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Caring for Baby Zebra Finches

June 14, 2022

Our pair of zebra finch successfully hatched 4 chicks around 3 weeks ago and all has been going really well. The babies have almost got their feathers and are chirping away. Unfortunately today, their mum escaped during a water change and we haven't been able to find her.

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Will the dad be ok feeding them? How will we know if we need to step in and help? We are absolutely gutted, they were all doing so well and both parents were looking after them really well. Thanks in advance.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
June 15, 20220 found this helpful
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You may worry but that's probably all you can really do.
Usually, parents take turns feeding the little ones but from all that I've seen and read, a single parent will fill in when their partner goes absent.
Hope all goes well and you will have 4 healthy chicks and one tired Dad.

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June 25, 20220 found this helpful
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Watch the baby zebra finches, you may need to step in.
For chicks less than 8 days old use the flat end of a flat toothpick, for older chicks you can use a syringe. Mix the ingredients into a thin yogurt like texture for younger chicks, thickening it slightly as the chick grows.

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It is best to just let the chick have one small drop at a time and swallow the food on its own. Never force feed a chick because of the risk of aspirating. journals.tdl.org/.../1359#

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19 More Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

November 16, 2019

My zebra finches successfully bred two little guys. Soon after they were out the nest, the mom escaped and the dad has since taken care of them. I know at a certain age you need to separate the babies from the parents. Both babies are males, so now there are three with the dad. Why must they be separated? Can you have more than one male in a cage? Sorry, I am new to this. I would appreciate input and kindness.

Thank you.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
November 17, 20190 found this helpful
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The only reason a person recommends moving the birds from one cage to another is when a female is added to the cage. This gives the couple a chance to mate and make more babies.

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Until you buy a female and add it to your cage there really is no need to move the birds around right now.

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February 20, 2021

Hi, My baby finch is 6 weeks old but is yet starting to change its beak color but was (maybe) beaten up by its father. Yesterday his 1 leg seemed to stop working and today other leg as well. I massaged his 1 leg a bit but I am worried.

What should I do? The leg doesn't feel broken just unfunctional. Should I keep it separated or along with mother. Please advise as it is impossible to contact or see any vet.

A baby finch in a cage.
 

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
February 20, 20210 found this helpful
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This could be a bacterial condition causing the paralysis. Antibiotics could help along with massaging the legs in a bicycling motion, will help with blood flow.

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- A Vet may be needed if no change. Here is a link to the many things that could bring on the paralysis. wagwalking.com/.../paralysis

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September 11, 2020

My baby zebra finch hatched on 8/5/2020. Both parents seemed to have neglected the baby and I believe they are picking at him/her. I see the back of the babies neck is a little irritated as though they are pulling his/her feathers. Is it too soon to separate from the parents to a different cage?


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
September 11, 20200 found this helpful
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Nature has a strange way of taking care of their own. The parents might be doing this because the baby could be sick. If you feel like you can help this baby and save its life then you should remove the baby from the cage and set up a new cage for this baby. This is quite a bit of work but you can raise the finch yourself if the parents are hurting the bird and not taking care of it correctly.

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Here is a great article on all that you will need to raise and take care of the finch on your own. animals.mom.com/raise-baby-finches-8868.html

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January 14, 2015

A friend gave me a zebra finch as she got it from a friend that was not caring for it properly. I do not like animals of any kind to be single so I bought another one. They started multiplying so quickly that I moved them to an aviary. I wanted it to look and feel natural to them so I put real tree branches in it, pine straw, grass clippings, cotton balls (which does not look natural but they seem to love to use), sticks, etc. for them to build their nests. They must have liked their new surroundings as they did build and so did their offspring and so and so on.

This started about 1 1/2 years ago and I now have about 20 birds. I have sold some, but it stresses me out so badly as I am so afraid that I will sell one's mate. I can not see inside some of the nests, as they have them built so high up inside the aviary. How do I tell if they are mated with another one and is there a way to tell if they have young if you can not see in their nest? I do not want to sell a parent or one's mate. I am very stressed.

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By sharona lonigan

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January 16, 20151 found this helpful

Hi Rule of thumb to discourage breeding pull out all nesting materials. Arbutus Manzanita trees or fruit branches are OK. Swings, toys, food dishes only, prevents breeding. Two females will lay eggs as well if nest is available, cuttle bone is very important for calcium.

To wrap up what you have to discourage hatching: for new eggs rather than pull from clutch (because they will continue to lay replacing egg amount...)shake egg or poke pin straight through egg place back in nest.
Lots of breeders will have 3 or more cages with paired mates for breeding program then place babies into small medium flight cage ready for resell after fledgling is completed. Hope this helps, have zebras as well, they breed very fast!

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January 5, 20192 found this helpful

Don't do that. If u want to discourage the parents from having eggs take all bedding material out and get all the eggs and just put the in a cool place and then the babies won't grow as the need warmth to grow. That is the kindest way to do it

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November 15, 2010

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 prevatte from Hickory, NC

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November 28, 20110 found this helpful

If you dont put a nest in the cage they will not have babies or lay eggs.

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Anonymous
November 13, 20181 found this helpful

My cage doesnt have a nest. The female laid an egg in the food bowl yesterday.

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Anonymous
December 25, 20180 found this helpful

When will my baby zebra finches eat on there own there fledge now but still begging for food on there parents

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October 8, 2022

My parent birds Lucy & Ricky had their first eggs and I thought all was going good until the chirping stopped and there wasn't any movement. I got the nest down and found these babies. Well that was about 3 months ago and now we have 4 birds in the nest and their growing and eating. But I can see this again and I'm worried they will pass too, could they be over feeding them?

This morning I found two tiny babies on the cage floor. They both had full bellies like this one but they are very young barely had feathers. I picked them back up and put them in some warm bedding, but the parents haven't checked on them at all. Any help would be great. I feel so bad for my bird parents.

A sick bird.
 
A sick bird.
 
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October 27, 2019

My pair had babies. I saw 6 eggs, but am not sure if they all hatched. I can't really see inside. The other day I found two dead babies at the bottom of the cage. The next day there was one in the water dish which is on the opposite side of the cage.

Could one of the finches carry that baby and drop it in the water? Other hatchlings I also found 2 in the water dish.

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March 11, 2020

My breeding pair hatched 4 eggs. All seemed fine, they grew out of their down. Then 3 died within days of each other (found dead in the nest). The survivor continued, but now is lethargic and not reacting to the parent's presence.

It seems on it's way out. Any ideas on what is going on?

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October 6, 2019

Recently my 2 zebra finches had laid eggs and now I hear at least 3 babies in the nest box. The mother and father look stressed and are searching around the house for food, or are they? What can I do to help them? What food can I provide them, and how can I care for the babies?

Thank you!

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January 18, 2019

What if the zebra finch mothers are feeding their babies too much so that the food is getting stuck in the babies' neck and the babies cannot breathe? Two have died like this.


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
January 19, 20190 found this helpful

You may have to separate the babies and feed them yourself.

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Anonymous
January 22, 20190 found this helpful

Hi,

There are occasions when the baby finches have a blockage ftom birth. This means that they indicate to tje mama finch they are interested in more food. The mama finch will feed a baby finch. However, with a blockage, the food will not be going where it should. This coukd be the case.

---Robyn

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January 22, 20190 found this helpful

Hi,

It is possible the babies have a blockage and the food isn't going where it should. The mom sees they are hungry and will continue feeding them because they will be hungry no matter how much she feeds them.

---Robyn

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February 5, 20190 found this helpful

thanks 2 hatching 3 weeks ago and can almost fly onto the perches proply,

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August 6, 2019

I believe I have three baby zebra finches! I did see 3, but now I only see 1.
They are in a small nesting basket so it's hard to see inside. The baby that I can see has full feathers even tail feathers. When will it come out of the nest?When Do Baby Finches Leave the Nest? - view down into the nest

 

Is it going to get hurt falling 12 in to the bottom of the cage? I'm not sure if the other babies are still alive and am wondering if I should check. I don't know how. I don't really want to roll them around inside the nest.

When Do Baby Finches Leave the Nest?
 
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October 22, 2019

I put my zebra finch cage outside today. I have a male and female. They have two babies, the babies have been out the nest about a week now. Somehow the bottom tray came out a bit and my female escaped.

Will the male cope feeding the little ones or do I need to intervene? I'm heartbroken.

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