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    How to Keep Your Finch Healthy

    ArticlePasserine AdviceFriday 27 May 2011
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    Zebra finches for sale make excellent pets. They are usually easy to look after and therefore are recommended to first time bird owners with little experience. However like all birds they can become very ill for a variety of reasons so it is important that you know how to both prevent and cure their illnesses.

     Make sure your finch has a large cage. They will be happiest with a large amount of space to play and fly in, as this mimics their natural habitat much better. To avoid your finch getting depressed this is crucial, as is filling the cage with toys and perches to keep your finch active and ward off illness due to depression.

     Vary your finch’s diet. Zebra finch food is usually a variety of seeds and pellets, which are balanced to give the finches their nutritional needs. These should be accompanied by treats, such as egg, carrot tops, dandelion greens, spinach and fruit.

    Your finch must have access to natural sunlight or at the very least some form of light or they can become deficient in vitamin D, leading to a variety of illnesses both physical and psychological.

     Observe your finch closely. If you have followed all the above steps and your bird still appears unwell, their behaviour is the key to diagnosing them. Typically, poorly finches will be lethargic and have a puffed-out appearance. They may still eat and drink normally, but will sleep a lot of the time. Your finch’s vent may appear dirty. If your finch is displaying this behaviour, move them away from any other birds, into an individual cage. This cage should be warm and secure.

     
    Listen to your bird's breathing. You may have to go to a silent room to do this, and sit listening for a while before you can hear the noise. If your bird’s breathing has a clicking noise, however faint, it is likely that he has air sac mites. Ideally a vet should treat a bird suffering from this condition. If air sac mites are not treated successfully, they can cause asphyxiation.

    Check your finch for other signs of different mites. These may appear as crusty regions around the bird’s beak and legs, and there may be some swelling. It is important that these are treated, as they can cause disfigurement quite quickly.

    Other possible diagnoses include parasites from live food, and being egg-bound. These are conditions that need immediate medical attention, or your finch may not survive.

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