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Re: Feather eating?

Posted by Michael L on 12/06/05
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    On 12/06/05, Kristen wrote:
    > I have 1 male, and 1 female zebra finch. Recently, the
    > female had laid about 7 eggs, and only 2 of them survived.
    > Well, i've noticed that they keep picking each others
    > feathers, and eating them....? Can somebody please tell me
    > if this is normal...the female has been picking so many of
    > the males feathers that, the male has bald spots now.
    > Please help!!

    Kristen,
    It's not uncommon for Zebras to pluck their mates when they
    are in breeding mode. The eating part is a bit unusual as
    that may indicate that something is lacking in their diet.
    For only 2 out of 7 eggs/chicks to survive you should review
    how you are keeping and providing for them.
    When parent Zebras are trying to raise chicks they need their
    diet supplemented with egg food, either commercially prepared
    or home made. Lack of protein/nutrition may be why the
    babies did not make it.
    Dark greens, finely chopped, will also help with vitamins and
    minerals.
    Most importantly is a good calcium source. This can be a
    cuttle bone, or crushed, cooked egg shells. And of course,
    liquid form is another option.
    If they are very young or immature, the babies may have died
    due to inexperience on the part of the parents.
    These are a couple thing worth considering if you are going
    to allow them to breed again.

    Michael L