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My Zebra Finch Has Laid Eggs

Category Birds
If your zebra finch has laid eggs, this guide can help give you advice about what to do. Most importantly, do not move or touch the fertile eggs or the mother may reject them.


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August 31, 20170 found this helpful

Because zebra finches easily breed in captivity they provide pet owners many opportunities to observe and intervene, if necessary, in the raising of the chicks. This is a guide about zebra finches not caring for a chick.

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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 0 found this helpful
June 13, 2015

My finch had two eggs on Thursday, today is Saturday. The eggs were buried in the buttom, so I took the nest out and put the eggs on top. Now the mom doesn't want anything to do with the nest. What do I do now?



June 15, 20152 found this helpful
Best Answer

Birds can't smell human. Their sense of smell is poor.

However, their eyesight is better than ours. The birds know exactly where those eggs were and they saw that they were moved.
There is no way for the birds to know a snake didn't disturb the nest. Small birds are terrified of snakes, so they don't want to take the chance in case the snake comes back. In this case, you were the snake.

I'd suggest removing the nest and dumping everything in it. The eggs are no longer alive. Put it back and put fresh nesting materials into the cage. They'll probably start over.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 19, 2011

I have a Galapagos finch as a pet and she laid 5 eggs. I wasn't prepared for this to happen and the eggs are without a nest. My question is, are they OK being without a nest?

By Tori from San Antonio, TX



February 21, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you do not have a male finch in with her then the eggs are no good. Just toss them out. A female bird will lay eggs but they are not fertile so they will never hatch. You can buy inexpensive bird nests at most any pet store. I don't think it's necessary to have a nest but it does seem to make mama bird feel more secure as she is up higher and away from any predators. I have raised finches and always had nests for them.

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November 13, 20130 found this helpful

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


November 16, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

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 re-housed - 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, are 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 and the babies may get harassed. Good luck! Bird breeding is a joy.

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April 15, 20120 found this helpful

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.

By Jamie


April 16, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

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 :).

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By 0 found this helpful
March 28, 2013

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 amber.stevens


March 30, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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May 4, 20140 found this helpful

I have had 2 babies born and fledged (such a surprise to see them, practically the same size as the adults, only difference was the colour on their beaks and we realise they were fledglings) there's a third, a little younger fell out of the nest, I put it back several times... it's smaller than it's siblings. It now cries for anyone to feed it. Although it is feeding itself too. I think it will survive! There are 3 more eggs in the nest, and no Adult as sat on them. I have now taken that away, nest away.

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May 24, 20140 found this helpful

Thank you for your advice, sadly no one fed the young baby flegling and it died, it was upsetting I just didn't know what to do for it. It would open it's mouth to any of the other birds and sometimes they seem to be feeding it, but the siblings may have been taking it's food out of it's mouth.

I was tempted to put it in with the Bengalese (I have one pair) their eggs didn't seem to be Hatching. I assume they were duds because my cat had mauled the female last year, she bathed everyday and healed her own wounds, it was a miracle she survived the attack. This is one of the reasons I thought her eggs were not viable.

I clean the cages out daily and found an egg laid in the seed tray. So I thought I'd pop it in the Bengalese nest,(not looking inside ). Then I looked inside and there was a baby Bengalese newly hatched, luckily the female came back to sit on it. I know it's nature but it's so sad too.Wish me luck, I think these birds have 9 lives.

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May 24, 20140 found this helpful

Hi! I recently had my first fledglings, you are best to leave them alone and one day you will notice birds who look as big as their parents but has black bills and grey and black downy feathers. In a few weeks their beaks will turn orange or red depending on the sex.
It's such a marvelous thing to happen, I had a third baby late comer and it died, because it was either pushed out of the nest by the siblings which would go back to nest for food or the parents did it, I just don't know! You are best to let nature take it's course and leave well alone.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 29, 2012

I had 7 finch eggs; 5 hatched, but 2 didn't. Should I take them out?

By Rita


January 31, 20120 found this helpful

Leave the other two eggs in the nest box until Mom ignores them. If you take the eggs out now and Mom still thinks they might hatch, it can prompt her to lay more eggs right away. This is called "double clutching." Double clutching is not encouraged because it can cause the Mom hen to deplete her calcium.

I've bred large parrots and cockatiels. This is the voice of experience.

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January 31, 20120 found this helpful

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.

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August 26, 20120 found this helpful

My bird laid eggs in the food dish, I have moved the egg to a manmade nest. What do I do now?

By Sangeeta


August 27, 20120 found this helpful

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!

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February 11, 20150 found this helpful

I'm excited that I saw the first egg laid by my finch in the year that I've had the pair. It was in their lettuce dish. I moved it to their nest, but don't know what to expect. Will she lay more? Is it true they sometimes eat the eggs? I'm researching, but feel inadequate at this point.

By Wendy S.

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October 10, 20140 found this helpful

My zebra finch had laid an egg but they throw their eggs out of the nest. Secondly they lay their eggs with the gap of 10 days is it OK?

By suhaib

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March 12, 20140 found this helpful

My zebra finches laid four eggs and I have now two newly hatched babies. Next to them are two unhatched eggs. Will they hatch still?

By jenalee

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

November 26, 20080 found this helpful

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.

Kessha Johnson


My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs


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


By ThriftyFun

My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

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 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.


My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

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)

By floppy4me

My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

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.
Tari (01/13/2005)

My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

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 (remove the spaces)

Good Luck! Heather (01/23/2005)

By plantgirl848

My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

We make egg food for our baby birds:

  • cooked eggs
  • ground raw carrots
  • ground raw apple
  • groats or Scottish oatmeal
  • Niger seed
  • wheatgerm
  • flax

    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.


    By Sheraone

    My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

    It's not impossible to hand-raise finches, I've done it before. (12/24/2007)

    By Katie

    My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

    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 I appreciate your help. (02/20/2008)

    By sarah

    My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

    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)

    By teambernard99

    RE: My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

    My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

    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. (05/05/2008)

    By Lisa

    My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

    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 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)

    By Dj

    RE: My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

    My Finch Has Laid Some Eggs

    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)

    By Woodman

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    February 19, 20110 found this helpful

    How do you care for finch eggs?

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    February 7, 20110 found this helpful

    I have a female finch that laid eggs, but she refuses to sit on them forcing the male to. Every time he comes out to eat or rest she forces him back on it. I'm afraid that she's going to wear the male out. Should I separate them so he can rest?

    Comment Was this helpful? Yes

    November 21, 20100 found this helpful

    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.

    Comment Was this helpful? Yes

    November 17, 20090 found this helpful

    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.

    Comment Was this helpful? Yes

    April 9, 20090 found this helpful

    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.

    Comment Was this helpful? Yes
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