Ask Lafeber


February 12, 2019

Zebra finches

I have four fledging Zebra Finches. The parents would not feed them, so I have. They are ready to eat on their own. How do I get them to eat out of food trays???? I do have your diet for finches.


Hi Dee,

Congratulations on raising these little guys – that is a lot of work! With finches, you can put the food on the cage floor or in a shallow dish, before handfeeding time, and get their attention with the syringe or whatever you feed them with. Then start tapping it in the food, like a bird pecking at food. The chicks will keep trying to get food from the syringe but finally they should try to mimic the tapping and generally they accidentally eat some solid food. You can also try mixing some formula extra thick and put it in a dish, coating it with some finch pellets/granules. If they are getting too frustrated, go ahead and hand feed them and then try again before the next feeding. Leave the granules and thick formula in the cage for them to explore between feedings. Generally they pick up on this quickly. You can also offer other foods like cooked brown rice with finely chopped veggies and leafy greens. Spray millet is also a good weaning food but you don’t want them to eat too much as the pellets or granules is where they get their nutrition.

Good luck on the weaning and great job!


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