hungry finch chick in nest

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

If you’re caring for a baby finch, knowing what to feed it can be quite daunting. Baby finches have unique dietary requirements that are crucial for their growth and survival.

This article guides you through the optimal diet for different stages of a baby finch’s development – from hatchling to juvenile – ensuring your feathered friend gets the right nutrients it needs.

Key Takeaways

  • Baby finches have specific dietary needs depending on their growth stage, including hatching and nestling, fledgling, and juvenile diets.
  • Hatching and nestling baby finches eat tiny insects like ants, mealworms, and crickets provided by their parents. They also start to eat bird food such as seed, mealworms, and suet.
  • Fledgling baby finches need special types of food like mealworms for protein, suet for energy and feather growth, fruits like apples and grapes cut into small pieces for vitamins and minerals, insects as they get older, and birdseed mix with millet that they love.
  • Juvenile baby finches should be fed a mix of seeds (including weed seeds), small insects like aphids or gnats. Also add berries such as crabapple or elderberry.

Wild Baby Finch Diet

Wild baby finches have specific dietary needs depending on their growth stage, including hatching and nestling, fledgling, and juvenile diets.

Hatching and Nestling Diet

Feeding a baby finch is an important task. Here’s what you need to know about their diet:

  • At hatching, the tiny chicks eat tiny insects.
  • Ants, mealworms, and crickets are great for them.
  • Finch parents will feed their babies these bugs.
  • As nestlings, they start to eat bird food.
  • They like seed, mealworms, and suet.
  • The food has to be small enough for them to eat.

Fledgling Diet

A fledgling baby finch needs some special types of food. This is the time when finches are growing new feathers. They need more food to grow strong and healthy. Here’s what you should feed them:

  • Mealworms: These small worms are full of protein. Fledgling finches love them! You can buy mealworms at a pet store.
  • Suet: This is a kind of fat that birds eat. It gives them energy and helps their feathers grow shiny and bright.
  • Fruits: Apples and grapes are a good choice for a young finch. Cut them into small pieces first. Dry fruits like raisins also work well as they are sweet and tasty.
  • Insects: Finches start eating insects when they get older. You can smash up crickets or other bugs for them to eat.
  • Birdseed: Birdseed is still important for growing finches. Look out for mix options that contain millet, a seed that finches love.

Juvenile Diet

A young finch needs a mix of food to grow strong. It starts with seeds, bugs, and berries. House finches eat weed seeds often. Besides that, they also like fruits like crabapple and elderberry. Here are some things they eat:

  • Insects – Small ones like aphids and gnats are great for them.
  • Seeds – You can buy ready-made seed mix for birds from the pet store.
  • Berries – They love small fruits.
  • House Finch Food – This includes weed seeds.
  • Fruits – Crabapple and elderberry are good choices.
curious baby finch nestled in hand

Best Foods for Finch Chicks

Baby finches can be fed a variety of nutritious foods, including birdseed mixes containing sunflower seeds and kernels, ready-made seed mixes for birds, fresh fruits and vegetables, and even homemade baby finch food.

Birdseed mix containing sunflower seeds, kernels, and insects

One of the best foods you can feed baby finches is a birdseed mix that contains sunflower seeds, kernels, and insects. This type of birdseed provides a good balance of nutrients for their growing bodies.

Sunflower seeds are high in fat and protein, which are essential for their development. The kernels provide carbohydrates for energy, while the insects offer additional protein and minerals.

By offering this mix to your baby finches, you can ensure they get the nutrition they need to thrive.

Ready-made seed mix for birds

You can find ready-made seed mixes for birds at your local pet store. These mixes are designed to provide a balanced diet for finches and other bird species. Look for seed mixes that contain sunflower seeds, kernels, and insects.

These ingredients are rich in nutrients that baby finches need to grow and thrive. When feeding the baby finch, you can offer the seed mix in a feeder or sprinkle it on a flat surface.

It’s important to ensure that the seeds are small enough for the chick to eat easily. By providing a ready-made seed mix, you can give your baby finch a nutritious meal without any extra effort or preparation needed.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

Fresh fruits and vegetables are an important part of a baby finch’s diet. They provide necessary vitamins and minerals that help support their growth and development. Some suitable options include tomato, zucchini, spinach, winter squash, parsley, broccoli, carrots peas, and green beans.

While finches are not big fruit eaters, they can enjoy small amounts of apples, grapes, and oranges. Just make sure to remove any seeds or pips from the fruits before offering them to your feathered friend.

Homemade baby finch food

You can make homemade baby finch food by combining a variety of nutritious ingredients. Some options include hard-boiled eggs, mashed fruits like bananas or applesauce, and finely chopped vegetables such as carrots or spinach.

You can also mix in crushed insects like crickets for added protein. Make sure to finely chop or blend the ingredients to ensure they are easy for the baby finches to eat. It’s important to offer a balanced diet that provides all the necessary nutrients for their growth and development.

two finch chicks

Tips for Feeding Baby Finches

Hand Feeding Finch Chicks

Hand feeding finch chicks is a delicate process that requires patience and care. First, get a special formula made for baby birds. You can find this at a pet store. Then, mix the formula with warm water until it’s thin, like soup.

Check the temperature to make sure it’s just warm, not hot. Use a small syringe to feed the chicks. Gently open their beak and give a tiny drop at a time. They will gulp it down. Feed them every two to three hours. As they grow, they will eat more at each feeding.

Remember, always keep the chicks warm and handle them softly.

Syringe or eyedropper for feeding

To feed baby finches, you will need a syringe or eyedropper. These tools are used to carefully give them food when they can’t be fed by their parents. The syringe or eyedropper is filled with a special formula made for baby birds and then gently inserted into their mouths.

This method ensures that the babies get the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. Feeding baby finches this way requires patience and precision, but it’s an important part of caring for these little birds.

So make sure you have the right tools on hand to give them the nourishment they need!

Boil feeding equipment in distilled water

To keep the feeding equipment clean and safe for baby finches, it’s important to boil it in distilled water. This helps prevent any contamination that could harm the birds.

Boiling the equipment is especially important if the finches are stressed, as they may not feed their chicks if the equipment isn’t properly sanitized. By using distilled water and boiling the equipment, you can ensure a hygienic feeding process for your baby finches.

Use Pedialyte for stressed finches

Pedialyte can be really helpful for stressed finches. When finches are stressed, they may not eat or drink enough, which can make them even more sick. That’s where Pedialyte comes in – it provides hydration and essential nutrients to the birds when they need it most.

It can help alleviate their stress and improve their overall health. So if you notice that your finch is stressed, offering them some Pedialyte can be a great way to support their well-being.

Offer variety in their diet

To keep your baby finches healthy and happy, it’s important to offer them a variety of foods in their diet. This will ensure that they receive all the nutrients they need for proper growth and development.

You can provide different types of birdseed mixes that contain sunflower seeds, kernels, and insects. Ready-made seed mixes made specifically for birds are also a good option. Additionally, fresh fruits and vegetables can be introduced into their diet to provide some extra vitamins and minerals.

If you want to get creative, you can even make homemade baby finch food using ingredients like applesauce or boiled eggs. Remember, offering variety in their diet is crucial for the overall well-being of your little finches!

Monitor their feeding and growth

To make sure your baby finches are healthy and growing, it’s important to closely monitor their feeding and growth. A healthy chick will show a strong feeding response at every mealtime and have an empty crop between feedings.

This means that they are eating well and digesting their food properly. Keep an eye on their weight gain as well, as this can be a good indicator of their overall health. If you notice any changes in their appetite or weight, it may be necessary to adjust their diet or seek advice from a veterinarian who specializes in birds.

By monitoring these factors closely, you can ensure that your baby finches are getting the nutrition they need to grow strong and thrive.

baby finch in hand


To properly care for baby finches, it is important to provide them with a diet that meets their nutritional needs. This includes a mix of birdseed containing sunflower seeds and insects, ready-made seed mixes, fresh fruits and vegetables, and homemade baby finch food.

Make sure to offer variety in their diet and monitor their feeding and growth. By following these tips, you can ensure the health and well-being of your baby finches.

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Written by Tom Cashman

I have grown up with pets for almost fifty years. My family has strong ties to the animal shelter community in Chicago. Currently I have two cats: an orange tabby named Zelda, and a gray mixed named Zander. Like all of my pets, they were adopted from a local animal shelter. Pet Zone represents my passion for sharing with the pet community.

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What To Feed A Baby Finch?

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One Comment

  1. It’s the first time I heard about this bird. Every I learn something new. My hobby as a child was reading about animals, but somehow I missed this one. It’s a very informative article – thank you for sharing!