The society finch, also called the Bengalese finch, comes in a variety of colours, including grey, chestnut, pearl and fawn. These sociable birds breed easily in captivity, so the responsible bird owner will be sure he or she can find suitable homes for all the babies before deciding to breed. These finches readily take to parenthood, and will hybridise with many other species of finches, as well as foster orphans of similar species. In fact, many finch-keepers complain that it is difficult to get these birds to stop breeding.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Male and female society finches
- Nests or nesting material
Separate one male and one female society finch from your flock. Sexing the birds properly can be difficult, as males and females are identical in appearance. The males are far more likely to sing than the female, and may perform a mating dance by stretching his neck and fluffing his feathers, bouncing on the perch in the presence of a female.
Place the finches in a spacious, clean cage (at least 18 inches wide, 12 inches tall, and 12 inches deep. The cage should have at least two perches, and healthy food and clean water should be available at all times. The cage should be in a quiet, low-traffic area, out of direct sunlight and away from drafts. If there is no natural lighting in the room, artificial full-spectrum lighting should be provided.
Provide nests or nesting materials. Safe nesting material includes cotton, twigs and pesticide-free dried grass. String is not advisable, as it may get tangled around legs and feet. Alternatively, you may hang a basket or nesting box. There are many designs of ready-made bird nests sold in pet stores, and some were designed especially with finches in mind.
The female will begin sitting on the eggs once she has a clutch of three to seven eggs. She will sit for approximately 13 days. Chicks will fledge in approximately 18 to 25 days and are independent in another two to three weeks.
Tips and warnings
- If you are uncertain of your finch's gender, try putting three birds in a breeding cage to maximise your chances of having at least one male and one female.
- Do not handle the eggs unless absolutely necessary.
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