The Best of the NFSS Bird Forum: Heating


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I have found that some birds like it warmer. I use a clip lamp with a ceramic
heater bulb inside. In spite of the heat, some birds associate the light with the
heat, so they will go the light (sounds like a ghost movie), and not the heat source.
In those situations I put the heat near the spot where they tend to sit (near the
I believe if a bird is old, not quite well, breeding/laying, stressed, they recover or
respond positively to heat.

I use a device used in South Africa. There they use a clay pot that covers an
incandescent bulb. The wire goes thru the hole in the bottom and is then plugged
in. This is put close to the ground over a clay saucer. The bulb heats up the clay
pot and saucer. A sick or cold bird will get close to it to keep warm. Feed oily
seeds for her to build up her system?
I can tell you that finches properly acclimated can easily handle temperatures
below 55°F. It would be healthier for all your finches if you provided a lamp for
heat for and individual bird and not jack the temperature in the aviary Most of
my finches are kept outside 24/7 in aviaries except for a few breeder cages in my
unheated garage. This morning the temperature was 35°F! I just got in from
checking for dead finches. No dead or stress finches, but I could hear hungry
chicks begging in the nest. I have kept Zebras, Societies, Gouldians, Stars, Javas,
Spice finch, and Canaries outside. The key to keeping finches in colder
temperatures is proper acclimation, protection from wind & rain, and lights to
shorten the long cold winter nights when finches need to eat (calories needed) for
maintaining body temperature. Forget “heaters” for outside aviaries, increasing
daylight hours is more efficient.

This is why I have an incandescent bulb with a wide metal reflector hanging in
the cage. one perch runs under the light just low enough that the finches can fit
under the light and, a perch set right above the light for the rising heat. after
bathing the perches are loaded. but, every so often I find a finch or two sitting
under the light at night fluffed up. As my birds get older they do tend to spend
more time under the light. But I am not ruling out some kind of background
disease either, something chronic that flares up when the birds are stressed.

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