Ask Lafeber


July 29, 2021

Zebra finches

I have two zebra finches, a female and a male. I’m concerned for the male because he is missing a lot of feathers around his neck and torso area. Is this a dietary condition? what can I do?


Hi Michelle,

Most likely the female is doing this to him. It can be a sign that they are not compatible. Is he a lot younger than her by any chance? Do you have a nest and have them set up for breeding? It’s very important that they only have a nest when they breeding, and this needs to be limited to a couple of times a year, with several months rest in between – take the nest away to make them rest from breeding. You can’t let them nest over and over again. If they have a nest, you might try taking it out for now unless they are currently sitting on eggs. You might also want to separate them to give the male the chance to grown his feathers back. If they grow back, then it was definitely the female bullying him and it might be best to not put them back together. Finches rarely pull out their own feathers like some parrots will do. Diet is also important, so if they are only on seed, you should see about converting them to a pelleted diet, and supplement it with dark leafy greens and chopped veggies.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,


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