seeds, millet and other seeds are suitable for them. Because they come from areas where their diet is predominantly seeds it is best to keep this as their main food type. Make sure they have a regular supply of seed mix in their bowl.

You can also supply food from your kitchen; lettuce, greens such as dandelion leaves and chickweed, mixed vegetables, spinach or bread crumbs. You can try out various things and see what they like.

Give them a supply of cuttlefish bone, chicken egg shells or sea shells for calcium. Kill any salmonella by putting the shells in the microwave for a couple of minutes or in the oven for a bit. Afterwards, cool them off and give them to the zebra finches.

Make sure you only use natural foods and remove any excess before it rots. It is also important to keep their water bowl filled even though they can naturally go for long periods without water.

If you are creating a nest for breeding, get a nest box that can be attached to the outside of the cage to save more space inside, 12cm by 12cm by 12cm is a good minimum size.

Get one that opens at the top so you can make sure the chicks are safe. This will also make cleaning easier and give you better access to the eggs. You can use feathers, hay or dried grass for nesting materials, making it warm and soft.

Both male and female Zebra finches will share the care of the eggs for the first two weeks. After fledging at 18 days they will be independent at 32 days. Once they are weaned the male will try to improve the nest so remove the young along with any excess.

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