While raising birds can seem a little overwhelming at first, once you get the hang of it, you will realize what true joys they are to be around. Many pet bird owners would agree with me that the more is always, the merrier when it comes to birdies.
Are you a pet parent to a parakeet who’s now looking to bring home another avian member? Well, it is always good to be surrounded by these adorable creatures as long as you can care for them all. But which bird would make the best companion for your parakeet? What about finches?
Can parakeets and finches live together? Yes, parakeets and finches get along well with each other. Although both parakeets and finches are better off living with their kinds, if you want two different species, they make a good pair. Both their diet is similar as well. However, you must never place them in a single cage; either provide them with separate cages or build them an aviary.
The very idea of raising two different birds together in your home must have filled your head with countless doubts and questions. But you needn’t worry; you’ve come to the right place.
Stay with me till the end; I’ll tell you everything you need to know about raising a parakeet and a finch together.
Do Parakeets get along with Finches?
Individually, both parakeets and finches are friendly and sociable birds that tend to get along well with their own kinds. But what if these two are grouped together? Will they learn to live in peace and harmony? Or will they fight and attack each other constantly?
Well, the answer to this question depends on many factors, the most important ones being the size of the aviary and their individual personalities. However, the finch species that are most likely to get along with parakeets are:
- Zebra Finches
- Java Sparrows
- Nutmeg Mannikins
- Double-barred Finches
- Cordon-bleu Finches
Are you wondering what other factors dictate the peaceful co-existence of these birds? Let’s talk about it in the next section.
Keeping parakeets and finches together: Tips and tricks
Suppose you’ve already bought a little finch for your parakeet’s company and are stuck now. Naturally, you’d want to try your best to keep these birds together peacefully. Here are some quick pointers that might help you with it.
Sharing space can be problematic
First and foremost, you must make sure not to confine them into a small cage together. Ideally, no two different species should ever be placed in a single cage. All birds need some personal space. And if any birds have a chance at surviving peacefully in a single cage, they should be of the same species.
It is a bad idea to keep birds like parakeets and finches together. in a small cage It is because while finches are small, they’re highly energetic and will keep flitting around inside the cage most of the time. At some point, their flitting is bound to irritate the larger parakeets, which are then likely to attack the finches.
For parakeets and finches to live comfortably in a single cage, the size of that cage should be large. And even then, there can be room for conflict occasionally.
Therefore, instead of trying to fit them within a single cage, you should either opt for an aviary or two different cages. If you’re going to go with the first alternative, make sure that it’s at least 10 square feet wide and contains multiple perches for both birds.
Be careful about their dietary needs
As far as diet is concerned, both parakeets and finches have a seed-based diet. Both of these birds enjoy feeding on commercial seed mixes that include hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, niger seeds, canary grass seeds, and sesame seeds.
Along with these seeds, you should always feed them sprouted seeds, other fruits, and vegetables in moderation because they get bored easily.
Due to their larger size, parakeets are bound to have a bigger appetite than the finches. So, if you don’t want them hogging the finches’ food, you must provide them plenty of it. Another alternative is to feed them both separately.
What should be an ideal living space to keep Parakeets and Finches together?
Most people tend to think that it is completely okay to keep small birds as pets in any small cage. However, in truth, keeping birds confined to small spaces is unhealthy for them. These avian creatures have wings for a reason. Flying around in an unrestricted space is part of their natural lifestyle.
If you have a small apartment and desperately wish to keep birds as pets, you might get one bird. However, don’t keep them cooped up in a cage for the whole day. You must let them hang around in your bedroom or living area for at least 2-4 hours a day.
But if you’re an apartment resident, owning two birds is not a good idea for you. It will mean that both birds have limited space to share, which can make either bird aggressive and lash out at the other one. And in the case of parakeets and finches, it wouldn’t be a fair fight since parakeets are considerably larger and have a sharp, hooked bill.
In order to keep these, or any other pair of birds together, you must own a house with a front or a backyard where they can fly around freely.
The advantages of starting early
For those of you who are new to the world of avian pets, I’d like to tell you that there’s more to owning pets than randomly buying them on impulse and then figuring out their living situations.
Before we drive to a shelter or a pet store, make sure you have what it takes to raise the pet safely and comfortably. And just because birds are smaller doesn’t mean they don’t need to be looked after.
If you’re planning to have two pet birds, make sure you bring them home together and at an early age. This rule is particularly helpful if you’re planning to get birds that belong to different species.
In the wild, most birds tend to stick with their own kinds; finches live with other finches and parakeets with other parakeets. Therefore, when placed together in captivity, they might face issues.
However, when you bring two young birds home together, they grow up together and have plenty of time and opportunity to get used to each other and even get along eventually. For this reason, you should always opt for adopting young birds together instead of bringing them home one by one.
Learn to recognize when to intervene
In many ways, birds are not very different from children. Sometimes, they’ll fight or bully each other lightly, stop talking, and then resolve it all by themselves. If you keep getting in the middle of every argument that your children have, you’ll never have time for anything else.
The same is true for your pet birds. You might see them nudging each other or screaming at each other, but they aren’t necessarily fighting. However, there is a possibility that one of your pets might be seriously bullying or harassing the other, in which case you must do something.
Here are some signs that it’s time for you to intervene:
1. Fights between two birds take place most commonly due to the issue of personal space. If that’s the case for your birds, make arrangements to shift them into two different cages right away.
2. When your birds start taking each other’s food. Such a thing would often be initiated by the parakeets since they’re bigger and need more food. If your parakeet is attacking the finch for food, it is for two reasons. Either they’re not getting enough food, in which case you should start feeding them sufficiently. Other than that, they might simply be sending a message that they dislike the finch’s company, which means it’s time to remove one of them from the picture indefinitely. You can try to send them to one of your friends or relatives for a while.
3. In some cases, the real problem might be the individual personality of your parakeets. Although these birds aren’t generally of the bullying nature, if made to live with smaller birds, some of them could grow to be a bit of a bully.
If your parakeet is a bully, you’ll notice how often they give the finches intimidating looks and scream at them from a distance. The poor victimized finches might suffer terribly under such pressure. If anything like that has caught your attention at home, it’s a clear sign that they shouldn’t be kept together.
Other birds that can live with Parakeets
While the parakeets do make incredible companions to you, you shouldn’t be certain about them getting along with other avian pets. It is because as sociable as these birdies are, they also need their personal space that shouldn’t be compromised in any case.
But if you’ve made up your mind about getting another bird, here’s something you must know about your little parakeets: they don’t mix well with other non-parrot birds. This is also true for cockatiels, lovebirds, and any other pet from the parrot family.
My best suggestion for you would be to get another parakeet. If you get a parakeet, both your feathered pets will keep each other company. However, make sure you go for the same-sex because if a male and female parakeet live together, the females will try to dominate the males.
Other than a parakeet, you can also get a cockatiel. These little parrots are very easy-going and get along well with most birds, including the parakeets.
In the finch family, parakeets can live with Zebra Finches, Cordon-bleu Finches, White-backed Munias, Java Sparrows, Nutmeg Mannikins, Spotted Munias, and Double-barred Finches, as we’ve already discussed earlier. Don’t pair them with other pet finch species, or they might end up being dominated by your parakeets.
Two birds that you should absolutely never pair your parakeets with include Bourke’s Parrots and Rosellas. These birds are highly aggressive and can easily lash out at smaller parakeets, particularly in a confined space.
Other birds that can live with Finches
Although finches are smaller birds, it doesn’t mean that they’re a submissive species that can get along with all pet birds. They have a slightly pushy temperament and can inhabit a comfortable space with other, like-minded birds.
For instance, if we’re talking about the Zebra Finches, the following are the birds that you should ideally pair them up with:
- Chestnut Munia
- Plum-headed Finches
- Double-barred Finches
- Star Finches
- Bengalese Finches
- Gouldian Finches
When it comes to parrots, you should only place them with the smaller or medium-sized species. And even then, you must make sure that they aren’t sharing the cage.
The step towards becoming a pet bird parent is realizing that birds are not all that different from humans. With the right care and attention, they can grow to love you just like a family member.
But just like humans, they also need their personal space. Therefore, before you decide to get two birds as pets, you might first consider how you will meet their needs and provide them with sufficient space. As long as you can arrange that, you can certainly keep a parakeet and a finch under the same roof.