All About Finches

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default All About Finches

Post  FinchG on Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:37 pm

For good health they need a balanced and varied diet, which should include a quality dry food / seeds and greens. I love Dr. Harvey's Bird Food Mixes as they lack the harmful additives that are commonly found in commercial mixes and have an AMAZING variety of quality ingredients (including dried fruits, veggies, herbs / greens and even superfoods, such as bee pollen!) - in short: myriad nourishing ingredients that are not found in other commercially available bird mixes (click here for product info). I would recommend that you ask your local pet store to add them to their product offerings. You can also buy it online (both WITH Seeds and WITHOUT) ...

A good quality formulated diet. Vets often recommend Harrison's -- which is a good diet, but mostly available at vet's offices and as is the case with pellets in general, acceptance may be an issue.

Calcium / Mineral Blocks: Birds should always have access to minerals, including calcium. This is particularly important for maintaining a health calcium level in your breeding finches.
You could provide a dish filled with crushed egg shell (from boiled eggs to kill any bacteria) and/or attach a calcium / mineral block to the cage.
However, in order to absorb calcium properly, Vitamin D3 is needed. Vitamin D is normally produced in the skin through ultraviolet rays obtained via daylight / sun exposure. Indoor birds, or during the winter time in the northern hemisphere when not sufficient sunlight exposure can be obtained, appropriate indoor lighting / full-spectrum lighting can make up for the lack of natural sunlight.
Supplements that include both Vitamin D3 and calcium are also available.


Protein - especially important for breeding birds, and should also be available to hens in the spring prior to the breeding season.
Mealworms are a great and inexpensive choice -- but for those who don't like the idea of feeding insects and worms, a high-protein nestling food is acceptable.
Shelled hemp seeds (aka Hemp Heart) are comparable in size and consistency to chopped sesame seeds. They have virtually the highest concentrated balance of proteins, fats, vitamins and enzymes. As they are a significant source of protein, they are used to bring canaries and finches into breeding condition and to advance song. Breeders also provide a little hemp during the molt when birds need extra protein to replace molted feathers.
Sprouted or germinated seeds are usually more easily accepted by "seed addicts" than fresh fruits and vegetables.
Sprouted seeds are healthier as the sprouting changes and enhances the nutritional quality and value of seeds and grains. Sprouted seeds are lower in fat, as the process of sprouting utilizes the fat in the seed to start the growing process - thus reducing the fat stored in the seeds.
Sprouted seeds will help balance your bird’s diet by adding a nutritious supply of high in vegetable proteins, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and chlorophyll.
Soaked and germinated "oil" seeds, like niger and rape seeds, are rich in protein and carbohydrates; while "starch" seeds, such as canary and millets, are rich in carbohydrates, but lower in protein.
It is an invaluable food at all times; however, it is especially important for breeding or molting birds. Sprouted seeds also serve as a great rearing and weaning food as the softened shell is easier to break by chicks and gets them used to the texture of seeds.


Note: Birds that have a tendency towards developing gout should be fed a diet low in protein. Plant based protein is not as likely to induce gout, but it can - if fed in large amounts. A diet too high in protein diet can also put a pet bird into breeding or hormonal mode.


Vegetables and fruits should be part of a pet or aviary bird's daily diet. This includes apples, grapes, many garden vegetables such as spinach, watercress, field lettuce, poppy, chickweed, dandelions, carrots, corn on the cob, peas, endives and sweet potatoes.

Greens: Greens such as dandelion, ChickWeed or Thistle, or salad greens, such as Buk Choy, Lettuce or Cabbage, should be fed daily if possible. Just a little - if you have a single bird as you don't want to upset their metabolism.

Convenient Sources of Fruits / Veggies:
Baby Food: Human baby food with fruits & vegetables (i.e. Gerbers)
Dry Fruits / Veggies: When fresh fruits and vegetables are not available, dehydrated fruits and vegetables work wonderfully. Many birds love their crunchiness, or they toss them into their water dish (creating a "soup" of some sorts) and then eat them once they are rehydrated. Be prepared to change the water more often throughout the day. Dried fruits & vegetables have the advantage that they don't go off. You could literally leave them in their cages for days (unless they get wet, of course). This surely comes in handy when traveling. Dried fruits & veggies also help convert "seed junkies" to a healthier diet. When you are at home, you can moisten the dried fruits & veggies with warm water to rehydrate them. Birds tend to LOVE warm fruits & veggies, maybe because it gives them flashbacks to the times when they were chicks and were fed warm regurgitated food by their bird parents.
It is important to keep in mind that some companies add artificial coloring to their dried fruits and veggies to make them visually appealing.
Only purchase naturally dried fruits without any sulfur dioxide, as this preservative is known to increase hyperactivity, aggressiveness, feather shredding or picking due to allergies.


Sprouting is an excellent method (and most certainly one of the most cost-effective) of providing nutrient-dense (living) foods to birds. Simple Sprouts is an excellent sprouting mix, but you can also buy the ingredients at your local health food store and mix a batch yourself ... You can also germinate the sprouting mix - rather than going through the process of sprouting, which may be somewhat intimidating initially. Germinated seeds offer their own unique sets of valuable nutrition and are quicker to obtain and less likely to spoil.

Superior Nutrition Food:
Medicinal Herbs (an excellent herb mix with numerous health-supportive properties -- that birds actually like!)
Healthy Dried Fruits & Veggies
GRIT: Your finches and canaries need grit. It could be crushed stone or shell grit. The grit is used by the finch in the gut as part of the digestion. I use shell grit because of the calcium which is essential when breeding.

EGG and BISCUIT: During the breeding season you should feed "egg and biscuit" mix - which the parents need to feed the chicks with. I boil some eggs, mash the hard-boiled eggs, including their shells (which are a great source of calcium) with a potato smasher, add soaked wholewheat bread and mix it well. Canaries and finches absolutely LOVE it!. You can buy dry mixes at the store. But I enjoyed giving them the freshly made batches. Give first thing in the morning - before feeding anything else. Remove after 30 minutes or so - as it will go off fairly quickly, especially in the summer heat.

WATER: It is essential to have clean water available at all times ... Converting Seed Junkies

Probiotics:

Very important for molting, stressed or sickly birds, chicks or elderly pets, as well as those who have recently undergone antibiotic treatments. Antibiotics destroy "friendly" bacteria in the gut, allowing harmful pathogens to grow unchecked. Probiotics suppress the growth of potentially harmful organisms and boost the immune system. Acidophillus also helps to restore the microbial balance within the digestive tract. The probiotic strains acidophilus and bifidum release anti-fungal enzymes and alkalinize the body, so pathogens, such as candida (a big problem with chicks and stressed birds), can't flourish.
Avi-Culture® - The #1 Probiotic that actually works!! A Live Probiotic Specifically Developed for the Avian Gut and Intestine
Yogurt not a good alternative: The live cultures found in yogurt are beneficial to the humans; however, these strains are different from those found in the gut and intestines of birds and, therefore, cannot provide the clinical therapeutic gut recolonizing strength needed. Opinions differ, but some experts recommend against feeding yogurt to birds, as the colonies may indeed be harmful to them.
Never feed: caffeinated drinks, alcoholic beverages, chocolate, pits of most fruits, avocado ... More on "toxic foods"


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Other Foods: Spay Millet & Millet Accessories ... Finch Rearing Food (recipe)

Generic Diets & Additional Food Items:

Healthy Bird Treats & Snacks ... Superior Nutrition Food: Herbs Specifically for Bird Health & Healthy Dried Fruits & Veggies - Make Excellent Healthy Bird Treats & Food! ... Cooked Diets ... Splay Millet & Millet Accessories ... Mineral / Calcium Blocks & Accessories


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Finch Food (scrolls down) - Canaries


Dr. Harveys Fabulous Finch Food - 4 lbs

Dr. Harvey's Whole Foods for Birds offer balanced nutrition that our birds need to maintain health and longevity, vibrant color and remarkable plumage

Ingredients:

Bee Pollen Granules: The ultimate whole food. Bee pollen is so packed with vitamins and amino acids that one tablespoon is the equivalent of three servings of fruits and vegetables.
Nuts: Macadamia, Brazil pieces, Almond pieces, Filbert pieces, Cashew, Pecan pieces, Pistachio meats, Pignolia pieces, Walnut pieces
Fruit:Apple Granules, Coconut shreds, Orange Peel Granules
Vegetables: Petite peas, Carrot Granules, Celery Stalk & Leaf, Parsley Flakes, Green Beans, Spinach Flakes, Green & Red Bell Peppers, Broccoli, Zucchini
Seeds: Canary Grass, White Millet, Canola, Niger, Anise, Caraway, Sesame, Flax, Red Millet, Poppy, Japanese Millet, Small Golden Millet
Grain: Oat Groats
Bean: Soy Bean
Herbs: Echinacea Augustifolia, Dandelion Leaf, Red Clover blossoms, Papaya Leaf, Oat Straw, Peppermint Leaf, Calendula Flowers, Red Raspberry Leaf, Alfalfa, Fennel Seed, Thyme Leaf, Rose Hips, ROsemary Leaf, Basil Leaf



Lafeber Premium Daily Diet Finch Food 1 & 5 lb

Product Description
Providing your bird with proper nutrition is easy with Lafeber's pelleted diets. Vitamins, minerals and nutrients your bird needs are all here. Best of all, birds can't "pick and choose" what they eat with pelleted food. It's great nutrition!

Supreme Mix Finch Food, 25 Lbs or 2lb 6cs

Ingredients: Canary Grass Seed, White Millet, Small Yellow Milletred Millet, Steel Cut Oat Groats, Flax Seed, Dehulledsoybean Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Corn, Calcium Carbonate, Wheat Middlings, Dicalcium Phosphate, Saltcorn Oil, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Brew

5LB Finch Bird Food

Product Description
Lyric, 5 LB, Finch Wild Bird Food, Contains Niger Seed, Fine Sunflower Kernel Pieces, Yellow Finch Millet, & Canary Seed, New Cube Design Stand Up Packaging.


8in1 Canary/Finch Nestling Food (Canister), 6-Ounce

Product Features

Provides essential nutrition for proper growth and development.
With concentrated vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
Also ideal for mother birds and chicks which need fortified nutrition.



National Audubon Society Finch Festival: A mixture of three of our highest quality seeds - red mi llet, Nyjer seed and fine sunflower chips
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FinchG
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