Diet. Eating is not only something every living thing must do, but getting proper nutrition is vitally important to the health and life span of your flock.
Additionally a proper diet is a must if you plan to breed your finches.
Seed only diets do not produce healthy birds.
Dry seeds do not have the necessary protein and essential vitamins and mineral levels required to successfully breed and raise healthy birds.
Pelleted and extruded diets don’t offer variety and are often not accepted by birds.
First is a good quality seed mix.
The seed mix should include white millet, red millet, finch millet, canary seed, and oat groats.
Most also include rape seed, niger, flax seeds and Japanese millet, as the most common found in foreign finch mixes.
In addition to a quality seed mix, it also important to provide greens. I find it easier for the finches, especially, to cut various vegetables into small bite size pieces.
Any vegetables can potentially be used, but no avocados, which are toxic to birds. There are many sites to look up what are potentially toxic to birds.
Greens what is seasonally available, which usually includes carrots, cabbage, turnip greens, mustard greens, kale, collard green, romaine lettuce (any type of lettuce is ok, but iceberg lettuce does not have much nutritional value) and Spinach is often enjoyed but not too often etc, fruits like oranges and apples (remove the pips) are also often enjoyed (as pictured by my own pair of Star Finches
Birds can be very sensitive to pesticides, so if you are not using organic vegetables, be sure to wash carefully.
Fruits such as apples can be added as well, but the seeds inside should be removed, and my finches espically my star finches and gouldian finches love oranges.
Protein for successful breeding In nature, insects ; like meal worms provide the additional protein requirement during the breeding season and are often enjoyed by most birds.
Egg Food or Soft Food Commercial egg food mixes are made by crumbling a high protein egg enriched baked cake.
Because of the high egg content, the egg-food is high in protein and amino acids necessary for healthy birds in breeding condition.
In some soft food mixes the protein is derived from dairy products-lactose removed.
The main difference between the egg food and soft food is that egg foods are considered supplements to a seed diet, while the soft foods serve as the main diet.
Another important part of the diet is sprouted seeds. There are special seed mixes for sale for sprouting purposes e.g Perle Morbide,
By sprouting the seeds, the amount of protein and vitamins are increased to some degree. When sprouting seeds, however, it is important to use an anti-microbial agent to avoid bacterial, fungus, and yeast growing with the sprouts. using KD water cleaner can help prevent this.
Spray millet can be fed – most birds love this stuff.
It is mainly carbohydrates with little other nutritional value so normally should be fed in moderation as treats. I do tend to offer this daily to breeding, weaning, and sick birds. Give in moderation for parents feeding babies so that they will not only feed spray millet to the babies but will also feed soft food.
Weaning babies and sick birds find it easier to eat spray millet.