Zebra finches make excellent parents, you just need to follow a few steps to make breeding a rewarding experience for all. This is a guide about breeding Zebra finches.
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Here are questions related to Breeding Zebra Finches.
I am looking for someone in South Jersey that raises zebra finches. I can't seem to buy them locally.
Tom from NJ
By ed robertson05/18/2010
check your state department of agriculture or neighboring states.
I have 2 male finches and one female finch (all Zebras). I have tried to add a pure white finch before, but they wouldn't play with her or be very nice and she died.
This morning, I went to clean their cage and found a egg in their seed bowl. I have never put in a breeding nest and am now unsure if the egg will hatch or if this is just something that happens every now and again. I'm rather confused because I was told they wouldn't breed without privacy.
What should I do to look after a baby finch? Will they lay another egg? I'm assuming no, but thought I should ask anyway. Will it be a issue that there is two males?
Thanks to all that help. Lana :)
By Alanah from Brisbane
By Kathy Lam02/10/2011
I had Finch's that also laid an egg in their food bowl. I placed a nest in their cage. One that hangs. It wasn't long before eggs started appearing. I would place shredded news papers, cat fur and other soft items in the cage for them to build their nest with. Before you new it, I was the owner of 16 babies. It is truly fascinating to watch. They pretty much will take turns in caring for their young. However when they got older (Showing their colors) I would separate the males and females. I kept the breeders together. I am not sure how two males would react to the babies since both parents have an active role in raising their young. You may want to call a pet store and get an expert opinion. But if you could possibly figure out which is the father, it would be an experience you would want to see first hand.
I have 3 males and 1 female zebra finch. The female bird laid some 20-25 eggs in the last 6 months, but not a single one has hatched to date. All the eggs were thrown out by the bird after few weeks. Please let me know what should be done so that the eggs can be hatched.
I think my baby zebra finch is undersized. I have a baby zebra finch in the nest, it is fully feathered, but looks tiny and I am not sure how old the baby is. Can anybody help me?
By Kayla from Wollongong, Australia
My male zebra will not let the female in the nest. Can anyone tell me why he's being very possessive? He chases her around the cage. Do I need to separate them? They have one egg in the nest and he's the one that sits on it. He won't let her in at all. Please help!
I had 7 finch eggs; 5 hatched, but 2 didn't. Should I take them out?
MsHawklet is right. Leave the eggs in there for a while. Eventually the parents will push the unhatched eggs out of the nest, then it'll be safe for you to remove them.
I had a pair of zebra finches several years ago that quickly became 7 (5 hatched eggs). This happened a couple of times with them.
I now have two more zebra finches. I didn't want them to breed this time though, so I got two males. They have a grand time together and I don't have to worry about nests or eggs or hatchlings.
I have two males and a female zebra finch. She laid 7 or 8 eggs and I don't know the first thing about raising birds. What do the chicks eat? How will they survive in the cage? I know the alpha male seems to be the daddy and already he's territorial. I have no idea what to do. Help please.
Well, I don't know anything about Zebra Finches specifically, but I do know a few things about birds (do an online search on Zebra Finches to find out specifics). The mother birds usually feeds the babies, you don't worry about that.
The daddy bird usually stays out of it, but not always, so find that out. Some daddy birds kill the babies, also find that out, you may need to separate mother and babies from him until they are quite a bit larger. In fact this information pretty well covers the whole spectrum of "nature". Hope this helps, kinda :).
I have a male and a female finch that both live in the same cage. They recently laid 5 eggs in their cage, but they decided to lay their eggs in their food bowl that had all their food in there. I put a new food bowl with new food in the cage.
Yesterday I found that 2 eggs were hatched, but three still need to hatch. With the parents going in and out of the food bowl, and sitting on the eggs, the food dish has poop and old pieces of cotton all on the side. I don't want to mess with the birds until all the eggs have hatched. But I want to be able to clean their area and make it more comfortable for both the parents and for the babies to grow up.
When the babies are fully hatched out if their shell, can I clean the food dish and make it cleaner? Or should I just leave it alone. I also don't want them to suffocate the babies with the old stringy cotton. Can someone help me please. Thanks. I also want some tips on food the mother and father can feed them.
You didn't mention whether or not there is a nesting basket in the cage. Did they just ignore it or was there not one in the cage?
I never had the problem you do but i would not mess with the birds or babies.
If there is no finch nesting basket in the cage, get one and line it with new nesting material. Maybe the parents will check it out. If they start using it, maybe you could put the babies in there when they start feathering. Or not. You might want to check with an avian vet.
I feed my finches raw veggies and fruit all the time along with their seed. Mine love broccoli and apple best. Oh and corn on the cob (not cooked). I also make up a small batch of rice with mixed veggies in it. They munch on this all day.
Also for breakfast I make them scrambled eggs (use water not milk) I leave in the shells (crushed) this is good calcium. Just remember not to use salt. When they have babies I also have put in a dish of baby food mixed with baby rice cereal. Sometimes they eat it and some times they don't. Might be worth a try.
Hope this helps somewhat with your problem. Please keep us posted. At one time i had 13 birds of various varieties large and small. They are a joy (work yes, but worth it).
What is the correct food to feed my Zebra finches, they have now laid 4 eggs?
By Maggie J
I have a male and female zebra finch. In the cage there are 2 open half shell-shaped nests and one enclosed peep-hole type nest. Usually every other day I remove the eggs, but recently I couldn't get to the ones in the enclosed nest. Then I noticed they were each in that nest more often, together at night, and usually at least one was always there during the day.
I stuck my finger in the opening to check for eggs, it had been a couple of weeks and felt a live baby bird, to my surprise. I called the pet store and they basically said to leave it alone, the parents will care for it. I can see it moving in the nest and I can hear it's attempt at "trumpeting". I'm guessing it is a male. I can see grey fluff, but it hasn't come out yet.
What are the stages of egg laying to hatching and the stages of development and growth for these birds? (How old do you think it is and how does it grow week by week?) I've read both to separate and not to separate them "at the right time", please explain. What can you tell me that I would not think to ask? I've had 2 pairs (in separate cages) for 8 months now, but I am still new at this. I really do not want any more babies.
I would suggest putting the finches in seperate cages or not putting in a nest for them. They don't really need to have one to sleep in.
I had to take my male zebra finch out of the cage while the female was laying eggs, because she was fighting with him. Now the babies are hatching and I want to know if I should put him in again.
By bird lover from ME
By ed robertson05/18/2010
Make sure you have plenty of room. Your cage is going to get crowded.
Trade some young birds to promote genetic variety.
A calcium source and lots of good food should help divert his attention. Don't rush the reintroduction. She has her own agenda until she notices that he is really cute and then it will start all over again.
My finch eggs have hatched. Yey! I am very happy with this as we have had eggs before, but all were infertile as we had two females and weren't very clued up about birds!
Since then my white female sadly died from egg binding. I now have done some very intensive research on finches. Since my girl past my other female was depressed so I made the choice to get her a male and now we have eggs that have finally hatched. The babies are about 1 week old now and are making lots of noise even though I have yet to see them. And I am wondering if there is anything I can do to help mum and dad to give them a better chance of survival? I have yet to find any information about how I can help?
My bird laid eggs in the food dish, I have moved the egg to a manmade nest. What do I do now?
By Tess Vowels08/27/2012
It's been 30 years since I raised Zebra Finches... loved them. They use to lay eggs in their food dish, too. But my memory doesn't hold like it use to. I suggest you Google raising Zebra Finches. I had a great book, too... and my local pet store took babies, after hatched, to sell!
My Zebra couple have laid 5 eggs. One is already hatched, but my female has laid 4 more new eggs, one as late as today! Is this normal and should I just leave the new baby and the new eggs alone? I am just confused about one hatched egg and yet four new white eggs. Please give me any info that might put my mind at ease or help me ensure the safety of both the parents and the eggs and hatchlings!
By Daniel T.
I honestly did not know that my finches had eggs! When I saw, they had three eggs. The female bird immediately came out and was flapping her wings everywhere. I saw that they did not have food so I refilled their tube and the female comes out and was scared. It has been 18 hrs since the incident and I don't think the finch eggs survived or anything since the female finch hasn't been in the nest in a while. What should I do? Please help me :( (p.s. I had 4 finches one of them died a while ago now it is 2 females and one male).
Hi well I have 4 male finches and 4 female finches lately I have just been checking them every so often and today my mum walked in there thinking that there was just eggs in there but instead there where baby finches I think that there are around 4 or 5 babies.
What do I feed them. I need this question answered in the next 24 hours please. At the moment I have just given them some meal worms.
I have 2 female zebra finches. I want to get a male so they can have babies, but I'm scared the 2 females would fight, they are kinda like sisters. One is a little smaller and the other one is fat (always eats xD). So if I got 1 male would the females fight and I would have to get 2 males, 1 for each? Also, would I have to get 2 nests or 1 nest would be okay, and they would take turns breeding? Also my cage's length is 25 inches how many finches could I fit in there? Once the babies are older do I separate the youngsters so they don't breed?
By Olivia from Ontario
Hi there. I just went to my zebra finch cage this morning to find one egg in the food bowl. Mum and dad are still in the cage. They chucked out all the seed I put in on floor, and she laid one egg. They're new parents, but we put in a finch nest made of wicker. The female is interested, but the male chases her out of nest. Why? I don't want to take him out of cage, since I've only got one available cage, but I'm frightened he's going to reject her and the baby chick once hatched. Any advice? I'mnew to this hatching lark and breeding.
I have 2 zebra finches. A male and a female. My female zebra finch laid eggs and everything was fine, until one day the male zebra finch found a hole in the cage and escaped outside.
The female is still sitting on the eggs, but I don't know if she can raise them alone, because this is her 1st nesting. So can she raise them alone with out a daddy?
My Zebra finch laid 5 eggs. The male and female are both sitting on them. What do I need to do? Help me.
My zebra finch has laid eggs. When they hatch will all of the birds be able to live in the same cage as their parents when they are mature?
By Robyn Fed03/15/2012
The mother will lay about eight eggs, which will hatch in about two weeks.
Be sure to count the amount of eggs laid and without disturbing the nest too much or at all.
If after three weeks has passed and the eggs have not hatched, they are not ever going to hatch and must be removed quickly as the mother will lay more eggs, and then it will be hard to tell which ones are going to hatch and which ones are not going to hatch.
It is necessary to separate the pair between egg layings in order to rest before breeding again.
After 21 days the baby birds will leave the nest to the cage and start to eat on their own.
After 6 weeks they will develop their adult coloration and feathers.
Separate the little finches from their parents after 6 weeks.
They should be moved to a separate cage at this time.
Talk to your local bird store about selling or trading them for seed and supplies.
For more information go to:
Have fun, these are beautiful birds!
My pair of finches, mom and dad, had 3 males and 1 female. They are 2months old they are separated from mom and dad. Can my 3 male finches and female be together? Can brother and sister breed? Should I separate them in pairs? Should I separate the female from the 3 males? What should I do?
By Rosa M.
I would like to buy 2 zebra finches (female+male) for my birthday, but I don't know how much they cost. Can you tell me?
By Marie H.
By Janace Lynn M.07/25/2012
Call Petsmart: Zebra Finch
Ideal for children 14 & up Makes soothing sounds Lives approximately 5 years Note: Pet availability is seasonal. State and local regulations may vary. Pricing may vary by store location. PetSmart stores cannot match the price below for this pet. Ask a store associate for details. Very messy with food.
I have a breeding pair of Zebra finches who have recently hatched a brood of 3 chicks. They are in a very confined small basket nest. Should I move them to a larger nest? They are about 8 days old and I'm afraid that as they grow one will fall from the nest or be accidentally pushed out.
Wanda from Calgary
By ed robertson05/18/2010
Hard call. Find a local breeder or bird club.
They need their combined body heat to keep each other warm until they get old enough.
If you change nests, handle them carefully. Make sure they don't get too much room and get separated from each other.
Use a larger nest for the next clutch. Make sure you have enough nesting material so that the mother can adjust the nest size to the brood size.
How many days would it take for zebra finches to be paired with each other? They are new to each other.
I want to know more about finches, like how many eggs they lay, how many days they take to hatch, and how many times these birds lay eggs in a year. Can someone help?
I have Zebra finches and they just hatched an egg. What kind of food,etc. should I feed them to ensure a healthy offspring?
By Sherry from Hickory, NC
If you dont put a nest in the cage they will not have babies or lay eggs.
I have two finches (male and female), the male is gray and the female is white. I have seen that the male has been missing a few feathers. Then the next day I saw that the female has been chasing the male and the male keeps running away from her. And then when she caught him she got on his back and pecked him! And now his back and neck have no feathers at all. At first I thought she was a witch, but now I think that maybe, just maybe, they do that on purpose?
Can you please help me.
By Matthew from Western Cape, CapeTown
By Lisa Denton G.05/21/2013
I actually just had the same problem with my finches. I called my local pet store and they informed me that it was probably the females way of telling the male that she was ready to mate, and was using his feathers as bedding for a nest. So I went out and got them a nest, and a few weeks later, we have four eggs in the next!
I have a male and one female zebra finch. Now they have laid 2 eggs in the breeding box which I had attached from outside the cage. I have read somewhere that they can lay more than 7 eggs. Then what must be the reason behind laying just two eggs? The female finch sits on the eggs regularly. but will the 2 eggs hatch? I want at least one cute baby zebra finch. How many days will it take for the eggs to hatch?
What other than the seeds can I feed the mummy zebra finch. Please help me out of this.
By Arpita G
I have two zebra finches one male (Micky) and one female (Minny). I recently learned that they have babies in the nest. They have laid eggs before and the babies died and also they have lost eggs. Now I have at least two babies in the nest. What can I do to ensure that the babies survive this time? The babies are maybe a few days old.
By heather inwood03/30/2013
Congratulations - it is thrilling to have your birds breed sucessfully - but most importantly - do not handle them - leave the parents to care for them - google finches on the internet & read all about the breeding of finches . Keep the parents diet healthy & plentiful - this is a great interest but do your homework.
I have been keeping a pair of zebra finches for the last year. They are provided with nest boxes and stuffing. They keep on laying eggs, about 2-3 at a time, but none of them have hatched. I think some of them are not fertile. What could be the reason? Should I provide them additional food supplements?
By heather inwood04/01/2013
Often first timers go through the cycles of laying eggs & not following through - sometimes they need a few times to get it right Also are you sure that they are a male & a female? - as females will still lay eggs and go through the motions of sitting on them. Have you seen them mating? Google breeding finches for some good tips.
What are the foods I need to feed the finch while they are nesting and after the eggs have hatched?
By heather inwood04/09/2013
Try Googling "breeding finches " on the internet - I'm sure you will find heaps of very important imfo.
I have a pair of zebra finches. Two weeks ago they laid 9 eggs in a period of 4-5 days out of which 5 were fertile. Yesterday two of the eggs hatched, but the parents didn't seem to be feeding them properly so I hand fed them this morning. Should I separate the chicks and raise them by hand or should I leave them in the box with the eggs. I am worried that the parents won't be able to care for the chicks and incubate the remaining eggs at the same time.This is their first clutch. Please help me.
By Neil from IN
By william giltrap08/19/2013
It might be the best if you try not to disturb the male and female, since I made my birds kill the scald from disturbing them. You could try giving them a tiny tiny little bowl or saucer with milk and tiny little parts of bread. If your scalds die it could be of being disturbed or the male getting jealous of the female spending so much time with the scalds. I hope you enjoyed this few helpful tips!
I had a pair of finches, that laid 6 eggs. It has been 20 days and none of them hatched. Can I assume that they will not hatch or is it because the temperature is very high in our state?
By Arun Kumar
I have 4 babies that are 2 weeks old. I have 3 that came out of the nest in the last few days. Is it okay to remove the nest when the 4th comes out? The nest is really messy of course and I wondered if it would be best to get it out of the cage.
By heather inwood04/25/2013
Yes - I would remove the nest & start again - cleanliness is the key to healthy birds.
One of my finches tossed out an egg and it broke. Is this normal and why would it happen?
I have had a male and female Zebra finch for about two months, but they are not laying eggs. They have a cuttlebone, nest box, water, and food. Please Help
By Tutu Y.
I have 5 babies in a small basket nest. Can I move them to a box nest and will the parents go and feed them if I do?
By David from Paducah, KY
By heather inwood06/04/2013
I breed cockatiels on a casual basis, & was told never to change the nest box once the eggs were laid or babies were born as the parents would never return. I've never tested the theory though - maybe you could Google finch breeders & ask them.
I have 2 finches and she has laid a clutch of 7. I was not expecting this and this clutch was laid in a very small hut. I (have) want to put the babies and eggs (whole nest) in a bigger hut (house). Should I not touch the nest? If I do will she not feed them and not hatch the remaining eggs? What will happen if I change this?
My zebra finches have start building a nest, but I have just noticed that the female finch was doing most of the nest building instead of the male.They started putting feathers in the nest. Will my zebra finches lay eggs soon?
By Amy Louise
Sometimes the female will help build the nest so its just the way she wants it, and you can expect eggs within the next week give or take a few days.
My zebras have had 3 chicks and I know that once they start feeding on their own and become independent I should remove them because the mother and father will want to start a new family again. How long shall I separate them for until I can let them go back into the main aviary again with the other birds? Or if my aviary is big enough can I just leave them in there?
I just got 2 finches from Petsmart. One is a solid white zebra finch and the other one is a classic zebra male. Now I know that with females they have a lighter colored beak so I'm pretty sure it's a female, but they haven't touched their nest or the stuff to make a nest that I put in their cage. They sit on the nest and sleep.
I noticed when I got the white one from the store the back of her neck was missing a few feathers and you could tell right where her beak is there is a tiny hole. I don't know where that's from, but they will be sitting on the nest and he will start grooming her at the back of the head and neck. I noticed he had plucked out a feather. She would just sit there then get a little agitated. Is he being mean? That's the only time they get a little irritated with each other. Will they breed?
Also I noticed when I was choosing my birds at the pet store that they pant with their beaks open. The first set of birds I had a few years ago didn't do that, but these 2 do. Also the male will sorta pant and squeak. Is he sick? I have only had them 2 days. I'm starting to think Petsmart needs to take better care of their animals.
By Sierra S
I have two zebra finches, a male and a female. The female won't allow the male to mate. They had many clutches of eggs in 2010 and had 1 brood. Then they of course pecked it. I was quite devastated. I wanted to see new life, but it wasn't meant to be. They are only 3 and I told my uncle (an expert in zebra finches), but he didn't have a clue what was wrong with them. So that's it, I do not know what's wrong with them. :(
When will my zebra finches lay eggs after building a nest and what material should I use?
I have four finches, I have one zebra finch (male), two white zebra finches (females), and one fawn finch (female). Will they breed and also when they will start laying eggs?
I have 10 finches and all have eggs. Can I put all the males in another cage to stop the breeding? Will the babies be fed by mom alone? And if I put all the males in another cage will they kill each other? Help please.
By heather inwood10/01/2013
It's too late now - you could throw all the eggs away. If you want to stop them breeding try taking out all the nest boxes. If you want to get only a few babies just put the one pair in with a nest box and keep all other birds in a separate aviary. It would be a bit cruel to separate the males from the females as they are pairs, after all.
How long do zebra finches take to fully changes their colors to the adult coloration?
I was recently given two zebra finches (1 female, and 1 male) as a gift from my parents. I have only had them for about a month and a half and noticed them mating the last week or so. I have a basic cage that measures 18 X 13 X 10.5 inches with a small bed/nest hanging from the top.
I honestly never expected them to lay an egg, as my parents have had theirs for months and they never had and was told it probably wouldn't happen. Well sure enough, I came home today after work and noticed both the parents in the bed/nest which they have never once used before. When they left the bed/nest I shined a flash light in the bed/nest and noticed an egg. I couldn't believe it!
I have been researching finches and egg laying and have read that they usually lay one egg a day and can lay up to 8! I understand that many times the female will lay an egg, but it may not be fertile and will not hatch - therefore it can be removed after 20 days if nothing has happened.
My concern is that if they do hatch, my cage is just not large enough for more than two finches, but they have already started laying eggs and I have read you should not move them or the eggs until after the baby birds leave the nest and can be on their own. I just want to make sure that information is correct.
My other question is, can I still clean the cage even though they started laying eggs? I normally let the birds out of the cage in the bathroom to fly around while I clean the cage and I normally take the entire cage apart. But with there being eggs in there now, should I just leave the birds in there and only remove the bottom part of the cage that slides out and clean that part off or what? Thank you for any help and advice you can give. I am very new to this and never expected it to happen. Thank you!
By Ariana G
By heather inwood11/16/2013
Personally, if you are going to move them into a more comfortable size cage (which the bigger the better) then do it now - then you may only sacrifice the one egg. The move will likely upset them, but only for the moment - they will lay again. I would still leave the egg in the nest.
Also, the less you disturb the birds the better once they've been rehoused- so the cleaning of the cage is as you have suggested. Best by just removing the bottom tray and refreshing their water. It will be ok to be a "little" dirty as it's only for a short time.
Once they have been hatched & fully feathered and flying you could move them into the smaller cage , give the big cage a good scrub - with soap and water [and without the use of disinfectant] Then return them to the big cage - I suggest that once the babies are fully weaned that you separate them from their parents as they will likely want to breed again & the babies may get harassed. Good luck! Bird breeding is a joy.
Our finches had two babies. At about 16 days old both died, over two days. We are devastated. Any ideas why?
By Ralph from Surrey
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I have two finch birds, a boy and a girl, they have laid eggs and I don't know if they are going to hatch. I just received them from a friend and when I got them there was only one egg, the next day there was two. The girl was laying on them, now she is not since I moved her into a different cage and no, I didn't touch them.
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(01/11/2005)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
I have a female and male Zebra finch. They have laid 4 eggs in the food dish and 1 on the bottom of the cage.
I have a pair of zebra finches and the male has been building the nest for a few weeks now with everything he finds (nesting material from the store, string I've given them, some price tab he found from the cage, and even ivy leaves from next to cage). He's making a great home for his family, but they haven't laid any eggs yet.
I have two finches that have laid egg after egg, they have a total of 9 eggs. I just left the eggs alone because they are still sitting on them.
My Finch has hatched an egg. The mother bird doesn't seem to be feeding it. The baby is moving. I don't know what to do?
I have a male and female finch who had two baby finches. The babies came out of the nest today. Will they need to be put in a separate cage from the parents eventually and if so, how do I know when it's time to separate them?
My female Zebra Finch has laid eggs (4) in the seed dish. There is a nest in the cage, but I guess she liked the dish better.