Ask Lafeber


June 7, 2019

3 males Zebra finch

Hello, I had a pair of zebra finches who got two babies, but lost mom just after the chicks hatched. Dad successfully raise the babies. Both are males (starting to get zebra lines and black belt on chest). We are getting to the point where babies should be separated from parents. However, dad would then be alone and depressed. He is bounding with the babies, especially one. What should I do? Can I let the 3 males together if they seem happy? And if dad seems to pair with one of the young male, should I get a new bird to pair to the other baby male so he is not left out (I would assume an other male)? They are in a big flight cage (18x18x90) with plenty of room and perch.


Hi Melanie,

I’m glad to hear that dad did such a great job raising these guys on his own. Since they are all males, you can try leaving them all together. Definitely do not give them a nest – breeding behavior is what causes issues most of the time. Generally I don’t recommend an odd bird out, but wait and see how things go in this case. One bird might be left out to some degree, but it’s OK unless they start to fight. Hopefully with a lack of nests, they won’t fight. Finches can actually enjoy small toys – the small, inexpensive plastic ones they make for parakeets. They like the colorful plastic and anything with mirrors and bells. Swings are fun for them. There is one toy called Olympic Rings – it’s just 5 plastic rings hung vertically with a bell on the end – and finches can fit in the rings. I would get them some toys and just set up a fun environment for them. If any serious fighting or bullying towards on bird happens, then you can either try adding another male, or find a home for the male that is being picked on. Good luck with these guys!

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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