Ask Lafeber


September 13, 2022

Zebra Finch egg laying

My female zebra finch lives with her male partner. She recently laid 4 eggs. 3 of them are fertile, I see heartbeats as I’m candling them. One of the eggs, I noticed was different from the beginning. It is the oy egg without a heartbeat and looked empty when I would candle it. I decided to take it out and break it. There is only a tiny bit of yolk on one side, and no other liquid was in there. It was just dry. Why would this happen? I feed her very well, all my birds are healthy and are given vegetables everyday and also have cups of sprouts in their cages to eat, they also have cuttlebones and are fed eggs 2 times a week. Is this just so eyhing that happens or is my bird not as healthy as I think she is?


Hi Autumn,

It’s normal for one or more eggs to not be viable. It’s actually rare for all of the eggs to be good. This one sounds like it may have had a small hole in it somewhere that you didn’t notice. It is best to not handle the eggs daily. They are very fragile but mainly the hen may end up getting upset and abandoning the eggs. It’s also best to always leave all the eggs because an infertile egg can help protect the chicks as they hatch. If the hen wants it gone, she will toss it. You should be feeding egg daily right now. Wash and crush the shell and cook it with the eggs. Once these chicks leave the nest, you need to take the nest out so they will not nest again too soon. Also if they nest before the chicks are weaned, they tend to stop caring for them and will let them diet. Once the chicks are weaned, you need to remove them from the parent’s cage, or the parents may pick on them. After 6 months, you can give them the nest back and let them breed again. It’s very important to make them rest between clutches and to keep the weaned chicks separate from the parents. Once you can tell what sex the chicks are, you need to keep them separate by sex to make sure they do not try to breed with each other.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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