Finches are suitable for either cage or aviary and are, together with the budgerigar, most people’s idea of the typical cage bird. Most finches are easy to manage, willing to breed, reasonably priced, dainty, colorful and ideal for the novice. Some finches are good songsters, while other types are not melodious at all.
Finches may be fed on panicum seed 15 parts, plain canary seed 3 parts, white millet 2 parts. Rolled oats can be provided for larger finches. Green feed or flowering grasses should be given daily, as well as cuttlefish bone and gritty sand. Finches also like live insect food. Nearly all finches, particularly when they are rearing young, relish white ants.
Finches breed easily in captivity though it is sometimes difficult to determine their sex from their color. The zebra finch is an exception, and can be sexed by color. The males have red bills, and chestnut flanks and cheeks. There are hundreds of different species of finches, so it is best to ask your local bird dealer to ,differentiate the sexes or refer to a color plate book.
Finches are generally easy to manage, and are very willing breeders. The breeding aviary should be protected from draughts and from frosty nights. A pair of finches: the brightly colourd one is the cock bird.
It is best to have an abundance of nesting sites. Most finches will use either cylinders of approximately 10 centimeters diameter (like a jam tin) or any enclosed area with an opening suitable for entry. Dry grass, hessian, straw and cotton-wool make excellent nesting materials. Leave a good supply on the bottom of the cage.