Baby finch food

Wild Baby Finch Diet | Pets on

By Victoria Marinucci | Updated September 26, 2017

North America serves as home for more than 20 species of finches. These small songbirds inhabit cities, woods, mountains and deserts. With such a large finch population throughout the country, you may have a nest of wild baby finches near your house or wild finch fledglings visiting your bird feeder. You can positively impact a wild baby finch's health by understanding her diet and providing nutritious food at your feeder.

Hatching and Nestling Diet

Much like a human baby, a wild baby finch requires a certain diet of foods and frequent feedings from his parents in order to stay healthy. The first week of a finch's life is the hatching stage, and it is followed by the nestling stage, which can last two weeks. During both stages, it is crucial that his mother keeps him warm and nourished by feeding him at 1 1/2- to 20-minute intervals, according to an article published in "The Condor. " Finches generally feed their babies a variety of regurgitated seeds, such as the sunflower seeds and dandelion seeds that house finches mainly feed their young. Brambling and American goldfinch feed their babies small insects, including aphids and gnats; the diet of those finches consists mainly of insects.

Fledgling Diet

Two to four weeks after hatching, the wild baby finch becomes a fledgling. During this stage, the finch's wing muscles have developed and her flight feathers have grown in. The wild baby finch ventures from the nest, though she is still dependent on her mother and father for care. She still relies on her parents to bring the seeds and insects she received in the nest. The fledgling period lasts one to two weeks.

Juvenile Diet

After the fledgling period, the baby finch graduates to the juvenile stage and begins eating on his own. He gradually learns to eat an adult diet. Though his diet still contains seeds and insects, it also includes plants, such as thistles and nettles that adult goldfinches eat and wild berries and nectar that mature house finches eat. He will remain a juvenile until he becomes a fully fledged adult at 3 to 4 months old.

Bird Feeder Food

Even though a wild baby finch should not be directly handled or fed, you can help her diet by attracting finch parents and fledglings to your bird feeder. Because the parents and their babies eat seeds and insects, you can place wild bird seed containing whole sunflower seeds, sunflower kernels and millet as well as insects such as meal worms or wax worms in your bird feeder. Wild bird seed is available at pet stores, garden stores and most supermarkets, and pet stores sell insects. You also can offer unconventional food such as breads, most fruits and suet. Changing bird seed frequently ensures the food is fresh. Damp or old food may cause illness in birds.


If you find an orphaned wild baby finch, you should not care for or feed him, but you can help him. The first task to establish whether the finch is a fledgling or a nestling. "In order to determine whether the bird is a nestling or a fledgling allow the baby bird to perch on your finger. If it is able to grip your finger firmly than it is a fledgling," states the website Wild Bird Watching. If he is a fledgling, he should be left alone. His parents will continue to feed him as he learns to fly. A nestling, however, should be returned to his nest. If you cannot find the nest, your area's wildlife rehabilitator can properly care for the wild baby finch.


Some foods are dangerous to a baby and an adult finch's health. Among the foods to avoid are those containing caffeine, including coffee beans and chocolate. A finch cannot metabolize caffeine, resulting in dehydration and seizures. Also, vegetable oils can destroy feathers' insulating qualities needed for warmth. Lastly, stale and moldy food, which can cause respiratory infections, should be avoided.


  • Wild Bird Watching: Baby Birds--Should I Help?
  • "The Auk;" A Study of the House Finch; W. H. Bergtold, M.D.; January 1913
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment: American Goldfinch (Carduelis Tristis)
  • RSPB, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: What Food To Provide--Bird Seed Mixtures
  • "The Condor;" Observations On Nesting Behavior Of The House Finch; Fred G. Evenden; March-April 1957

Photo Credits

Writer Bio

Victoria Marinucci has been writing since 2002. Her articles have appeared in Pennsylvania newspapers as the "Bucks County Courier Times," and "The Intelligencer." She has also had numerous articles published on the news site, phillyBurbs. Marinucci earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Penn State University.

How to Care for House Finch Babies

By Nadelee Biondi | Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Cage or box

  • Flannel or fleece fabric

  • Paper towels

  • Heat lamp or heating pad

  • Thermometer

  • Pre-made baby finch food

  • Pedialyte

  • Eye dropper or medication syringe

  • Bugs (crickets or mealworms)

  • Nest (can be a commercial finch nest)

  • Food and water bowls that attach to the cage bars

House finches are active but nervous birds. Their antics are fun to watch; however, unlike a parrot that can be held, a finch is not the right bird to have if the owner wants one that's loveable and playful. Finches don't enjoy cuddling -- although they're playful among themselves -- and holding them causes these birds stress. They make nests in pockets placed in the cage, and this is where finches will raise their young. Occasionally, when a parent dies or is unable to care for the baby, human intervention is needed. Though the babies are fragile, it is possible to raise them by hand until they can be introduced to other finches.

Find a box or cage that will protect the baby finch and give easy access to feed and care for it. Ensure the baby cannot escape before it's old enough to be placed in a cage with older finches.

Make a nest in the corner of the cage or box. It can be made of fleece or flannel fabric, and should have sides high enough so the baby cannot roll out of it. Cover the area for the baby finch with a folded paper towel.

Place the cage with the baby finch where the heat can be regulated. The baby must not get too hot or too cold. The temperature should be regulated between 88 and 92 degrees F. A heat lamp above the cage works well, as does a heating pad under it.

Put a thermometer in the cage between the nest and the wall of the cage. It will need to be continuously watched and the heat adjusted, until a steady temperature is finally achieved.

Purchase a ready-made seed mixture from a pet-supply or feed-supply store and a bottle of Pedialyte.

Set up a schedule for feeding the baby finch around the clock at timed intervals. Watch the crop in the baby's neck, as this tells when the baby's hungry; if it is flat, or puffed out, the baby finch is hungry and needs to be fed.

Mix the ready-made seed with the Pedialyte so that it's watery.

Feed the baby finch by filling an eyedropper with the ready-made seed mix. A syringe used to give human babies medicine will also work. Give the baby a little at a time, allowing the baby to take the food at its own pace. Baby finches do not breathe when they are feeding. Feed the baby small amounts at a time, allowing it to breathe in between. Do not overfeed the baby, as this could cause death.

Change the paper towel in the baby finch's nest before placing the baby back in it. The baby will probably fall fast asleep.

Mash up small bugs, occasionally mixing them with the seed mixture and sufficient quantities of water after the first two weeks of just feeding the seed mixture. Keep feeding the baby finch at regular intervals. Bugs provide perfect protein to keep the growing bird healthy. It's also okay at this point to start giving the baby water, small drops at a time, separate from the food -- although it's also okay to continue with Pedialyte.

Replace the homemade bird nest in the box with an actual finch nest, purchased from a pet store, in a cage. The baby finch is strong enough at this stage when it can stick its head out of the nest to let the caregiver know it's hungry. No matter what kind of directions a person is given for raising a baby bird, however, the chances of it surviving are slim if it is newly hatched. Remember though that even if it does not survive, it was held by your loving hands that tried.

Provide crushed birdseed in a bowl that attaches to the inside of the cage, along with a water container. At three weeks, the baby is large and agile enough to jump from the opening of the nest to the bowls and is now actively feeding and watering itself. It's okay to leave the baby in this cage for its lifetime.

Put the baby finch at five weeks of age into a cage with other finches. It is now old enough to be accepted and not picked on by the others. Keep its cage as it was for the time being, in case there are problems and it needs to be moved back into its first cage. It's okay to introduce another finch to the baby in the baby's cage as well.

  • Keep the baby finch's bedding clean at all times, replacing the paper towel as often as needed. Keep sudden noises to a minimum, as baby birds startle easily. Keep the cage and the baby in an area not accessible by children or other pets.


  • Do not overheat or underheat the baby finch, and do not force or over feed it -- as all of these conditions can cause the death of the baby finch.


  • Caring for Baby Finches
  • What do You Feed a Baby Bird: Doug Brinlee
  • Birds n Ways: How to Handfeed Finches: Kristine Spencer
  • Bird Guys: How to Care for Finches
  • Animal-World: All About Finches
  • Beautiful Song Birds: Guide to Finch Care

Photo Credits

Writer Bio

Nadelee Biondi has been writing professionally since 2004. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she began contributing to "Sunset" and "Better Homes and Gardens." Biondi is also pursuing a Master of Arts in English literature.

How to feed garden and forest birds?

You can buy feed mixture for wild birds in our shop. You can also feed the birds with food left over from the dinner table, just be sure to remember: the food must be fresh and unspoiled. Bird food should not contain salt, moldy bread, or products with additives and spices. Also, do not give black bread to birds.

What can I feed the birds with?

There is a big difference between different types of seeds (cereals) that can be fed to birds. Some cereals, which are sold in large quantities in stores, are not suitable for feeding garden and forest birds in a dry, uncooked form. Avoid buying rice, beans, buckwheat, peas - only pigeons will eat this food at best.

Also avoid high amounts of oats, which make up the bulk of parrot and canary formulas. Oats can only be added to the feeder in small quantities as a supplement to the bird's diet. From experience, we do not recommend buying expensive mixtures for poultry, most of the feed will eventually not be eaten by titmouse and sparrows.

We recommend purchasing food rich in vegetable fat, such as sunflower seeds, rapeseed, hemp, flax. The most economical option is to buy pure raw sunflower seeds (seeds), birds will eat it without a trace, you can be 100% sure of this.

Offer birds water in addition to dry food

If you are feeding birds during the warm season, it becomes important to have water close to the feeding area. Be sure to put clean water in containers with a shallow bottom. Offering water to birds will increase their numbers in your garden by 50%. You can hang a drinker for birds from our production on the window.

Feeding area sanitary conditions

Remember that improper bird feeding can lead to contamination of the area around the feeder. Excess food that birds do not have time to eat can attract rodents. Also, food that has been in the feeder for a long time begins to rot and becomes inedible. Keep track of the condition of the feed - its availability and freshness. In addition, try to make sure that the birds do not feed for a long time on one heel of your garden, as the birds leave their droppings around the feeder. This can lead to infectious diseases in birds. We recommend moving the feeders to other parts of the garden once a month.

Protein is important in the summer menu

In the summer, it is important that birds get a high protein diet, especially during the period when they are shedding. For granivorous birds - sunflower seeds, crushed corn, unsalted cheeses; for insectivores - animal food (gammarus, flour worms, bloodworms, insect larvae, etc.).

Menu for nomadic and wintering birds

- Dried white bread, oats, boiled unsalted cereals for field and house sparrows.
- Lard, lard, coconut and unsalted butter - very good food for insectivorous birds, such as great tits, blue tit, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, blackbirds.
- Apples, pears, rowan and hawthorn berries are popular among thrushes, starlings, blackheads, waxwings.
- Small seeds of millet, flax attract finches, goldfinches, linnets.
- Sunflower seeds are an excellent food for birds all year round, they are eaten by various types of tits, sparrows, greenfinches, siskins, tap dances, grosbeaks, nuthatches, woodpeckers.
- Peanuts are a hearty and popular food among greenfinches, tits, nuthatches and woodpeckers.

Classes and types of food for rodents

Proper nutrition is the key to proper development and health of domestic rodents. The owner needs to consider a varied diet for the rodent, based on the needs of his body. To simplify the choice of food will help special feed, presented in a pet store in a wide range.

In the article we will consider what classes and types of feed for rodents exist, which manufacturers' feeds are in great demand, what to look for when choosing feed, where to buy.

Classes and types of food for rodents

Special food for rodents is divided into two classes - premium and economy. They differ in the composition of useful components and the cost of the finished product.

Premium food made from selected grains. Presented in a wide flavor range. They contain a large amount of healthy proteins, vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutritional components necessary to maintain the health of domestic rodents. Premixes may contain natural grains, pieces of fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, etc.

Feed for rodents of economy class has a poorer composition of useful components. Such a product may not always satisfy all the needs of the pet's body.

Food types:

• all-purpose food - suitable for all rodents;

• Special food for hamsters, chinchillas, rabbits, rats, mice, guinea pigs, etc.

Manufacturers additionally divide food into two subspecies depending on age - for cubs and adults. All information about the composition and purpose of the finished mixture is indicated on the label.

Food for ornamental rodents has a dry texture. You can also feed your pet with live food (specially grown insects).

What is good for hamsters and rabbits

Hamsters and rabbits, like other pets, need a varied diet. Feed such pets need properly selected food or special food.

Mandatory component of the diet of hamsters - juicy food, fresh herbs, fruits, vegetables. In winter, you can feed the germinated greens of wheat and oats. Hamsters' favorite treats are dried fruits, nuts and seeds.

The diet of rabbits consists of juicy, concentrated, coarse and green foods. Such pets can be given straw, compound feed, vegetable tops, dry grass and branches.

Pet rodents can be fed ready-made dry food with a combination of healthy ingredients. For rabbits, concentrated compound feed in granules, as well as a complete feed based on meal, is perfect. It is a rich source of fiber that can replace regular hay.

For hamsters, special grain feeds are produced, which already contain all the necessary components for proper development and maintenance of good health. Sometimes it is worth pampering your pet with delicious treats - fruit chips and special cereal sticks.

What do mice and rats eat

Grain crops predominate in the diet of ornamental rats and mice. In addition to grains, fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs will also be useful for them. No more than 2-3 times a week, you can give low-fat boiled meat without spices, fish, chicken eggs, seafood. Sometimes rodents are fed low-fat fermented milk products.

Ready-made food for ornamental rats and mice contains all the necessary ingredients: selected grains, dried fruits, vegetables, sunflower seeds, wheat and pea flakes, etc. specially selected components, it is of great benefit to the organism of decorative rodents.

Food for guinea pigs and chinchillas

The diet of guinea pigs is based on vegetables, fruits, meadow and garden greens. Flax seeds, branches of trees and shrubs are useful for their body. Periodically, you can feed your pet with asparagus and peas.

Guinea pigs need to create a combined diet - dry food supplemented with juicy food. You should buy high-quality industrial feed from trusted manufacturers. Cheap feeds may contain unnatural ingredients that are harmful to the health of the rodent.

The chinchilla is a herbivore, assimilating only plant foods. They are suitable for juicy food - an indispensable source of vitamins and minerals. Vegetables, fruits, berries, young shoots of plants, leaves with sprigs of fruit-bearing shrubs, young herbs, tops of vegetables are useful for these pets. Dry twigs of plants and dried hay should also be present in the chinchilla's diet. Food should be combined.

The most beneficial for feeding domestic chinchillas is a special granulated food containing all the necessary components: cereals, bran, seeds, nuts, dried fruits and other useful fillers.

Popular rodent food manufacturers

Industrial rodent food is produced by various manufacturers. Some of them have a well-deserved reputation among breeders who appreciate the high quality and balanced composition of products.

Popular rodent food manufacturers:

• Little One;

• Versele-Laga;

• Beaphar;

• JR Farm;

• Zoomir;

• TRiOL;

• Sirius;

• Bospa;


• Little One;

• "Chika";

• Fiory;

• Waka, etc.

How to choose the right food for rodents

When choosing food for a decorative rodent, you need to focus on the pet's health, its age (calf or adult), tasty preferences and, of course, an affordable budget .

Criteria for choosing pet food:

1. Brand. Try to choose products from trusted manufacturers.

2. Assigning food to a specific rodent species. This is an important parameter, since feeding a hamster with chinchilla food or a rabbit with rat food is the wrong decision. In feed for each type of rodent, a well-thought-out composition of ingredients takes into account all the needs of the body and the preferences of the animal.

3. The composition must be balanced and beneficial for the pet. All components included in the finished mixture are indicated on the packaging. Be sure to read this information when choosing food.

4. Pay attention to the expiration date. Do not feed your pet with expired products, which can lead to various health problems.

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