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Java Rice Finches

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I normally breed finches in small cages, as long and big cages are not available due to non availability of space.  I once bred Javas in two feet square cages with three pairs. One of the normal pairs have laid eight eggs, all hatched and reared. I don't use nest boxes made of wood but rather made of clay. It is a pitcher, although the fanciers here are changing them and switching over to nest boxes made of wood. I use a long pitcher (about eight inches deep and six inches square) as the Java finch loves this type of nest box.

For nesting material I use grass and most favourable is khavi (which grows on the river banks .. I don't know the English name) but it's very good for nesting.  Their nest is so complicated that it is difficult to see the eggs or the chicks.

Javas love water so the drinking and bathing water should be available in abundance. In feed we give them millet, canary seed, rape seed and dehusked rice (they love it and very important in the feed); also cuttlebone fish, grit in shape of salt, black salt, river sand and charcoal. Our breeding seasons for all birds (except doves) starts from October to the end of March. The months of April to September are very hot months.

My own experience is that for good breeding results one pair per cage. I believe Javas should not be kept with other birds because of their aggressive nature. If kept in a colony, the cage should be long (lengthwise) but height is not important.

In Pakistan normally kept colours are white and normal, although fawn and pied birds are also available but mostly fanciers like to keep the previous mentioned varieties.

It is my experience that normal colour birds are good breeders as compared to white, fawn and pied (although the latter are all cage bred).

The good breeding results could be achieved by providing them three things which I thought are the secret of good breeding results: 1. abundance of drinking and bathing water; 2. khavi (a type of grass) for nesting material; 3. dehusked rice and long and narrow pitchers (nest boxes). The birds should not be too much disturbed when breeding. 

A few years back a friend of mine bred Javas so extensively and sold so many birds that he purchased a new car. This is not a joke, it is reality. He gave me his experiences which I have mentioned above.