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Caring for Baby Zebra Finches

Category Birds
Raising baby finches is rewarding, but it can also be a time-consuming task as they need regular care until they are grown. This is a guide about caring for baby zebra finches.


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.

By 1 found this helpful
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.


By sharona lonigan


January 16, 20150 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, 20190 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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By 0 found this helpful
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


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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November 13, 20180 found this helpful

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

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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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January 21, 20150 found this helpful

My finch's eggs are just about to hatch. Is there anything the parent finches need to feed or care for the babies?

By Terry from Roscommon, MI


January 26, 20150 found this helpful

Just keep feeding them whatvu been feeding the boiled eggs with shell crush together and pellets are good they will feed it to the babies.

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March 14, 20120 found this helpful

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 Katie


March 15, 20120 found this helpful

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!

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November 26, 20110 found this helpful

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.

By Kim


March 28, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 10, 2011

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.

By KaitlynB


June 13, 20110 found this helpful

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).

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November 15, 20100 found this helpful

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?


By Rhonda from Jacksonville, FL


Raising Baby Finches

They will form a flock and usually do well together if you allow them plenty of room (a larger cage).

If you don't want to create a flock, advertise and sell or give some away. (05/18/2010)

By ed robertson

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February 16, 20100 found this helpful

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?

By Caleigh from New Fairfield, CT


Raising Baby Finches

Just leave the baby alone and she should start to feed it. If not, there's nothing you can do, really. It would take hours to explain. In the future if you want to raise finches you can get a pair of society finches. They are very good with raising other finches' babies and sitting on their eggs too. Good luck, and I hope it works out for you. (10/20/2009)


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