Zebra Finch Breeding

Zebra Finch Breeding is easy. The best thing is, they can do it themselves, though always be ready to give them an extra push. When your zebra finches start breeding, you want to give them even more care than you already do, just to make sure that they stay healthy.

First thing is first, keep the cage clean. Breeding zebra finches means that you have to keep them from getting infected with disease, especially near the hatching point, and the creating of the eggs.

Next, make sure that you always have clean food and water, again to keep your little birdies from getting sick. This also will make sure that the mother has lots of nutrients to keep producing, and healthy. No one wants a dead bird, so it is best to not take chances.

Last of all, give the couple some privacy. Zebra finches that are breeding can get overly protective, and will kill any bird that gets too close to their eggs. This is something that I have known to happen, having my own zebra finches.

Now, feel free to scroll through the rest of this page to see most zebra finch breeder questions, that are now answered, and are here for your enjoyment. If you have a question that was not covered, feel free to post it below and I will personally answer your question. Thank you, and enjoy!

What do my nesting Finches need to eat?

Zebra Finches, and really any other bird, need lots of protein. They also need fruits and vegetables that will give them vitamins and nutrients they need to continue laying eggs and to take care of their young. To give them these needed nutrients and vitamins, then you can choose from a selection of easy to find foods. These include, hard boiled eggs, apple, carrots, parsley, four, corn flour, sprouts, sprouted seeds (place serving size of seeds onto a damp towel and wrap it up. Place it in a bag for about a day to a day and a half to provide top nutrition.), banana, and alfalfa. You can easily prepare all of these foods for your finches with in a couple minutes. If your birds don’t easily take new foods, and you are worried that they won’t eat them, then I suggest getting bird vitamins that you can find at most local pet shops. You can also try cuttle bone, which gives a great source of calcium.

My birds won’t eat the fruit I am giving them!

I myself have had problems with this. I have however done sneaky ways of getting them to eat the more nutritious parts of the fruits and vegetables. Here are my tricks: squeeze out the juice and put it on their seeds and their cuttle bone. The cuttle bone won’t look like they will eat it, or as nice, but it give them the nutrients, and they do eat it. I had to do this so they would eat apples. You can also try placing the food into water, which doesn’t sound efficient, but it will take out the needed vitamins and minerals, then you can give them the water, so that they get their nutrients that way. As far as tricks go, you have to be creative!

Why aren’t my birds sitting on their eggs?

If your Zebra Finches aren’t sitting on their eggs, don’t panic. There are several reasons for this. Reason one: The eggs are duds. The parents can tell whether the eggs are duds or not by seeing if there is a heart beat, and because they can hear the chick inside the egg. All baby finches have little sounds they make when they are in the egg that only their parents can interpret. Through these sounds they can tell if their eggs are warm, cold, if they are hungry, and so on. Reason two: They are not done laying the eggs. If the female is not done laying the eggs, then she will not sit on the eggs. When she is done, then the female and male will take turns sitting on the eggs. Reason three: They don’t know any better. Some times the parents don’t even know enough to sit on the eggs yet, so they won’t. If this is the case, then there is a chance that you will have to hand raise them.

How soon will the eggs hatch?

The correct answer is about 14-18 days, but you still should wait for about three weeks before you decide if the eggs are going to hatch or not. If none of them hatch, then you need to make sure that you at the least give them a break by keeping the eggs in the nest for about a week after the due date, otherwise they will start laying directly after you remove the eggs.

My bird laid eggs in the food dish, should I move them to a nest?

No. If you do, then you are increasing the risk of dud eggs. You should simply leave them there and put in a new food dish for your birds to use. If you decide you do want to move the eggs, remember that you could easily do what’s called ‘scrambling in the egg.’ This is when you shake the egg, and destroy the forming chick, either to prevent hatching, or by accident. If you don’t want baby birds, then simply scramble them, though I find it barbaric.

My Zebra Finches covered their eggs, should I uncover them?

No, you shouldn’t. When they do this, it actually helps to keep the babies warm, even when the parents are eating. On the fourteenth day though, the parents might uncover the eggs them selves so as to make sure that their eggs can hatch.

None of my eggs hatched, what should I do?

Well, the first thing you need to do is be patient. Wait a couple days to decide whether or not they are duds, and if they are, leave them in there still so as to keep the parents from having another clutch. Usually they stop laying eggs if they have eggs in the nest, though this is not always the case. Eggs do not go rotten unless they are broken some how. The mother must have time to recuperate before having another clutch. If you must, separate the hen from the male, and wait a few weeks for them to build up their strength.

Do zebra finches lay unfertilized eggs like chickens?

No, they don’t. (or at least usually.) Sometimes if you have a male in the same cage, then the female might just want to have eggs, and go ahead, though this is rare.

One of my parent zebra finches died, what should I do?

Well, don’t replace the finch. If they have eggs already, then it is best to simply wait for the eggs to hatch. Zebra finches are very capable parents, and will carry on the process alone. Even after the eggs are done hatching, don’t bother replacement. It will only aggravate your birds, and might ’cause the incubation (sitting) process to stop, killing the eggs.

My Zebra finches laid all of their eggs in separate nests! What should I do?

I know that I can’t express this firmly enough, but don’t do anything to the eggs. The parents made a problem, so they should be able to cope with it. If you have a zebra that is in the same cage, then it is possible that they will be allowed to help sit on the eggs. This happened with my birds. I had three nests in the cage, one for the pair, one for a family member, and one for a new albino I had gotten. After the albino was killed for getting too close to the eggs (this can happen, zebras are very protective, and very prejudiced towards the albinos no matter what), my other female, Nemo (she’s my sister’s) helped sit on the eggs, which were laid in every nest. Eventually they got protective around the eggs, even with Nemo, so I had to remove her. All the same, the whole family will pitch in! They will keep the other birds away, and will always keep each other safe. Don’t worry, they know what they are doing, due to their amazing instincts.

I hope that this gives you a good, or at least a better, perspective of what Zebra Finches need when they are breeding and nestling/nesting. Breeding Zebra finches is easy till you get to all the miniature details, and till you run into a problem. Please comment below if you have any further inquiries! Have a great day, and thanks for visiting South Jordan Pet Care!

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6 Responses to “Zebra Finch Breeding”

  • Darren Devlin

    My finches have built a nest over a week now and there not laying eggs yet. Any reason why there not laying

    • Hello!

      The reason behind this behavior is probably one of three things:
      1. They have not yet mated, and so will not lay eggs until this happens.
      2. All birds need a home whether they’ve mated or not.
      3. They are in the middle of the mating process, and so will soon be laying eggs, in which case you need to keep a close eye on the nest.

      I hope that this helps! Remember, they are birds and might not lay eggs right away, they are on their own ‘clock’, so to speak.
      The South Jordan Pet Nanny

  • nancy payne

    My male ebra keeps kicking out the egg from the nest> is there anything I can do.

    • Hello Nancy!

      I am so sorry about how long it has taken for me to get pack to you!

      This is actually a pretty common problem that people simply neglect to write about. Most likely your eggs were ‘still’, meaning that there was no heart beat or growth. When the male noticed this he probably decided to get rid of them to make way for a new clutch. If you can provide me with more information, about your problem, that would be extremely helpful!

      Thank you for your post!
      The South Jordan Pet Nanny

  • Beth

    Hope you can answer my question. I have been researching for over an hour. I have a male and a female. (Male was a gift, female I purchased) I got the pair 4months ago and they are on their 3rd clutch. First 2 clutches didn’t make it. This clutch is the biggest and the longest living. (6days old babies) my concern is when I got home from work tonight mom and dad were sleeping outside. In the past when this happened the clutch died and they started breeding again. Praying this is not the case again. I feed them carrots, brocoli, spinech, lettuce, boiled egg, seed spray and seed mixture daily. They are alone in the cage with no interruptions except when I feed them in the a.m. I can’t imagine why this would happen a third time. I did read where a zebra owner said if they abandoned the nest for a few hours to check the nest so I reached in and took out the eggs that never hatched. Hope this will sove the issue.

    • Hello!

      I apologize for how long it took for me to get back to you!

      I had the same problem with my Zebra Finches, except it went on for about five clutches. This can be really hard to deal with, depending on the situation.

      My birds’ eggs simply were still, so when the Mother Finch realized that the eggs were ‘duds’ she abandoned the nest. In your case though, it sounds like the best thing to do is take out the egg that didn’t hatch, just like you did. If the Parents refuse to do anything with the babies then there is little you can do about it. Keep feeding them the carrots, broccoli, spinach, and lettuce with boiled egg, but make sure that the raw vegetables are soft enough that the birds can eat them without problem. This will also help the Mother finch to feed her babies because the food will already be partially broken down. If you do this though, it is incredibly important to make sure that you change the food often, only giving them enough food to last them until the next feeding time.

      I wish you the best of luck! If this clutch dies too, then you need to separate the the male and female so that the female doesn’t die of malnutrition. This is ESSENTIAL.

      Thank you for your comment, and hope this helps!

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