1. Welcome to Avian Avenue! To view our forum with less advertisments please register with us.
    Memberships are free and it will just take a moment. Click here

Advice for a society finch?

Discussion in 'Canary & Finch Court' started by Nissili, 5/6/17.

  1. Nissili

    Nissili Walking the driveway

    Joined:
    7/9/15
    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    United States
    Real Name:
    Sandra
    Okay, so this is gonna be a long one. I never properly posted here for advice, but better late than never, right?

    So a while back (i've honestly already forgotten how long ago - 6 months is my best guess) I came into "ownership" of a male society finch. Okay, legally he's my mom's as she adopted him, but it was under the conditions that he went into my care, and mom gives me free reign on it as i'm spending my money on him and he's in my room, and I'm the bird person of the house. (for context - I'm almost 20, am for the most part financially independent, I just live with the parents and brother still)

    He's super sweet and chatty, and while he doesn't come out often (typically only for a cage deep clean, or for a beak trim, context below) he's very active and aside from his beak condition seems to be in good health. He's on a free-fed diet of roudybush pellets and a seed mix which he picks from both dishes pretty equally. I'm still trying to find fresh foods that he'll actually take, as he seems scared of just about everything. He also has a bath attached to the front door of his cage which he dives into at least twice a day it seems, haha.

    We adopted him from my work, actually, due to his condition. No matter what we did, his little beak just kept overgrowing - I have no photos at the moment, because thankfully it doesn't grow nearly as fast as it used to, but it looked like he had bulky 'vampire fangs' on the sides of his upper beak, and the bottom beak looked like it had a little garden shovel folded in half growing out of the front end. We lovingly nicknamed him snaggle for a while, until mom named him Buttercup. From what I researched, it likely was a combination of poor genetics and a subpar diet - so I'm hoping that the better diet and access to a small sand perch (fear not! It's only one, and I keep it away from his preferred sleeping spots to discourage him spending all day on it - he has a manzanita perch and a fir perch that he uses 95% of the time.) has helped the problem.

    I'm wondering if there's any other things I can do to help his beak problem? I don't like having to have it trimmed more than absolutely necessary, because it obviously stressed him out, and that much stress on such a tiny heart is less than desirable.

    Additionally, I'm wondering what most of you finch parents recommend to keep your little beans occupied and mentally active? I feel awful that I haven't found much to keep him entertained yet. I've tried toys he can pick and pull at, left them there in cage rotation for months, and he never went near them. I've tried treat toys and simple foraging (not parrot puzzle level, more like.. look behind the slightly obscuring toy kind of 'foraging' just to see if he'd even go near it) but the little bugger won't even touch treats, I don't even think he touched millet.

    I'm also looking to upgrade his cage a little more asap, as what he has isn't cramped, but more space is always better. I have one in mind, I'm just hoping there's some things I can add to his space so it's not so empty feeling - unless that's a good thing?
    I'm more versed with the parrot family instead of little softbills, so it's sadly still unfamiliar to me. Aside from his food bowls, water silo, and perches, he's only really got his bath, a nest (which he refused, and took up sleeping in his foodbowl instead, haha) and a hayball in hopes he'd pick at it - he hasn't touched it once since bringing him home.

    Honestly I'm open to whatever recommendations you guys have. I feel like his conditions could be improved, and I want to know what I'm doing wrong, and what I can do to head in the right direction.
     
  2. AvianCrew

    AvianCrew Sprinting down the street

    Joined:
    10/17/16
    Messages:
    383
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    michelle
    Adam and Eve keep each other occupied, finches aren't the biggest fans of toys.
     
  3. Nissili

    Nissili Walking the driveway

    Joined:
    7/9/15
    Messages:
    244
    Location:
    United States
    Real Name:
    Sandra
    I see..
    in our case, Buttercup is our only finch, and although him and Hazel are on decent terms, I can't leave them together unsupervised for safety's sake.
    I've tried to convince my mother to let me bring another society finch home to keep him company, but she's rejected the idea. I'm just hoping to find some ways to help keep him occupied or at least catch his interest.
     
    AvianCrew likes this.
  4. AvianCrew

    AvianCrew Sprinting down the street

    Joined:
    10/17/16
    Messages:
    383
    Location:
    California
    Real Name:
    michelle
    Try a mirror; or maybe some swings.
     
  5. Featheredfuffs

    Featheredfuffs Walking the driveway

    Joined:
    4/30/17
    Messages:
    253
    Real Name:
    Pearl

    giving him a nest box will keep him entertained, society finches are nest sleepers, so he will sleep in it every night, and probably stuff as much nesting material as he can in there.

    I have a large flight cage and I put a pizza box filled with hay on the bottom of the cage, and I sprinkle hide millet and sunflower seeds in the hay... my guys love foraging around in it for a treat, plus they use the hay as nesting material :)

    I hang nesting material (like coconut fibers) off the top of the cage in hard to reach places, as it gives them a mental and physical challenge, as well as being a behavior they would do in the wild.

    Lastly, whenever I go to a plant nursery, I make sure to buy a spider plant. It's bird safe (provided you make sure the birds can't get to the dirt, I cover it with parchment paper), some of the branches are steady enough to hold a finches weight, so it's a new cool bobbing perch, and the finches can pick and bite at it as they chose (my guys have decided it's nesting material), not to mention it's quite cheap (5.00 in my area). Of course, the plant dies after about 2-3 months, but for something they can spend hours playing with, and is so cheap, I think that's fine.

    My society finches love mirrors too!

    One of my finches was obsesssed with bells, we heard him ring one all day long. Just make sure it's small and non threatening.

    :finch2::finch2::finch2::finch2::finch2::finch2:
     
    Last edited: 5/13/17
  6. Cynth

    Cynth Jogging around the block Avenue Veteran

    Joined:
    2/5/10
    Messages:
    684
    Location:
    Maine
    Real Name:
    Cynthia
    Maybe sharing some facts about society's or Finch in general with your mother may help her understand that Finch need another little bird finch they are after all called societies. I have found that my Finch have never played with any toy.
     
  7. finchly

    finchly Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting!

    Joined:
    5/16/14
    Messages:
    2,139
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Real Name:
    Tanya
    @Featheredfuffs has good suggestions for toy-ish items. Mine liked shreddy things and hay that they could carry around. They also spent an inordinate amount of time trying to cram a millet stick into their coconut shell. Then they'd get it out and start again.

    To keep mine occupied, I give them tons of flying space, tree limbs for perches, and silk or plastic plants strung all around in the cage. Oh and some of the societies liked a ladder in their cage.

    But your bird desperately needs a companion. That's why they are called society finches.

    Please be careful of bells. One of my vets says any time there is a health issue, there's a bell in the cage.
     
    Featheredfuffs likes this.
  8. Flyover

    Flyover Meeting neighbors

    Joined:
    8/9/16
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Minnesota
    If you are interested in a companion finch and you really know that yours is male, another male should do if you are not interested in breeding. If you are not sure of the sex in a group of societies, play a recording of a male singing (several on Youtube) and wait for another male to return the song. Someone here suggested this to me and it worked right away!

    Societies really do love the companionship of other societies. Few other birds cuddle with each other like they do. My two males sing a fair amount and chatter at each other a lot, but it isn’t obnoxious at all. Still, it would be a lot more noise than just one.

    I gave mine a basket nest like you can find at most any pet store. They dart in and out of quite often and always retire to it at night.

    Better yet, they love filling it with items. I put dog and cat fur on the floor of the cage and they waste little time collecting it. When they are outside of the cage, they will spend literally hours picking up the cord for the blinds and attempting to carry that back to the nest. It ends up wrapped around an outside perch about a dozen times, but they go back to the attempt every day.

    Mine also alight on the swings, though I haven’t seen them spend any amount of time on them. I used to have spider plants as @Featheredfuffs did, but I have a lot of birds in the room and they tore them up in no time flat. Maybe one or two would give the poor plant a little more time.
     
    Featheredfuffs likes this.
  9. Featheredfuffs

    Featheredfuffs Walking the driveway

    Joined:
    4/30/17
    Messages:
    253
    Real Name:
    Pearl

    Oh my gosh I had no idea about the bells! I think I'm going to take it out now... none of my current societies are interested in it much anyway.
     
    finchly likes this.
  10. Flyover

    Flyover Meeting neighbors

    Joined:
    8/9/16
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    Minnesota
    What is the health issue with bells?

    I once had a zebra who rang his half the day.
     
  11. finchly

    finchly Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting!

    Joined:
    5/16/14
    Messages:
    2,139
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Real Name:
    Tanya
    That's all he told me: every bird with a health issue he'd seen recently had a bell lin its cage. He asked me to please think about that. I took mine out.
     
  12. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Sprinting down the street

    Joined:
    4/24/17
    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Real Name:
    Andrew
    Hmm that seems very strange... I would want to know what his sample size is and its statistical significance. If he has seen thousands of birds, all with bells and all with health problems, vs thousands of others without bells and without health problems, then I am inclined to believe, but only so far as to merit additional study to determine cause and effect such as construction materials, coatings, etc. If on the other hand, this person is talking 10 - 20 birds, statistical significance this does not make... I chalk that up to coincidence and quackery. I say show me the science and the evidence.
     
  13. finchly

    finchly Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting!

    Joined:
    5/16/14
    Messages:
    2,139
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Real Name:
    Tanya
    @Atomiklan yep I get what you are saying. I have a lot of respect for this vet; he wouldn't say it lightly [without statistical significance]. I'll see if he has a follow up statement since that was months ago.
     
  14. Distaff

    Distaff Sprinting down the street

    Joined:
    9/28/16
    Messages:
    391
    Real Name:
    Mary
    Heavy metal poisioning? Most are not going to be stainless.

    If the ringing is obsessive, that can't be healthy either. Reminds me of some videos with budgies obsessively interacting with mirrors.
     
    finchly likes this.
  15. finchly

    finchly Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue I Can't Stop Posting!

    Joined:
    5/16/14
    Messages:
    2,139
    Location:
    SW Florida
    Real Name:
    Tanya
    I assumed he was referring to metal poisoning.

    Skittles does this almost compulsive thing on his plastic ring that has toys on top (I removed the bell). He pecks the toy, the bottom of the ring, toy, bottom of the ring. Weirdo.
     
  16. Atomiklan

    Atomiklan Sprinting down the street

    Joined:
    4/24/17
    Messages:
    432
    Location:
    Raleigh
    Real Name:
    Andrew
    I look forward to the data, and if conclusive, I will happily remove the bells from my cages too :)
     

Users Viewing Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 0)