Bird diseases

Common Diseases In Zebra Finches

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Common Diseases In Zebra Finches

Do you have a lovely pet zebra finch? It is a very peculiar bird also known as the Timor or diamond zebra finch. It is a passerine bird native to Australia, and is characterized by its beautiful plumage that is cream in colour and its red beak and legs. If you want to get to know this kind of bird, we recommend you keep reading and discover what are the most common diseases in zebra finches.

You may also be interested in: The Most Common Diseases in Parakeets

Steps to follow:


One of the most common diseases in zebra finches is intestinal inflammation or enteritis. The symptoms of this disease are diarrhea, apathetic behavior, weight loss, and drowsiness. The cause of this ailment is often off food, sudden temperature changes, germs such as Escherichia coli, Pasteurella and Salmonella. The best prevention is being very careful with food, and above all, paying special attention to the hygiene of your bird and its cage. Try to clean its cage frequently and disinfect all accessories. You must also give it a proper meal, with food that is always in good condition. Also try some general antibiotics, always following the guidelines of the veterinarian. Also see our article about how to care for a zebra finch for any questions.

Common Diseases In Zebra Finches - Step 1

Another common disease of the zebra finch is constipation. Symptoms include difficulty in excreting, swollen belly and inflamed and irritated rear. It is common to see the bird's tail moving continuously down to expel the stool. The cause of this problem is that their food is very dry and astringent, as well as sudden changes in temperature.

To prevent this you need to give them a balanced and varied diet rich in fiber. And pay attention to sudden changes in temperature. To treat constipation you need to change their food and give them a water-soluble solution to regulate intestinal transit. It may also be helpful to provide supplements of charcoal and cod liver oil mixed with bran.

Common Diseases In Zebra Finches - Step 2

Cloacitis is another common illness affecting the zebra finch. It refers to inflammation of the rear, and is a disease that affects females more than males. The clearest symptom is that their abdomen swells, their rear reddens and they have problems to defecate. The feces also sticks to the tail feathers, and that causes inflammation. The cause is feeding problems or adapting to the environment, and sometimes is the consequence of egg laying. To prevent this disease they must have good hygiene. Thoroughly clean the area, apply an ointment with zinc oxide and give them healthy food.

Common Diseases In Zebra Finches - Step 3

Another of the most common ailments in zebra finches are intestinal worms. The symptoms of this disease are drowsiness, white fragments in stool and weight loss. The cause of worms are some parasites like roundworms, tapeworms and Capilaria, and sometimes can be transmitted through waste. You can prevent this problem by cleaning their cage, monitoring their health and feeding them well. Keeping the cage clean is the best way to treat worms.

Common Diseases In Zebra Finches - Step 4

Acariasis of the feathers is a common disease in zebra finches. The symptoms are very clear, the bird does not stop scratching, it is restless, their plumage is dull and it has a kind of dandruff. The cause of this disease are external parasites such as mites, red, grey or lice, which live in your bird's cage and accessories. The best prevention is thorough cleaning and hygiene. To treat this you should disinfect the cage and all the objects in your zebra finch's cage and apply an appropriate anti-parasite spray.

Common Diseases In Zebra Finches - Step 5

Abnormal moulting is also another typical health problem of zebra finches. Symptoms are the loss of primary and secondary feathers outside of the moulting period which is usually the summer. Nutritional deficiencies and poor hygiene are the causes of this type of excessive shedding. The way to prevent this type of problem is a varied and balanced diet, and above all a very hygienic environment. The optimal treatment to cure the excess shedding is changing their food, perfect hygiene in the bird's environment and providing a multivitamin in the water.


Abnormal growth in the beak is another common disease of the zebra finch. As a result the upper beak grows uncontrollably. The cause of this strange problem is the lack of cuttlefish bone and dietary deficiencies. If you want to prevent it, for your part the best you can do is provide them with a healthy and balanced diet. To reduce the beak you can use a special lime and give them whole or crushed cuttlefish bones along with the pulp bran.

Common Diseases In Zebra Finches - Step 7

If you want to read similar articles to Common Diseases In Zebra Finches, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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What did you think of this article?
I had around 13 zebra finches all living in a large aviary. I began to lose a finch every 3 weeks or so. They all itch excessively, I have treated them for parasites with S76 and diatomaceous earth none of which has made any difference. I feed them on a balanced diet of seed and veg.

They love there seed and eat a lot of it. They sleep a lot puffed up with there heads tucked, chicks do not survive and I'm losing more finches. They chirp at night when its dark, they have never done this before. Some have runny or watery poop sometimes its yellow and creamy looking. There are only one or two avian vets in my area and very expensive.

I don't know what the issue is. I'm beginning to give up. I am losing them all.
Mark Greenfield
I lost a female zebra finch today. The past three days she was fluffed up and eating a good amount of seed and greens such as spinach. I have another female that is doing fine. I think that the bird that died was a constant egg layer. Every morning I found an egg inside the feed dish. I'll find out tomorrow morning if she was the constant egg layer. The eggs are never incubated because I never put a nest in there for them. I'm just wondering what caused her death. Thanks
my female zebra finch is starting to go bald from the head to the neck
with exposure of skin showing, along slight tiny to be a hole close to her neck and chin
what it looks like maybe some parasitic that is burrowing through slowly. have gave the cage weekly clean. can you answer this message with your reply, on what i can do to prevent this matter any worse
have been trying to get hold of some stuff eliminate this but cannot get them anywhere local.
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Sylvia,

If it is a parasite, they will need the right antiparasitic to treat it. This is assuming it is a parasitosis and not some other problem such as a skin allergy or even stress. You will need a professional to diagnose the problem.
Dianne Brown Brown
Hello, my zebra finch is maybe 4. She always done very well but the last few days she seems to have poo stuck to her bottom. She also seems to have a little trouble flying. We only have 4 finches and we have had her for about 3 years. Other than the last couple of days she has been fine. She eats mostly finch food and organic mixed greens. She is a egg layer. She doesn't seem to have an egg stuck but her feathers near her bottom seem fluffed up. Thanks for any help you can give me.
do finches get mites
OneHowTo Editor
Yes they can, as can all birds.
Mary P.
My zebra finch is spreading his wings on the bottom of the cage and trying to fly. He gets up to the perches for water/food and sometimes makes it to higher perch but it appears he is having trouble holding on to the perch. He has been eating and drinking. This came on all of a sudden. He is 11 years old. Any suggestions or advice?
Sharon L Mtchell
How do you de worms them ? I have 3 baby's just 3 m old
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Sharon,

You will need to go to a specialized veterinarian with experience in birds, but you can ask at an exotic pet store what they carry.
BARB Ulbrich
The lower beak of my zebra finch is malformed. Extra beak material is present on the lower beak, looking like little flaps that cup over the tip of the upper beak when the beak is closed. It seems like I should attempt to trim this part off the beak, but I don't want to unnecessarily scare the bird as I try to catch her in the cage. I see her her picking at the seeds, but don't know of she is able to ingest them with her unusual beak formation. What should I do?
Clive Parks
I have about 80 zebra finches and they have a large aviary, which is connected to the garage, in which there are nesting compartments.
Over the last 2 weeks I have had 2 birds(1 has since died) which have lost their balance and at times have fallen on their backs. What would be the cause of this?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Clive,

We couldn't say why in a given case, but it is possibly due to disease or parasites. When the finches are kept in such close proximity, it is easy for diseases and parasites to contaminate the other birds, so it is best you speak to a professional to diagnose the problem as soon as you can.
I have the same thing! I can't find any information on what the possible problem is. I've lost one and another is starting to do it too. Nobody knows? I tried antibiotics and mite medicine but it doesn't seem to be helping.
Syeda Huma
Hi I have some Finch zebra I love them and care too but mostly they become lazy and some time puffy this article is good but not solution mention for medicine if I want to give harbal then what types of herbs is good for them in temperature and flu and diarrhea please guide me thanks
OneHowTo Editor
In regards to medicine, it is only a vet that can prescribe you with a correct treatment, as each bird needs to be examined individually, this is why we don't mention it.
Hope the information helps though
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Common Diseases In Zebra Finches