Nesting finches tend to require more variety in their food than those who are not being used for breeding purposes. Mealworms or finch pellets alone may not fulfill the needs of birds when they have young in the nest. With a little creativity and effort, you can provide a supplement to your birds that offers calcium through eggs and nutrients through fruits, vegetables and seeds.
Things You'll Need
- Large egg
- Unsalted sunflower seeds (1 1/2 tsp.)
- Safe fruits and vegetables
- Puppy food (if needed)
- Vitamin supplement (if needed)
Provide nesting birds with supplements long before any eggs are laid. The food should be offered before breeding, during breeding and after the babies are hatched.
Boil an egg for use in the finch food. Make sure the egg is thoroughly boiled before serving it to your birds. The yolk should be cooked completely through.
Mash the egg including the yolk, egg white and shell. A food processor or chopper may make this easier. The high amount of calcium in the egg, especially the shell, is critical for the mixture to be effective. A bird that consumes strictly seeds is likely to lack the calcium he needs to thrive.
Add pieces of finely chopped fruits or vegetables to the mixture. Acceptable fruits include bananas, oranges and apricots. Appropriate vegetables include spinach, broccoli leaves, grated carrots, celery leaves, parsley, endive, brussels sprouts, cooked peas, romaine lettuce, beets and turnip greens. Avoid avocados, black beans and castor beans, which can be toxic to birds. It is also important to note that some of the fruits and vegetables that are recommended may become unsafe if consumed in high quantities. The Finch Information Center can provide you with more information concerning the characteristics of certain foods commonly fed to finches (see Resources below).
Grind sunflower seeds and add them to the food mixture.
Serve the concoction to the nesting birds several times a day. The leftover mix can be refrigerated or frozen for future use.
Remove the food from the cage if it is not consumed within 4 hours. Eggs can spoil if left out too long and your birds could become ill if they eat the spoiled eggs.
Tips & Warnings
- Cuttle bone or ground-up oyster shell can be used instead of the egg to provide calcium to the finches.
- Some birds will not breed unless provided with live insects or an insect mix. If you have a species of finch that requires insects in their diet, make up a supplemental treat involving high-quality puppy food. The food should be soaked in water and mixed with a vitamin supplement. This will help provide them with similar protein found in the insects.