I share with you in this article how I take care of my zebrafinches.
You will find the first aid kit to have on hand to be ready !
First and foremost, I visually inspect each zebra finch on a daily basis, from beak to paws, behavior, warning signs and also the consistency of droppings.
Anticipating will always be the best way to avoid health problems, injuries, etc. Sometimes it is necessary to review the equipment that we use, the diet to improve the conditions that will ensure the health of the birds. When you notice a health problem, intervene the same day.
Here are the solutions proposed to overcome the common care and various problems during the life of our zebra finches.
Closed ring tightening the tab
Use a ring cutter to remove it.
To be inserted between the tab and the ring. If it causes a small injury, apply yellow betadine.
Apply an ointment such as Cortisedermyl (or equivalent containing 0.5% cortisone in pharmacies).
In one or two applications (1 per day) the paw loosens.
Cracked paw, crusty
Padsect (by Comed)
Relieves and heals, to be applied every day if necessary.
Apply physiological serum or preparation with chamomile.
Clear the eye and put one drop per day until improvement.
Use yellow betadine or propolis (without mother tincture) or biseptin, diode tincture, or other iodine healing agent.
I use it most often for small leg injuries, after removing droppings or the like.
Congested and fatty liver
Administer a solution based on choline, such as sedochol, comin cholin B-complex (from Comed) or charcoal extract.
In these cases, do not give more mash, switch to a diet composed only of seeds. As a preventive measure, I distribute B-complex cholin in the water every 2 weeks.
Laying sickness, egg retention
1 drop of liquid calcium (Calcivet), mitosyl ointment, petroleum jelly, oil.
Be careful not to overdose the liquid calcium.
Diarrhea, watery or soft, smelly droppings
Administer half a capsule of ultra yeast in a 25cc fountain (mix well), for 1 to 2 days. Another solution: Give or have ingested a small piece of charcoal (prefer the packages sold intended for birds), this will clean the intestines.
For minor cases, this often occurs during laying or feeding.
Scabies (of the beak and legs)
Apply pyrégale, cade oil, or propolis (without mother tincture).
First, isolate the subject. Use a cotton swab for precise and easy location.
Red lice, Canada lice, feather lice and other mites
Sprinkle Pyrévol (powder in the nest or on the bird), poustop (powder to mix with food, red) or essential oil of lavender.
Quite rare in zebrafinches. Proximity to canaries may be the cause, they are more subject to it. Bathing with bath salt (like Comed's Bath Salt) also helps with infestations.
Inner ear parasites
Symptom: Bird looking up and having difficulty perching (Twirling).
Isolate the bird. Apply 1 drop of Stronghold (sold in pharmacies) on contact with the skin in the neck.
Deteriorating feathers, holes (often noticeable in wing feathers)
Most commonly caused by an internal parasite. 1 drop of ivomec on the skin, available from the veterinarian and some merchant.
It is best to treat all zebrafinches in contact with proven cases. Remove damaged feathers for proper regrowth.
I chose to describe this day of October 15, 2020 because it is not like the others.
Indeed, it marks the beginning of breeding with the first births of gray zebrafinch in the 2020-2021 breeding season !
Eight pairs of grays mating since September 26 of this year.
Today, 3 couples have had births, 2 couples convent their fertilized eggs and 3 others have to re-lay after a "white" laying. The majority of this year’s breeders are primiparous, I do not hold them against this false start which can turn into an excellent season. As long as I observe well the behaviour of these young future parents (the younger ones are about 11 months old).
During our visit to the firm Versele-Laga, Dr. P. Ghysels gave us a presentation on bird food and the requirements of this food. This presentation, based on scientific research and experiments, was clear and easy to follow, and provided with many examples.
The result is that we are smarter about food, but we are not yet specialists in bird food.
This article is based on Dr. Ghysels' presentation and presents some points that need attention.
For our zebrafinch, this balanced food consists of the following ingredients:
1. Protein, fat and carbohydrates.
2. Minerals and trace elements such as zinc, iron, etc.
The amount of protein needed depends on the situation. During rearing and moulting, this amount is significantly higher than during the resting season. Seed mixtures can never be adequate enough to provide for the normal situation.
Carbohydrates are found as starch in plants and seeds. Fats are concentrated sources of energy. Too much fat in food causes a poor function of other materials in the digestion of food. The history of omega-3 is a good illustration of this case. Fats are found in oil-rich seeds. These seeds may constitute a maximum of 1/5th of the mixture.
Minerals and trace elements must be presented daily. These elements constitute the "fitness" of the bird.
For the female, limestone is a primary necessity. At each egg laid, the amount of limestone of the female decreases by 20%. During the breeding period, the female must be able to keep her limestone stock to a maximum. During this period, it is therefore necessary to provide additional limestone in the food.
Vitamins are not found in sufficient quantities in seed mixtures designed for our zebrafinch. Therefore, they must be added. It is especially important to pay attention to vitamins that can be dissolved in fat such as vitamins A, D, E and K. A excess of these vitamins is stored in the fat of the bird and causes a poor function of several organs.
1. Nutritional composition
Nutritional value per 100 gr :
Crude protein 9 gr; Carbohydrate 75 gr; Fat 1.8 gr; Crude fiber 3.3 gr; Crude ash 3.4 gr.
Mineral value per 100 gr :
Calcium 44 mg; Phosphorus 177 mg; Iron 8.5 mg.
Vitamins per 100 gr :
Thiamine (B1) 470.5 mg; Riboflavin (B2) 100.1 mg; Niacin (B3) 190.9 mg.
Amino acids :
2.5% cysteine; Leucine 4.1%; Leucine 11.4%; Lysine 2.5%; Methionine 4.5%; Phenylalanine 6.3%; Threonine 3.7%; 1.6% tryptophan; Tyrosine 3.5%; Valine 5.5%.
Energy value : 1541 KJ
2. Study and effects of the seed
According to the links below, research has shown that foniopaddy has an anti-coccidiosis effect.
- Le foniopaddy
- Fonio paddy, une graine miracle ?