Return to Keeping birds


Cover Breeding Estrildid FinchesThese tips, and many more, are in the book Breeding Estridid Finches.



How do I keep birds?

You should keep tropical birds in a dry, draught free, good ventilated¬†birdhouse. Some bird keepers call themselves “cold breeders”. If you like it to keep birds “cold”, take then birds out the neighbourhood. Don’t keep birds out of warmer area’s as you are not able to¬†hold them warm. In my opinion is 20¬įC the limit. …


Cages and aviaries must be cleaned once a week. Clean the bottom and the perches. Wood chips on the floor are recommendable, because they absorb the urine out of the droppings. The lesser dust, the better for the birds (and for you!!). The best way to clean is vacuum cleaning¬†over a micro filter. My cleaner¬†stays …


Make sure that enough light is present. Daylight is the best, but as the days become shorter artificial light is necessary. The best light is TL daylight lamps. The minimum is 12 hours and during the breeding season up to 14 hours. TL lamps should work with a dipper.


Estrildis are seadeaters. Grass seeds,¬†other little seeds, reed seeds, rice, and so on. Only Nigrita and Parmoptila species are insect eaters. These birds¬† in captivity should become¬†about 7 grams seed and 1 gram egg food daily. One or¬†two mealworms or some like that¬† is enough. Only if they have young, you should give plenty of …


Daily fresh drinking water is necessary. Disinfect the drinkers before filling them with clear water. Remove bathwater after a few hours, in the other way the birds are drinking it, same with droppings who were on their feed. Disease germ makes your birds ill.

Preventing diseases

You can save yourself a lot of trouble by sticking to the following rules: see to it that aviary and cages are always clean and dry; use some moisture-absorbing material (e.g. wood chips) to cover the floor; make sure the temperature is right and that light levels are sufficient; do not put too many birds …

What to do with a sick bird?

No bird hobbyist in their right mind would pass on a sick bird to another hobbyist, nor to a trader who may hold us liable. It would be a foolish thing to do, because sooner or later there will come a time when we are confronted with the consequences. Moreover, it is a sure way …