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What Are the Pros and Cons of Choosing a Pet Finch?

By Kathleen Howard
Updated May 21, 2024
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Finches are passerine birds, also referred to as songbirds, that are commonly kept as pets. There are both advantages and disadvantages to choosing a pet finch. These birds are beautiful, inexpensive and social without requiring a great deal of human interaction. The main disadvantage of owning a finch is that these birds typically prefer the company of other birds and do not become completely tame, even when living with an attentive human owner. Unless a person is willing to have more than one pet bird, a finch might not be the best choice.

One of the greatest advantages of owning a pet finch is that these birds are enjoyable to watch. Finches are beautiful, small birds that will spend much of their time perching and flitting about their cage. While finches are not loud birds, they will sing and chirp, especially when approached. Their interesting, active nature makes them a popular choice for people who enjoy exotic pets.

Finches are also inexpensive and available at many pet stores. While purchasing a pet finch, the largest expense will be the cage and accessories. After that initial expense, most pet owners will find that finches are fairly low maintenance. Most necessary items like food, filtered water and toys can be found at very reasonable prices. When compared to some other small pets, finches are very affordable to care for.

Another advantage is that finches do not require a lot of human interaction. While finches are social, they do not need constant attention. Busy individuals who want a pet but might not have time for a high-maintenance animal like a dog might enjoy owning a pet finch. As long as these birds have food, clean water and a sanitary environment they will be able to entertain themselves.

While their independent nature can be beneficial, some pet owners also find it to be a disadvantage. Before purchasing a pet finch, it is important to understand that finches do not usually become tame. They will not become affectionate or want to be held by their owner. Finches greet their owners with vocalizations instead of physical affection. People who want affectionate exotic pets might need to reconsider their decision to purchase a finch.

To satisfy their social nature, finches also must be kept in pairs or larger groups. People who want a single pet bird might consider this a disadvantage. If a person is unwilling to care for two or more birds, he or she might want to begin exploring other species that enjoy living alone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main advantages of having a pet finch?

Finches are small, low-maintenance birds that require minimal space, making them ideal for apartment living. They are known for their pleasant chirping and can provide a soothing background sound. As social creatures, they thrive in pairs or small groups, offering owners the joy of observing their interactions without the need for intense human interaction.

Do finches require a lot of attention and interaction?

Unlike some pets that demand constant attention, finches are relatively independent and do not require significant interaction with their owners. They are content with the company of their own kind and are perfectly happy to entertain themselves. This makes them suitable for individuals who appreciate pets but have a busy lifestyle.

Are finches expensive to care for?

Finches are generally economical pets. The initial setup for a cage, accessories, and the birds themselves can be modest compared to other pets. Ongoing costs include food, bedding, and occasional veterinary care. However, unexpected health issues can arise, potentially leading to additional expenses.

What kind of space and environment do finches need?

Finches require a cage large enough to allow for flight, as exercise is crucial for their health. The cage should be placed in a quiet, draft-free area with natural light but not in direct sunlight. They also benefit from a varied environment with perches, nests, and toys to stimulate their natural behaviors.

Can finches be trained or handled like other pets?

Finches are not typically hands-on pets and are not known for their trainability. They are often more comfortable being observed rather than handled. Attempting to handle finches can cause them stress, and they may not form the same bonds with humans as other pets like dogs or cats might.

What is the lifespan of a pet finch and how does it compare to other pets?

Finches have a lifespan that can range from 5 to 10 years, depending on the species and quality of care. This is shorter than many larger pets, but comparable to other small birds. With proper care, including a nutritious diet and clean environment, finches can enjoy a full and healthy life.

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Discussion Comments

By KoiwiGal — On May 05, 2014

@Ana1234 - I'd be cautious about any bird in a classroom, because they are difficult to keep clean and can be a health hazard. I'd be especially cautious about finches though, particularly with young students, because they are fragile.

Even if you can keep environmental conditions completely stable, which is difficult in a classroom, you might still lose a bird for what seems like no reason at all and that is quite difficult to explain to a group of five-year-olds.

By Ana1234 — On May 04, 2014

@pastanaga - They aren't a terrible choice for a classroom actually, as long as you don't require absolute silence. They are good for a young class, for example, because they are so hands off that you don't have to worry about having to let them out for exercise or anything like that. As long as you have a good, large cage set up, with lots of different sized, natural perches to exercise their feet, they don't need the same space that other birds do. In fact it would probably be more scary for them to be let out of the cage and then recaptured than to just be left in there.

One thing you do have to keep in mind though is that they need to be able to fly a short distance within the cage in order to stretch and exercise their wings. So you can't cram them into a tiny cage where that isn't possible.

By pastanaga — On May 03, 2014

Finches might not seem like they are loud birds compared with parrots or even canaries, but they can be very loud if you've got several of them in a room squabbling when you're trying to work. I wouldn't say the advantage is that they are quiet so much as that they don't really shriek the way that other birds do, so their noise can be easily tuned out if you don't mind background noise.

If you need absolute silence, though, finches are not the way to go. I wouldn't put them in a classroom, for example, because they would definitely raise the background noise above average levels.

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