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Society Finch (Lonchura Domestica)

Society Finches average about 4 inches (10cm). Some of the English and German varities can be larger. Society Finches are strickly a domesticated breed and can not be found in the wild. It is believed they decend from Sharp-tailed or White-backed Mannikins. They were first bred in China and were introduced to Japan about 260 years ago then imported into Europe. Today Society Finches are widley spread throughout the U.S and many other countries.

Life Span:

approximately 5 years

Description:

In the normal form (Chocolate Self) Society Finches very much resemble Sharp-tailed Munias. They have an upper mandible which is black and a lower mandible which is normaly a lighter tint or grey-black. The back and tail are chocolate brown with light highlights throughout. The face mask is normaly solid chocolate brown while the neck has scallops and highlights which proceed down the chest. The belly is a mottled shade of white, brown, and black. Both sexes look alike but only the male sings.

Mutations/Sub-species:

There are many various mutations of Society (Begalese) Finches. Here are few mutations: Chocolate, Chestnut, Fawn, Dilute Fawn, Dilute Chestnut (Silver),  Black - Brown, Black - Grey, Red - Brown (Fox-Red), Red - Grey, Pearl, Clearwing, Creamino, Greyino, Albino, Dk. Eyed White, Marked White, Molted White, Crested and any combination of colors.

Noise:

The male Socity Finch has a boisterously loud song. He will puff out his feathers and stand tall while he sings. They will sing to hens and other males. The hens do not sing but do make clicking calls or warning sounds.

Unique characteristics:

Finches love to have visual contact with people, however, typically do not like to be handled. Finches like to sleep in wicker nests. They also need a bath 2-3 times a week.

Breeding:

Bengalese are free breeders and are used to foster other exotic finches. They are not picky about a nesting site. They will adopt finch nest or finch boxes. You can supply dry grasses, sisal, coconut fiber or mosses as nesting material. In order to breed it is best to have them paired in individual breeding cages. They will breed in a colony setting but they are so social that 6 or more will try to squeeze together in one nest which results in offspring being crushed. Many times I have seen Society Finches feed each others offspring through cage bars. I have also seen them take over raising other species in a mixed flight. The average clutch consist of 4-8 eggs which the parents take turns incubating for 12-14 days. The time young Society fledge varies as some of ours fledge much earlier than others but on average they will fledge from 2-4 weeks. After the young fledge it is another 2 weeks before they are completely independent. Society Finches will cross breed with other finches.

Recommended equipment:

- Cage size:

I recommend a minimum cage size of 12" x 12'' x 15". Cage size also depends on how many finches you are housing together. Remember, finches like to fly. So when selecting a cage it must me large enough for them comfortably stretch their wings and fly from perch to perch.

- Perches:

Provide your bird with two different perches, ranging in diameter and textures. Also place the perches at different heights, so they don't soil their food/water bowls.

Diet:

Feed your finch 1-2 teaspoons of a fortified finch diet with pellets. Finches will only eat off the top layer of their food dishes. Besure to check their dishes often through out the day to make sure there is enough food. This is a must, because a finch's metabolism is very active. Starvation can occur in as little as 24 hours. About every 2-3 days offer small bite sized fruit, veggies and sprouts. Provide a cuttle bone and grit at all times in their cages.

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