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Zebra Finch

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3.00 LBS
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Basic Diet

The basic food of a Zebra finch is seeds.  Various varieties of millet is their staple.  Buy a commercially prepared mix.  This will be a balanced mix and this will do very well for your birds.  It needs to be fresh, so don’t buy a fifty pound bag for two birds.  Buy an amount that will be used up in about a month.  Their seed cup should always have seed in it.  They will regulate how much they need to eat.

Keep their water fresh and clean daily.  How would you like to drink water that has been sitting out for a week and probably has some seeds in it?

All birds need grit (sand).  They use this to grind their food, for they do not have teeth. Buy a commercial gravel/grit mixture.  Buy one that also has minerals added, like oyster shell and charcoal.  A vitamin additive can be purchased to be added to the food or water.  This is not a requirement if the rest of the diet in balanced.

Fresh foods from your kitchen are an optional source for a balanced diet.  Different individual birds will have different likes and dislikes.  You will have to experiment with a variety of food items.  Frozen mixed vegetables (thawed), sprouts (alfalfa, etc), hard boiled egg (mashed), lettuce, spinach, bread crumbs, and corn bread.  Most natural foods can be fed to your birds.  Just don’t feed extremes like peppers, cabbage, etc.  Be sure to feed only the amount of fresh food that will be consumed before it spoils.  Remove any that they do not eat.

Egg shells are a good source of calcium.  When you have eggs for breakfast, rinse the shells and microwave them for four minutes to kill salmonella, etc.  Put them in your bird cage and the birds will go wild for them.


Basic Housing

 Buy a cage with bars no larger that one half inch apart.  These are little birds.  For a pair of birds the cage should be no smaller than approximately 16x12x16 inches.  How would you like to live in a closet?  The larger the cage is, the more room they will have for exercise.

There should be at least two perches but not so many that there is no room to fly.  Don’t use a perch with sand paper on it.  This is too hard on their feet.

Most any style/shape of cage is ok.  Consider how easy it is to clean, how well it contain the mess of seeds flying, and how easy it is to catch a bird. 

Zebras like to spend the night in a nest.  This is not a requirement.  One thing to keep in mind, if there is a nest, they will breed and lay eggs.  If you do not want babies, do not buy a nest.  You can buy a nest from the pet store.  The most common for Zebras is the enclosed wicker nest with a front opening hole.

Newspaper works well for a floor covering.  It is cheap, collects the droppings, and is easily removable.  The birds also like to play with it.  Other animal bedding materials can be used.  Crushed corn cob and pine shaving are a couple.  I would not recommend aromatic cedar shaving.  Some of these may make a big mess depending on your cage style


 There are many considerations when providing a place for your birds to live.  Recommendations will vary a little depending on whether these are pet birds or you want to setup multiple pairs for breeding.  For pet birds, choose a place where the family spends time.  You want to enjoy the birds, so put them where you can see and hear 
them.  They can be a little messy so don’t put them above your kitchen counter.  Seeds and seed husks will be falling onto the counter.

Select a place that get a lot of light.  Direct sunlight is ok, but you must be careful.  They need to be able to get out of the direct sunlight which could get very hot.  Zebras basically need the same temperature as we people do.

If you have small children, the cage needs to be out of reach.  The same goes for other pets that cannot control the temptation.  Most other pets can be trained to leave the birds alone.  You will need to simply be watchful of the situation and deal with it.

Do not place the cage where it will get a draft.  In cold climates a draft can be cold and very uncomfortable.  Remember, the birds are stuck in that cage.  They can not go to a different room to find comfort.  Air conditioning can also create an uncomfortable draft.

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