I got a pair of zebra finches recently. We had them when I was little and I loved them. I have been doing internet research and most of the sources with information about their care seem pretty canned. I think I have the basics down (diet, temperature, bars of the cage close enough together that they can't get out (encountered that piece of advice multiple times)) there are a couple things I have questions about. First perches, I have read multiple places that I should not use dowel perches or sandpaper perches or another kind of perch that I forget. All of these will have dire consequences, although every single picture of a finch cage online seems to have dowel perches in it. So what kind of perch should I use? Right now they have twigs that I snapped off my apple trees and and just threaded (securely) through the bars. They are delicate little twigs that seemed appropriately sized for their tiny finch feet and they seem to enjoy them. Should I add some bigger branchier sticks? All the twigs are about the same diameter, do they need more variety? And how deadly is string? Because I see page after page of "Never let them even see string! String kills!" and then page after page of "They do so love to play with lovely string." I assume feeding them string is a no go but suppose I made them a swing out of a stick and some string? Is that tempting fate? Is some string deadlier than others? Also, I think it would be madness at this early stage, but I suspect these will be like chickens and I won't be able to stop at just this pair. The best article I read said that if you keep more than one pair you should ideally have 3 or 4 pairs and lots of flight space to prevent picking. So now I'm thinking about building my own birdcage which is something I've always wanted to do anyway. Everything I've read says horizontal flight space is more important than height, but all the pictures I see when I google "finch cage" are taller than they are long. Is it just that width gets sacrificed in favor of a smaller footprint? Would something long and relatively low with dimensions like a rectangular fish tank be better? Last question, all the diet stuff I see is "finch food with added greens, fruits, egg, millet, cuttlebone" but I saw one that said their diet should be mostly finch food consisting of seeds and pellets. The finch mix I've got doesn't have pellets, just different seeds. Is that a thing I should worry about? I am likely over thinking all of this but I'm a little vexed at how most of the information I'm finding seems to gloss over a lot of aspects of their care. I found a couple articles that seemed reliable and went fairly in depth but most of them were just ehowfinchpets/megapetstore.com. I don't want this to end up like when I used to keep fish and every piece of research I did only showed me how completely wrong the "conventional wisdom" about keeping them was and that I was doing it wrong.