Should You Keep A Chaffinch As A Pet: Everything To Know


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Key Takeaways

  1. You can keep a chaffinch as a pet, but whether or not you should comes down to several factors.
  2. These factors include how much time you have, whether you want to and can take on such a responsibility, and whether or not a chaffinch is the best pet bird for you. 
  3. Chaffinches need food, water, a cage, bird companions, social time, and more.

Do you like chaffinches and want to keep one as a pet? There’s a lot to consider. So, let us help by providing you with everything you need to know about keeping a chaffinch as a pet.

Should You Keep A Chaffinch As A Pet?

A closeup of a chaffinch standing on a perch in an outdoor cage.

You can keep a chaffinch as a pet. However, many considerations accompany that decision, including expenses, food, water, care, etc. 

But can and should are different things. To answer whether or not you should keep a chaffinch as a pet, you’ll need to consider a variety of essential questions, beginning with whether or not you have the time for a chaffinch.

Do You Have Time For A Chaffinch?

Birds require social interaction, food, water, cage cleaning, time outside their cage (exercise), and more. All of this care adds up. As with any pet, it’s essential to consider how much time your bird will need and whether or not you can meet it.

Do You Have The Money For A Chaffinch?

Total lifetime care for birds costs hundreds (and potentially thousands) of dollars. You’ll need to plan for food, water, a cage, vet visits, and more. You’ll also need to double some expenses depending on how many chaffinches you get (see more below about this).

How Many Chaffinches Are You Willing To Get?

Getting more than one bird as a pet is essential for bird health. Birds are social animals, so they need companions. You likely have responsibilities that will take you away from home (or sometimes you just need a break). 

Getting more than one bird ensures you’re always meeting their social needs.

Ask Yourself Why You Want A Chaffinch

Chaffinches are one of thousands of bird species. You can keep many other bird species as pets, including budgies, canaries, and finches. 

So, make sure a chaffinch is the right bird for you.

Ask Yourself Why You Need A Chaffinch As A Pet

Chaffinches are common in certain parts of the world, including the UK, North Africa, Ireland, and parts of Asia. In fact, an alternate name for chaffinches is common chaffinches.

So, if you live in one of these parts of the world, you’ll likely see chaffinches. It’ll also be easy for you to attract them to your backyard. 

So, ask yourself why you want to take that a step further. Attracting chaffinches to your backyard with bird feeders and bird baths gives you all the joy of owning a chaffinch without having to actually own one.

Other Things To Consider

It’s worth repeating that birds are social creatures. They like to talk, meaning your home will be noisier than without them. Ensure you’re okay with this or have a way to handle it (such as noise-canceling headphones or time away). 

Also, you’ll need to plan care for your chaffinches while you’re away from home for extended periods, such as on vacation. It’s always best to have someone check on your pets (chaffinches or not) at least once daily.

How To Care For A Chaffinch Pet

A woman at a pet store holding and studying a white bird cage.

Caring for a chaffinch as a pet requires getting the right food, water, shelter, and meeting other needs such as social needs, health needs, etc.

Let’s start with food.


Chaffinches eat insects, seeds, nuts, and fruits in the wild. As a pet, provide them with a food blend specifically designed to meet their needs, plus greens

And remember to provide them with healthy treat options as well!

Always follow your veterinarian’s and the product’s instructions for feeding your chaffinches. Check their food at least once a day.


Check, clean, and refill your chaffinch’s water bowl every day. A chaffinch (or other pet bird) only needs a cup or small bowl of clean water a day. 

Whatever water you drink is okay for your chaffinch, too (particularly if you use a filter).


Chaffinches (and other pet birds) need a place to feel safe and sleep at night. Cages work great for this, and there are many options to choose from. The larger the cage, the better. 

Generally, a cage should have a width no smaller than your chaffinch’s wingspan and be tall enough for them to stand up comfortably in. Again, the taller and wider, the better.

Remember to get cage liner/bedding as well.


Birds need to be clean, just like we do. Generally, offering your bird the chance to clean themselves at least once weekly is a good idea.

How you do this is up to you and your bird’s preferences, but you can fill a shallow dish with warm, clear water and let your chaffinch go from there!


Take your chaffinch to your vet at least once a year. Beyond that, meet your chaffinch’s daily needs, and take them to the vet when you notice any signs of illness or other abnormalities.


Birds need time outside of their cage. This lets them stretch their wings and get some much-needed exercise. Give them at least a couple hours each day.


Chaffinches and other pet birds need things to keep them busy and practicing natural behaviors they would exhibit in the wild. This is where enrichment toys come in!

These toys fulfill all of the above needs. Fill them with treats, put them in your chaffinch’s cage, and watch them get to work. 

Give them enrichment toys as much as possible. You can even make your own!

Social Needs

Talk to your chaffinch and let them hang out with you while they’re out of their cage. It’s also essential to get more than one pet bird so they can socialize with each other. 


If you have other pets, such as cats or dogs, keep them separate from your chaffinches. In addition, ensure your home is safe for your chaffinches while they’re outside their cage.

How Long Do Chaffinches Live?

Generally, chaffinches live for three years. They can live longer, such as some chaffinches living over ten years. Provide your chaffinch with the highest quality care to maximize their lifespan. 

Can You Let A Pet Chaffinch Outside?

A closeup of a chaffinch on the ground with sunflower seeds around it.

You can let a pet chaffinch outside, and you have some options for doing so.

Option one is an outdoor cage. Putting this on a patio or deck is great because you can relax and enjoy the outdoors together.

You can also try a bird harness with a leash. This will require extra care and training from you, though. So, practice each step individually and consistently reward your bird for success. 

Only take the bird outside on the harness once you’re both comfortable and practiced with it.

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