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Zebra Finches on the Internet
 
These are one of my most favorite birds.  I own them and will give you info about them. 

Basic Care

Frank's aviary - example of how to keep your birds

This is a short introduction to the basic care of Zebra Finches. Find out what food they eat and what type of cage to get. There is also a short introduction to breeding.

Housing

Zebra finches can be kept in cages or aviaries, indoors or outdoors. Since zebra finches are very hardy, they are able to tolerate many different environments without any problems. However, you should avoid placing them where it may rain on them. You should also avoid changing the environment too rapidly, since the birds will need to acclimatise to the new environment. Generally, healthy acclimatised zebra finches will feel quite all right with temperatures between 5° Celsius and 30° Celsius. However, when breeding 15° Celsius should be the minimum temperature. (recommended temperatures may vary from region to region depending on humidity, etc.).

Cages or Aviaries?

So where do I keep my birds, I hear you ask. Well, basically you have two choices: Either in a cage or in an aviary. If you just have one or two pairs, then you might want to keep the birds indoors. However, you should be aware that this will cause some inconveniences, as the birds can be quite messy. Indoors you will probably use a cage to keep your birds in. Many people have a shed in their back yard for those birds that are in cages. If you would rather keep your birds outdoors, then you would probably need an aviary.

Whether you chose an aviary or a cage, you should always try to make it as big as possible. The minimum size for a cage that is to be used all year round is 60 x 40 x 40 cm (24 x 16 x 16 inches), but yours birds will appreciate any extra space. For shorter periods, such as during the breeding season or during the winter, shorter cages can be used. The breeding cages that I use now are 100 x 50 x 40 cm, and other than the show cages used for exhibitions, these are the smallest cages my birds are ever kept in.

Equipment

Apart from a cage or an aviary, you will need some pots for food and a drinker for water. Since zebra finches like to bathe, you should also have something for them to bathe in.

If you are hoping for chicks, you should also get a nestbox (around 12 x 12 x 12 cm) or a wicker nest. For nesting material you can use coconut fibre or hay/dried grass.

Feeding

The zebra finch diet consist of a seed mixture for small birds. This should be made up of different kinds of millet and canary seed as well as other seeds. It is important, that zebra finches always have access to food. If they are too fat, then they need more exercise, not less food.

In addition to this, zebra finches like many greens, such as dandelion leaves and chickweed. Millet sprays are also appreciated. Make sure you get any greens from a non polluted area. For instance picking dandelion leaves from the roadside is not a good idea...

Normally, zebra finches should always have access to fresh water.

In general birds should always have access to some form of calcium. Usually cuttlefish bone and/or sea shells are very popular, but so are egg shells from regular chickens. If you do use egg shells I would suggest microwaving the shells for a few minutes (or heating them in a regular oven if you don't have a microwave) in order to kill any bacteria (Salmonella). Let the shells cool off before feeding them to the birds.

The above information is provided without any guarantees. Always consult a veterinarian before following any advice that might affect the health of your birds.

© 1995-2004 Frank Sundgaard Nielsen. All rights reserved. (Privacy policy)

 
Welcome to my info on Sun Conures!!!!  I don't own one yet, but they are, overall my favorite bird, and I will have one some day as my friend............

My favorite picture of a Sun Conure

Endearing, charming, playful and personality plus packaged into a vibrant bundle of feathers.
Thats a sun conure!

The sun conure possesses a multifaceted personality that will delight the experienced bird owner and pique the curiosity of the inexperienced nonbird person. They can best be described as curious, inquisitive, active and playful. They love attention and closeness from their owners.

A flock of sun conures flying across an evening sky was once said to have resembled a beautiful sunset. Hence, the name sun conure was assigned to the species. The sun conure's body color possesses a yellow-orange glow with a distinct resemblance to gold. The brilliant blend of yellow, orange, red, blue and green colors means sun conures outshine most other birds in appearance.

 

The Sun Conure can be found in most of South and Central America. Some species are also well represented in the West Indies, as well as parts of Mexico. In the wild sun conures are friendly, peaceful birds and seldom fight with each other. They live together in groups of twenty or more birds, even during the mating season, and feed on various seeds, fruits, and insects.

Hailing from the northeastern coast of South America, sun conures are approximately 12 inches in length, including their long tail. Their body build is slender, and their feathers are bright, iridescent shades of orange, blue, yellow and green. Unlike some other species which have definite coloration patterns, the sun conures sometimes have a combination of these colors over almost any part of their bodies. Young sun conures tend to have feathers which are predominantly green, while older birds sport more of the yellow or reddish-orange. This change of feather coloring from green to the brighter oranges, golds and yellows is most noticeable on the back, abdomen and head of the bird as it matures. General plumage is yellow and green while the cheeks, forehead, abdomen and down to the lower back are tinged with bright fiery orange. The outer webs of the primary flight feathers are a deep blue while the primaries are bright green; the secondaries are also green. The upper side of the tail is colored an olive-green with blue tips; the under tail-coverts are green with a marked yellow tinge; the median and greater upper wing-coverts are green with yellow edging. All of these colors become brighter and more vivid as the bird matures, with some birds sporting almost totally yellow tones in their body color. The beak and feet are both black.

A baby Sun Conure will be a mix of dark green, yellow and orange colors. Over a period of about 6-8 months, the darker green feathers will be molted out and replaced by brilliant yellow ones on the chest, head and back.

Sun Conures are capable of learning to talk, although their range is limited and their voices are squeaky and birdlike. They like to imitate amusing sounds (microwave beeps, etc.). They really enjoy human attention, especially if there is no other bird around for them to groom and play with.

Screeching is normal for most parrots. It's how they say hi to each other and how they announce that they're happy. So in the morning and the evening, your sun conure will say "I'm here! I'm here! I'm here!" for ten minutes to half an hour. Your sun conure will also greet you when you have been away by screeching hello. And when your sun conure is in his cage, happily hanging by one foot while he tries to rip the clapper out of a bell, he'll screech because he is happy. So there are a lot of normal reasons for a parrot to screech, and sun conures tend to be especially noisy members of the family.

 

Your bird's diet is one of the most important considerations in it's overall care. Parrots eat a wide variety of foods in the wild and will thrive on many of the same foods in a healthy human diet. They can be fed the same grains, vegetables, fruit and meats that your family enjoys.

Grains, Breads, and Cereals: These foods can make up approximately 50% of daily food intake.

Fresh Vegetables: Vegetables can account for 45% of your birds daily diet. Fresh vegetables are best for vitamin content but may be supplemented with cooked vegetables from the family table if these are not seasoned too highly. Frozen vegetables (thawed in the microwave) are acceptable when fresh vegetables are not in season.

Fruit: Fruit should be offered in limited amounts. Fruit in combination with the protein and calcium foods that follow can make up the remaining 5% of your birds daily intake.

Protein Foods: Protein foods include meats, nuts or other mature legumes (cooked navy beans, kidney beans, lentils, etc.)

~OFFER FRESH WATER SEVERAL TIMES A DAY~

Parakeets

A parakeet is a small bird, that is part of the parrot family. It has a unique and an amazing life.

Parakeets are small vertebrate birds. Parakeets come in shades of blue, green, orange, red, yellow, and purple. You can tell the difference between a male and a female by looking at the cere. The cere is the layer of skin just above the beak where the nostrils are located. If the cere is bluish the parakeet is a male. If the cere is brown the parakeet is a female. A female parakeet can lay from one to ten eggs. The average number of eggs parakeets lay is five. The eggs usually hatch in eighteen to twenty days. A parakeet can grow from seven to twelve inches. A wild parakeet can live two to three years. Usually a house parakeet can live from ten to fifteen years. A parakeet usually eats birdseeds, but they also eat fruits and vegetables in order to get more vitamins. Parakeets eat vegetables like lettuce, spinach, carrots, or broccoli. They also eat fruits like apples or oranges. Another amazing thing parakeets can do is say words. Parakeets can learn to repeat words, sentences, and verses. Parakeets can also learn to whistle. Even though parakeets can learn these things they are not highly gifted in doing them. Parakeets can also get diseases. Even though most are healthy all their lives. They can get diseases like anal prolapes, going light, french molt, coccidia and many others. An example of a disease is "going light". Going light is a disease of weight loss. The parakeet continues to eat normally but continues to lose weight at the same time. The parakeet will lose weight until it dies. This is caused by an intestine becoming shorter. Allergies from foods can cause this to happen. There is no cure for this disease, but there is an antibiotic which can keep the bird from dying. In order to live the parakeet has to stay on the antibiotic all of its life. Parakeets are very intelligent birds.

As you can see the parakeet is interesting.

More info on Parakeets

The parakeet is one of Americas most popular pet birds. Their small size, bright colors, and cheerful disposition make them perfect pets. Parakeets come in a large variety of colors including pastel blues, yellows, dark greens, violets, solid whites and almost limitless combinations of the same.

Young parakeets can easily be trained to sit on your finger. It is calming to listen to their quiet chattering and chirping. Some parakeets even learn to talk! They are playful and inquisitive, wanting to know what makes a bell ring and what is behind that toy. Parakeets normally live seven to twelve years, with some living much longer.

Cage

Parakeets have modest tastes in cage sizes. However, they wont complain when a medium to large size cage is chosen. Choose the largest cage your budget will afford. The cage will need to be large enough for your parakeet to move around comfortably inside. There also needs to be room for toys. Your bird needs at least two to start off with, and would appreciate two more!

Most cages have food and water dishes included, as well as two perches. Position the perches carefully. Parakeets have long tails, so leave some space between the back of the perch and the cage wall. Also, do not place perches directly above cups. You dont want to have your bird going to the bathroom in its food or water dish.

Food

Parakeets should have a large variety of grain and millet seeds. Abba® Parakeet food is an excellent choice. Abba uses a large variety of seeds so that every bite is something different. The seed is guaranteed fresh, too. Fresh seeds taste best. As this is their daily diet, make sure they receive fresh food every day.

Parakeets hull their seed which means they take the skin off the outside of the seed before eating it. This skin normally drops back into the dish, so it may look like their dish is full, but if you blow on it, the seed hulls disappear. And, because parakeets hull their food, they do not need grit.

Water & Vitamins

Parakeets need fresh water, and their water dish cleaned, everyday. Water left to sit for a long time will grow bacteria that is not healthy for the bird.

When you change the water, add a few shakes of Nekton S to it. Nekton S is a vitamin designed to make your parakeets diet complete. It contains amino acids not found in a total seed diet. Amino acids are important for good development of feathers. Nekton S also contains important minerals and vitamins vital for good health.

Treats

Millet spray is their favorite treat. Popcorn on a stick is fun to eat. For a parakeet in a new home, it is also a comfort food. A new house away from other birds can be scary. But if your bird can see the millet and feels safe eating it, then your bird will feel safe when it decides it is time to look around the rest of the cage to check out where the food and water dishes are located.

Honey sticks are another good treat. These require more persistence when trying to pull the seeds off, so parakeets get a little exercise while eating. Honey sticks come in a variety of flavors to add zest to your birds life.

Parakeets also love and benefit from eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Favorites include broccoli, leaves of flowering kale, shredded carrots, peas, corn, slices of apple or pear, and grapes cut in half. Experiment to discover what your parakeet likes best!

Cuttlebone

A cuttlebone has a soft and a hard side. You can easily press your fingernail into the soft side, and this is the side that should face the bird. Cuttlebone contains calcium for strong bones and iodine to prevent goiter. It may take a while before a parakeet uses or chews on the cuttlebone. A change of location may encourage use. Use a fork or butter knife to scrape a little into the food dish if your bird hasnt used the cuttlebone after the first month.

Toys & Perches

And finally, toys. Toys are a vital part of a parakeets life. When no one is around to chatter to, parakeets need something to do. There are a lot of different types of toys made for parakeets. A must-have for every parakeet is a bell. At least one toy should have a bellif not every toy! Bells are wonderful because they are shiny and pretty, and if moved in just the right way, they make noise. Some parakeets make waves in the fashion world by trying to wear a bell on the top of their head.

Parakeets love bright colors. The more lively the colors, the more interesting the toy. Little wood blocks, pony beads, and leather straps are all excellent media for parakeet toys. Hang them near perches for ease of playing, or hang them out in the middle of the cage to encourage exercise.

 


Wing & Nail Trimming

There are many reasons for keeping a parakeets wings trimmed. Most obvious is to avoid the bird accidentally flying out the door and out of your life. Other reasons involve safety. There are many dangers in our homes including windows, mirrors, open flames, boiling water, and open toilet seatsto name only a few. Keep your pet safe by keeping its wings trimmed.

Another reason to keep them trimmed is for training purposes. A parakeet that can fly is an independent bird. It is really difficult to teach your bird to step up when it is hanging out on the curtain rods. The trimmed feathers molt and re-grow within a year. When your bird starts to get a little lift when jumping off your finger, thats a good sign that its time to have the wings trimmed again.

Nail trimming is as much for our comfort as it is for theirs. Normally, by the time the flight feathers have regrown on your little friend, nails need to be trimmed as well. Keeping toe nails at the proper length helps keep your birds feet healthy.

 


Signs of Illness

Call your pet store or vet if you notice these symptoms

  • Diarrhea or wet droppings:

Caused by change in food or water supply, stress or change of environment, too much fresh food or a bacterial infection. Treatments include the addition of millet, ornalyte®, ornabac® or hulled oats to the diet. Your vet may prescribe an antibiotic for bacterial problems.

  • Sneezing or wheezing:

Caused by an upper respiratory infection, a cold, dust, pollen or mold. Treatments include providing a clean and draft free environment, and a call to your veterinarian.

  • Puffy appearance with feathers puffed out in the birds attempt to keep warm:

Usually caused by a draft for a prolonged period of time (like 4 hours). Treatment: warm your bird by covering the cage and placing a heating pad beneath the cage. Call your vet.

  • Sunken eyes, which indicate dehydration:

Call your vet.

  • Growth on feet, cere (nostrils) or beak; or spongy appearance to the beak:

Cause is probably Scaly face mites which can easily be treated. Call your pet store or vet.

  • Rhythmic clicking sound as the bird breaths:

Probably due to goiter from lack of iodine. Call your veterinarian.

Keep cuttlebone (great source of iodine) available, and /or add a mineral supplement to prevent this.

 

 

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