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 Breeding zebra finches

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catalinadee

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PostSubject: Breeding zebra finches    Sun Aug 26, 2012 5:19 am

Breeding birds usually has to start somewhere, many people like to buy the more 'easy to breed' birds and work their way up to harder things. Zebra finches are possibly some of the most fun and easy to breed birds out there, so I thought I would help you all out by giving you tips on how I breed mine!

Firstly, the birds should be in a place where they can find it easy to relax. Somewhere quiet without too much disturbance around them would be just great! If there is too much going on around them the birds may give up on their nest leaving eggs and/or chicks, resulting in you having to hand feed them. Where their enclosure is placed is also just as important. You would want somewhere that is away from harsh weather conditions (though zebra finches are really hardy little things!) and not in direct sunlight. This doesn't mean to leave them in the dark, birds need a lot of light and the suns rays will always do them good. If you can't provide them with that then you can get an avian lamp to substitute it. If the finches are kept outdoors in an aviary then their nest box should be situated in a nice high up corner under a sheltered area. Giving them the opportunity to find shade is a must!

Once everything is set up, I make sure that the birds themselves are on a good diet before they breed. Zebra finches do best on a mix of foreign finch seeds with plenty of dark leafy greens, egg food and mealworms. During the time they are actually breeding it is best to offer egg food every day for protein. I also use hard boiled eggs crushed up and take the shells for good use as well. You can wash the shells and put them in the microwave for 2-4 minutes. Once done (watch your hands because they get real hot!) crush the shells up into tiny chips and mix in with their food. Having plenty of calcium in them also helps to prevent things such as egg binding in your hens Exclamation

As mad as it may sound, make sure you always keep their water in view, and very clean. If there is poop building up in there during the day then change it a couple of times throughout the day. Having a fresh source of water around actually puts zebra finches at ease, making breeding more comfortable for them

Remove any aggressive birds from the aviary. They may harass the pair trying to breed, putting them off, or even kill babies/break eggs. Aggressive birds can ruin things for your pair, putting them off!

Offer them a range of nesting materials - find out what you birds prefer to use. I've tried animal bedding, nest liners and feathers and all birds have different likes and dislikes. Your finches will most likely select the material they find the most useful and begin to line their nest with the desired material. Make sure it is bird safe before you use it

Try to leave the finches and their nest alone as much as possible during the breeding period. Do spot check cleans daily and change water and food as often as neccessary. Don't keep putting your hands in to the nest, especially if is the pairs first time breeding!

Every time they breed you must clean everything to a high standard. Disinfect everything, nest boxes included. Having the birds droppings in there can cause the growth of bacteria and all kinds of horrible things, so be extremely careful. Just make sure everything is very clean before you let them have their next clutch Idea

Probably the best trick for getting your birds to breed is to seperate them. We put a male zebra finch on one side of a room in a breeder cage and have the female the opposite side of the room facing the male. The male sings and sings. Leave them for around a week and then release them together either into an aviary or breeder cage etc and you'll find they may get ready to breed instantly. It's great!

I hope somebody finds this useful, especially for a first time breeder Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Breeding zebra finches    Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:08 pm

Great post Daisy Very Happy
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