Breeding zebra finches advice needed

Littlefaceza

Chirping
Jan 12, 2018
27
120
79
Cape Town
Hi Everyone,
I adopted 2 little zebra finches in January, male and female. I noticed on the weekend that there are 3 tiny little eggs in their nest. I am not sure if she is done laying as neither of them are sitting on the eggs during the day. Both of them sleep in the nest at night though. I am in need of some advice please when it comes to diet i.e. what should I be giving them to make sure they have all the nutrients they need. I also read online that one should remove the babies at about 6 weeks of age as the parents may peck them to death.. Is this true?? And if so can one introduce the babies back into the same cage as the parents at a later stage? I would love to keep the babies but do not want to end up with many cages in my house. Any other advice will also be greatly appreciated :)
 

HenniesInMyHeart

Songster
Mar 12, 2018
571
1,135
237
Colorado
Awww this post brings back memories! <3 I used to breed them many years ago. Sometimes the female will lay eggs and not sit on them; if she isn't broody they may be infertile or she is not ready to sit. They typically breed prolifically so if it doesn't work this time, don't worry! You'll have more meep-meep's soon enough! As long as the cage is big enough and you offer multiple nests, they shouldn't fight, but if you don't separate them, at some point, you are going to be overrun with them!
As far as nutrition, you need to get them on Egg Food. There are tons of brands available or recipes for making your own. Good luck and please post pics! <3
 

Littlefaceza

Chirping
Jan 12, 2018
27
120
79
Cape Town
Awww this post brings back memories! <3 I used to breed them many years ago. Sometimes the female will lay eggs and not sit on them; if she isn't broody they may be infertile or she is not ready to sit. They typically breed prolifically so if it doesn't work this time, don't worry! You'll have more meep-meep's soon enough! As long as the cage is big enough and you offer multiple nests, they shouldn't fight, but if you don't separate them, at some point, you are going to be overrun with them!
As far as nutrition, you need to get them on Egg Food. There are tons of brands available or recipes for making your own. Good luck and please post pics! <3

Thanks so much for the advice! At what point does one know the eggs are infertile and to remove them? I bought egg food and wet it according to the instructions but neither of the two took any interest in it.. They love seeds, millet and apple though so that they will happily eat. I have tried boiling eggs and chopping that up for them but they show no interest in that either.
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
6 Years
Sep 29, 2014
7,989
23,679
951
New Zealand
I feed the egg food dry as I always turn it into a gluggy mess if I try to add water. Offer them some greens as well such as Swiss chard (all my birds love that stuff) or dandelion leaves. Soaked seed is usually a favourite too. Soak their normal seed in water overnight, drain, rinse well then offer some in a bowl. If the weather is hot and humid don't leave it in too long. Two finches won't need much either - probably a tablespoon will be enough.

Sometimes finches take a few tries to get incubating and raising babies right. And not all pairs will be successful - sometimes they just aren't a good match. Good luck! The babies are so tiny.
 

Bronson B

In the Brooder
Mar 28, 2018
4
17
34
Racine, Wisconsin
Thanks so much for the advice! At what point does one know the eggs are infertile and to remove them? I bought egg food and wet it according to the instructions but neither of the two took any interest in it.. They love seeds, millet and apple though so that they will happily eat. I have tried boiling eggs and chopping that up for them but they show no interest in that either.

Have you tried scrambling the eggs for them? I've raised finches for a few years now, and when I fix them up some eggs they fight over them to see who gets to them first.
When you cook them, dont use any seasonings or butter.
 

X_and_Z

Songster
Feb 16, 2018
207
404
116
SF Bay Area
My Coop
My Coop
Zebs are so easy to breed that the challenge is stopping them from breeding. Don't decide to breed until you have a plan in place for the offspring. Don't count on being able to keep chicks with their parents, unless you have an aviary. Zebs are difficult to rehome - they are just too common.

My zebs are only interested in most egg foods when they are actively feeding young. They do like greens, cucumber slices, Perle Morbide (a soaked seed substitute) and soaked seed at all times though. Different populations of zebs seem to be more/less adventurous in their eating habits. Some will eat all sorts of things and some are very picky. Having a non-picky eater in the mix can encourage picky eaters to try other foods.

There are tons of egg food recipes online - a small food processor helps as does making a larger batch and freezing in individual portions (although my picky zebs won't eat thawed eggfood).

Zebs are fairly territorial so you need a very large cage to keep the kids with the parents and even then there can be issues that can only be solved by getting another cage. My small group cages are 18" deep x 18" tall x 36" long and I could usually keep a clutch of 6 together fairly peacefully. But I have "English" or "exhibition" zebs which tend to be a lot more mellow then the wild/pet store type. Breeding zebs are especially aggressive and I would only keep 1 pair per cage of that size unless separated by a divider.
 

Flight Feathers

Songster
Jan 21, 2018
120
176
101
Hi Everyone,
I adopted 2 little zebra finches in January, male and female. I noticed on the weekend that there are 3 tiny little eggs in their nest. I am not sure if she is done laying as neither of them are sitting on the eggs during the day. Both of them sleep in the nest at night though. I am in need of some advice please when it comes to diet i.e. what should I be giving them to make sure they have all the nutrients they need. I also read online that one should remove the babies at about 6 weeks of age as the parents may peck them to death.. Is this true?? And if so can one introduce the babies back into the same cage as the parents at a later stage? I would love to keep the babies but do not want to end up with many cages in my house. Any other advice will also be greatly appreciated :)

Usually when my babies are weaned, the father will chase them around a bit although it really depends on the cage size. I doubt a finch would peck its babies to death tho. Another thing to watch with parents and babies tho as that they don’t inbreed as that is definitely not recommended. I have about 16 Zebs and they are great fun to breed although a lot of death does come with it. Make sure they are in a nice quiet location where they won’t be disturbed. As for diet cuttle bone is vital and fresh greens 2-3 times a week is recommended.
 

Flight Feathers

Songster
Jan 21, 2018
120
176
101
I feed the egg food dry as I always turn it into a gluggy mess if I try to add water. Offer them some greens as well such as Swiss chard (all my birds love that stuff) or dandelion leaves. Soaked seed is usually a favourite too. Soak their normal seed in water overnight, drain, rinse well then offer some in a bowl. If the weather is hot and humid don't leave it in too long. Two finches won't need much either - probably a tablespoon will be enough.

Sometimes finches take a few tries to get incubating and raising babies right. And not all pairs will be successful - sometimes they just aren't a good match. Good luck! The babies are so tiny.

Mine eat dried egg food too. Silver beet and chickweed are very popular greens with my Zebs.
 

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