Combine bonded Zebra finch pairs in same cage? Need to move ASAP!

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by k0r1nag, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. k0r1nag

    k0r1nag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2010
    Kelso
    I have several bonded pairs of zebra finches that I need to combine into as few cages as possible for the Winter. I made the mistake of letting ONE pair set a clutch of eggs this Spring and now I have more birds than room. (Since then I remove all the eggs weekly.) I have tried my local pet store and they are not interested in my extra pairs and I have tried unsuccessfully to re-home the "surplus" over the Summer. I currently have five 30" x 18" x 18" cages, each with a single finch pair. This has been fine over the warm months in my unheated greenhouse, but the weather this weekend will be in the low 30s overnight so I need to move them into the house. I do not have room for all 5 cages so I need to know the following:

    1) Can I put 2 sets of bonded pairs together in the same 30" x 18"x18" cage without problems? I can manage 3 cages in the house, just not 5.
    2) What is the best way to put them together? Should I add some silk plants around perches to give the birds hiding spots from each other? Currently I have plain wooden perches, a few sand perches and several branches of apple twigs and curly willow in the cages for perching and housing variety. Should I leave them with nests or would it be better to have no nests during the "getting to know you" period?

    I enjoy the little guys and want to do right by them. When I first had finches I had males only, we then added two females and the more aggressive female killed the other girl when the groups were not bonded. Since then I separated everyone, got a new little female for the boy the aggressive girl did not choose as a mate and things have been fine. I do not want to lose birds again so if I can't rehouse them into fewer cages I will figure something else out.

    Please help me do the right thing and keep my birdies warm for the winter.
     
  2. dwhite

    dwhite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 14, 2011
    2 pairs per cage could pose problems, your best bet is to divide the males into one cage and the females into another.
     
  3. k0r1nag

    k0r1nag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2010
    Kelso
    Quote:Thanks for the insight. I'll do that. I had wondered if it was ok to divide them up by gender after they had already paired off. I also read to keep 4-6 pairs in large aviaries. Out of curiosity, why are only 2 pair together a problem?
     
  4. VioletandBodie

    VioletandBodie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2010
    port
    if you dont wants more chicks you can devide them up as they can still see each other trough the bars, also just take out the nests they may sleep in them but all they do is pruduce eggs wich is bad for there health if the alwas lay eggs so either slit uo the genders, take out the nests, or boil the eggs...in thus no more babys
     
  5. dwhite

    dwhite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been told of a few theories of the 2 pair issue, I have experienced issues myself, but also done 2 pairs without a problem, I don't know how accurate the theories are but I just go with the safe bet of splitting up by sexes, I haven't had issues with 3 or more pairs.
     
  6. AquaEyes

    AquaEyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:[​IMG]

    That's what I'd say. From everything I've read about mixed-species aviaries, having two pairs of a species leads to a conflict level going back and forth that is too disruptive for breeding, but when there are three or more pairs, the conflict is dispersed evenly and is sort of below the threshold that usually interferes with breeding. Basically, when a pair is outnumbered by rivals, aggression decreases because the birds learn that it's sort of a losing battle. A similar idea applies to having roosters in a flock -- just two can invite trouble, but having three or more is generally safer (unless, of course, the species of finch is intolerant of ANY others of its species, or the roo is intolerant of ANY other roos...but this doesn't really apply to the ultra-social zebra finches). This, of course, also applies when you have enough room for three or more pairs -- putting that many birds into an enclosure that's sized for one pair would probably result in no breeding at all.
     
  7. k0r1nag

    k0r1nag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2010
    Kelso
    Quote:[​IMG]

    That's what I'd say. From everything I've read about mixed-species aviaries, having two pairs of a species leads to a conflict level going back and forth that is too disruptive for breeding, but when there are three or more pairs, the conflict is dispersed evenly and is sort of below the threshold that usually interferes with breeding. Basically, when a pair is outnumbered by rivals, aggression decreases because the birds learn that it's sort of a losing battle. A similar idea applies to having roosters in a flock -- just two can invite trouble, but having three or more is generally safer (unless, of course, the species of finch is intolerant of ANY others of its species, or the roo is intolerant of ANY other roos...but this doesn't really apply to the ultra-social zebra finches). This, of course, also applies when you have enough room for three or more pairs -- putting that many birds into an enclosure that's sized for one pair would probably result in no breeding at all.

    Thanks for the insight, aquaeyes. Luckily I am not trying to breed (I only allowed one pair to sit a single clutch) so I don't have to worry about multiple pairs housed in single cages now that I know I can keep them separated by gender even after they have been paired up. I was mostly concerned because I have had critters who died after losing a mate and I didn't know how "bonded" Zebra finches become.

    The info from everyone has been very helpful and I have successfully moved the girls into one flight cage and the boys into the other with seemingly no stress or fighting issues. Now they are safe and warm in the house for the Winter.
     

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