The Society Finches' willingnest ot breed in the smallest of cages is only rivaled by the Zebra Finch. Society Finches are so thoroughly domesticated that they thrive in very confinded spaces and it appears quite happy and willing to breed in the tiniest of cages. Perhaps due to its so complete domestication, the Society Finch will readily hybridize with a wide variety of other Lonchura species. Such hybrids with species such as the Spice Finches, including various Nuns are not at all uncommon in aviculture. Furthermore many of these hybrids are often fertile and capable of reproducing among themselves or with either parent. This fact along warrants concern among fanciers who my intentionally keep Society Finches with other manakins in a community aviary. No one should ever attempt to hybridize any two species of finch. Even a man made species like the Society Finch deserves to have untainted genes! Even though there is no need for an online degree to breed this species, you should have a well educated background on the species to do so.The Society finches has even frequently hybridized with the Zebra Finch, fortunately these hybrids are always sterile due to the distant kinship of the parental species.
I raise quite a few Society Finches in a variety of colors and as with my Zebras I am always acquiring new varieties and I strive to produce unusual combinations. This Fall I plan to import some of the newest colors that are being bred in England and Europe. During the past 10 years, I have made a special effort to identify, collect and breed all of the color varieties of Society Finches that are currently available in the US. Some color varieties that I have acquired are still quite rare, even in my collection, especially Selfs Clearwings, Self Dilutes, Self Greys and Dilute Pieds. However, even in the standard Pied Societies such as Dominant Pieds, there are some forms that are hard to find and should be considered uncommon. For example did you know there were two distinct varieties of Pied Societies? Dominant Pied (pictured above) and Recessive Pied. I have been breeding these varieties for some time now and have produced quite an assortment of unusual colors in these two types of pied.
My Method of Keeping and Breeding Society Finches
All of my birds are bred in individual cages with a nest box on the outside. I have over 150 breeding cages (most but not all are in use and any one time. Each cage measure 18 inches across, 12 inches tall and 12 inches deep. There are 2 perches per cage, a feed dish, an egg shell and grit cup, and an egg food cup. A plastic water dispenser is attached to the outside of the cage. The nest box measures 3 inches tall, 5 inches wide and five inches deep. It is also attached to the outside. The top of the box flips up so that I can easily inspect each box without removing it from the cage, and this also facilitates cleaning the nest box when needed. Most of the nests are home made out of plywood, some are commercial plastic nest which are a bit smaller. I try and sex my societies as best I can, but often a cage will contain 3 adults if I have any question on the sexes. They breed quite well in this way. I use a nesting material called Siscal, or Jute, it is a fine fibrous plant material, that I can easily shape to fit the entire floor and corners of the nest. I build all of the nest for my Society Finches and generally do not allow the birds to build, although I may ad some nesting material to simulate them to explore the nests. I often put a sprinkling of 5% Sevin dust in the bottom of each new nest, to prevent insects or other pest from making their home in the box. Each nest is cleaning after each clutch fledges, and sometimes during the breeding cycle, if there are many young in the nest box and it appear overly soiled.
Food and Care for Society Finches
My Society finches are maintained on a mixture that contains 50% Finch Mix and 50% Parakeet Mix. I like this mixture because over the years I have noticed that Societies have a preference for larger seeds like white millet and canary rather than the smaller finch millets. They also readily crack oats. A commerical egg food mixture such as "Cede®" or Protein 25®, is often fed dry, and given especially to those pairs with young and to young birds just weaned along with sprouted seed. I soak and germinate finch seed for all of my finches and feed it along with the commercial egg food. Societies love sprouted seed. Both of the commercial egg foods are available from Sunshile Bird Supply in Miami Florida. Freshly ground egg shell and Finch vita-mineral grit are mixed in equal portions and kept before the birds at all times. Greens are fed in season, and spray millet is occasionly offered to breeding pairs who might be have large clutches as a treat, but it is only given as a treat and never on a regular basis to the bulk of my societies.
THE VARIETIES OF SOCIETY FINCHES THAT ARE IN MY COLLECTION Pieds | Selfs | Dilutes | Clearwings | Pearls