How to care for a goldfinch


He goldfinch You must have a diet as varied as possible and very digestible so that you do not suffer from food poisoning or nutrient deficiencies that may affect your change, fertility or singing. We must adapt their diet to their age, their biological cycle and the characteristics of their cage.

The Goldfinch feeding is granivorous. We can give you thistle seeds, very nutritious and healthy for being rich in antioxidants, and also other wild plants such as shepherd's bag, purslane, poppy, sunflower, dandelion, goldenrod, sorghum, locks, oats, panizo, chicory , etc. Also eat vegetables such as endives, tomatoes, lettuce or fruits such as orange, pear, apple, watermelon, strawberries ...

The goldfinch as seeds such as birdseed, perilla, linseed, black lettuce, white lettuce, oatmeal, sesame, opium poppy and small hemp seed, among others. The birdseed is the base seed of your diet and should be of very good quality. Breeders usually place some of these seeds in separate feeders and others mixed in different proportions.

A mixing example can be 18% white, 18% black, 14% white knob, 14% white lettuce, 12% health seeds, 6% chicory, 6% rapeseed, 2% flaxseed, 2% cardon, 2% hemp seed, 2% black lettuce , sesame 2%, beautiful at night 2%, as recommended from

Goldfinch Hygiene

A proper hygiene of our goldfinch It will be synonymous with health, since care in this aspect will reduce the presence of organic matter in its cage and prevent infectious diseases.

So, we must clean and disinfect your home regularly and thoroughly. The drinking fountain, the feeder, the cage and all the material that may have been exposed to sick birds will be disinfected. The water will be renewed daily. Once a week we will also wash and disinfect the tray, grill and sticks in the cage.

The place where our goldfinch lives should have optimal conditions of humidity, temperature, orientation and ventilation. Climatological factors such as light, temperature or pressure should not involve stressful situations or else decrease the response efficiency of your immune system.

Sudden temperature changes they make the goldfinch more vulnerable, increasing the risk of infectious diseases. To prevent this we can give them vitamins A, C and E, prebiotics and probiotics, which will help increase their defenses. We will therefore avoid air currents and pay special attention to ventilation, to also prevent the risk of infections.

The best accommodation for this bird

More and more people worry about choosing a cabin that is pleasant for their goldfinch. It is one of the most important care we should take into account, but unfortunately it does not always happen.

Think about the type of cage you want for this bird, make sure that it is of a certain size so that it can move freely through it and above all, that it includes inside it from sticks or other utensils so that it can play without encouragement to hurt itself while having fun.

Make sure you are at an adequate temperature at all times, neither too cold nor hot, properly ventilated and away from other pets that could scare your bird, harm it or any other similar unwanted circumstance.

Goldfinch feeding

Do you have doubts about your diet? First, you must pay close attention to the feeding of this bird and make sure it is as varied as possible. Usually, you must feed it with grains and you won't have any problem finding them, because in pet establishments you will find countless seeds especially suitable for goldfinches.

It includes in its diet other products such as fruits and vegetables generally. Some of them may be: tomatoes, pieces of lettuce, the watermelon, the oranges, the apples or even the pears. All these products will provide the nutrients you need to enjoy good health and optimal quality of life.

Always opt for a diet that is as balanced as possible, so that you can get the nutrients and their recommended amounts. One tip that we recommend you to consider is that before providing any type of seed, you check it well because sometimes they may contain particles, fungi or other pathogens that can damage the health of this domestic bird.

Your hygiene

You have to change the water every day, renew it and disinfect once a week, at least, the feeders, drinkers and other utensils of the cage to prevent the appearance of parasites or bacteria harmful to the health of your goldfinch.

In case you want to include more than one of these birds in the same cage and observe that one of them gets sick, you must separate them, preventing them from infecting other birds.

Now you, did you know these essential cares for goldfinches? We hope that with our article, you can take better care of these nice birds that provide so much joy to different homes.


The diet is granivorous and involves the adaptation of the digestive system in terms of the characteristics of the beak, intestine and legs. The beak is specially adapted to extract the different types of seeds (plants of the family of Compound and others) that form the basis of their diet.

Birds, like all living things, eat to meet their energy, growth and renewal needs of the cells that form their tissues and organs.

The nutritional needs of the birds are conditioned both by internal factors (of the organism itself), and by environmental factors such as age, weight, activity of the specimen, humidity and external temperature. Let's look at some examples: those of a young person are not the same nutritional requirements goldfinch newly separated from his parents than those of an adult, who has already completed his growth. As weight (growth period) and activity increase, you need to incorporate more material and energy obviously, let's look at another example, a goldfinch housed in a large flywheel spends more energy than a goldfinch housed in the small dimensions of a contest cage.

On the other hand, as the ambient temperature decreases, energy needs increase. Finally, the phase of the biological cycle that the bird goes through influences the energy and nutrient requirements, so a goldfinch during the rest period (from October to March) than during the period of reproduction (from April to July) or molting (from July to September), where there is greater organic wear and, on the other hand, the temperature is higher high. All the above observations must be considered when preparing a healthy and balanced diet, which fully meets the dietary needs of matter and energy in the goldfinch and no nutritional pathologies appear.

Sudden changes in the diet can cause changes in the intestinal microbiota and pathogenic bacteria develop, therefore, dietary changes should be made gradually.

Carbohydrates and fats have an energy function, proteins have a plastic function as they are part of the body's structures.

The seeds of thistles are very nutritious and healthy because of their richness in flavonoids (antioxidants).

In addition to the thistles, for which they have special preference - that is why in Italy it is known as cardellino -, goldfinches they consume other wild plants: shepherd's bag, purslane, poppy, sunflower, dandelion, goldenrod, sorghum, locks, oats, panizo, chicory, etc. Wild plants can be supplied daily and at any time of the year.

The seeds consumed by the goldfinch they are: birdseed, linseed, rapeseed, black lettuce, white lettuce, oatmeal, sesame, opium poppy, perilla, small hemp and decorated oatmeal. The birdseed is the base seed and should be of optimum quality. The knob is a very healthy seed although it should not be in a high proportion. Breeders place some of these seeds in separate feeders and others mixed in different proportions. A mixture used by some breeders of goldfinches and with excellent results it is the following: 18% birdseed, black 18%, white knob 14%, white lettuce 14%, health seeds 12%, chicory 6%, rapeseed 6%, linseed 2%, cardon 2%, hemp seed 2 %, 2% black lettuce, 2% sesame, 2% beautiful at night. In addition, these breeders place only birdseed in another independent feeder so that goldfinches They can eat as much as they want. It is important that in the mixture appears birdseed, since if it did not exist, the goldfinches fattening excessively, with obesity being a problem in reproduction, both for males - they are sterile - and for females, who present difficulties in laying.

In nature, the goldfinch It feeds on cypress, pine, fir, alder, birch, compound and grass seeds.

The seeds can be classified into two types: floury or white (birdseed, millet, panizo, etc.) and oilseeds (black, rapeseed, hemp, perilla, pine nuts, pipes, etc.).

It also consumes vegetables: endives, tomatoes, lettuce, etc. And different types of fruit. They can be supplied: orange, pear, apple, watermelon, strawberries, etc.

Grit will improve digestion and will be an important source of calcium. Active carbon prevents intestinal infections.

As a general rule, the feeding of goldfinch It should be as varied, digestible and of the highest possible quality, so that there are no food poisoning or deficiencies in certain nutrients, which may compromise its song, molt, fertility and even its existence. The feeding must be adapted to the age, phase of its biological cycle and particular circumstances of the hatchery (temperature, type of cages, etc.). First of all we must have common sense in the feeding of our birds, be interested in their tastes and know their digestive physiology, since feeding is a basic pillar in their health.

Depending on the time of year, activity and age we can talk about various types of food rations in order to adapt them better to their needs, among which we have:

Maintenance ration The maintenance ration corresponds to the rest period, where there is less organic wear, given the shorter duration of daylight hours (photoperiod) and its zero reproductive and molting activity. In this period the energetic expense is lower.

Using the tables of the foods that consume our goldfinches and knowing your energy needs, we can make several types of mixtures, according to the seeds and other foods of our choice. The seeds should be clean and bright and not aged. It is very important to perform the germination test of these to check if about 90% germinate, which is a sign of quality and we can administer them quietly to our goldfinches. Mycotoxins are toxic substances produced by the fungi present in the husk of the seeds and the brood paste. These substances, depending on their type, dose and time of consumption, produce less assimilation of nutrients, stress, sterility and lowering of organic defenses.

For the preparation of the contest we can reduce the proportion of oilseeds or fats in the specimens with a tendency to obesity.

The proportions will be slightly modified depending on the type of cage (normal, one meter cage, flywheel, etc.), the temperature of the hatchery and the artificial extension or not of the hours of light. For example, if the temperature of the hatchery is very cold, the proportion of oilseeds (nabina, negrillo, hemp seed, sunflower, perilla, linseed) will be increased, or a tablespoon of vegetable oil (virgin olive or corn germ will be added) or wheat) / kg of pasta, since fats provide twice as many calories as carbohydrates, that is, sugars.

Breeding ration Proteins will be found in a percentage greater than the maintenance ration, although it is true that variations in this percentage occur depending on the days that the offspring have, since the protein needs of a 3-day-old offspring for example, and another 30 days are slightly different. Also during the laying and incubation phase, the protein needs are lower (20%) than during the feeding of the young (25%).

A good breeding stock should have animal and vegetable proteins and a fat percentage of about 6% to 10%. The pastes that we administer should not be excessively fat, nor hyperproteic (with excess of proteins), since the excess of both nutrients is harmful, and can lead to: hepatitis, enteritis, gout, etc. It is preferable to have a texture grainy instead of a very fine one, it is more palatable. The breeding paste can be made by ourselves or purchased already prepared and vacuum packed. Canarian pasta (60%) can be mixed with insectivorous paste (40%).

We can incorporate germinated seeds (nabina, negrillo, hemp seed, etc.), but during this process they must be well washed, screened and administered a fungal growth inhibitor product (a few drops of propionic acid, iodine or bleach, for example).

Wild plants are very advisable during the preparation of the breeders. During the growth phase the mineral needs also increase, which are necessary to form the bone skeleton and avoid the lack of calcium and phosphorus. For all that has been said, the diet should be rich in these organic biomolecules. Females in laying, need higher doses of minerals, so, in addition to the grit, we will put cuttlefish bones.

During the period of preparation of breeders and breeding, periodic supplements of vitamins A, D3, E and C are very advisable, which prevent sterility, abortions, improve growth and increase defenses against infections.

They can consume, as a food supplement, hard boiled egg, whole grain breadcrumbs, cornmeal and germinated or boiled seeds (oilseeds). In the breeding season the parents offer the young insects and larvae of these (caterpillars), so we will provide larvae of Tenebrio molitor and other insects (aphids, for example), ant eggs, small worms, etc., in order to increase the protein ration during the growth period of the offspring.

The parents will be used to the food we offer to the young. Fresh foods should be renewed several times a day.

Ration of molt. During the molting period that takes place in the summer months, after the breeding season, they should be given in their diet the nutritional substances necessary for the formation of the new plumage, such as carotenoids, proteins, vitamins and mineral salts.

At this time the needs of proteins and mineral salts increase.

Proteins will be rich in sulfur amino acids (methionine, cysteine, for example). The feathers are formed of keratin, a protein that they form from the amino acids that they incorporate in the diet, coming from the proteins that contain them. A protein supplement such as wheat germ, soy flour, yeast, egg powder, etc. will be incorporated into the ration.

Futas and vegetables are essential at this stage and during breeding, as they will provide minerals, vitamins and carotene> microwave, so as not to lose part of your nutritional contribution. Pollen is also an advisable food in breeding season, as a food and bactericidal integrator (it has 25% of proteins and antibiotic substances). Garlic and propolis are also effective against pathogenic bacteria and fungi, they can be administered by sprinkling them in the paste we use. Prebiotics and probiotics also contribute to defending them in this period of stress.

A contribution of carotenoids (beta-carotene, cantaxanthin, red carophil) is essential for red factor hybrids. Fruits and vegetables are poor in fats, carbohydrates and proteins and are an important source of fiber, vitamins and mineral salts, they will also help hydrate and mitigate the heat of this time. The fibers practically do not provide calories, since the lack of specific enzymes birds (cellulases) can not be digested, but they help to facilitate intestinal transit and stool evacuation, preventing constipation and obesity. Broccoli, carrot, orange, apple, etc. They have a significant amount of fiber. On the other hand, excess fiber can hinder the absorption of minerals and cause diarrhea. The greenest leaves are the richest in vitamins. It is convenient to wash them with abundant water and put the vegetables in water with the addition of 10 to 15 grams of sodium bicarbonate / liter, for 2 or 3 hours, to eliminate the residues of agricultural pesticides that they could contain.

A mixture of the following seeds can be added to the mixture, in a total proportion of 5%: chicory, white lettuce, thistle, poppy, millet, etc. Cereals are usually deficient in some type of amino acids, therefore, when various kinds of these are administered in combination, it is possible to balance the diet and eliminate the deficiencies of some amino acid.

At this time, the administration of a polyvinyl and mineral complex will be very convenient. Do not forget that the molt creates a situation of stress and weakness in the bird, so that their organic defenses are reduced being more vulnerable to any infection.

Hygiene, together with food, inheritance and adequate environmental conditions, represents a basic pillar in the health of goldfinch. Hygienic care will reduce the presence of organic matter in the hatchery and with it the microbial load, thus preventing the onset of infectious diseases.

Cleaning and disinfection processes must be regular and thorough. The disinfection of drinking fountains, feeders, cages and all the material put in contact with sick birds is fundamental, since they constitute an important source of infection. Water should be renewed daily, especially in the summer. In the market there are acidifying-preservative products and “ball” drinkers, which maintain the quality of drinking water for several days. The mixture will be blown, screened and filled daily. The contact of the seeds with the grill should be avoided, given their contamination with the excrement.

The cage tray, grill and sticks will be washed and disinfected at least once a week. Parasites (lice, mites), mosquitoes and rodents are also an important enemy of our goldfinches, since they weaken them, cause stress and transmit infectious and parasitic diseases, and can even kill them. Deworming is very important, as mites, apart from deteriorating the plumage, can cause anemia and even transmit infectious diseases by acting as vectors of some species of bacteria, toxins and even viruses. Bathtubs should be placed regularly and an ornithological insecticide should be used (spray, diluted in water, in the form of drops, etc.).

It is convenient to change insectic periodically


The influence of the environment where we lodge the goldfinches in their health.

The premises must meet adequate temperature, humidity, ventilation and orientation conditions. It must also be safe from rodents (rats, mice and moles), parasites and wild birds, due to the risk of transmission of infectious and parasitic diseases.

The visits of other breeders will be particularly restricted at the time of reproduction and during epidemics.

Weather conditions

The values ​​of the climatological factors (temperature, light, humidity and pressure) must be within certain levels, so that they do not represent stressful situations and diminish the effectiveness of the immune system response. It has been proven that high temperatures, coinciding with the period of molting, produce immunosuppression, that is, lowering of organic defenses against infection.

Abrupt changes in the weather also make people more vulnerable goldfinches, increasing the risk of the appearance of infectious diseases by modifying the microbiota (microorganisms inside living beings). In these situations, the administration of vitamins A, C and E is especially indicated, as well as prebiotics and probiotics, which will help increase your defenses.

Ventilation is very important in preventing and decreasing the spread of infectious diseases, as it increases the oxygen levels of the hatchery, to the detriment of carbon dioxide levels.

The accommodation and weather conditions will be essential for the acclimatization of the goldfinches to the hatchery, since the mortality rate will depend on them in that period.

If you want to know more about how to take care of your goldfinch, we recommend the publication Goldfinches and related species of the Editorial Hispano Europea:

Latest Comments on this article (40)

By mercejilguero on 05/28/2016 at 11:05 p.m.

Hi Jose Antonio, I ask you because you seem to know about this, I also appreciate your response to anyone else who knows about these things: yesterday they gave me a goldfinch that has a completely stripped neck, the guy who gave it to us told us that I was very nervous and that he just took off his feathers, I wonder if he can have any disease and what we could do.

Also any other advice about goldfinches would do me well since I've never had a pet.

By joseantonio3008. 02/14/2014 at 01:55 a.m.

aaaahhhh I forgot. It also has scabies on the legs and you need to treat them with Tabernil ointment (birdhouses), this together with the treatment that I have indicated in my previous comment, greetings.

By joseantonio3008. 02/14/2014 at 01: 37h

Good Hernandez10, first comment that you be careful not to stain his mixture of his feces, and then comment that in my opinion your goldfinch may have a problem of mites in the pen, and I to try to cure it first would separate it to him alone in a quiet and adequate place, and I would put a multivitamin in the drinker mixed with the water to increase its strength and defenses, for example Total Tabernil (birdhouses) and administer 12 drops / 40 ml. of water for 5 days in which forbidden fruits, vegetables and bathtubs, and apart from this it would apply to the skin of the neck area, opening the plumage well so that it penetrates well into the skin and from this the bloodstream absorbs a drop of IVERMECTINA 1% (PULMOSAN, PULMOMECTINE or DERIVADOS DEL PULMOSAN, get it through the web, specialized or veterinary birdhouses) and after 15 days apply the drop again in the same way, and also IODO (pharmacies) or CRYSTALLINE would apply SPRAY (pharmacies) in the areas of the skin affected by scabs or wounds to heal that injured skin, and also spray your cage with an insecticide antiparasitic for birds (birdhouses) once every 7 days and spray it 3 days in total.
Good luck with that goldfinch and greetings.

By hernandez10 on 02/12/2014 at 12: 26h

Avr if there is a cheap remedy hehehe, and if it would be a better pharmacy, since there is no veterinarian in my town, thank you very much

By hernandez10 on 02/12/2014 at 12: 25h

Hello, because the jilguert recently I have it, since I took it for two weeks still a breeder, and it was already like that, and now it is not just moving, the skin has scab