How to train wild Zebra Finches


The bird feeds available in the west is not available in India but we have nutritional grains and seed of many varieties.

How to train a wild Zebra Finches

I have read lot of complaints about difficulty in training wild zebra finches.Training  wild Zebra Finches  is very easy.Keep you cage door open 24 hours so that the bird is free to move in your house.My windows have transparent mesh so birds do not fly out.Make 2 perch on the window and place polythene sheet on the floor under the perch.That way cleaning is easy.You can train them within a weeks time, if you let them go outside the cage.I use a badminton racket.Place the racket infront of the bird gently touching their stomach and ask them to sit.They sit easily following your command and then shift them from one perch to another.Initially your command should be strong and repeatitive but not harsh.The bird should recognize the name with your command.Eventually they will know what you expect them to do.If you ask them to jump on the perch from your racket they will learn.They learn your language very quickly.My study room window has no mesh and my female bird(Charlie) was sitting on the window grill.The sound outside the window scared her.She slipped while trying to fly while trying to grasp the window grill.She eventually flew down from the second floor.I went down and found her sitting in my car park on the floor.I asked her to sit on the Badminton racket and she kept sitting on it comfortably while I brought her back.Develop a mutual bond and trust with the bird.My birds also has a seperate loud tone when they have to call me and they come on the cage door.They either want fresh water or food or they miss me.My male bird Tango sings with happiness when he sees me.Do not assume that birds only sing for the female partner.I sing a small tune and both the birds have picked up the tune.Always give your birds privacy.Zebra Finches can’t see in darkness and they sit on the floor when scared.This makes them easy prey of cats,eagles,owls etc,If you have trained one bird the rest will learn.You will not have to say anything.If they see a racket comming close to them,they will know they have to sit on it.If they see a cup shaped hand comming close to their stomach,they know it is transportation time and they will sit softly on your hand.Try training the naughtiest, wildest male bird first.

A woman is always the best trainer because her voice has a rhythm.The command for training a bird called Tango will be repeatitive.

Now Tango with sit on the Racket…Tango sit,sit.sit,sit………..When Tango sits on the racket.Praise the bird….good boy Tango…clap clap,Kooochicoooo is the word they love and gets excited on hearing it.

Tango will jump to the next perch……..repeatitive…….

Does Tango wants to sit on my racket?….YES…..Tango wants to sit on my racket….Tango loves to sit on my racket.

You have to use positive words like “Tango will””Tango wants”means Tango has to do what your command says.

Feeding Zebra Finches in India

The bird seller just give them “Sava” and water.The birds get used to eating them.Keep “Sava” 24 hours in their cage.”Sava” is a grain eaten during fasting time in India.Give them boiled combination of Rice and moong daal or any other daal early morning.You may add ragi or grated beans or grated carrots or peas to the “Khichri”.”Dalia” with other different combinations of seeds is also good.You can also make it soup style.Cooking time in microwave in around 10 minutes if they are not soaked prior to cooking.The birds love to drink the soup.Give them Boiled and grated eggs(boil for 10 min) every alternate days early morning.Microwave egg shells for 1 minute and it should always be there in the cage to give the bird calcium.I had also put “Sava” seed in one of my flower pots and they grow as grass.You can give them wheat grass too.I give them 5 grasses daily which they chew.They are too excited about the grass.Provide them fresh and clean drinking water.To avoid ants, take a deep plate of water.Use a stand in the centre and place the boiled food on the stand.Heat “sand” in microwave for 1 minute to kill any germs and it should be always there for them.Black rock salt or Kala namak is also essential.My birds do not like fruits and the fruits gets contaminated very fast.Do not give food that gets spoilt or contaminated.I have a three layer stand in the cage which always has egg shells,rock salt and sand.Two fitted containers, of Sava seed in one and the other has fresh drinking water.If you place a thick cotton matress with sponge inside on the cage bed floor.They will dirty only the non-matress area.Keep atleast 6 matresses handy with you.Place two rocks near the feeding area for them to sit.Wooden perches,rock perches and iron perches help them in trimming the over grown nails and beaks.Good nutritional diet is very essential.Cuttle bones and Vitamin blocks for bird is very important.

Zebra Finches can understand human language and thoughts

Zebra Finches are extremely delicate birds.If you try to catch them their wings and body is hurt terribly.They are so cute and beautiful that there is always a temptation to catch them.My birds are extremely comfortable with me but when I get thoughts of catching them,the male bird becomes extremely restless as if I am standing with a dagger. I gave up the thought.I don’t want them unhappy.They enjoy when I chase them ocassionally and when I stop chasing they make a flight close to my face to challange me.Make your hand in a cup shape and you can bring it close to the birds stomach,the bird happily sits on your hand when you have to transport them to a yummy food spot.Let them come and sit on your hand and shoulders on their own will.That’s the greatest happiness.I must add that my female zebra finch easily catches flat tunes of mobile phone and can repeat it.The tone has to be flat beep beep rhythm.Who says that female zebra finch can’t sing?

Sometimes the male birds come in my study room and enjoy admiring himself in the mirror.He sings non-stop.After few hours I want him back in his room because both the birds feed the babies.The badminton racket sitting system fails and nothing works.I walk up to the female bird and complain in serious words that Tango is not ready to come.The female birds gives loud calls(she has voice of a baby goat) to him and he is back within few seconds.Try to communicate with your birds and you will find unusual behaviour.Relationship takes time to build up and the more gentle you are,the stronger the relationship between the bird and you.One harsh mistake and the bird will never trust you.Even if the finch parents don’t trust you,do not worry….The baby birds with help them be confident about you.They will learn from the babies to enjoy your company.

Making nest for Zebra Finch

Use a cardboard box.First place a layer of dried neem leaves.Place soft cotton layer and then layer it with a new folded cotton bandage.Give them pieces of soft tissue papers and neem twigs to keep them busy in nest building.Sometimes babies fall from the nest because of too much nesting material.Keep the nest deep.If babies fall they put it back in the nest.I have mentioned “neem” because it has anti-insects properties.

Bathing Zebra Finch

Place the bathing tub outside the cage.It should be more than 1 inches deep .The bigger the tub the more time the zebra finches will enjoy the bath.My birds bath 3-4 times daily.Keep the cage and the surrounding area always clean.

Nest Cleaning

My birds are very comfortable when I take off the nest for cleaning.Take out the babies with exceptional care once they have feathers and place them on a soft cloth.Clean the cage and put them back.The babies gradually start clinging to you and prefer your company then being in the nest.Take the baby birds in a seperate room and you can give them the pulp of orange,boiled rice or mashed papaya to eat.Place the food near the beak with the back thin portion of a spoon.Always put your hand below the babies so that they sit on it.They do not like to be held forcefully as if you are lifting a suitcase.Place the babies on a soft towel made like a cave.You can also put some seed which they will play and eat.I also give a spoon of water to the babies which they drink happily.The babies often sleep in my bed and when they have to go to mom and dad for lunch,they come on my shoulders and make beep beep sound.I take them immediately to their mom and dad.Love your birds and they will love you forever.

Illness in zebra finches mites,lice etc

The best way to keep your birds healthy and free from mites and infection is by giving the a bath in neem water.When you see them plucking feathers or scratching their head on the cage bar then there is something wrong with the sleep/food/mites,lice infection. Boil neam leaf in water and they leave it to cool.Except for the head and ears,dip the bird throughly in the water.Then apply little euclyptus and neem oil on its feet.You may also use tea tree oil. Do not throw the remaining neem bath water in your house.If the bird is not drying himself,you can do a light blow dry with a dryer far away from the bird and not too close to hurt the bird.Place your own hand to feel the heat and the distance of the dryer.The bird will then dry itself on its own.Clean the entire house with water and cetrimide.The mites which leaves the bird will attack you.Place a branch of neem tree near them.Neem tree has great values in Ayurveda.

First Aid Kit
Vet number and hours
pad and pencil
Infared lamp and heating pad
Eye droppers
Pepto bismol or Kaopectate
Flour- this is really the only thing you may need to use without a vet’s instruction first. Flour can be used to stop bleeding, for example if you hit a vein while clipping toenails.
Cotton balls and swabs
Avian nail clippers
Roll of gauze
Gauze squares
Hydrogen peroxide
Aloe vera gel
Surgical Tape
Antibiotic powder

Neem Oil

euclyptus oil

Tea tree oil

Hospital cage

Home made incubator if possible.

41 Responses to “How to train wild Zebra Finches”

  1. Can you post some videos (when you are doing the stuff you have mentioned here) ?

  2. ahmed shah Says:


  3. Can you just put in Neem oil in their bathing water? If they drink it will it harm them?
    (thank you for sharing all your experiences and information about these little birds)

    • Boil neem leaves in water.Let it cool.Use a plastic new sprayer which is used in beauty parlor.Spray on the bird when the weather is warm.

      • Thank you , I did that. They seem to really like that. Is it okay that the neem spray gets on the millet they eat? I’m concerned if it will harm them if they get some internally. They seem to be fine. In fact, they seem to be improving. The crusty bit around the one’s eye seems to be lessening.
        Appreciate your help.

    • You can always remove the food and water while spraying neem water.You can also give a half drop of neem water to the bird to drink when they are sick.Buy a new syringe,throw the needle away and you can make the bird drink the neem water.Just half drop is enough for zebra finch.

  4. I really liked what i read. . Thanks. . 2 of My finches have some boil sort of growth on their tail end. . Is it normal?

  5. when ever i try to put my hands close to my zebra fnches stomaches they always fly away. can you give me some advice on how to get them to be comfortable around me and how to get them to go on my hand?

    • If you have been very tender with the birds right from day one,then chances are that they would come and sit on your hand.Birds bought from bird sellers are not treated properly and the bird seller just treat them like mosquitoes.Birds get permanently scared of human hands.

  6. thankyou so much… i neve knew so much about birds,and some how the birds seem so much calmer with me around them

  7. My daughter gave me a 4 year old zebra finch that was sickly because he always had dirty water so I took him in gave him millet and niger seed and kept his water clean. I let him out of his cage and he loved it. Eventually he allowed me to take him in my hand. Now he lets me rub the top of his head and body and scratch him behind his ear area. He loves it and lets out a coo sound. I am blessed and love this bird very much. Thanks to my daughter I have lots of love in return…..Patrick B

  8. 6 months ago i saved a male zebra finch from some naughty boys…one of his wings is poked with a pencil…now he only has one and a half wing (meaning only the 1st joint of his left wing is gone) he recovered from it…but i think he can no longer fly…he jumps anxiously/alert and never calmed down even whn I’m like 2-3m away…I guess he can’t get to trust ppl anymore after wat happened to him…my house is a wooden house so there’re lots of holes and places to escape so i can’t afford to let him out of the cage although i’m nt sure if he can fly or not…but whn i extend my hand in the cage as he jumps and struggles everywhere…at times whn he’s at the corner…i place my finger infront of him..he jumped on my finger and sat still while looking around for like a minute…Is he gaining confident of me or is it cos he has no where to run? I’m confused and would like to know how to deal with a handicapped zebra finch…will it be harder to gain their trust? I tried the “stand close enough to cause bird to alert,after bird calmed down,put food in the feeder [repeat til u can stand right next to them without them gettin scared or alert]) but it never worked…I stand thr for 1 hour..he’ll keep jumping around and look around frantically all the time…I’m upset and want him to at least get used to my presence…Please help me on this…thanks in advance~

    • The bird is in a state of shock and won’t trust you.Even when humans face attack,they have difficulty overcoming the shock.I would suggest that you give him a female companion.He will gradually feel better.

  9. Is thr any other way other than giving him a female companion? cos my father didn’t agree to let me keep him in the 1st place. One is the limit…I’ve given him lots of attention and affection and now he’s much more docile than whn i 1st took him in…I wonder if he’ll come to trust me one day by doing so? will the bird get over with the traumatic event one day?

  10. my male had made a nest but the female is not ready to give eggs why?do can clean the whole cage with neem water

  11. i have a pair of zebra finch birds. Can u tell from where i can order best food from any online store in INDIA or any place in NCR region India.. Also, female zebra finch lost her feathers from lower stomach region (male perfectly fine), so please let me how can i get them treated naturally at home as in my area, no good doctor for them. It will be highly appreciable if you mail me your answer:

  12. The advices which you have given are good.I’ve got 2 species (two in each) of finches(2 zebra finches and 2 white zebra finches).The white ones didn’t lay eggs at all……..but the black ones destroy/eat the eggs everytime they lay it……….. they’ve even pushed it out of the nest many times…….I have no idea what to do…….. .
    I think I’ve scared it many times by catching it after bringing it from the pet shop. What shall I do ?

  13. Hi Sir,
    This is Pradeep, I have a pair of Zeb Finches, and last month, the female laid some 5 eggs, but somehow 4 of them got destroyed and one hatched. The hatched chick also died after a week or so and later I saw some worms coming out of the chicks body. Now, its almost 2 week, the chick’s dead and the hen has again laid some 4 eggs and in a couple of days, I am expecting the eggs to get hatched. Now what I want to know, is, when I can start touching the chicks? Any special food that I need to keep for the chicks? When can I take the chicks out of the cage? And is it safe for the hen to lay eggs continuously?Should I separate the pair?

  14. I have an emergency: just now my female zebra finch flew away. I had her trained to sit on my shoulder. We had a bond untill I got her another finch, she never again sat on my shoulder. She laid eggs and became violent to the male finch, he is bleeding all over his back (but I don’t understand why, she was so sweet) and so I had to separate them. I was moving her and her nest in the higher half of the cage when she flew out to the patio. She landed on a branch in front of me, and when i went to go get her but my dogs scared her away. She left me with 8 eggs and a bleeding male, I want to bnd with the male when he gets better, but what do I do with the eggs? He won’t sit on them.

    I also think the female will die because there are many cats in the area, and she doesn’t know about what she can eat, and her wings were a little clipped. I was going to let them go eventually but not here. Any tips on the male the eggs or getting the female back?

  15. Put feed and water outside for the bird .Treat your bleeding bird using my article Ayurvedic herbal home treatment of sick birds zebra finch,parrots budgies etc.put the eggs in the incubator till your bird is fit enough.

  16. Gayathri Says:

    How to give bath to Zebra finches at home and their food

  17. Blondie95 Says:

    So I got a female zebra finch three days ago and I have a few questions:
    – how do I know if it’s comfortable with it’s surroundings?
    -is it already safe for me to train it even though I’ve only had it for a couple of days? If not how long should I wait & will it work for sure?

  18. michael Says:

    well i found a wild white zebra finch and i put it in a small cage but sometimes she just yells and i dont know if shes scared or just singing

  19. i just got a pair of zebra finches
    can i start trainin them immediately

  20. I have about 25 pairs of zebra finch, some of them are suffering from loose motion due to this they have become so lazy and fulffy, their new born babies are dying b/c they are getting this diesease to their parents wheares parents are feeding them well. plz help me regarding this matter. thanks

  21. I like your articles soo much 🙂 can you please share the pictures of your birds & their cage & your garden too?!! please mam!!!

    Thanks in advance 🙂 have a great day

  22. gokul sanjeev Says:

    very very usefull….. keep going… you helped me a lot….

  23. […] I know that society finches were first bred in India, and it seems to me that with the abundance of birds in that country, bird shows and bird marts would be everywhere. I searched briefly, and found this amazing blog on how to train finches! The author states that birds are very popular right now, but vets are not easy to find who know about birds. […]

  24. Wonder Gustafson Says:

    You are such a knowledgeable, loving companion for your precious zebra finches! I have four whom I keep in a large indoor aviary.

    I would love to gain the necessary confidence to let my finches fly around the house in the evenings when I return home from work. I worry that they may refuse to return to their nests, leading to possible tragedy the following day while I am away. Did your birds accept the badminton racket transport right away?

  25. Hey, how to treat Avian conjunctivitis naturally at home? Pls help. My zebra finch is suffering from it and am afraid she would go blind.

  26. ankit sharma Says:

    hello mam i have read your whole blog , and i find so much useful instructions for my loving finches , but i have seen one of my finch is suffering from a bald patch over her head,please kindly help me for bald patch near her head , i m really much worried because there is no expert avian vet near my surroundings,
    as you described about neem remedies ,is there any treatment by using neem for bald patch , please reply asap mam a best treatment for this bald patch , thank you so much .

  27. snehasish Says:

    plz help and tell and remedy. My zebra finch(male) is sitting quitely with fluffy feathers in the perches, cage floor . And also scratching his face in the cage wire. His droppings are in white liquids.

  28. how can I get my finches to like me? when I try to hold them they fly away or try to bite me.

  29. Venkatesh Says:

    In finches colony feather damaging behaviour?

    Why finches are chewing other birds feather and removing feather of others? In a colony, I hv separated after moulting males and females are separate in the cage.

    What could be reason

    1)diet issues r humidity are any other related issues
    Pic’s attachedHello sir,
    In finches colony feather damaging behaviour?

    Why finches are chewing other birds feather and removing feather of others? In a colony, I hv separated after moulting males and females are separate in the cage.

    What could be reason

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