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Finches Not Incubating Their Eggs

Category Birds
Finches are a popular bird to be kept as a pet. They are also known for the ease with which they breed in captivity. Make sure you are completely familiar with the breeding habits of your birds and then watch carefully to determine if there is a real issue; birds typically lay all of their eggs prior to incubating. This is a page about finches not incubating their eggs.


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By 0 found this helpful
January 16, 2018

I have a pair of Gouldian finches and the hen laid 7 eggs. One of which was broken while they were going in and out. All signs indicated that she was ready to incubate, but on day 7 she lost all interest in the nest. The male would go in and out for minutes and come out, but neither would lay in the nest. At night it was like the nest didn't exist.

I have four Society Finches that I just acquired that seem to be still fairly young and decided to try to put the eggs in their cage before I discarded the clutch in a last attempt to save the eggs. During the day all four Society finches take turns in the nest and at night all 4 would incubate, is this normal?
Are the eggs still considered to be incubated if the birds are constantly in and out during the day? It's like when one comes out the other goes in, but they are constantly rotating.

Should I leave them in there and just wait it out and see what happens? Will they even know what to do? None of the Society finches have eggs of their own nor have they had a previous clutch. However they became interested in the nest right away, how do I know they are incubating and not seeking warmth?

Any suggestions would be helpful.


January 17, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

Eggs can remain fertile for up to a week without incubation. If 7 days pass, the eggs will not hatch.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 4, 2018

We have a couple of finches. They've laid 3 eggs, but they don't sit on them. It's been almost 10 days. How long does it take for the eggs to hatch?


August 5, 20180 found this helpful

They will sit on them when the last egg is laid.

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August 5, 20180 found this helpful

In general, a finch will lay one egg a day until they lay 3 to 8 eggs. It takes about 14 days for the eggs to hatch. However, the eggs will not hatch if they haven't been incubated. You can find some very helpful information regarding finch care, breeding, etc. at


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August 5, 20180 found this helpful

This is my friend's favorite site for finches.

He said they are very private and if a human is too helicopter (hovering nearby and watching, talking, poking, etc.) it upsets them and that can impact them caring for their eggs. Just to best let them be and only intervene if there appears to be a crisis.

Good luck! Post pics when they hatch!

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August 5, 20180 found this helpful

Normally the female will need to lay the last egg before the birds will start to sit on the nest. In some cases, if the male has not fertilized the egg the female will just lay the eggs and leave them. This doesn't happen often.


But if the female is no longer laying eggs and it has been 10 days as you say, it is more than likely they won't sit on these eggs. I'd give them another week before I removed them from the cage. After that long, they are not going to sit on the eggs and they will rot soon.

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