Studying finches

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Jessica
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Hi Aidan, first I apologize for misspelling your name on another post. I have a friend named Adrian and I just typed fast. :sorry:

Great link! I'm going to skip wanting Weavers for now but when I rent my own apartment, I might make a big aviary. I can tend to let my imagination get ahead of reality sometimes, hehehe. But at least I have enough sense to research first. I didn't on the cage because, well, it was the biggest one I could get. I've been saving for birds for three years now and just couldn't wait any longer. Thank you all for helping me stay on track. What is most important are the bird's health. I take my responsibilities seriously.
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finchbreeder
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Jess - now if you have a spare attic or basement- that could be converted into a bird room with the addition of a wall and window covering - ah to dream.
Java's have to have special licences here in Western Australia too. They are very adaptable birds and can survive in a lot of wild situations that may not make them popular with farmers - particularly in rice growing areas. I find them majestic birds - but not compatible with some of the smaller less gentle natured birds.
LML
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Brisbane_Finches_333
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Jessica wrote: 28 Dec 2020, 04:56 Hi Aidan, first I apologize for misspelling your name on another post. I have a friend named Adrian and I just typed fast. :sorry:
That's alright Jessica, the people at Starbucks do a much worse job at spelling my name!
Split Blue Gouldian, Plum-Headed Finch and African Silverbill Breeding Project 2020
Queensland Finch Society Member
2019 ABK Magazine Young Birdkeeper Winner
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Rod_L
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Don't believe everything you see on YouTube or online. I have seen some utter rubbish online and lots of people reckon it's really good information.

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Cordon Blue finches require live food if you want to breed them. So do virtually all African finches. Australian finches on the other hand don't need live food and do really well on green grass seeds when it comes to breeding. This should make your mum happy (no bugs in the house). :)

The weavers should have an aviary at least 3 metres (10 feet) long and should not be kept with Gouldians or other small peaceful finches because the weavers can get a bit aggressive during breeding. Weavers actually do best in huge aviaries with multiple pairs of birds so they can breed in colonies.

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Most Australian finches do best in colonies and breeding results can be reduced if they are kept with other species. Gouldians and owl finches (double bar finches) should be ok but the Gouldians are significantly bigger than the owl finches and might bully them a bit.

The Bengalese (society) finches are big enough to live with Gouldians but might decide to take over the other bird's nests and rear their young.

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You can grow bamboo, Australian bottlebrush, Eucalyptus and Acacias (wattles) in pots and put them in the cage for the birds. They are all safe for birds and quite easy to grow. They have tough leaves and do well indoors or outdoors (in most climates) and would provide you with some natural plants in the cage.

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Have you thought about making your own cage/s?
You can buy slotted angle iron from any hardware store and build a frame with that. The frame gets held together with nuts & bolts. If you make the frame 6-10 foot long x 2 foot wide x 6 foot high, you could divide it into 3 sections (going up). This would give you 3 separate cages that were 6-10 foot long x 2 ft wide x 2 ft high. You wrap the whole thing in wire and put some shelves on each level and away you go.

This size cage would let the birds have flying room and you could have different birds in each cage, but it would only take up a small amount of space.
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Jessica
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Rod_L wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 10:56 Don't believe everything you see on YouTube or online. I have seen some utter rubbish online and lots of people reckon it's really good information.
Hello Rod! Nah, I believe very little without multiple confirmations. I may only be 16 1/4 years old but I wasn't born yesterday, hehehe. I know I can trust what is said here because if someone gave bad info, the others would clarify. This is great information ... I've been trying to study what 'Aussie' grass seeds will grow here or indoors and I appreciate your feedback very much! I have started a database for tracking the responses from everyone as I finalize details.

On the cage, the problem is lack of space right now. The most space I have will allow a 5' wide by 2' deep cage but I'm negotiating for another room. IF I succeed (odds are only 25%) then I might consider building my own. I'm not very handy with building but I'd take it on! I have a few more years before I can get my own place so this will allow me to get some experience under my belt before I move out. :)
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Rod_L
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Australian finches will eat any sort of green grass seeds. Just make sure they aren't contaminated with animal waste or pesticides/ herbicides. I used wild oats, which are found around the world, and a couple of varieties of native grasses. I also use the dry finch seed that I feed the birds, to grow green grass seed, and you can use rice.

You can grow them in pots or in the garden. I prefer pots so I can move the pots into the cage/ aviary when it's ready and the birds can take what they like. When the green seeds are gone, I remove the pot and put another one in. The first pot goes back to the garden and is looked after and I usually get a second set of seed heads from it a month or so later.

If you start a number of pots each week, you will have a steady supply right through spring, summer and autumn, which is the main breeding season for most birds.

You can cut the green stalks with the seed heads of the grass and put them in a bag in the freezer. These can be used during winter or when the fresh seed heads aren't available. Just take a couple out of the freezer and let them defrost, then put them in the cage for the birds.

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The following link is how I grow green grass seeds for the birds.
viewtopic.php?f=84&t=21732&p=188305#p188305
Last edited by Rod_L on 29 Dec 2020, 14:50, edited 1 time in total.
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Rod_L
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You can also do soaked and sprouted seeds, and make your own egg biscuit mix. Most finches will eat these foods.

Sprouted Seed
Get a 1/4 cup of finch seed and soak it in a container of tap water overnight.
Pour the container of water and seed into a sieve and rinse the seed under a tap.
Drain most of the water off the seed.
Put the seed into a plastic bag and put some air into the bag and then seal it up.
Put the bag in a warm place for a day or two and the seed should start to germinate and produce a tiny white root.
Take the seed out of the bag and put it in the sieve again.
Rinse the seed well under tap water for about a minute.
Shake most of the water off the seed.
Then put it in a bowl for the birds to eat.

Soaked seed is the same as above except you soak it overnight, then rinse, shake off excess water and feed to the birds before the root has developed. Sprouted seed is more nutritious than soaked seed.

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Egg Biscuit can be made from a hard boiled chicken egg and some cornflakes.
Boil a chicken egg for 10 minutes.
Put 1 cup of cornflakes into a paper or plastic bag and get the air out of the bag.
Use a rolling pin to roll over the cornflakes and crush them into little bits.
When the egg is boiled, remove the shell and put the boiled egg into a bowl.
Use a fork to much up the boiled egg.
Add the crushed cornflake to the mushed egg and mix together.
Put bowl of egg biscuit/ cornflake into cage for birds.

Egg biscuit mixes should be replaced each day so the egg doesn't go off.

You can also make egg biscuit using rice bubbles or biscuits or a stale sponge cake instead of the cornflakes.
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finchbreeder
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The cage is a suitable size for a mini flock of Owl/Double Bar finches. My mini flock consists of 5 birds. My only concern is the bars the cage is made of. My avairies are made of 1/2" square wire. Small finches will occassionally go sideways out of bars. Had this happen - to my considerable embaressment - one time when I was catching young Orange Breasteds and putting them in the carry cage to move away from mum and dad and into a different avairy. Started to think I was going nuts, as I was sure I had caught more than I had. :whoa: Then noticed one sidleing out sideways. :o
LML
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Rod_L
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finchbreeder wrote: 29 Dec 2020, 22:50 The cage is a suitable size for a mini flock of Owl/Double Bar finches. My mini flock consists of 5 birds. My only concern is the bars the cage is made of. My avairies are made of 1/2" square wire. Small finches will occassionally go sideways out of bars. Had this happen - to my considerable embaressment - one time when I was catching young Orange Breasteds and putting them in the carry cage to move away from mum and dad and into a different avairy. Started to think I was going nuts, as I was sure I had caught more than I had. :whoa: Then noticed one sidleing out sideways. :o
LOL :)

I had a similar issue when I was bagging up some fish to sell to a pet shop. I thought I caught 10 fish and put them in the bucket. There was only 9 in the bucket so I caught 1 more and put it in the bucket. I did a quick head count and 9. I thought something isn't right and looked on the floor in case it jumped but no body. I caught 1 more and put it in the bucket. As I was putting the net in the bucket my hand touched something. I looked down and my dog was catching them out of the bucket and eating them when I was catching the fish out of the tank. I looked at her and said do you mind. She looked up and I'm sure she said "no not at all" :)
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Jessica
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Now THAT's choice story, Rod! I sprout seeds and microgreens now so I'm set up for it (inside and out) since organic gardening is another passion and I start indoors. But I know NOTHING of grass seed and optimum nutrition for finches so these shortcuts and direct-shots of wisdom from everyone is invaluable. I store it in my database for quick reference!

Hey, LML, you nailed it ... I worried originally about owls getting out, particularly in cages which had a divider (vertical breeding) panel which increased the 1/2" spacing to 3/4". Owls are so small but baby owls - hard to imagine how tiny they must be! Or at the bottom of the cage if I leave the wire out. I can't wait to build my own aviaries! You've implanted the importance of bar spacing with an image! :-)

Reminder for my TTD calendar - introduce and train my dog (Ginger) to respect finches before a finch ever gets loose or ... well, you both know the rest of THAT story. :-O Great info. I always feel full after coming here and excited about my finches! I swear ... thinking about them and their needs is ALMOST as exciting as it will be when I get them.
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