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Caught a zebra finch and something is wrong!!!! please help!

Discussion in 'Birds - all breeds / types' started by Miz_Jen, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Miz_Jen

    Miz_Jen New Member

    HI my mom just caught a zebra finch in a park. For 2 days we kept it inside a bucket n finally got him into a used cage. I notice from the first day there was something wrong wit his feather or skin. he kept biting the back of his skin near the neck/chest/tail/wing( outside and inside) and scratches his head on the perches. He even using his feet to scratch the back of his head. I see feather lost n bald spots on his back and some on his wing. He bites his wing so much that it looks like its going to bleed. When he bites or stratch I see flakes n some white shiny stuff that looks like feather roots. When I first had him I notice the feather lost on his top back but he didn't scratch himself or anything and it wasn't clear enought to see him cus he was in a closed bucket with holes. So I just thought he was a baby and didn't fully developed his feathers yet but after reading babout finches I noe he's not a baby .I put him in a used cage my dad bought, he started doing all these biting scratching and shaking his body and wing like something is bothering him. When he does that I see flakes come off...a lot

    Another problem, At the beginner I fed him uncooked rice and just started feeding him finch food. I notice that on the sides of his bottom neck close to his back there are yellow eggs growing inside of the skin...I can see it well because he is bald around that area.you can't see it unless he stretch his stretch and turn it around.....my mom felt the yellow bumps n she said it can move so she thinks there are just food stuck in his throat or something. I wasn't there when we did that but I remmeber seeing the feather around the yellow bumps are yellow..looks like it popped and the liquid went to the feather but I'm not sure I just took a few second look. Its too hard to see the neck. Something tells me its not food stuck in his throat. And is the skin on a zebra finch suppose to be yellow? His whole skinny neck is yellow or dirty yellow with yellow bumps on two sides of neck near back but the skin I see on his bald spots are skin color. My mom still want to keep the bird and not bring it to a vet.

    I'm just so fustrated so scared I love this cutie I just want to cry right now typing this. I'm only 15 I can't afford to bring him to a vet. I hope writing this someone will help my poor bird. =( And around how much does a finch cost?

    Thank you for reading please help me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Any advice is good please!!! Thanks
  2. Miz_Jen

    Miz_Jen New Member


    Ok I just realize that he doesn't pick those same feathers or bites his skin as much when the lights are closed n quiet. He also have dry flaky skin. Usually it seems like its easier for him to sleep in the dark And he doesn't scream too. Seems to be more calm . I'm always scared when he chirps thinking he's in pain...or nervous and just want to be free. But I've been reading about finches and some says they need sunlight and they are scared of dark.

    Wells since this bird is caught in a park I guess its dirty and have a lot of bacterias. I'm wondering how can I give him a bath..I feel he neeeeds to be cleaned everywhere. But if its true that he's dirty or nervous that's why he bites himself and chirps a lot in daylight and why he wasn't like this when I first got him and put in a bucket. He chirps a little to almost no chirping and doesn't picks his skin or feather. Hard to believe he feels safer in a closed small bucket.[/b]

    But I guess its not that he's dirty that's why he's picking himself. Like I said I notice feather lost n tiny bald spots in the beginning but never saw him picking himself in the bucket...until I put him in a cage.
  3. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    Hi sounds to me since the finch was caught in a park that he will have feather mites and you will need to get a spray from a good petstore, What you then do is cover the cage and lifting up a corner spray it upwards into the cage and recover for about 30minutes then uncover this will then land on the bird killing any mites he may have...
    Its also summer time so he will probably be starting to molt which will cause him to scratch and bite himself..

    The problem is because you do not know wether he was someones pet or a wild finch you dont know how long he been out there.

    The egg things you see in his neck are actually bird seed in his crop this is where his food goes to digest once his feathers grow back you will not notice this...

    As for a bath you can put a shallow dish of warm water on the cage floor but not under any perches and he should bath himself..
    The other option is getting a spray mist bottle the kind used to spray plant leaves put some warm water in that and from above gently mist the bird this gives him the impression its raining an will start to clean his feathers...

    Finches are not really a species of bird you can train and first chance they get they will be out of the cage and gone....

    Finches do not cost much to feed and will usually eat fruit and vegtables without any problems...

  4. Miz_Jen

    Miz_Jen New Member

    Ok I did exactly what you told me. I just finished doing everything and waiting to see any chances. I first gave him a bath by spraying ontopof the cage but it didn't seem to like it n trying to avoid it and it doesn't know how to clean himself. Also nervous. After I sprayed many time I then wipe the cage dry from outside n blew dry him on low. Hmm pretty suprised it didn't take long for his fur to be dried. =)

    I bought a mites and lice spray from Petland Discount called 8 in 1 Pet Products or UltraCare. Not sure but its what the people there recommanded. I first sprayed it a few things on the bird trying to avoid the eyes but it was too hard...I hope he won't go blind. So then I covered the cage wit a satin cloth and sprayed 2 times at each corner just incase some part of the liquid didn't touch the cage. The smell is pretty strong similar to those permenent market smell. The bottle doesn't say anything about safe for birds. I hope I made the right choice.

    I did inhale the liquid to see what it smells like and during spraying time and while sprayin upwards to the cage some of the liquid got on my fingers. I read the back of the bottle this product seems very dangerous to humans..so is this a good product? It says if on skin rinse wit soap for 15-20 minutes and if inhale, move to fresh air and if stop beathing call 911. Wow this sounds like a deadly product. Kind of scared now.

    I will do this again a few days later. Bottle said no more then twice a week. This time I will wear a face mask and bring the cage outside to do this just for my safety and my familys.

    This confused me if he really have mites or not because during the times when I put him in the dark he stays still n sleep with none of these stratching n biting. I wish I new what's wrong but no money for vet visit.
  5. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    Mites are active during the day especially if its warm, In the colder months they are only active during the night...

    If you leave a white cotton sheet over his cage at night leaving a gap at the bottom to allow air to get in most of the time when you take off the cover the following day you will notice mites attached to the cloth, they look like pencil lines....

    Most birds dont like being sprayed with water but if you do it a couple of times a week he will soon get used to it, There is no need to dry him he will dry himself which helps him get the dust and dander off his feathers...

    Finches are very quiet birds during the night or when its dark and will go straight to there favourite place in the cage to settle for the night...

    You will notice that he does not climb round the cage this is because finches are soft bills so there beak would break if they did...

    Here is a website you may find of use...


  6. Jamiya

    Jamiya New Member

    Mike, could some of this be going on because the bird is stressed? Won't they pluck themselves or worry at their feathers if they are upset?
  7. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    Hi Jamiya yes stress can cause feather plucking as its the only outlet they have, But without ruling out mites there is noway of knowing, If he improves in the next week or 2 he should be fine and it was stress, Hopefully thats all it is and he calms soon as stress is the main reason for unexpected death in birds..

  8. Miz_Jen

    Miz_Jen New Member

    Thnx for the replies n advices. My bird now isn't biting himself no more but he doesn't quiet down when the lights are on. He screams n screams n he always flying around the cage. I feel he wants to call for help and want to get out but when I turn the lights off he's quiet and usually stays in one spot n eventually falls asleep. But if I always keep the light on he doesn't eat or drink..wells that's what I tihkn because I never seen him eat or drink when the lights are off..just sleeping or just standing there being quiet. What can I do to stop him from screaming n flying around the cage?
  9. charmedagain

    charmedagain New Member

    Glad to hear he is doing better sounds like he may have had mites and thats what was annoying him, Its like us humans if we got head lice we would scratch like crazy as it is very itchy same as if we got a rash so imagen how a little bird would feel.

    Finches do not like living alone, Since he was caught outside he will be used to other birds around him, He is flying around the cage because he is used to more space to fly around now he is confined its strange to him, Especially if he was someones pet and he has escaped and used to the outside world, Also he may hear the other birds outside so he is trying to talk to them...

    Finches are beter when in pairs wether it be 2 males 2females or a male and female...

    Mine used to sing all the time but it was more like tweets than screams.

    he will be eating during the day as finches can not see very well in the dark, But best way to know if he is eating during the day is cleaning cage out first thing on a morning putting fresh food and water in and see how he does, Also they prefer there food and water dishes to be high up in the cage as they dont like going to the ground unless its to collect nesting material.

  10. Zeppy`s mom

    Zeppy`s mom New Member

    Good luck curing him! :D :) :p :wink: :lol:

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