What constitutes a balanced diet?

Our Finch Diet

Other Food Sources

Introducing New Foods

Eggfood Recipes




Other Food Sources

Live Food | Soaked/Sprouted Seeds | Grit

Live Food

I do not offer my finches live food. Some species require live food. Mine do not. Some species require live food when breeding, but since I do not breed them, this is not a concern for me. Although they probably would like it once introduced and it is a good source of protein, I find the whole concept somewhat distasteful and instead make sure they have access to eggfood every day. If the idea doesn't bother you - go for it. I'm sure your birds will appreciate it.

Mealworms are a very popular choice among those who do feed live food. Mealworms are available in different sizes; mini mealworms are the preferred size for finches. Different species have different needs when it comes to quantities. Cordon bleus apparently go through hundreds a day when breeding. The nutritional value is highly dependent on the diet fed to the mealworms, however, so you may want to do a little research to make sure your birds get the most bang for the buck. Mealworms are available at many petstores, but you can also order them in bulk through the mail. I've heard good things about a company named Grubco, although I've never purchased through them myself.

Other live food options exist, but again, I recommend doing a little research. Some forms of live food could introduce illness to your birds.

Soaked/Sprouted Seeds

Sprouted seed is seed that has been soaked in water and rinsed repeatedly until little shoots start to emerge from the seed. Soaked seed is prepared in a similar fashion, except that it is served to the birds before the shoots emerge. A nice article describing one method of sprouting seeds can be found at Rob Salem's Java Finch Pages.

I used to offer my birds soaked seed and I would try to sprout seeds as well. This was when I was still using a commercial seed mix and I found it very difficult to sprout the seed. I've read about some issues with bacteria developing in the soaked/sprouted seeds, and I have since decided not to take any chances with it. However, it is supposed to be a nutritious addition to the birds diet and I may someday offer it again, especially now that I use fresher seed. And if I were breeding, I would definitely offer soaked seed for the fledglings.


Some people choose to offer their birds a mineral grit. Grit aids in digestion by helping to grind the stomach contents. Most experts claim that grit is not necessary for finches because they hull their seeds before eating them. Still, many finch owners offer their birds grit on a regular basis, and when I've offered it, it has always been relished. I currently do not supply grit, but I do provide crushed oyster shells and my birds have daily access to a tub of sand (used by the Button Quails as a bath).

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