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Goldfinch

What is one of the birds most desired by poultry lovers? Undoubtedly the goldfinch, one of the animals so beautiful both for the colors of their plumage and the harmony of their song

Types of goldfinches

What is a goldfinch?

Known with the scientific name of Carduelis carduelis, and the common name of Cardelina, it is a bird that belongs to the family of fringlílidos. The most common is to see it in the Western Palearctic, both in Europe and in the northern part of Africa and some parts of Asia near the West.

In Spain in 2003 almost 2.8 million copies were registered, being one of the largest colonies in the world. They are very similar to canaries, but with a touch a little more wild that makes it a little different.

The jilgueros communities are mainly found in forests, countryside, agricultural areas, parks and gardens , as well as in any herbaceous area, especially if thistles exist in the area, the preferred food of this species. He has a great predilection for hot environments.

How is a goldfinch?

The goldfinch is a small bird, measuring between 12-13.5 centimeters . At the most it can reach weighing 19 grams , although the normal thing is that its weight oscillates the 14.

If there is something that characterizes it, it is the red facial mask and the black wings with a yellow stripe . In the adult specimens, the plumage takes on a tricolor appearance with a black and white cephalic pattern. The beak is a simple peak, adapted to its feeding.

In the case of the youngest specimens, the wings are identical to the adults, but the head and body have a grayish brown tone, acquiring the typical tricolor cephalic color after passing through the first molt in autumn. There are varieties of plumage, but everything depends on the time and the cycle of the molting.

It is a bird difficult to differentiate the female from the male , since there is hardly any sexual dimorphism. However, the male usually has a greater amount of red in the face and the nasal pens are darker. What could help a bit to differentiate it from the female in the case of wanting to reproduce the species. However, the best way to distinguish them is still to use the DNA test.

How much can a goldfinch live?

Compared to other birds such as the parrot or the macaw, the life expectancy of the goldfinch is very short. The normal thing is that its average of life oscillates between the 8 and the 10 years , although they have been seen some units that have managed to arrive at the 12 years.

However, when they reach 12 years of age, it has also been proven that the goldfinches begin their old age accelerated until their death, which can reach them within a few months. A great curiosity of the males is that they can mate with canaries without problems.

How is the character of this bird?

The goldfinch is a very active bird and very cheerful character . He loves to sing and be moving from one place to another inside the cage or through the branches of the trees when he is free.

As a roommate could not be better, since it is a very affectionate animal with its owner and loves to brighten the day with music. Also, if you get used to it from an early age, you can imitate the rhythm of a song you’ve heard a lot.

Is it true that having a female goldfinch is a crime?

In some countries it seems that if it is considered a crime for the indiscriminate hunting that this bird has had. Therefore, before thinking about putting a bird of this species at home, you have to check the country’s legislation to know if it is legal or, on the contrary, you could be committing a crime.

There is a way to have the female, but to do this we have to consider our home as an authorized breeding center, and in many cases the possibility of having a female in your hands is denied, so you have to be very careful with this point.

Although, in some areas, the male is also considered a crime to have it , especially if it has been purchased. To avoid getting into trouble and receive a complaint from someone to the SEPRONA , you never have to buy a goldfinch that does not have a ring, because it means that it has been illegally captured. Also, if the seller does not have a silversmith’s license, do not trust the origin of the bird.

Although it is a fairly widespread species in the world, indiscriminate hunting is rapidly depleting the population, which has led to very tough initiatives against those who catch these birds. Being prohibited:

  • Capture female birds. In the case of doing so, they have to be released to allow the species to subsist.
  • You can not capture a nest of chicks, being considered a serious crime that can mean entry to prison.
  • If you are not an experienced silvestrista, it is forbidden to hunt these birds unless accompanied by an experienced one.
  • The sale of these birds without being a certified silvestrista by the corresponding organization. If you sell these birds without this title, you would be committing a serious offense that could result in a high fine or imprisonment for a crime against nature.

I want to get along with my new bird, what do I have to do?

Although as a rule very few people waste their time training their goldfinch, it is not impossible to obtain a small relationship with this bird that is beneficial for both. The first thing is to place the cage well, to avoid that the goldfinch is scared, and that it is in the main center of activity of the house.

At first the bird can be scared, which is quite normal, but little by little, go past the cage, until it becomes accustomed to your presence. It is possible that over time he will approach the walls of the cage when he sees you appear. However, it will not be time to touch it yet , so do not be surprised that if you try you end up taking a good peck.

To get it up on your finger, the first thing to do is to gain their trust. Getting it is going to take your time, so be patient. Open the door of the cage and put in your hand thistle seeds, your favorite food , so that it gets closer little by little and you eat them. At first you may not approach, but do not fear, that sooner or later you will end up doing it.

Once you eat them from your hand, put your finger to climb it. If it does not, push it a little when it is on the hanger and it will change directly to your finger in order to have a foothold. The first day do not do anything, but the next day you can already try to caress his gut or head.

After several days you can remove it from the cage, but do not be surprised that it ends up flying to explore what is around. There are very few people who let him move freely around the house , since in an oversight he can end up escaping through an open window. In the event that it is flying, do not shout at it or try to catch it. Let him alone return to his cage, leaving his favorite food in this and then close the door.

Ready to have a goldfinch, how does it have to be your cage?

Although it seems that the goldfinch is a small bird, the truth is that it requires a large cage , especially wide, as it likes to fly through it to stretch its wings. So, you should buy a cage 100 cm wide, 60 cm high and 80 cm deep , so you will have plenty of room to move around. In addition, it is important that the bar has a maximum width of 12 mm and that the separation between them does not exceed 1 cm, in order to prevent the bird from getting stuck between the bars.

A lot of attention when buying cages, since as a general rule for this bird small cages are offered and you do not have to buy them to have it at home, unless you are going to transport it outside to participate in a contest or to Take it to the vet. In addition, you should avoid oval or box-shaped cages at all costs. Always opt for square or rectangular.

The material is also very important, since there are some that are very toxic for these small animals, such as zinc, so always bet on a stainless steel . Also, make sure you have a good tray in the base of the tray that can easily be removed when cleaning it. The next aspect is the doors. The goldfinches are birds of small size, so they could try to escape through the doors by which you put the feeder and drinking fountain, ending up stuck in the process and could mean their death. So, to avoid this small problem , it is best to buy a trough and feeder that hooks from the outside and there is only a single door through which you can put your hand.

The perches you buy is better than natural wood , since the plastic ones that come with the cages are not good for filing the claws. With three hangers you will have enough to be moving from one side to the other. With toys, a rope or a ladder could suffice, although it is good to have something that can bite, as long as it is rubber and quality.

In summer, although it is a bird accustomed to hot environments, it is good that you put a cup of cold water in the cage , so that you can take a bath whenever you feel like it. Then remove the cup and put it back in, with clean water, the next day.

Is it difficult to locate the cage of a goldfinch?

To be able to locate the cage of the goldfinch you only have to follow the same guidelines as for the rest of the bird. The first is to avoid an area of ​​the house where there are many drafts , since the goldfinch could catch a cold and fall ill. Nor should be in an area where excessive heat or sun for hours. Well, I could die from a heat stroke.

Avoid at all costs put it on balconies , since traffic noise could stress it and is not a good place for a bird cage, although it is popular belief. Do not put it near the TV because of the flashes on the screen that could be harmful to him or in the kitchen, where he could get intoxicated with the smoke of what you cook.

The best place will always be the living room, because it is where you get more social life and you can get it to establish links with family members. In addition, the cage should be at eye level, thus preventing the goldfinch from feeling intimidated or showing signs of rebellion towards its owner.

You have to clean the cage of the goldfinch, what do I do?

The goldfinches are very clean birds , so your home has to be cleaned thoroughly. To begin with, the tray on which you make your needs must be changed every two or three days. You can put newspaper to make it easier or sand . The feeder and the drinker must be changed daily and thoroughly cleaned at least once a week to avoid creating parasites that can attack the goldfinch.

As regards the cleaning of the cage, this has to be done twice a month . Using bleach diluted in water to clean the bars well. The bird must be out of the cage, in another or loose if you already have confidence with him, because the bleach is toxic to him. After cleaning it well, wet it with water and then dry it with a cloth.

That the goldfinch can bathe itself in its cage is very important, since this also helps to avoid the appearance of parasites. In the shops there are many “bathtubs” for small birds.Prepare a water bath with a few drops of apple cider vinegar and you will not have to worry about having parasites.

And what do I feed my goldfinch?

The goldfinch is a granivorous bird and feeds especially on seeds . There are already foods in stores that have different combinations of seeds so that you can feed this type of bird, however, it is always good to prepare some homemade combination to have it ready.

Especially, the goldfinch what he likes most are the seeds of the thistles , which are also very rich for this because of its high content of nutrients and antioxidants. However, he can not be fed solely on the basis of this seed, however rich it is for him. That is why you have to give seeds of other plants such as the shepherd’s purse, purslane, poppy, sunflower, dandelion or oats . These seeds can be given throughout the year and daily without any risk, provided that a recommended daily dose is not exceeded.

It is best to prepare a combination that has birdseed, lianza, rapeseed, black lettuce, white lettuce, oatmeal, sesame, poppy, knob, hemp and decorticated oatmeal together with a little of thistle seeds to make sure you have the necessary dose of nutrients and vitamins on a day-to-day basis.

It is a bird that also consumes some vegetables such as chicory, tomato or lettuce , which should be given well chopped so you do not have many problems in eating them and a couple of times a week. They also like fruits like orange, pear, apple or strawberries , which are a very rich source of vitamins for this bird. Three times a week at least this bird has to take a combination of fruits, which can be a perfect substitute for seeds.

Enrich the relationship with your goldfinch

Although it is true that the goldfinch is not as stuck an animal as a lovebirds can be, it does like that something motivates it to be happy. In the end, being locked in a cage is not something that will make you happy in your day to day.

So, one of the options is to offer a cage companion to the bird, especially if it is imprinted, so that it does not feel alone. The best thing is that it is another bird of the same species, but also gets along well with canaries and birds of a similar size. Another option is to use relaxing music , like classical music, a type of music that you love to listen to because it relaxes you.

Of course there is always another option, and that is to establish a human-pet relationship with the bird so that it never feels alone when it sees that there is someone around the house. It is not too difficult, but it does require a little patience.

What kind of diseases can you have?

Among the first causes of death of these birds in captivity are diseases, especially by careless owners. This is the list of the most common diseases of these birds.

  • Coccidiosis: As a general rule it appears when food or water contaminated by saliva from sick animals has been taken. The goldfinch will have bloody diarrhea, lose weight, drool flow in the beak and a few days after the onset of symptoms will die. To avoid it, it is best to clean and disinfect the cage periodically.
  • Colibacilosis: As a general rule, it is produced by eating contaminated food and liquids, causing in the bird lack of appetite, green diarrhea and a more dull character.The normal thing is that it can be treated with medicines. The mortality does not exceed 50% of the cases, but it can be transmitted to the human being, so we must be very careful.
  • Enteritis: The intestinal inflammation causes the sensation of dryness in the bird, so it will begin to drink a lot even though it will lose its appetite. He will be apathetic with the owner and will be sleeping almost all the time. It is usually caused by parasites, poor quality food or an infection. It can be cured with antibiotics.
  • False molting: The goldfinches shed the skin once a year, but it is possible that suddenly you see that the feathers are falling during the summer season. This is usually due to a lack of hygiene or to having made a mistake in their diet. You have to give some polyvitaminic in the water.
  • External parasites: In the case of not taking good care of the cage or what is given to eat, the goldfinch may have external parasites such as mites or lice. In these cases you have to use a sprayer to eliminate them.
  • Pneumonia: Remember that when locating the cage of the goldfinch it is necessary to avoid that it is in an area with strong currents of air. If you make this mistake, the bird will begin to have problems breathing with a lot of mucus in the nasal passages, will breathe with its beak open and will be as if it were off. You have to provide heat and an antibiotic to recover.
  • Salmonellosis: As a general rule, this disease is contracted when they eat infected food or water (or if the food takes a long time in the feeding trough). It is also transmitted by contact with infected birds. Among the symptoms, the most common is abundant diarrhea. It is possible the death of the bird and the transmission to man.You have to go to the veterinarian to get treatment immediately.
  • Earthworms: Yes, birds can also have worms like cestodes or roundworms.Especially appear by a poor cleaning of its cage. Among your symptoms, you will lose your appetite, which will lead you to lose weight, you will be tired and your stools will show small white particles. You will have to talk to the veterinarian to treat him.
  • Diphtheria: It is a deadly disease that is transmitted by direct contact with another infected specimen. The feathers will lose their color, you will have diarrhea, it will be difficult for you to breathe and it is very possible that you will end up dying. Only an experienced veterinarian can help the bird survive.
  • Acariasis of the legs: On the legs begin to appear rough crusts and grayish tones, deformation in them. Typically, the cause is due to poor cleaning of the bottom of the cage, so you have to apply special ointments to help eliminate them.
  • Quistes: The normal thing is that if a goldfinch has cysts it is because it has inherited it from one of its parents. Between the symptoms, you will begin to present a subcutaneous swelling in the back and wings. You have to remove them, but only a very experienced veterinarian can do it.

I want my goldfinch to reproduce, what do I have to know?

First of all remember that having a female in captivity, unless you have obtained the appropriate permission, is a crime. The second is that the goldfinches can breed twice a year , in mid-March-April and then in spring. It is rare that they get to reproduce three times the same year, but not impossible.

To make it easier for a couple to reproduce, it is best to put them in a separate module, with a large wooden nest so that they have a bit of privacy. After having copulated, the female will pass in the nest between 6 – 10 days until putting 5 or 6 eggs of white color , although some may have red tints. Once this has been done, the incubation process will begin on the part of the female between 12 and 15 days , period in which she is fed by the male.

When the chicks are born, they do not have feathers, they are deaf and blind, so they are fed by the parents until 15 days , when they already get their plumage, so they can be transferred to an independent cage if is desired It is in the autumn moult when they obtain their definitive plumage.

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