How do Finches Have Babies


 The zebra finch pair

The most popular Zebra Finch, Taeniopygia guttata has been in captivity for almost 150 years, and is considered by most people to be a “simple breeding”. However, these small beauty breeding facilities should not be used as an excuse to ignore their basic needs. Although they will nest even in bad conditions, only when given the right care, the breeding partner will still be in the best condition and give you a healthy and strong chick.

Enthusiastic Breeders

Zebra Finches provide an excellent introduction to the breeding of captives. They come from the hot, dry grasslands of Australia and have developed their ability to reproduce whenever ideal conditions (i.e. rain and mild temperatures) arise.

Unlike most birds, Zebra Finches, which are often supplied with plenty of food and nesting, may breed throughout the year, producing 6 or more grips (this is a drain on hens, however- see below). Moreover, they are extraordinary parents and their courtship rituals as well as taking care of the children are a joy to behold.

Determining S3x

The s3x of colored Zebra Finches is usually easy to determine. Adult males wear black bars on the breasts and patches of bright orange cheeks, both of which are absent in females (see photos of females with chicks).

Children under the age of 5-6 weeks are not likely to have s3xual intercourse visually (see chicks). Many phases of color have been produced by breeders, and among them, differences between the s3xes may be difficult to see; behavior is your best guide here. Dating men sing and “bounce” before females, and may even offer nesting material.

Zebra Finches may mature s3xually when they are 3 months old, but it is best to wait until they are 9-12 months old before allowing them to reproduce.


Although Zebra Finches can reproduce and reproduce young when given a diet of only seeds, breeders are best given fresh bean sprouts, small living or canned insects and egg foods to a mixture of high quality seeds .

Cuttlebone should always be present, especially when eggs are being produced, as female calcium needs will soar.

Cages and Breeding Supplies

People tend to keep cages in small enclosures, but they should be given as much space as possible. This is especially true for breeding couples. Remember that once the ducks leave the nest, they will be fed by their parents for an additional 2-4 weeks. Therefore, your cage must be large enough for up to 8 birds. The bird style or “flight cage” is very appropriate. You can breed Zebra Finches communally in outdoor enclosures but do not store more than one pair of nests in indoor cages.

Cages should be in a quiet location, and stocked with plenty of commercial nest material or hay (do not use ropes). Closed weaving nest boxes will be easily accepted, although some couples prefer to build their own dome nests.

Dating and Nests

 Zebra finch couple Men can follow a woman with a piece of grass, apparently “showcasing” her nesting prowess. He usually does most of the nest making, and the females incubate the eggs.

Eggs hatch in about 14 days … discard them if they have not yet hatched on the 21st day, because they are infertile or there is something wrong during development. The chicks are 20-22 days old, and are fed by their parents for an additional 2-3 weeks. They acquire their adult feathers and orange beaks at the 5-6th week, and at that time they should be taken to their own enclosures.

Beware … “Over-Production”

Zebra Finches fed will usually nest several times, but it is best to limit them to 2-4 grips per year. More than that can strengthen a woman’s strength and shorten her life expectancy (and what would you do with another 25-35 tails!).

The presence of nest sites and nest material seems to stimulate them to reproduce, so remove this when you want to give your breeders a “rest” time.



Further Reading

Facts and History of Zebra Finch in Pet Trade

Video: Tame Zebra Finches nesting in a tree

Observations on wild zebras and other Australian birds uploaded by Snowmanradio

Female zebra finch with pictures of chicks referenced from wikipedia and originally posted by Lip Kee Yap and uploaded by Snowmanradio
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