those of you who are wondering if you have enough time in your
day to add a finch aviary to your lives, this is the section
for you. The nice thing about finches as pets is they don't
need constant love and attention the way a socialized bird like
a parrot or cockatiel might. Because they don't bond to their
humans, they don't miss you when you are away and you can go
to work all day and not feel guilty coming home to them.
doesn't mean you can just top off their seed every day and be
done with them, as you may have already read in the previous
sections. They need a clean environment. They need a balanced
diet. At times they need medical care and they need an observant
human to recognize those times.
it is not a period of stress (caring for an ill bird, attempting
to resolve personality conflicts, breeding birds, or quarantining/introducing
a new bird), the following is a typical day for me:
already prepared plate of eggfood, veggie, and treat from
the refrigerator and place within the aviary.
and watch the birds, for enjoyment and to monitor behavior.
but this is not considered work. If you consider it work,
keeping finches is probably not a hobby you will enjoy.
the topmost layer of Kraft paper from the aviary floor -
quickly examine droppings and throw away. Dispose of paper
plate used for that day's fresh food.Remove dirty water
bottles and bird baths. Replace with clean ones. Rinse by
hand then wash dirty utensils in the dishwasher. Wipe down
seed hopper and replenish seed, oyster shell, and Lafeber
diet if low.
tomorrow's fresh food on a plate - sliced veggie, eggfood,
and treat. Cover with cling wrap or storage bag and store
in the refrigerator.
than 30 minutes
(See Cleaning the Aviary for a complete list
of tasks performed.)
1 & 2 hours
as you can see, the time commitment for the "work"
portion of finch keeping, really is not too demanding. But you
must remember, that you do need to make time for observing your
birds. Also, I have tweaked my maintenance schedule over time
to make things run more efficiently. When you first begin, tasks
may take you longer than they will when you get them ironed
down. For example, I found that simply switching to a paper
plate from a washable plate for providing fresh food cut down
on the time spent scrubbing dried food particles of the plastic
plate and making sure it got washed in the dishwasher.
is also the baking of the egg bread, which is not accounted
for above because it happens less frequently. One batch will
usually last me somewhere between one and two months. When a
new batch needs to be made, it takes about 15 minutes to prepare
the batter and a half an hour to bake (see the egg
bread recipe for details). If you don't have the time for
baking, a hard-boiled eggfood can be used instead, or even a
commercially prepared eggfood will do.
addition, when you have to separate a bird (due to illness,
compatibility problems, quarantine, breeding issues, etc), the
time spent maintaining the birds will increase. There will be
another living quarters that needs cleaning. You will need to
prepare, clean, and fill another set of food, water, and treat
cups. You may need to spend time dosing and administering medicine.
These periods are the most difficult times. Hopefully they are
the exception and not the rule.