Animal Stories - Zebra Finch


Animal-World Information about: Zebra Finch

    Zebra Finches are great birds for a beginner or any bird enthusiast! These attractive little creatures are hardy, inexpensive, active, and one of the easiest birds to keep and breed. They are long-lived, with a life span in captivity of about 12 years.
Latest Animal Stories
jose l figueroa - 2011-09-26
Hi. I have a pair of zebra finches. I want to now who is the female and who is the male?

Click For Replies (3)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-26
    It isn't easy but not impossible to sex your little guys. An article on Animal World ZEBRA FINCH will give you the basics. Look at description. Let me know if you have any problems.
  • carole - 2011-11-12
    The male has red cheeks.
  • michael - 2011-12-12
    Hi a male will be more colouful and have a broad black bar across his chest females don't hope this helps :)
Reply
Nutan - 2011-11-01
Can you tell, why the finches broke 4 of her eggs by pecking at it. Both male and female birds showed least interest in hatching the eggs to produce birdies.

Click For Replies (1)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-11-01
    I can't tell you why for sure at 100% but good guess is that they are new parents and that is just what they thought to do. Happens frequently with the first one or two clutches a pair produces. Second reason - ocasionally is calcium shortage - as the eggs arer calcium. Put in a cutle bone in case you haven't. Third reason is they know somehow the eggs are not viable (fertile) or are you sure you have male and female. Usually the reason is new parents. They have to learn and it takes time. There is no flock to show them what it is they are to do.
Reply
Lisa - 2011-10-26
I have two pairs of Zebra finches that are sitting on eggs. My question is how long should I allow them to sit on the eggs before removing them. I know they usually hatch in 12-14 days of incubation. Well today is the 14th of when I could tell they started incubating and eggs have not hatched yet. Should I give them an extra day or 2 or just remove them assuming they are not viable. I didn't candle them earlier as I didn't want to disturb them too much.

Click For Replies (1)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-10-26
    Wait. They may have started sitting (incubating) the eggs 14 days ago but all the eggs still do not hatch at the same time. The first egg could be infertile and the second could be fertile. Without candling the eggs there is just no way to know. If there are 4 eggs, I would wait the 14 days plus 4 more. Now if you are not sure she has sat the eggs from exactly 14 days ago, then add another day for that. If they are new mom and dad and haven't had babies before, they sually say the first clutch or two can be for free as mom and dad need to learn and practice. Even if you candle the eggs and realize the eggs are not fertile, let the mom sit the eggs for the 14 or so days. Otherwise she might just keep laying eggs and run into calcium shortage.
Reply
John - 2011-09-29
I have two Zebra finch they laid eggs and they hatch and now the female died.I need to know what to do. Will the male feed the babys?

Click For Replies (1)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-09-29
    He should as both the male and female sit the eggs and feed the babies. I can't say that he will though as if first time dad and his mate just died. You can give him a few hours - maybe 6 to see if he feeds them and hopefully he does. If not it would be best to get some pedilyte water (in the baby dept of a grocery store) and a eye dropper and give the little ones each a few drops of water - just drop it on their tongue and let them swallow. Do that 4 times - about once an hour. You will also need bird feeding formula that you can buy at a pet store. You will have to hand feed them. Here is an article on Hand Feeding Finches'
    and hopefully dad just feeds them.
Reply
Laura - 2011-05-08
I have a pair of zebra finches in a large cage, and I've been taking them outside while the weather is nice and letting them enjoy the fresh air on our covered back porch. They sing like crazy and seem to enjoy it. Today we had a zebra finch land on the back porch - I'm guessing he heard the song of my birds - and since we don't live in Australia I can only assume someone let their pet loose here in the area. I'd like to add him to our finch family so he's safe. He appears to be young and healthy but we are keeping him quarantined for several days to be sure. We put his cage next to the cage with my birds and they seemed really happy. Since he's been outside, I'm assuming he has mites so we will treat for those. Any other comments or suggestions?

Click For Replies (10)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-09
    Quarantining the new finch from ther others is placeing the finch in an entirely separate area when nothing canbe transmitted that is air born also. So much for that one. Just keep an eye on the new one, checking to make sure poopr is normal, breathe is OK and no white droppings from the vent area. He could have just gotten loose from another home and honed in on yours singing. He is obviously used to people and a cage so he must have been someon'e pet so I say you're probably fine.
  • Laura - 2011-05-10
    Thanks Cheryl - I appreciate your comments! His poop does look quite normal and he's eating/drinking in good quantities - no plummage issues either. We'll give him another day or so just to make sure he's not sick, then try to move him over.
  • matt - 2011-05-12
    Yes, I have a comment, don't keep birds in cages and let that bird free. It's disgusting keeping a bird in a cage you should be ashamed of yourself.

    The only reason I'm on this site is because I'm going to buy a load of them as they are the only birds that I can buy from the local pet store to set free.

    They don't want to be safe, they want to live. You are safe in your house but if you don't ever get out of it you have no life.

  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-12
    I think what you are doing is a good thing. That little finch is obviously tame and used to a cage. It isn't used to trying to find food on it's own and doesn't know what a predator is. It's ability to survive in the outside world would be extremely difficult and possibly no chance at all. It is wonderful and beautiful to see birds flock and fly in the forests and trees. Unfortunately more and more habitation is being destroyed. Without people in aviculture who devote themselves to breeding and without people who love these little creatures, someday they may not exist. There was a song once that went "freedom just another word for nothing left to lose" A life spent in love with it's human or another bird, even if it is in a cage at times can be a good life. I try and think of my birds in their cage and then when they are out and about in the house as the same thing as my home being my cage and then I go out and about. I go to a restuarant and they go to the dinner table. I go to the movies and they have their own movie selection. So, you keep your little friend and love him and be with him and enjoy.
  • Leila Peters - 2011-08-11
    Charlie, you have said it really well. Point is, while a bird should not be imprisoned in a cage, a cage should be a safe haven for a free bird, free to fly around, free from danger, and be a beloved pet at the same time. I agree totally that a bird should have a real quality of life where its owner really cares for him and provide him with optimum comfort where he will have freedom of flying and feel safe.
  • Leila - 2011-08-13
    Matt, yes I can identify with you, as you seem very angry. I also feel very angry and sad when I see people keep birds in small cages without any freedom. I hope everyone would keep the birds well-being in mind.
  • Sally Ann - 2011-08-19
    How many is a load of them? 15? 20? You can consider those birds dead. They have been domesticated and bred to be pets. If they were freed into the wild, just like someone said before, they would not be able to care for themselves as wild birds do. It would be akin to releasing a kitten into the Amazon jungle. I would rather have some of these beautiful creatures safe kept in case their wild counter parts die out.
  • Anne - 2011-08-20
    Matt is just trying to be humane. Just see how many animals/birds are kept in small cages without any freedom, and that is what makes a person feel so sad. I know of lots of domesticated birds,who, after having being left open outside, have adapted to the climate and have learnt to survive. Birds must not be kept without any freedom.
  • emma - 2011-09-17
    Matt, buying heaps of domesticated birds from a pet store and letting them go is cruel you can consider those birds dead within a day of there release. I agree it is cruel to keep birds in small cages but what about large cages or aviaries. any where with a space of at least 30 cms above there head and the same across is a cage sufficent for the bird to fly and flap its wings.
  • sarah - 2011-09-21
    I think 30 cm is way too small - its no aviary! Birds must not be kept in
    small cages, and there is nothing wrong in keeping them in aviaries, in fact it is the best place to keep domesticated birds in.
Reply
Mercedes - 2011-07-28
I have 2 finch birds that just recently layed eggs. The male just died and I wanted to know if it was okay to buy another male bird or would that affect the reaction of the female bird towards her eggs? or anything in that form?

Click For Replies (1)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-28
    I wouldn't try and introduce her to a new male until the chicks are at least to the stage where you can hand feed them if you have to. As long as the mom is hand feeding them, I wouldn't bring in another male. A new male is likely to play soccer with the eggs - or possibly the babies. This may be just cuz he is new and has no idea what is happening or he wants her undivided attention. My advice is the female finch has her hands full right now and a male finch could just be more work and could damage the eggs -
Reply
Leslie - 2011-07-09
This is more like a bunch of questions,than a comment or reply.1st question is:what are all the different types of plants that can harm zebra finches? What exactly do they do to harm these zebra finches? Could you please give me a list of both? How do you know when a female zebra finch is pregnant? How do you know when they are ready to lay there egg. I have to zebra finches,a male and female. When is a good time to get them a bigger cage? I got what I call a normal size cage. So,should I get them a bigger cage now or wait? Could you please send me the information on all of this to my email address? I Thank You Very Much for your time and patience. Thank You Very Much.
Thank you,
Leslie L. Gross

Click For Replies (1)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-07-09
    This link will take you to a list of toxic plants for birds.
    http://www.birdchannel.com/bird-diet-and-health/bird-medical-conditions/birds-and-plants.aspx

    The list is long. Unless you are going to have an aviary loaded with plants where the birds fly free, I would just remove your plants. If you are going to set up a planted aviary (and they are gorgeous) with trees, bushes etc. than you need to look at the list. A friend of mine had a huge planted aviary - maybe 25 X 50 feet with all sort of plants and about 50 birds . He had a waterfall and everything. I had a few plants in the house and I just moved them. Consequences are a sick bird to one that can die. Best time to get a bigger cage is now. Always get the largest cage you can afford for you little guys. Make sure the bar spacing is small enough for finches though. They like freedom and flying and playing. You don't have to worry about when she is ready to lay eggs. They will take that naturally. They have to know -- you get the surprise. When you really really look, you can usually tell a female is about to lay eggs - at least with the smaller birds. The abdomen right above the cloaca looks a little swollen. It is real hard to see - cuz of feathers. Get the larger cage and put two next boxes up. OK?
Reply
kfed - 2011-05-09
I have 6 finches I acquired from an older couple who really only fed them seed. I am not sure if they are related or not but they do all get along they are in a cage 28x15x20. They seem to be doing well. I have 2 males and 4 females. Now, I have eggs galore. Does it matter if they were related and are they ok together since they seem well acclimated. They get a variety of fresh foods and seed and all you have advised including the cod liver oil and yeast. I have another cage ready to accommodated any off spring or unruly parents hoping to get them homes then remove the nests although they love their nests. Is this advised or should I leave the nest in the cage and is the cage an ok size since there is no problem but an occasional squabble.

Click For Replies (7)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-09
    You don't know whether the finches are related or not so why worry? Chances are even if they are related, it should be all right. Some aviculturists have been known to inter breed to obtain certain color mutations. If you remove the nests, it will not prevent the birds from breeding. They will just lay their eggs off the perch (in which case they will break) or in the food dishes. So their is no reason to remove the nests. Ideally, there should be 4 males and 4 females and 4 nest boxes. You definitely need 4 nest boxes for the 4 females so possibly two cages or one larger cage with 4 nest boxes. I wouldn't just add 2 male finches to this group. I would remove two of the females (the ones that are not sitting eggs if you can distinguish that easily) and introduce them to two other males. For right now being the eggs are laid and hopefully the females will sit the eggs, I would be reluctant to change anything, except make sure there are 4 nest boxes.
  • kfed - 2011-05-24
    Well I seperated the 2 females now I'm hoping the 2 pair left in the cage don't fight. So far so good. They both choose a nest as pairs. The 2 females I separated aren't crazy about each other but oh well. 1 sqwaks when the other goes near her but they really dont fight. I'll keep you posted thanks again =]]
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-24
    That was good. Now you have two pair and two extra females. You can always keep two of the male babies to pair with your two extra females. Birds can be complicated but they are interesting and entertaining. Babies are so adorable.
  • Anonymous - 2011-06-06
    Thanks again keep you posted.
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-18
    Well, I am sure glad all turned out fine for you. There will be a next time. One being tossed out of the nest is not an unusual occurance. The parents can sense if the little fella won't make it, or it dies and they throw it out. Sometimes it is actually done by the brothers and sisters. Caiques (which I had would lay five eggs) but when the 4th and 5th hatched the brothers and sisters would throw them out. I learned to incubate. Strange that nature.
    Glad you are through all the commotion and excitement. Fun isn't it. Miracles.
  • kfed - 2011-06-18
    Well the babies have arrived they are about 11 days old now. 3 I believe. 1 they ejected from the nest. I actually think it had already passed when they did this, it looked unhealthy or unfed. The others are thriving so far. I took the nest down a minute to look at them when the parents both came out which they do alot now. they look fine!!! =] thanks again
  • kfed - 2011-06-21
    fun it is!!! and boy can they eat =O thanks again =]
Reply
KRYSTAL - 2011-06-12
How long after zebra finches mate will you actually see an egg?? I have four finches, one of which was not looking too well. I ended up placing her in a seperate cage for 10 days so she could regain her strength, (and she did). Well after the ten day period I put one of the other finches in with her. Well I thought they were fighting a bit and didn't want to chance her getting hurt again, so removed the one bird and put it back with the other two and left the one by herself, but yet next to the other three finches so that she wouldn't feel lonely. Now the one that is by herself started laying eggs, that is why I asked. (1)How long after they mate will a female lay eggs so I could know whether they are fertile or not.....(2)And if they are fertile can the female hatch them by herself or does she need her mate? Because I cant tell the other three apart when they are together even more so I am unsure of what the other finches sexes are except of course the one that layed an egg....... Suggestions, please and thank you!!!!

Click For Replies (1)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-13
    From the time they do the deed to the drop of the fist egg is about a week, possibly sooner. You can usually tell the males from the females as the males are more colorful and the beak is darker. If you put the two cages close together with a perch at approximately the same height, they pair will probably try and sit next to each other even though the cage bars are separating them. Then you can see the pair and so move themale in with the female as they both do sit the eggs. Put the two cages right next to each other with two perches (one inside each cage) but next to each other and the male female pair should try and sit close together. There is your male, grab him and put him in with the female. Telling the three apart - look at the sides of the face and the color of the beaks.
Reply
esther layman - 2011-06-02
Our couple of zebras have eggs in the nest. He has been sleeping in the nest with her every night and taking turns sitting on the eggs, but now he has moved out at night... why?

Click For Replies (2)
  • Charlie Roche - 2011-06-02
    I don't know how they do it or how birds in general figure this stuff out but they keep those eggs at a specific temperature and humidity and know exactly when to turn them. The heat comes from the little birds bodies (obviously) and they will frequently bathe in the water bowl to increase the humidity and turn the eggs. Long story here but what I am thinking is two finches in the nest box made the temperature to warm so one had to leave. Are they getting ready to hatch? That could be another reason.
  • esther layman - 2011-06-02
    Thanks so much for your help, wonderful we have a place to go with questions.
Reply