Finch Egg Incubation!

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by Coturnix Quail, Jun 11, 2017.

  1. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    445
    58
    101
    Jul 3, 2016
    Hey! Super hyped for my finches! My female finch layed eight eggs, and she's been sitting on them a lot with the help of her mate. Today I decided I was going to candle the eggs from the outside because I didn't want to disturb the nest. After a little while of trying to get her off, she finally left and I shone the flashlight through the bottom of the nest. I only managed to get the light under three eggs, but all had veins and maybe a beating heart. (I didn't want to take too long so I left quickly and she returned shortly.) I want to make sure I don't disturb her in any way possible to leave the eggs. My last finch, who unfortunately died, layed eggs, sat on them, and then threw them out of the nest. I still loved her though. But, how do I make sure I don't disturb her, and how often should I check the eggs, if any time at all, and how? I don't want to take the eggs out.. Anyway, give me all of your info! Thanks!
     
  2. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

    2,403
    2,186
    291
    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    Congratulations! I love candling finch eggs because they are so thin you can see so much detail. Seeing that little fluttering heart is just magic! I'd just leave her to it and only candle if they are overdue (finch eggs take 16-18 days to incubate) although the eggs turn grey if the chick inside has died. You can use a little keyring (or similar) light in the nest so you don't have to pick up the eggs. You can tell if an egg is fertile or not as fertile ones stay bright white, whereas infertile ones develop a pink tinge.

    It depends on what sort of finch she is as to whether you can do too many nest inspections. Some are very forgiving and my Bengalese/Society finches and Java finches haven't minded me having a peek or candling their eggs - they just leave until I'm done. More exotic/less domesticated species I'd try and give them as much privacy as possible.

    I have hand reared some of our finches (through necessity) and they are the most gorgeous little pets. We just adore them! Have some hand feeding formula on hand just in case, especially if they are first time parents, but hand rearing before 8 days old is tough and often unsuccessful. I've successfully raised some Java finches, which are quite a bit bigger, from a day old (we had mice get into our aviary - through the quarter inch wire - and eat chicks, and chicks toes which was awful), but the Society finches I tried didn't make it. They are just so tiny.

    We tried handling one Society pairs chicks a lot but unfortunately, once they fledged, they copied their parents and don't want a thing to do with us.

    Just ask if there's anything else you want to know.
     
    Coturnix Quail likes this.
  3. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    445
    58
    101
    Jul 3, 2016
    Thank you! I forgot to mention the specie!! They're Zebras :) It isn't the males first time with eggs, his previous mate layed tons and never really spent time sitting on them. But, for the newer female, I'm pretty sure this is her first time, but she's doing good! Whats some good nesting material I can give them to make the nest more comfortable if the chicks hatch? I know it would be hard to hand raise Zebras because of how small they are, so I'm hoping they'll just know how. Also, at what age can I start to handle them? Most of the eggs seem to be fertile, although there is one pinkish glow in one. I have so many questions, but I'll give it to you bit by bit. Thanks again!
     
  4. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

    2,403
    2,186
    291
    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    Mine have stuffed their nests with straw and hay. It's cute watching them carry bits up and they've made a pretty good job. Yours may not add anything now that your girl is sitting. My Javas used to add millet sprays but they seem to have realised they are more trouble than they are worth!

    I'd say Zebra finches wouldn't mind the odd nest inspection. You can handle the chicks from about a week to 10 days old. They'll be pretty well feathered by then.
     
  5. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    445
    58
    101
    Jul 3, 2016
    Yeah, it is pretty cute watching them carry it up into the nest! But, mine are adding pieces of straw and soft tissue! One time my finches added millet too, but ended up throwing it out of the nest later! I guess I'll check more often, and should I have some chick formula on hand just in case, or are Zebras good parents?
     
  6. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

    2,403
    2,186
    291
    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    They should be good parents but I was glad I had some on hand. I never expected to need to hand rear all the ones I have.

    I had a pair of Society finches that abandoned their chicks at 2 weeks old to help out the other pair whose babies had just fledged! I didn't realise until the next morning and one chick unfortunately died and the other two were so cold and weak I didn't think they would make it. But they did and they are very attached to me. They love our two kids too.

    Then I have 7 Java finches I've hand reared. The first 3 from 10 days old because they weren't thriving due to the male not helping out at all (the poor things took longer than usual to get feathers) and then next time that pair tried we had mice get in and eat one chick, eat the feet off another (it was dead when I found them) and chew toes on the other 4. It was a miracle one survived as it was white from blood loss when I brought them in, but he's a sweetheart now. They were only a day old but I witnessed a mouse squeezing through my quarter inch hardware cloth so I couldn't leave them in the aviary as the mouse/mice would've been back to finish the job. They ate eggs out of the other finch nests too. It was awful.

    So do check on the babies and do have a bit of hand feeding formula on hand just in case. You just never know what could happen. It keeps forever in the freezer.
     
  7. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    445
    58
    101
    Jul 3, 2016
    Right, so I'll go out and buy some soon. What formula should I buy and from where? I tried checking the eggs today, but the tissue they layered underneath only allowed me to see one. I looked closely, and I saw veins and a heart! Not sure if it was beating because it was so small and I didn't want to take long, so I left quickly. Should I take the eggs out, or would that disturb them? They're so cute! After I finished the male just hopped back in the nest re-arranging things!
     
  8. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

    2,403
    2,186
    291
    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    They should be fine to take out and candle. The only danger is dropping them. I've dropped one parakeets egg that was very close to hatching. I felt awful. Best thing to do is take the nest down, sit on the ground/floor and hold the eggs over a bed of straw or something soft while you candle. That way, if you drop them they shouldn't come to any harm. Then just return the nest to its usual place when you are done. Infertile eggs are fine to leave in the nest as they act like hot water bottles for the chicks. They will eventually just dry out.
     
  9. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    445
    58
    101
    Jul 3, 2016
    Okay, thanks! Will the parents be okay with me handling the chicks?
     
  10. JaeG

    JaeG Overrun With Chickens

    2,403
    2,186
    291
    Sep 29, 2014
    New Zealand
    They should be fine. I think at 10 days old (or it could've been a week old) the parents leave the nest for most of the day and just pop in to feed them as the chicks are starting to get feathers and starting to regulate their own body temperature. I wouldn't disturb the parents before that, plus the chicks are so tiny and helpless it's very difficult to pick them up!
     
    Junochick likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by