Ask Lafeber

Question:

August 4, 2022

Zebra finches


I had 2 pairs of healthy zebra finches, i provided them with 1 nest and eco-friendly nest materials, they soon hatched 5 eggs and had 4 babies survived out of it, after some time one out of 4 babies just died and was thrown out, now all the babies were almost adult with feathers but still young, they hadn’t started weaning because most of the time thier father feeded them by its mouth even though they were of ahe around 6 to 8 weeks older, but father suddenly died in captivity and than within 2 days young birds died whom he fed, i had not hand feeded young ones ever, what is the cause, i tried feeding last surving baby but its not eating at all, i tried serving him milletsn mix seeds too, also i have not removed the nest so mother, young one and other pair all sleep together in the nest, where am i going wrong, i don’t know did father’s death is cause if all problems or nest or mother not teaching her off springs weaning ?


Answer:

Hi,

It is possible that there is a disease going through them, or maybe bacteria or some type of contamination in their environment. Do you have 2 pairs of birds in one cage, or 2 birds in one cage? For breeding, you should only have one pair in a cage. If you do have a second pair in the cage, they may be killing the chicks, and may have killed the male. If you want to try again, you need to remove one pair. Otherwise, take the nest away and let them all live together without breeding them. Unless they are breeding, they do not need a nest.

I don’t know why your chicks did not learn to eat. They usually are weaned between 3-4 weeks. By 6-8 weeks, they should be in their own cage away from the parents. There may be an issue with the genetics. And of course, there should not be an extra pair of birds in the cage. The only way to know why they died would be to take the bodies to a Vet for testing. I’m sorry for your troubles, but these birds may not be good/healthy enough to breed.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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