What should I do? How long should I wait before I throw the eggs away? Am I suppose to get it warm in the house or should it be at room temperature? These are the first birds that I have ever had.
It looks like they recommend taking them out because the pet store probably thinks they are infertile. I found a site with an egg candler for zebra finch eggs so you don't need to handle them to see if they are fertile. I really don't know anything about this so it's a link that might help:
Here is some information from another site about incubating eggs. They, too are trying to sell something but there is text that explains why you would want to incubate eggs, etc.
Sorry, wish I knew more about it.
Susan from ThriftyFun
I have incubated my own chickens, pheasants and turkeys in the past. It sounds like the female has not committed to sitting on them. They may be infertile or she just hasn't got the "instinct" to sit on the eggs and put her body in slow motion. She may not be sitting on the eggs because they are infertile, or it is the first time, she's young and confused, or where she laid them is in an unsettled place. I would just watch for a few more days, but it's doubtful. A hen will lay eggs for a few days until she gets a nest full, then sit, but she doesn't move after that. Her heartbeat slows down and she descends into another world.
It takes 32 days and up to incubate chickens, pheasants and longer for turkeys, probably shorter for finches. I've found the bigger the egg, the longer it takes. An incubator provides not only the right heat, but ventilation as well as moisture. All have to be optimal. The atmosphere that a bird's body provides couldn't be more perfect...you can't fight Mother Nature! LOL! I got rid of the incubator and used my sitting hens to hatch out what I wanted hatched. They love them all the same. Hope this helps.(01/11/2005)
If you bought only female eggs, don't worry. When I was growing up I had female finches. They were always laying eggs. I use to take them and display them in nests that my dad would collect during the winter (after he sprayed the nests with bleach to sanitize them). They are very delicate though so be sure not to squish them when you remove them. If you let them sit unfertilized, the insides will dry up in about one month. Hope that this helps. (01/12/2005)
Hens (female birds) of all kinds produce eggs, just like humans, and they have to go somewhere. Whether the eggs are fertilized or not, the female will lay eggs. It takes approximately 2 weeks after the eggs are laid to hatch, if they're fertile. If after 15 days they have not hatched, throw them away, because they aren't going to hatch. What kind of finches are they? Do you have an actual pair? I can try to answer any other questions you may have. My e-mail address is w453angel AT earthlink (dot) net.
Hi! I raise zebra finches. I think I can help you. Most of what everyone else said is true.
Most females will lay eggs even if there isn't a male around. That is just nature. One will act like the male and build the nest and sit on the eggs and try to fool you. Only she won't sing and she won't have the right colors. Don't be fooled. Those eggs would be unfertilized and will never hatch. You can throw them away or keep them and they will eventually dry and are cool little things to have on a knick-knack shelf. But be careful with them now. If broken, they are gooey just like a chicken egg.
Do you have a male? Do you know how to tell? A male has orange patches on his cheeks and his beak and feet are a much darker orange than the female. You can possibly have a male without orange cheek patches, though they are not common, so look closely at the beak and feet. If they are close in color, you have 2 females. If one is much darker, and you will be able to tell, that one is the male.
If you have a male, those eggs are fertile. But that doesn't mean the parents will care for them. Zebra finches are notoriously bad parents. Many zebra finch breeders keep society finches (another species of finch) to hatch the zebra finch's eggs because the zebra finches are so bad at it. My first pair of zebras never raised any of their eggs in six years! Just laid them and ignored them.
Then again, that may not be the case for you. You said you have not given them a nest. And finches will make anything they can into a nest. But you also said that they are not sitting on them. The male should be doing most of the sitting on the eggs. This leads me to think they are not interested in them.
You need to make a decision, do you want more finches? Once they start breeding, they don't stop. You will have more birds than you know what to do with very quickly. Though many pet stores will take them off your hands for free. Or you can try selling them (never easy and not recommended). Breeding takes a lot of dedication and time and money. The mother needs special food to give her the nutrients she needs as she creates new life. They need nesting material, a new nest ever few clutches, and you won't believe how fast they go through seed with babies to feed!
And if you have any thoughts of hand raising them, forget it! You cannot hand raise finches. It is impossible. They are too small. You see how small those eggs are. Think about how small that beak is going to be and then trying to feed it with a syringe every hour, getting no sleep for the first week. I have hand raised other species. I cannot imagine raising something as small as a zebra finch, so an incubator is not needed.
If you want to keep the eggs, buy a nest (the open top, cup kind is best, because they can clean the nest easiest and you can keep track of what is going on in it). Put it in their cage, give them a lot of nice nesting material (the nice, cozy, cotton string kind; not the nylon thread kind. That stuff gets wrapped around feet and cuts off circulation). And gently put the eggs in the nest. Don't worry about them rejecting them because "a human touched them." Old wives tale. Now leave them alone. If they want them, they will take care of them. If they don't they will throw them out of the nest onto the floor of the cage. BUT, their next clutch of eggs that they lay they may accept... or not. You may have a pair of bad parents. If so, lucky you. No bad feelings about taking eggs away from them and you won't be over-run with nestlings.
If you don't want them to procreate, take the eggs and toss them. And when they lay new ones, do it again. And again... And in any moments of weakness, just keep reminding yourself how much money and time and energy those little eggs would cost you. If you have any questions about any part of keeping finches, feel free to contact me. plantgirl848 AT charter.net (remove the spaces)
Good Luck! Heather (01/23/2005)
We make egg food for our baby birds:
Feed them 3 times a day when they are babies. Yes, they will lay eggs even if there isn't a nest. Gouldians especially don't raise babies well in captivity. Can't say I blame them really. If you can give them a nest box where they can have their babies totally out of sight and enclosed. Give them a quiet space because even a dog or a stranger going through the room can spook them and they will abandon the babies. Don't even peek in the nest. You will hear if you have hatch lings.
The really cool thing about finches is that since they are born and raised for the first few weeks in the dark, their little mouths have 4 little shiny spots on them so the parents can see where to put food. The spots disappear as they mature. Society or bengalese finches make the best parents and we have used them to foster other babies. Don't feel bad if you don't have a lot of success, even experienced breeders have problems.(07/08/2007)
It's not impossible to hand-raise finches, I've done it before. (12/24/2007)
Actually in my case, I work at a pet store that has a no breeding policy. I began to take out the finch eggs and put them in my finch's nest. I have two females who are sitting on the eggs constantly. I have added eggs every time I see them at work, which I now realize may be problematic. Anyways, the eggs seem to be fertile with lots of vessels and for the most filling up the whole egg. One of the eggs has a small dent that hasn't made it through the shell. I cannot see the heart beating when I check but at this point I think it may be hatching soon. What does the egg look like right before hatching? I would love to see a picture of a candled egg at that point. I don't know how long I have had this particular egg but I need to know if it could be dead or whatever.
Thanks and whatever you can tell me is great. My email is kppls511 at yahoo.com. I appreciate your help. (02/20/2008)
I have five eggs in a wreath at my front door. Is this egg coloring normal? I have 4 blue eggs and one spotted egg. Why is there a spotted brown/white egg? We live in TN. Not sure what kind of finches they are? This is the second year we've had "babies." (04/18/2008)
One of the eggs in your nest is a Cow Bird egg. You should remove it as it is a parasite. It will hatch before the finch eggs and will be larger and more demanding for food. The mother will typically feed the largest and strongest sometimes at the loss of the others. Good luck. We have 3 finches and one Cow Bird egg. I give the parasite egg to my daughter to incubate. It gives it a chance and gives her some good experience and education in hand raising and rescue.
My Zebra Finches Nestly, the female, Bee Bop, the male, had just recently laid eggs.. This is their 5th try. The ones before now would either grow cold and yolk would stick to the bottom, or she'd poke holes in it, wouldn't turn the eggs often enough. Sometimes she'd even bury them under the nesting materials, that she'd pull out under the eggs.
She and Bee Bop constantly sit on the eggs. Trading off so each other can get food. And when they need nothing they will both stay on top of the eggs. Most questions on this forum seems old, so I'll try my luck. Please reply to me.
I have 1 normal size cuttle bone 1 2xxl cuttle bone, I have two feeding bowls, a bath, two water bowels, 2 treat hangers, 2 lbs of millet spray, bread crumbs for mating parents, and coconut toppings for the food. I have two lights above their cage for light and toys in there as well -IT'S A BIG CAGE for just two little birds. -Email is RebelLovin AT yahoo.com I love my birds very much so anything you can help me with so I can make sure she has a safe and happy nesting it would be greatly appreciated. (06/14/2008)
Ok, for anyone wondering.
Finches will lay eggs sometimes even if there isn't a nest, it can't be helped. It will most likely be infertile. But giving it a chance never hurt. Finch eggs generally take 12-14 days to hatch from the time they start sitting on them. And they won't start sitting on them usually until around the 3rd egg is laid, so start counting from there. They will generally take turns sitting with the female doing the most (60-70%) of it.
Most first-time egg layers will fail, HARD. but it's part of the learning process, so you just got to let it happen, unless you wanna raise them by hand (not recommended). Now, what can you do to make sure the eggs hatch? Well, the short answer is almost nothing. Your part is mostly what you've been doing up to this point.
1. Diet - Make sure your Finches have a varied diet. No the seed from the pet store is not enough. And always have access to fresh food and clean water.
2. Light - They need good amount of light, and I would suggest actual sunlight.
3. Temperature - They should be in a draft-free place that is around 70-75 F. They can tolerate colder temps but I suggest that for breeding.
4. Privacy - The nest should be kinda secluded. If they don't feel safe, they may abandon the eggs. I keep mine as high in the cage as possible, and have some greenery around it. And YES, I've had my Finches successfully raise a clutch before. (9 total).
5. Material - I would suggest having a nesting material
available to them.
When the Hen begins sitting, she will usually sit for a few hours at a time. She will come out every so often to eat and get some exercise. At that point the male may or may not take her place. Don't panic if he does not do so right away, the eggs will be fine. If she tosses one, just throw it away, it usually means the egg was infertile or it died in the shell.
If the eggs were fertile, and she incubates them, they will hatch in 12-14 days. But you won't know right away. The babies noise is generally not audible to humans until the 3rd day, the 5th day for sure, and by the 10th day, you will hear them through the whole house.
At the point that you have confirmed she is sitting, make sure you have plenty of food available. I suggest a general Finch seed mix and a separate egg food. Mix a small amount of egg food in with their seed. A ratio of about 3:1 Seed to Egg food ratio should be fine. Add some veggies, such as celery tops, spinach, and carrot given in a separate treat cup. I also suggest spraying millet as a treat, as it is nutritious and they LOVE it.
And for the love of creation do NOT disturb the nest unless you are an experienced Finch breeder. Especially if this is their first clutch. As they may abandon the eggs. The parents need your absence more than your help at this point. (07/25/2008)
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