hand feeding finches(societys,zebras,owls,java,gouldian)

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by lcw1995, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. lcw1995

    lcw1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2010
    Marysville Ohio
    I wnt to the National Aviary in Pittsburgh yesterday and went into the Grasslands section of it and I saw some java finches i think in there.
    They never flew away from you or anything, and I was thinking about when I get my own place to build a MONSTEROUS aviary and have all kinds of finches!
    Although, I would love for them to come and land on your head and arms ect ect and eat out of your hand.
    Thing is, ive never hand fed a bird.. Can I get some help??
  2. lcw1995

    lcw1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2010
    Marysville Ohio
  3. duckncover

    duckncover Duck Obsessed

    Jan 17, 2009
    North Eastern PA
    you DO NOT want to handfeed a finch. It means feeding them several times an hour all through the night. All though possible highly unlikely they would make it. Try getting a couple from a breeder right after they are weaned. They all less afraid than older ones. Talk to them alot and let them out of the cage often. They might grow used to you but NEVER ever try holding one they can have a heart attack. They won't fight you but that's just cause they're so scared. My neighbor has finches that will fly around you and occasionally fly near you.
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Hand feeding finches is very difficult. Most veteran finch breeders agree that hand feeding is a last resort only when the parents abandon the baby-- not usually something to do unless you have to! Feeding times are frequent and it is amazingly easy to aspirate the tiny babies. This kills them! There are some people that have done it with success out there, and power to them! But it is something I would consider to be "very advanced"... not for beginners or even moderately experienced bird handlers.

    Your best bet is to find a reputable, responsible breeder and socialize the chicks after they are weaned. Many people have tame finches this way.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2011
  5. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    If you are talking about hand feeding babies, I would not try it with a finch. Not only do they eat often, aspirate easily, and must be fed the right temperature of food down to a few degrees (too hot, you can burn through their lining, too cold and health problems of other kinds arise as well as simply lowering their body temperature too much), but you also have to worry about puncturing any one of important places while feeding, and the babies need to be kept warm. If wanting tame finches, I'd start by getting a breeding pair, and see how socializing with babies starting at about a week does (leave the raising to the finches, but handle or talk to the baby). Research that though. I'm not sure if that would cause finches to abandon the nest and baby due to stress, or how baby finches handle handling. Many small adult birds will die in the hand, as mentioned, due to stress.
  6. georgiagail

    georgiagail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Handfeeding a baby finch is an extremely challenging...and often frustrating....situation.

    I've done it with gouldians and owl finches but only (as has been pointed out) as a last resort with tossed babies..and usually with little success.

    Even finding items to feed them with is difficult. I've used the flat end of a toothpick and, at times, that's been too large for a newborn. I've had to resort to a childs paintbrush trimmed to six or eight bristles and that has seemed to work the best.

    One can feed chicks for a number of days or weeks (it is often quite difficult to wean them off the formula) and after getting up all hours of the night plus sneaking them into work (my Water Nanny was quite handy for doing that) one can still lose them, generally to aspiration.

    It is NOT an exercise that one should enter into lightly.

  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:I don't think you'll have to risk hand feeding if all you want is for them to come to you, land on you, eat from your hand, and not be afraid of you. Even wild birds in areas like city parks, where they see humans a lot and are fed by humans, will do stuff like that. Downside is you get fly by pooping, but some people don't mind.

    If you had an aviary, spent a few hours a day in it as a standing bird feeder, they'll come around and be "your friend". The aviary birds see thousands of people and are used to humans being in their face all the time so they don't fear you. They didn't need any special training, they were just conditioned over time.

    I have a pet store budgies that were not hand fed, not hand tame, and were down right scared of me for a few months... I'm sure most from the store end up alone in their cages because their humans don't take the time to understand them or tame them down so are left to remain afraid of people.... Over the 3 years I've had them, especially the female, will beg to come out, will land on my hand, will step up onto me, take treats, and sit on my shoulder, head, arm, or get in the way when i am trying to type on the keyboard by getting under my fingers. You don't need to hand feed a bird to tame them and have them used to your daily movements.
  8. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am going to depart from the advice given here and give you an answer that's from "thinking outside the box."

    If you want to hand-feed baby finches, go ahead. However, don't remove them from the nest.

    Instead of raising them totally by yourself, try supplemental hand-feeding. Keep the babies with the parents, and a few times a day, feed them yourself. Set up the cage so that there is an opening close enough to the nest that you don't have to tear it all apart to get at them. The finches will come to associate you with food and will be more friendly, but you won't have to be so dedicated to feeding them throughout the day.

  9. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop

    I agree!
    Co-parenting is the most ideal way to raise a bird that likes humans but knows that it's a bird-- really, psychologically, the healthiest way to raise a bird to be a companion! My only concern is that finches are so tiny, even for experienced hand-feeders, it is really really easy to aspirate them (much more so than most parrots). Also depending on the species, finches don't have quite the parenting dedication as most parrots, and frequent removal of the babies in their nest can cause some (untamed) finch species to abandon the nest.
  10. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'd recommend waiting until the babies have their eyes just beginning to open, and feeding moistened little globs of food with tweezers or a toothpick, as opposed to using a syringe. If the nest is hung on a swing-out door, it would be easy to simply open the door, give some food to the babies, and close the door when done. If you time the feeding of the babies to coincide with changing food or water bowls for the adults, or adding fresh food for them, they will be more easily distracted from the nest. I've seen it done this way with zebra finches, and they didn't seem to mind much. I wouldn't try it with a species that's already hard to breed, though.


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