Proper Nutrition

What do Zebra Finches actually eat?

Spray millet  
Spray millet  

Zebra Finches are seed eaters which primarily feed on grass seeds. A good staple food is those cultivated grasses which also play a role in (organic) human food again: the various varieties of millet, as long as they are small-grained enough.

If you have to get food for your Zebra Finch(es) fast, buy a packaged budgy mixture if need be: it is available everywhere, and although it is somewhat too large-grained und may not correspond with the Zebra Finch taste in every component, the small "survivors" will be able cope with it for a while.

A better fare is a special packaged mixture for exotic or grass finches, of course, as it is supplied by pet food producers. It primarily consists of small-grained Senegal, Mohair and/or Manna millets and the larger-grained La Plata and silver or white millets plus Canary or White seed. You can buy these kinds of seeds individually in big food stores, but this doesn't really pay for just one pair of birds. The great favourite, however, is always spray millet, which comes in different lengths and colours. It is true that millet on the stalk is more expensive than loose grains, we shouldn't however grudge our Zebra Finches the occasional pleasure to pluck the fresh grains from the panicles.

  Greens
  Such greens can tempt a Zebra Finch. The hollowed out piece of cucumber on the left shows that Zebra Finches are after the seeds, not the flesh.

In intervals and whenever they breed Zebra Finches should also get sprouted seeds: millet you let soak for one day and sprout for another two.

Sand and bird grit are necessary both for digestion and a minimal supply of minerals and trace elements. Crushed egg shells are also appreciated as a valuable source of calcium.
    As soon as the Zebra Finch is settled in its new home you can additionally offer it the popular chickweed or dandelion, lettuce or cucumber. If the birds later are to (be allowed to) produce young, a special rearing food, as described in the literature, should be served, and boiled chicken egg, broken up with a fork, should always be part of it.

Oh yes, a Zebra Finch needs a Zebra Finch companion not only for breeding – don't let it live alone for too long!



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