Are house birds (finches,canaries,etc) a good idea?

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by chicken_angler, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    A few years ago I noticed the zebra finches and other small birds at Petsmart when I was buying fish stuff. They really amazed me but I knew that I couldnt get any at the time. Now I saw them again at a different store and I have a few questions about raising them. Any responses will be helpful. Thanks!

    1.Do finches require a large cage? I have plenty of room in my room for a large cage if they need it.
    2.Are they soo loud that they will keep me up during the night?
    3.Are they friendly/trainable?
    4.Do they require a lot of money to own?
    5.What is your honest opinion on finches, budgies, parakeets,canaries,etc.?


    P.S. I have a cat but i think she will get along with them because she loves to visit the chickens outside during the summer.

  2. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Songster

    Jul 1, 2009
  3. beckt

    beckt Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    I have house birds right now. I have a Conure, 2 parakeets and a starling. No they will not keep you up at night as that is when they sleep themselves. I used to have Zebra Finches and they were pretty cool. The larger the cage for finches the better. Since they are not climbers like parakeets they require more room. As far as expense, well that all depends on the quality of the seed mix. Now I make my own food for mine and only give minimal seed, and this is not to expensive. Never owned a canary, but always thought it would be cool to have a nice singer.
    Edited for the cat.
    I found my inside cat went after the finches cause they were so active. Unless you can keep them safe from the cat I say not a good idea. Just because it don't go after the chickens don't mean it won't go after the smaller birds. The cat I have now won't bother my chickens but kills wild sparrows all the time.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  4. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    Cool! I really enjoyed watching the zebra finches at the store the other day. They looked really healthy and were singing really cool songs. lol [​IMG] Anyways, I already have a cage that I bought at a garage sale this summer. It is about 24 inches tall and about a little bigger that a 5 gallon bucket in diameter. I only paid 50 cents for it so im not going to be mad at myself if I cant use it.

    Would that cage work or would a bigger one be better? [​IMG]

    One more question: Do they need food constantly in their cage or do they only get fed twice or threee times daily?


  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I absolutely loved having a little bird in the house. I've had Parakeets and Cockatiels and for me the 'keets were my favorites. Canaries and Finches interest me too, just haven't had a chance to have any of them yet. The Cockatiels and bigger birds are too loud for my ears but I find Finches, Canaries and Parakeets very pleasant little guys IMHO. My parakeets could say so many words you could practically have a conversation with them.

    They don't cost much to maintain, once you make the initial investment of cage, bird and supplies to get started.

    Have to agree about the cat. My cats have no interest in my chickens but they kill small sparrows all the time. That's the reason I don't currently have any little birds in the house. This thread makes me want to move the cats to the barn and get myself a little birdie! (Or two or three) [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Quote:You can just keep their food dish full and they'll eat what they need. Not sure about the cage you found, sounds pretty small but then I'm no Finch expert. I've always subscribed to the idea that larger is better.
  7. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    If you want to train a parakeet, you may wish to get only one so that it bonds with you and will be easier to handle. You must handle it a lot if you want it to be tame.

    You should be aware that parakeets have a long life span up to 15 to 20 years with proper care. I am taking care of 3 parakeets for my daughter who got them over 10 years ago while she was in Jr High School ~ she has since graduated from college and is living in Japan and couldn't take them with her.

    Good Luck and enjoy!

  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I've had finches and parakeets before. Finches needed a wider type cage than parakeets...the tall narrow cages are not a good choice for finches. I LOVE the sounds finches make. Parakeets are rather squawky and high pitched. Finches sound rather soothing. I kept my finches in the classroom during the school year, other than holiday breaks. They actually layed and hatched eggs in my classroom, which the kids loved. I ended up giving away my adult mates though, and keeping two brothers, because I didn't want them to keep having babies (which they will on a regular basis). They were both very good parents. My finches weren't really "tame." They were calm when I'd stick my hand in to take care of things, but they would never land on my finger or anything. Parakeets seem to become more tame/friendly. The last thing I'll say it that finches are MESSY. They would scatter seed shells everywhere. I don't recall my parakeets being that messy.
  9. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    Thanks for the replies everyone. Hopefully I will be able to get some zebra finches soon. I will have to look around for prices on their food and see if I can get them any cheaper than what I have seen at the petstores.

    Why do they charge $16 for a little bird when you can get a chicken for $3? idk lol


  10. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    I've had several types of birds over the years. Finches were fun--loved their "beeping." They do need fresh fruits and greens as well as seed. My finches lived to 12 and 14 years of age so with good care they are long lived. They also require a nest to sleep in. My parakeets were friendly and very entertaining to watch. They can become hand tame if you have one--pair often don't stay as tame. Again fresh veggies and fruit.

    All birds including finches need LARGE cages. When I say large I mean at least 2 foot wide and high for finches and parakeets. Bigger is better. My current bird is a tiny Pacific Parrotlet. He is so fun--he loves to climb and run around as well as fly. He has a 3' by 2' by 2' custom cage and uses all of it. Parrotlets are the smallest parrots in the world (smaller than a lovebird) but have a HUGE personality. They are also beautiful. (not my parrotlet). They must have fresh seed, some pellets, fresh fruit, veggies and grains (couscous and sweet potatoes are his favorite!). All birds do well with sprouted seeds and they offer a lot of nutrients. Toys are essential to prevent boredom and encourage exercise. Its a good idea to trim wings (not finches) and may need to clip toenails.

    Of all my birds, the parrotlet, [​IMG] Kiwi, is the least messy but he does have a huge cage and a real toy monster. He also has to have his boing (a rope swing) as its his favorite. He prefers to climb and run than fly but has half of his cage area open for flight. He needs attention and stimulation as he is very intelligent.

    Birds are great--but they do take care and time for play. Cost wise the cage and setup are the highest costs and fresh fruits and veggies can be from family meals (no salt or butter!) so not too bad. They also should drink spring water as chlorine is not good for them. Parrotlets however, are much more costly and harder to find as compared to finches or parakeets so that may be a consideration. Have fun with them!

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