Beginner here, just got some finches today, kind of on a whim. I think they're spice and white-headed nun finches. Is this cage adequate for them to be happy? There's 10 of them in there. I attached fake branches at the top because I thought they'd like the shelter.
Any tips on caring for them are welcome. Atm I give them mixed bird seed, will they like live mealworms?
screenshot the pic or upload it somewhere then save it, problem solved
i don't raise finches, i have parrots, so i don't know their requirements, but that looks small for four of them, do you let them out?
There's actually 10 of them, the others are hanging out in the flower branches. I just got them this afternoon, so no.
I was reading about letting them out and i got conflicting info. One site said I should let them out, which I'd like to but as they are now they're too scared of me and people to be handled without freaking out. I think they're wild birds that were caught rather than bred, one of them has cataracts in one eye and seems like it's lived in the wild for a while. Then there's the issue of getting back in the cage, which as they're scared of me would be inconvenient as hell and potentially traumatic for them since I'd have to corner and manhandle them back in.
I wan't to slowly get them to atleast respond positively to me while they're still in the cage before i let them out in a room. And other sites say I should leave them in their cage and minimize handling them.
On that last bit though, can you get finches that aren't handraised from chicks to be ok with you handling them? How long before they stop panicking when humans approach the cage?
And about overcrowding the cage, I'll see how they do for now, they're local birds and dirt cheap (3.50 Malaysian Ringgit per bird, that's 84 US cents) so it's an easy matter to just release some of them.
It really looks too small, or at least the objects around the cage make it look smaller than it actually is. Generally, you want to make sure each bird can get away from the others without stressing them out. 10 is way too much in there but I only see 5 atm which can probably at least deal in there until you can get/make a bigger one.
Also finches generally, at least in my case, won't go after bugs like mealworms too often but it won't hurt to see if they'd like it. It just shouldn't replace their seed.
i know budgies will fly back in on their own, even untame, but i don't know about finches
i have a friend who has two finches she lets fly around her house that perch on her and let her hold them, but i don't know if she bought them that way or not
i've heard they're harder to handtame than parrots and parakeets, but that it's possible however you have so many that i don't think it will work out
that's definitely too small for 10 birds, and overcrowding leads to fighting, not to mention an inability to exercise
I have no patience for people who just buy things on a "whim" here's some sites I use for talking to people about finch species specifically. They are easy to read and easy to find again. Good luck you dick.
>I was reading about letting them out and i got conflicting info. One site said I should let them out, which I'd like to but as they are now they're too scared of me and people to be handled without freaking out
You need to let them out. They need time to fly.
At the same time, don't ever expect them to not be scared of you or to like being handled. Finches are wild birds and very, very rarely become hand-tame.
>Then there's the issue of getting back in the cage, which as they're scared of me would be inconvenient as hell and potentially traumatic for them since I'd have to corner and manhandle them back in.
NEVER manhandle them. You need to keep them in a bird-proof room and when you want them to go back in the cage, you either wait until they go back in and then shut the door, or you gently coax them back in without touching them roughly.
10 birds is a lot, OP. I hope you didn't bite off more than you can chew. If you have just 2-3 it's a lot easier to handle them.
They need fortified birdseed as their main diet, by the way. Regular bird seed doesn't have enough nutrition to sustain them long-term. Make sure the food is fortified.
If they're native birds then releasing them isn't nearly as horrible as it would be if OP were releasing non-native birds.
There are still some ethical issues with it (such as the fact that if they're sick they could potentially spread the disease to others outside), but still, it's nowhere near as bad as people who release foreign birds in places where they're not native.
I'd also like to add that 10 birds to a cage = having to put in a LOT more food and water, and having to clean the cage much more frequently as compared to only having a few.
I'm not saying you should release them but if they're *really* native to your area and not diseased, and doing so isn't illegal where you live, then I don't see the harm in freeing some of them.
Mind you, I'm not saying there is no harm--I'm saying, I don't see the harm. Subtle difference.
If you live in a place with lots of cars and feral cats then releasing them there (as opposed to in a wilderness area with a lot of seed-bearing trees, insects, and natural shelters), then it's another matter.
They're local birds, really common ones at that, I can walk to the nearest suitable habitat, as far as their wellbeing is concerned, they'd just go back to living how they were before they were caught.
Funnily, how I ended up keeping them was because my dad initially bought a bunch of them for the purpose of releasing them for good luck for Chinese New Year, then the one with the cataracts didn't fly out when the cage was open and I thought I'd keep it and we got it companions. Won't to deny this is impulsive and not thought out though, so I don't begrudge the sentiment. Thanks to everyone else for the info tho, even if it came with a fuck you atleast it's real info.
my issue is seeing pets as disposable, why keep something at all if someone cares so little that they would just let it go?
like i said to the other person, i see an issue with you keeping them as pets when you clearly don't care
if you can dispose of an animal that easily there's no attachment, if there's no attachment then you probably shouldn't have pets let alone multiple ones you aren't taking proper care of
Thank you for the advice. I'm definitely releasing a few tomorow then. I was reading another article that advised getting them used to you feeding them through the cage and then getting them able to recognize treats that I can use to coax them back to the cage. That seems like the most practical way to do it because I don't realistically see me getting them back in without force. Is there a time period for how much time I have to achieve this before they get ill effects from the confinement?
Birds like these are hardly "pets" like a pet dog would be. They're wild animals and rarely bond with their master (although they may bond somewhat, to a certain extent. But never like a dog or cat)
I don't think OP sees the birds as "disposable". I think he does want to do what's best for the birds. OP's situation is different than someone buying birds from a foreign country and releasing them in an unsuitable environment where they would either surely die in an awful way or if not, then they would harm the ecosystem.
I also don't think attachment is strictly important...with a dog it would be, of course. Keeping wild birds like this is different. You can't expect the same kind of bond. The birds will more likely see their master as a source of food and water, but are unlikely to see him as a member of the flock.
That doesn't mean their lives should be taken casually or that they should ever be treated inhumanely. I think humaneness and respect is more important than growing "attached" to them, in this case. If OP respects them as living things with their own interests, I think that's more important than attachment.
If I were OP I personally wouldn't buy more birds...I don't think it's respectful to the animals to support a system where people capture birds from the wild and then sell them to an uncertain fate. Although I can understand this may be a cultural phenomenon (sort of like how in the west, up until recently it was common to release rock doves for religious ceremonies).
i'm not talking about the birds' attachment to op, i'm talking about someone buying animals they have no problem releasing on a whim because they're cheap
that mentality isn't good for keeping animals
why is it that people are constantly going on about dogs whenever someone says something about the way a different animal is being treated?
i own birds
When I had a songbird, I never really trained her to go back into the cage when I wanted her to.
If she was out and I wanted her to go in, I would gently coax her to go in with some hand-waving and hope for the best, but never force her. I didn't get into situations where I'd need her to go back in immediately, so I didn't feel training was necessary. Therefore I can't offer that much advice on training.
She basically had the run of her bird-proofed room most of the daytime, so I never really counted on her to be in her cage. She was allowed at least 6 hours of time outside the cage every day (with the cage door held open, so she could go in or out of the cage at her desire).
Great hazards to birds in a home setting include door frames, ceiling fans, children, and predatory animals like cats and dogs. While closing the door a bird can be caught between the door and frame and easily injured or killed, so it's important to be aware of that. The ceiling fan must never be turned on when the birds are out because they can be killed by the blades. And children and other animals can't be trusted with birds. Keep these in mind.
>i'm not talking about the birds' attachment to op, i'm talking about someone buying animals they have no problem releasing on a whim because they're cheap
I see what you're saying here and I am sorry if I confounded the issue of the birds growing attached to OP with OP growing attached to the birds.
But honestly I don't think OP releasing these animals can be equated with releasing foreign animals as some irresponsible people do in the west.
These birds might actually prefer to be freed. They're not really "pets".
It's a different cultural and environmental context than when people release foreign birds in America. For OP to free the birds might well be in their interest.
I don't support buying animals to begin with, though.
>why is it that people are constantly going on about dogs whenever someone says something about the way a different animal is being treated?
In this case it's because a dog is a pet animal that doesn't really belong in the wild. They depend on humans to survive and have been domesticated. Finches are very different.
Also, there's the fact that a dog will bond to a human and accept it as a member of its family.
Songbirds usually aren't like that.
Dogs seem to crave to be accepted as family members by their master. Finches don't. They naturally fear their master and to some extent always will.
To be fair their monetary price isn't the only thing, it's that their release would be inconsequential to both me and the birds. It's more of something to try with relatively little at stake should I prove incapable of giving them a happy life. Again I don't disagree I should have researched this thoroughly beforehand, trying to make up for that now.
i never once said anything about the environmental impact, i also said it was probably for the best that op didn't keep any of the birds at all
my point was people's go to is: assume everyone is a dog owner and talk about how (insert animal here) isn't a dog
all i was saying is when someone has no attachment to the animal they're keeping even something as simple as enjoying looking at it and caring for it like someone would with a fish then there's no reason to own it in the first place
being able to release some of them no problem implies that there's nothing there for the animals, and i personally find that concerning and it makes me think that perhaps someone with that mindset doesn't have what's required to keep an animal healthy and happy, and really lacks the capability of taming a hard to tame animal
>all i was saying is when someone has no attachment to the animal they're keeping even something as simple as enjoying looking at it and caring for it like someone would with a fish then there's no reason to own it in the first place
Okay, well in that case I agree with you. But I don't think OP would gain no enjoyment from keeping the birds. Otherwise he'd have no motivation to do it. However keeping songbirds is more like keeping fish than it is keeping a cat or dog. Except, they're "fish" that need a lot of time outside their "tank".
>being able to release some of them no problem implies that there's nothing there for the animals
That, I don't agree with. To me, an emotional attachment to an animal doesn't seem to imply a lack of concern for its well-being.
Being able to free the finches without being upset about it doesn't, to me, seem like, "I don't care about these animals".
To me it implies, "I am okay with these animals going their own way".
The environmental and domestication thing plays into it because someone doing this with an animal like a cat or a domesticated rat would be doing something very wrong since those animals will either suffer greatly and die in the wild, or alternatively if they do well, they will upset the ecosystem.
Maybe OP could just release all of them. But the one with the cataract may or may not do well in the wild. It's hard to say. Birds are a lot more visual than most animals. They depend on their eyesight to avoid predators.
I feel that you're judging OP's actions as I would judge the actions of someone who would release rats or dogs or goldfish. It's a different thing though because OP's release of the birds wouldn't be nearly as bad when it comes to consequences.
I was refering more to the wellbeing of the released birds, because the implication of being disposable was along the same lines of a cat or dog that would suffer or be a menace if it were thrown out.
I see what you mean by that now though. But if hat's what you meant then that's an assumption, because I definitely like looking at them, they're adorable and they cuddle together when they sleep, I also generally like watching birds around my house especially when they nest. I know that doesn't necesarily translate to bird rearing ability, but it's not that I'm completely uninterested in them. But there's 10 of them, they look mostly the same and I haven't had them long enough to see any distinct personalities for it to make a real difference in that sense.
I think it might be best to take it one step at a time.
You could free seven or so of them and then worry about what to do next. Three birds are a lot more manageable than ten. Obviously you'd probably want to keep the one with the eye issue unless he's really raring to go this time.
Make sure you have seen this species of bird (or a clearly related similar species) in the area you release them in. This will be evidence that the area is suitable.
As I said, I don't see the harm in freeing these native wild birds. They could form a flock of their own, or join an existing flock of the same (or similar) finches.
Also, if you're going to try to keep some, you should give them a potted tree in their room. Make sure it's in a stable container with a sturdy base and good drainage.
They will enjoy roosting on the branches. But not all trees are safe for birds. You cannot use any tree that contains toxins in the leaves, such as the avocado, whose leaves naturally contain the toxic chemical, persin. Also, not all trees can survive indoors due to light limitations.
Guava tree is an ideal choice because it is bird-safe and can survive well in a container indoors, as long as they get good light from a window. Some days, you can bring the tree outside for a little extra light.
They take too long to grow from seed, but here in the US at least, guava trees can be purchased for as little as $20. I doubt they'd be expensive over there.
And if you don't end up keeping the birds, well, you can still enjoy the tree yourself.
>Are they domesticated? Because if they are, releasing them into the wild would kill them.
That's not necessarily true at all. Birds are remarkably adaptable and captive birds that get loose (or are intentionally released) often do survive and even sometimes become invasive species unless they're released into a climate that's WAY unsuitable for them.
I live in the US, and here, we have huge populations of house sparrows, feral pigeons, and monk parakeets.
All these birds are the descendants of pet birds that were released at varying points. None of them are American birds.
And yet, they've become naturalized in the US (or slightly invasive, depending on whom you ask).
But anyway, in OP's case, the birds are wild-caught and native to the area. So they probably would survive, and wouldn't harm the ecosystem most likely.
Personally I think he may as well let them all go...but I worry about the one with the messed up eye so maybe not. And maybe it should have a companion. Kind of a grey area, in my way of thinking.