View Full Version : Does anyone here have finches?

10-05-2002, 10:13 PM
I am having troubles with my zebra finches. I had always heard they are flock birds, and do well in groups. Well ... apparently no one told my finches that! There is one dominant pair that keep all the other chased away from the center of the cage. It seems to me that the darker finches are dominant, compared to the more passive white ones.

The only thing I have found about aggression pins the cause on overcrowding. Well, I have a huge flight cage (4' x 4' x 2') with six finches in it, so I don't think that is the issue here.

Has anyone had similar finch experiences? Any advice? It's driving me crazy!

10-05-2002, 11:08 PM
I have finches. I breed zebras and bengalese.
I've had trhat problem as well.Have youthought about adding in bengalese (society) finches? They tend to be peaceful and I've found they can greatly calm down a cage. If the dominant pair is just being mean in general and is hurting any other finch or preventing them from feeding, the only things you can do is move their nest lower in the cage (if they have a nest) which will make them slightly less dominant-feeling (it's worked for em on some ocasions) or you can take them out. My agressive pair is actually fine on their own, they are just antisocial. They are WONDERFUL parents though.
I've also noticed that the dark ones seem more agressive. I've only found one of another mutation that was agro as well but he's a silver fawn anyway.


10-06-2002, 12:43 AM
Thanks for the information!

Actually, the dominant pair is a male zebra and a female society! (When I got them, they were already paired like that, it wasn't my idea! ;) ) The female society basically just sits there, she is not aggressive, but the male zebra chases all the others away from her and the center of the cage. So, this one pair occupies 2/3 of the cage, right in the middle, and the other two pairs of white zebras have to sit on the edges.

None of them have nests. I don't need anymore birds! ;) Although they all still lay eggs constantly on the bottom of the cage. Gggrrrr.....

I actually had four pairs in this cage, and I took the dominant pair (both dark zebras) out and gave them to my friend. As soon as they were out - and I mean like within 15 minutes! - this other male took over the dominant role, and the same nasty behavior. I was soooo frustrated.

Could I just leave the situation as it is? Will they ever do damage to each other? Right now, its just chasing and squeaking, basically. I'm afraid if I take this pair out, which I really don't want to do, the next male in the hierarchy will take over! I don't want to just have one pair of whites in there, eventually! :(

I swear, these birds are as bad as my dogs with their pack-order problems! :rolleyes:

10-06-2002, 03:01 PM
gotta be careful with that pair. They *can* hybridize and you'll want to be very careful with that.
So long as they aren't physically hurting each other (like tearing out feathers, pecking eyes or feet type thing) then they should be okay. Six (cheeked penguin hen) is very bossy but she never really hurts anyone. On the other hand, PLucky has been knwon to tear out chick's feathers.
I have found that once males and females are separate (I do this in the winter to condition my hens for breeding the following spring) there isn't any problems. I have one society male and his two 'buddies' plus Plucky in my bedroom and they are all fine and happy up here. The hens are all downstairs finnishing off the weaning of some late-season chicks (would have left the males in but the hens kept going back to nest or the maes would hurt chicks). So, now, I have two cages of bears and PEACE. :)
Maybe you could take out that one hen. I've found that PLucky is very, very protective over Peepers (his mate) but not so over other hens or birds. Maybe if you got a bengalese cock for that hen, she'd leave that male and he wouldn't be so protective over her.
Just an idea.