People on BYC who are accustomed to raising chickens, geese, ducks, guineas, peafowl, etc. from purchased hatching eggs sometimes ask about buying cage-birds the same way, but there is a major difference between raising chicks from these two groups.
Typical "poultry" and waterfowl are precocial -- chicks hatch feathered and capable of walking around, getting their own food and water. As long as the chicks are kept warm, food and water can simply be left out for them to get themselves.
Cage-birds are altricial -- chicks hatch naked (or nearly-so), blind, and must be fed regurgitated food by their parents. While you may be able to find someone selling hatching eggs of cage-birds, if you don't already have foster-parent birds to raise the chicks, you'll be looking at hand-feeding them yourself. For finches, this means every hour or so throughout the day, and the babies would have to be kept incubated until they feather out. Even experienced breeders of finches try to avoid hand-raising finches.
If your goal in buying Gouldian eggs to hatch and raise is to save money, be aware that you'll be putting in a lot of extra time in raising them, and unless you have experience hand-feeding baby altricial birds from day-1 (which is harder than finding a baby sparrow in the yard that is already a few weeks old and raising it to independence) I would highly recommend that you take a bit more time to save up and buy the birds as young adults. You could very easily spend less buying eggs, but end up having few of them hatch, and all of the babies die.
Hello Rosa, thank you for your concern and explantations. I am aware of the differences and all the lovely work feeding caged birds and have friendly little feathered foster parents for such an occasion which is a little blessing so I thought why not? You are absolutely right about hand feeding it is a job if done carelessly can have consequences and requires A LOT of attention. Thanks for looking out -- Yvette
I have hatched and zebra finches before, the hatching part is easier than raising a baby finch as they can die very easily from first time finch raisers. I like to use Kaytee Exact hand feeding formula for feeding chicks. First I get two bowls one should be smaller than the other (so they can fit on top of each other) then, I heat up some water with a kettle. After it has heated up pour the hot water into the biggest bowl and add some of the handfeeding formula in the smaller bowl, then I pour a little bit of water with the formula ( For the first few days I make the mixture waterier then gradually I mix less water in so the formula becomes thick). Wait for a few seconds for the formula to cool down a bit and test it with your finger, if it's too hot then wait a few seconds more until it becomes warm. If the formula is too cold then the chick can get Candida Yeast infection and if it's too hot you risk burning the crop and if you feed too much the chick could explode. So feeding a baby bird is a very demanding task and you always have to be prepared for the worst.
When feeding the baby finch you can either feed it outside or in in the incubator ( I prefer in the incubator because it's easier to feed the chick and you don't risk it getting too cold) get your two stacked bowls and feed until the chick's crop is full ( usually the chick knows when it's full or not, when the chick shakes its head back and forth constantly with an open mouth then she's hungry, if she is not opening her mouth anymore and starting to droop her head then stop feeding). I haven't been raising any baby finches for a while so I'm not sure but I think you feed them every 30 minutes, as they get older I feed them every hour. But most importantly is to watch their behavior, is your chick swaying his/her head with a gaping mouth ( and when they get older they will actually start making noises when begging for food)? If she is sleeping or drowsily waving their head around without the urgence anymore then stop feeding it. If you check on your chick every few minutes you can see if its crop is full or not, if it's not full then the chick is probably hungry.
This is how you should set up the bowls.
It's important to add hot water in the last bowl because warm water cools down too fast.
This is the waterier version of their formula that I feed to younger chicks for about 1 week.
OMG Veer they are too adorable! I appreciate you sharing your methods with me. If my fosters didn't work out I was planning on hand feeding anyways. Have you checked out LadyGouldianFinch.com they are very helpful.