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Breeding Zebra Finches

Category Birds
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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January 25, 20171 found this helpful

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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July 12, 20170 found this helpful

Bird species that have been bred as pets typically should not be released into the wild. This is a guide about, "Can baby zebra finches be released into nature?".

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March 6, 20170 found this helpful

Make your zebra finches happy and comfortable by helping them build their nest. This is a guide about helping zebra finches building a nest.

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December 15, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about finch threw baby out of nest. Breeding birds exposes you to many bird behaviors. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the species you have chosen so that you are prepared.

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December 15, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about distinguishing between male and female zebra finches. It is easier to distinguish between genders in some bird species than others.

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December 14, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about introducing a new zebra finch into the cage. New birds like other pets need to be introduced to resident birds to ease stress and hopefully establish a lasting companionship.

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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.

By 0 found this helpful
October 6, 2017

A baby zebra finch at 10 days old seems not be be growing as it should. Its toes are still curled and its wings are not changing so it flip flops to move. I have pictures of it.

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October 7, 20170 found this helpful
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It is sad but some of our pets arrive deformed and sometimes it is difficult to care for them. Caring for a deformed animal always takes a lot of love, patience and dedication.

  • I do not have personal experience with finches but they come to my feeders and they are beautiful creatures.
  • I believe each case of an injured animal is unique so the solutions as to care may be unique also.
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  • I have found a site that is dedicated to helping deformed finches so I hope you will find some information you can use.
  • http://www.lady  specialneeds.php
  • This specialist also will help anyone who ask questions on her site so maybe you should give it a try just to see what really can be done.
  • Email Us:
  • If we can help with any bird health question please feel free to email us: Support@ladygouldianfinch.com. Please give us as much information about your question as possible. The more information we have about your birds diets, housing and their environment, the more help we can be. Please understand we cant answer medical or health question via email.
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October 11, 20170 found this helpful
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Give the wee one time - as some take longer than others to grow. The eyes should be opening soon. Sometimes there is a runt in the nest. As long as it is being fed by it's parents at this stage.

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Too much handling will only stress the baby out. They can die of stress. You may need to learn how to hand rear because as a breeder you are responsible for the life of the wee ones if the parents falter in their duties at any point.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 18, 2017

Are my zebra finch chicks alright? It's day five since the first chick hatched, but no noises are coming from the hidden babies since an adult is always in there.
There are 2 females and a male and they all take turns going inside and sitting, sometimes all at once. Are the chicks alright?

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October 20, 20171 found this helpful
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A few facts to know about Zebra Finches and their babies:

  1. When you raise Zebra Finches they aren't the type of bird that do well with normal handling.
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  3. Therefore it's important to leave the parents take care of the new hatching.
  4. it is best to leave them undisturbed and just let them do their job.
  5. Your job will be to provide plenty of millet in the cage for the parents.
  6. They will use this to feed their babies.
  7. Normally the babies are weaned between 4 to 6 weeks.
  8. The first week or two the mother and father take turns sitting on the nest to keep the babies warm.
  9. You won't see the babies if they are in an enclosed box/nest. Just the parent's will be going in and out to take turns sitting on the nest to keep the babies warm and to feed them.
  10. Do not worry so much about this I am sure they are fine. Just make sure you keep plenty of food in the cage for them so they can feed the babies.
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By 0 found this helpful
November 20, 2017

I had a pair of zebra finches and the dad died. The mom stayed with the 4 babies, then 3 died and she has one left which survived. I then bought another male. I was wondering if I can put him in with the mom and the baby. Also, how often can I breed my zebra finches?

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November 21, 20170 found this helpful
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They should be one year old before you breed them. You should have them vet checked to make sure they're healthy first.

No, I would not put a male in until the baby is gone. Make sure you have a cage big enough for her to move around. Line the nest with paper and give her good diet of finch seed and pellet mix.

They breed all year round. Do not handle the babies. The finches are great parents and will take care of them.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 1, 2017

My female zebra finch has chicks that hatched on Thursday, but today she just sleeps on the bottom of the cage while the male takes care of them. Is there anything wrong with the female?

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October 2, 20170 found this helpful
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Normally the male and female Finch take turns taking care of the babies.

  1. For the first day or two the young babies don't need to feed because they are eating the rest of the yolk sack.
  2. You may notice that the male or female can be picking at their you and arranging them in the nest. This is normal because they are arranging them for incubation.
  3. This is normal for the first 10 days of the young chick's life. They are incubation daily.
  4. After this time they are only incubated at night.
  5. The young babies will normally open their eyes between 14 to 20 days.
  6. According to a few website the female should sit on the nest during the incubation time and for the next 5 days. http://www.wild  house-finch.html
  7. You could have a sick Finch. I would read the information here on this site. https://www.lad  eatures_sick.php
  8. The normal finch behavior doesn't spend that much time at the bottom of the cage sleeping. They are nromally very active birds.
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By 1 found this helpful
June 18, 2015

I just put a male finch in the cage with my female and they seem to be getting along good. I noticed that my female finch was grooming my male, that does that mean they are they going to breed?

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June 18, 20150 found this helpful

Probably. Make sure you have a nest box or basket in a safe place (high up in a corner is good) and you have nesting materials in the cage.

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June 19, 20150 found this helpful

Canoodling is a good sign of acceptance - most bird species do this once they are paired , both for grooming & loving - not just at breeding time. It is highly likely that they will breed - just give them a nest box & a little time.

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July 14, 20150 found this helpful

Thx guys they I saw them mate so thx for helping me out.

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By 1 found this helpful
June 18, 2015

I have a nest high up in the corner and it is full of hay that my female zebra finch goes in. The male doesn't go in the nest, only the female does. The male sleeps on top of the nest. They still haven't bred, but why doesn't he go in the nest with the female? This is my first time breeding zebra finches.

Plz help.

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June 19, 20150 found this helpful

Did you fill the nest? Remove the materials and then put nesting materials in the cage. They prefer to do their own nests.

Do you know how old they are? One of they may be a little young. Give them time and they'll probably figure it out.

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June 19, 20150 found this helpful

The female zebra finch put the material herself and yes it's nesting material and no I don't know how old they are but when I got my female finch he laid a egg so I am guessing she is old enough and the male is about a year or so.

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March 1, 20150 found this helpful

I have two zebra finches and I know that I have a male and a female. I discovered an egg today so I got a nest for them. I looked at websites about nesting material, but it didn't say if I could put in the nesting material myself or if my finches need to do that. So my question is do I put in nesting material myself or set the material in the cage and let them add in material themselves?

By Sandy G.

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March 2, 20150 found this helpful
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Put it in the cage in sort of a loose netting, like onion netting. They enjoy pulling out the individual pieces and will make the nest themselves.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 5, 2017

I have 3 male finches in one cage and 2 females in another. Can I put a male in with my two females to breed?

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By 1 found this helpful
August 28, 2013

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?

By kasjliton

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March 30, 20131 found this helpful

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 Mily

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April 1, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 24, 2017

So I bought a new male pied Zebra finch and I had two female Zebra finches together that I bought previously. One is white and the other is grey. The white one laid eggs and I took them from her before putting the male in that same day. The white female seems to always attack the male before flying to her female companion and either staying to one side of the cage or going in their nest, but I'm trying to get her to breed with him since she's the egg layer.

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February 6, 20150 found this helpful

Momma finch has been sitting on the eggs for about 2 weeks. I found her dead in the bottom of the cage, will the daddy finch continue to sit on them and be able to care for them if any of the 4 eggs hatch?

By Diane

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February 6, 20150 found this helpful

Yes, that is what is supposed to happen. I say "supposed" to because nature is tricky. The dad may decide not to do this. However, hypothetically he should.

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September 11, 20150 found this helpful

This just happened to me as well... Will putting another female in help or hinder the situation? I would really like to see these eggs hatch.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 16, 2009

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

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Anonymous
March 18, 20090 found this helpful

Hi Wanda
First I would like to know is it a regular finch nest?
If it is then it will be fine. I like a deep nest so when they build it there is plenty room Here is one of my pictures there is plenty of room in it.
There is a smaller one but they do fine in it too

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Anonymous
March 18, 20090 found this helpful

I don't know about finches but I do know that most birds will abandon their nest if you touch the nest before or after the eggs hatch.

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March 18, 20090 found this helpful

I had a pair of finches that also laid a nest of eggs. When they hatched, the male finch killed all the babies. I would remove him right away, especially if the cage is crowded.

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May 18, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 30, 2017

I was wondering if my zebra finch gets out of the aviary and has babies in the nest if I leave the door open will they come back to the nest? I am feeling a bit freaked out about my babies.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 1, 2016

I got 2 zebra finches on Wednesday and they have started mating. I don't know how old they are and I'm assuming they are a male and female. They both came from the same cage so they must be a couple. I don't know how to breed birds as I'm new to it all. What should I do next?

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March 15, 20120 found this helpful

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

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March 17, 20120 found this helpful

You should get 2 males & separate the pairs. I had a cage with divider in center and my pairs were together, but separate! Two nests will definitely be needed. There are many books available on breeding/caring for zebra finches. Probably look on Amazon for nearly new books... or half.com. Enjoy! I also had the cage hung where they could hear water running. They love water & baths!

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May 26, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 28, 2009

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 Naomi from ME

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September 29, 20090 found this helpful

It may be that the female is still young and isn't into the nest/egg frame of mind yet. I would remove the ivy from the cage as it may be poisonous to them.

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March 17, 20100 found this helpful

When I had my zebras, I went to this site a lot for advice. They were very nice and very helpful.
http://www.zebrafinch-society.org/ Good luck!

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May 18, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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July 16, 2017

I have 2 pairs of zebra finches, 2 males and 2 females. I'm just wondering if they will lay eggs or not. 1 pair has made their nest in one of the bamboo nests that you find at most pet stores. For the most part, either the male or female is in there when the other one leaves. Occasionally they will both come out together and stay out for a few minutes, but eventually at least 1 of them goes back in. The other pair doesn't like to go into their bamboo nest, they stay out on the perches together uncovered. Is that normal? Do you think the other pair has eggs in the nest? I'm afraid to get too close or to look inside their nest because I don't want them to get scared and abandon it if there is eggs in there.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 25, 2017

My zebra finch pair were doing fine for a very long time, until one day my female zebra finch started to chase away the male finch. She has eggs that she needs to incubate and since they have been fighting and don't seem to be on very good terms, the eggs were left there for a good 30-45 minutes or so exposed. I have now separated them, and she is now back on the eggs.

My question is how long can a female be away from her eggs? Is it possible that the eggs will still have a chance of hatching?

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By 0 found this helpful
May 2, 2016

Recently I had a couple of finches, a male and female couple, who had two male chicks. They were on their second hatch when one day I came home from camping and three were dead. The chicks some how survived, but the only adult left was one of the young males. He seems to be trying to take care of the chicks by sitting on them and feeding them, but I don't think he's can do this by himself. If I buy him a mate do you think she will help him take care of the chicks?

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By 0 found this helpful
April 8, 2016

I have 2 zebra finches. They just finished raising chicks and I just found out they have 4 new eggs. I know they're not supposed to lay more than 3 clutches a year so should I take them out, seperate the pair, or keep them there? If so should I remove the babies now that they are fledged, but not fully for sure. Please help asap I'm pretty worried; it's my first pair. Thanks so much.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 21, 2015

My zebra finch can't go in the nest. What can I do?

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By 0 found this helpful
August 24, 2015

I have a pair of Zebra finches and they have successfully raised two females. Now on the second clutch they hid the eggs and did not hatch any. This is the third clutch and now I found the eggs have been eaten and thrown out of the nest. What should I do with the pair?

So far I have separated both parents and the female laid an egg at the bottom of the other cage she is in. She is in with her two female offspring. Will the male stop eating the eggs? I also removed the nest. Where do I go from here? Any help will be greatly appreciated. I would like to breed them some more, but right now I'm not sure what to do.

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By 0 found this helpful
August 17, 2015

How do do I know if my finches are mating? I have 1 male and 1 female and they have only preapared the nest. In the evening both of them sleep in the nest. How can I tell if they are mating?

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August 17, 20150 found this helpful

You should see them mating. They will make noises like sucking air between your teeth and one will mount the other, flapping its wings.

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September 1, 20150 found this helpful

Yes I have seen them, but they were doing this 3 to 4 months ago and now also they are doing, so when can I expect them to lay egg...

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By 0 found this helpful
July 20, 2015

I have had my zebra finches for about month now, 1 male and 1 female. I got the male from my cousin because he didn't want him anymore and I got the female from a shop because I wanted babies. I have bred my cousin's male before and he had 3 adorable female babies, but the male's mate died after giving the babies to new families. So now I got another female and they were good for the first 2 weeks and sleeping together in their nest. I saw them mate a couple times, but lately the male has been plucking the females feathers, but they still get along. So why is the male doing that? And just recently I have noticed that they don't sleep in the nest anymore and they completely ignore it, but they still sleep together on a perch. What is going on? Anyone have a solution? Should I move the nest to a different spot or should I separate the couple completely even though they are doing fine except for the feather plucking?

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February 12, 20150 found this helpful

My male finch died and I am getting another for my female so she will not be lonely. They had a nest already built. Will the new male use it or do I need to replace it? I'm hoping to breed them too.

By Candace B.

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January 23, 20150 found this helpful

They have created the nest, but didn't lay eggs yet. Should I change the location of the nest because I heard that if they don't like the nest's location they don't lay. Should move it?

By Bishoy R.

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January 24, 20150 found this helpful

Why do you think the birds will not like their nest in the present location? Suggest you not change anything unless they seem to have problems with the nest in the present location. Even just a small change or two can be very upsetting to your birds.

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November 23, 20140 found this helpful

I have 3 zebra finches, 1 mum, 1 dad, and their baby boy. The baby is old enough now and has started cuddling up to his mum a lot and chasing the dad away when he gets close to mum. Would the baby mate with his mum as he seems to be ready to mate? I really don't want it to happen.

By Tracy from Milton Keynes

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November 25, 20140 found this helpful

I would suggest removing the baby male - the two males may fight to the death. Inbreeding birds can be disastrous - deformities etc. In many cases when they do hatch the parents will murder the new borns. Please do not inbreed. It's not necessary - just single out the young male & get it a female friend.

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November 10, 20140 found this helpful

I found my baby had finally left the nest this morning. He has feathers so he is OK, but the mom had died. The father seems to be fine with the chick so far, but should I get another female to help with it?

By Mar

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November 12, 20140 found this helpful

I don't think getting a new female will help - she won't accept it - if the father is feeding it, well all will be well - if not you may need to handrear it - having feathers at this stage is good as it means it's closer to being weaned. Keep a close eye on it as they go down hill fast if starving.

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