Your life with zebra finches: Always something going on!

Along with budgies and canaries, zebra finches are among the most popular pet birds. No wonder: there’s always something going on with these cute little guys. Zebra finches are perfect beginner birds. With these tips, you will be sure to make your lively house-mates happy.

Drei Finken im Käfig

Zebra finches love one thing above all: company. That’s why you ideally keep several of them. Two to three pairs are a good size. Or even more if you have the space for it. The most comfortable accommodation is an aviary of about two meters in length. Here you can accommodate up to five pairs. If you allow your birds daily free flight, they will also be happy in a spacious cage. Per pair, you should have a minimum area of 80 × 60 × 40 cm. When choosing your bird cage, make sure it has a rectangular design. That way, your birds will have a long side to fly on.

The basics: A beautiful home for zebra finches

In addition to food and water bowls, the basic accessories include suitable litter (e.g. bird sand or hemp litter) as well as a bath house. In addition, as many perches as possible. You can use natural branches from fruit trees or beech and hazel. Make sure to offer perches of different thicknesses. If in doubt, rather too thick than too thin so that the claws of your fledglings always rest on the wood. This is how you ensure healthy bird feet. Zebra finches should also be given sleeping nests or boxes – at least one per pair. Each pair will then chooses a nest, which they artfully upholster and visit at night to sleep.

Cage and placement: a place in the sun.

Zebra finches are most comfortable when one or more sides of their enclosure is closed. If your bird cage doesn’t have closed sides, place the cage against a wall or – even better – in a corner. An elevated place is ideal so that your pets always have an overview of things. If possible, the cage should be placed at a window. They not only enjoy the light but also need it. The UV radiation ensures healthy plumage and strengthens the immune system. For the short winter days, you should provide your zebra finches with a special UV lamp with dimmer. The little Australians want at least 10 and preferably 14 hours of brightness every day. Dimming ensures that it doesn’t suddenly get light or dark and that your pets experience a natural twilight.

All-round fitness – with the right diet

Zebra finches feed mainly on seeds such as graminaceous seed and millet. You get the perfect mixture with our Vitakraft® Exotics Menu. In addition, you should always provide a clean bowl of bird sand plus grit, a cuttlebone, or crushed eggshells as a source of calcium. They love foxtail millet as a treat. Plus it’s a nice activity for your birds to pick the grains out of the panicle. Regular offerings of greens (e.g. lettuce, dandelion, chickweed or shepherd’s purse) as well as fruits and vegetables round out the diet of your zebra finches.

Variety is the spice of life

With the daily free flight, you provide your zebra finches with considerable variety. Flying strengthens not only their muscles but also their immune system. Before the first free flight, make sure that the room is bird-proof. Any cracks and crevices in which your exotic birds could disappear should be closed with slats. Also remove harmful flowers and house plants (e.g. carnations, primroses, violets, and poinsettias). Make sure that there are enough places to rest near the cage. Especially in the beginning, your little fledglings may not yet have enough stamina to cover long distances. For the time your finches spend in their home, you also have many opportunities to provide variety. For example, with enough nesting material – because you fledglings love to eagerly mend their nests. For example short cut hay or small bits of tissue are suitable. You can find more ideas on how to make your bird cage more interesting here.


There is a good reason why your birds love to build their nests. For zebra finches, raising offspring is the greatest happiness on earth. Of course, you can prevent breeding by not offering nesting. Or replace the eggs regularly with plastic eggs. However, sooner or later, your zebra finches will outsmart you. But one thing is clear: for the little guys, raising young is simply part of the job. So it’s best to think about whether you can live with them before you buy them. And where you place the offspring. Some pet shops are happy to take offspring from hobby breeders.

Good to know: unlike budgies, zebra finches do not become hand-tame. They more than make up for this with their lively nature, constant bustle, and pronounced social behaviour. Zebra finches are also extremely intelligent. That’s why they serve brain researchers as a model object for their studies. So you can be sure: With zebra finches in your home, you are sure to never get bored.