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I have a pair of finches, brother and sister, less than a year old. I originally housed them together but I noticed suddenly all the feathers on top of, behind, and under the males head were missing. He certainly cannot get the feathers on top of himself. So I separated them for around a week. I put them back in together, they were fine for a few days, but now even more feathers are missing.

I've read that finches are high energy and need to exercise or they might pull feathers. I cannot afford a larger cage than the two that I have for them. My plan was to tame them a bit and hopefully move them in with my budgie who has a rather large cage all to herself. We're making progress with getting tamed, but I'm afraid the feather pulling isn't healthy for the male.

What else can I do so the feathers stop coming off? It seems the female is pulling out the male's but not the other way around. Thanks in advanced.
 

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Hi there! :)

I'm sorry you are having problems with your finches. While I never had finches as pets, I'm well aware they are almost constantly on the move while on the cage. I have had and bred canaries in the past and can only make a point of comparison between the two species.
To my understanding, it must be very difficult if not impossible to actually tame a finch bird due to their hyperactivity and the fact that they don't appear to be as interested or open to bond with us humans. Canaries are a bit less active than finches and they are extremely hard to tame, even when socializing chicks on a daily basis straight from the nest.
Aggressive behaviour is similar between species and when a cage mate fights and actually pluck the feathers off their mate, then immediate and permanent separation is the best option for the overall physical and mental health of the attacked bird. It's best that you keep each finch on their own cage, you can still keep the cages close by so that they can see and communicate with each other.

As far as in the future letting your finches share a cage with your budgie, I don't see this as a good idea, because just like with canaries, finches are overall more fragile and appear to have a more shy/nervous personality and you could have even more problems with this arrangement. The budgie's natural curiosity and general playfulness may be too much for your finches and worse case scenario it can lead to the development of a stressful environment for all birds involved and it can even trigger further aggression.
 

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What species of finch is this? There are dozens and they vary widely in personality.
 
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