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Tag Archives: Cages for Finches

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Choosing the Best Cage for Canaries, Finches and other Small Birds

While working as a bird keeper at the Bronx Zoo, I cared for a number of finches that are commonly kept as pets.  Early on, I was struck by the amazing differences in the behavior of the same species when kept in large exhibits as opposed to small cages.  Along with increased activity and interesting behaviors came good health and excellent breeding results.  While few pet owners can keep their birds in zoo-exhibit sized cages, many do not give enough thought to just how much space their finches and canaries need.  Perhaps because these birds “get by” in small cages, and rarely exhibit the problems that afflict space-deprived parrots, they are often denied spacious living quarters.  But, because of their physical make-up and lifestyle, finches are poorly suited for life in cramped quarters…even less so, in some ways, than are many parrots. Choosing the best cage for these small birds is essential for their well-being and it allows you to enjoy more natural behaviors.

Painted Firetail

Uploaded to Wikipedia Commons by Jim Bendon

Finch and Canary Lifestyles

It’s important to bear in mind that canaries and other finches do not climb about on perches and cage bars as do parrots.  Flight space is a critical point in cage selection.  Also, finches are only rarely let out of their cages for exercise and interaction with owners.  The vast majority spend their lives in a cage…in many cases able to only hop a few inches from perch to perch, day in and day out. Read More »

The A&E Double Flight Cage – How Much Room Does a Finch Need – Part 2

In Part I of this article I introduced our largest finch cage and discussed some of the reasons that aviculturists should strive to provide even the smallest of birds with as much space as possible. To continue, another nice aspect of the room provided by the 5’ x 2’ x 5’ Double Flight Cage is that hanging live or artificial plants can be used to provide sight barriers and security to nervous birds. This will vastly improve their quality of life and may pave the way for captive reproduction.

A Complex Environment and Foraging Opportunities

The additional space provided by this cage also allows you to easily provide a stimulating captive environment for your pets. A variety of vine-style perches and toys can be used in this regard.

The provision of challenging and somewhat “natural” foraging opportunities is also important in keeping birds active and healthy. Installing sprout pots, hiding fruits and scattering small mealworms, crickets and other insects about a large cage are all time-tested techniques that will keep your birds alert and eager to explore their surroundings.

Further Reading

Just as many folks seem to believe that finches can get by in cramped quarters due to their diminutive size (please see Part I of this article for further discussion), so too it is sometimes assumed that only parrots have any use for toys. Please see my article Finches use “Parrot Toys” Too! for an alternative view.

 

Image referenced from Wikipedia and originally posted by William Kreijkes.

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