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Introducing a new Finch to the Aviary


Checking out the neighborhood
Real Name
Charles W. Harner

I am seeking advice on a particular issue I'm having with introducing a new finch to an aviary with 6 birds in it already. For some context, I initially adopted a bonded Zebra finch (male) and Society finch (female) pair - previous owner thought they were both Zebras; those were my first birds. I then got another Zebra pair, as well as a Gouldian pair. I put these four in a quarantine cage beside the aviary, and my original male Zebra was visibly aggressive towards them, so I kept them in that cage for... about a week until they calmed down, then I put them in the aviary. For the most part things went well, but my original male Zebra would often try to fight the two new ones - but it was not bad, mostly just chasing each other off perches. Recently, it has gotten worse, so I decided to get another female Zebra at the suggestion of an experienced finch keeper and breeder.

So, that gets me to the issue. I set the new female up in a cage by the aviary, and surprisingly, the birds in the aviary did not show any aggression towards her, unlike the first time I introduced new birds. The fighting has stopped, even, and my original male Zebra even tried to court her through the cage - everything is going great. Except... the new female does not like it when the others leave the side closest to her. I understand why, of course, they're social creatures, after all, and she is in the cage by herself. I know I could have gotten another female Zebra to be with her, but I was told to keep the male-female ratio even. But if the others aren't there, she flies a lot, trying to get to them. She doesn't do it in a way that she'd hurt herself, she really just hops onto the side of her cage; but it's sad to watch.

I then have a question for anyone more experienced: is it alright to try to introduce her, say, tomorrow, given things continue as they are? This is her very first day here, still, so would tomorrow be too soon, even with how well things are looking? This time I'm not seeing any aggression, and the others have hopped up on her cage to talk and sit with her. And she really wants to be closer to them. I fear she won't sleep well tonight alone.

I'd appreciate any advice. I know it's suggested to wait a week, but with the way everyone is acting, I'm curious if I could do it sooner.


Rollerblading along the road
Mayor of the Avenue
Real Name
Since this is her first day, she needs to be put in quarantine right away. Introductions can wait until later.

Recommended quarantine procedure involves keeping any new arrivals as far away from your current birds as possible for at least 4 to 6 weeks. This allows you to observe the birds and screen them for possible health issues BEFORE they are allowed near your aviary. It isn't a real quarantine if the cage is right next to your other birds. You need distance to avoid spreading disease (and parasites) from the new bird to your current flock.

Ideally, that means putting the quarantine cage in a different room or even in a different building, if that is possible. And minimizing any exposure by not sharing bowls or toys between cages and cleaning your hands before and after interacting with the different groups. The last thing you want to do is bring in a new bird with a serious illness and get all of your current birds sick too.