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Zebra Finch Breeding Basics

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Zebra Finch Breeding Basics

Zebra Finches are fun and easy to breed.

Photo (c) Bill Jolly.

Health Requirements:

Breeding Zebra Finches should be vet checked to ensure that they are in good overall health. They should also be at least one year of age, and should be free of physical defects.

Nesting Requirements:

Zebra Finches, especially breeders, need adequate room to fly and exercise. A good mimimum cage size for a breeding pair is 24" X 24' X 24". The bigger the cage, the better. You can provide your finches with a small woven nest made specifically for small birds, or a traditional wooden nest box at least 8" x 8" x 8". Remember to provide shredded paper or another safe nesting material!

Nutritional Requirements:

Breeding Zebra Finches usually do well with a staple diet of high quality finch seed and pellet mix, supplemented with tiny slices of fruits, vegetables, egg, and other bird-safe fresh foods. Fresh sprouts are also highly nutritious and good for your breeding pair. Be sure to provide the pair with a good avian calcium supplement, to support the hen during the eggmaking process and help prevent egg binding.

Egg Laying:

The average Zebra Finch can lay up to 8 eggs in a single clutch, with the median being between 3 and 6. The hen will lay one egg each day until the clutch is complete, and will begin incubating the eggs once the last one is laid.

Incubation Time:

Zebra Finch eggs will begin to hatch within 12 to 15 days after the hen begins to sit on them. As a rule, if an egg hasn't hatched within 20 days, you can consider it infertile.

Hatchling Care and Weaning:

Since Zebra Finches are not a type of bird that's handled under normal conditions, the parents should be allowed to raise the hatchlings undisturbed. Be sure to provide plenty of millet for the parents to feed the babies. They will usually wean between the ages of 4 and 6 weeks.
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