Ask Lafeber


April 5, 2021

Finch eggs

My zebra finches layed alot of eggs but not hatching. Its been 17 days. What should i do? Thank you


Hi David,

Zebra finches will lay anywhere from 4 to 8 eggs in a clutch, with one day between each egg being laid. Most of the time, the female will not sit on the eggs until she has laid all of them. So you have to count the days from when the last egg was laid. You should wait for 20 days after the last egg was laid before you discard the eggs. Since you say she laid a lot of eggs, it’s best to rest the pair before you let them breed again. The nest should be removed when you discard the eggs. The pair only needs a nest when they are breeding – they do not need a nest to sleep in. You have to control how often a captive pair breeds. In the wild they would only breed once a year, and they will only raise one or two clutches. In captivity, they do not receive the environmental changes that signal the end of breeding season, so you have to take the nest away to get them to stop for a few months. Laying eggs is hard on the female’s health, so if she is allowed to do this year round, it can eventually cause her to die from laying too many eggs.

It’s important that your birds are eating a nutritionally balanced diet like pellets or granules. A seed mix will not provide the nutrition that pet or breeding birds need. You should also offer dark leafy greens and chopped veggies. While they are set up for breeding, you need to offer an egg food. This can be a commercial egg food or you can simply cook an egg with the shell washed, crushed and cooked with the egg. This egg food should be fed when the hen is laying eggs and while they are feeding chicks.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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