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Canary and Finch Cages

All species of pet finch will, and this pretty much goes without saying, need a cage. There is a specific type of cage that finches require, emphasis should be on the horizontal rather than the vertical - finches flay and hop across the length of their cages, but unlike parrots, they don't fly and in most cases a parrot cage is not suitable for them. Cages designed for other types of birds may have gaps too wide between each bar. A finches cage bars need to be less than 0,6 of an inch wide, or you risk the danger of your birds escaping or getting stuck.

Canaries in aviary
A cage needs plenty of space for flight

The cage you are keeping your birds in has to be safe. Sharp-edges or toe-snagging hazards are all a no-go. This even applies to the exterior door area of your cage as well, as if you decide to give your canary some free-flying time, they may choose to sit on the door or on top of your cage. Be sure to check any toys or pieces of equipment before putting them in the cage, these need to be safe as well.

Finch Cage Shape

If you can only provide your birds with a small area, it is best to go for a cage with corners, as finches take comfort in corners. If you happen to have a larger cage, the shape becomes much less of an issue, though a completely round cage - like the one Tweety Pie is kept in - is best avoided. Again, finches prefer width, not height.

Cage Size

The minimum dimensions for a cage containing three pairs of Zebra finch-sized birds are 60x20x20 inches. Bare in mind that the general rule is “the bigger, the better”. If you are looking to keep a single canary then you should have a cage that is 16in wide and 8in deep. Be sure to keep a perch at each end too. If you provide the bird with a smaller cage, they will not get sufficient exercise. All this brings up the question, do you have enough room for a cage for your bird to live in?

It is also important to remember that Canaries are the only finch that can be kept alone. If you plan on getting any other type of finch, you have to get at two, in cock-hen pairs. Ideally you should have more birds. A lot of species are very territorial and will have a tendency to try and fight their way up the finch hierarchy. If you do plan on keeping more than a pair of birds, you will have to buy a much larger cage. A larger cage enables the birds lower down in the hierarchy to find a safe cormer to hide in whilst the higher ranking birds flex their muscles.

Gouldian finches in a cage
Gouldian finches in a cage - do they have enough space?

How Many Finches in a Cage?

The number of birds you can keep in a cage very much depends on the amount of space you have at disposal. As mentioned above, a single canary will be content in a 16x8x8in cage, and a pair of Zebra Finch can get along fairly well in a cage of this size too. Keep in mind, the larger the cage the better. This small cage size isn’t ideal, simply just adequate. In larger setups you can keep more birds. Keep in mind, the rule of thumb is to provide 35in2 per bird.

How many Canaries in a Cage?

Canaries get on perfectly fine when kept alone, though this doesn’t mean that they’re complete loners. In the wild Canaries forage in small groups, sometimes even in larger (albeit temporary) flocks. In captivity, the birds should get along well. However, once the mating urge kicks in (and it can last up to 5 months each year), the cock birds will become noticeably territorial and even aggressive. Hens can also be susceptible to territorial behavior too. In the wild, birds will simply keep out of one another's way, though in confined spaces conflicts can arise.

Canary in pet shop
A canary needs lots of space in its cage

The answer to this problem is to keep birds separate during this season. Be sure to keep them in a sufficiently large space, with foliage, to allow the timid ones to keep out of harm's way. If you don’t provide birds with a space to hide away, they could be bullied by the more dominant birds.

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